Best Free HR Software for Small Businesses

Some free HR products have solid features, but you won't find the advanced options offered by software with a price tag.
Apr 25, 2022

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Free HR software doesn’t offer the range of functions that are included in paid products. If you want a platform that combines recruiting, onboarding, time tracking, payroll, benefits, training and performance, you’ll typically have to pay for full-service HR software.

If, however, you’re focused on a few key features that are important to your business or you’re willing to pair HR software with free payroll software or other apps, there are some free online HR products that are worth checking out.

HR.my

HR.my is a unique option to consider. First released in 2009, it’s a free HR platform that’s crowdfunded. Traditional customer support isn't offered, but a user guide is provided as well as an HR forum. HR.my offers a well-rounded platform and the following features are included with this free software:

  • Unlimited employees and unlimited data storage.

  • Time, attendance and expense management tools.

  • Payroll processing.

  • Employee access to view pay stubs and update personal information.

  • Employee discussion boards, shared documents and announcements board.

  • Ability to export data and close your account at any time.

Upgrading to a paid plan with more advanced features isn't an option with HR.my. However, features are updated on a regular basis and you can request new features be added for free.

Homebase

Homebase offers to help small businesses with tracking employee hours, employee scheduling, payroll and team communications. Basic, its free plan, is focused on time tracking, scheduling, messaging and hiring. Unlike some other options, you’re not limited to a certain number of employees, but you can use it at one location only. Here are some of the features included in the free version:

  • Time tracking with timesheets that can be exported to payroll.

  • Schedule creation and the ability to track availability and time-off requests.

  • Payroll and point-of-sale, or POS, integrations.

  • Free employee mobile app.

  • Job posting and applicant tracking.

  • Ability to offer employees pay advances.

  • Employee roster to manage employee information.

Additional plans from $14 to $70 a month per location can be purchased to gain access to features such as team communication, performance tracking, labor cost controls, new hire onboarding and certified HR advisors. Payroll can be added to any plan for $35 per month plus $5 per active employee.

OrangeHRM

OrangeHRM software can be operated online or downloaded to your own system. Its services are focused on four areas: people management, compensation, talent management and culture. Two packages are offered, including the Starter version, which is free and includes the following features:

  • PTO requests and approvals with notifications.

  • Mobile app with features limited to leave management and time tracking.

  • Corporate directory, employee profiles and database.

  • Custom basic reports.

  • Job posting including integration with your company website.

  • Performance reviews by supervisor and employee.

  • Time tracking and timesheets.

If you’d like to upgrade to a more inclusive plan, the Advanced package is a paid option. It offers onboarding options, advanced performance management, career development, training and payroll integrations. You can get a cost estimate for this plan by contacting the sales team.

Zoho People

Zoho People online software has time and attendance features, performance management, training and tools to improve HR efficiency. Its free plan is limited to five users and offers some basic HR functions that include:

  • Employee database, files and e-signature integration.

  • Time off management tools that include approvals and tracking.

  • Office readiness options to help with premises configuration and visitor management.

  • Module-based reports.

  • A mobile app.

  • Telephone and chat support during the week.

You also have the option to upgrade to a number of different paid plans. These plans offer employee onboarding, shift management, performance appraisals, training and other advanced features that cost $1.25 to $9 per user per month.

Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is an online platform that can help with collaboration, project management, HR automation, website building, and customer relationship management, or CRM. A number of plans are offered including a free version. Here are some of the features found in the Bitrix24 Free package:

  • Unlimited users.

  • Chat options, a calendar and video conferencing for up to 48 people.

  • Project management with the ability to view tasks in a calendar or list.

  • CRM tools, custom fields and a contact center.

  • Online storage, file sync and integrations with Google Docs and Microsoft Office.

  • Website chat widget and connections to Facebook, Instagram and Telegram.

  • Simple website builder, image editor and recruitment websites.

Expanded features, including an online store, marketing options, customer support and more robust HR features, can be accessed through plans starting at $39 per month for up to five users to $159 per month for unlimited users. The monthly cost is for all users, not a per-user fee.

WebHR

WebHR, another online option, offers a robust system to help you with HR functions from hiring an employee to their retirement. WebHR offers a free plan for businesses with up to five employees. This free option is limited to its Base Modules that include the following features:

  • Time and attendance plus leaves and paid time off.

  • Employee self-service.

  • Onboarding and offboarding.

  • Employee database, communication tools and company calendar.

  • Reports and document storage.

  • Standard support is also provided to free clients.

Modules for payroll, benefits, employee performance, recruiting, forms, HR letters and e-signatures can be added at a cost of 25 cents to $2 per employee per month.