August 15, 2023

Best HR Apps for 2024

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Here are our top picks for the best human resources (HR) apps:

  • Paycor is best for employee payroll features.
  • BambooHR is best for ease of use.
  • Sage HR is best for workforce management.
  • Connecteam is best for employee communication.
  • Homebase is best for managing hourly employees.

Aug. 15, 2023: When reviewing our recommendations for accuracy and relevance, we replaced When I Work, Freshteam, and Rippling with Paycor, Sage HR, and Connecteam. We also refined our methodology and revised the formatting for improved readability.

We picked our choices with you in mind.

First, we evaluated 15 HR apps based on current options and the reviews of customers like you. We then narrowed our selections to the platforms that offer mobile apps and best address your top-of-mind concerns, such as device accessibility, intuitive user interface, and HR capabilities.

We researched the following vendors during the course of our research:

  • Paychex Flex.
  • Rippling.
  • ClearCompany.
  • BambooHR.
  • TriNet Zenefits.
  • Paycor.
  • Connecteam.
  • Homebase.
  • Sage HR.
  • Zoho People.
  • Workday.
  • Gusto.
  • WorkBright.
  • When I Work.
  • Bob.

As the market changes, we reevaluate our choices so you always receive the best insight for your purchasing decision.

Browse our HR Software Guide for a full list of software solutions to complement these mobile apps.

What are the best HR mobile apps?

Standout feature Starting price* Free trial?
Paycor Pay history database $99/mo. + $5/employee/mo. No Try Paycor
BambooHR Time off management $108/mo. for first 20 employees 7 days Try BambooHR
Sage HR OKR management $5.50/employee/mo. No Try Sage HR
Connecteam Group chat $29/mo. for first 30 employees Small business free plan and 14-day free trial Try Connecteam
Homebase Schedule creation $20/location/mo. Free plan and 14-day free trial Try Homebase

*All mobile apps are free to download from Google Play or the iOS App Store, but you must have a primary subscription to the vendor’s cloud-based software to use its features.

Paycor: Best for employee payroll features


Pros

  • Enroll or change benefits from the app to streamline benefits administration during open enrollment or qualifying events.
  • Support for learning and development, recognition, and direct communication to boost workplace engagement.
  • Time clock features, including clocking in and out, shift changes, and manager approvals, to ensure accurate time for payroll purposes, especially those in the field.

Cons

  • Companies cannot use the app to complete payroll processes remotely.
  • Users report occasional glitches when capturing clock-in/out data for shifts.

Paycor is an all-in-one human capital management (HCM) platform with modules covering:

  • Core HR.
  • Payroll.
  • Benefits administration.
  • Talent acquisition.
  • Workforce management.
  • Performance management.
  • Employee engagement.
  • Learning and development.

As an HCM suite, its advanced functionality is best for businesses shifting priorities from automating rote HR tasks to strategic workforce planning — for example, monitoring turnover rates or succession planning. Despite this, Paycor also offers small business plans should you need payroll, paid time off (PTO) management, onboarding, and basic accounting tools.

Paycor’s strength lies in payroll, and this is especially apparent in its mobile app. Most of its mobile app features directly impact or relate to payroll processes, like mobile clocking in/out or self-service open enrollment to ensure accurate overtime calculations or benefits deductions on payroll.As you scale product tiers, functionality on Paycor’s mobile app expands to include more advanced features. Examples include employee recognition and mobile learning lessons, features that only Connecteam on this list offers. Thus, Paycor is scalable, starting with core payroll features but layering on performance and engagement functions as you grow.

Financial wellness

Employee financial wellness tools, including budgeting, financial counseling, direct bill pay, and discounts, are available from Paycor’s mobile app. These tools give employees more control over their money for greater financial security, like saving for future goals or managing debt.

In addition, Paycor gives employees access to up to 50% of their wages before payday. Known as on-demand pay or earned wage access (EWA), this capability allows employees to access their money outside of normal pay periods.

Payroll document self-service

Employees can print, view, or download pay stubs and important tax documents like W-2s or 1099s from Paycor’s app. Because these items are needed for important things like buying a house, applying for financial aid, or preparing for tax season, convenient access prevents employees from contacting HR for these and causing delays.

If you have 1–49 employees, you can take advantage of one of Paycor’s product tiers below:

BasicEssentialCoreComplete
Price$99/mo. + $5/employee/mo.$149/mo. + $7/employee/mo.$199/mo. + $8/employee/mo.$199/mo. + $14/employee mo.
PayrollYesYesYesYes
OnboardingNoYesYesYes
Benefits administrationAdd-onAdd-onAdd-onAdd-on
Time and laborAdd-onAdd-onAdd-onAdd-on
Applicant trackingNoNoNoNo
Learning managementNoNoNoYes
RecruitingNoYesYesYes
Performance managementNoNoNoYes
Employee engagementNoNoNoNo

You will have to contact Paycor for custom pricing on its HCM mid-market solutions.

Paycor’s mobile app is best if you’re looking to minimize administrative follow-up with employees on payroll-related processes. Whether your workforce is in the office or not, the app makes it easy to manage timesheets and pay stubs, eliminating the need for you to produce them for employees when requested.

Moreover, time tracking, PTO, and benefits changes completed on Paycor’s mobile app flow automatically to payroll processes, speeding up the payroll process at the end of the pay period.

BambooHR: Best for ease of use


Pros

  • Centralized team calendar so staff can keep track of their teammates’ schedules and plan accordingly.
  • Electronic signatures on important documents, like policy acknowledgments, to increase compliance and accommodate employees without desktop computers.
  • Automated reminders and notifications on employee goal progression to monitor departmental success from anywhere.

Cons

  • The applicant tracking system (ATS) and hiring features are in a separate app: BambooHR Hiring. 
  • Must purchase BambooHR add-ons for additional app functionality, like payroll or benefits administration.
  • Both iOS and Android users report slow app response times.

BambooHR is a favorite all-in-one HR software solution for small and mid-sized businesses. It includes two pricing tiers, Essential and Advantage, plus add-ons for:

  • Payroll.
  • Benefits administration.
  • Time tracking.
  • Performance management.

Without the add-on modules, BambooHR functions as a human resources information system (HRIS) with a centralized employee database and simplified workflows for automating time off requests and policy acknowledgments. However, adding BambooHR’s separate modules transforms the module into a full-fledged human resource management system (HRMS) to streamline workforce management.

Compared to Paycor or Sage HR, BambooHR allows you to do almost anything on its mobile app as its desktop counterpart — as long as you subscribe to the associated feature. This means employees can do more than clock in and out for shifts or access their paystub information. They can also request time off, complete performance reviews, and connect with coworkers.

Meanwhile, managers can control how much information employees can change or update through self-service portals. Managers can also use the mobile app to approve time off requests, monitor employees’ progress toward goals, and fix errors in employee timesheets.

Because BambooHR’s app offers most must-have HR features in mobile form, it’s a great option if you lack dedicated HR, office, or IT staff — or a physical location. However, it is a more expensive plan than Sage HR, Connecteam, or Homebase to start, so it may not be the best solution if you’re only looking for an employee directory or communication app.

Learn more about BambooHR in our video on the best HR software for small businesses:

Time-off requests

Employees can request time off from the BambooHR app, triggering approval workflows with managers. This eliminates manual PTO request procedures, generates an audit trail, and provides transparency to teams on mobile calendars.

Plus, having employees complete time-off procedures from the mobile app makes it easier to add and track — especially in the case of a sudden illness — and increases the likelihood that employees will leverage their time off to avoid burnout.

Employee directory

Employees can access their coworkers’ information from the app, including work phones and emails, and message them with a tap. This is especially useful for employees who need to communicate with coworkers late for shifts, for instance, without contacting their manager or the HR department.

BambooHR includes a one-time implementation fee with a project manager. Companies with 20 or fewer employees can opt for QuickStart Training for $299.

Essentials
  • For up to 20 employees: $108 per month flat rate.
  • For 21+ employees: $5.40 per employee per month.
  • Volume discount applies after 25 or more employees.
Advantage
  • For up to 20 employees: $180 per month flat rate.
  • For 21+ employees: $9 per employee per month.
  • Volume discount applies after 30 or more employees.
Add-ons

Payroll (US only)

  • One-time implementation fee.
  • For up to 20 employees: $150 per month flat rate.
  • For 21+ employees: $7.25 per employee per month.
  • Volume discount applies after 21 or more employees.

Note: Additional factors, like the number of FEINs or the number of states you need payroll for, can affect this price. Please contact BambooHR for specific pricing quotes.  

Benefits administration (US only)

  • $5.25 per employee per month.
  • Volume discount applies after 30 or more employees.

Time tracking

  • $3.00 per employee per month.
  • Volume discount applies after 30 or more employees.

Performance management

  • $5.25 per employee per month.
  • Volume discount applies after 30 or more employees.

Like its desktop version, the barrier to entry on BambooHR’s mobile app is very low. You and your team do not need to be technically savvy to complete self-service tasks, like updating your employee profile with the correct direct deposit information, as it only takes a few taps from the screen’s navigation tabs.

Moreover, because of BambooHR’s extensive functionality, it is a great solution if you have a diverse team of onsite, remote, or out-in-the-field employees. BambooHR’s mobile app unifies these distributed teams by giving them access to information in the format of their choice without loss of data or communication.

Sage HR: Best for workforce management


Pros

  • Extremely well-liked by users, with a 4.7/5 star rating out of 18.4K reviews on Google Play and a 4.5/5 star rating out of 24 reviews on the iOS App Store.
  • Integrates with more Sage products for added functionality, such as accounting.
  • Expense claims, approvals, and receipt scanning for better company financial management.

Cons

  • Paystub access is only available for Sage 50c users in the UK with Sage HR integrated.
  • Doesn’t include onboarding, benefits administration, or recruitment modules.
  • Cannot adjust schedules via the mobile app.
  • Users report occasional difficulty logging into the mobile app version.

Sage HR is a similar HRIS to BambooHR but lacks payroll or benefits administration modules. However, Sage makes up for these missing elements with a stronger emphasis on remote team management, especially for those who travel or perform individual, project-based work.

For example, besides the ability to clock in and out within the Sage HR app, users can also:

  • View company documents and employee directory.
  • Receive push notifications, including reminders for shifts or to-dos within the app.
  • Manage and update goals.
  • Send feedback and recognition.
  • Track and submit expenses.
  • Manage goals and performance.

Although these features are well-suited to any remote teams, its expense tracking and goal management options can help support field workers in particular. Plumbers, for example, can submit material and gas expenses for reimbursement and quickly update their goals on customer satisfaction following their service visit.

Sage HR follows a modular-based pricing scheme. While it does not offer a free plan, it can be more affordable than BambooHR, especially if you manage fewer than 20 employees.

Goal tracking

Employees can update their goals and objectives and key results (OKRs) from the Sage HR app. They can view or filter goals by activity, comments, updates, and attachments. Employees can also add comments to their goals to provide context for their progress.

Especially for teams that do not use desktop computers, the ability to update goals and schedule 1:1 meetings with managers from the mobile app fosters transparent goal-tracking no matter where they are.

Employee surveys

Sage HR can help you gain insight into employee sentiment through surveys that employees can complete on their mobile devices.Collecting feedback from employees on workplace satisfaction or new hire training via a mobile device increases the likelihood they are completed timely, with less interruption to work priorities. You can then use this data to analyze ways to improve company processes and culture.

All customers must purchase the core HR + leave management module for $5.50 per employee per month. You can then add the following modules, which add on to the $5.50 per employee per month price.

  • Performance: $3 per employee per month.
  • Scheduling: $3 per employee per month.
  • Timesheets: $3 per employee per month.
  • Expenses: $1.50 per employee per month.
  • Recruitment: $200 per month.

Sage HR’s mobile app is well-liked by managers and employees, with a particular focus on simplifying remote team management. It provides tools to track time and performance while on the go, promoting precise goal-tracking and auditable records for performance reviews.

Moreover, Sage HR is the only app on our shortlist with an expense management option to help with employee reimbursements and business accounting.

Connecteam: Best for employee communication


Pros

  • Forever free plan for small businesses with 10 or fewer employees. 
  • Customizable onboarding training courses that employees can complete via mobile at their convenience.
  • Tools to support distributed teams’ asynchronous communication, like adding notes to shift schedules or commenting on company announcements. 
  • App supported in 18 different languages.

Cons

  • No payroll or benefits administration modules.
  • Users must pay extra per employee per month after the first 30 employees.
  • If you have more than 10 employees, you must purchase plans in each hub to get the most use out of the mobile app.

Although Connecteam does include a web-based application, its entire line of products is built with mobile in mind. As a result, you can use every feature Connecteam offers in its mobile app without needing a desktop computer.

Connecteam offers three product “hubs” — Operations, Communications, and HR and Skills — as outlined below:

  • The Operations hub covers workforce management processes, including time tracking, scheduling, forms, task lists, and reporting.
  • The Communications hub offers tools to inform employees about work-related items through direct messaging, a newsfeed, an employee directory, feedback surveys, event announcements, and company document storage.
  • The HR and Skills hub includes onboarding, learning and development, and employee engagement modules, with specific features like rewards and recognition, training courses, employee milestones, and a career timeline.

These hubs include manager permission settings for more granular control over who can view or change documents or access particular functions.

Despite the separate hubs and pricing tiers, Connecteam allows teams to mix and match hubs and tiers for a completely customized solution. As a result, it is also the most flexible on our shortlist. If you need nothing more than basic time-tracking and scheduling, choose Basic Operations. Then, add Basic Communications to support team chat among your shift workers.

Even more interesting is Connecteam’s Small Business tier for each product. Unlike most free plans, Connecteam allows businesses with fewer than 10 employees to use all of their hubs — including almost every feature — for free. Therefore, new companies or very small teams can save money on employee communication and only pay for the features they need as they grow.

Group chat

Connecteam allows you to create department or location-based group chats, ensuring secure communication among various teams without sharing personal phone numbers. It also offers the flexibility of texting for your employees while providing you with moderation controls to protect private company information.

Even Connecteam’s read receipts allow you to track that employees received messages, reducing the chances of team ignorance on essential communications.

Company newsfeed

You can keep employees informed by posting company announcements and other updates on Connecteam’s newsfeed. You can even personalize them with gifs, images, videos, polls, or emojis. Backend insights let you know which updates received the most employee engagement through comments or reactions so that you can optimize your future messaging.

Connecteam has three hubs with separate pricing tiers for each. (Note: Prices are based on an annual billing subscription, which includes an 18% discount.)

Operations

  • Small Business: Free for up to 10 users.
  • Basic: $29 per month for the first 30 users; $0.5 per month for each additional user.
  • Advanced: $49 per month for the first 30 users; $1.50 per month for each additional user.
  • Expert: $99 per month for the first 30 users; $3.0 for each additional user.

Communications

  • Small Business: Free for up to 10 users.
  • Basic: $29 per month for the first 30 users; $0.5 per month for each additional user.
  • Advanced: $49 per month for the first 30 users; $1.50 per month for each additional user.
  • Expert: $99 per month for the first 30 users; $3.0 for each additional user.

HR and Skills

  • Small Business: Free for up to 10 users.
  • Basic: $29 per month for the first 30 users; $0.5 per month for each additional user.
  • Advanced: $49 per month for the first 30 users; $1.50 per month for each additional user.
  • Expert: $99 per month for the first 30 users; $3.0 for each additional user.

Connecteam also includes an Enterprise custom pricing plan, which comes with additional options, like company branding.

Connecteam’s mobile app is especially useful for distributed teams as it eliminates the need for multiple communication apps. It provides a comprehensive range of communication features, such as chat functions, an employee directory, feedback surveys, a suggestion box, and a live company newsfeed. Others on our shortlist only include some of these features or none at all.

These features also eliminate the need to integrate or use separate communication apps for timely announcements. Thus, Connecteam is an excellent option to centralize company communication among your people in the field.

Homebase: Best for managing hourly employees


Pros

  • Free version for up to 20 employees at one location.
  • Integrates with several POS apps, including Square and Toast, to help with labor costing and time tracking.
  • Earned wage access available to help pay for expenses before payday (with payroll add-on).

Cons

  • Does not offer a benefits administration module.
  • Lacks geofencing to track employee work time within specific locations and prevent time theft.
  • Cannot manage hiring processes via the mobile app.

Homebase is an all-in-one HRIS solution for small businesses that often rivals BambooHR with its selection of core HR features. However, where BambooHR’s features are general enough for any HR department to adopt them, Homebase targets businesses with a primarily shift-based workforce.

This is no more apparent than in its mobile application, which combines HR features with small business management. For example, managers can create and manage schedules for their hourly employees through the app, while employees can clock in onsite using integrated point of sale (POS) software. This is the only app on our list offering in-app scheduling capabilities or business planning outside Sage HR’s expense module.

Moreover, only Homebase comes close to Sage HR’s mobile app popularity on Google Play and the iOS App Store, earning 4.4/5 stars and 4.8/5 stars, respectively. Users praise its self-service features and alerts, particularly when the app notifies them when a break is about to end. However, others note its occasional slowness, log-in/out issues, and glitches when sending attachments in chats.

Nevertheless, with basic time tracking, scheduling, and POS integration on its free plan, Homebase is the most affordable option for small hourly teams that do not need BambooHR or Sage HR’s performance management features. Plus, with its native payroll add-on, you can give employees access to paystubs and even earned wage access, similar to Paycor.

Shift scheduling

Homebase is the only app in our roundup that allows managers to build and post team schedules in the app. This is especially helpful if you don’t have a dedicated scheduler on your team as managers can work on schedules on their mobile devices between other priorities.

At the same time, employees have more control over their attendance, with the ability to change or pick up shifts without contacting managers of HR departments. Access to their schedules on their phones also means they do not have to report to headquarters for posted schedules if their primary duties are offsite.

Labor cost management

With integrated time tracking, payroll, and sales data, managers can access Homebase’s labor costing tool. Homebase uses your historical data to predict sales for future dates so that you can schedule strategically to maximize your profits —  while continuing to offer great products or services to your customers.

Homebase offers the following price tiers for its product. (Note: Tier prices are based on an annual billing subscription, which includes a 20% discount.)

  • Basic: Free for up to 20 employees at one location.
  • Essentials: $20 per location per month (unlimited employees).
  • Plus: $48 per location per month (unlimited employees).
  • All-in-one: $80 per location per month (unlimited employees).
  • Payroll add-on: $39 per month plus $6 per employee per month.

Homebase’s scheduling features, in-app chat functions, and POS integrations make it ideal for industries like retail, restaurants, or manufacturing that require complex shift schedules. Likewise, its GPS location tracking, mobile clock-in/out, and shift notifications make it a more robust and affordable solution for employee time management than Paycor, BambooHR, or Sage HR.

What are the benefits of HR mobile apps?

HR mobile apps help companies securely manage HR processes from multiple devices. While many HR apps exist, the best ones offer strategic benefits:

  • Compatibility with multiple devices, including desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
  • An intuitive user interface (UX) that requires little training.
  • Automatic updates that adhere to cybersecurity and privacy laws such as the CCPA.
  • Better HR efficiency for deskless workforces.
  • Employee self-service capabilities that reduce HR administrative overhead.

Our top HR mobile app picks include all of these capabilities plus specific onboarding, time tracking, scheduling, and workforce management for an array of diverse options.

How to choose the best HR apps

Most HR software platforms advertise a mobile app to expand access to your company’s HR information and eliminate the need for office-bound staff.

Our top picks offer a range of features for the specific needs of your deskless workforce:

  • Choose Paycor if you prioritize mobile payroll features and self-service for your employees.
  • Select BambooHR if you need a well-rounded and easy-to-use mobile app.
  • Pick Sage HR if you need workforce management capabilities for your teams in the field.
  • Go with Connecteam if you need to streamline your company communications.
  • Choose Homebase if you need features to manage your primarily hourly workforce.

Still unsure if these are right for you? Explore our HR Software Guide for other options on the market.


Jessica Dennis Avatar

About the author


Featured HR software partners

1 GoCo

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Elevate your HR with a modern, easy-to-use HRIS designed for small businesses. GoCo is a secure, compliant hub for sending, digitally signing, and organizing your sensitive HR documents and data. Manage records, performance, time off, onboarding, benefits, and more – all in one place. With the best support in the industry, every GoCo customer is assigned a dedicated Customer Success Team that is readily available to provide guidance and ensure a smooth and reliable HRIS experience.

Learn more about GoCo

2 Paycor

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Paycor’s HR software modernizes every aspect of people management, which saves leaders time and gives them the powerful analytics they need to build winning teams. Paycor provides a full suite of HCM solutions with a single source of truth for employee data, so users never have to switch platforms, log-in to multiple systems, re-key data or open multiple spreadsheets. Everyday processes become simplified, allowing organizations to focus on their most important work.

Learn more about Paycor

3 Rippling

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Rippling is the first way for businesses to manage all of their HR, IT, and Finance — payroll, benefits, computers, apps, corporate cards, expenses, and more — in one unified workforce platform. By connecting every business system to one source of truth for employee data, businesses can automate all of the manual work they normally need to do to make employee changes.

Learn more about Rippling

Browse all HR software →

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