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As a small business, are you struggling with how to handle HR management? And don’t have the budget to hire a dedicated HR administrator? Fortunately, there are several online human resources information systems (HRIS) that can take these issues off your plate for a reasonable cost.
Many online HRIS systems market to enterprise-level businesses, and it’s hard to find ones that cater to small businesses. But we’ve done our homework to find ones that fit your small biz and your budget. Read our review to find our recommendations for the best HR software for small businesses.
Best Small Business HRIS Systems
HRIS software systems for small- to medium-sized businesses, for the most part, are relatively new to the market (averaging five years old), and most are continually building upon their features and functionality. Each system we review here offers different sets of tools, so we encourage you to read through all of our reviewed products to find one that best meets your needs.
BambooHR is our top pick for the best HR software for small to medium sized businesses. This cloud-based solution is surprisingly affordable for the features you get — built-in applicant tracking system (ATS) and recruitment software, onboarding for new employees, time-off tracking, analytics and more.
BambooHR’s web-based and mobile interfaces are simple for employees and administrators to use. And this provider recently incorporated a built-in payroll module (for an added fee) to help you streamline your HR practices in one place. You can test run Bamboo to see if it fits your company’s needs with their free demo but you can’t get pricing info without first requesting a quote.
Gusto wins our number two spot for the best HR software for small business. This software is better known as a major player among small business payroll services (read our payroll software reviews), but Gusto offers some excellent HR features as well at an attractive price point for any small biz budget.
Gusto stands out for its upfront, easy pricing. For a base of $39 per month and $6 per employee, you get all of Gusto’s features (no add-ons to rack up your bill). These features include onboarding with eSignatures, time and PTO tracking, employee records in one place, full-service payroll, benefits administration and more. And you can try Gusto out with their 30-day free trial.
Gusto provides a 30-day free trial, no credit card required.
- $39 base rate per month
- $6 per employee
- $39 base rate per month
- $12 per employee
- $149 base rate per month
- $12 per employee
Namely wins our number three spot for the best HR software for small business. This web-based platform allows HR admins to manage employee records, time tracking, payroll, benefits, performance reviews and talent management all in one place. Their employee self-service portal is a breeze to use.
Namely also offers a built in social news feed and customizable reports for both individual and teams. If you can’t handle all the HR tasks, Namely provides managed services for additional fees.
Other HRIS Systems Reviews
The following Human Resource software options for small to medium-sized businesses didn’t make our top three picks, but we think all three are worthy of consideration.
This cloud-based HR software based in the UK is an excellent, affordable solution if you have employees around the world (Cezanne supports 10 languages). Cezanne is best suited for companies with 50+ employees.
Its pricing involves a monthly subscription based on the modules you choose and the number of users. The self-service core module, called “People,” offers training and document management, reporting, and health and safety compliance. Then you can choose to add on one or more modules, which include applicant tracking, absence management, time tracking and performance management.
You can also integrate Cezanne with payroll, benefits, and other third-party apps thanks to its open API for developers.
Kin is a simple, straightforward cloud-based HR system with a price tag that will fit most small business budgets. Depending on which plan you choose, these are some of the features offered: employee self-service, document storage and signature tracking, PTO management, employee reviews, customized employee data tracking, compensation and salary tracking, daily data backups and more.
The downsides of this relatively new system are the absence of integrations and mobile apps. The Kin API is decent, but it needs work to become fully functional. Still, if you’re looking for an affordable and simple HR tool, Kin could be it. You can try out Kin with their 7-day free trial to see if it fits your company’s HR needs.
Kin offers a 7-day free trial with no credit card required. Here’s a summary of its paid plans.
- $110/month (month-to-month) or $99/month (annually)
- Includes employee HRIS, team directory, calendar, time off & leave management
- $176/month (month-to-month) or $159/month (annually)
- Includes all of the above plus eSignatures, custom forms, file storage, API and integration
- $221/month (month-to-month) or $199/month (annually)
- Includes all of the above plus employee reviews & objectives, new hire onboarding management
- $259/month (annually)
- Includes all of the above plus premium support and set-up consultation
Zenefits stands out for its solid reputation as a provider of free HR tools, which include hiring, onboarding, employee management and benefits — a huge plus for small businesses on a tight budget. Their paid plans offer a few additional features such as compliance and PTO tracking. And if you want to add payroll and time and attendance, there’s an additional fee for each feature as an add-on. You only pay for what you need, but if you have a lot of employees, it gets expensive quickly.
Zenefits didn’t make it into our top spots due to their pricing and the numerous complaints about the new customer support ticketing system that users say is unresponsive (they used to offer a dedicated account manager). Now you have to pay $5 per month per employee for an HR advisor.
Zenefits offers a free version and the following paid plans and add-ons.
- $40 base fee per month
- $6/month/employee month-to-month or $5/month/employee annually
- Includes HR platform, custom fields, business intelligence, documents app & more
- $40 base fee per month
- $12/month/employee month-to-month or $9/month/employee annually
- Includes all of the above plus time off tracking, ACA compliance, compliance assistant, HR library & more
- Payroll: $6/month/employee
- Time & Attendance: $5/month/employee
- HR Advisor: $8/month/employee
- Payroll Advisor: $8/month/employee
- Ultimate Advisor: $16/month/employee
- Performance Management: $4/month/employee
Watch Our #1 Pick in Action
Check out BambooHR’s video that highlights its dashboard and features — and why sound HR practices are so important for small businesses.
Optimize Your HR
As we explained previously, small business HRIS systems aren’t as plentiful as some other online software geared toward small businesses. And it’s difficult to juggle it all with limited manpower and a small budget. We hope our HRIS systems reviews have helped you find a good choice for your business.
What would you recommend for a small business looking to go digital with HR?
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