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The Best HR Software In 2024

Looking for the right HR software for your small business? These top HR software options offer great HR features and tools for a variety of business sizes and price ranges.

    Chelsea Krause
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Shelbi Wescott
  • REVIEWED BY

    Shelbi Wescott

    Managing Editor

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

HR software comes in many shapes and sizes: some have better payroll, others have better onboarding, others excel in benefits administration, and many do a decent job of all three. While every company has unique HR needs, every company needs HR.

Luckily, many great HR software options fit a variety of small business needs and budgets. We’ve narrowed the list down to the six best HR options so you can find the right software to make your life–and your employees’ lives–easier.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext StepsSummary
Gusto

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  • Overall best combined HR & payroll software
  • $80/month + $12/per person
  • Unlimited employees
  • Overall best combined HR & payroll software
  • $80/month + $12/per person
  • Unlimited employees

Start Trial

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ADP Payroll

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  • Best HR software with payroll options
  • Varied pricing
  • Unlimited employees
  • Best HR software with payroll options
  • Varied pricing
  • Unlimited employees

Get A Quote

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BambooHR

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  • Easiest HR software to use
  • Custom pricing
  • Up to 1,000 employees
  • Easiest HR software to use
  • Custom pricing
  • Up to 1,000 employees

Visit Site

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OnPay

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  • Best HR mobile app
  • $40/month + $6/person
  • Up to 1,000 employees
  • Best HR mobile app
  • $40/month + $6/person
  • Up to 1,000 employees

Visit Site

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Paycor

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  • Best for customer support
  • $Pricing Varies
  • Up to 1,000+ employees
  • Best for customer support
  • $Pricing Varies
  • Up to 1,000+ employees

Visit Site

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Show Fewer Options

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

The 6 Best HR Software For Small Businesses

The best HR software helps you manage payroll, track employee hours, administer benefits, write performance reviews, and can even help with onboarding and offboarding. Out of the dozen HR software plus the two dozen payroll software options we reviewed, here are the best HR solutions for small businesses:

  • Gusto: Overall best combined HR & payroll software
  • ADP Payroll: Best scalable HR software
  • BambooHR: Easiest HR software to use
  • OnPay: Best mobile HR software
  • Paycor: Best for customer support

A Closer Look At The Top Picks

Company Price Number Of Employees Includes Payroll Includes Time Tracking Number of States Supported Mobile App
Gusto $80/month + $12/person Unlimited employees 38
Zenefits $8-$27/month per person minimum of 5 employees up to 500+ Zen plan only 49
ADP Custom Unlimited 50
BambooHR Custom Up to 1,000 50
OnPay $40/month + $6/month per person Up to 1,000 50
Paycor $99-$199/month Up to 1,000+ 50
Bambee $99-$3,699+/month Up to 500 50

Gusto: Best Overall Combined HR Software & Payroll Software

Total Rating 4.4
Pricing3.7

Ease Of Use4.9

Features4.6

Customer Service4.1

User Reviews3.9

Payroll Processing Time

Next-day to 4 Days

Pricing

$40/month + $6/employee to $80/month + $12/employee

Business Size

Small-Medium Businesses (1-650+ Users)

Pros

  • Built-in time tracking
  • Upfront pricing information
  • Simple interface
  • Solid feature set

Cons

  • Advanced features not available on all plans
  • Limited reporting
  • Healthcare is only available in 38 states + D.C.

Why We Chose Gusto For Overall Best Combined HR & Payroll Software

Gusto is our top pick for best payroll software overall, and for small business owners looking for simple HR features, Gusto is a great choice.

The interface is user-friendly on both the employee and administrative sides and offers basic HR features and benefits administration options. Having payroll and HR in one software makes things easier, which can save time and frustration hopping back and forth between multiple software or integrations.

gusto dashboard

Source: Gusto

Gusto Pricing

Gusto Plans Price  When To Use
Simple $40/month + $6/person If your small business needs reliable, basic payroll software
Plus $80/month + $12/person If your business needs tools to handle complex payroll and team management needs
Premium Custom If your medium to large-sized business needs advanced HR and compliance tools
Contractor Only $35/month + $6/person per month If your growing business needs basic payroll and only pays contractors

Gusto’s Simple Plan only offers basic payroll, so you’ll have to go with the Plus Plan, which offers HR tools and support and costs $80/month plus $12/month per person.

You can opt to add on certain additional HR features like background checks, talent management, and more.

Gusto Features

While the HR options are limited, Gusto does cover onboarding employees with a seamless online program and helping your business stay compliant. Gusto offers the following HR services:

  • Employee directory and surveys
  • Custom employee handbook
  • HR and compliance support
  • Software provisioning
  • E-sign documents

Additional HR tools and support are available on upgraded plans.

Who Would Benefit From Gusto

  • Businesses that need combined payroll & HR software
  • Small to mid-sized businesses
  • Businesses that need easy benefits administration options & integrations
  • Businesses that don’t need healthcare in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North or South Dakota, West Virginia, or Wyoming

Get Started With Gusto

Read our in-depth review

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ADP: Best Scalable HR Software

Total Rating 4.0
Pricing1.1

Ease Of Use4.8

Features4.6

Customer Service3.7

User Reviews3.3

Payroll Processing Time

Variable

Pricing

Custom

Business Size

Small to enterprise-sized businesses (1-1,000+ users)

Pros

  • Rich feature set
  • Extensive onboarding
  • Highly scalable

Cons

  • Non-transparent pricing
  • Additional fees add up

Why We Chose ADP For Best Scalable HR Software

ADP is a giant in the payroll and HR industry, and as such, it has an incredibly rich feature set with everything from employee management to payroll to new-hire onboarding and more. From contractor-only payments to a full PEO option and everything in between, ADP is a good scalable HR software option for businesses of any size. ADP's pricing is frustratingly not transparent, and you'll have to call to get a quote depending on exactly what services you need, but with multiple products and plans available, ADP can likely tailor-make an HR software quote for you.

Source: ADP

ADP Pricing


ADP Payroll Plans Price  When To Use
RUN Powered By ADP Essential Custom If you need basic payroll for up to 49 users
RUN Powered By ADP Enhanced Custom If you need basic payroll and advanced hiring and onboarding tools for up to 49 users
RUN Powered By ADP Complete Custom If you need basic payroll and HR support for up to 49 users
RUN Powered By ADP HR Pro Custom If you need advanced payroll and HR support for up to 49 users
ADP Workforce Now Payroll Essentials Custom If you need basic payroll for 50+ users
ADP Workforce Now Plus Custom If you need payroll and enhanced HR tools for 50+ users
ADP Workforce Now Hiring Advantage Custom If you need advanced recruitment and hiring support for 50+ users
ADP Workforce Now Performance Plus Custom If you need performance analytics and improvement tools for 50+ users

As mentioned, ADP does not advertise its prices on its website. While it does have four tiers, you’ll have to speak to a representative and tell them exactly what services you’re looking for in order to get an accurate quote. But ADP does have options for smaller businesses as well that might not need ADP’s entire payroll suite.

ADP Features

While ADP thrives in the world of payroll, its HR offerings are also robust and can help out nearly any business size. Here’s what you can expect:

  • New-hire reporting
  • Self-managed new-hire onboarding
  • Employee discounts
  • Employee access portal
  • Contractor hiring through WorkMarket integration

At higher tiers, you also get access to other features, including:

  • ZipRecruiter
  • Background checks
  • Employee handbook tool
  • HR help desk
  • Employee tracking
  • Training toolkit
  • Company training courses
  • Harassment prevention courses

Who Would Benefit From ADP

  • Businesses that want combined HR & payroll
  • Mid-size businesses or rapidly growing businesses that want an HR solution that will scale
  • Businesses that need extensive HR features
  • Businesses that want a ZipRecruiter integration

Get Started With ADP Payroll

Read our in-depth review

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BambooHR: Easiest HR Software To Use

BambooHR


Visit Site


Pros

  • APIs integrate with HR software vendors
  • Simple interface
  • Very easy to use

Cons

  • Non-transparent pricing
  • Limited benefits administration
  • Essential features only available as add-ons

Why We Chose BambooHR As The Easiest HR Software To Use

If a small business needs a comprehensive human resources management system, BambooHR has all the foundational requirements to manage your employees. It aims to make HR easy and intuitive, even if a company doesn't have a specific HR department or team. BambooHR leads the competition with its ease of use, intuitive interface for both employees and administrators, and customization abilities. The software is loaded with advanced features to help simplify the HR process throughout the employee lifecycle.

bamboohr dashboard

Source: BambooHR

BambooHR Pricing

BambooHR has two plans but, unfortunately, does not offer pricing details online. Instead, the company requests that you get a personalized price quote by phone or through its website. A general price range provided by customers who have used this software is $6-$8/month per employee.

BambooHR Features

BambooHR offers two different plans: Essentials and Advantage.

Both plans include the following:

  • Time-off management
  • Employee directory and company organization chart
  • Employee records
  • Benefits tracking
  • Document storage
  • Standard workflow and approvals
  • Standard reporting

Upgrading to the Advantage plan gives you access to more features, such as:

  • Onboarding/offboarding
  • Application tracking systems
  • Full company branding/customization
  • Training tracking
  • Webinar library
  • Customization options

BambooHR includes time tracking and performance management programs as add-ons. For payroll, the company partners with TraxPayroll to sync up data related to benefits, PTO, and compensation.

Who Would Benefit From BambooHR

  • Business owners who don’t have an HR department or manager
  • Business owners who value ease of use and simplicity or who don’t have time to learn complicated software
  • Business owners who already have payroll software and don’t mind having separate HR software

Get Started With BambooHR

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OnPay: Best Mobile HR Software

Total Rating 4.2
Pricing3.0

Ease Of Use4.5

Features4.4

Customer Service4.1

User Reviews4.7

Payroll Processing Time

2-4 Days

Pricing

$40/month + $6/person/month

Business Size

Small to mid-sized businesses (1-500+ employees)

Pros

  • Competitive pricing
  • Strong HR features
  • Solid mobile app
  • Integrated worker’s comp

Cons

  • Limited integrations

Why We Chose OnPay For Best Mobile HR Software

OnPay is an award-winning payroll software with built-in HR support at no extra cost, making it a cost-effective all-in-one payroll and HR software.

One of OnPay's biggest advantages is a high-functioning mobile app that makes managing HR on the go easier. HR features include built-in PTO tracking, employee and contractor portals, in-app messaging, performance reviews, and more. The ability to not only manage HR on the go but also message employees and send reminders in the app is a big plus for busy business owners.

onpay-dashboard

Source: OnPay

OnPay Pricing

OnPay’s pricing is competitive, especially since its HR support is built into its payroll plan and isn’t an extra add-on. OnPay makes pricing simple with one $40/month plan plus $6/month per person. OnPay’s pricing is highly competitive and half the cost of Gusto.

You can add-on pay-as-you-go worker’s comp policies as well, but you will need to contact OnPay directly for pricing.

OnPayFeatures

OnPay offers an impressive number of HR features, especially considering these features don’t come at an extra cost. You’ll find:

  • PTO management & time-off requests
  • Employee and contractor portals
  • Onboarding
  • In-app offer letters
  • New hire reporting
  • HR document & resource library
  • Benefits administration
  • Integrated worker’s comp with pay-as-you-go plans
  • Mobile app with built-in messaging

Who Would Benefit From OnPay

  • Businesses looking for affordable HR
  • Businesses needing combined payroll & HR support
  • Businesses needing a capable mobile app for managing employees & time off requests on the go
  • Businesses looking for integrated, pay-as-you-go worker’s compensation insurance

Get Started With OnPay

Read our in-depth review

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Paycor: Best HR Software For Customer Support

Total Rating 4.0
Pricing1.5

Ease Of Use3.7

Features4.6

Customer Service4.5

User Reviews4.1

Payroll Processing Time

Same-day to 4-day

Pricing

Custom

Business Size

Small to large-sized businesses with 1,000+ users

Pros

  • Built-in payroll in all plans
  • Cloud-based software
  • Easy to use and set up

Cons

  • Non-transparent pricing
  • Limited benefits administration
  • Average customer service

Why We Chose Paycor For Best Customer Support

Paycor is a great one-stop shop for a small business's HR and payroll requirements. The company focuses on ease of use and streamlining its interface and is fully committed to listening to clients and adapting/updating its software to respond to feedback. Paycor's hiring wizard feature, full-service payroll, and 1-on-1 HR support set Paycor apart and add to its impressive attention to customer support.

paycor dashboard

Source: Paycor

Paycor Pricing


Paycor Plans Price  When To Use
Basic Custom If you need basic payroll features and tax filing for up to 50 users
Essential Custom If you need PTO management, onboarding support, and strong reporting options for up to 50 users
Core Custom If you need strong HR features and one-one-on guidance from an HR professional
Complete Custom If you need advanced analytics and talent management for up to 50 users

Unfortunately, Paycor no longer discloses pricing information. For businesses with fewer than 50 employees, Paycor offers four pricing plans. The more expensive the plan, the more features you can access.

For businesses with 50+ employees, custom packages are available. You’ll need to contact Paycor to get a price quote.

Paycor Features

All plans have full-service payroll as a foundation and not an add-on. All plans also include the following:

  • Tax filing
  • Reporting
  • Self-service garnishments and child support
  • Paycor Mobile

If you upgrade to one of the higher tier packages, you can also access features, including:

  • Online onboarding with assistance
  • Full-service payroll
  • HR support center with 1:1 guidance
  • Hiring wizard
  • Advanced analytics

Who Would Benefit From Paycor

  • Businesses looking for full-service payroll
  • Businesses with a large amount of employees (and a large budget)
  • Businesses that value customer service

Get Started With Paycor

Read our in-depth review

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Honorable Mention: Bambee For HR Software With A Dedicated HR Manager

Why We Chose Bambee HR As An Honorable Mention

Bambee HR isn’t for everyone, but it earns a spot on the list for a very specific use case — businesses that want to hire a dedicated HR manager to help run their HR software. Bambee takes full-service HR software to the next level by providing a dedicated HR manager to assist with your onboarding, benefits administration, and other HR tasks. The level of support Bambee offers is not cheap and is not a good fit for businesses with small budgets or business owners who want to be hands-on and involved in their HR management. However, using Bambee would still be a lot cheaper than hiring and paying an in-house HR manager.

Bambee does have a mix of positive and negative reviews, which is why we’re just giving it an honorable mention, so be sure to research if the pros outweigh the cons for your specific business — or check out the best PEO companies for a similar level of support without the questionable paid trial, customer complaints, and a limited number of job descriptions you get with Bambee.

Bambee Pricing

Bambee Plans Price When To Use
No Employees Yet $99/month If you have 0 employees and need to set up your growing business for HR success
1-4 Employees $299/month If you need help managing up to 4 employees and have no more than 3 job descriptions
5-19 Employees $399/month If you need help managing up to 19 employees and have no more than 4 job descriptions
20-49 Employees $699/month If you need help managing up to 49 employees and have no more than 5 job descriptions
50-70 Employees $1,299/month If you need help managing up to 70 employees and have no more than 5 job descriptions
71+ Employees Custom If you need help managing more than 70 employees

Bambee’s pricing varies based on how many employees you have.  The larger the plan, the more custom HR policies and job descriptions you have access to as well. When you factor in the cost of Bambee against an in-house HR manager or the fact that Bambee doesn’t charge a $6-$12/month per person fee, it could still be a cost-effective option for some small businesses. One-time setup fees apply as well and can range from $500-$3,500.

It does seem like a large oversight that Bambee only supports five job descriptions for 49-249 employees — I can’t think of many businesses that wouldn’t need far more, so that’s something that will need to be worked around.

For businesses that don’t want to go the PEO route or the in-house HR manager route, Bambee could still be worth considering. I’d highly recommend scheduling a demo call over opting for a paid trial to see if Bambee is the right fit for your business.

Bambee Features

Bambee offers a dedicated HR manager to handle:

  • Employee relations
  • HR policies & compliance
  • Onboarding & training
  • Terminations
  • HR audits
  • Employee report cards
  • Employee satisfaction surveys

The biggest benefit of these features is that your HR administration and management tasks are hands-off and taken care of.

Who Would Benefit From Bambee

  • Businesses that need a dedicated HR manager
  • Business owners who don’t want to be hands-on with HR management or onboarding
  • Businesses owners who don’t have time for HR but don’t want a PEO or don’t have the budget for an in-house HR manager
  • Business owners who don’t have an issue with Bambee’s multiple BBB complaints (there are many positive reviews on TrustPilot)

Methodology

Merchant Maverick has been researching and reviewing payroll providers since 2018. Our writers have tested more than 75 different payroll software systems, evaluating pricing, features, ease of use, customer service, and user reviewers. Read more about how we rate payroll providers.

When comparing different apps, we consider over seventy data points, including the speed and cost of payroll runs, federal and state tax filing features, HR integrations, employee management tools, time tracking, and more. Our lists of the best providers include only apps we’ve deemed worthwhile from several vantage points. The payroll apps we pick are widely available and relatively easy to train on, with robust features and reasonable pricing. We also look carefully at features such as employee and client portals, user onboarding services, PTO management, benefits administration, multistate compliance, and more.

We spend an average of 10-15 hours researching and updating each one of our lists, making sure the providers included meet our internal standards for quality and reputation.

75+

Vendors evaluated

76

Attributes assessed per vendor

26

Features weighed

20+

Combined years of experience


What Is HR Software?

Human resources software, or HR software, simplifies human resources tasks. HR software makes it easy for businesses to perform various tasks, including but not limited to completing onboarding tasks, termination tasks, maintaining legal compliance, running payroll, managing benefits, and maintaining employee records.

HR Software VS Payroll Software

While some payroll software companies offer built-in HR or higher-tier plans with HR support, the two are not necessarily synonymous. Payroll software focuses specifically on paying your employees, tracking hours worked, and managing time off, while HR software focuses on managing your employees through onboarding, training, benefits administration, etc.

How Much Does HR Software Cost?

The cost of HR software varies by a number of factors, including the size of your business and the features you need. On the lower end, expect to pay around $6-$8/month per employee. On the higher end, you may pay $60+/month per employee.

How To Choose A Good HR Software Company

With so many HR options on the market, it’s important for small businesses to be able to identify the good from the bad. A good HR software company should have:

  • Competitive pricing
  • Strong HR features
  • HR support in all states your business operates in
  • Multiple customer support avenues
  • Positive customer reviews
  • Strong security measures & positive uptime records
  • Upfront policy cancellation criteria & no long, locked contracts

The Bottom Line On Choosing The Right HR Software For Your Small Business

When it comes to picking the right HR software for your small business, it helps to know what you need.

Figure out which HR features your company needs and whether or not you need built-in time tracking, payroll, or want a fully dedicated HR manager or PEO instead.

Any HR software worth checking out should have options for syncing employee information, managing payroll, assisting with onboarding, running benefits administration, managing worker performance, and navigating all aspects of your company’s legal HR compliance requirements.

Ultimately, HR is about hiring the best people, growing the best people, and retaining the best people for your company’s growth. The best HR software for your small business should help you achieve those goals and make you and your employees’ lives easier.

No matter which HR software you choose, always remember to do your research, take advantage of free trials, and fully explore your options before making a commitment. Good luck!

HR Software FAQs

What is HRIS software?

Human resources information system software, or HRIS software, helps you manage and maintain information on your policies, procedures, and personnel. HRIS software may offer payroll processing, employee hour tracking, and an employee directory.

Are there any free HR software options for businesses?

There are free HR software options for small businesses, but many of them are quite limited in functionality. Start your search with our five picks for the best payroll and HR software that’s free.

Do I have to have an HR manager for my business?

It’s never a bad idea to have an HR manager for your business. If you have a smaller business, you may be able to operate without an HR manager or only use one part-time if you have the right HR software. For businesses with 50+ employees, it’s generally a good idea to have an HR manager on your staff.

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Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Lead Staff Writer
Chelsea Krause is a writer who specializes in accounting, payroll, and small business loans. She has been with Merchant Maverick helping small business owners manage their finances since 2016. She is a QuickBooks Certified User and former eCommerce store owner. Her accounting expertise has been quoted in Forbes and her work appears in Startup Nation, Small Business Bonfire, and Women on Business. Chelsea graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English & Creative Writing from George Fox University and studied abroad at the University of Oxford as well. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho.
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