12 min read
May 10, 2017
Human Resources (HR)

Buying Local: Top HR Software for Businesses in the UK

Do you know the difference between the UK's sick pay rules and the US equivalent law? Having local HR apps make sense, so we profile the UK's top offerings.

Karen McCandlessAnalyst

Do you know the difference between the UK's Statutory Sick Pay rules and the US's equivalent (often non existent) law? What about the difference in how overtime is paid in the UK and Canada?

Benefits, overtime, payroll, annual leave, compensation management: managing all of these areas is enough of a headache without taking into account how these rules are unique to different countries - and even states within the US.

With HR regulations differing significantly, having a local human resources system makes sense. For example, having HR software from the UK makes sense when your business is based—and has most of its employees—in the country.

When we analyzed the most used HR apps globally, we found that local companies often prefer software based in that country. Canadian users favor Canadian HR software, British users broadly favor UK HR software - or companies with a presence there.

In this piece, we profile the most used HR software for small businesses in the UK according to GetApp users.

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Zoho Recruit

Coming out top in the most used HR software in the UK is Zoho Recruit, an app which is actually not based there. Unsurprisingly from its name, Zoho Recruit is a recruitment solution, but also helps to onboard employees.

It's aimed at small businesses, with almost half of Zoho Recruit registered GetApp users being from businesses of 10 people or fewer, and is most used (according to GetApp data) by companies in the staffing and recruiting, IT, HR, and management consulting industries.

Key features:

  • Build a custom careers site

  • Resume parsing and extractor

  • Resume search using keywords

  • Advance analytics

  • Post openings to job boards and social sites.

Pricing plan:

Zoho Recruit is currently free for one recruiter with the ability to schedule interviews. There are two other pricing plans (Standard and Enterprise) which are charged on a per recruiter per month basis.


Unsurprisingly, Zoho integrates with the full stack of Zoho products including Zoho CRM, Zoho Mail, Zoho Reports, and Zoho People. It also includes integration with social media apps (for posting jobs to social networks), as well as productivity apps such as Microsoft Outlook and G Suite.

Reviews: score of 4.47/5 (258 reviews)


Role: Business Development Director

Industry: Staffing and Recruiting

Company size: 501-1000

Pros: "Easy to handle logical work flow adaptable, scalable import and export function, reporting opportunities."

Cons: "We need a solution which is compliant with Russian law, meaning the server (data) must be saved here. So far this is not implemented but in process as the ZOHO team promised us."

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Workable is a recruitment app that was founded in Greece but opened its second office in London and maintains a major presence. Its unique selling point is that it includes what it calls an applicant tracking CRM which allows recruiters to build relationships with candidates and taps into the trend of treating prospects like customers.

It's mostly used by companies in the IT and computer software industry followed by recruiting and HR. Workable is aimed at the SME market and, reflecting that, most of its users on GetApp come from the 11-50 or 51-200 business size segment.

Key features:

  • Social recruiting

  • Hiring dashboard

  • Scorecards and evaluations

  • Background checks

  • Mobile recruiting

  • Reports and analytics

  • Onboarding.

Pricing plan:

Workable's pricing plans reflect its focus on SMEs, with one pay-as-you-go plan aimed at small businesses hiring infrequently or seasonally, followed by a tailored annual plan and a custom solution.


Workable's integrations span categories such as project management, HR, business intelligence, social networking, and collaboration. This includes:


Score of 4.56/5 (186 reviews)

David Hahn

Role: President, Vonvon Global Inc

Industry: Online Media

Company size: 1-10

"I've hired more than a dozen people using workable in the last 6 months. it's convenient but you may find it a little expensive unless you're constantly hiring."

Pros: "A single inbox for everyone involved in hiring predefined (& user customizable) templates make it easy to send single/bulk emails intuitive user interface free (&paid) postings to multiple job boards."

Cons: "Pretty expensive for what it is. they deprecated their cheaper pricing tier. craigslist has workable as one of the ban words."

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Calamari is a Polish-based leave and attendance management solution aimed at small businesses. One of its unique selling points is its support for the labor laws in different countries and that it can handle the configuration of multiple countries within one account.

The HR app is popular with businesses of 11-50 employees in the IT and computer software industries, and most of its users on the GetApp site come from Poland.

Key features:

  • Multilingual

  • Compliant with local laws

  • Self-service employee portal

  • Clock in/clock out functionality

  • Timesheets

  • Remote work tracking.


Calamari Leave is currently priced per business size, with the cheapest package starting at $10 per month for businesses of 1-10 employees.


Calamari integrates with software in categories such as collaboration, project management, issue tracking, and eCommerce. This includes:


Score 4.83/5 (80 reviews)

Jakub Nadolny

Role: Chief Information Officer at PIXERS

Industry: Design

Company size: 51-200

"After testing few other solutions we've ended up with Calamari - great tool which just does it's job. It's quite intuitive and very helpful. What's more - it has great support team. We've had some requirements that were specific for our team and everything has been done for us."

Pros: "Easy to use - not overloaded with unnecessary functionalities - fast and perfect support."

Cons: "Up to now, not found anything against."

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CakeHR is a UK HR software for small businesses with leave management, onboarding, and performance management functionality.

It's used by companies in the IT, marketing and advertising, and health and wellness industries. Interestingly, there is an even split between business sizes, with CakeHR proving popular among businesses between of 1-10 employees, as well as 11-50 and 51-200 employees.

Key features:

  • Shared calendar

  • 360-degree performance review feedback

  • Employee profile and directory

  • Self-service employee portal

  • Employee and company reports

  • Onboarding and offboarding.


CakeHR has a very simple pricing structure: one price if you pay monthly and one price if you pay yearly. It currently offers a free 30 day trial with no need to add a credit card.


CakeHR currently integrates with:

  • Slack

  • G Suite

  • Outlook.


Score: 4.53/5 (81 reviews)

Eric Wilson

Role: Director of Operations

Industry: Financial Services

Company size: 51-200

"Cake does a great job simplifying the HR process with intuitive user setup and calendar management. The reporting tools are effective as well. It is lacking in features to support larger (or rapidly expanding) enterprises, such as a bulk user creation and full timesheet/payroll management (it only handles vacation time). This is more than made up for with a highly responsive account/service team."

Pros: "Simple, intuitive interface."

Cons: "Is not a complete HR solution for payroll and timesheet management (yet)."

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Findmyshift is a UK-based simple employee scheduling solution. It's focused on providing value for very small teams, as teams of fewer than five employees will always be able to use the app for free.

It's popular among GetApp users in the computer software, broadcast media, healthcare, and hospitality industries. Findmyshift is also mostly used by GetApp users in businesses of 11-50 employees.

Key features:

  • Time clocking and timesheets

  • Vacation management

  • Payroll calculator

  • Email, text, and push notifications

  • Daily shift reminders

  • Online employee noticeboard


There are three price plans that are calculated on a per month, per schedule basis (instead of per employee). The cheapest price plan is free.


Findmyshift's integrations include:


Score: 4.67/5 (90 reviews)

Tony Goodman, owner, The Globe Restaurant and Rooms, Fowey

"Adopted this to several businesses 4 years ago and have never looked back. Easy to use for me and my staff. Ideal for holiday planning and planning rotas in advance."

Pros: "Been using this since day one and have set it up for several different businesses, really easy to use and really efficient."

Cons: "Doesn't work well enough with i-devices which can be frustrating at times. If that was fixed it would all be brilliant."

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WeThrive is an employee engagement survey and feedback app that aims to boost workplace morale and understand how to help employees feel happier in their jobs.

It's another example of HR software based in the UK, highlighting the interest in local software for local companies.

Key features:

  • Automated and customizable surveys

  • Mobile surveys

  • Real-time reporting and analysis

  • Company branding

  • Multi-lingual surveys


WeThrive offers two pricing plans (Expert and Guru), as well as a custom plan for businesses of more than 200 staff.


WeThrive currently integrates with:

And will soon integrate with


Score: 4.63/5 (19 reviews)

Damian Fearns, BSc, HG Dip

Role: Trainer/Director/Co-ordinator/Coach/Psychotherapist

Industry: Professional Training & Coaching

Company size: 51-200

"Can't recommend this product enough. I manage a healthcare team with 7 employees. Uncovered issues within my team which I was not aware of. It identified issues and provided in depth analysis of a wide range of factors affecting team performance including social and psychological as well as skills and knowledge. Team loved it. It has literally revolutionized the way we work as a team and given us a very tangible way of solving issues and developing people."

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Which UK HR software would you recommend?

If you're looking to purchase HR software for a UK business—or any local HR product—we can help: From our list of HR apps, you can filter by the country the software serves to find the best fit for your business.


The original report was put together by analyzing data from signed in GetApp users that had selected the "I Use This" option for a particular app on the site. We counted the number of individual users that had selected these apps and segmented according to country. The sample size for the UK was 98 users.

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