Top 10 human resources software services

Every business is the sum of its employees, and human resources – HR for short – is all about managing a happy, efficient and effective staff.

HR software, sometimes known as human capital management, aims to simplify basic tasks such as granting holiday and training new recruits.

Most basic HR software will keep employee records, track work hours and absence and deliver performance feedback. Depending on how automated the software is, some will handle scheduling without requiring any work on your end.

Some software packages will also handle payroll, expenses and benefits; others still will manage recruitment, onboarding and training.

We’ve rounded up ten of the best and most popular HR systems for businesses in the UK in 2019.


London’s own bob is a bespoke HR system for small to medium-sized businesses. Its biggest selling point is its use of automation and its ability to generate actionable insights on staff.

bob’s interface is one of the most human we’ve come across. Its company dashboard shows at a glance with photos which employees are out of office and why; brightly-coloured insights show what percentages of staff enjoy rock music, eat meat and play football. A partnership with Perkbox offers staff benefits including discounted cinema, retail and travel.

As bob is a bespoke platform, pricing depends upon your business’s specific needs; your first 14 days are free.


Another London native, Cake is a data-driven, automation-heavy HR platform for small and medium businesses. It covers all of the standard fare, such as timesheets, attendance tracking and scheduling, but also offers a dedicated onboarding system and applicant tracking through the recruitment process. The system automates staff scheduling requests and training tasks, thus freeing up time for more substantial work.

Cake’s analytics and reports are a real high point for business owners in search of real insight into staff behaviour and efficiency. However, the software lacks a personal touch and also doesn’t track employee satisfaction like some of its competitors.

Pricing starts from 80p per employee per month for just the expenses tracking module. A full set of features comes in at £9.92 per employee per month with a free 14-day trial.


Charlie‘s HR system handles time management, performance reviews, engagement surveys, onboarding and offboarding.

The platform integrates perfectly with Slack, Trello, Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar, but lacks a scheduling feature.

It’s simple to organise staff by teams, offices and role, granting specific permissions to each.

Another nice feature is team rewards; Charlie offers exclusive discounts that team members can share with up to 10 friends.

CharlieHR costs £4 per employee per month, with a 14-day free trial.


Bath-based citrusHR is primarily a consulting business with a specialty in employment law for small businesses and charities. Its software can be purchased as a standalone or in conjunction with a full HR support service.

The citrusHR platform is simplistic but covers the bases for smaller companies. It handles time tracking, attendance monitoring, holiday time requests and appointment booking, with managers kept abreast of every change. Users can track payroll and expenses, as well as training and performance appraisals. The software lacks scheduling capabilities, which may be a dealbreaker for shift-based businesses. There is also no way of tracking job applicants.

citrusHR pricing begins at £2 per user per month for software only, with a minimum commitment of £20 per month and a 14-day free trial available. The full HR Support Service with software is £7 per employee per month, along with a £50 flat fee.


BreatheHR‘s comprehensive package manages staff data, documents, expenses, sick days, holiday leave, appraisals and meetings from one dashboard. Its detailed analytics and extensive reports highlight company trends, helping you to nip problems in the bud as they arise.

The employee self-service feature and clean, user-friendly interface are particularly strong selling points.

Pricing starts from £9 per month for up to ten employees, with your first fortnight free.


kiwiHR‘s primary feature is cloud-based employee scheduling. By allowing staff to submit requests for time off, track their own working hours and update their own data, companies can save valuable time and resources while improving efficiency.

Beyond time management, kiwiHR offers a few neat features such as tracking company equipment and organising documents. Companies can appoint administrators and assign different access levels to staff.

Pricing starts from €2.50 per employee per month, with a 30-day free trial.


BambooHR is a cloud-based HR software service for small and medium-sized businesses. It tracks employees all the way from recruitment to performance reviews, with an emphasis on people over processes.

Boasting customers such as Reddit and FreshBooks, its user-friendly interface and all-rounder functionality make it the software choice of over 13,000 organisations.

BambooHR’s pricing is tiered, starting from $6.19 per employee per month for the Essentials package and $8.25 per employee per month for the Advantage package.

Zoho People

Zoho People manages employee data, timesheets, performance reviews and staff questions on desktop and mobile.

What differentiates Zoho – for better and for worse – from its competitors is the modular nature of its software. While other suites offer payroll and recruitment as standard, you’ll need to purchase them as separate apps from Zoho. The Zoho suite counts almost fifty programs including finance and customer relationship management and works seamlessly, but may well work out to be more expensive for small businesses.

Pricing begins at 66p per employee per month, with a 15-day free trial.

Sage Business Cloud People

Sage Business Cloud People makes up part of Sage’s Business Cloud suite, which also includes accounting software. Its HR program caters to medium and large businesses and can support up to 5,000 employees, with a minimum of 200.

As you would expect, Sage’s offering covers all the bases. Timesheets, attendance tracking, performance reviews and engagement surveys are all present. Applicant tracking systems and onboarding take care of new recruits and the system keeps track of salary, bonuses and benefits. Surprisingly, there is no scheduling facility, so it’s not the ideal fit for businesses working by rota.

Sage Business Cloud People includes a full self-service portal. Here, employees can book time off, access documents and manage their benefits.

Pricing varies, but a free demo is available on request.


Workday‘s enterprise cloud suite is beloved by Fortune 50 giants and counts household names including Netflix, Amazon, Rolls-Royce and AstraZeneca as customers.

The Workday suite serves as a one-stop shop for finance and HR. This single system is a great way to improve communication between departments and also ensures that decisions can be made based on one comprehensive set of data. It works seamlessly across mobile, tablet and desktop.

As Workday is tailored to medium and large enterprises, it comes with richer analysis and higher security than its smaller rivals – but it’s also a good deal more expensive. Pricing is bespoke, taking into account the number of staff, length of contract and modules required.