Free human resources software solutions can be a lifesaver for businesses on a budget looking to manage their human resources tasks. A good solution can help your business streamline its HR processes and support your workforce team.
But with all of the different options and conditions for free HR software, it can be challenging to determine which would suit your business needs.
SEE: 8 best HR analytics tools & software for your business in 2023 (TechRepublic)
Fortunately, TechRepublic has you covered! In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best free HR software solutions available, so you can choose the right option to help your business thrive.
- Free HR software feature comparison table
- Top free HR software of 2023
- How to choose the right free HR software solution
Free HR software feature comparison table
|Hiring and talent sourcing tools||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Time tracking tools||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Employee data management||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Training and development||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Team collaboration tools||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Top free HR software of 2023
Bitrix24: Best for collaboration
Bitrix24 is a CRM solution that provides many features to support HR processes. Unlike some other software options, Bitrix24’s Free plan supports unlimited users at no cost and includes more than 35 free HR tools.
Bitrix24’s free version provides customer relationship management features as well as capabilities for task management, project management, collaboration and more. Businesses can also use the website builder tools to design websites for their sales teams, marketing teams or for HR and recruitment purposes.
This software option really shines in its collaboration features, allowing users to create a virtual office ideal for connecting both on-site and remote work teams.
- Tasks and projects.
- Chats, online meetings and HD video calls.
- Time tracking.
- Mobile app.
- Online workspace for the whole team.
- Company structure.
- Drive storage.
- Calendar tools.
- Knowledge base.
- CRM digital sales suite.
- Contact Center.
- No-code website builder.
- Communication and collaboration: Bitrix24 helps workers stay in the know about tasks by providing notifications and letting them track updates. Meanwhile, chats and online meetings enable unlimited communication for the whole business team. It supports staff collaboration regardless of location and with their mobile app, users can access the online workspace and track time on the go.
- Task management and scheduling: Leaders can use the tasks and projects features to assign tasks to staff, manage the work that needs to be completed and meet deadlines. The calendar also makes it easy to create events and schedule activities.
- Integrated CRM: The CRM features can be highly beneficial for businesses looking to increase their client base and make more sales. It can help with customer relationship processes like invoicing, inventory management and lead generation.
- No-code website builder: By creating a website through Bitrix24’s no-code website builder, businesses can link their CRM to sync all client data from the site easily and directly.
- The solution lacks features for talent sourcing and employee onboarding processes.
- The software provides limited statuses for tasks and does not include a status to specify the current standing or level of completion for works in progress.
The Free plan is 100% free for unlimited users.
IceHrm Cloud: Best for performance management
IceHrm is a free online solution that provides HR capabilities for organizations through the open-source project. While IceHrm Core is entirely free and open source, IceHrm Cloud is free for businesses managing up to five employees. The IceHrm Cloud free plan contains features and tools for employee management, leave management, performance reviews and expense management.
SEE: Best free payroll software for small businesses in 2023 (TechRepublic)
The free cloud software includes a variety of handy capabilities for managing workers’ schedules and keeping track of important variables, such as time tracking, automated calculation and leave management features. Another great aspect of this software is that it supports organizations in many countries, so businesses all around the globe can access this free program to manage their workforce teams.
- Store employee information securely.
- Leave management.
- Time tracking.
- Payroll processing.
- Expenses management.
- Recruitment and applicant tracking.
- Custom forms.
- Staff training.
- Performance review module.
- 360° feedback.
- Staff training: Staff training is simplified by IceHrm, as it allows leaders to manage training courses and sessions. Business leaders can permit workers to subscribe to training and track their progress and completion.
- Multi-level approvals: The IceHrm expense module supports multi-level approvals, with up to four levels of approval. The module lets businesses track and manage the approval process for their expenses.
- Performance review tools: The solution provides performance review tools and allows businesses to administer custom survey questions to gain anonymous employee feedback.
- The IceHrm Cloud free plan does not include the Recruitment Module or IceHrm’s payroll technology.
- The technology may have a steep learning curve for users who are unfamiliar with its functionalities.
The IceHrm Core software is 100% free and open source. In addition, IceHrm’s Cloud solution is 100% free for businesses managing up to five employees.
7shifts: Best for food service industry scheduling
7shifts is designed with the food service industry in mind, as it provides tools that allow them to easily schedule restaurant shifts. The cloud-based platform includes drag-and-drop scheduling, time clock features and various team management tools, so business owners can get their staff set for success.
7shifts offers HR capabilities through its labor management features, which enable businesses to perform onboarding tasks like hiring employees and tracking applicants. In addition, employers can save time on their scheduling processes by viewing their employees’ work hours, attendance and availability. The solution even streamlines communication across the workforce, so employers can quickly relay announcements and chat with their team. It is also a mobile-friendly platform, which is always a nice perk.
- Scheduling, time off and availability.
- Time clock and timesheets.
- Team chat and announcements.
- Hiring and applicant tracking.
- Employee engagement tracking.
- Shift Pool.
- Point of sale system integration.
- Basic reporting and attendance reporting.
- Shift Pool: The Shift Pool feature makes filling open shifts and even last-minute absences a breeze.
- Analytics Integrations: Employers can make data-backed business decisions regarding labor scheduling by integrating their third-party systems and syncing their data with 7shifts. The platform’s free version supports integrations with many popular POS solutions, including Oracle MICROS Simphony (via Omnivore).
- Mobile Compatibility: The free mobile apps for iOS and Android are available for both managers and staff to communicate and access their schedules.
- Engagement Dashboard: Managers can track employee engagement to determine the reliability of their staff. The dashboard tools enable them to track team sentiment, view shift attendance data and gain insights about employee behavior.
- The free version only supports single-location businesses with teams of up to 30 employees. Additional features for processes like employee training, task management, payroll and auto-scheduling are not included.
- Users across various software review platforms have reported glitching and lagging as common occurrences with the 7shifts platform.
The 7shifts Comp plan is free for single locations, supporting teams of up to 30 employees.
Homebase: Best for employee satisfaction
Homebase is a service geared toward small businesses. Employers can sign up for the basic version for free to access features and capabilities for time tracking and schedule management. Homebase also includes onboarding tools, so employers can track candidates, schedule interviews and build a strong workforce team.
SEE: 10 best employee monitoring software for 2023 (TechRepublic)
What’s great about Homebase is that it takes a human-centric approach to management by placing focus on employee happiness. After all, a workforce team is only as good as its members, and the platform lets leaders ensure their workers are feeling good about their jobs.
Features and capabilities like collecting employee feedback after shifts, providing recognition through team shout-outs and offering pay advances make Homebase an excellent resource for building team trust and increasing employee satisfaction.
- Time tracking via timesheets and time clocks.
- Scheduling and availability.
- Messaging and mobile app.
- Hiring features like job posts and applicant tracking.
- Employee happiness tracking.
- Employee roster.
- Email support.
- POS and payroll integrations.
- Time tracking: Homebase lets users put time clocks on whatever device suits them, including tablets, computers, smartphones and POS solutions. Staff members can also access a free mobile app to view information about their latest schedule, hours and wages.
- Pay advances: Businesses can support hard-working employees by offering them pay advances at no cost or liability to the employer. This, along with the scheduling and timekeeping transparency, makes Homebase helpful for building trusting relationships with staff.
- Hiring templates and filters: The solution simplifies several areas of the hiring process by providing customizable pre-written job descriptions and letting them track and communicate with applicants. It also allows employers to filter applicants with screener questions, so they can dedicate their attention to the best candidates.
- Free plan: The Basic plan of Homebase is free for unlimited employees.
- The free version of Homebase does not provide some HR features like performance tracking, time off tracking, labor budgeting or compliance support.
- The free software version does not let employers track multiple roll types.
The Homebase Basic plan is free for one location and unlimited employees.
Connecteam: Best for small businesses
Connecteam is an employee management solution that provides a free Small Business Plan for businesses with up to 10 employees. While some software suppliers provide a tuned-down list of features for their cost-free plans, Connecteam’s free plan includes access to all of the hubs and capabilities that come with its paid versions.
Included within the Small Business Plan are features for end-to-end time management, task management, real-time reporting and collaboration, to name just a few. And better yet, small businesses can manage their teams with just one app.
- GPS time tracking.
- Employee scheduling.
- Task management.
- Forms and checklists.
- Work chat.
- Knowledge base.
- Engaging updates.
- Recognition and rewards.
- Training and onboarding.
- Employee documents.
- Mobile app.
- Time tracking: Through the time management tools, employers can easily delegate tasks, schedule jobs and create recurring shifts for their staff. Meanwhile, employees can use the GPS time tracking with Geofence to track their work hours and produce accurate timesheets.
- Digitalization: The Small Business Plan can digitize many processes for easy access and collaboration, like custom checklists, real-time reports and forms.
- Mobile application: Small business administrators can manage their workforce on the go with the convenient Connecteam app.
- Self-service and chat options: The solution supports employee self-service features, meaning staff members can view and edit their own personal employee profiles. Staff may also appreciate the team and private chat options, with chat messages and read receipts that can help support easy work collaboration.
- The free Small Business Plan is only provided for businesses with up to 10 employees. That means if your small business falls in love with this product, you will have to take on the expenses of a paid plan if it grows to 11 individuals.
The Small Business Plan is free for companies with up to 10 employees.
Freshteam: Best for hiring
Freshteam is a human resources information system software that offers a free Basic plan for organizations with up to 50 employees. Its features are designed for HR processes like employee data, hiring, onboarding and time off.
SEE: Best onboarding software for new employees in 2023 (TechRepublic)
Smaller businesses will enjoy Freshteam’s tools to help them manage their team members, from processes like tracking time off to securely storing staff documentation in an employee information system.
The software offers solutions for managing future workforce team members as well. For example, its job posting and candidate management tools can help businesses easily communicate with potential hires and select only the best applicants to join their workforce teams.
- Applicant tracking.
- Three active job postings.
- Customizable hiring workflow.
- Candidate pipeline visualization.
- Basic career site.
- Employee referrals.
- Recruitment team inbox.
- Team collaboration.
- Basic employee profiles.
- Employee directory.
- Org charts.
- Basic time off management.
- Time off dashboard.
- Mobile app for iOS and Android.
- Customizable hiring process: Businesses can select the most qualified participants with a customizable hiring process for each job that includes helpful tools like interview scorecards, canned responses and even an integrated email inbox for recruiters and hiring managers.
- Faster onboarding: Hiring businesses can speed up onboarding by managing tasks and to-dos for internal candidate management teams.
- HRIS: HRIS features in the Free plan include an employee directory, basic employee profiles, an organizational chart and searching and filtering for up to 15 departments and 30 teams.
- Time off management: Businesses can customize their time off management by defining their workweek and the software supports up to two time off types.
- Many reviews across online rating forums have mentioned issues with accessing helpful customer service support.
- The free Basic plan limits users to only three job postings.
Freshteam’s Free plan is free forever for up to 50 employees.
How to choose the right free HR software solution
There are a lot of HR solutions for businesses out there, but finding a free one that meets your company’s needs can take a bit of hunting. While each of these solutions offer features and capabilities that align with HR processes, they may not be suitable for your specific organization. It is essential to choose the right free HR software to manage your resources effectively.
To select the right choice, start by identifying your organization’s specific HR needs to determine which software features are necessary. In doing this, consider factors such as recruitment and onboarding, performance management, employee data management, payroll, and compliance with employment laws.
Next, research and compare different HR software options and evaluate their features, ease of use, customer support and compatibility with other systems used by your organization. Many software providers offer free versions of their HR solutions, only available for organizations with a limited number of individuals. Therefore, keep an eye out for any stipulations on business size to ensure the product would be appropriate for your company.
Finally, consider the software provider’s reviews to ensure the chosen software will meet your organization’s needs and provide a positive user experience. By taking these factors into account, an organization can select the right free HR software to streamline its HR processes and improve overall efficiency.
Read next: The best HR software for small businesses in 2023 (TechRepublic)