If you run a small business in the United Kingdom, one of the ways you can position your business for growth is to subscribe to a software application that suits your business and industry. To choose the best HR software for your small business, you need to be sure that it will meet all your needs and add something valuable to your business.
Adding technology to your current process is not enough to justify investing time and money into a new HR software. You should learn more about the problems you need the HR software to solve and its needs. So also, before you settle for a HR software for your small business, you need to consider if it is cost- and time-effective.
Ask your team, and your employees, and search the internet on how you can get more out of the current system in use. Having said that, here are some of the best HR software you should consider if you run a small business in the United Kingdom.
Best HR Software for Small Businesses in the UK
If you run a small business and all you need is basic HR functions such as time-tracking and leave management, Zoho People could be a great choice. It integrates seamlessly with the whole Zoho ecosystem, which thousands of businesses have chosen as an alternative to competitors such as Google Suite.
Zoho People is a good option for budget-conscious small businesses because it offers a free plan, which none of the other providers in this guide have (except Homebase and Freshteam). Its employee database and PTO tracking tools are free to use for businesses with fewer than five employees.
For those with more than five employees, Zoho People costs anywhere from $1.50 to $10 per employee monthly. Its paid plans cover everything from recruiting, onboarding, and online document management to time tracking, staff scheduling, and performance management. However, it doesn’t have TriNet Zenefits’ and Paycor’s compensation planning tools or the PEO services that Rippling, Paychex, and ADP offer.
BambooHR is a strong competitor for the best HR software. It offers a suite of solutions for managing day-to-day HR operations such as tracking applicants, onboarding new employees, and monitoring PTO and hours worked. Unlike Homebase, Freshteam, Zoho People, and Rippling, it has performance management features with manager and employee assessment solutions to identify your staff strength and highlight skills for development.
This allows you to recognize achievements and reward high-performing workers—which is pivotal to minimizing turnover and building employee loyalty. Plus, its staff satisfaction surveys pinpoint areas for improvement and help you know what makes employees feel engaged and valued.
Another HR software that a small business in the UK can leverage is Freshteam. Freshteam and its suite of recruiting solutions take the stress out of hiring, screening, and onboarding qualified candidates.
What makes it great for small businesses looking for a low-cost recruitment system is its free forever plan that covers up to 50 employees and includes three published job postings, a basic career site, and Kanban boards for tracking applicants. Upgrading to its paid packages will grant you access to customization options, advanced recruiting and applicant tracking tools, and additional job posting credits.
Please note that even though Freshteam provides you with all the tools you need to streamline recruitment and employee onboarding practices, it lacks the advanced HR solutions that ADP, Paychex, Rippling, and Paycor offer. It also has limited integration options, making it difficult for you to connect its platform with HR-related systems that small businesses typically use such as payroll and time tracking.
Over and beyond, Freshteam earned an average score of 4.45 out of 5 on G2 and Capterra. Many reviewers like its user-friendly interface and efficient hiring tools. They also appreciate its Kanban boards that make tracking candidates easy for them. However, some users wished for additional integration options and more reasonably-priced paid plans.
Rippling no doubt is among the best overall HR software for small businesses because it offers a range of HR products you can choose to integrate now, later, or never. Compared to Gusto and Homebase, it is pretty robust in offering more than just basic HR features.
Aside from an employee database, you get applicant tracking, payroll, benefits administration and plan options, time tracking, learning management, and onboarding solutions. It even provides PEO and international payroll services.
In addition, Rippling is an excellent choice for tech-heavy companies because its modular system handles not only HR and payroll but also IT functions. It lets you assign computers and software to new hires as part of the onboarding process and has device and app deprovisioning tools for resigning employees. With more companies going remote and relying on technology to function, a system specializing in this area is essential.
Another HR software that a small business in the UK can leverage is TriNet Zenefits. TriNet Zenefits (formerly Zenefits) is easy-to-use HR software designed to organize employee data and streamline processes. What makes it optimal for businesses in highly regulated industries is its robust compliance solutions, which include overtime safeguards and state-compliant pay stubs.
It even has an online “Compliance Assistant” that helps track your compliance status and alerts you of submission deadlines for unique forms critical to your business.
Interestingly, TriNet Zenefits’ core product is HR, but you can add payroll functionalities to its platform. Time and attendance tracking tools are also included in all its plans—functionalities that the other providers in this list (except Homebase) charge extra for.
Gusto, on the other hand, only offers basic time tracking in its premium tiers. TriNet Zenefits earned an average score of 4.1 out of 5 on G2 and Capterra. Many reviewers said that it is generally affordable and easy to use, although some users wish for more setup support and help to deal with tax issues.
Paychex offers HR software and services to businesses of all sizes. It has a Paychex Solo package for solopreneurs and the self-employed, which includes payroll, a retirement plan option, and business incorporation services. It also has a Paychex Flex solution, which solopreneurs can transition to once their business has grown.
This comes with full-service payroll, payroll tax administration, employee benefits, new hire onboarding, and a learning management solution. You even get a dedicated payroll specialist and access to HR advisers. Plus, like Rippling and ADP, Paychex offers a complete PEO option with benefits management and HR consulting.
Homebase is yet another ideal HR software for small businesses that need time tracking and staff scheduling because it offers these tools for free, provided you only have one business location. What’s also great about its free option is that it comes with job postings and applicant tracking—features that Rippling and Zoho People offer as paid add-ons.
However, its job posting reach doesn’t cover 25,000 job sites like ADP, nor does it have the performance review tools that Paycor, BambooHR, TriNet Zenefits, and Zoho People offer. Payroll is also an add-on solution and is available in 47 states only (as of this writing).
Homebase scored an average of 4.45 out of 5 on G2 and Capterra; reviewers appreciate its ease of use, affordability, and efficient time and scheduling tools. Some, however, wished for more customization options and fewer app glitches.
Gusto is a top-rated small business payroll software because of its affordably priced plans and full-service features. Aside from filing your payroll taxes and W-2/1099 year-end tax reports, it manages paid time off (PTO), administers workers’ compensation, and provides access to several benefits options.
You can also run payroll an unlimited number of times and pay employees via direct deposits, checks, and payment cards. Note that many of the providers in this guide don’t offer pay cards or on-demand pay as a payment option.
Gusto is rated highly on user review sites like Capterra and G2 with an average score of 4.5 out of 5. Employers and employees praise the interface and ease of running payroll. Some reviewers also appreciate how it handles the filing of payroll taxes. However, a few complained about having experienced slow load times when accessing its software.
Paycor’s core service is payroll, but it also provides solid HR support. Like other HR software in this guide (except Freshteam and Homebase), it offers a feature-rich platform for managing a wide range of HR processes, from hiring and time tracking to compensation planning and talent development.
It even has pay grids and payslips that you can customize to fit your business’ complex pay processing needs. However, it’s the most expensive HR software for small businesses that we reviewed—with a starter Basic plan costing $99 plus $5 per employee monthly.
ADP Workforce Now
Another HR software that a small business in the UK can leverage is ADP Workforce Now. ADP Workforce Now is a well-known, cloud-based HR software made for small and midsized businesses. The HR software solution helps businesses automate all their HR and Payroll processes using a single dashboard. From the dashboard, you will manage employee payroll, time and attendance, and benefits.
Some features include bonuses, time and attendance, employee health insurance statistics, benefits, and talent management. You will also be able to generate insightful reports from this dashboard. You can get three months FREE for small businesses and startups when you sign up for small business payroll processing.
OnPay is a payroll solution first and a human resources software second, but it excels in both in that it still comfortably takes a spot in any list of HR software. The solution offers the features needed to streamline almost any payroll process. It can also automate your tax filing and payment processing, making payroll that much easier.
OnPay will automatically enter payroll information such as work hours, benefits, and reimbursements. In addition, you get unlimited payroll runs for W-2 workers and 1099 contract staff. Direct deposit payment is available, or you can go for printed checks instead.
In addition, the vendor offers top-notch customer service that will solve whatever issues you might face quickly and efficiently. OnPay’s main strength lies in its simplicity. The solution is straightforward to use, and you can complete most payroll processes in minutes with a few clicks.
After choosing the most suitable HR software for your small business, you would also need to pay attention to the integrations because some HR software can entirely change your software experience.
HR management solutions providers do their best to cover all bases by offering all the features they think businesses need to be built into their software. Please note that no matter how much an HR software costs, there is nothing like a perfect software package. It may suit your needs, but it will never be perfect. This is why you need to think about customization.