Human resources (HR) software helps you manage and streamline various HR functions and processes. Once implemented, using the software can make your job easier and save you time and money.
The best HR software is feature-rich, offers a good value for the price, and provides top-notch customer support. We carefully examined a variety of software options before choosing our top picks. Read on to see which HR software may make the most sense for your company.
Best Overall : ADP®
Why We Chose It: ADP took our top spot because the well-known company offers a robust, customizable HR software solution and provides top-notch HR support.
One-stop-shop HR software solution
Well-known and respected provider
Additional HR support available
Pricing information not available online
We like ADP since the firm can tailor its HR software to businesses of any size in any industry.
Although the company is best known for payroll, the software can do so much more. If your organization opts for the entire software package, you’ll receive:
- Full-service payroll, which includes easy, four-step processing, tax calculation and payment, tax form distribution, employee self-service, and expert, 24/7 support
- Time tracking and paid time off management tools
- Recruiting and hiring tools to include a branded company career site, job posting capabilities, an applicant tracking system, and an electronic onboarding process
- Pre-hire screening assistance, which includes employment and education verification, drug testing, and background checking
- Benefits administration tools to help employees select and enroll in the benefits that they need
- Compensation tools to help you evaluate your current compensation structure, create new pay programs, and close any pay gaps
- The ability to track employee skills and deliver training as well as create succession plans
- Countless HR-related reports so you can make the best possible decisions based on the data
The firm offers several different service packages based on your company size, so you can choose the one that meets your company’s unique needs. You can access the software via the web or mobile app.
ADP also offers HR support, ranging from access to knowledge banks and templates to consultations with experts to complete outsourcing of the HR function.
The company does not include pricing on its website, so you’ll have to call for a custom quote or a demo. Sometimes, the firm will offer three months of free payroll processing if your company meets guidelines, such as having 1-99 employees, signing an agreement and processing the first payroll with ADP by a certain date, and continuing to process payroll on the same plan for three consecutive months.
Best for Payroll Management : Gusto
Why We Chose It: Gusto offers easy-to-use software, and the company is transparent with its pricing.
Simple payroll processing
Additional services and support available
Significant price difference among plans
We like Gusto because the nationwide, full-service payroll provider simplifies payroll processing for a fair price. The software lets users process payroll with a few clicks and gives employees easy access to their pay stubs, tax forms, and other HR-related information.
Gusto’s payroll service includes:
- A user-friendly interface that helps you submit payroll in minutes
- Automated payroll so you can set it and forget it if you don’t have changes from pay period to pay period
- The ability to have multiple pay rates and pay workers in multiple states
- Direct deposit as soon as the next day after payroll processing
- Payroll taxes calculated and paid
- Tax forms created and issued
- Employee self-service
- Expert support from certified payroll professionals
Gusto has started to branch out by providing additional HR-related services, including benefits like vacation time and retirement accounts. To reflect this, the company offers three different service plans to meet a wide variety of needs. Each subsequent plan builds on the last and includes all of the features from the previous plans.
|$39 per month + $6 per employee per month||$39 per month + $12 per employee per month||$149 per month + $12 per employee per month|
Payroll tax payment
Worker’s compensation administration
2-day direct deposit
Health insurance administration
Integrations with accounting and timekeeping software
Employee document management
|All features from Core plus:
Next-day direct deposit
Paid time off administration
Custom employee onboarding
|All features from Core and Complete, plus:
Access to HR resources and certified HR professionals
All plans also offer employee access to the Gusto Wallet, which is a mobile app that helps employees track and save money. Workers can also get an interest-free cash advance that will automatically be repaid with funds from their next paycheck.
If your company only hires contractors, Gusto can still process payments for them. That service costs $6 per contractor per month, which covers unlimited pays and year-end tax forms.
You can see a side-by-side comparison of Gusto’s service plans as well as detailed feature information on the company’s website.
Best for Recruitment : ClearCompany
Why We Chose It: ClearCompany is our choice for best for recruitment because the software was designed specifically for talent acquisition.
Primary focus on recruiting and talent management
Modern approach to sorting through candidates
Customizable software solution
Pricing information not available online
ClearCompany focuses mainly on recruiting, and the easy-to-use platform helps you sort through and select candidates based on skills and qualities your current top performers possess, increasing your odds of a successful hire.
Like many HR software options, ClearCompany’s offering can be purchased as a complete solution or as separate modules. If you opt for the whole package, you’ll get assistance with:
- Applicant tracking, which includes mobile applications, candidate texting, interview scheduling, guides, and feedback, and job offer management
- Paperless onboarding which includes background checks, required paperwork, device management, introductions to other employees, and more
- Performance management, which includes manager feedback, peer and 360 reviews, goal tracking, custom review cycles, and a tailored experience for each employee
- Employee engagement, which includes real-time feedback, peer recognition, engagement surveys, and more
- Workforce planning and analytics, which includes tools to analyze the current labor pool and forecast future needs
If you don’t need everything listed above, you can buy the applicant tracking, paperless onboarding, and performance management pieces a la carte.
ClearCompany doesn’t list their pricing online, so you’ll need to contact the organization for a quote. You can also schedule a demo on the firm’s website.
Best for Benefits : Benefitplace™ From Benefitfocus®
Why We Chose It: Benefitplace won this category because the software focuses solely on benefits.
Sole focus is on benefits
Helps HR practitioners and employees alike
Software is feature-rich
No pricing information listed on the company website
We like Benefitplace since it’s a robust platform designed to make benefits administration easier for both HR practitioners and employees alike.
The software is feature-rich and includes:
- Support for 100+ different benefits which can be configured based on your company’s eligibility requirements
- The ability to add new benefits at any time
- The ability to send benefits-related communication to employees across different channels via provided templates
- Tailored made videos about your benefits that you can share with employees
- Open enrollment assistance which helps your employees learn about their benefits, compare plans, and select the right ones for their needs
- A team of benefits experts your employees can contact with questions, which frees up your time
- COBRA, FSA, HSA, and HRA administration
- Invoice management for your benefits provider invoices
- Reporting that provides valuable insight like open enrollment participation, Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, and more
- Assistance to comply with legislation such as the ACA
- Integration with other major HR software, such as ADP or SAP
- Digital connection to your benefits providers to eliminate manual data entry
The software provider has also released a mobile app where employees can view their benefits, get their ID cards, and make changes to their benefits elections.
Benefitplace doesn’t list prices on its website, so you’ll need to call and book a demo to learn more.
Best Free or Low-Cost Option : Freshteam from Freshworks
Why We Chose It: We like Freshteam’s software since you can get started for free and change your plan anytime you need.
Free plan is available
21-day free trial offered; credit card not required
No contract required; cancel or change plans anytime
Service plans are complicated
Focusing primarily on recruiting and onboarding, Freshteam offers a free version called the Sprout plan, is available for companies with up to 50 employees, and includes:
- A standard career site for your organization
- Three published job advertisements at a time
- The ability for candidates to apply via email
- An email inbox for your recruiting team
- Kanban boards (similar to Trello) to track applicant activity
- An organizational chart and employee directory
- Basic paid time off management
- Access to a mobile app so you can work on the go
You can use the free plan indefinitely, but note that it doesn’t offer any support. If you want to have assistance available or need additional features, you can choose from three paid plans. The plans build on each other, so you’ll get the perks of any less expensive plans.
|$75 per month for every 50 users||$150 per month for every 50 users||$250 per month for every 50 users|
|Custom career site
Ten job advertisements at a time
Job board integration Interview scorecards
Custom hiring pipelines
Interview scheduling via Google or Outlook calendars
Housing for unlimited employee documents
Time off approval workflow
24/7 phone, email, or online chat support
|Advanced career site customization
Unlimited job advertisements
Sponsored Indeed job listings
Social media recruiting
Job offer management
New hire onboarding
Onboarding and offboarding checklists
Integration with e-sign software
|Dedicated account manager
Custom user roles
Custom URL and SSL certificate
You can find additional feature details on the company’s website.
If you pay for a whole year upfront, you can save up to 33%. Freshteam also lets you try before you buy by offering a 21-day free trial—no credit card required. Prices don’t include applicable taxes.
There are many HR software options available, so it may be difficult to determine which solution meets your organization’s needs. Before you sign up to use any HR software, be sure to research it thoroughly, ask for a demo, and read third-party reviews.
However, ADP is a great place to start. The software is customizable to fit any business’s HR needs. Plus, the company offers advanced support options, including the ability to outsource your firm’s entire HR function fully.
|Software||Monthly Price||Unique Feature|
|ADP® Best Overall||Call for quote||HR outsourcing offered|
|Gusto Best for Payroll Management||Base: $39-$149 per employee: $6 or $12||Simple payroll processing|
|ClearCompany Best for Recruitment||Call for quote||Candidate screening based on top-performer traits|
|Benefitplace™ from Benefitfocus® Best for Benefits||Call for quote||End-to-end benefits administration solution|
|Freshteam from Freshworks Best Free or Low-Cost Option||$0-$250 per 50 users||24/7 support available|
What Is HR Software?
HR software is used to manage HR-related processes and make HR departments more efficient. Using the software allows HR professionals to shift their focus from administrative tasks to strategic planning, making them greater assets to their company.
What Does HR Software Do?
HR software helps HR practitioners streamline their day-to-day tasks and make better, data-driven decisions. Each piece of software has different capabilities but, generally, HR software does the following:
- Collects, stores, organizes, retrieves, and analyzes various pieces of HR-related data
- Automates certain tasks like onboarding employees or paying payroll taxes
- Provides reports to facilitate decision making
- Grants employees access to their data so they can make changes to it
HR software can also help an HR department save time and money because automation reduces staff workload.
What Are the Different Types of HR Software Systems?
Some HR software focuses on specific HR functions, such as recruiting, benefits administration, or payroll. Other software offers a one-stop-shop that covers all (or most) HR-related disciplines. There are also customizable options that let you piece together a software solution with the HR modules that your firm needs.
What Are the Benefits of Using an HR Software?
There are several benefits to using HR software, including, but not limited to:
- Time savings because automation reduces the administrative workload
- Cost savings due to more HR-related tasks being paperless
- Enhanced decision making due to data analytics
- Increased employee satisfaction since workers can access and update their information through employee self-service
- Improved security since sensitive HR-related documents are often housed on encrypted servers rather than in filing cabinets
To get the most benefit, you should establish your firm’s goals for the software so you can select the right one for your needs and learn how to utilize it fully.
We carefully examined 10 HR software options before making our top choices and considered each software’s capabilities, customer support, and price. We also factored in any special features such as benefits management, mobile app, or free trials.
All of our top picks are robust, cost-effective HR software solutions designed to help HR practitioners become more efficient.