Top HR Software for Startups
Best HR Software Overall
Best for Early-Stage Startups
Whether you’re looking for HR software that will consolidate all of your employee management needs into one or a specialized service for a task like onboarding, there are a variety of HR software available to startups today.
When choosing software, it’s important to consider price, features included, integrations, and scalability. Switching HR software is difficult, therefore, choosing the right one for your business can save you time and money in the future. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up the best HR software for startups whether you’re looking only to run payroll or recruit a new team.
11 Best HR Software for Startups in 2023:
- OnPay - Best HR Software Overall
- ClickUp - Best for Early-Stage Startups
- ADP - Best for Combined HR and Payroll
- Gusto - Ideal for Large Companies
- BambooHR - Best for Managing Employee Lifecycle
- Rippling - Ideal for Medium-Sized Businesses
- Zenefits - Best for HR and Benefit Integration
- Remote - Ideal for International Startup Teams
- Deputy - Best for Time-Tracking
- Culture AMP - Best for Employee Engagement
- Greenhouse - Best for Hiring
Best HR Software: OnPay
We recommend OnPay for startups because of its ease of use, advanced tools, and affordable pricing.
OnPay is one of the more affordable HR payroll solutions out on the market, and it offers a full suite of tools for startups. With OnPay, you'll be able to automate payroll, payment workflows, and tax filing. The software also offers integrations with other business software like QuickBooks and Xero, so you can manage everything in one place.
With one of the best pricing options available, OnPay only has one plan: a flat fee of $36 per month with an additional $4 per person added for each month.
- Employees can take advantage of self-onboarding
- Options for paying 1099 contractors available
- Tax accuracy guarantee included
- Integrated health benefits
- Automates all your tax payments
- Can create custom payroll reports
- Only Android mobile app available
Billed as a project management software, ClickUp offers startups of all sizes a suite of features and functionality to onboard and recruit team members, manage projects, and collaborate. With options for small teams and solopreneurs, this platform may be best suited for early-stage startups. However, the platform offers a variety of plans and features for large and mid-sized teams as well.
ClickUp offers four plan options, including a free plan for solopreneurs. Small teams can opt for ClickUp’s Unlimited $7/month plan, while mid-sized teams would be better served by their Business plan at $12/month. Finally, for enterprises with large teams, a quote can be created through their customizable Enterprise plan.
- Task and project management tools available for employees
- Users can build workflows with a variety of views
- Time management features keep teams productive
- Teams can easily collaborate on projects
- AI capabilities available a la carte
- Recruitment and onboarding features
- Manage and develop employee processes
- Free plan available for solopreneurs
- Limited capabilities on the lower-end plans
- Customers have reported a steep learning curve
ADP Workforce Now is a complete HRIS (human resources information system) software solution for businesses of all sizes. While many HR software options cover the recruitment, onboarding, and management of employees, ADP takes it a step further with combined payroll services. Startups looking to utilize a singular platform for all of their employee management needs may be best suited by ADP’s extensive suite of features.
ADP doesn’t disclose pricing on its website. You will have to request a quote from the company to receive pricing information.
- Payroll processing in some plans
- New hire onboarding
- Customizable dashboards
- Automated time tracking
- HR and payroll software combined in some plans
- Employee self-service portal
- Easily integrates with other software
- No pricing available on the website
- No free trial available
Hiring and processing employees is a task all on its own but payroll management is another aspect startup entrepreneurs don't always account for. Gusto is solid HR software for startups for payroll that offers full-service management as well as a number of other HR tools to help you run your business. With Gusto, you'll be able to automate paychecks, offer health benefits, and keep track of employee PTO all in one place.
Gusto offers four pricing packages that have a flat monthly fee as well as a monthly employee fee:
- Simple Plan: $40/month plus $6 per employee/month
- Plus Plan: $80/month plus $12 per employee/month
- Premium Plan: Exclusive Pricing, Contact for Quote
- Automate your payroll management
- Paperless and direct transactions available
- Year-end forms and tax prep automated for you
- Automate employee benefits like healthcare, 401(k), and college savings
- All-in-one payroll management system
- Complies with all HIPAA, ACA, and ERISA standards
- May need customer support to undo specific actions
BambooHR is no stranger to the HR industry, and it's hailed as one of the best HR software for managing the employee lifecycle. With BambooHR, you'll be able to keep track of employee data, performance reviews, and time-off requests all in one place. The software also tracks valuable data input like retention and turnover so you can make more informed decisions about your employees.
For as good as BambooHR is, they don't make it easy to see how much they cost. You'll have to contact the business to discuss a quote based on the number of employees you have and what features you're looking for.
- Creates a centralized employee database
- Includes applicant tracking system
- Generates accurate data reporting
- Tracks employee performance
- Easy to use with a sleek and modern interface
- Provides enough data for startups to improve employee processes
- Lacks an attendance features for employees
- Confusing pricing options
Startups looking for a comprehensive solution for all their employee needs may find what they need in Rippling’s impressive suite of features for workforce management. Rippling consolidates all the necessary HR software functionality into one singular platform, from payroll to benefits administration.
Rippling’s pricing starts at $8 per user. However, to get an estimated cost for your business, you will need to request a quote on their website.
- Payroll and benefits management
- ACA and COBRA assistance
- Applicant Tracking System (ATS) included
- Time management capabilities
- All-in-one comprehensive platform
- Easy to set up and utilize
- Robust suite of features not offered by competitors
- Not ideal for early-stage startups
- Pricing information is scarce
For the startup that is looking for an all-in-one solution for their HR and benefits needs, Zenefits is the best choice. With this software, you'll be able to automate both payroll and benefits while also getting access to an expert team of HR professionals. Not only is the software intuitive to use, but it also features a list of add-ons that can make your HR process easier to manage.
Zenefits offers three packages priced per employee monthly, but it also offers “add-ons” like payroll services for an additional monthly fee per employee:
- Essentials: $8/employee/month
- Growth: $14/employee/month
- Zen: $21/employee/month
- Automated PTO tracking
- Insurance benefits are tracked
- 401(k) management abilities
- Mobile app for convenient tracking
- Integrates your HR and benefits processes seamlessly
- Offers an extensive list of automated benefits for employee tracking
- No on-demand phone support for customer service, ticket model only
Timing couldn't be better for Remote, as many workforces are transitioning to hybrid and fully remote setups. With this software, you'll be able to manage your payroll and benefits for employees working anywhere in the world. It's one of the best HR software that offers legal and HR experts in almost every single country, so you never have to feel cautious about how you're handling your HR process.
It's difficult to get specific pricing for the different packages Remote offers. According to the platform’s website, pricing ranges from $299-$699 per employee per month based on the chosen billing schedule and country selection. However, it’s best to contact their team to get more information.
- 401(k) tracking available
- Full benefits dashboard and management
- Includes employee benefits administration
- Centralized employee database
- Excellent for tracking remote employee benefits
- Full list of HR benefit features available
- Can be tricky to implement
- Confusing pricing options
For companies looking for a targeted time-tracking solution, Deputy is a solid choice. With scheduling, time-tracking, and insights for matching staffing to your budget, startups with brick-and-mortar locations can easily manage staff using the Deputy platform.
Deputy offers a free option for up to 100 shifts per month, a Premium package at $4.90 per employee per month, and an Enterprise package that is personalized to your business.
- Scheduling and time tracking
- Demand planning to match staffing with budget constraints
- Labor compliance tools
- Easy integrations with other software
- Competitively priced
- Free plan available
- A la carte features available
- Lacking features offered by competitors
- Best only for specific use cases
10. Culture Amp
A positive company culture is integral to keeping employees engaged and reducing turnover. Culture Amp is a unique HR software offering culture-focused HR services geared towards employee engagement, performance tracking, and skill development. However, the service doesn’t offer many of the same features as other HR solutions on this list.
Unfortunately, Culture Amp doesn’t include pricing information on its website. To obtain pricing information, you will have to request a free quote.
- Employee engagement tools from onboarding to exit
- Performance management tracking
- Employee development resources
- Community of business leaders
- Culture-first approach prioritizes a positive work environment
- Multiple plans available
- Unique features available with each plan
- No pricing information available
- Doesn’t include payroll services
A major part of human resources is recruiting the right team for your company. Greenhouse offers robust solutions for sourcing, hiring, and onboarding team members all on one platform. While the platform does offer over 400 integrations, it doesn’t include many of the HR software features competitors do.
Greenhouse offers plans for enterprise and small to midsize businesses. However, to obtain information about pricing, you will need to request a quote on their website.
- Recruiting tools including robust data and reporting
- Customizable onboarding tools
- Integrations with over 400 softwares
- Goal setting, tracking, and measurement tools
- Data-based hiring support
- Robust onboarding tools
- Collaborative platform
- No pricing information available
- Limited functionality
With so many HR software solutions available to startups, there is a litany of solid choices for entrepreneurs to consider for their businesses. Here are a few honorable mentions for employee management software that may benefit your company.
For startups looking for a more dedicated task management platform, Monday.com offers an easy-to-use platform for teams to collaborate and track projects. Plus, the dashboard is highly customizable, making it applicable to a wide range of projects, teams, and business types.
Namely is an HR software complete with compliance, benefits, and payroll functionalities. The platform also offers add-ons for managed payroll and benefits to enhance your suite of features.
GoCo offers a wildly robust set of features, including payroll, onboarding, benefits, time-tracking, and compliance. The service offers a variety of use cases as well to ensure it meets your business's unique needs.
Bitrix24 is an online workspace for businesses, allowing them to manage products, leads, and human resources. If one of Bitrix24’s four plans works for your company’s needs, you can anticipate utilizing this one platform for a plethora of software functions, from CRM to HR software.
Startup founders looking for automated but still comprehensive HR software can look to Cezanne to fulfill their needs. From absence management to onboarding, Cezanne offers a variety of unique and helpful features.
Juggling a bunch of different software can be time-consuming and expensive. PeopleSpheres is a great option for consolidating several HR software into one platform without sacrificing valuable features and functionality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do startups need HR?
It's important for startups to develop HR policies and procedures early on to ensure that they are compliant with employment regulations. HR can also help startups attract and retain top talent, manage employee benefits, and create a positive work environment.
What is HR software?
HR software helps startups streamline and automate their human resources needs to do a variety of employee management tasks from onboarding to payroll and everything in between.
How much does HR software cost?
The cost of HR software depends on the software itself, the amount of included features, and the size of your business’s staff.
How do you choose the right HR software?
There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing an HR tool:
- Pricing: While it may benefit you to opt for a more expensive HR software that offers a better suite of features, it is important to keep your budget and actual business needs in mind.
- Features: Depending on the software you’re considering, features can vary. Be sure to look at the features included and choose the software that packs in what your business needs.
- Integrations: If you’re using other software for project management or HR, make sure it integrates with your HR software for a seamless user experience.
- Scalability: Looking to grow your team in the near future? Do your due diligence and assess the plan options for larger teams when considering HR software.
When should startups hire an HR manager?
The timeline will depend on the size of the startup and how quickly it is growing. Generally, startups will want to hire an HR manager when they reach 20-30 employees.