Best Online HR Tools for Small Businesses

— August 19, 2019

Digital technologies are, without doubt, bringing numerous benefits to HR operation. Jobseekers, whether freelance, telecommute, full-time, or part-time, are increasingly using digital channels and devices to search for jobs. Moreover, employees and contractors are using social platforms such as Glassdoor and Google Reviews (via Google Maps) to express their opinions on their workplace. Platforms to hire freelance talent like Giggrabbers and Upwork have their own review and feedback process both for clients and freelancers.

Regarding various HR processes, from finding new employees and onboarding them to managing timesheets, benefits, payroll, and engaging hires, there’s a lot of work that small businesses have to take care of, especially if there’s only one person in charge of everything. While sometimes the entire operation can seem overwhelming, using the right digital solutions will help any company stay efficient and get these tasks done successfully. Not to mention being able to save some precious time, optimize everything, and stay connected. Without further ado, here’s a list of awesome online HR tools that will make everything easier.

Gusto HR

Gusto HR is a renowned HR online system, highly appreciated for its wide range of features and user-friendliness. One of its main functionalities is the onboarding one, which allows you to send out offer letters. Plus, you can use it to enroll in benefits and payroll and digitally sign contracts and forms, which is very helpful for businesses with remote teams. In includes a social chat, professional profiles, an automated organizational chart, a time-off system, and an employee database. If you want to keep on your employees’ pulse, Gusto HR sends automated engagement surveys that are, of course, anonymous.

Google Voice

This is a free messaging and calling communication feature offered by Google. You can set it up, register a new number, forward it to several already-existing numbers and use it during your recruiting process. You can call candidates, conduct phone interviews, send reminders, and so on. In addition, you can use Google Voice to keep in touch with current employees and business partners as well as keeping all your phone numbers organized.

Staff Squared

Staff Squared is a web-based HR management software specially created for growing firms with 1 to 100 employees. It features key functionalities like staff performance management, absence management, document storage, online calendar, expense management, and timesheets. Basically, it has all that you need for a straightforward HR operation. Furthermore, you can easily integrate with Google Calendar, Slack, and Microsoft Outlook, which gives it bonus points. You can try Staff Squared for 2 weeks before purchasing it.


Slack is an all-in-one communication platform where you can create channels for your departments, post updates, and chat with your team. You can also use it for one-on-one chats, to make voice or video calls, send files, manage your bills, create to-do lists, and assign tasks. You can integrate it with Google Calendar, Google Drive, and a plethora of other tools.

Zoho People

As a fully-featured, web-based scalable HR platform, Zoho People has gained a lot of popularity among small businesses. It’s free for organizations with up to 5 employees and very affordable for those with more team members. It offers a 15-day free trial and includes, besides others, leave management, employee databases, employee self-service, timesheets, and attendance management. Overall, Zoho is an excellent entry-level HR tool, ideal for companies that need a starting point and don’t want to spend a fortune on an HR platform.

Leave Dates

Leave Dates is an easy to use leave management software for organisations of any size. No spreadsheets, no paper, tracked and visible, with leave calendars and absence tracking.


You can use Calendly to schedule job interviews. You simply need to sign up, create your calendar, and share the link to candidates. This way, they can book a date and time when you’re available for a discussion, your calendars will sync, and you’ll receive a notification right away. You can always customize and update your availability. Generally, Calendly is a seamless tool that integrates well with websites and Google Calendar.


PeopleSpheres has the benefit of simplicity. This means that it has everything you might need in one single place. Thus, it’s a perfect choice for companies that use multiple software systems and want to simplify. PeopleSpheres allows you to plug other HR tools into in order to create a centralized, tidy database. All employee data will be automatically updated, which is a great time-saver. The tool lets you create a profile for each employee and update it with requests like expenses, leaves and so on. Another cool thing is that you can generate a broad range of digital reports and send a weekly e-mail notification to everyone in the company.


Small businesses love Gusto because it saves a lot of precious time on payroll tasks with full-time employees and freelancers. This tool helps firms take care of tax filings, direct deposit and check payments and integrate straight into several accounting programs to help you grasp all the paperwork. In addition, you can use Gusto for the onboarding process, e-singling documents, 529 and 401(k) programs, insurance, and commuter benefits.


Zenefits is awesome for businesses that value flexibility. The platform can automate several tasks such as onboarding and offboarding, as well as tedious things like paperwork management and employee data. Along with the comprehensive benefits management features, you can also use a complete payroll portal or hook into a different payroll provider, if that’s what you prefer. Products that you can integrate include Slack, Asana, Salesforce, and G Suite.


If you’re preparing a serious hiring session, you should definitely check BambooHR out. This nice cloud-based tool can keep all your in-house processes organized as you’re bringing on more talent. One of the most helpful features of this platform is applicant tracking. This lets you post jobs, assign hiring managers, and allow them to tailor the hiring process and review applications as they arrive. On top of that, you can use BambooHR to automate tasks like leave management, onboarding, paperwork, and offboarding.

Now that we’ve gone through all these helpful HR tools, you can take some time to analyze and decide which ones are right for your business.

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Author: Delia Tugui

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