The 5 best free HR and employee management software solutions

Type “free HR software” in the search box and prepare for a deluge of results. With some, you quickly realize that “free” actually refers to a trial version, while others are sponsored adverts. To help you distinguish the wheat from the chaff, read through our quick overview of the best free HR and employee management software solutions out there.

Related: What is employee management?

Let’s have look at what they are:


This free, cloud-based service is ideal if your business requires a high level of communication between employees. Built-in messenger and employee discussion forums explain why WebHR is known as ‘The Social HR Software’.

Well – it’s only free if you have five employees or fewer using it, so this software suits small businesses. Some key free modules include onboarding, time and attendance, an employee self-service portal, file and document management, reports, and time off. Should you decide or need to upgrade, you can do so one module at a time.

Zoho People

Zoho offers a fairly comprehensive free package that includes file and document management, time and attendance tracking, performance management, employee development, and time off management. Free for five users, Zoho People provides an employee database as well as office readiness features.

This includes work premises configuration, work from office management, and visitor management. And while you’re only getting 250MB of storage, you’ll still get classic support and e-signature integration. Zoho People is great for organizations looking for many features that offer basic HR services.


This is the one that pops up in most “Best free HR software” lists. Companies can self-host; however, this open-source software offers the same solutions in its cloud-based version. With more than 5 million active users, OrangeHRM takes its tagline “HR software for all” seriously.

The free starter package provides time tracking, reporting, HR admin, and recruitment features, along with employee self-service. Leave management, performance, and employee management also form part of the deal. If your priority is scalability, then Orange HRM is a solid choice.


Collaboration is the key feature of this software. An unlimited number of users in its free version combined with a portfolio of task and project management features make Bitrix24 an excellent platform for cooperative work. Included among the 35 free tools are employee profile pages, company structure, a social network, and a company knowledge base.

This HR software will suit companies that want to easily connect to other aspects of the business, such as customer relationship management and website building.


Affordable scalability that won’t break the bank when you decide to upgrade is what you can expect from Freshteam. With access for fewer than 50 employees, you can take advantage of its free-forever plan that offers a customizable career site, employee referrals, an organizational chart, and an employee information system.

Freshteam’s selling points are its low prices for upgrades, user-friendly interface, and support. This cloud-based system works for small to medium-sized businesses looking for a one-stop shop for their HR needs.

It’s all about what you need

Take the time to carefully consider your company’s needs. Once you have decided on a HR and employee management software solution, it will be difficult to change it once it is implemented.

Even if no payment has been made, certain HR processes are now embedded in the chosen solution, requiring system overhaul and possibly user retraining.

Frequently asked questions

Are most HR software solutions cloud-based?

Yes, most modern HR software solutions are cloud-based, providing easy access and management of employee data from anywhere with an internet connection.

Is there a common limit on the number of employees that can be managed with free HR software solutions?

Yes, many free HR software solutions have a limit on the number of employees that can be managed. This limit usually ranges from 5 to 50 employees, depending on the software.

Can HR software solutions typically be upgraded to include additional features?

Yes, many HR software solutions offer upgrades that include additional features for a fee. Upgrades may include more advanced HR services, additional storage space, and more users.

Do some HR software solutions offer self-hosting options?

Yes, some HR software solutions offer self-hosting options, while others only offer cloud-based options. Self-hosting options may require additional hardware and software investments and may require more IT support.

Are there often limitations to the free version of HR software solutions?

Yes, free versions of HR software solutions may have limitations on the number of users, features, storage space, and support. Upgrades may be required to access additional features and support, depending on the needs of the business.

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