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Best HR software to manage employees in 2022

A person in a wheelchair working at a laptop.
(Image credit: Shutterstock: AnnaStills)

The best HR software makes it simple and easy to manage employees, from hiring to training, to taxes and benefits.

This can be a massive boon to your business, especially if you struggle to find the time to tackle HR tasks yourself or if you don't have an in-house department.

HR software can be complicated, though, so it's worth taking a closer look to make sure you've got the best software for the job – and at a sensible price.

Some help companies track job applicants and manage the hiring process, while others organize and schedule training courses. We feature the best payroll software, tax software, and other useful tools that check and analyze employee performance.

Alternatively, you could use HR outsourcing services or even a full Professional Employee Organization (PEO) service (opens in new tab), where all HR tasks are taken over by a third party. And, if you need a new job, head straight to our round-up of the best job sites.

Ultimately, the HR software you choose will depend upon your business needs, and you'll have to figure out exactly which HR tasks you need to be automated or streamlined. We've picked out the best HR software currently available for a wide range of tricky tasks, looking at how well it solves the business need it sets out to address.

Here then, are what we think are the best HR software services currently available.

We've also featured the best time management apps of 2022.

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Best HR software of 2022 in full

(Image credit: Gusto)

1. Gusto

The best all-in-one HR management solution

Reasons to buy

Covers all HR scenarios
Clear pricing
Benefits for small businesses

Reasons to avoid

Slow report support response times

Gusto is one of the best HR software products on the market if you need a solution to handle several of the significant human resources tasks in your business.

This tool offers a full-service payroll solution alongside time tracking, tools to handle health insurance and employee's financial benefits, and modules that can help companies keep up to date with compliance and legal requirements. Gusto can streamline the hiring and onboarding of staff, and Gusto also has a team of HR experts to provide guidance in unexpected situations.

Gusto provides medical, dental, and vision benefits and can manage HSAs, FSAs, 401Ks, and college savings, and it can also supply life and disability coverage. In this way, it functions similarly to an HR outsourcing company and can provide small businesses with the kind of benefits that they wouldn't usually be able to access.

More than 200,000 businesses currently use Gusto, and it's a superb choice if you want a full-service system to handle your firm's biggest HR headaches.

Read our full Gusto review.


(Image credit: BrightHR)

2. BrightHR

The best HR software for large businesses

Reasons to buy

Clear, competitive prices
Excellent selection of advanced features

Reasons to avoid

US edition is absent

The BrightHR platform is packed full of advanced HR management features. It offers an excellent selection of staff management tools, including a neat holiday planner. On top of this, you can record absences and sick leave in just a few seconds. Documentation, including medical certificates, can be scanned directly into the system, and you will receive notifications when team members are due to return to work. 

The BrightHR system also tracks various metrics to help you with payroll calculations, reducing the time you need to spend on admin processes. This includes overtime tracking, a complete record of paid and unpaid absences, and information about bonuses or other extra payments that you owe employees. 

Another noteworthy feature is BrightHR’s unlimited cloud storage. This is designed to help businesses go paperless and features a range of tools to help you store, manage, and share digital files. In addition, files can be accessed from anywhere through the neat mobile app, which is available for both Android and iOS devices. 

However, there’s no US version. It’s currently only available to customers in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Ireland. 

Read our full BrightHR review.


(Image credit: BambooHR)

3. BambooHR

Perfect if you need an all-in-one web-based system

Reasons to buy

Good mobile support
Covers most situations
Processes automated requests

Reasons to avoid

Vague pricing

BamboHR aims to bring the human touch to human resources, and it does this by collecting information about your employees and delivering personalized insights and functionality.

BambooHR collects all employee information in a single database and provides businesses with an all-in-one software portal that can view and manage employee records, track job applications, view and analyze your staff performance and automate tedious administrative tasks. There's a mobile app, too, so you can keep on top of HR while you're on the move. It handles payroll and vacation requests, too.

BambooHR's software is available in two packages – Essentials and Advantage. The former only includes entry-level HR management and self-serve employee options, while the latter adds hiring and onboarding abilities, advanced workflows, customization and branding options, and better support. You'll also have to pay extra for payroll, time tracking, and performance management options.

Read our full BambooHR review.


(Image credit: Bullhorn)

4. Bullhorn

Ideal if you need a recruitment tool that integrates with other platforms

Reasons to buy

Search engine for candidate selection
Generates data-filled reports
Integrates with other platforms

Most HR software packages try to tackle every aspect of human resources, but Bullhorn concentrates on the hiring process – an essential part of every growing company's journey.

Bullhorn provides a modern, fully-featured applicant tracking system that can help you keep on top of the applications you've received for positions at your company, and you can see all of the relevant data in a single location. You can publish job adverts, see lists of potential candidates, and mail multiple candidates at once.

This tool integrates with platforms like LinkedIn, Outlook, and Gmail, so it can easily fit into your business, and it can gather information on candidates and parse resume documents for key data. You can also use a smart search feature to sift through candidates to find relevant information and potentially great additions to your workforce.

There are four levels of plan available with Bullhorn, allowing you to select the best HR software solution for your needs. The entry-level Team plan has a broad range of abilities. Still, the Corporate, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus tiers add added features, including API access, custom fields, advanced reporting, and sales quotas. If your company wants to streamline its hiring process, Bullhorn is an excellent choice.


(Image credit: Workable)

5. Workable

Perfect if you want to simplify the hiring process

Reasons to buy

Easy to use
A more affordable option
Pay as you go choices

Reasons to avoid

Misses onboarding features

Workable is another HR software product that simplifies and improves the recruitment process. When a business is only as good as its staff, it makes loads of sense to make your hiring as effective as possible.

Workable can post your job adverts to more than 200 job boards simultaneously, so you'll attract applications quickly, and it has more than 700 phrases that can build adverts and job descriptions. You can use this tool to anonymously screen job applicants and view essential data about candidates. You can use Workable's data to make better decisions about which candidates are right for the job.

This tool can automate many of the tedious actions associated with the hiring process, and you can plan, track, and manage your hiring workflow. Workable offers offer letter templates, and it has communication features that mean everyone can be kept up to date with recruitment.

If you want a specialist tool to help you find, interview, and hire the best candidates for vacant positions, there aren't many better than Workable. As with many of the best HR software products, though, you'll have to pay for a higher tier of access if you want more features, and pricing is only available on request.

Read our full Workable review.


(Image credit: PeopleHR)

6. PeopleHR

The best for mobile app support

Reasons to buy

Supports Google Drive and Dropbox
Mobile-ready design
Supports custom workflows

PeopleHR offers a web-based interface that aims to streamline every key HR process and offer transparent pricing at the same time.

The app's intuitive dashboard can automate dozens of tasks, from employee turnover reports and sickness tracking to approving holiday requests, and it can also track new job applicants and list job vacancies on top recruitment websites.

PeopleHR supplies loads of data that can show exactly how much time you've saved by switching to this system, and it recommends the best way forward for your decisions by showing you how other companies have acted in similar situations. There's a slick performance management system that can manage employee reviews and 360-degree feedback, and this software works on PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones so that you can work flexibly.

PeopleHR has a team of experts to guide you through the software, and it's easy to learn. Combine this with its clear pricing, where cost is based on the number of employees covered per month, and PeopleHR becomes a top choice for anyone who is not familiar with HR software.


(Image credit: BerniePortal)

7. BerniePortal

The most flexible HR option for businesses of all sizes

Reasons to buy

Broad range of options
Fully IRS compliant
Single-click operations

Reasons to avoid

Unimaginative user interface

BerniePortal is a full HR service that takes the hassle out of managing your entire employee life cycle.

This tool features plenty of options that allow you to screen and assess candidates and then communicate with them during the hiring process, and you can integrate them into the business with minimal time and fuss.

You can deliver an excellent benefits package with extra employee engagement and less paperwork alongside full IRS compliance. BerniePortal allows administrators to approve holiday requests and tackle other everyday tasks with one-click operations.

BerniePortal keeps track of attendance and delivers detailed reports, and staff can access, view, and sign important documents from within the app, which includes support for electronic signatures. BerniePortal handles your payroll and IRS filing with increased speed and accuracy.

It's not the best-looking HR suite, and it's not the cheapest either, but it offers a broad range of features and a clear design, so it's still an excellent choice.


(Image credit: Zenefits)

8. Zenefits

A complete HR solution that's very easy to use

Reasons to buy

Loads of features
Clear, effective design
Employee log-on options

Reasons to avoid

Costs more than comparable options

Zenefits is one of the clearest options around when it comes to offering a complete HR solution for any size of business. It makes complex situations simpler, and it starts with one of the best dashboard designs in the business.

The sleek system can manage your company's payroll, attendance tracking, performance management and job applications. It can also tackle federal, state, and local taxes and the administration of your staff's various benefit and insurance packages. You can use Zenefits to get quotes from different benefits providers, and employees can use their own interface to update personal information and access resources.

It's an impressive full-service HR solution that will be especially useful if you want a clear system that's easy to use, although you'll only get all the features if you pay for the Growth or Zen plans – and Zenefits is also a little pricier than some of the other HR options on the market.

Read our full Zenefits HR and Payroll review.


(Image credit: Lanteria)

9. Lanteria

The best HR software for large enterprises

Reasons to buy

Supports Office 365
Training capabilities
Clear and versatile modules and dashboards

Reasons to avoid

Too much for most businesses

Lanteria offers a broad platform of HR solutions for medium and large enterprises. Companies like Warner Bros and Lufthansa use it, and it's based on Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 (opens in new tab), so it's easy to integrate with many of the packages that are popular in loads of big companies.

The central dashboard has modules that tackle a variety of common HR tasks. You can manage and monitor employee attendance, payroll, recruitment, performance, and training from different areas of the straightforward software, and the dashboard's home screen provides clear statistics on your business, from absences and helpdesk tickets to goals and documents that need your attention.

Lanteria's software is cloud-based, so it works from any internet-connected device, and it can also automate tasks and workflows, handle custom signatures, and manage employee reviews.

There aren't many HR products that offer as many features as Lanteria, but it will be overkill for many businesses. That said, if you need a comprehensive HR product for a larger company, this is a top-notch choice.

Also consider these HR solutions

There are a wide range of HR software solutions available for all sorts of situations – some of them supply the full range of HR options while others focus on single tasks.

Namely (opens in new tab) is a full-service HR software platform that deals with issues from onboarding to training, to payments and benefits. You can monitor and review employee training, cover time and attendance, and allow employees to manage their own progress and development using a self-service portal.

Paycor (opens in new tab) covers all major HR areas, from recruiting and onboarding to payroll, training, attendance and time management. It delivers comprehensive reports to get critical business insights, and prides itself on the level of expert support it provides its customers.

JobDiva (opens in new tab) focuses on the applicant recruitment and training process. It primarily features candidate searching and matching modules alongside career development tools, and it integrates with popular Vendor Management System tools like Workday, Beeline, Vizient and Medica.

Ciphr (opens in new tab) provides an easy-to-use platform to manage most aspects of HR. Key features include onboarding, timekeeping, payroll, compliance, and self-service options for employees. Configurable dashboards provide analytics and data to help you set up automated, intelligent workflows, so you can use Ciphr to make your entire business more efficient.

We've also featured the best employee experience tools.

What is HR software?

HR software exists to help businesses oversee all aspects of employee management from a central dashboard. Many programs on our list offer an all-in-one HR solution that handles recruitment, onboarding, payroll, tax, and more. Others specialize in managing one or more of these tasks.

How to choose the best HR software for your business

Choosing the best HR software package should revolve around your business needs. If you have a small company and have no specific requirements, one of the do-it-all programs will likely be an excellent fit for your organization.

Conversely, if you have a specific pain point in your HR workflow, software tailored to that use case will be far more helpful. Recruitment and payroll are both examples of processes with dedicated solutions. Larger companies should consider enterprise-level HR software.

How we test the best HR software

Where possible, we sign up for every HR software product that we review. We review how easy it is to get started and enter data to see what the program is like to use. Every key feature is put to the test and compared to what's offered in competing products.

We research a range of other factors, including data security, ongoing support, and pricing models, looking at free versions where available. If we can't physically test the best HR software, we base our verdict on information found on the company's site, peer reviews, and user testimonials.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar (opens in new tab).

Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.