• Best overall HRIS: Zoho People
  • Best for employee management: BambooHR
  • Best for growing businesses: Namely
  • Best payroll-first solution: Gusto
  • Best PEO option: TriNet
  • Best all-in-one software solution: Rippling
  • Best HR + payroll bundles: ADP

Small businesses face challenges when it comes to managing human resources. Fortunately, an HRIS, or human resources information system, can be a valuable tool for small businesses looking to optimize their HR processes.

Today’s small businesses have a range of HRIS solutions to choose from, each offering an array of tools that fuse HR processes with other useful capabilities. However, not all solutions are created the same.

SEE: If all sizes are of interest, there is also the best HR software of 2023 to consider.

In this article, we will go over the key factors to consider when selecting an HRIS and analyze some top HRIS solutions on the market. So read on to gain a better understanding of the benefits of an HRIS and how to choose the best possible option for your small business.

Best HRIS software

Zoho People: Best overall HRIS

The Zoho logo.
Image: Zoho

Zoho People’s HRIS solution simplifies people management processes for small businesses. The system helps with employee record management, onboarding, leave management and other tasks using its automation features. The platform is also customizable so that organizations can design the ideal system for their HRIS needs.

This software product is also helpful for managing productivity. Admins can create business workflows to streamline organizational processes. Workers can even take their information management into their own hands with the employee self-service portals. But don’t worry, the solution has custom access controls to protect sensitive information.

Key features

  • Employee database.
  • Leave management.
  • Analytics.
  • Check in and check out.
  • Employee self-service.
  • Attendance tracking.
  • Consolidated storage system.
  • Drag-and-drop workflows.


  • To save space, users can store, automate and access their employee records within Zoho People’s consolidated storage system.
  • The system provides drag-and-drop workflow customization so businesses can set up optimized workflows.
  • Zoho People lets users securely manage their documents with e-signature capabilities.


  • Employee profiles cost extra as an add-on option.


Zoho People provides a free 30-day trial. After this, the HR software is priced based on the number of users.

  • Essential HR Plan: $1.25 per month, per user, billed annually.
  • Professional Plan: $2 per month, per user, billed annually.
  • Premium Plan: $3 per month, per user, billed annually.
  • Enterprise Plan: $4.5 per month, per user, billed annually.
  • People Plus Plan: $9 per month, per user, billed annually.

BambooHR: Best for employee management

The BambooHR logo.
Image: BambooHR

BambooHR was designed with small businesses in mind. The HRIS solution enables organizations to gather, store, analyze and access their people’s data and information easily. With the ability to manage HRIS database records, users can organize and streamline their HR procedures for optimized people management.

The scalable solution can also grow with the small businesses that use it. With the BambooHR solution, small business users can allocate their HR resources in the way that works best for their organization’s needs, as the system’s automated features can handle a significant amount of the HR workload.

Key features

  • HRMS software for HR information such as personal data, PTO, employee training, job responsibilities, benefits, contact information, hiring checklists and documents.
  • Document storage.
  • Database record management.
  • Employee self-service.
  • Manager view.
  • Customizations.
  • Reports.
  • Real-time data access.
  • Data analysis.


  • BambooHR provides robust online HRIS database training and customer support, as well as custom training sessions and informative webinars.
  • Organizations can customize their human resources information systems to support their unique needs.


  • Users have limited customization capabilities for the solution’s time and attendance tools.
  • As a cloud-only solution, BambooHR does not support self-hosted data.


BambooHR is priced on a per-employee, per-month basis for companies with more than 20 employees, and companies with 20 employees or fewer are charged a monthly flat rate.

Shoppers can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the software, request a price quote and explore the BambooHR packages on the BambooHR website.

Namely: Best for growing businesses

The Namely logo.
Image: Namely

Namely is a resource intended for mid-sized businesses but can also benefit small businesses seeking a helpful HR software tool. The solution provides system features for onboarding, recruitment, performance management and HR analytics so that organizations can optimize their HR and people management processes.

Users can get even more HR value out of the software by integrating Namely’s pay and benefits administration solutions to keep track of hours worked and ensure accurate payment processing. Its compliance tools also help organizations avoid people-centric compliance risks so that they can safely support their staff members throughout their entire employee lifecycle.

Key features

  • Onboarding tools.
  • Self-service capabilities.
  • Benefits administration features.
  • eSignature.
  • Compliance tools.
  • Handbook builder.
  • State-mandated trainings.
  • Recruitment features.
  • Performance management.
  • HR analytics tools.
  • Mobile app.


  • The integrated platform is easy to utilize, and the solution is accessible through the mobile app.
  • Organizations can configure their solution to serve their specific needs and scale as their business transforms and grows.
  • Users can access a dedicated service pod and Help Community for support with questions
  • New users can receive deployment assistance for migrating data onto the platform.


  • Namely does restrict their HR technology and services to organizations that have 25-1,000 employees and are headquartered in the United States.


Those interested in the Namely solution can request a call for more information about the software and pricing by signing up on the Namely website.

Gusto: Best payroll-first solution

The Gusto logo.
Image: Gusto

It is no surprise that Gusto’s HR platform made this list. The popular solution provides resources specifically designed for the needs of HR departments and is helpful for businesses of all sizes looking to streamline their people management.

Gusto users can also gain key talent management insights about their businesses by transforming their HR data into customizable reports. Additionally, employee-centric features like employee feedback and anonymous team surveys can help business leaders make decisions that support the betterment of their organization’s members.

Key features

  • Customizable report templates.
  • Anonymous employee surveys and survey trend analysis.
  • Reporting and analytics.
  • Project tracking tools.
  • Workforce costing tools.
  • Tax credit management.
  • Performance evaluations.
  • Compliance alerts.


  • Employee-facing features like the employee self-service tools and surveys can help small business leaders empower their workforce teams.
  • Survey trend analysis tools allow businesses to track trends and insights from survey results collected over time.
  • Businesses can track their fund allocation with the software’s project tracking and workforce costing tools.


  • Some features, like access to the HR Resource Center, are only accessible through the most expensive Premium tier plans.


  • Simple plan: Starts at $40 per month, plus $6 per month per employee.
  • Plus plan: Starts at $80 per month, plus $12 per month per employee. As a limited-time offer for the first six months of service, the Plus plan is priced at $60 per month plus $9 per month per employee.
  • Premium plan: Pricing for this plan is available upon request.

TriNet: Best PEO option

Zenefits is now TriNet

Effective December 2023, Zenefits has been discontinued and replaced with TriNet HR Platform. For a limited time, TriNet is offering up to 36% off annual plans of its base HR Platform packages. To get started, contact TriNet.

Image: TriNet

TriNet offers a variety of plans and products to meet a diverse range of needs. Small-business owners with no time to run payroll themselves might benefit from TriNet PEO, while others might prefer to handle HR and payroll in house using TriNet’s HR Platform.

No matter which plan you choose, though, TriNet’s robust HRIS solution includes all the tools you need to manage the full employee lifecycle. From sending offer letters to setting up self-service onboarding, choosing top-tier benefits to establishing clear compensation management guidelines, TriNet’s user-friendly software keeps you and your employees on the same page.

Key features

  • Time-off management and approval.
  • PTO policy creation.
  • Thorough pre-built and custom workforce reports.
  • Customizable templates for HR processes like employee reviews.
  • Employee-facing mobile app with simple self-service onboarding.
  • Salary benchmarking.
  • Built-in payroll.


  • Extremely user-friendly mobile-first design.
  • Comprehensive data and analytics.
  • On-demand access to TriNet’s team of HR experts.
  • Dedicated support with a single point of contact.


  • Mediocre Android app reviews.
  • Less customizable than some top competitors.
  • High pricing for some services.


HR Platform, TriNet’s self-service payroll and HR software, is TriNet’s most affordable product:

  • TriNet Essentials: Starts at $8 per employee per month (billed annually). Includes basic HR essentials only.
  • TriNet Growth: Starts at $16 per employee per month (billed annually). Includes compensation management, performance management and people analytics.
  • TriNet Zen: Starts at $27 per employee per month (billed annually). Includes payroll and employee engagement surveys.

TriNet’s outsourced HR and payroll service, HR Plus, starts at the following price points:

  • Payroll Tax Compliance Manager: Starts at $500 per month + $1,000 yearly audit fee.
  • Payroll Manager: Starts at $875 per month + $1,000 yearly audit fee.
  • HR Manager: Starts at $1,500 per month + $2,500 yearly audit fee.

Customers interested in TriNet PEO should contact TriNet to request a custom quote.

To learn more about TriNet, check out our comprehensive TriNet review.

Rippling: Best all-in-one software solution

The Rippling logo.
Image: Rippling

The Rippling workforce platform provides small businesses with the tools they need to manage their workforce operations. And by selecting add-on options from Rippling’s HR Cloud, users can take their software to the next level as a unified HRIS system.

The HR Cloud offers a selection of options for users to gain additional features to help streamline processes like payroll, timekeeping, benefits administration, applicant tracking, learning management, reporting and compliance. This way, businesses can choose the people operations they wish to manage and automate through their solution.

Key features

  • Unified workforce directory.
  • Workflow automator.
  • Unified analytics.
  • Unified policies.
  • Onboarding/offboarding automation.
  • Permissions and approvals.
  • Advanced admin and field privileges.
  • Document and e-signature management.
  • Positions management.
  • Rippling training course catalog.
  • Full-service payroll available in 50 U.S. states and internationally.
  • Time and attendance tracking tools.
  • Benefits administration management tools.
  • Online employee self-service capabilities.
  • New hire onboarding support.
  • HR help desk.


  • Rippling Pulse is a tool that helps leaders send and analyze employee surveys, to uncover trends and take meaningful action. Users can even trigger actions based on survey responses to begin improving their organizations automatically.
  • The product provides robust applicant tracking tools, as well as job board integrations, messaging templates and custom hiring reports.
  • Businesses can simplify and speed up employee training through the system’s intelligent course assignment, which automatically assigns courses to workers based on the organization’s enrollment rules. Rippling will also track workers’ progress and record certifications in the system for compliance purposes.


  • The HR add-on options may raise the final price of the solution.


Rippling software starts at $8 a month per user. However, final pricing depends on additional services and the number of users. Shoppers can visit the Rippling website to request a free price quote.

ADP: Best HR + payroll bundles

The ADP logo.
Image: ADP

ADP is another popular software option that small business leaders can implement as an HRIS software solution. The platform supports human capital management procedures, including talent management, payroll and benefits administration, to name just a few.

There are many cloud-based HRIS solutions provided by ADP that include features for hiring, onboarding, payroll and managing HR compliance. However, for the sake of this review, we will look at the RUN Powered by ADP, a web-based solution that provides payroll and HR capabilities for teams of 1-49 employees.

Key features

  • Payroll and tax filing tools.
  • ADP Employee Access self-service tool.
  • New hire onboarding.
  • Employee discounts.
  • ZipRecruiter integration.
  • Background checks.
  • Employee handbook wizard.
  • Salary benchmarks.
  • HR information tracking.
  • HR forms and documents management.
  • HR training and toolkits.
  • Enhanced HR helpdesk support.
  • Applicant tracking system.
  • Enhanced employee handbook support.
  • Employer and employee training.
  • Marketing tools and consulting services.
  • Robust reporting.


  • ADP’s open architecture enables integration with third-party tools like Intuit QuickBooks, Xero, SAP SuccessFactors, Deputy and other popular applications.
  • Users can view, access, customize and print payroll and HR reports through the online platform. ADP also allows 24/7 access to HR pages so business administrators can track employee information like advanced reporting.
  • Businesses can select add-on features for Time and Attendance Retirement, Workers’ Compensation, Health Insurance, Small Business Marketing and other helpful processes.


  • Not all solutions and packages provided by ADP provide the same features and capabilities. For RUN Powered by ADP, some features mentioned within the review are exclusive to higher-tier plans.


RUN Powered by ADP is provided in four packages, and the cost is based on the number of employees. The Essential Payroll plan starts at $59 per month plus $4 per employee. The Enhanced Payroll, Complete Payroll & HR Plus, and HR Pro Payroll & HR plans do not have pricing information available online, and shoppers can contact ADP to receive pricing information.


How to choose an HRIS system

The optimal HRIS solution for a small business will depend on its specific needs and budget. Therefore, it is important for small businesses to carefully consider the features, capabilities, ease of use and price of each solution to find the one that works best for them.

An HRIS can save small businesses time and money by streamlining HR processes in several ways. Users should identify how these tools could best benefit the needs of their organization. For example, a small business struggling with employee retention can use an HRIS tool like BambooHR to gain reports on workforce planning or identify trends in employee turnover.

On the other hand, businesses seeking an HRIS solution with budgeting features could benefit from using a tool like Gusto to help them with their fund allocation. In addition, many HRIS tools offer automation for tasks such as payroll, benefits enrollment and time and attendance tracking. These features can save HR staff time and effort while reducing the risk of costly errors.

Overall, an HRIS can save small businesses time and money by reducing the need for manual processes and providing valuable data for decision-making. By thoroughly researching your options and carefully considering your organization’s specific needs, you can find and HRIS that best fits your business and will help it thrive.

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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