The Best HRIS for Small Business – Top 7 Reviewed for 2024

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The best HRIS solution for small businesses should be user-friendly, cost-effective, and flexible enough to adapt to your unique processes and workflows. It should also enable you to manage all the essential HR functions easily.

To help you find the best HRIS system for small business, we have carefully evaluated and compared various options and compiled a list of pros and cons for each one. This will help you to narrow down your choices and make an informed decision on the most suitable HRIS solution for your company.

The Best HRIS Software for Small Business

Here’s our list of the top HRIS software solutions in 2024, along with their strongest points:

  1. Rippling — Best for customized workflows
  2. Deel — Best for global payroll and localized benefits
  3. Monday — Best for tracking applicants and onboard
  4. Zoho People — Best all-in-one HR tool
  5. Sage HR — Best for performance and shift management
  6. Zenefits — Best for management of key HR practices
  7. Bambee — Best for outsourcing HR functions

The Best Small Business HRIS Systems Reviewed

Here are our in-depth reviews of the best HRIS for small businesses so you can see exactly what different providers offer and choose the platform that best aligns with the needs of your business.

1. Rippling — Best for custom workflows

Rippling Logo

Best For Best for custom workflows
Free Version Demo only
Starting Price $8/user/month
Payroll Yes
Benefits Administration Yes
Why We Picked It

Rippling is one of the highest-rated dedicated HRIS products on the market, and for good reason. It offers absolutely everything you need to manage all aspects of your HR, from global payroll and benefits to recruiting, employee development, and benefits.

The platform is an excellent choice for small businesses employing international workers or contractors. It has built-in time tracking, so everyone can easily clock in and out. After hours are approved by managers, they’re automatically synced with the payroll, ensuring everyone is paid correctly for the work they’ve done.


Custom Workflows – With Rippling, you can create a custom workflow to automate the entire payroll process, saving a ton of valuable time and removing the possibility of human error.

You can also set up custom review cycles, allow all decision-makers to provide input and feedback on each employee, and nominate people for promotions.

Payroll When it comes to payroll, you can complete everything in as little as 90 seconds, thanks to automated data entry and calculations. The platform even automatically calculates and files taxes, categorizes and syncs payroll data, and pays your workers in their currency of choice.

Hiring –  You can sync your ATS with Rippling to keep track of all new candidates, provide your hiring managers and department heads with the HRIS tools and information they need to make the right hiring decisions and automate everything from follow-up emails to interview scheduling.

Performance – When it comes to performance management, Rippling lets you assign company-wide goals and OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), as well as individual KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), making it easy to track progress and productivity levels.

The platform also provides historical performance data and automatically calculates and recommends pay increases based on increased productivity levels and the individual’s contribution to the overall success of the company.


Rippling uses a module-based pricing structure. That means you can pick and choose which solutions within the HR cloud you want to implement for your business and pay accordingly.

Pricing starts at $8/month per user and builds from there.

The available modules include:

  • US and Global Full-Service Payroll
  • Time & Attendance
  • Benefits Administration
  • Recruiting
  • Learning Management
  • Headcount Planning
  • Performance Management & Surveys
  • HR Support Desk
  • PEO Services
  • EOR Services
Who's It Best For?

As one of the most popular HRIS solutions, Rippling is suitable for just about any small business. The system allows for custom workflows, which means you can adapt it to fit your business perfectly, and thanks to its module-based pricing system, you only have to pay for the support that your business requires.

Pros pros

  • Incredibly intuitive and easy to use
  • ATS integration and streamlined candidate management
  • Company-wide goal setting and individual KPIs for easier performance management
  • Global payroll runs are completed in 90 seconds
  • The ability to pay contractors and hourly workers in their local currency
  • Easy benefits administration with third-party broker support

Cons cons

  • Doesn’t offer a free trial
  • Not suitable for smaller businesses

Read our full Rippling review


2. Deel — Best global payroll and benefits

Deel Logo

Best For Global payroll and localized benefits
Free Version Free-forever for basic HR and admin
Starting Price – $49/user/month (contractor)
– Custom quote for global payroll
Payroll Yes
Benefits Administration Yes
Why We Picked It

Deel is a simple, straightforward platform that lets you handle all HR-related tasks with ease from a single platform. One of Deel’s strong suits is its automated, fully compliant global payroll. You can pay contractors, part-time workers, and full-time employees in bulk with minimal effort since the platform handles everything from time tracking and tax calculations to paid leave, benefits, and payslips.

You’ll also be able to offer your team up to 15 different payment options, including payments in local currencies.


Employee Data – Every team member will have a dedicated profile within the Deel platform, so you’ll be able to easily manage your workforce, see team dependencies, manage compensation and titles, share crucial business documents, and see every personnel change in a detailed change log.

Onboarding – Deel also facilitates the onboarding of new hires by localizing everything so you’ll know exactly what country-specific documents you’ll need to prepare and how to structure compensation based on the industry average for roles in a given country.

This ensures your business stays compliant and that you offer competitive salaries to satisfy employees and reduce turnover.

Localized Benefits – A great aspect of Deel, especially for businesses with an international workforce, is the ability to offer localized benefits to your team members around the globe. The platform lets you easily connect with local vendors to create custom benefits packages for team members in different countries.

Integrations – In addition to Deel’s features, you’ll be able to integrate a variety of other third-party apps, thanks to the Deel API (Application Programming Interface), so you’ll be able to sync your entire software stack and access all the pertinent information in one place.

This way, Deel eliminates the need for duplicate data entry, minimizes the possibility of errors, and provides you with a holistic view of your organization, employer costs, headcount, and churn.


Deel offers a core HR platform alongside four add-on services.

Plan Starting Price Key Features
Core HR Free for teams of up to 200 people The core platform which includes the basic HR functionality
EOR $599/month Employer of record services with localized benefits packages to your global workforce management
Contractor $49/month Hire and pay international contractors and stay compliant with local tax laws
Global Payroll Custom Full-service global handling with full compliance for full-time employees
Immigration Custom Visa and immigration support
Who's It Best For?

Deel is a top HRIS system for small companies that are or want to be, global. This is thanks to its international payroll functionality and localized benefits administration.

Pros pros

  • Fully automated, compliant global payroll
  • A comprehensive view of your entire workforce
  • The ability to offer tailored, localized benefits packages
  • Easy integration with third-party apps thanks to the Deel API
  • Superb security and full GDPR, SOC2, and ISO 27001 compliance

Cons cons

  • Different features are individually priced
  • Limited performance management tools

Read our full Deel review


3. Monday — Best applicant tracking system and onboarding

A logo of Monday

Best For Applicant tracking and onboarding
Free Version Free-forever (2 seats)
Starting Price $8/seat/month
Payroll Requires integration
Benefits Administration No
Why We Picked It

Monday is a powerful work management platform that streamlines and simplifies all aspects of work, from project management and marketing to HR and operations. It’s also a fully customizable solution, so it’s easy to adapt it to your business’s specific needs.

When it comes to HR capabilities, Monday acts as a central hub for your HR department and lets you handle every aspect of recruitment, employee management, onboarding, and payroll from a single platform.


Talent Management – You’ll have valuable insights into your entire recruitment pipeline, so your HR, managers, and team leads can quickly access all the information for each potential new hire, including their CV and portfolio, references, and status.

Every status is color-coded, so you’ll be able to see what stage each candidate is in at a glance, as well as the percentage of applicants vs. new hires.

Onboarding – What’s great about Monday is that it makes onboarding new hires a breeze. You can utilize a pre-built template and adapt it to your company’s unique onboarding process to ensure a smooth experience for new hires.

All your HR team will have to do is change their status to “onboarding,” and they’ll automatically receive all the documents they need and credentials to access the key services they’ll be using in their new role. Given all this, we rate Monday among the best applicant tracking systems.

Performance Management – When it comes to existing employees, Monday makes it easy to manage the performance review process by letting you efficiently organize review meetings and keep track of outcomes.

You can schedule recurring performance reviews every quarter, once every six months, or on an annual basis, and will have access to all the key data needed to make decisions, including hours worked, successfully completed projects, productivity levels, and other relevant metrics.

PTO – Monday also comes with a built-in Leave Tracker, so you can approve leave requests and see how a particular employee’s absence will impact your monthly capacity – so you can plan your projects and due dates accordingly.

Workflows – The platform comes with a variety of professional templates you can choose from and adapt to your business processes, but it also gives you the option to create custom workflows from scratch using an intuitive drag-and-drop editor. As such, Monday is an excellent choice for businesses regardless of industry and number of employees.


Monday offers four priced plans and one completely free plan for up to 2 users.

Plan Starting Price Key Features
Free Free for up to 2 users For individuals to keep track of their work
Basic $9/month per user Manage your team’s work in one place
Standard $12/month per user Collaboration and workflow optimization across teams
Pro $19/month per user Complex workflow management
Enterprise Custom Custom
Who's It Best For?

Monday is suitable for small companies with an established HR team where the tool can be used as a centralized hub for hiring and all internal processes, documentation, and tasks.

Pros pros

  • Offers a free-forever plan for up to two seats
  • Facilitates recruitment pipeline management
  • Lets you onboard new hires with ease
  • Can be fully customized to align with your unique business processes
  • Simplifies attendance and time tracking and performance reviews

Cons cons

  • Doesn’t offer payroll processing services
  • Time tracking is only available on higher price plans

Read our full review


4. Zoho People — Best all-in-one HR tool

A logo of Zoho

Best For Strong all-around HR tool
Free Version 30-day free trial
Starting Price $1/user/month
Payroll Yes
Benefits Administration Yes
Why We Picked It

Zoho People is a cloud-based HR platform that helps you simplify and streamline your HR operations, hire and retain top talent, run accurate payroll runs, and efficiently manage all your employees.

The product functions as a central depository of all employee information, allowing you to streamline data collection, securely store all information, and keep everything neatly organized.


Document Management – To make document management easier, you’ll have a centralized hub where you can securely share all key HR documents with your team, such as HR policies, knowledge bases, and training materials.

Employee Self-Service – All employees will have access to a self-service portal where they can track time and attendance, see their personal goals, access all key work files, submit leave requests, and plan their work on an integrated calendar.

Zoho People also helps you create standardized HR workflows for anything from employee onboarding to equipment requests.

Employee Queries – You’ll also be able to effortlessly manage all employee queries by creating a comprehensive FAQ section that provides all the necessary information on comp and benefits, paid leave, travel, training, health insurance, and everything else your employees might be interested in.

Payroll – You can also utilize Zoho People to run payroll, ensure accuracy by drawing data directly from time and attendance trackers, and pay everyone on time using their preferred payment method.

The platform even lets you add personalized salary components for each employee, so it can automatically calculate bonuses, overtime, deductions, and reimbursements, saving you a ton of valuable time.

Tracking – Lastly, Zoho People gives both employees and their managers all the data they need to track project progress, monitor performance, and increase productivity. This includes personalized reports for each employee, comprehensive team reports for managers, and business trends for executives.


With Zoho People, you can choose the Essential HR plan for only $1/month or opt for one of their four priced tiers, which offer more complex functionality.

Plan Starting Price Key Features
Essential HR $1.04/month per user billed annually Basic HR features
Professional $1.88/month per user billed annually Shift management and job scheduling
Premium $3.14/month per user billed annually Performance tracking and advanced analytics
Enterprise $5/month per user billed annually LMS and assessments
People Plus $8/month per user billed annually Custom
Who's It Best For?

As the most affordable HRIS system, Zoho People is a good option for any small company that needs a all-in-one solution with a tight budget.

Pros pros

  • Most affordable small business HRIS
  • A centralized hub for employee information and resources
  • Excellent customization options for forms and HR workflows
  • Attendance, time tracking, leave, and performance management
  • Easy-to-use employee self-service portal with goal-tracking

Cons cons

  • Tons of users, so customer support can be slow at times
  • Restrictions on the number of users and custom reports

Read our full Zoho review


5. Sage HR — Best for performance management

A logo of Sage

Best For Performance and shift management
Free Version 30-day free trial
Starting Price $5.50/month per employee
Payroll Paid add-on
Benefits Administration Paid add-on
Why We Picked It

Sage HR is a sage module specifically designed for small business needs. It helps you handle all the core HR tasks, from shift scheduling and leave management to recruitment, timesheets, and expenses.

With Sage HR, you can centralize your employee information on one platform and streamline communication and reporting. Employees will have easy remote access to schedules, company policies, and payslips, which alleviates a lot of the pressure from your HR department and improves efficiency.


Tracking & Performance – You can share goals with everyone on your team to ensure everyone’s on the same page, track progress against deadlines, and monitor every individual’s performance.

In addition to managers, team members can also provide feedback on other employee’s performance, so you’ll get a 360-degree view of every worker and will be able to easily identify and reward your best-performing people. Overall, we rank it as one of the best performance management software solutions around.

Integrated Calendar – Sage HR also features an integrated calendar that makes leave management simple. You’ll be able to see everyone’s sick days, paid vacations, and unpaid days off on the same calendar, which makes it infinitely easier to plan shifts according to capacity and adjust deadlines and reprioritize tasks.

That said, a downside of Sage is that most of its functions are separated into different modules, all of which you’d have to pay for separately. So, if you want to use Sage for payroll, you’ll have to pay extra for it. Plus, you won’t be able to calculate your costs upfront since you’ll have to contact the company for a personalized quote.


Sage’s pricing is taking a modular approach, combined with the number of employees. That means you only pay for the functionality you’re after and in line with the size of your business.

We’ve listed below the different pricing for each module.

Module Starting Price Key Features
Core HR $5.50/month per employee Core HR functionality
Timesheets $3/month per employee Tracking overtime
Performance $3/month per employee Goal-setting, 360 feedback
Expenses $1.5/month per employee Submit and manage expenses
Shift Scheduling $3/month per employee Shift planning
Recruitment $200/month Manage recruitment process
Who's It Best For?

Sage is an excellent HRIS software for businesses that require shift management features, such as restaurants or retail shops. As you only pay for the modules you require, Sage can end up being a cost-effective choice that can easily grow with your business.

Pros pros

  • A centralized hub for employee records
  • Excellent employee self-service portal
  • Streamlined reporting and performance management
  • Integrated calendar for effortless leave management and shift scheduling
  • Wide variety of add-ons and integrations

Cons cons

  • No public payment information
  • Core HR features are split into different, individually priced modules

Read our full Sage HR review


6. Zenefits — Best for key HR management

TriNet Zenefits Logo

Best For Management of key HR functions
Free Version 14-day free trial
Starting Price $8/employee/month
Payroll Yes
Benefits Administration Yes
Why We Picked It

Zenefits is an all-in-one HR software for small businesses, with hiring, payroll, time & attendance tracking, and benefits administration all integrated into a single platform.

If you’re looking to grow your team, Zenefits is an incredible option. It lets you create customized compensation packages, utilize templates to send professional offer emails to your best candidates, and perform detailed background checks directly from the platform.


New Employee Onboarding – When a candidate accepts, they can self-onboard on the platform since they’ll have access to all the key documents, benefits packages, and payroll information in one place. All you need to do is upload your docs and configure the onboarding process once, and every new employee will be able to onboard themselves.

Employee Management – Zenefits is great for employee management. Every team member has a personal profile they need to fill out, where they can share information and ways to contact them. Their profiles are linked to dynamic organization charts, so every team member will know exactly who they’re working with, who they report to, and how to reach out to them.

PTO – With Zenefits, you can also automate PTO requests to ensure everyone adheres to your company’s PTO policies, effortlessly manage leave requests, and understand your team’s capacity. The data is automatically synced with payroll, so you’ll know exactly how many days and hours each team member has put in.

This is great not only for full-time workers on your payroll but also for contractors and freelancers since you’ll be able to easily track their hours worked and auto-calculate their monthly compensation without any room for error.

Benefits Management – And if it wasn’t apparent from the tool’s name, Zenefits also lets you build and administer the best benefits plans for your employees. Whether you’re already offering benefits or are looking to incorporate them for the first time, the company will provide guidance and help you build benefits packages to attract and retain top performers.

Employees can learn more about the packages and enroll directly from the Zenefits platform, saving everyone a lot of valuable time. You’ll also be able to easily track benefits utilization to better understand what benefits your employees enjoy the most and, if necessary, modify your packages in the future.


Zenefits has three pricing plans to choose from, which cover all basic HR tools. The pricing structure is based on a per-employee basis, and if your company has over 50 employees, a $1,500 implementation fee will be added as a one-off cost.

Plan Starting Price Key Features
Essentials $8/month per employee billed annually Basic HR functionality
Growth $16/month per employee billed annually Performance management
Zen $27/month per employee billed annually People hub and Payroll

In addition to the plans above you have the option to add:

  • Payroll ($6/month per employee)
  • Advisory Services ($8/month per employee)
  • Benefits Admin (Custom pricing)
  • Recruiting (From $35/month)
Who's It Best For?

Any small company that wants a one-stop-shop solution would be happy to go with Zenefits. From employee onboarding support and automation in place, it’s one of the most popular HRIS systems on the market.

Pros pros

  • All key HR functions integrated into one platform
  • Excellent onboarding functionality with custom compensation plans
  • Self-onboarding for new hires
  • Automated PTO requests that sync with payroll
  • Professional help setting up and administering benefits packages

Cons cons

  • Slow support response times
  • No dedicated HR manager support

Read our full Zenefits review


7. Bambee — Best for outsourcing HR

Bambee Logo

Best For Outsourcing HR functions
Free Version 1 month for $1
Starting Price $99+/month
Payroll Yes
Benefits Administration No
Why We Picked It

Bambee is a service that lets you completely outsource your HR and put it on autopilot so you can focus on growing your business and maximizing your profit.

It’s designed for small businesses that are just getting started and need help from HR professionals to develop HR policies, hire and onboard new employees, design training and development programs, and handle payroll and benefits.


Dedicated HR Manager & HR Audit – When you sign up for Bambee, you’ll get assigned a dedicated HR manager who will take care of all your HR-related tasks and set you up for success. This includes an HR audit to identify your HR gaps and potential compliance risks, develop compliant HR policies, and help resolve any HR issues your company might be facing.

Training – When it comes to training and certifications, Bambee handles all the mandatory programs like business ethics, workplace safety, and sexual harassment.

The HR manager will take note of everyone’s progress and report back to you on a regular basis. Not that they can’t run any industry-specific training or employee development — this will still fall on you and your managers/department heads.

Performance Tracking – That said, Bambee will let you easily track the performance of each individual employee against their goals and set KPIs. You’ll be able to provide constructive feedback, give praise or take corrective action, and open up honest, transparent dialogue about potential raises for your top performers.

Employee Voices – Another excellent use case for Bambee is monitoring employee morale and understanding the hurdles your team might be facing in their day-to-day work.

The Employee Voices platform lets them voice their opinions and ideas, give feedback on their managers, scope of work, and work atmosphere, as well as express gratitude and share their wins. The feedback can be fully anonymous, which gives your employees an option to voice their opinions without fear of consequences.


Bambee has six pricing plans based on the number of employees. The contents of each plan are similar, with a growing number of policies and support.

You can, in addition to the below plans, try Bambee for 1 month for only $1.

Plan Starting Price Key Features
0 Employees $99/month Basic HR features
1-4 Employees $299/month + $500 set-up fee Personalized HR support
5-19 Employees $399 + $500 set-up fee 4 custom HR policies
20-49 Employees $499 + $1500 set-up fee 8 custom HR policies
50-70 Employees> $1299 + $2000 set-up fee 12 custom HR policies
71+ Employees Custom Custom
Who's It Best For?

Bambee HR is one of the top HRIS systems for small companies for outsourcing HR tasks. That makes it a good choice for small businesses that don’t have an internal HR team, allowing the business to keep growing with confidence that all HR policies are being set and followed properly.

Pros pros

  • Fully outsourced HR so you can focus on growing your business
  • Custom-crafted, compliant HR policies
  • Mandatory training for all your employees
  • Employee scorecards to monitor progress against goals
  • Employee platform to provide anonymous feedback and share thoughts

Cons cons

  • Gets progressively more expensive with each employee
  • No benefits administration
  • No mobile app available

Read our full Bambee review


The Best Small Business HRIS Comparison

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the best HRIS systems for small companies to provide a better overview of where different providers excel and how their pricing plans differ:

Small Business HRIS Best For Starting Price Free Version Payroll Benefits Administration
Rippling Custom workflows $8/user/month Demo only Yes Yes
Deel Global payroll and localized benefits – $49/month (contractor)
– Personalized quotes (global payroll)
Free-forever for basic HR and admin Yes Yes
Monday Applicant tracking and onboarding $8/user/month Free-forever (2 seats) Requires integration No
Zoho People Strong all-around HR tool $1/user/month 30-day free trial Yes Yes
Sage HR Performance and shift management $5.50/month per employee 30-day free trial Paid add-on Paid add-on
Zenefits Management of key HR functions $8/employee/month 14-day free trial Yes Yes
Bambee Outsourcing HR functions $99+/month No Yes No

How We Review And Test HR Products

To provide our readers with accurate and well-informed recommendations, we test the most popular HR products on the market to find the best options for you. Our methodology consists of the following criteria:

  • Features: We examine each product’s features to determine what capabilities are offered, and how well it performs crucial HR management tasks, such as tracking a sick leave.
  • Integrations: We evaluate the integrations of each piece of HR software to determine how well it fits in with other key pieces in a business’s software stack, and whether its functionality can be expanded as required.
  • User Experience: Usability is paramount when it comes to HR software. That’s why we put ourselves in the shoes of a new user, testing each platform to gain a firsthand understanding if the platform is easy to use or requires onboarding.
  • Price and Value for Money: Our approach to pricing involves a thorough review of the structure and plans offered by each platform. Beyond just the initial cost, we delve into the details to assess affordability and value for money.
  • Security: We dig into the security policies of each company, interrogating the safeguards they have in place to ensure the software protects user data properly.
  • Compliance: A critical requirement for most HR departments, we assess HR software on whether it offers local compliance when it comes to payroll, taxes, and more.
  • Reporting and Documentation: We look at the reporting and documentation capabilities of each software to make sure they offer comprehensive data sets, takeaways, and collaboration options for documentation.

What Can HRIS Systems Do for a Small Business?

There are many benefits of having a human resource information system in place, regardless of how big or small your business is.

Small businesses, in particular, will greatly benefit from the improved organization and enhanced efficiency these services provide, as well as the insights gathered from keeping accurate records of all employees in one place.

Here’s a quick rundown of the key benefits of an HRIS:

Streamlined Applicant Tracking

It will prove invaluable for a growing team. Rather than manually tracking everything in spreadsheets and wasting time connecting names to emails, portfolios, and test assignments, you’ll have all the info on each candidate organized in a comprehensive candidate profile.

Fast and Accurate Payroll Runs

It helps ensure everyone in the company gets paid correctly and on time and eliminates the possibility of human error. Payroll runs will be faster, and you can get accurate information on hours worked for each employee. It also takes into account paid and unpaid leave, sick leave, vacations, overtime, and taxes.

Hassle-Free Benefits Administration

Keeping track of who signed up for what benefits and what services they’ve used can be tiresome. With an HRIS, you’ll see exactly what people applied for, which services are the most used, and how many days off every employee has at any given time.

Accurate Time and Attendance Tracking

With an HRIS, you can do away with attendance spreadsheets. Everyone’s attendance is tracked from the moment they log into their work computer, so you’ll see exactly when everyone came in and how many hours they put in each day.


Most businesses need to collect and store data on employees for compliance reasons. On top of basic information like names, phone numbers, and addresses, you’ll likely need emergency contact details, citizen identification information for taxes, and expiration dates for licenses and certifications. It’s often required that this is stored on secure online servers to adhere to GDPR rules, for example – so you can’t rely on Excel.

A Data-Driven HR Strategy

With all the key HR data at your fingertips, it’ll be much easier to develop an efficient strategy and improve aspects of your business, like onboarding, training, capacity planning, engaging and retaining employees, and achieving alignment with core company values.

In short, an HRIS makes it easy to collect, store, and maintain employee data, streamlines every HR and admin task, and provides you with the vital information you need to make smart business decisions and ensure productivity.

Amanda RajkumarHR Expert

“In my career, I’ve experienced firms with a lack of investment in systems across HR departments – they seem low priority but they could not be more important.”

What’s the Difference Between HRIS, HCM, and HRMS Solutions?

To understand the subtle differences between these three terms, we have to look at what they stand for. Here’s a quick explanation of the acronyms:

  • HRIS — Human Resource Information System
  • HRMS — Human Resources Management System
  • HCM — Human Capital Management

HRIS typically denotes a fully connected data management system. It acts as a centralized hub with all the information on your employees and the candidates in your pipeline.

You can think of it as a data repository that stores everything from your employee’s name, address, payment information, and contracts and documents required for compliance with data regarding their attendance, paid leave, and performance.

HRMS expands on this and adds features and functionality facilitating employee management, such as shift scheduling, performance reviews, benefits, training, payroll, employee engagement, and more.

Nowadays, the subtle distinctions between the two terms have faded, and they’re mostly used interchangeably. Businesses aren’t simply looking for a place to store their employees’ data but rather a robust platform that can help streamline every aspect of HR.

Both HRIS and HRMS are commonly used to refer to online platforms that facilitate recruiting, employee management, payroll, and benefits administration.

The same is true for HCM, though the term is primarily reserved for cloud-based applications designed to improve employee experience, meaning products that feature employee self-service portals, communication features, file sharing, and reporting, and support personal development by providing access to tools and courses that support professional development.

Key Features to Consider When Buying HR Management Software for a Small Business

Finding the best HR system for small business can be difficult, especially as there are so many different HR tools on the market. The most common HRIS systems are straightforward, with only a handful of features, but you can also find complex platforms that would likely require months of training and a dedicated HR team to utilize properly.

That’s why it’s vital to understand exactly what features and functionality your business will benefit from and choose a solution accordingly.

So, what should you look for when searching for the best HR software for small businesses?

Ease of useFeatures on the chosen planCustomizationIntegrationsPricing

Ease of use — As a small business, you’re stretched thin, so you can’t afford to spend months learning how to use a complex HR tool. That’s why you should opt for a solution with an intuitive User Interface, templates that you can easily adapt to your purposes, and automatic attendance/time tracking and payroll.

Features on the chosen plan — When comparing different providers, make sure to understand what features they offer on different pricing plans. Carefully go through the list of features available with each subscription tier and make sure the tool offers everything you need at a reasonable price point.

Customization — There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to HR information systems. That’s why it’s best to opt for a flexible HRIS that lets you fully customize the HR templates, create custom views, set up your own automations, and tailor other aspects of the tool according to your needs.

Integrations — If you’re already using an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) tool for benefits administration, you ideally want to opt for a HRIS that integrates with your existing software stack. This way, you’ll have access to all the information in one place instead of going back and forth between multiple apps.

Pricing — HR information systems often have convoluted pricing structures, so we strongly advise you to take your time to understand what all the different options are and what features you’ll have access to on different plans.


Why should you use an HRIS?

What are the top 5 HRIS systems?

Are HRIS solutions secure?

Can an HRIS system help with compliance and regulatory requirements?

How much do HRIS systems cost?

Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert
Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…