| 30 October, 2023 | 10 Min Read

The Ultimate Guide on HR Software Pricing in 2024

Do you want to unlock the best HR software deals for your business? This guide will dive deep into the pricing options available in 2024, making sure you can make smart choices suited to your needs and budget. 

Getting to know HR software pricing isn't just about seeing the upfront cost. There are many more hidden costs or extra fees that you should consider.

Before spending big bucks on HR software, it's super important to understand its pricing model thoroughly.

This guide is all about diving deep into the many-sided world of HR software prices, helping you to find the most suitable and affordable solution.

3 Common HR Software Pricing Models


On the market, the pricing structures can vary significantly among providers, reflecting the diverse range of services they offer. 

In this section, we'll explore the 5 most common HR software pricing models, shedding light on the distinct approaches software vendors take to meet the unique needs of businesses.

Subscription-based pricing

Subscription-based pricing is mostly used by cloud-hosted HR apps. With this model, you pay a monthly or yearly fee and use the software without any limits.

They usually offer multiple tiers for the subscription plan, and the cost depends on how many users use it and what features the tool offers. The cheaper option will lack some advanced features.

Some software also offers the freemium plan, allowing you to try a basic version for free. However, it typically includes only basic features or a limited number of users. If you want additional features or more users, you must upgrade to the paid version.

One big benefit is that users always get the newest software version through online updates. This means they can keep up with new things without paying much extra.

Grove HR and BambooHR are 2 examples of software with this pricing model.  

A perpetual license fee

As a perpetual license fee, businesses pay once, get the software, and can use it forever.

This might seem cheap at first, but the software can get old. Then you'd have to pay more to update it. Plus, because it's usually used in-house, the amount of help you get is limited. 

However, in industries with strict rules, such as legal services, government, and defense, this model is preferred because it keeps data safe.

Smart HR is using this pricing model, and Sage HRMS used to use this model until 2024.

Custom pricing

Custom pricing is made especially for your business needs; the price depends on how many employees you have, what features you want, and how big your company is. 

There are a lot of HR tools for businesses, like payroll, learning stuff, or tracking job applicants. Businesses can pick the tools that match their needs, making sure they only pay for what they use. 

Besides choosing tools, costs can change based on how much you want to change the software, how complex it is to set it up, and how much help you want.

Rippling and Workday are 2 examples of software with this pricing model.

Factors that impact HR software costs


When looking for HR software, knowing the cost details is super important. Different HR software have different price tags, and the most suitable option isn’t always the cheapest one. 

The size of your organization

While big business solutions can seem expensive at first, when you look at the cost per person, they might be a good deal. 

Think about how your company might grow in the future; what's cheap now might not be when you get bigger.

Features and functionality

HR software can do lots of things. Best HRIS software solutions offer many features, such as onboardingemployee management, or performance management

The inclusion of advanced features like HR analytics and AI-powered CV parsing can push prices up. 

But it's important to pick between features that are just "cool to have" and ones that really help you do your job. 

Customization requirements

Making the software fit just right for your team can cost more.

Tweaking needs can be about making changes at the start or regular tweaks after updates. Think about the long run when you want to tweak stuff.

Integration requirements

If your HR tool needs to integrate with other tools you use, it might cost more.

But if there are ready-made ways for it to connect with your other tools, you can save money and avoid a lot of tweaking.

Implementation and setup

Preparing your software involves moving old data, teaching people how to use it, and setting it upright. 

If you don't have a tech member on your team, you might need outside help, which can make the first bill a bit bigger. Some software providers might help you set things up, which can be a plus.

Licensing and maintenance fees

Some HR tools come with regular fees, especially the ones online. 

Sometimes, these costs are wrapped up in the price you pay every month or year. So, make sure you know what you're paying for.

Technical customer support

It’s better to be able to call an expert when things go wrong. 

Lots of software providers give you a few hours of expert help. But if you think you'll need help all the time, or even in the middle of the night, you might have to pay extra.

Contract length

Being in a long deal can save you some cash, but it also means you're stuck with one software provider for a while. 

It's important to know the renewal details and if the price might increase later.

Price of 3 most popular HRIS software


Grove HR



 Pricing model




 Free plan

Up to 50 employees (freemium available)

No (free trial available)

No (free trial available)

 Price per employee

Starting at $3/month

Starting at $5.25/month

Starting at $8/Month









 Time and Attendance




 Employee Management




 Performance Management



 Payroll Management




 Employee Engagement App




 HR Analytics





Which HR software pricing model suits your business?

The right pricing model for your business depends on:

  • Your budget
  • The projected growth of your organization
  • The specific features and functionalities you need
  • How long you plan to use the software

Whether you're looking for the best HR software for small business or a more comprehensive enterprise-level solution, there's something out there for everyone.

If you're a small to medium business, you might find the freemium or subscription-based pricing models appealing. 

On the other hand, if you’re bigger businesses or those with super private data, you might go for the buy-it-once deal. So you can keep your data safe and don’t have to deal with changing features.

Wrapping up

When diving into the wild world of HR software, businesses need to think it over and find deals that meet their demand, growth plans, and money limits. 

Whether you go for pay-as-you-go or buy-it-once, make sure you understand the HR software pricing to get the right tool at a suitable cost. 

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