4 Best Free Human Resource Management Tools

March 23rd, 2021

Free human resource software is out there but is often buried in paid advertisements and endorsements. Most no-cost HRM have scale and feature limitations. Since every use-case is different, it is possible to work within these constraints and find an option that works for you. Many places outline “free” versions that are either simply not free or are trial versions of paid software. Every tool on this list includes a usable, entirely free option. Once the limitations are outlined, you can decide if the no-cost route is right for you in human resource management software.

The software covered in this piece are:

Are There Free HRM Options Available?

In this category of software, there are very few fully functional free services. Vendor marketing can make it challenging to see and understand pricing on the front end. This dynamic can leave many buyers wondering, “is X really free?”. A look at our category page will show dozens of products. Almost none of these have free options. 

This is a tool that will save most companies significant time. However, saving time usually comes at a cost. Choosing free HRM software will boil down to working within the limitations of the free choices available. If those choices do not impact your business use case, then these will work for you.

Best Free HRM for Your Use Case

Find which of the following best describes your use-case to find software suitable to your needs.

Free Very Basic HRM For Zoho Fans

Zoho HRM:  If you already use Zoho for other areas, and are new to HRM, this may be a great choice for you.

Zoho users will be familiar with the way this vendor has a tool for seemingly everything. Zoho offers some of the best management tools outside of HR management software. This would allow for easier flow of data and a more consistent user experience.

The features of the free version are rather basic compared to some of the others on this list. The major benefit here is the Zoho name and brand. For some, this gives a sense of reliability and familiarity. This software is free for up to 5 users, and so is best suited to a small business.

Zoho HRM offers users an employee database to manage their staff.  This allows HR administrators to store employee personnel information. Managers can set time-off policies and track when employees take advantage of them. 250MB of storage is allowed in the free plan. There is full mobile support for Android, iOS, and Windows devices. The support team at Zoho is also consistently praised, which the free version has full access to. 

Unfortunately, this is where the features effectively stop in the free version. There are no onboarding tools or attendance tracking. Timesheets and performance management are also limited to the paid versions.

Zoho HRM will be right for you if you suspect that free HRM software will not work for you long term. It serves much better as a short-term or stop-gap measure for HRM. In this case, you may be looking for something free for now and plan to upgrade in the future. 

Easy-To-Use, Simple, Free HRM

Homebase: This software will offer a full set of user-friendly human resource management tools for any size business. Homebase has no limits on users, allowing for unlimited employees. This is a rarity in the free software world, and even more so for HRM.

Homebase has employee management and recruitment tools. Time tracking capabilities are included in this tool.  The free version includes time clocks that allow for tracking breaks and overtime management. These sheets can be integrated directly with payroll. HR departments can also compare scheduled and actual work time. Leadership will appreciate this as a way to increase accountability and manage pay. This is especially true for use cases with hourly employees.

Scheduling features are particularly strong in Homebase, especially for a free tool. Management can create and edit schedules. Employees can also self-serve shift trading, open shifts, and time-off requests. Attendance management in an intuitive interface allows for greater employee engagement in the scheduling process while reducing confusion.

These features will keep your employees happy as well. For communications, the tool has a built-in messaging feature. Employee roster and profiles allow the manager to easily keep track of workers. Staff can swap their work hours, and set up the cover, all in one place. Business owners have access to labor forecasts as well.

All of these features are geared towards making your team coordinate and work more effectively. Homebase goes further and helps you hire a team as well. The software allows you to make job postings, set questions, and track applicants. These features are not as advanced as in some other paid options. This may be enough for many uses cases, such as 

In summary, Homebase is a great simple option for many users. Any industry with many hourly employees and those who switch hours will especially benefit. This includes restaurants and service work.

Recruitment Focused Visual HRM

Freshteam: This software is part of the increasingly popular Freshworks family. The free version of Freshteam will be those who want HRM for its onboarding and hiring features. 

Freshteam includes Kanban board visualization for job applicants. This is an incredibly effective way to quickly track where different candidates are in the hiring process. Kanban boards are powerful tools, and this will be a boon to many different use-cases. The free version allows for up to 3 published job postings. The size limit for the teams is 50 people. The user interface is some of the best seen in free HR software.

The email integration allows for candidate applications through common platforms like Gmail and Outlook. Freshteam also offers a recruitment team inbox to help your HR team manage your postings. Zoho’s simple career website builder will add further to your hiring process. For talent management for those looking to bolster their workforce, this is a great option.

While this tool does have a focus on recruitment, there are functions to support personal management as well. An employee directory is included, as are organizational charts. The software supports basic time off management in the free version. It will also offer basic employee support as well, though this is not what it is best suited outside its paid tiers.

This is another fantastic choice if you are considering upgrading in the future. For more complicated onboarding and hiring management, the upgrade fees are affordable. This is great for teams that want free HRM for now but are fast-growing and whose needs may change. Freshteam is a strong free HRM solution for those with recruitment needs.  

Open-Source, Completely Free HRM Solution

Sentrifugo: For those willing to step a little outside the box, there is a full HRM software for free. Sentrifugo is an open-source, community-supported solution to the problem of the lack of free human resource management solutions. 

Sentrifugo offers the same basic features as the other software on this list and adds more premium features. Like others, this tool includes employee tracking and leave management. Employee data can be stored and modified. Managers can handle holidays and time-off requests. The time management functionality is also strong. Employee self-service allows much of this to be done without unnecessary oversight. 

 Sentrifuo shines in the extended features beyond the basic capabilities of other free HRM software. The various modules of this software are designed to benefit all aspects of HR processes and workflows. 

Sentrifugo offers advanced performance appraisal and analytics tools to managers and their teams. OKR’s can be set and monitored, and future training planned. This can be built into a comprehensive employee development plan. Should problems arise, the software even includes tools to help in disciplinary actions. User activity allows for employee monitoring, and attrition rate tracking takes that a step further. These tools will aid in employee performance reviews.

Managers will appreciate the back-end features as well. Expense management and tracking allow users to keep their finances in check. This is boosted further by asset management features. Employees can also make requests for service to company resources and report issues.

For the onboarding process, Sentrifugo once again goes beyond other tools. Features include scheduling and interview management, which are often locked behind paywalls in other software. An HR manager can keep a shortlist of candidates and even perform background checks on prospective talent. Sentrifugo even manages exit interviews and outboarding.

This software is a true Human resource management solution. It offers features in all areas of the department. There is a dedicated and driven community supporting this tool. 

The open-source nature will be unappealing to some, and it does have some reliability issues that come with this. Open-source software will have more issues than a vendor-purchased software SaaS solution. For users who are willing to try a more unusual solution, they may be able to get premium features for no cost whatsoever.

More Human Resource Management Software Options

For those who can work within free HRM limitations, free options are worth considering. If the scale and feature of your use case go beyond this, a free tool will possibly not work for you. If you have explored these choices and decided to go for a paid version instead, check out our category page. This is where you will find the best software of the type. You can read reviews and directly compare choices. 

For users looking for a refresher on the capabilities and benefits of HRM software, check out the video below.

If you are interested in learning more about different types of human resource software, you can view all our categories here. The youtube video below goes into greater detail about some of the types of HR software available, and what they do.