7 Best Free HR Software for SMBs on Tight Budget

7 Best Free HR Software for SMBs on Tight Budget-feature image
Reviewed By: Megha Sharma  | 

The work of the human resource department in your organization is not only to credit salary to your account but much more than this.

It needs to handle recruitment, onboarding, offboarding, employee engagement, appraisals, employee timelines, and more. According to Kofax, employees spend 22% of their time doing repetitive tasks. Just imagine, because of this, how many resources are wasted.

But, automation is the only strategy that can help HR teams manage all of this with ease. It can automate your HR processes like payroll, leave and attendance management, recruitment, onboarding and offboarding, etc.

So, let’s check out some free HR software for startups on a tight budget that can help your HR teams to manage everything seamlessly. They are great to kick start your HR automation journey with free plans and flexible pricing options for add-ons.

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Best Free HR Software for a Strict Budget

We recommend you try a free trial version or opt for the free HR software to understand its suitability and then upgrade to its paid version.

  • Orange HRM

Orange HRM

Orange HRM suits all company types and industries. It allows them to facilitate people management, employee training, performance management, and more. This free HR software can infact make you the HR hero of your organization by effectively managing HR administration, and other operations.

Why Use Orange HRM?

Orange HRM offers different payroll connectors specific to different regions such as hSenid for Asia Pacific & Africa, Definitiv for Australia, Singapore, & New Zealand, and others.

Orange HRM Pros

  • Manage employee data such as documents, contact information, corporate directory, etc.
  • Disciplinary tracking available to ensure consistency in work
  • Appreciate your employees on Orange Buzz, an internal social media platform
  • Select best candidates with the automation of Interview Assistant
  • Use advanced leave configuration tool create customized or standard company leaves such as maternity leaves

Orange HRM Cons

  • To customize anything, you have to connect to their support team
  • Leave management feature is confusing

Orange HRM Price to Upgrade

In the free starter pack, Orange HRM allows access to reporting, HR admin, time tracking, recruitment, etc. However, to upgrade and add other modules such as reporting & analytics, performance management, and recruitment, users can fill in a contact form on their official website.

Suggested Read: List of 20 Best HR Software In India – HRMS Software Companies

  • Bamboo HR

Bamboo HR

Bamboo HR is an all-in-one HR software that works on a people-first approach. Its award-winning customer support team makes it one of the most user-friendly HR software available on the market. It helps organizations hire the best talent and even ensures that they are happy while working with them by focusing on employee satisfaction.

Why Use Bamboo HR?

Bamboo HR does not only help manage regular HR operations, but it also enables you to create strong culture and happy workplaces, especially for small and medium sized business.

Bamboo HR Pros

  • Create customized and strategic workflows like employee promotions, confirmations, etc.
  • Remove guesswork and make data driven decisions with instant HR reports
  • Access applicant tracking feature to invite stakeholders on different levels to approve a new candidate
  • Manage payroll with time tracking, time off management, tax filing, etc.
  • Create an employee friendly organization by measuring employee satisfaction, employee wellbeing, and performance management.

Bamboo HR Cons

  • Software update might slow down your system
  • Digital signature feature does not work at times

Bamboo HR Price to Upgrade

Users can access a seven-day free trial of Bamboo HR. To upgrade, you can choose to buy their Essentials or Advantage plan for which you can request a free price quote on their official website.

  • Connecteam HR


Connecteam HR software helps organizations evaluate their employees’ skills by creating customized quizzes. In fact, you can even recognize and reward the best performers to boost employee confidence. Managers can also create customized courses to upskill their employees.

Why Use Connecteam?

Connecteam offers industry specific solutions for cleaning, construction, hospitality, logistics, manufacturing, and more.

Connecteam Pros

  • Track employees’ work hours with even on field with GPS and maps
  • Schedule and assign shifts to employees
  • Assign tasks to remote and field employees
  • Improve employees’ response time with digital checklists
  • Track key events like salary raises, work anniversaries, etc., with employee timeline

Connecteam Cons

  • Limited features in the free forever plan
  • Might face technical issues at times

Connecteam Price to Upgrade

Connecteam offers free HR software for small businesses that allows job scheduling, quick task management, survey form creation, and other popular features. You can upgrade to their paid plan starting from ₹2364.09 per year which offers additional payroll software integration, multi-location management, process automation, etc.

Suggested Read: 10 Ways Cloud HR Software Can Improve the Workplace

  • Teamdeck

Teamdeck helps organizations effectively manage employees with time tracking, workload management, leave management, and more. This ensures your teams’ resources are planned in a way where no one is burdened with work, and the productivity is not hampered.

Why Use Teamdeck?

Teamdeck software promotes transparency in an organization in terms of team members and projects. It allows you to manage employees and projects at the same time.

Teamdeck Pros

  • Allocate resources and plan projects according to the team calendar
  • Track productivity of full-time, hybrid employees and even freelancers
  • Track employees’ availability with the leave management tool
  • Create reports for payroll, project budgeting, attendance, etc.

Teamdeck Cons

  • The software lags at times
  • Slow customer service

Teamdeck Price to Upgrade

Teamdeck HR software comes with a 7-day free trial of two paid plans, Basic Resource and Team Member starting from ₹73.37 per month. Although the Basic Resource doesn’t allow access to the Teamdeck mobile app.

  • Rise Software

Rise provides a comprehensive people management platform to ensure the best experience for both employees and employers. It enables HRs to manage payroll, employee health and wealth benefits, productivity, and more. The software takes care of everything that happens between employee recruitment to retirement.

Why Use Rise?

Rise offers a unique feature where employees can manage their wealth and finances through portfolios, automated investments, risk sensitivity, and more.

Rise Pros

  • Assign custom permissions and roles to employees
  • Automated payroll processing with tax remittance, compliance, and reports
  • Create recruitment pipeline and hiring funnels
  • Calculate employee time off by tracking leaves, vacations, approvals, etc.
  • Monitor employee performance with reviews, feedback, question banks, etc.

Rise Cons

  • Response time for the software is delayed
  • Reports might show data errors at times

Rise Price to Upgrade

Rise offers three plans Start, Grow, Optimize, which are available at customized pricing. Moreover, you can access the Optimize plan free for 3 months.

  • Freshteam


Freshteam HRMS simplifies recruitment, employee management, and engagement, and helps organizations create employee friendly workplaces. It assists organizations to search for the right candidates with real interview feedback and scoreboards. After you have finalized the candidate, you can quickly onboard them by completing all the required formalities and forms.

Why Use Freshteam?

Create customized time off policies with Freshteam, especially when you are working for international clients and in multiple shifts.

Freshteam Pros

  • Seamless recruitment with resume management, applicant tracking, offer letter management, real time feedback and approvals, etc.
  • Enables employees to access the self-service platform to create their own profiles, so that anyone can find and connect to them easily
  • Managing confidentiality with secured and restricted document management

Freshteam Cons

  • Poor customer service

Freshteam Price to Upgrade

Freshteam offers a free forever plan for 50 employees that allows applicant tracking, time off management, mobile app for iOS and Android, etc. However, you can upgrade to its Growth, Pro, or Enterprise plans starting from ₹84 per employee per month. Or you can also go for a 21-day free trial to check out all the features.

Suggested Read: Key Roles and Responsibilities of HR Managers in Post Pandemic World

  • Kredily

Kredily helps companies to eliminate time consuming and error prone HR tasks with automation. It allows you to effectively manage employee databases, so that you no longer have to scroll through numerous spreadsheets. It ensures that your data is completely secure and never shared outside with any third party.

Why Use Kredily?

Kredily offers an in-built Kredpay which is India’s first salary payment gateway. It allows you to process salaries and make bank transfers in one click.

Kredily Pros

Kredily Cons

  • Users might face lags at times

Kredily Price to Upgrade

Kredily offers a free forever plan that includes 250 MB data storage, OTP login, automated greetings, reminders, etc. Although, you can upgrade to their Professional and Enterprise plan that start from ₹1499 per month for 25 employees. The paid plan comes with unlimited data storage, leave rules, set up support, employee training, and more.

How to Find the Best Free HR Software?

When you are on the search to find the best free HR software for your organization, look out for the basic features such as payroll management, onboarding, document management, leave management, etc.

In fact, you can choose HR systems that offer customized pricing options, where you pay extra for add-ons such as analytics, payroll, etc. These allow you to choose your preferred features and get HR software with features that you need. As your need increases, you can pay for more add-ons and easily upgrade. Also, we recommend you choose user-friendly software so that you don’t need to spend time on employee training.

Related Categories: Payroll Management Software | Recruitment Management Software | Grievance Management Software


  1. Which is the best HR software for startups?

    Some of the best HR software for startups are Orange HRM, Bamboo HR, Freshteam, etc. They can help startups to kickstart with a free version or free trial of the HR software with minimal investment.

  2. What are the top 3 HRIS systems?

    The top 3 HRIS systems are BambooHR, Sage People, and Paycom. They help you to cater to the HR needs of your organization while helping you to enhance employee productivity.

  3. Is there any free HR software?

    Yes, some of the free HR software solutions are Freshteam and Connecteam. They offer you a free forever plan but with limited features or access.

  4. Why use Free HR software?

    Free HR software gives an idea to the organization of how HR software works. It helps you to get started with HR automation in your organization with absolutely no to minimal investment. In the long run, if the software suits your HR management needs, you can upgrade to paid plans for advanced features.

  5. What are the best open source human resource (HR) software?

    Some of the popular open source human resource software solutions are MintHCM, Waypoint HR, monday.com, etc.

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