Best HR software for Small Businesses

February 1, 2024

Best HR software for small businesses: An Overview

It is hard as it is to run small businesses due to limitations in funds and timing. So when you have a bunch of employees working for you, investing in an HR staff becomes essential, no matter how small the business is. 

However, hiring a full set of HR staff can come with a big price tag which might not be the best financial decision for your new start-up. What you can do is purchase an HR software instead to make your investment more affordable. 

The benefits of owning an HR software are countless. You no longer need your manager to act in a multi-function position and deal with HR issues. The software can take care of all things HR, including managing your payroll, hiring, retiring, benefit management, talent searches etc. 

You can also find several top tier software in the market which provides an ‘All in One’ function. The key is to invest in one which is best suited to meet the needs of your small business, while also meeting your budget range for the software. 

There are more options that are readily available in the market if you are looking for some specific functions to be carried out, for example, ‘HR consulting.’ You will also find other plans which are customizable as per your needs. 

Nonetheless, with so many options to choose from, your top picks should definitely include the ones mentioned below: 

Quick Picks

  • Best for competent performance and ‘All in One’ features – Paychex
  • Best HR software and user-friendly navigation – Gusto
  • Best for customizable packages and flexible plans – ADP
  • Best for dedicated customer service and payroll – Rippling
  • Best for basic hiring and recruiting, and non-paid scheduling – Zenefits


Best HR software for small businesses: In-Depth Review


Paychex: Best HR software with over 45 years of experience and Specialized Support!

Providing its top-notch HR services to over 700,000 clients residing in the U.S as well as Northern Europe, Paychex is one of the best HR software available in the market right now. 

Paychex might be the perfect HR tool for your small business if you are in need of an efficient solution for your human resources issues. Not only does the Paychex HR software provide effective strategies for current HR situations, but it can also help to plan out the solutions for future challenges. 

Its flexible and user-friendly mobile tech is useful for saving up money and time for startups to run their businesses smoothly. The employees can have access to their work checklist from the ease of their mobile phones, as well as laptops. You will also be saving up a good amount of your company funds by not having to store documents and take printouts of important papers. 

What’s more is that the software has features for ‘employee onboarding,’ which eliminates the tasks of having to use paper forms entirely. Your employee can take a look at the online forms on their first day instead of having to go through stacks of paper in the conference room. 

You can also customize videos to welcome a new employee and help familiarize them with the work culture in your company. This can enhance an employee’s overall experience on his/her first day.

Paychex uses a secured cloud to store files in order to avert any unfortunate mishaps which may occur in the future. The files stored in the cloud are protected by top-tier security systems that prevent the pointless need for creating backups. 

Apart from all of these benefits that you can acquire from Paychex, the HR software also enables you to compare your own data with industrial benchmarks. The screening program, along with the tracking system is very effective for doing excellent background checks on employees before they are hired.

Lastly, there is no need for any manual entry for data every day which can save you a lot of time during working hours. 

You can read our full review on Paychex and benefit from its HR software and see your small business soar to newer heights every day!

You’ll Really Like:

  • Secured Cloud Storage
  • Flexibility 
  • Easy Hire & Recruiting Process
  • Efficient Screening Services

You Should Look Out for:

  • Limited FAQs

Get Paychex Now!

Gusto: Best HR software, now for Small Businesses

Gusto has been offering expert HR software and services to more than 200,000 clients all across the States. The Gusto HR software provides automated support for small businesses which includes management of running payrolls, employee onboarding, health benefits etc. 

All your HR tasks can be taken care of using the online platform for HR services. The user-friendly navigation of the software makes it easy for any employer and employee to get the hang of it without any difficulty. 

The Gusto HR service comprises expert advice from HR professionals, which makes the process of solving workplace HR crisis in no time. The employees may also be advised upon their health insurance, commuter benefits etc. 

Payroll processing is perhaps one of the best features due to its automatic functions, making the process absolutely effortless and time-efficient. 

Not to mention, the Gusto app is extremely easy to use and lets employees track their payrolls and employee benefits with a few taps on their phone screen, laptop, tablet or whichever device you have installed the app on!

Businesses will also be able to avail support for hiring and recruitment, appropriate for small businesses. The easy hiring feature includes a self-onboarding portal, offer letter, online W-4 and I-9 forms, etc. HR expert support can also be benefited from, but it comes with an additional price tag. 

The software enables the employees, as well as the business owners to have access to important documents like tax papers within seconds. With four separate pricing plans for its users to choose from, Gusto offers reasonable price rates on its services for businesses with smaller budget funds. 

Not to mention, the Gusto software also offers excellent customer care service for its users. 

Learn more about Gusto from our reviews!

You’ll Really Like:

  • Easy to Use Technology
  • Good Price Value
  • Excellent Functionality
  • Dedicated Support Team

You Should Look Out For:

  • Higher prices for add on features
  • Email alerts required for specific functions

Get Gusto Now!

ADP: Best HR Software for professional recruitment tools

For small businesses dealing with issues related to HR, the ADP HR software can help you manage complicated challenges like a pro!

The user-friendly software is best for small businesses who want to avoid risks of expensive fines for mishandling issues that require the full support of an HR staff. All day to day tasks and issues can be successfully resolved using the ADP HR software with expert opinions and training from professionals. 

The software comprises an employee handbook that will alert you for changes in policies. And this is something that happens more often than you might think due to recent amendments in the law. The handbooks are perfect for curtailing compliance risks by letting the employees know exactly what to expect from your small business. 

The ADP HR software will also make recommendations that are built upon the specifics of the business that you are involved with. This particular feature will save you hours of research as well.

The recruitment process is also faster due to the availability of pre-set job titles and descriptions, which you can edit to cater to your needs. The ADP HR software has a ZipRecruiter which enables business owners to post job descriptions to around 100 job boards. 

Overall, this makes the hiring process effortless since the software checks over millions of resumes that are active and alerts candidates about specific job opportunities.

If you have a lot going on in your small business venture, you may need additional help from time to time. The ADP HR software also comes with added guidance from professionals to deal with complicated HR situations that you may face on a daily basis. 

The experts can be contacted through emails or phone calls, always available to answer even the most basic questions. Not to mention, the software notifies businesses regarding any tip that they might need, along with added benefits like storage vaults, checklists, policies, forms etc. 

What’s more is that you can customize the software based on your needs. If you need a payroll service, you just have to add it to the HR services. Apart from these benefits, small businesses will also be able to avail support for talent management and a broad hire to retire approach for their company. 

To know more about ADP HR software, feel free to take a look at our complete review on it! 

You will really like:

  • Mobile application
  • Support for Hiring
  • Employee Onboarding Support
  • Robust Payroll Features

You should look out for:

  • Expensive for the add ons 

Get ADP Now!


Rippling: Best HR Software for Robust HR services

One of the best HR software available in the market right now, Rippling offers a wide range of HR services for its users, including small businesses. 

You have the option of combining certain HR services later on to enhance your overall experience as a user. The software includes HR services surrounding payroll, employee database, employee onboarding support, recruiting tool, a tracking tool for applicants etc. 

The payroll is also supported internationally and provides PEO services for its users in case your business requires outsourcing for HR administration. What makes Rippling one of the best HR software out there is that it is also proficient in dealing with IT functions. 

The onboarding process allows you to designate software and computers for employees through the software. This is exceptionally beneficial for businesses that have resorted to remote working, therefore relying on technology more than ever. 

According to users, they have a robust customer care service and reply almost instantly through chats and emails. Although, you will have to pay extra for phone calls. 

More than 500 software apps can be easily added to your already existing software plan if you are looking to switch to Rippling. Even though you can avail payroll services as an add on, it can help with tasks including filing for taxes and direct deposits.

You will really like:

  • Compatible with external apps
  • Complete HR and payroll solutions
  • Top-notch customer service
  • Has international payroll service

You should look out for:

  • No certified PEO
  • Extra costs for Phone support

Get Rippling Now!

Zenefits: Best HR software for Small Businesses with Geographical Features

Beginning from a minimum of 5 to more than 200 employees, Zenefits is impeccable for small businesses.

The advanced software has a feature for geographical location that allows you to keep track of where your employees are when their working hours have begun. Its mobile application is very user-friendly and permits employees to seek permission for time off. 

The core necessity that small businesses generally require from HR software is hiring support. Zenefits offers top-notch hiring and onboarding support for its users along with employee system records, company directory and management of important documents. 

You can also avail discounts on certain add ons from Zenefits and what’s more is that there are no additional charges for features related to timing and scheduling, making it perfect for small businesses. 

You will really like:

  • Ease of use
  • Time tracking 
  • Affordable
  • 500 applications as add ons

You should look out for:

  • Restricted help for setups
  • Functions for payroll is not adequate

Get Zenefits now!


Bottom Line: Best HR software for small businesses

Ever since the pandemic, small businesses have had troubles with their HR. With newer challenges led by Covid-19, HR software for small businesses has become an absolute necessity. 

But you don’t need to sort through thousands of HR software anymore. These top picks for best HR software for small businesses will allow navigating through core required features for any startup businesses based upon their budget for investment. 

If your startup is relatively new, my top pick for you would be the Gusto HR software. The four distinct options in its pricing plan are well suited for businesses with lower budgets.

Another good pick would be the Paychex HR software which is perfect due to its additional security cloud storage option.


Top 3 Payroll Services

Our Score
  • 1 month free trial
  • Trusted by over 200,000 businesses
  • All-in-one payroll and HR solution
  • Best for small businesses
  • “Autopilot” runs payroll itself
  • 6 months free with signup
  • Trusted by 850,000+ businesses
  • Dedicated customer service
  • Also offer HR and benefits management
  • 3 months FREE with signup
  • Trusted by 700,000 companies
  • Over 45 years of experience
  • All-in-one platform

What was covered on this page?

John Smithson

John Smithson

38, a small (but growing) business owner in the IT field.
I love to look for exciting and modern ways to keep my business ticking along, my employees happy, and most importantly, the business growing. I love researching the best software online to help me - and other businesses - achieve these goals.

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