What's the most critical step when digitizing your HR operations? Finding the perfect free HR system to do it with. There are many options out there, so in this article, we will be showing you the top 10 HR software systems with pros and cons that work perfectly with zero budget spent.
(updated on March 2023)
HR Software is a digital solution designed to help everyone in the company perform at their full potential. By automating manual and repeated tasks, HR software enables the HR team to better allocate their time and resources to more productive and profitable efforts.
This makes HR software sought after, and due to demand, quite a lot of HR software has risen up with different functions at different prices. So from the numerous options of HR software out there, this article will be looking at 10 HR software that can manage your HR tasks and ease your burden at no cost at all.
Here's a look at the list of 10 best free HR software in 2023 that offers all the essential features for your core HR operations.
1. Grove HR
Grove HR is an all-in-one free HR platform for startups and small and medium-sized businesses. It provides a full employee lifecycle solution from managing employee record management, onboarding new hires, processing time-off, recruiting, doing payroll, conducting 360-degree performance reviews, and much more. All in one place. Grove HR is dedicated to helping you digitize your human resource management so you can create a remarkable employee experience.
Signing up with Grove HR will give you access to the platform for free, applicable to companies with less than 50 employees. The number of users and storage is unlimited. Plus, you would get all current features at zero cost, forever.
Pros: Their friendly user interface and easy-to-use navigation are what users impress first. The recruitment feature enables users to be able to attract, track and collaborate the entire process without having to leave the app. Time off is also easily managed as Grove HR has both desktop and mobile app.
Cons: Some users have asked for more advanced reports and performance features.
Bitrix24 is a business management platform that works with businesses of various types and sizes. It comes with different apps that help your business stay at the top of its game. This includes project management, contact center management, human resource management, and customer relationship management (CRM).
The platform allows you to add up to 12 free users. In addition, the free CRM system grants you 5 GB worth of online storage capacity and an integrated call center.
Pros: Users have found Bitrix24 useful in managing diverse departments, including sales, marketing, and HR. They also found the timesheet functionality extremely helpful when tracking the amount of time employees spend on different projects.
Cons: However, some users complain that the free version of the platform adds a Bitrix24 reference at the end of every email – including the emails sent out to job applicants.
Launched in 2005, OrangeHRM is one of the most popular open-source HR systems. It comes in two other versions: professional and enterprise. The free and open-source version is available and includes performance management, expense tracking, employee directory, leave management, compliance management, time and attendance management, recruiting, and other document management functionalities.
Pros: Most users like the recruiting functionality in the open-source version, and find it very useful. This is because it supports them in designing hiring workflows of different ranges, from issuing a job offer letter to posting a job vacancy.
Cons: Some users highlight that the lack of payroll integration is a big drawback as they have to manually move employee records out of the HR system.
WebHR is a cloud-based human resource management solution that operates well with all types of businesses. Most importantly, it has a free version that can support up to five users at a time! It comes with many benefits, including employee records, employee self-service, time and attendance tracking, dashboard functionalities, leave tracking, file management, and onboarding.
Pros: Most users find standard reports such as employee data and payroll helpful when making serious management decisions. They also find it easy to customize these reports to their needs.
Cons: it should be noted that the recruiting module lacks some necessary features. For example, the product is currently unable to screen job candidates based on educational qualifications such as their level of degree.
As a part of Zoho’s ecosystem for businesses, Zoho People is a single platform to organize, automate, and simplify HR processes. The free version allows up to 5 employees to the system. It includes various self-service features, leaves management, employee directory, project management and onboarding.
Pros: Zoho People’s HR modules can be easily customized. For instance, you can customize employee forms, modify recruiting workflows, and add data fields.
Cons: Some users say that the mobile app’s structure is too complicated and needs an upgrade. Thus, it's difficult to navigate the app or search for information.
HRnest is an intuitive software dedicated to the support of the day-to-day work of HR departments. The system provides employees with a way to easily turn in their holiday requests. Afterward, the employer is able to monitor working time, leave records, and can create various timetables for the use of the whole company. HRnest also helps in managing employees' personal files via email notifications, bulk action, automated reporting, and a handy calendar.
Pros: Users have commended its UI as interactive and easy to use.
Cons: Some users are waiting for other functionalities like performance review form processing as an idea for system development.
Sentrifugo offers quite a lot of functionality with its personnel tracking function, recruitment, time and attendance, performance appraisals, background checks, and employee onboarding/offboarding. All these functions are available on its free plan, making it an attractive option in the free HR category.
Pros: Sentrifugo has no hidden fees or limitations.
Cons: Cost of maintenance of your servers. If you do not have the IT capacity, you'd have to pay to maintain your servers to use Sentrifugo.
Freshteam is an intuitive, easy-to-use HR software by Freshworks that helps you onboard, manage employee information, time off management and offboard effectively. Its free version also includes essential HR functions like leave management and application tracking processes but is limited to 50 employees.
Pros: Freshteam is ideal for teams who need both tracking and recruitment functions in one place.
Cons: The free plan is limited and customers usually complain about their customer service.
IceHRM is a Human resource management system for small and medium-sized organizations that want to streamline HR management with the ability to self-host. IceHRM helps you track every bit of time spent and automates your leave management. IceHRM also offers an easy payroll process.
Pros: Users have said that the app is easy to use with an impressive user interface.
Cons: the negative feedback about the software is that IceHRM doesn't have a mobile app and the free version only allows up to 5 users.
Rise is a platform that aids small businesses in managing their main HR operations. They offer a free version in the form of Rise Lite. Rise Lite is a payroll software system that's available for businesses with twenty employees or fewer in Canada.
Pros: Rise helps you pay employees faster, settle discrepancies quickly and create formulas to handle commissions, benefits deductions, bonuses, and RRSP matching.
Cons: If your business doesn't operate in Canada, then you shouldn't consider Rise Lite at all.
What you should know
Choosing one of these HR software can be a daunting task, so here are a few factors to consider before implementing HR software.
1. What are your biggest frustrations right now in HR?
What operation are you looking to cut down on time spent on them? For instance, is time off requests taking too long to be approved or rejected? Is employee turnover very exhausting?
Look for areas where your company's burden is heavy. Then select the HR software that can ease those burdens away.
2. What HR activity does your company currently excel in?
Not everything in the HR department of your company would need fixing. Figure out the areas where you are already comfortable handling, which would help streamline the HR software list.
By knowing the areas your company excels in, you can easily pick out software to help your company in the areas it struggles with.
3. What extra/bonus service would benefit your company most?
Not all software offers the same bonus services on their free plan. For instance, Grove HR offers you to add up to 50 employees and use Core HR features free of charge, with no data storage limitation. Bitrix24 allows you to add up to 12 free users and offers 5GB storage, while FreshTeam allows up to 50 users but it has poor customer service.
Before making a decision, you need to understand which extra services the software offers will be beneficial to you.
Make the decision
It can't be stressed enough the need for effective HRIS software. Digitizing your HR operations would not only save you valuable time and ease stress, but it would also increase your efficiency and provide analysis that'd help take your business forward.
There are quite a few free employee management systems available with which you'd be able to manage your core HR activities. Selecting one from the highlighted ten would then come down to a matter of preference and which product offers the most in its free version.