Best HR Software for Your Business

Human resources software can help you run your small business efficiently and effectively.
Steve NicastroApr 9, 2018

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Human resources software can save your company a lot of time and money.

As your small business grows, completing administrative tasks — such as onboarding employees, charting career paths, managing health and retirement plans and processing payroll — become more time-consuming. The right HR software can streamline these time-intensive tasks, cut back on paperwork and help your business become better organized.

Here are some popular human resources software options.


BambooHR offers a 100% web-based human resources system for small and midsize businesses. The software lets you track training, benefits and time-off requests and store information and forms. You can keep employee data — such as job and salary history — in an online directory and store company forms, applications, documents and performance reviews online.

Recently, the company announced the release of a new payroll service that integrates with its BambooHR software.


GoCo provides an all-in-one online HR, benefits and payroll platform, which is best suited for small to medium-sized small businesses in all industries.

GoCo’s key features include:

  • Automated employee hiring and onboarding

  • Online employee-benefit management (health, dental and 401(k) plans)

  • Integration and syncing with existing payroll providers or setting up a new payroll system

  • Integration with Slack (team messaging) and WhenIWork (employee scheduling)

  • Digital storage of tax and employment compliance documents

Every small business that signs up with GoCo can get support from a digital benefits advisor, as well as a local benefits advisor who is available to meet in person to answer questions.

“We’re able to put benefit advisors face-to-face with customers just about anywhere,” says Nir Leibovich, founder and CEO of GoCo.


Gusto Payroll

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on Gusto's website

Gusto, formerly known as ZenPayroll, offers human resources, payroll and benefits management tools to more than 40,000 U.S. businesses.

Its HR software features include:

  • Paperless employee onboarding and time-off tracking

  • Access to all employee records in one place

  • Automatic tax filing and processing for local, state and federal payroll taxes

  • The ability to pay employees via direct deposit or check

  • The option of offering health benefits and 401(k) retirement plans through Gusto

The company serves businesses that have one to 100 employees, including dentist offices, law firms, gyms, coffee shops and startups, says Steffi Wu, who handles communications at Gusto.

The Gusto software integrates with Capital One Spark Business bank accounts; accounting software applications such as FreshBooks, Xero and Intuit QuickBooks; time-tracking software such as WhenIWork; and expense-management software Receipt Bank.

Gusto’s payroll and HR services, 401(k) plans and workers’ compensation insurance are offered nationwide. However, its health benefit services are only available in some states.


Namely is an all-in-one human resources, payroll and benefits software platform focused on midsize organizations in several sectors, including tech, media, e-commerce and nonprofits. The company, which supports small businesses with 50 or more employees, serves more than 600 clients with more than 120,000 employees on its platform, says Amy Rosenberg, community marketing manager at Namely.

Besides managing payroll and benefits, Namely offers:

  • Paperless onboarding of new employees

  • Employee management software with performance reviews

  • The ability to create custom surveys and get ongoing feedback from employees

  • A social news feed to keep your company connected on big news, milestones, anniversaries and birthdays

  • An online marketplace for employees to shop for benefits

  • Time management features

Namely’s technology helps business owners with Affordable Care Act reporting and in satisfying complex payroll and benefits requirements, says Matt Straz, founder and CEO.

Namely aims to handle payroll, benefits and employee management in an “intuitive” way that will encourage employees to use it daily, he says. Bringing these human resources management functions under a single umbrella helps clients save money, the company says.


Zenefits is a big player in the online HR space, but the company has faced scrutiny over its licensing practices. In November 2016, it agreed to pay a $7 million fine to the state of California after being charged with allowing unlicensed employees to sell insurance.

Zenefits offers an online dashboard that allows business owners to manage all of their HR needs in one place, including payroll and taxes, retirement plans and stock options. It also helps with onboarding new employees, managing benefits and insurance, and tracking attendance and vacations.

The system is completely automated, eliminating paperwork. The company’s basic plan is free, and it includes employee management (hiring, onboarding and basic reporting) and benefits administration (medical, dental, vision and insurance). Zenefits gets paid by benefits providers on the platform when you sign up.

The platform is also useful for employees: They can use the online dashboard to view and sign job-offer letters, access pay stubs, review and enroll in health plans and request vacation.

 Payroll software

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on Gusto's website

Gusto Payroll Plans start at $39 per month (base) and $6 per person per month. Read review.

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on ADP's website

RUN Powered by ADP Plans start at $59 per month (base) and $4 per person per month. Read review.

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on OnPay's website

OnPay Payroll Plans start at $36 per month (base) and $4 per person per month. Read review.

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on Square's website

Square Payroll Plans start at $35 per month (base) and $5 per person per month. Read review.

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on QuickBooks's website

QuickBooks Payroll Plans start at $45 per month (base) and $4 per person per month. Read review.

Wave Payroll Plans start at $20 per month (base) and $6 per person per month.

Providers may offer lower promotional pricing.

To get more information on and compare funding options for your small business, visit NerdWallet’s small-business loans page.