5 Best HR Software for Small Businesses

This article contains information on the best HR software for small businesses and other important information you need.

HR is going digital in an obvious way. Even now, small businesses are shifting their focus to cloud-based HR systems. That allows them to take advantage of HR software options previously only available to enterprises. For a small business, HR software can handle a variety of tasks, such as performance management, benefits, payroll, and hiring. 

However, with the number of HR programs available in the market, it is not easy to choose one. Some HR software providers have all-in-one solutions. In contrast, others offer stand-alone solutions that can be purchased separately. 

To make it easier for you to decide which HR software to pick as a small business, we have listed the top five HR software programs based on small businesses’ needs.

Best HR Software for Small Businesses

Gusto app 

Gusto, formerly ZenPayroll, was designed to make handling payroll a simple process for smaller businesses. With little to no HR experience or for small businesses just getting started, Gusto is a definite must. Removing all the clutter and unnecessary products, allows the HR team, even with no experience, to appear competent and knowledgeable. 

You can use Gusto to manage direct deposits, check payments, and tax filings, and it integrates directly into many popular accounting programs to keep track of organization and paperwork. Onboarding tasks such as offers and e-signature, insurance, commuter benefits, and 529 and 401(k) plans are also available.

  • Gusto pricing plans: $12/user + $39.00 per month for the mid-tier plan. Moreover, Gusto offers a new option for contractors who only pay a flat rate of $6/employee.
  • Free trial: Yes, for a month

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With BambooHR, small businesses can meet their administrative needs and provide employees with self-service options. Even though BambooHR does not have as many features as its competitors, its price point is hard to beat, and its user interface is straightforward. Its applicant tracking features are among its best features, as you can list job openings, assign hiring managers to your team, and let them customize their hiring processes and assess applicants as they come in.

Additionally, BambooHR automates time-sucking tasks like paperwork, onboarding and offboarding, and vacation management. The BambooHR app does not offer a payroll feature – but they offer an add-on that will facilitate data export to a third-party payroll solution. So, this is a much more people-centric platform.

Because BambooHR may be a little more expensive than other options, you’ll want to ensure your business requires this functionality before signing up. This is one of the Best HR Software for Small Businesses

  • Pricing Plans: They have two pricing plans, the Essentials Plan and the Advantage Plan. However, to get the price of these plans, you need to get in touch with the software provider.
  • Free trial: Yes


The powerful set of tools that Zenefits offers makes it a top pick for small-to-medium-sized businesses. In addition to onboarding and offboarding, Zenefits aims to automate a lot of tasks, such as employee data management, paperwork management, and regulatory compliance tasks. 

Besides providing a comprehensive benefits management portal, Zenefits also provides an integrated payroll solution. You can connect your payroll system to another provider if you prefer.

Unlike many other platforms we’ve mentioned, Zenefits places a big emphasis on mobile. Among the tech products they integrate are Salesforce, G Suite, Asana, and more.

  • Pricing plans: Prices vary according to the plan you choose. The most popular plan (Zenefits Growth) is priced at $18 per employee per month, while Zenefits Essentials costs as little as $10 per employee per month. If you sign an annual contract, you will get a discount.
  • Free trial: No, but you can request a demo.

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Best HR Software for Small Businesses


Intuit QuickBooks is a top pick among small businesses. With QuickBooks Payroll, small businesses can manage their human resources (HR) and payrolls. 

QuickBooks payroll assists organizations with onboarding, compensation calculation, attendance tracking, and benefits administration. In addition to compliance management, employment best practices, job descriptions, and more, the HR advisory team also provides consulting services. 

While filing federal or state payroll taxes, QuickBooks Payroll can automatically rectify errors and reimburse penalties or interest charges. Furthermore, it offers legal guidance regarding state and federal laws regarding overtime pay. This is one of the best HR Software for Small Businesses.

  • Pricing plans: QuickBooks is available in three packages for small to medium businesses. Core Plan – $45/mo. Premium Plan – $75/mo. Elite Plan – $125/mo. A 50% discount is offered for three months.
  • Free trial: Yes, they offer a free 30-day trial

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Paychex’s cloud-based payroll management system lets small, and large businesses manage their payrolls, human resources, and benefits. Paychex offers payroll and taxes, 401(k) retirement plans, benefits, insurance, HR, accounting, and financial services. Furthermore, the software provides accounting and finance services, such as payment processing and expense management, while keeping all federal, state, and local laws and regulations in mind. 

Several third-party vendors can be integrated with the software, making it ideal for remote teams. By using general ledger reports, data analytics, and automatic W-2 and 1099 forms, HR and other departments can track employee information and maintain legal compliance.

Additionally, it provides secure access to a document management centre for managing remote and hybrid employee documents. Multiple uploads, in-app signing, and real-time reporting are among its main features.

Recently, Paychex introduced new tools to help businesses retain remote workers. That includes identifying which employees are most likely to leave based on retention insights. In addition, Paychex offers a talent dashboard to pay benchmarking for compensation details to provide a comprehensive picture of employee performance.

  • Pricing plans: Paychex provides three online payroll solutions: Flex Select, Flex Enterprise, and Go. Payroll protection is available for $99 per year. 
  • Free trial: You do not have to pay for Paychex, you are only charged when you are identified for tax credits.

Benefits of HR Software for Small Businesses

Here are the top five benefits of adopting HR software, whether you’re wanting to invest in your first specialist HR system or upgrade your existing software to something more advanced.

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It will increase the effectiveness of your HR personnel.

After you’ve completed the implementation and launch phase, one of the most immediate benefits of employing specialized HR software is an increase in the efficiency of your HR team.

Repetitive, administratively intensive processes, such as pursuing managers to complete probation or yearly reviews, can be automated, while others, such as granting vacation or certifying absence, can be delegated to managers and employees via self-service capabilities.

It will save you money – or allow you to relocate workers to other initiatives.

Of course, there will be one-time setup expenses and annual subscription fees if using a cloud-based system.

However, in the medium and long run, your organization should discover that the efficiencies and time saved by the software will allow you to cut staffing costs or redeploy your HR team to more strategic tasks. Better data accuracy should also result in fewer costly errors.

It will enhance your employees’ experience.

HR Software for Small Businesses will enhance your employees’ experience.

As consumer technology advances, workers expect even more from their businesses’ digital devices and services. If you’re used to using your phone to do everything from a book an Uber to order a new outfit, you’d expect to be able to do the same for planning a vacation or accessing your benefits without having to fill out a form, for example.

User-friendly, well-designed HR software can assist in changing your employees’ perceptions of your HR department from one that is antiquated or “behind the times” to one that is forward-thinking and a strategically relevant enabler of effective work.

Integrating your HR software with other programs, such as LMS, EMS, and time and attendance systems, and enabling single-sign-on, will assist elevate your users’ experience. 

It will assist you in making better selections.

One of the most prevalent concerns associated with storing people data in disparate sources or unskilled HR systems is the inability to report on critical people management indicators on a regular, routine, and accurate basis.

Good human resource software should make it simple to access, analyze, and report on the people data most important to each function in your organization, allowing you, managers, and senior stakeholders to make better, more timely decisions. Giving evidence for your ideas and efforts quickly and easily will also help solidify HR’s credibility inside the organization.

It will boost your regulatory compliance.

Because you’ll be able to keep all of your people data and related information in one place and provide automated reminders when action is required, your compliance with regulatory standards will be greatly improved.

Wrapping up

Modern innovations like software-as-a-service (SaaS) have made it possible for small businesses to find affordable HR software. However, all the best HR software for small businesses has its strengths and weaknesses. Getting to the bottom of which will serve you best involves analyzing your needs. Whatever option you choose, make sure you do your research, use free trials, and fully explore your options before committing!


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