4 Best HR Software for Small Businesses in 2021

If you are running a small business or a startup, you may want to consider hiring a full-time human resource (HR) staff. In a majority of cases, human resource software for small businesses is more economical than hiring a full-time employee. Besides, it is crafted to handle an array of HR tasks such as talent searches, benefits management, hiring, onboarding, and more. 

While some of the best human resource software for small businesses comes as an all-in-one solution, others offer a standalone service such as onboarding, HR consulting, etc. 

The reputed and the most reliable software vendors offer products and services that are in tune with your budget. A lot of these companies provide customizable pricing options to ensure you can create a tailored solution for your business. 

In this article, we have chosen some of the best human resource software for small businesses based on their features and pricing options. 

These include:

  • BambooHR
  • Gusto
  • Paycor
  • Zoho People

SEE ALSO: 5 New Technologies Small Businesses Should Adopt in 2021

1. BambooHR


Bamboo HR is one of the most rounded HR software as it provides all the features that streamline your HR operations. Some of these HR operations include onboarding new hires, tracking applicants, calculating paid-time offs, hours worked, and more. 

It also includes manager and self-assessment features that promote employee growth and learning. This allows companies to reduce employee turnover while simultaneously boosting employee engagement. 

Why do we like Bamboo HR?

  • It is easy to use
  • The interface is very modern-looking
  • It has all the features to ensure seamless employee management tools

What could have been done better?

  • Phone support is only available for premium plan users
  • Payroll management is handled by a third-party
  • The time-tracking feature is an additional feature

Bamboo HR Features

  • Engagement: The software enables you to survey your employees to evaluate their job satisfaction. It also delivers email notifications to employees so that they are aware of all the major company announcements. 
  • Employee management: You can access employee information from a single database from anywhere. In addition, you can also provide access levels to employees. 
  • Application integrations: BambooHR can be integrated with a plethora of applications that are available on the Bamboo Marketplace. Besides, the tool also has an open API that can help share information across different systems. 

Check out our BambooHR review to learn more about its features, pricing, and more. 

2. Gusto

If you are looking for efficient and top-notch payroll software, Gusto is an excellent choice. Its full-service features along with affordable pricing plans make it one of the most popular human resource software for small businesses. 

The software allows you to file taxes, administer worker’s compensation, manage, and paid-time-off requests.

Why do we like Gusto?

  • Unlimited pay runs
  • The contractor-only plan is very affordable
  • You have the option to pay state, federal, and local taxes

What do we dislike about Gusto?

  • The insurance option is available only in 39 states
  • Does not cater to customers outside the U.S.
  • Does not offer a lot of customizable options for enterprises.

Gusto Features

  • Payment options: Users have a wide choice of payment options. You can pay by direct deposit, by card, or paper check. The tool also has a cash-out option that enables pay on demand for your employees. 
  • Hiring support: Although Gusto lacks a few features and tools that are available in some of the best HR software for small businesses, it makes up for that by providing top-tier hiring support. It handles offer letters, online I-9, and W-4 forms and also has a self-onboarding portal. 
  • HR expertise: The vendor offers complete access to certified HR experts if you shell out some extra cash and purchase the premium plan. 

If you want to learn more about Gusto’s features, you can read our detailed Gusto review

3. Paychex

Paychex is a popular HR software for businesses of all sizes. If you are a rapidly growing startup or a business with employees in different states, we really think you should consider Paychex. 

Even solopreneurs or freelancers can transition from the tool’s solo plan to Paychex Flex. Just like Gusto, Paychex comes with a basic payroll option. However, its HR-centric plans along with an all-around PEO option make it an appealing HR software for small businesses. 

Why do we like Paychex?

  • A dedicated customer support representative
  • The HR and payroll plans are very flexible even for solopreneurs
  • The tool offers a wide range of HR tools

What could have been done better?

  • The premium plan does not offer unlimited pay runs
  • The learning curve is steep in comparison to some of the other tools listed in this article. 

Paychex Features

  • Hiring support: The vendor will do all the groundwork to ensure you find the right resource for a particular job. You can also rely on Paychex to conduct background checks and offer new hires self-onboarding options. 
  • Insurance options: Paychex is a licensed insurer, which is why it can provide insurance directly. Besides, it is also loaded with financial wellness tools that make Paychex stand out from the competition. 
  • HR tools: One of the main reasons why Paychex has made it to our list is its array of HR tools. These range from onboarding, talent management, and even training. 

4. Zoho People

Zoho People

If your small business is running on a shoe-string budget, Zoho People is an attractive option. This is because it comes with a free employee database and PTO tracking for companies that have less than five employees. 

If you have more than 5 employees, the price may vary from $1.25 to $9 per employee per month. The best part is that Zoho People offers all the features ranging from onboarding to performance management, and more. This makes it one of the most popular HR software for small businesses. 

What do we like about Zoho People?

  • Zoho has one of the best free plan options
  • The pricing of different plans makes it one of the most affordable tools
  • You can sync the tools with a larger Zoho suite of HR solutions. 

What could have been done better?

  • Every profile over the predefined limit costs extra
  • The payroll option is not available for companies in the U.S.
  • Customer support is not very responsive.

Zoho People Features

  • Employee engagement: As a business owner, you should discover new ways to boost employee engagement. This is where Zoho People earns the brownie points. It provides an HR case management solution that streamlines and keeps a tab on the different types of questions different employees ask. 
  • Performance management: This feature ensures that your workforce is developing at all times. You can aid the growth of your employees by providing them with honest and critical feedback through Zoho’s system. 

Read our full Zoho People review here. 

Choosing the right HR software for your small business

When you are scanning through a bunch of HR tools for your small business, you should always consider price vs convenience. Almost all HR software for small businesses can handle basic HR processes such as hiring, payroll, training management, and more. 

Identify your goals, define your budget, and then determine which HR software is a perfect fit for your small business. 

SEE ALSO: 6 Tips to Create a Powerful Marketing Stack (Martech Stack) for your Business

Feature Image Source: Image by rawpixel.com

Image 1 Source: BambooHR

Image 2 Source: Zoho

Karandeep V

Karandeep V

Karandeep was born in Pune, Maharashtra, an upcoming metropolitan city in the Western region of India. While most members of his family are engineers, he had different ideas. He was more inclined toward exploring the non-technical aspects of a business, which is why he studied Bachelors of Business Administration at Symbiosis International University, Pune.  Having said that, his love for new and upcoming technologies remained intact, which is why he has written extensively about technology throughout his career. After a brief stint with a gaming company at the beginning of his career, he discovered that his love for writing was not temporary.  Being a tech geek, he always liked installing and playing around with new applications on his mobile devices and the home desktop. He was fascinated by how technology can simplify even the most mundane and complex tasks with just a few commands. He keeps a close eye on how businesses use different tools to streamline their operations to boost productivity and efficiency. At ToolsMetric, he writes product reviews that cover the main features and specifications of different enterprise applications. The sheer amount of innovation and hard work that goes into building these tech solutions is one of the reasons why Karandeep loves reviewing these tools. Besides product reviews, he also writes interesting news articles and blogs that track the latest developments in the tech industry.  When he is not writing, you can find him rooted to his seat playing video games, watching movies, or supporting his favorite football team. Since his childhood, he has always loved to travel and explore new places. Traveling is a major part of his life due to a myriad of reasons such as experiencing new cultures, food, and traditions. His other hobbies include playing football, cooking, and running.  You can find him on LinkedIn here.

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