September 21, 2022

Best HR Software for Small Business 2023

Written by
Why is TechnologyAdvice Free?

Human resource management software helps small businesses manage core HR processes such as payroll and benefits administration, to name a few. The right combination of functionalities will depend on the business’s size, industry, and needs. 

Smaller businesses often can’t afford to purchase a fully integrated HRIS that includes all use cases. That’s why we’ve gathered the best HRM software to help small businesses carry out core and strategic HR use cases. 

Top HR Solutions

1 Rippling

Visit website

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

2 Kudos

Visit website

Discover how recognition improves employee engagement and productivity.

Learn more about Kudos

3 PeopleGuru

Visit website

Transform People Operations with PeopleGuru's HCM built for mid-market companies. Powered by people and technology, PeopleGuru's solution handles everything from hire to retire. Find out why HR departments love PeopleGuru.

Learn more about PeopleGuru

4 Bob

Visit website

Meet Bob, the modern HR platform for modern business. With Bob, HR teams get everything they need to operate efficiently and engage employees in one HRIS. Use automation and workflows to save hours on HR admin time. Connect employees from anywhere with a social media-like homepage that drives culture with communications, kudos, and recognition. Centralize all people data in one place for a holistic view. Share accurate reports for stronger insights and better decision-making.

Learn more about Bob

5 TestGorilla

Visit website

TestGorilla provides you with the best tools to screen your candidates so you can make better hiring decisions faster. Using multiple test types in an assessment gives the best predictive value, so we have a growing test library including: cognitive ability tests, programming tests, software skill tests, personality tests, culture fit tests, language tests, and much more. Start predicting real-world job performance today with our library of 225+ scientifically validated tests.

Learn more about TestGorilla

6 GoCo

Visit website

GoCo is modern HR, benefits, and payroll, built for flexibility and ease-of-use in mind. Manage records, performance, time off, onboarding, benefits, and more all in one place. GoCo is a secure, compliant hub for sending, digitally signing, and organizing your sensitive HR documents and data. Unlike other HRIS platforms, GoCo is built to be flexible enough to support existing processes, policies, and providers, so you don't have to change the way you work just to adopt a modern HR system.

Learn more about GoCo

7 Paycor

Visit website

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

8 Factorial HR

Visit website

Complete HRIS solution. All your HR processes in a single place, improve the management of your business.
Factorial converts never-ending, manual processes into integrated, effective ones.

Learn more about Factorial HR

9 Darwinbox HR Software

Visit website

Darwinbox is a unified HRMS platform that lets you manage the complete lifecycle of your employees – from hire to retire. Built for large enterprises, Darwinbox is used by 2M+ users across 700+ global companies such as Mahindra, Tata AIA, More Retail, Adani, Sembcorp, Kopi Kenangan, and more. It is a mobile-first platform that offers self-service capabilities and a great user experience to all your employees.

Learn more about Darwinbox HR Software

10 Wrike

Visit website

Wrike's human resources software is used by more than 20,000 companies across 140 countries. Plan, manage, and report on your HR projects with Wrike's easy-to-use HR software. Keep track of recruitment, payment, onboarding, and management using ready-made templates, powerful workflows, and shared team dashboards. Automate your HR processes using approvals and requests. Enable your teams to share and check real-time updates. Start your free trial now.

Learn more about Wrike


Visit website Work OS is the flexible, no-code Human Resources software that allows HR managers to manage the entire employee lifecycle in one place. Track the recruitment process, onboard new employees with the help of pre-made templates, safely store personal information, plan team-building activities, and use automations to speed up and simplify all these workflows and many more.

Learn more about

We can also help you by curating a list of the best HR software for your small business. Click the image below to enter your feature needs, and our unbiased Technology Advisors will set you up with a list of HR software options that meet your requirements.

Which HR software is right for your business?

The Best HR Management Software for Small Businesses

Best for core HR: Namely

Hr software for small business: Namely user homepage

Manage time-off requests, workflows, performance management and more on Namely’s platform. Credit: Namely

Namely is a web-based platform specializing in core HR and talent management for growing companies. Their product covers payroll and benefits administration, time tracking, and performance reviews, and it serves as a system of record for all of your employee data. Namely also offers a built-in social news feed and custom reports for individual and team metrics.

The system is designed to be adaptable and user-friendly, which makes it stand out against more complicated enterprise solutions. But Namely’s penchant for small and growing companies doesn’t mean they skimp on resources: business clients receive 24/7 customer service through a dedicated Namely account manager. 

While Namely has a ton of great features, it doesn’t offer an applicant tracking system (ATS), which can make recruiting more difficult. It also isn’t built for multinational businesses, but most smaller companies won’t need to worry about that.

Best for hiring: JazzHR

JazzHR for the hiring process and assessing candidates

JazzHR enables easier hiring with advanced organization tools to evaluate candidates. Credit: JazzHR

JazzHR is an HR solution designed for applicant tracking and interview management. JazzHR helps companies post jobs, screen applications, and manage the interview process through a centralized, real-time platform. 

Managers can create custom recruiting stages with automated to-dos (e.g. follow-up emails, reminders), and add stakeholders to the process as users with varying permissions and privacy levels.

Post directly to job search sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and CareerBuilder, and use built-in SEO tools to make sure you have the right title and job description. JazzHR also offers social recruiting, employee referral programs, applicant screening, background checks, resume review, branded career sites, interview guides, and recruitment calendars.

Although it doesn’t have a native mobile app, career sites and interfaces are automatically optimized for the device in use. While JazzHR is great for recruiting new talent, it doesn’t offer much in the way of talent management. Once you find the right people, you’ll need a separate tool to manage them.

Best for employee self-service: BambooHR

bamboohr time tracking dashboard.

Bamboo HR empowers employees to own and manage their employee data, such as vacation time and overtime. Credit: BambooHR

BambooHR is a cloud-based core HR solution designed to meet small business administrative needs and give employees efficient self-service access. 

The web application serves as a central repository of employee information, such as job and salary history, benefits, and training. Employees can access company documents, request time off, view, and edit their personal data all from a single dashboard.

With varying levels of custom access, administrators can manage time-off requests, set accrual policies, and generate custom reports based on any data in the system. For expanded use, BambooHR integrates with many popular applications for applicant tracking, eSignatures, payroll, and performance management. The system is also accessible on mobile devices through native apps for iOS and Android.

The recruiting aspect of BambooHR doesn’t include background checks, so you’ll need another way to handle those. Additionally, it doesn’t have any tools for goal management or employee recognition that could help keep your staff engaged and motivated.

Although BambooHR doesn’t offer some of the robust features of its competitors, the price point is hard to beat, and the user experience is simple.

Best for payroll: Gusto

Gusto payroll management software.

Gusto makes payroll management simpler with its automated features. Credit: Gusto

Gusto is a user-friendly HRM software solution that features payroll functionality and a variety of automated features to save HR teams valuable time. 

Gusto’s payroll management tool automatically files payroll taxes at the local, state, and federal levels at the end of the fiscal year. This feature comes included while competitors charge an extra fee. 

Gusto’s AutoPilot feature automates payments to employees to ensure they always get their paychecks on time. Employee forms like I-9s and W-2s are securely stored and organized in Gusto’s digital platform. 

An added benefit for companies with a distributed remote workforce is Gusto’s compliance with the latest state tax laws. This ensures employers remain compliant in their payroll practices.

Best for benefit administration: TriNet Zenefits

TriNet Zenefits offers benefits administration among other features.

Employees can select and manage their benefits in the TriNet Zenefits platform. Credit: TriNet Zenefits

TriNet Zenefits—formerly called Zenefits—offers comprehensive HR software for hiring and employee data storage, but it also offers benefits administration at no additional charge. You just cover the health plan fees. 

Benefits administration works for health insurance, life insurance, commuter benefits, as well as flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings (HSA) accounts. However, if you opt for your own third-party benefits broker—instead of Zenefits’ broker—this add-on incurs a small monthly fee. 

You can extend your Zenefits plan with add-on payroll, advisory services, and recruiting at a low monthly or annual cost. Zenefits’ flexibility to add on later makes it a great option for small businesses that can’t commit to all the features now but plan to later as their financial resources allow.

Best for a deskless workforce: Connecteam

connecteam active employee directory

Easily contact employees through Connecteam’s employee directory. Credit: Connecteam

Connecteam is a mobile-first employee management tool that’s designed with communication in mind. Connecteam helps mobile-ready teams share information on the go by combining all of this and more in a single app:

  • Time clocks
  • Scheduling
  • Forms
  • Checklists
  • Messaging
  • Surveys, polls, and company reviews

Connecteam’s one-on-one chat and the ability to send an update to the entire team at once enables instant connection with individuals or the entire team. 

Also, with a relatively small group of employees in a small business, Connecteam makes it easy to find a colleague in the directory and call them directly from the app—no fumbling for phone numbers and copying them over to the phone’s call app.

Why Do Small Businesses Need Human Resource Management Software?

Human resource management software helps HR teams at small businesses stay organized with hiring, training, and managing employees. Software solutions do this by providing a central interface to manage and even automate these different functions. 

HRM software also serves as an employee self-service portal for some functions like benefits administration, for example. It empowers employees to make and act on decisions related to the conditions of their employment without necessarily needing to reach out to someone on the HR team. 

Small businesses with tighter budgets and limited IT resources still face many nuanced challenges. 

No dedicated HR staff

Many small businesses either assign HR responsibilities to a cross-functional manager or to a single, in-house HR administrator. In both scenarios, a single person handles payroll and benefits, time tracking, grievances and disciplinary action, hiring, and promotions, which can be overwhelming.

While HR software can’t replace an HR administrator, it can make it easier on the staff you do have. It simplifies and even automates certain HR processes, like sending new hire paperwork and benefits enrollment, your team can focus on the tasks that most need their expertise.

Record-keeping and regulatory compliance

HR regulations are constantly in a state of flux. And the growing popularity of remote work models has only made HR management more complex. Small businesses must balance healthcare reform, tax codes, and labor laws, often for more than one state. Failing to stay current and compliant with these policies is sure to result in mistakes, processing delays, and in worst cases, legal fees.

HR software organizes your records and makes them easily searchable and accessible. Many HR tools also automatically calculate tax and benefits withholdings to reduce the chances of human error and keep you compliant.

Employee attrition

According to a 2022 report from Pew Research, 22% of U.S. workers are considering a job change within the next six months. And a PwC Pulse Survey reports that 65% are actually in the process of looking for another job. Without a strategy for investing in talent and building an attractive work culture, small businesses lose good employees to competitors that offer higher salaries and better benefits.

The right HR software can actually lower operating costs, so you can afford to invest more in your people. Through automating and streamlining processes, HR software reduces the workload of your HR staff, meaning they’ll likely be less stressed as well.

Performance gaps

With smaller teams, it quickly becomes apparent if certain employees aren’t pulling their weight. But without a formal performance management or training system in place, it’s difficult to encourage consistent improvement among employees.

Many HR platforms feature performance management tools to standardize the review process and ensure that everyone’s meeting expectations. This can also improve metrics for bonus payouts to reward employees going above and beyond and motivate those that aren’t.

Given these pain points specific to small businesses, they need HR software that centralizes and streamlines workflows.

Types of HRM Software and the Tools that Small Businesses Need

HR software for small businesses falls roughly into three primary classes structured around use intent: core HR, strategic HR, and integrated HR suites.

Core HR

Core HR solutions help businesses perform the administrative functions of managing a workforce — payroll, benefits administration, time and attendance tracking, workforce planning, and regulatory compliance. The self-service portal — which lets employees access their work-related data and enter updates and requests — is also an integral feature for most core systems.

  • Time tracking: Keep track of hourly employees’ time on and off the clock and time-off requests.
  • Employee scheduling: Easily administer employee schedules and shift swaps. 
  • Payroll: Manage, maintain, and automate payments to employees.
  • Benefits: Administer benefits to hires including health insurance, death benefits, retirement, and leave benefits.

Strategic HR

The primary focus of strategic HR solutions is to hire, retain, and develop the best employees, which is why it’s often referred to as “talent management.” These solutions mostly address recruitment, performance management, training and development, and succession planning. Some may even be best-of-breed applications designed to address a specific aspect of talent management, such as the hiring process.

  • Hiring: Choose the employees who fit your needs, culture, and growth plans and build a candidate pool.
  • Performance management: Track and improve employee performance through goal setting.
  • Communication: Facilitate communication between employees and their managers in the form of messaging. Bonus points for tools that also include goal-based communication.
  • Training: Train employees on job skills, career pathing, leadership, or company-specific knowledge.
  • Rewards: Recognize and celebrate great behavior and improvements employees with bonuses, games, or let them choose how to spend their rewards.

Integrated HR suites

Integrated HR solutions provide end-to-end functionality across most or all areas of HR management. These include administrative aspects as well as recruitment, talent management, and e-learning (or learning management systems). Some product suites are sold in modules, which can be scaled up or down according to need.

Key features of comprehensive HR software include many components of core and strategic HR software plus:

  • Applicant tracking and onboarding
  • Compensation and succession planning
  • Social recruiting
  • Learning management
  • Goal tracking
  • Document management
  • Reporting/analytics

How Do You Find the Right Human Resource Management Software?

Human resource management encompasses a set of employee-centered HR processes throughout the employee lifecycle—from hire to promotion to potential exit. It also includes tools to communicate with employees day to day.

HRM software comes in all shapes and sizes to fit the needs of your employees and your business. Because of their more limited budgets, small businesses should prioritize software features that address their most pressing needs. 

Luckily, all of the options covered here offer optional tools to add on later. So no matter what software you choose, it will grow along with your company. 

If none of the options listed here seem like a good fit for your organization, let our experts help you find the right solution using our Product Selection Tool. It only takes 5 minutes to get a list of employee management tools that fit your budget and needs.

Technology Advice is able to offer our services for free because some vendors may pay us for web traffic or other sales opportunities. Our mission is to help technology buyers make better purchasing decisions, so we provide you with information for all vendors — even those that don't pay us.


  1. Justin

    Hey great post, I would also add Breezy HR to this list. Breezy is lightweight recruiting software for small team doing big things. It’s free to trial and only $19 form there. You can check it out:

  2. Naresh

    Peterson, Thanks for the full list. Really usefull.

    I would like to contribute by listing one more HR software. CEIPAl Workforce is a cloud based workforce management portal to manage employee personal information.

  3. Vardaraj

    Good article Aleks. You should include Successfactors Perform and Reward solution for SMB as this solution is developed to cater SMB market.

    • Aleks Peterson

      Glad you found it useful Vardaraj, and thanks for the input!

  4. Vinay

    The need of right HR software for small business is, as important as for the established Enterprise. If you start right, you’ll do good, has came true for many startups. Even the companies listed here are the best ones to manage HR initially. Quite a few listed in comments can also be tried-out.

  5. Prateek

    Hey great post! I would also like to add TeamWise HR to this list. TeamWise is a workforce management software that helps HR and Payroll professionals to perform routine employee-related tasks. The all-automated technology and user-friendly interface makes it possible to execute all tasks with complete accuracy and zero errors. It also offers a free trial.

  6. reya

    Great Post! I would like to add Ascent Hr Software to this list. Using Ascent Hr Software get Benefits to your small organisation. You will get 60 days money back guarantee. You can visit on for more information:

  7. Ian Ingar

    Ditto. Great post. I would also like to add Zuman to the mix. A slightly different approach to HR and payroll as they focus on an HR BPaaS (Business Process as a Service) model –

  8. Aaron

    I’ve never heard of a few of these, so I’ll have to check them out. If you are going to revise the post with other’s suggestions, also be sure to include EffortlessHR ( ) – Thanks!

  9. Sakshi

    Great article.HR software is quickly becoming one of the most useful tools for businesses across all major industries.This technology can help HR managers and CEOs determine how to manage staff, how to improve worker efficiency, and how to improve worker happiness.

  10. Utsav

    Years ago, if HR departments wanted to keep electronic records on their employees their only option was an HR system hosted on site and which was accessible for few HR administrator. If you have big staff in your organisation, it becomes difficult to maintain the record and you solely depend on paper work. By using this software, you will require less paper work, work can be done faster and smoother. It will reduce the cost of the company. It becomes easy to track employee’s leaves. It improves the communication between manager and employees.

  11. Usamah

    Nice writeup! Allow me to contribute one more to the list – Kitikiti HRM. You can immediately generate pay slips, apply for leave and submit expense claims upon sign up – without any additional steps. The philosophy is to start with the end in sight, and allow you to then customize HRM policies to your liking.