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Tried and tested by our editors and HR experts

By: RAECHEL CONOVER | Fact Checked By: JAMIE OSTROE | Updated: May 24, 2024

Human resources (HR) software streamlines and automates various HR processes related to applicant tracking, employee record management, scheduling, time tracking, payroll, benefits administration, and more. Compare pricing, pros and cons, and key features in our review of the best HR software platforms in 2024.


Our Top Picks

  1. BambooHR – Best for Hiring and Onboarding
  2. Deel – Best Payroll and HR Software
  3. Transformify – Best for Global Workforce Management
  4. Remote – Best HR Software with EOR Services
  5. Gusto – Best for Small Teams and Startups
  6. Bob – Best for People Management
  7. Homebase – Best for Employee Scheduling and Time Tracking
  8. GoCo – Best Core HR Software
  9. Justworks – Best for Outsourcing Payroll
  10. Paychex – Best for All-In-One Software
  11. Namely – Best for Mid-Sized Businesses
  12. Zenefits – Best for Compliance Support

HR Software Reviews

We identified 79 HR software providers and narrowed it down to nine of our favorites that offer solutions for every aspect of HR a business would need. We looked at software features, vendor pricing transparency, customer support options and availability, and brand reputation to determine our top picks. The companies on our list serve businesses of all sizes and are thoroughly vetted by our editorial staff.

Refer to our methodology section for more details on how we make our picks.

bamboohr logo

BambooHR – Best for Hiring and Onboarding

BambooHR is powerful HR software that provides small and mid-size businesses with all the tools they need to complete processes such as hiring and onboarding, payroll, benefits, time tracking, PTO requests and approvals, and more. It features a user-friendly applicant tracking system that connects seamlessly to third-party job boards, while a mobile app and employee self-service portal make bringing on new employees especially easy.

Pros
  • Robust reporting and analytics
  • Comprehensive onboarding features
  • Powerful core HR software
Cons
  • Custom pricing only
  • Some services are limited to the U.S. only

Start Free Trial Link: Visit BambooHR’s website for a free trial

BambooHR features

  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Benefits administration
  • Employee scheduling and time tracking
  • Records management
  • Payroll

How BambooHR pricing works

BambooHR is elusive about its pricing structure and plans. To get started and get a customized quote, you must sign up for a free trial and speak to the company about pricing.

What markets does BambooHR serve?

BambooHR is a complete all-in-one HR solution. It has a robust ATS that stands out for its hiring and onboarding features. Companies wanting a successful hiring process that makes a strong first impression on recruits and new hires should consider BambooHR.

Read our full BambooHR Review.

deel logo

Deel – Best Payroll and HR Software

Deel is a robust HR tool that offers hiring, payroll, and compliance on a global scale. It is known for being quick and flexible with localized tax and compliance information to help streamline the employee experience globally. The company boasts that it can hire employees from a new country “within minutes.” With a strong suite of payroll features, it offers global payroll in over 150 countries in 90 different currencies.

Pros
  • Global hiring, payroll, and compliance support
  • Takes on full liability for global employees
  • Free HR option
Cons
  • Lacking phone support
  • No employee scheduling or time tracking

Get Started Visit Deel’s website.

Deel features

  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Benefits administration
  • Records management
  • Payroll

How Deel pricing works

Deel’s pricing is divided into five plans: Employer of Record (EOR), Contractors, Global Payroll, Deel HR, and Immigration. Global Payroll and Immigration require you to speak to the company for a custom quote, while the Deel HR plan is free for companies with up to 200 employees. Deel’s EOR plan starts at $599 per month and allows you to hire employees in over 100 countries where you don’t have an entity.

What markets does Deel serve?

Deel is a versatile program that works for various companies and industries, but with its global perks, it works best for companies paying international contractors and workers worldwide.

Read our full Deel Review.

transformify logo

Transformify – Best for Global Workforce Management

When it comes to recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and managing your workforce, Transformify (TFY) has you covered. The simple workforce management system has all the necessary tools, whether hiring and managing people locally, globally, full-time, or part-time.

Trusted by businesses on four continents, Transformify’s workforce management system streamlines contractor management by fully automating onboarding, compliance, billing, and payments to independent contractors, freelancers, and employees.

Other standout features include document management, attendance tracking, performance assessments, and team communications.

Pros
  • Complete workforce management system
  • Affordable and transparent pricing
  • Contractor management and payment
Cons
  • Very basic compared to competitors
  • Lacking phone support

Get Started Visit Transformify’s website

Transformify features

  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Employee scheduling and time tracking
  • Records management

What markets does Transformify serve?

Transformify provides international HR workforce management solutions, making it ideal for businesses hiring and managing a global workforce that includes remote teams, contract workers, freelancers, and affiliates.

Through billing and payment automation, contractor management and payments, and strict compliance support, you can feel comfortable hiring and managing your workforce worldwide. Transformify can even act as an Employer of Record (EOR) so you can hire and comply with local regulations in 184 countries.

Read our full Transformify Review.

remote logo

Remote – Best HR Software with EOR Services

If you’re looking to scale and grow your business globally, Remote is a great tool for managing HR data and processes. The all-in-one platform allows you to streamline your employee management by cutting excess tools, costs, and overhead from your HR stack. Remote allows you to onboard workers in a few clicks, process payroll, manage your entire team in one place, gather actionable insights on data, and offer employee self-service.

No matter how large your global team is, Remote offers a user-friendly platform that streamlines team management and organization. The best part is that Remote’s HR Management is free to use and sign up for. It also allows you to add employees one at a time or in bulk.

Pros
  • Excellent visual design
  • Long list of third-party integrations
  • Mobile app on both iOS and Android
Cons
  • Features are limited in some countries
  • Customization is limited

Visit SiteVisit Remote’s website to get started.

Remote features

  • Employee onboarding and offboarding
  • Time and attendance tracking
  • Records management
  • Payroll
  • Expense management and reimbursement

How Remote’s pricing works

Remote is an extensive platform, offering many different services and features. Its HR management platform is free to use; however, other features such as its contractor management, employer of record, and global payroll services cost money.

Remote’s contractor management plan costs $29 per contractor per month. If you’re interested in Remote’s employer of record services, they start at $599 per employee per month. Finally, their global payroll plan costs $50 per employee per month. Each plan allows for unlimited users.

What markets does Remote serve?

Remote is best suited for mid-sized businesses that are looking to scale their global workforce. Offering HR services, EOR plans, and global payroll, Remote makes expansion into the world market simple. All data is stored in a single platform that is easy to use and manage.

Read our full Remote Review.

gusto logo

Gusto – Best for Small Teams and Startups

Gusto is a complete cloud-based payroll software that also offers key HR tools such as benefits administration, hiring, and time tracking. The software stands out for compliance tools such as compliance alerts and a robust independent contractor-only payroll plan, making it substantially cheaper for companies paying only independent contractors.

Pros
  • Strong compliance tools
  • Affordable contractor-only plan
  • Automated payroll runs
Cons
  • Limited customer service
  • International payroll not available

Get Started Visit Gusto’s website.

Gusto features

  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Benefits administration
  • Time tracking
  • Records management
  • Payroll

How Gusto pricing works

Gusto pricing has four plans: Simple, Plus, Premium, and Contractor Only. Simple starts at $40 a month plus $6 per person. At this level, you get single-state payroll features, benefits integrations, and basic HR tools like hiring, time tracking, and employee profile management.

Additional HR tools are added in each plan level, and you bump up to multi-state payroll. Plus, you can add premium support and HR services for $8 per person monthly.

For companies paying only independent contractors, a contractor-only plan waives the monthly base fee and charges only $6 per contractor per month. This is a very basic plan and only includes payroll services.

What markets does Gusto serve?

Due to the specialized contractor-only plan, Gusto is a very affordable option for companies paying independent contractors only. While Gusto’s plans can translate to large and enterprise businesses, it’s one of the best HR software solutions for small businesses and startups, as it can get costly for companies with many employees.

Read our full Gusto Review.

bob logo

HiBob (Bob) – Best for People Management

HiBob – or just Bob – is a newer HR software that stands out for a Sandbox feature, where you can test key HR features and system updates before applying them to your software tools. The interface has social-media-like attributes and boasts HRIS features such as onboarding, payroll processing, people analytics, and the promotion of DE&B (diversity, equality, and belonging).

Pros
  • Promotes diversity, equality, and belonging
  • Strong emphasis on people management
  • Ability to test system updates prior to implementing them
Cons
  • No hiring tools
  • Pricing is less transparent

Start Free Trial Link: Visit HiBob’s website for a free trial

Bob features

  • Hiring
  • Onboarding
  • Time tracking
  • Records management
  • Payroll

How Bob pricing works

Bob’s pricing is customized for your unique business needs. You must fill out their online form with your company information to schedule a demo and get your custom quote.

What markets does Bob serve?

Bob is the perfect HR software solution for companies focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion, employee satisfaction, and positive workplace culture. The social-media-like interface and easy-to-use tools emphasize anonymous feedback, allowing for inclusion and an employee-centric atmosphere.

homebase logo

Homebase – Best for Employee Scheduling and Time-Tracking

Homebase is one of the best free HR software tools for small businesses. It provides all the essential features, including employee scheduling and time tracking, hiring, onboarding, and payroll. There is even a free basic level that helps with employee scheduling and time tracking.

Pros
  • Free Basic plan
  • Mobile app to communicate schedules
  • One of the only vendors with employee scheduling
Cons
  • Limited customer service
  • Benefits administration is not available

Get Started Visit Homebase’s website

Homebase features

  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Employee scheduling and time tracking
  • Records management
  • Payroll

How Homebase pricing works

Homebase offers four plans starting with a free basic plan. Essentials, Plus, and All-in-one are paid plans starting at $20 per month per location. All the paid plans include unlimited employees and bills per location, making it an excellent option for companies with just one physical location. Fully integrated payroll with timesheets is available as an add-on for $39 per month plus $6 per employee.

What markets does Homebase serve?

Homebase works great for small and mid-sized businesses with varying employee schedules, like restaurants or retail businesses. The handy employee scheduling, time sheets, and employee app for scheduling communication ensure no shift is missed. It’s also a great deal for companies with just one location and less than 20 employees that can take advantage of the robust free plan.

Read our full Homebase Review.

goco logo

GoCo – Best Core HR Software

GoCo provides a range of HR services in a flexible way that is designed to work with your current software and human capital management (HCM) processes. Think of it as an a la carte menu where you can pick and choose what you need most to piece together the exact plan and customizable workflows you need. All the pieces to create a complete HR system are available, from new hire setup to payroll. GoCo truly stands out with MagicDocs, which serves as centralized employee record management. On the flip side, GoCo doesn’t offer a full ATS or employee scheduling – only time tracking.

Pros
  • Integrates with your current tech
  • Ability to pick and choose services
  • MagicDocs for employee records
Cons
  • Limited hiring support
  • No employee scheduling

GoCo features

  • Onboarding
  • Benefits administration
  • Time tracking
  • Records management
  • Payroll

How GoGo pricing works

GoCo pricing starts at $5 per employee per month. Beyond that, it depends on the plan you create. Since GoCo offers an a la carte menu of services, each plan is customizable and priced based on the individual company.

What markets does GoCo serve?

GoCo offers an entire suite of core HR and HRIS services. While it works with most industries and company sizes, it is the best fit for small companies who might not have the means to pay for a complete system and can instead piece together the core programs they need for a lower cost.

Read our full GoCo Review.

justworks logo

Justworks – Best PEO for Small Businesses

Justworks takes a different approach to HR services. It is a professional employer organization (PEO), meaning that instead of offering software you run yourself, it takes on the role of co-employer and runs certain services on your behalf, such as payroll. You need at least two employees to use Justworks, and they offer a simplified service that covers all your bases, from hiring and onboarding to benefits and payroll.

Pros
  • Educational aspect great for startups
  • As a PEO, it reduces your liability
  • Robust onboarding including W2 preparation
Cons
  • Does not offer employee scheduling
  • Higher-priced than other options

Get Started Link: Visit Justworks’ website for a free trial

Justworks features

  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Benefits administration
  • Employee scheduling and time tracking
  • Records management
  • Payroll

How Justworks pricing works

As the name suggests, Justworks is just that simple. It offers just two plans: Basic and Plus. Both plans are a monthly rate per employee and are reduced by $10 per employee once you hit 50 employees. The Basic plan starts at $59 per employee per month and includes HR, payroll, benefits, and compliance. The Plus plan adds even more employee benefits.

What markets does Justworks serve?

Justworks is an excellent choice in several different cases. First, companies that don’t have a dedicated HR department might consider Justworks so they can delegate their HR tasks and focus on other business needs. Second, if a company has high employee turnover or complicated hires, using Justworks makes sense. Finally, startups will find Justworks helpful as they focus on educating and not just doing. Startups can learn how to onboard and how to work with a PEO.

Read our full Justworks Review.

paychex logo

Paychex – Best for All-In-One Software

Paychex offers the best of both the payroll and HR worlds. Originally a payroll software, HR services were quick to follow. Proactive HR solutions include benefits, time and attendance, compliance, hiring, and onboarding. A robust self-service employee portal is included, and PEO services are available if needed. Using Paychex’s HR services allows you to attract and retain the best talent and manage compliance and your workforce all under one platform.

Pros
  • Robust, feature-rich software
  • 24/7 customer service is available
  • User-friendly interface
Cons
  • No free trial
  • HR only available in higher-level plans

Get Started Visit Paychex’s website.

Paychex features

  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Benefits administration
  • Employee scheduling and time tracking
  • Records management
  • Payroll

What markets does Paychex serve?

Paychex is best for businesses looking to increase their profitability and profits. Through a proactive HR approach, you can attract and retain the best employees and proactively manage their growth and performance. With many add-ons, you can create a customizable and effective plan for your exact needs, while robust reporting lets you make data-driven, informed decisions.

Read our full Paychex Review.

namely logo

Namely – Best for Mid-Sized Businesses

Namely offers a complete HRIS system for mid-size companies. It excels in payroll, where it’s easy and convenient for managers and employees. You can run payroll in 15 to 20 minutes, even if for mid-size companies. In addition to payroll, companies can choose to add on HR tools, recruiting, onboarding, benefits, and time tracking.

Pros
  • Data migration included
  • Payroll and benefits outsourcing available
  • Extensive help library
Cons
  • Best for teams with 25+ employees
  • No free trial

Namely features

  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Benefits administration
  • Employee scheduling and time tracking
  • Records management
  • Payroll

How Namely pricing works

Namely does not provide pricing information upfront. You must request a call and speak to a company representative to get a custom quote.

Companies can choose between two tracks of payroll and benefits software – one that you manage in-house and another that’s fully managed for you. The latter is more expensive, so you’ll need to request a quote.

What markets does Namely serve?

Namely markets itself towards mid-sized businesses, specifically stating it works best for companies with 25 to 1,000 employees. As an HR and payroll solution in one, it works in several industries, including but not limited to e-commerce, finance, life sciences, and technology.

Read our full Namely Review.

zenefits logo

Zenefits – Best for Compliance Support

Zenefits makes assembling a complete HR system in one streamlined, intuitive platform easy. They offer core HR, record management, scheduling, onboarding, payroll, benefits, and recruiting. It stands out for its compliance management with a compliance monitoring dashboard and automatic COBRA and tax calculations.

Pros
  • Compliance dashboard
  • Performance management tools
  • Employee self-service portal
Cons
  • A minimum of five employees required
  • Must use and pay your own benefits broker

Zenefits features

  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Benefits administration
  • Employee scheduling and time tracking
  • Records management
  • Payroll

How Zenefits pricing works

Zenefits offers three base plans: Essentials, Growth, and Zen. The Essentials plan starts at $8 per employee per month, while Zen is $21 per employee per month. The three Basic plans offer varying degrees of onboarding, employee management features, scheduling, and time tracking. Add-ons to each plan consist of payroll, recruiting, advisory services, and benefits administration. Prices for add-ons range from $5 per employee per month for benefits to a flat $35 per month fee for recruiting.

What markets does Zenefits serve?

You must have at least five employees to sign up for Zenefits. Beyond that, it works best for companies that must follow strict regulations and need extra help monitoring compliance, such as those in healthcare, financial services, and nonprofits. Still, the plans are not limited to those industries.

Read our full Zenefits Review.

Compare the best HR software side-by-side

Software Name Why we picked It Starting price for the cheapest plan Highlights
BambooHR Best for Hiring and Onboarding Request a quote Easy-to-use ATS that connects to job boards for streamlined hiring and onboarding
Deel Best Payroll and HR Software Starting at $49 / month Global payroll in over 150 countries in over 90 currencies
Transformify Best for a Global Workforce $60 /posting AI-powered analytics
Remote Best HR Software with EOR Services HR services are free (EOR starts at $599/employee/mo) Unlimited users allowed in all plans
Gusto Best for Small Teams and Startups Starting at $6 / month per contractor Unique contractor-only plan that waives the monthly base fee
HiBob Best for People Management Request a quote Tools that encourage employee feedback, inclusion, and a positive work culture
Homebase Best for Employee Scheduling and Time Tracking Starting at $20 / month per location Employee scheduling tools such as a mobile app to communicate schedules, time off approvals, and shift exchanges
GoCo Best for Core HR Starting at $5 / month per employee A la carte choices to keep costs down and integrate with your current processes
Justworks Best PEO for SMBs Starting at $59 / month per employee Takes on liability and handles many processes for you so you can focus on other business areas
Paychex Best for All-In-One Software Starting at $39 per month + $5 per person Offers PEO, payroll, and HR services
Namely Best for Mid-Sized Businesses Request a quote Two levels of payroll and benefits offered with HR add ons
Zenefits Best for Compliance Support Starting at $8 / month per employee Full core HR and payroll offering as well as compliance dashboard

What is HR software?

HR software stores employee data and supports HR functions like payroll, employee benefits, recruiting, training, talent management, offboarding, and more. Most HR software systems are cloud-based and can be purchased as a subscription on a monthly basis, while other processes can be outsourced for another company to handle completely. An example of outsourced HR would be having a company run your payroll for you.

Types of HR Software

There are many types of HR software platforms that can significantly improve your workforce management processes. Some offer a variety of modules to help with HR, while others provide just one piece to help with a specific HR process. Let’s take a look:

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

These are designed specifically for managing and streamlining the recruiting and hiring process. Applicant tracking systems can assist in optimizing job postings and provide notifications so you never miss an important task during the recruitment process. BambooHR is an excellent example of an ATS. We think ApplicantPro, Avature, Freshteam, Greenhouse, Teamtailor, and Workable are great options too.

Employee scheduling software

Just as it sounds, this type of HR software is used to schedule employees, track overtime, and trade shifts. These workforce management tools provide real-time insights into staff availability and skill sets for better decision-making. Homebase, 7Shifts, and Deputy are some of our favorites.

Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)

Also often called human resource management systems (HRMS), this core HR software helps you manage employee information. It is typically used by HR professionals and companies with bigger budgets and 50 or more employees to manage. We tested many HRIS software providers and found that HiBob, GoCo, BambooHR, Namely, and Zenefits are all great options to consider.

Learning management systems

Businesses of all sizes use learning management systems to develop training courses, organize materials in a course library, run assessments, and issue certificates based on the results. Absorb LMS and TalentLMS are great for companies that need to facilitate training in locations where HR staff isn’t present. Incorporating a user-friendly learning management system into your onboarding process makes compliance training easier, keeping your organization safe and aware of workplace hazards.

Onboarding software

These programs offer a centralized dashboard that tracks and communicates new hire tasks and progress. Creating a positive onboarding experience can increase employee retention rates, and onboarding software makes it easy to create personalized and engaging experiences your employees will love.

Payroll software

Helps you ensure employees are paid accurately and on time and assists in payroll tax compliance. We think Deel, Gusto, Justworks, Paycor, ADP, Patriot, and SurePayroll are good options to consider.

Professional Employer Organization (PEO)

These firms allow you to outsource many of your HR functions by taking on the co-employer role and managing specific HR processes and liability. Justworks, Rippling, Papaya Global, and Remote are some of the top PEO companies we recommend.

Time-tracking software

This type of HR software is used to track how employees spend their time. Time tracking increases employee productivity, and while many HR software companies have time-tracking features built-in, others like TimeTrakGO offer simple and inexpensive time-tracking solutions if that’s all you really need.

Important HR software features

With an eye on the future of HR, we found the key features of HR software include payroll, hiring, employee onboarding, benefits management, and time tracking (which is especially important with remote workers). Some cover even more aspects of the employee lifecycle with compliance tools, people management, time tracking, employee performance reviews, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) tools.

Dashboards display information that is stored and easy to find. Depending on the features offered by that particular software, it could store information focused on one thing like payroll or many things like employee records, timesheets, and benefits.

Benefits of HR software

There are many benefits to using HR software, including streamlined processes, organized employee data, increased employee engagement, and saving time and money.

Companies that use third-party HR services have an easier time maintaining compliance. Outsourcing HR tasks like payroll can help companies ensure their tax filing deadlines and deposit requirements are done on time and accurately. Plus, when companies utilize these tools, employees are more likely to feel heavily committed to their employer.

How much does HR software cost?

The cost of HR software varies a lot. Most HR software providers charge a monthly fee per employee. Some tack on a monthly base fee as well. GoCo is a low-cost HR software, starting at just $5 per employee per month. Justworks is one of the most expensive options on our list at $59 per employee per month. Gusto tacks on a monthly base fee charging $40 per month plus $6 per employee per month. Homebase charges per location instead of by the employee.

Some free HR management software plans exist, including one from Homebase and one from Deel. Gusto waives its monthly base fee if a company only pays contractors, making it only $6 a month per contractor. On the flip side BambooHR, Namely, and HiBob offer highly customizable plans and, so you’ll need to speak to a company representative and request a quote.

HR Software Pricing Comparison
Gusto Homebase Zenefits GoCo
Starting at $40/month Starting at $20/month Starting at $8/month Starting at $5/month
Plus $6 per person/month Per location Per user Per user

HR Software Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What should you look for in HR software?

The best HR software features include employee records management, hiring and onboarding tools, benefits administration, employee scheduling and time tracking, and payroll. HR software companies can offer all or some of these and provide other key features as add-ons, such as compliance tools and performance management. Ultimately you should identify your exact HR needs, keep track of HR trends, and find a core HR software that aligns with your business needs.

What is HR software used for?

Companies of all sizes use human resources software to help them run payroll, streamline processes, and organize and store employee data so they can save time and money. The most popular HR software also helps companies stay tax and payroll compliant, retain talent, and ensure that employees get paid accurately and on time.

Which is the best HR software?

The best HR software is one that aligns with your specific needs. We recommend collecting quotes from two or three companies on our list before deciding which software platform to use. Start by deciding which priorities are at the top of your list and which HR processes you already have a good grasp on. Search for software that solves your biggest problems. That will be the best HR software for you.

How we choose the best HR software

We curated a list of more than 70 HR software companies on the market and identified 22 popular vendors with significant online presence to narrow our focus. From there, we chose nine vendors that stood out for the features they offered, the markets they serve, their brand reputation, and more.

We collected information from vendors and verified it through:

  • Interviews
  • Video and live demos
  • Vendor and parent company websites

We scored companies on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) across the following criteria, each worth 25% of our total score:

  • Variety of features: We looked for vendors that offer hiring and onboarding tools, benefits administration, employee scheduling and time tracking, employee records management, and payroll services. A company scores higher when they offer all of these features, as it means a more streamlined experience for employees and higher productivity and efficiency for HR teams.
  • Pricing transparency: We compare actual pricing and plans for each vendor and judge companies on whether or not this information is readily available online – or if you have to go through a custom quote process to get it. Companies with transparent pricing and free trials get better scores in this area.
  • Onboarding and support: We look for companies that offer multiple types of ongoing customer support and if data migration and onboarding are included or only available as an add-on service.
  • Brand reputation: We gathered data about customer reviews and ratings published on trustworthy third-party review sites to understand each vendor’s reputation with its customers.