6 Best HR Software for Small Businesses to Efficiently Manage HR Tasks

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There is no denying the usefulness of technology to the 21st-century organization, and what better department to tap into this resource than the Human Resource department? 

Imagine how tacky the affairs of HR would be if there were no synchronized systems in workforce management. Without HR software, there is no doubt that every function of Human Resources – Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Compensation, Benefits, etc.– would be a mess.

The importance of human resource management tools to the success of a business is thus underscored by the efficiency and order it affords to the HR department.

 No matter the size of your business – whether big, medium, or small, you cannot gloss over the advantage that the right HR software affords you in achieving your HR goals.

What Benefits Does HR Software Offer?

The right Human Resource software helps the HR department of any business to create a synchronized system of workplace management. This necessarily removes the disorder that would otherwise obtain, in trying to manage HR tasks from different ends.

It also helps to automate manual tasks, thereby cutting down the unnecessary hours spent on basic HR tasks and ultimately giving room for the HR department to focus more on strategic obligations.

As a result of automation of tasks, there is a guarantee of streamlined processes, creation, and maintenance of data-driven reports, as well as more accurate analytics.

Ultimately, these benefits not only increase the efficiency of HR departments but also heightens employee experience.

Reviews of the Best HR Software for Small Businesses

Rippling 

Overall Best HR Software

Rippling is conveniently the most preferred HR software among small businesses. The reason for this is not far-fetched as it is notable for the variety of HR functions that it provides. 

The most admirable quality of Rippling might yet be its perfect nexus between HR and tech, as its modular system not only caters to HR needs but also IT functions. For instance, it can be used in the offboarding process of resigning employees

Features 

This small business sweetheart boasts of amazing HR features like;

  • Compensation Benefits Administration. There are many benefits options on Rippling, some of which are dental care, commuter benefits, etc. 

Even if your business is looking to add new benefit options, you can look them up on Rippling and compare packages.

  • Recruitment Tools. Rippling provides numerous tools to aid the recruitment process. From putting up job ads on job sites, and running background checks on the applicant to guiding new hires through the onboarding process, Rippling makes the recruitment function super easy.
  • Integration with other apps. Rippling supports integration with other apps. There is a wide of apps to integrate it with, as it supports integration with over 400 apps
  • Payroll Tax Management. Rippling automatically calculates, files, and distributes employee taxes payable to federal, state, and local authorities. 

Pros 

  • There are lots of HR solutions to choose from
  • It creates a perfect nexus between HR and IT functions, thereby helping to streamline these processes.
  • It is user-friendly, and so does not require technical training
  • It automates the payroll process by paying directly into employees’ accounts, whether domestic or international.

Cons

  • It gets expensive with the addition of more features.
  • Perhaps due to the number of integrations it accommodates, it suffers occasional glitches 
  • There are restrictions on the features of its mobile app, unlike its web version.

Pricing 

  • Base fee – $35 base fee
  • Additional fee for integrations like time tracking – $8 per employee 

Deputy 

Best HR Software for Employee Time Tracking

Deputy is an HR software solution well suited for employee time tracking as it automatically calculates the hours expended by employees on particular projects, including overtime. 

This human resource management solution also manages organizations’ rosters, highlighting the projects to be executed by particular employees and the time to execute them. 

When an employee is unable to stick to the roster, he can cancel his shift, and notification of this will be sent to the HR manager. The importance of this is that such task(s) can be reassigned to available employees to fill in. 

In addition to managing employee time scheduling, Deputy also embraces a workplace communication portal.

Features

  • Time and Attendance. This HR solution has a digital timesheet that allows employees to sign in and out directly on their mobile devices. 
  • Task Management. HR managers and employees can assign tasks to themselves. When necessary, users can leave notes on assigned tasks.
  • Scheduling. This software has automated schedules that allow HR managers to fix break types.

Pros

  • It is cheaper than other HR platforms
  • Deputy helps HR managers automate most HR tasks, consequently giving them more room to focus on other administrative tasks that cannot be automated.
  • It has a 30-day free starter plan for small businesses with 100 employee shifts monthly
  • Deputy has mobile apps for both managers and employees.
  • Employees can digitally sign in and out via the mobile app
  • Its time tracking feature helps HR managers detect fraudulent representations of the number of hours worked.
  • This software allows for flexibility, in that it allows employees to offer up or accept shifts at their convenience.

Cons

  • It is not integrated with third-party software like Google Calendar 
  • Past users of the software have complained about occasional unavailable customer service.

Pricing 

  • Free trial 
  • Starter – $2.50 for each user, monthly.
  • Premium – $4.50 for each user, monthly.

Built for Teams

Best HR Software for Succession Planning

For businesses looking for an HR tool to cater to their succession planning, Built for Teams is your best bet. This platform provides through a data-driven solution, a structure that supports training employees to take up leadership roles.

Features

  • Succession Planning. With this system, HR managers can identify positions with high flight or retirement risk, as well as key employees that can be prepared for upward mobility into these positions. 

Built for Teams helps to manage every process involved in creating a succession plan, and identifying and developing key talent.

  • Absence and Leave Management. Built for Teams allows HR managers to create policies regulating vacations, sick days, or other forms of PTO. With this software, HR managers get centralized data on the number of employees taking PTO at a time, and this will inform their decision on approving such requests.
  • Position Management. This human resource management solution helps to keep track of positions by highlighting relevant position data, recording changes in key positions, and managing open positions.

Pros

  • Its customization is flexible, as HR managers can determine the extent of employee information displayed on the calendar
  • When employees take PTO, the platform informs them of relevant information about their vacations. For example, employees can view the number of days they’ve earned for PTO, the number of days left, etc.
  • It is easy to use
  • It helps to manage the recruitment process.

Cons

  • The applicant tracking system of the platform is lacking in quality. For instance, it doesn’t allow a business to create a portal to advertise its job ads
  • It does not provide for shift management
  • Pat users have complained that the calendar function of the software is not user-friendly.

Pricing

  • Free trial 
  • Free version
  • Starter – $1 per employee monthly

BambooHR 

Best HR Software for Employee Onboarding

If the major HR need of your small business is an onboarding platform, then you want to look to BambooHR.

BambooHR is a cloud-based HR software that’s designed for small and mid-sized businesses. Although it has a variety of HR tools on the platform, it is most notable for its employee onboarding function.

This HR platform boasts of automation of hiring and onboarding processes

Features

  • Recruitment and Onboarding. With its ATS, BambooHR assists businesses to streamline and automate their recruitment process. This was done by automating compliance procedures and providing for electronic signing of documents.

BambooHR is also inclusive, as it allows applicants access status of their application as well as the response of the business on the platform.

  • Self-Service for Managers and Employees. HR managers and employees can easily access to relevant information on the platform. 
  • Mobile App. For quick self-service, this platform has a mobile app that can be used by HR managers and employees readily on their devices.
  • Performance Management. BambooHR allows businesses to track the milestones achieved by their employees as they related to employee goals. The platform also has an automated reminder and goal status report system, to further push employees in the attainment of the goals.

Pros

  • BambooHR has an effective HR mobile app, which promotes easy access to the platform.
  • Integration with third-party apps
  • It has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for first-time users to navigate.
  • 7-day free trial plan before purchase
  • A wide range of tools for employee management
  • BambooHR mobile app for ease of access
  • All-encompassing software that caters to most HR processes.

Cons

  • It is expensive to set up, unlike its sister software, Gusto with a free setup fee
  • It is lacking in the payroll management section
  • It only integrates with third-party payroll software, the subscription to which attracts extra fees. 
  • BambooHR does not cater to freelancers, contractors, and international employees. This means that there is no way to track their work hours or make payments to them,
  • It does not have a free plan, and so, startups looking for a free HR tool may find it unhelpful and expensive.

Pricing

  • Essentials. This plan provides for basic HR functions like employee management, benefits tracking, etc.
  • Advantage. As an upgraded version of the Essentials plan, this plan also provides for the tracking of the onboarding process of new hires, as well as their training.

Unlike other HR platforms, BambooHR does not display the price of the available plans on its website. 

Gusto 

Best HR Software for Payroll Management

Custom-made for small businesses, this HR Payroll Software is well-known for its affordable and user-friendly interface. It also has an automated payment structure for employees and handles payroll tax payments pretty well.

The many perks on Gusto make businesses to be flexible and appear attractive to potential new hires

Features 

  • Payroll Management. As one of its most notable features, payroll management on Gusto is seamless and intuitive. This software can be customized to create different pay schedules for employees, as well as to include short notes telling more information about additional earning(s).
  • Integration with Third Party Software. Gusto encourages integration with third-party software like Shopify, Trailant, Expensify, Asana, etc.
  • Payroll Tax Management. Unlike other HR software, Gusto administers payroll tax at no additional cost to whatever plan you choose to adopt. 
  • Hiring Tools. The hiring tools on Gusto conveniently set it apart from its contemporaries, by providing a seamless onboarding process. It is also inclusive, as it prompts new hires to fill out the forms created for them (1 – 9 forms and W – 4)
  • Employee Benefits. Gusto offers a variety of employee benefit options, some of which include Commuter benefits, Flexible Saving Account (FSA), Dental Insurance, etc.,

Pros

  • It is affordable
  • It is easy for users to navigate
  • There is available customer support to guide new users without any cost, as well as a video representation of the guide
  • Easily tracks employee work hours
  • It provides automated payroll process including payroll tax management
  • Easy onboarding process via the self-service tools for employees
  • Can be used by freelance businesses that only employ contractors 

Cons 

  • Unlike Rippling, payments cannot be made to international employees
  • Restriction of time tracking feature to certain plans

Pricing

  • Starter Core Plan – $39 base pay including $6 for each employee, per month. This plan features primary tools to process employee pay, off-cycle payments, bonus payments, and these can be run as many times as possible.

TriNet Zenefits 

Best HR Software for Regulatory Compliance

Renowned for its compliance feature, this HR system helps businesses in complying with labor regulations and other relevant laws.

TriNet Zenefits is an HR software mostly utilized by startups and SMEs to cater to their HR needs. This platform helps businesses with their recruitment, onboarding, and personnel management processes. 

This HR system also allows businesses to monitor employee earnings and taxes and ensures their compliance with regulatory bodies.

Features

  • Time Tracking and Employee Scheduling. TriNet Zenefits is easily one of the best time-tracking software for HR. It helps businesses monitor employee schedules, employee attendance, and track the hours expended by them.
  • Automated Tax Services. TriNet Zenefits automatically calculates the tax payment of employees and remit them to the relevant tax authority. The remission is done on the authority of an executed power of attorney, authorizing the platform to file and pay taxes on the business’s behalf.
  • Integrations with Third Party Software.TriNet Zenefits encourages a seamless workflow of HR managers across boards through its integration with third-party software
  • Reporting. With this feature, TriNet Zenefits informs the choices of HR managers by highlighting necessary data like employee details, payroll register, garnishment audit, etc.                                                                                                                                                            

Pros

  • Helps businesses ensure ACA compliance 
  • It promotes inclusivity, as HR managers and employees can easily access HR records
  • It has a user-friendly and intuitive interface.
  • It is a comprehensive HR system that manages the whole cycle of employee interaction with the business; from recruitment to offboarding.

Cons

  • Payroll management function is relatively more expensive, compared to its sister software.
  • Businesses that want to utilize the HR functions and on Zenefits must have the minimum number of users that the software requires – 5 employees. If a small business has less than 5 employers, it will still be required to pay the standard amount for 5 users.
  • Unlike Rippling, it does not cater to the payment of international employees.
  • Past users of TriNet Zenefits have complained of occasional glitches in the platform.

Pricing 

Essentials – $10 per employee, monthly. This plan includes options for employee onboarding, employee management, time tracking, etc.

Growth – $18 per employee, monthly. This is an upgraded version of the Essential Plan, as it includes all functions under Essentials, as well as compensation management and performance review.

Zen – $27 per employee, monthly. This plan combines the options under the Growth Plan and Employee Survey.

Factors to Consider in Choosing the Best HR Software for Your Business

For the relationship between businesses and HR software, one thing is clear. And that is the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all system for all businesses. Since every industry has different HR challenges, it is understandable that they would require different solutions provided by different HR systems.

But how do you know to choose an HR system that will suit your needs? Of course, there are factors to consider, and some of them are listed below.

  1. Determine Your Needs

In choosing a suitable HR management tool, this is the primary factor to consider. For instance, if the principal need of your business is onboarding software, and you instead go for a solution that caters mainly to payroll, you would be amiss.

Choosing the best HR software for your business is not a decision you take while looking at other businesses; the needs of one business will necessarily differ from another. 

As a small business trying to find its place in the world of business, how do you determine these needs? You simply decide the problem(s) you are seeking to solve by investing in an HR system.

  1. Determine Your Budget

As a business owner, the art of frugality should not be alien to you. There are HR management platforms that are effective and almost free, especially for small businesses. It is advisable to stick to those, instead of shooting for big systems that might not even be suited for your purpose.

It is therefore wise to set up a budget, so you don’t bruise your capital or interest.

  1. Company Size

Without a doubt, the size of your business or company is a cogent determining factor in choosing a suitable HR model. It is expected that the HR needs of an organization would differ based on the number of employees. In perspective, a business catering to 15/20 employees would in most instances not require an HR system that caters to businesses with 1,000/ 2,000 employees.

Because of the complexity of the HR needs of a large business, it would relatively require HR software with more complex features. Small businesses on the other hand will not require complex HR solutions.

FAQs

What are the Main Roles in HR?

To effectively meet business needs and maintain organizational structure, HR engages in 5 major roles and they are;
Talent Management. – This role involves all processes involved in recruiting, hiring and retention of employees. Because this role deals with attracting and retaining human capital, HR managers must be interested in the metrics of job satisfaction, employee engagement, conflict resolution, succession planning, etc.
Training and Development. – It is trite that employees advance as the business evolves. This role thus ensures that employees are constantly equipped with the necessary know-how to navigate business trends. 
Training and Development necessarily involves professional development programs, leadership training, etc.
Regulatory Compliance. – Every business is created within a regulatory framework – employment and labor laws, occupational safety and health and law, etc. This role ensures that businesses comply with this framework. 
Compensation and Benefits. – This role ensures that employees remain motivated to work, so it oversees incentives like dental care, health insurance, paid time off, etc.
Workplace Safety. – Employers must maintain and create a safe work environment for their employees, and this role sees to that.

What are the 3 HR systems?

The 3 major HR systems are:
Human Resource Management System (HRMS). – These are tools involved in the planning, organizing, directing, compensating, and retaining the human resources of a business
Human Resource Information System (HRIS). – This tool helps to collate and manage employee data. Common features included in an HRIS are; performance management, employee engagement, benefits administration, etc.
Human Capital Management (HCM). – This tool is responsible for transforming traditional HR functions into more engaging and employee-conscious roles. Basically, it gives a humane face to HR. HCM concerns itself with onboarding, succession planning, salary planning, etc.

What are the Top HRIS Software?

Some of the software used by HR managers as Human Resource Information systems are;
1. Eddy 
2. BambooHR
3. Paycor 
4. ADP Workforce Now
5. Workday

Does HR use Excel?

Small businesses use Excel to streamline basic HR functions like payroll, employee attendance, absence, and leave management. 
Excel has not only proved to be cost-effective but also effective for small businesses in managing their HR tasks.

Is HR Still Relevant?

Since HR is the industry that manages the people in an organization, there is no gainsaying the fact that it will remain relevant as long as labor remains a factor of production.
While factors like land and capital are passive factors, labor is the one factor that can kickstart production. Labour is integral to the success of any business.

What are the Trends Shaping Human Resource Management?

1. Workforce and Demographic Trends
2. Technological Trends
3. Trends in the Nature of Work
4. Globalization and Competition Trends
5. Economic Challenges and Trends

Final Thoughts

In a sea of options, small businesses choosing the most suitable HR software for themselves might seem like a herculean task. It is in understanding this problem that this article seeks to help by highlighting the best HR software for small businesses. 

This article goes further to provide a list of factors to guide small businesses in choosing the best HR software. For instance, if the major HR need of your business is effective payroll management software, then Gusto is your guy. Meanwhile, if you are more of an Oliver Twist and you want to enjoy the benefit of all HR functions, then do not look beyond Rippling!

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