7 min read
Sep 16, 2020
Human Resources

The Best HR Software for Small Businesses

HR software is one of the first things your business should invest in, but with hundreds of products on the market, it’s hard to know where to start. Use this guide to learn about four of the best HR tools for small businesses.

Sierra RogersContent Writer

Unless your business is a one-man show, one of the first things you need to figure out is how you’ll pay your employees. If you were operating a hundred years ago, you could probably just toss them a bag of cash, but today’s ever-changing tax laws mean you need a better system than that. Not to mention payroll is just one piece of an HR system. 

In fact, with every new year comes new employment laws, which means small businesses have to balance staying competitive with staying up-to-date. For those working with a filing cabinet system, that’s a surefire way to end up with mistakes, processing delays, and even legal fines.

Luckily, human resources software can help your business avoid these pitfalls. These systems can automate recordkeeping and administrative tasks as well as keep you in compliance — not to mention, help your HR department find and retain quality hires. In other words, if you’re starting or growing your small business, investing in HR software should be a top priority. 

What is HR software?

Human resources software is a broad category of tools that help businesses recruit, hire, manage, and develop employees. 

These systems generally fall into two subcategories: 1) core HR applications that help streamline operational needs such as payroll or scheduling and 2) strategic talent management applications that optimize employee productivity such as performance management systems

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The best HR solutions for small businesses

Small businesses don’t have the same resources (or needs) as large corporations when it comes to selecting HR software. Luckily, there are solutions designed for small businesses like yours, and in this article we'll cover four of the best HR software for small businesses. 

GetApp ranks the leading business apps within our most popular categories every year to help users quickly identify top options. Applications are rated based on ease of use, value for money, functionality, customer support, and likelihood to recommend. These ratings are determined based on approved user reviews, public data sources, and data from technology vendors.

The following four HR software applications are featured in GetApp’s latest Category Leaders and have all received a score of 89 or higher out of a possible 100. They are listed in alphabetical order.

What makes these tools suitable for small businesses?

Each of these four tools scored at least 18 out of 20 on ease of use and customer support in our Category Leaders ratings—which is important considering that many small businesses lack a dedicated IT department. They also each start at less than $50 per month.

comparison of the 4 best hr software tools for small businesses

You can find our methodology for selecting and scoring Category Leaders at the bottom of this page.

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1. Built for Teams is a user-friendly HRIS

Built for Teams is a human resources information system (HRIS) that has usability in mind. It offers an intuitive user interface with functionalities that help your business plan, hire, manage, and retain your workforce. Their platform also integrates with calendar systems, payroll, and communication software, making it easy for you to access and manage your employees’ data. 

Key features:

  • Custom, data-driven org charts

  • PTO (paid time off) tracking with customizable policies

  • Applicant tracking

  • Employee onboarding

An org chart made in Built for Teams

Price: Built for Teams offers a free trial and discounts based on volume. Pricing is subscription-based and starts at $5 per employee, per month for the full HR package. You can also purchase certain features a la carte: time-off tracking functionality starts at $3 per employee, per month and their org chart creator is just $1 per employee, per month. 

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2. Justworks is a full-service HR solution

Justworks is HR software and a professional employer organization (PEO) that helps small businesses access the cost savings and efficiencies associated with being part of a larger enterprise. So while Justworks can fulfill traditional back-office needs such as payroll administration, it also gives businesses access to benefits at affordable rates.

Key features: 

  • Payroll management

  • 24/7 support

  • PTO management 

  • HR consulting

24/7 customer support in Justworks

Price: Justworks’ pricing is subscription based. Their basic plan, which covers payroll, benefits, HR tools, and compliance, starts at $49 per month for organizations with fewer than 25 employees. For organizations with up to 99 employees, they offer a slight discount at $44 per month. 

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3. OnPay is a comprehensive payroll system

OnPay is payroll software for small and midsize businesses. In addition to unlimited monthly pay runs, OnPay automates tax filings for businesses, tracks PTO, and offers a self-service portal where employees can self-onboard, update their information, and pull their own pay stubs.

Key features:

  • Payroll management

  • Benefits management

  • Compliance management 

  • Employee self-service

Running payroll in OnPay

Price: OnPay offers a one-month free trial. Pricing for their payroll, HR, and benefits features is subscription based, with a base price of $36 per month, plus $4 per user.

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4. Rippling earned a perfect rating in our analysis

Rippling is a full-service HR management suite for small and midsize businesses that covers payroll, benefits administration, and applicant tracking. Rippling also offers an employee management platform that serves as a unified employee database, with onboarding and offboarding automation, task management, and customizable reporting.

Rippling is the only HR software in our Category Leaders to earn perfect 20/20 ratings for ease of use, value for money, functionality, customer support, and likelihood to recommend.


  • Benefits administration

  • Full-service payroll

  • Employee onboarding

  • Time & attendance tracking

Benefit elections in Rippling

Price: Rippling’s pricing is subscription based and starts at $8 per employee, per month. The price you pay is dependent on the functionalities you choose. Rippling provides free quotes if you contact them.  

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More HR software options for small businesses

We hope that one of these four tools is exactly what you need. But if you’d like to keep browsing, there are lots of other options in our HR software directory, where you can filter by price, desired features, company size, and industry specialization.

Category Leaders methodology

Category Leaders rankings highlight top-ranked North American software products based on ratings from end users in five key areas: ease of use, value for money, functionality, customer support, and likelihood to recommend.

To create each Category Leaders ranking, our research team may evaluate hundreds of products in any one category. Only the products with the highest scores become Category Leaders.

Data sources include approved user reviews, public data sources, and data from technology vendors. Please refer to the GetApp Community Guidelines for more information.

Inclusion Criteria

To be eligible for inclusion in a category, products must meet the following criteria:

  • Product has at least 20 unique product reviews published on GetApp within 24 months of the start of the research process for a given report. Two years of reviews provides a sample that we have determined is large enough and recent enough to be valuable to buyers. The criteria is also set low enough to ensure emerging vendors can be represented.

  • Product achieves a minimum normalized rating in each of the 5 key areas (ease of use, value for money, functionality, customer support, and likelihood to recommend) after application of the Category Leaders method for normalizing and weighting review recency (see description under “Scoring” section).

  • Product shows evidence of offering required functionality as demonstrated by publicly-available sources, such as the vendor’s website.

  • Product serves North American users, as demonstrated by product reviews submitted from that region.

  • Product is relevant to software buyers across industries or sectors—in other words, no “niche” solutions that cater exclusively to one specific type of user, as determined by our analysis of user reviews and/or market research.


To arrive at a final score per product:

  • Scores are calculated for each of the five dimensions (ease of use, value for money, functionality, customer support, and likelihood to recommend) based on average user ratings. 

  • User ratings in each dimension are provided on a scale of 1 to 5. 

  • Newer ratings are weighted more heavily, and products with more ratings are advantaged over those with fewer, to provide a sample large enough and recent enough to be valuable to buyers.

  • Scores for each dimension are scaled to a maximum of 20 points, resulting in a total maximum score of 100.

Although two products may sometimes receive the same total score when rounding to the nearest integer, true ties are rare when we consider decimal points; however, in the event of a true tie, products with tying scores will be listed in alphabetical order.

Products are represented, included, and/or scored solely based on user reviews and independent of any relationship that GetApp has with vendors.

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