Lots of factors determine the best human resource software for your business. Both present-day needs and long-term goals are top factors to consider.

Luckily, there are options for every stage of your business’s growth. Some solutions, like BambooHR and Gusto, focus on beginner-friendly, small-business needs. Others, like ADP Workforce Now, target complicated demands from international enterprises.

Let’s explore our top small business HR software picks.

SEE: 7 best HRIS software for small businesses in 2023 

Top HR software comparison

Starting monthly priceInternational supportPayroll includedAnalyticsBeginner-friendly
BambooHRCustomYes, only with third-party integrationYesLimitedYesVisit BambooHR
Rippling$35 + $8 per employeeYesNo, only available as an add-onModerateYesVisit Rippling
ADP Workforce NowCustomYesYesStrongNoVisit ADP
Workday HCMCustomYes, limited to Canada, the UK and FranceYesStrongNoVisit Workday
Gusto$40 + $6 per employeeNoYesLimitedYesVisit Gusto
Deel$0.00YesNo, only available on paid tiersLimitedYesVisit Deel
PaycomCustomYesYesModerateSomewhatVisit Paycom
PaylocityCustomYesYesModerateSomewhatVisit Paylocity

BambooHR: Best overall HR software

The BambooHR logo.
Image: BambooHR

BambooHR stands out for its comprehensive, user-friendly platform carefully tailored to small and medium-sized businesses. The software streamlines HR processes, from hiring and onboarding to performance management and payroll. And beginners are in luck since its user interface is simple and beautiful. No specialized knowledge is needed to get started.

It isn’t perfect, though. It lacks many advanced options. For example, there are neither advanced analytics nor employee-facing financial tools, like debit cards. There’s also no international payroll support.

Why we chose it: BambooHR is celebrated for its intuitive design and all-encompassing HR functionalities, making it the best choice for businesses seeking to optimize their HR operations without overwhelming their teams.


  • Core: Custom pricing.
  • Pro: Custom pricing.


  • Elaborate onboarding and recruiting tools.
  • Beautiful, user-friendly interface.
  • Full-service tax filing.

Pros and cons

Beginner-friendly.Opaque pricing.
Solves most basic needs.Limited scalability.
Includes performance management and onboarding/recruiting.No international payroll support.

For more information, read the full BambooHR review.

Rippling: Most comprehensive software

The Rippling logo.
Image: Rippling

Rippling goes above and beyond the classic HR package. It also delivers in-house management of employee information technology (IT) devices plus accounting tools. As a result, you can keep tabs on computers issued to staffers while also watching your finances.

The title also impresses with its built-in international support. You can manage people worldwide without needing third-party software. As a result, everything needed for long-term growth is included.

In the event you discover something’s missing, don’t worry. Rippling lets you download custom formulas and functions called Recipes. You can also build your own with its elaborate API. Both avenues let you craft the title into your perfect HR oasis.

Why we chose it: Rippling’s ability to seamlessly integrate HR functions with IT and financial management tools sets it apart, offering unparalleled efficiency and control over a wide range of business operations.


  • Starts at $35 plus $8 per employee, monthly.
  • Plans are customized and require speaking to a sales agent.


  • Unified HR and IT management.
  • Automated payroll and tax compliance.
  • Customizable employee onboarding.
  • Over 500 integrations with third-party applications.

Pros and cons

International support.Hidden pricing.
IT and financial tools.Some tools require technical or coding knowledge.
Advanced analytics.

For more information, read the full Rippling review.

ADP Workforce Now: Best outsourced HR option

The ADP logo.
Image: ADP

The ADP Workforce Now platform is the best of both outsourcing and self-service. You can let the company’s world-class professional employer organization (PEO) services handle mundane tasks. Yup, you can pass off duties like payroll, data entry and tax calculations.

But you can still reserve the more decadent aspects of human resources for your in-house team. For example, ADP Workforce Now includes deep analytics. You can rapidly uncover pay gaps, hiring trends and industry-wide benchmarks, among other crucial pieces of intel. Meanwhile, your employees will enjoy free financial tools through Wisely by ADP.

This seamless blend of hands-on power and relief from the mundane makes Workforce Now our top pick for outsourced HR options.

Why we chose it: ADP’s status as a household name makes it a trustworthy choice for businesses seeking to outsource their HR operations to a reliable partner while still keeping many operations in house.


  • Custom pricing.


  • Outsourced payroll and tax filing.
  • Powerful, rich analytics.
  • Employee-facing financial tools.
  • Superior scalability.

Pros and cons

Powerful, world-class tools.Pricey.
Lots of expert guidance.Not beginner-friendly.
Seamless outsourcing process.

For more information, read the full ADP Workforce Now review.

Workday HCM: Best enterprise solution

The Workday logo.
Image: Workday

Much like ADP, Workday HCM is designed for larger organizations and enterprises. Indeed, it solves every payroll and HR need with plenty of scalability to boot.

But the title stands out for its coverage of other enterprise needs. It also handles accounting, inventory management and even customer relationship management (CRM), among lots of other elements. In fact, it seamlessly connects to enterprise resource planning software to offer holistic coverage of your business.

Why we chose it: Workday’s extensive reach beyond traditional HR and payroll makes it an excellent choice if you want all-encompassing oversight of your entire business.


  • Custom pricing.


  • International support.
  • Accounting and inventory tools.
  • Employee-facing morale perks.

Pros and cons

Comprehensive.Not beginner-friendly.
Solves non-HR needs.No in-house PEO services (requires contractor).
Rich analytics.

For more information, read the full Workday review.

Gusto: Best payroll-centric solution

The Gusto logo.
Image: Gusto

Gusto shines as a gentle and forgiving solution. Known for its simplicity and effectiveness, Gusto boasts an automated, hands-free payroll function. You’ll still score other goodies like benefits management and HR tasks. And best of all, there is no need for complicated technical knowledge. Everything is beginner-friendly and transparent.

The title lacks long-term scalability, though. There are higher subscription tiers, including a customized plan. But due to its focus on simplicity, you won’t get the same intense coverage seen in ADP and Workday.

Why we chose it: Gusto’s transparent pricing and straightforward payroll focus make it stand out, and it simplifies payroll, tax and benefits management. While it lacks advanced tools, like rich analytics, this platform is tough to beat if you need an easier way to keep people paid.


Gusto has three main payroll plans:

  • Simple: $40 per month plus $6 per employee per month.
  • Plus: $80 per month plus $12 per employee per month.
  • Premium: Custom pricing.


  • Automated payroll processing.
  • Employee benefits management.
  • Simple onboarding and compliance.
  • Helpful customer support.

Pros and cons

Beautiful, beginner-friendly interface.Limited scalability.
Transparent pricing.No advanced analytics.
Combines payroll and HR.

For more information, read the full Gusto review.

Deel: Best free pick

The Deel logo.
Image: Deel

If cash is tight, then Deel is your hero. It offers some simple HR solutions for international employees, free of charge. You can score tools like time-off tracking, onboarding and record keeping without opening your wallet.

However, the free option is pretty limited. But the platform’s zero-dollar offering is a rare treat if you just want a quick way to tackle simple HR needs.

SEE: The Best Free HR Software | TechRepublic

Why we chose it: Deel’s free option makes it easy to learn the ropes of international HR management without forking over tons of cash upfront. Conveniently, premium options are available as your business grows.


  • Deel HR: Free for businesses with less than 200 employees, with custom pricing for those with more than 200.
  • EOR: Starts at $599 per month.
  • Contractors: Starts at $49 per month.
  • Global Payroll: Custom pricing.


  • International personnel management.
  • Basic analytics, like retention trends.
  • Org chart generator.
  • Customization and scalability with premium plans.

Pros and cons

Free for basic needs.Severely limited free plan.
Scalable.Lacks employee-facing morale perks.
Simple to get started.
International support.

For more information, read the full Deel review.

Paycom: Best for growing corporations

The Paycom logo.
Image: Paycom

Think of Paycom as a comprehensive HR solution without all the complexities of ADP. The title is more straightforward and user-friendly. Plus, it focuses more on saving you time. These qualities are great for growing businesses that need next-level solutions but lack a full-fledged staff and budget.

One of the platform’s chief features, Beti, lets staffers verify their payroll data independently. This distributed approach saves you time and only requires you to confirm any requested changes. Other tools, like automated wage garnishment handling, also let you do more with less.

And you’re especially in luck if you employ lots of time-based workers. That’s because Paycom delivers excellent time tracking perks, like biometric punch clocks and AI-powered schedule predictions.

Why we chose it: It’s not as complicated as ADP or Workday. Yet, it still packs a punch and helps businesses safely jump to their next growth stage.


  • Custom pricing.


  • Complete employee lifecycle management.
  • International payroll.
  • Time tracking features and punch clocks.
  • Employee safety and vaccination tracking.

Pros and cons

Comprehensive.Confusing function names (Beti, Vault, Everyday, etc.).
More user-friendly than ADP.Limited analytics.
Lots of hourly employee perks.

For more information, read the full Paycom review.

Paylocity: Best focus on company culture

The Paylocity logo.
Image: Paylocity

Paylocity is unique for its keen eye on employee morale. It solves all the classic HR and payroll needs. But it also folds in fun stuff, like its Community feature that resembles a social media platform. With this perk, employees can share their thoughts, joys and personal accomplishments professionally.

There are other tools, too. You can gain top-notch insights on employee morale via the title’s Employee Voice function. This concept is a psychologist-crafted proprietary spin on the classic staff survey. As a result, workers feel more heard and welcomed. You, in turn, get deeper insights that can reduce turnover, saving you money in the long run.

Many other worker-centric morale builders are included with Paylocity, making it the perfect platform if you want to boost your staffer’s hearts and minds.

Why we chose it: The emphasis on fostering company culture through technology sets Paylocity apart, making it the top choice for businesses prioritizing employee engagement and satisfaction.


  • Custom pricing.


  • Enhanced communication tools.
  • Employee engagement surveys.
  • Comprehensive payroll services.
  • Customizable reporting.

Pros and cons:

User-friendly.Limited employee benefits options.
Excellent for employee morale.Unclear pricing.
Comprehensive — includes payroll, time tracking and HR.

For more information, read the full Paylocity review.

How do I choose the best HR software for my business?

Choosing the best HR software for your business involves analyzing a holistic view of your business, now and in the future.

Here are the top factors to consider when choosing the best human resource software for your business.

  • Identify your HR needs. Understand the specific HR functions you need to manage. Do you need a comprehensive solution that covers everything from payroll to performance management? Or are you looking for software specializing in a particular area, like recruitment or employee training?
  • Consider your business size and growth plans. The size of your business and its growth trajectory can significantly influence the type of HR software that’s best for you. Some platforms are better suited for small businesses and startups, while others scale with you as you grow.
  • Evaluate software integration capabilities. Integrating HR software with your existing systems (like accounting software or project management tools) is crucial for maintaining smooth operations and ensuring data consistency across platforms.
  • Assess user-friendliness. The software should be intuitive and easy for HR administrators and employees. A steep learning curve can lead to low adoption rates and hinder efficiency.
  • Review support and training resources. Look for software providers that offer comprehensive support and training resources. Good customer support can significantly affect how quickly you can resolve issues and get the most out of your HR software.
  • Understand pricing structure. Ensure clarity on the software’s pricing structure. Consider the upfront costs and any additional fees for implementation, training or added features and users.


We carefully researched each title’s overall functionality, scalability and user-friendliness. We also studied feedback from real customers and determined each platform’s appeal to businesses of various sizes. Additionally, we analyzed brands’ international support, employee morale perks and other factors.

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Stay up to date on the latest in technology with Daily Tech Insider. We bring you news on industry-leading companies, products, and people, as well as highlighted articles, downloads, and top resources. You’ll receive primers on hot tech topics that will help you stay ahead of the game. Delivered Weekdays