5 Best Free and Open Source HR Software Systems

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Having the right human resource software is critical to the success of any growing business. Acting as the system of record for all of your employee data, HR software is the digital hub you need to support talent management needs and automate important HR tasks, from time tracking and payroll, to benefits administration and employee performance reviews.

HR software isn’t cheap though, and you may not have the budget to spring top dollar for a premium solution—which is why you should look into free and open source HR software systems. Costing zero dollars, these products are more than just a free sample, and can have all the functionality you need to run your small business.

Below, we’ll look at five of the best free and open source HR software systems on the market based on real user reviews. Each of these products (arranged alphabetically) has at least 10 reviews on Capterra in the past year and a minimum user rating of 4 out of 5 stars (click here for a full explanation for how we determined this list).

Want to see more free options?

This article looks at five highly rated free and open source HR software options. Check out a full list of free HR software systems in Capterra’s software directory.

 

  • Free plan: Includes 5GB of storage and access to self-help support materials. Bitrix24’s free plan supports up to 12 users normally, but a special during the COVID-19 pandemic allows for unlimited users.
  • Cost to upgrade: Upgrading starts at $19/month for two users and 10GB of storage. You also get access to live chat support during business hours.

A jack of all trades, Bitrix24 has applications designed to support a variety of business needs from customer relationship management and customer support, to videoconferencing, to document storage and project management. Within the free HR software application, you can create a company org chart, maintain every employee record, and manage a knowledge base with all of the HR process materials employees need to access.

Bitrix24 has both on-premise and cloud-based deployment options, and mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

Employee directory in Bitrix24

Employee directory in Bitrix24 (Source)


Fluida logo

Fluida

4.6/5.0
14 reviews

  • Free plan: Free for up to 10 users, Fluida’s free plan includes a company directory, time and attendance functionality, and access to email support.
  • Cost to upgrade: Fluida’s first paid plan is €2 (~$2.50 USD) per user per month and gives you access to advanced reporting, the ability to export your data, and support via live chat.

Based in Italy, Fluida is a core HR solution and attendance tracking tool available to customers worldwide. Within Fluida’s free HR software, an HR manager can manage paid time off (PTO), track overtime, maintain an employee directory, and even see who’s working in the office and who’s working remote through a shared calendar. Notifications pop up when employees request time off, and attendance reports are automatically generated.

Hardware devices to monitor employee location and check-ins at the office are available for an additional cost. A cloud-based HR tool, Fluida can be accessed through a web browser on any device with internet capabilities.

User dashboard in Fluida

User dashboard in Fluida (Source)


  • Free plan: Freshteam’s free plan, which allows for up to 50 employees and 3 simultaneous job postings, supports applicant tracking, core HR management, and basic time and attendance. Email and phone support are included.
  • Cost to upgrade: Costing $50/month for up to 50 users and 250 employees, Freshteam’s basic paid plan allows for more job postings, more customization, more advanced time and attendance features, and access to live chat support.

Freshteam is the human resource information system (HRIS) offering from Freshworks, and the first on our list to have applicant tracking features. Alongside the ability to maintain a separate recruiting email inbox, recruiters in Freshteam can post up to 3 job postings, create a basic career site, keep track of job applicants through their hiring pipeline, rate applicants with an interview scorecard, and maintain a roster of employee referrals.

Freshteam’s free plan also includes an org chart, an employee directory, and basic time off management features to support more general HR department needs. Cloud-based, Freshteam also has dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

Org chart in Freshteam (Source)


  • Free plan: Allowing for an unlimited number of employees, Homebase’s free software solution has time tracking, employee scheduling, core HR management, and applicant tracking features. Phone, email, and live chat support are all included.
  • Cost to upgrade: Paying $14/month gets you access to Homebase’s Essentials plan, which has everything in the free plan plus functionality for performance management, GPS tracking for field service workers, and automated shift scheduling.

Homebase is a time tracking and scheduling platform, first and foremost. Within Homebase’s free plan, employees can clock in and out, department heads can track breaks and overtime, and HR management can download daily time and attendance reports. A schedule builder is also included, which can be customized and auto-filled with employee PTO requests and availability for ease of use.

Beyond that, Homebase users can also manage employee information, post job openings to job boards, and track the status of job applicants. Homebase is cloud-based and has dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

Employee scheduling in Homebase

Employee scheduling in Homebase (Source)


  • Free plan: Intended for startups and microbusinesses, HRLocker supports up to four employees and includes core HR, onboarding/offboarding, and absence management features. Support is limited to self-help resources.
  • Cost to upgrade: Upgrading HRLocker starts at $3.50 per employee per month with a minimum of 15 employees, and gives you a dedicated account manager and access to phone and email support.

Based out of the U.K., HRLocker’s free offering is HR management software suitable for startups around the world. In addition to employee database, document management, and absence management features, HRLocker can generate standard reports, automate employee onboarding and offboarding processes, and highlight important employee information through an HR dashboard.

HRLocker is cloud-based, and offers dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

Absence management in HRLocker

Absence management in HRLocker (Source)


Check out our HR software buyers guide if you want answers to basic questions about this software category.

How to choose the right free or open source HR software for your business

Keep these things in mind when comparing different free or open source HR software options:

  • Consider how fast your business is growing: Free HR systems often carry limits on the amount of data you can store or the number of employees you can have. If you’re going to outgrow these limits soon anyway, it’s probably not worth the trouble.
  • Check the upgrade cost: Whether you plan to upgrade eventually, or you’re worried about getting charged the upgrade cost by accidentally going over the limits of the free plan (which does happen!), always make note of how much it will cost you to go up to the next tier.
  • Prioritize the employee experience: If a product has employee self-service capabilities, make sure the system is intuitive and easy-to-use from their end. If it’s clunky or frustrating, employees won’t use it and you’ll be stuck having to process every worker’s HR requests yourself.
  • Know your IT limits: If you want to customize open source software to your needs (a benefit of having access to the source code), you’ll need significant IT resources. If you lack a proper IT department, or even a single IT staff member, open source software that needs a lot of customization may not be the best option.

Common questions to ask vendors when selecting free or open source HR software

When talking to software vendors and learning more about different free and open source HR management software options, here are some key questions you should be asking:

  • What kind of support do you offer? Vendors often charge extra for support or cut it out altogether with their free products, which can be a major issue when you hit a problem. Ask for details about how you can reach vendor support (phone, email, or chat?) and when.
  • How easily can your product integrate with other systems? If a free HR system is only going to be one piece of your overall workforce technology stack (now or in the future), it’s important to make sure it will integrate seamlessly with other human resources software systems.
  • What are my reporting options? Free systems have to cut costs somewhere, and it’s usually in reporting. If the standard reporting options that are offered aren’t enough, make sure your HR staff has the ability to create and customize your own.
  • Do you have any published case studies? A case study is a great way to learn if a free product has actually delivered value to other customers. If a vendor doesn’t have a case study, or is hesitant about connecting you with other clients, it could mean their product isn’t very good.


How we rate

This article was updated on March 12, 2021. Products considered for this article had to:

  • Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
  • Meet our HR software definition: Human resource (HR) software acts as the system of record for employee data. A product was classified as HR software if it contained these three core features—employee profile, employee database, and reporting.

Products that met the market definition also needed a minimum of 10 user-submitted reviews published between March 1, 2020 – March 1, 2021, and have a minimum overall rating of 4/5 stars from reviewers on Capterra at the time of publication.

Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of Capterra.

Looking for Talent Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Talent Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Brian Westfall

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Principal Analyst @ Capterra, covering the latest in HR and recruiting software. BS in Marketing and Economics, Trinity University. Published in Forbes, SHRM, and TechRepublic. Based in Austin. I love corgis, baking, and rooting for my hometown San Antonio Spurs (Go Spurs Go!).

Comments

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Hi,
Thanks for your comment.
I’d like to mention that our methodology ensures that the product is completely free (ie is not a limited-period free product), and therefore each of the products is ‘forever free’.
The OrangeHRM product we’re referencing in this piece is an open-source one (installed on Windows). You can find the GitHub files here: https://github.com/orangehrm/orangehrm. User manual is available on this URL: https://www.orangehrm.com/open-source/orangehrm-installation/. The cloud version of the product is paid however.
If you can point me any other product that you feel is not free, I’ll be happy to discuss it.
Regards,
Harshit

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The ones that are listed here are not totally free except maybe HR.MY.
I hope this is clearly specified.
Like in OpenHRMS, there’s no real FREE version
OrangeHRM is limited up to 30 days trial

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Bitrix24 is an excellent suggestion.

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Very well explained and helped us to choose the best one. Thanks alot!!

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Hi Noor,
I recommend Officekithr (http://www.officekithr.com)Office kit HR is a multipurpose human resource management system. Handle employees in a more innovative manner using HR management software in the organization. The cloud-based interface allows you to access on the move. The software has multiple features such as employee self-service, leave and attendance management, document management, payroll management etc.

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We have around 100 employees. Only looking for Payroll system which can generate employee payslips online based on inputs we give as per the indina market standards.

Anything available free or with low cost.

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We would like to introduce our product EasyHR which has been “The world’s easiest HR Software for small and medium business”.

We are a leader in the field of HRMS automation. With Easy HR you would be able to successfully move your employee information from spreadsheets to an easy to use HR software and do more with your time.

EasyHR offers a complete Human Resource Management System, seamlessly enrolling an employee with a smooth recruitment process. Also maintaining employee Database, Managing Leave and Attendance with other Organizational day-to-day activities. Easy HR will help you in creating Error free appointment letters, relieving letters and other employee documents. Easy HR will ensure the employee records are maintained hassle free.

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It’s so many references thank you, I use SunFish Go they free for all feature for the free version (no ads) available for App Store and Play Store as well kindly check it https://sunfishgo.com

thank you!

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Hello,

Please include AJOFT HRMS SUITE also in this list as that is one of the best hrms software and free for startups upto 10 employees. The details are available at https://www.ajoft.com/products/hrms/

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SENTRIFUGO for me is the best here. But I wish they can offer better and quick support. We have installed for several clients here in Kenya and they are very happy.

NOW Sentrifugo, please include: PAYROLL SYSTEM and 360 Degree module and THIS WILLL BE THE BEST HR IN THE WORLD

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If you are looking for a suitable HR management system for your company, I am suggesting the latest most advanced free HR management software
Open HRMS ( https://www.openhrms.com/ ).

Open HRMS have the advanced features such as payroll, time and attendance, benefits management, and performance management etc. Open HRMS is the Best Free Open Source HR Management Software in 2018

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I need the bank balances in hours, not days. OrangeHRM looks good for an immediate temporary need until one of our solutions providers customize something for us, but using the open source of Orange don’t allow to export reports to a any file format. I would need to connect to the database using MySQL. Will try Sentrifugo to check if it works. The open source program I’m looking is for manual input of FMLA leave absent hours, sometimes with the licenses it’s better that HR handle it and don’t leave it to managers or supervisors.

For Time keeping and leave we use Kronos AutoTime and the time could be applied to that license but my HR team is looking for handle this hours for accuracy and enforcement.

I read all previous post, and recommended tools are good for small companies. If you are looking for a solution for 10,000+ employees I could tell to others evaluating paid tools that for time keeping one of the best in the market is Kronos AutoTime, for performance we start using Workday last year and is very good and for ESS we use a product developed by Deloitte and other tools designed for us from companies like AON. It cost a lot, but for security, policy compliance, law, tax and many other things, your best asset are your employees and you need to invest in them. Always do a good research.

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Hi, does Sentrifugo have an employee number limit?

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It is important that the HRMS software has clear role in the entire organizational structure. The traditional system is not useful in updating the designation or pay scale revision of its employees.

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If you are looking for a WordPress based free HR solution then WP-HR Manager is a new option https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-hr-manager/

Paul

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I’m not sure how they missed TimeTrex workforce management (https://www.timetrex.com), it does a lot more than just HR, but so do many other software packages on here and it actually is completely free/open source for both on-site and cloud hosted deployments.

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I just checked Zenefits, and it appears that it’s now paid. It could be that it uses geolocation to apply a charge to me on hte pricing page (I’m in the Caribbean) but the pricing page says I’d have to pay $5 per employee per month, plus a $40 base fee

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These are very interesting. After review of the various suggestions above I feel it would be helpful to mention our company is an authorized Kronos partner. We offer complete HCM in one login with the most functionality and flexibility in the market. Kronos is a billion dollar company who has poured tens of millions into their HCM platform. Our clients are able to automate everything from hire to retire inside one single database at reasonable costs. We are US based and provide full service to all size businesses who want [and need] to focus on their core competencies to remain competitive. You can find us at http://www.exactpayroll.com. To learn more about the Kronos suite of HCM offerings visit https://www.kronos.com/about-us/workforce-ready-partner-network.

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I am very pleased to read this article. Actually all the hr and payroll management system described in this article is awesome, but the problem is to those hr and payroll management system are not easily customize. Besides you can not track employees record using bio-metric device. I know a software company named as MASSTECH BD who provides custom HR and Payroll Management system for industries with integrated bio-metric device to keep employee’s in-time and out-time record.

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Nice writeup! Allow me to contribute one more to the list – Kitikiti HRM. You can immediately generate pay slips, apply for leave and submit expense claims upon sign up – without any additional steps. The philosophy is to start with the end in sight, and allow you to then customize HRM policies to your liking. Check it out at https://kitikiti-hrm.com

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I just found this new HR Software, http://www.karyaone.co.id

It has useful features such as attendance & leaves management also payroll.

This is a cloud-based HR Software which is can be access from anywhere and no need installation.

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Is there any option to save the employee PF and ESI number

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A new company that is fairly comprehensive using a similar model to Zenefits:

http://worxsitehr.com/index.html

I just found them today and took a glance at what they offer. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

[…] not require the personnel to be available physically and allow everyone to access quality training. Online HR and management tools have even open the doors for the curious individuals and innovators to enter in the business world […]

[…] not require the personnel to be available physically and allow everyone to access quality training. Online HR and management tools have even open the doors for the curious individuals and innovators to enter in the business world […]

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I’ve enjoyed reading through the comprehensive reviews of the different companies. Does anyone know if any of them provide a module for competency management/assessment? I’d be interested to hear if anyone has any info for this particular activity.

Many thanks

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Hi! As a CEO of a 50+ software house I would recommend trying teamdeck.io – https://teamdeck.io – a complete resource management solution for agencies and software houses.

It brings all HR process together – resource planning, time offs, holidays policy, availability, time tracking and reporting together and is a perfect solution for any company handling multiple projects at the same time.

Also it’s free up to 6 team members!

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We are looking free HR software with Asset management software included someone can help us. we are in developing country and our organization is Non-profit that advocate for persons with disabilities in Rwanda. thanks

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nice review.

Any Free Talent management with easy Moodle data integration? Thanks

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Is there any HR solution written in Java/J2EE and Open source?
Please enough of this PHP.

Regards,
Ranjan

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With Zenefits no longer free, a great free alternative for tracking employee time off (and other core HR activities) is Workteam (http://workte.am). I’m sure it will be on your next revision of this great list. 😉

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Hi all, theres some great info on here. I liked the OrangeHRM the best, the only downside is its app based. Does anybody know of any cheap cloud based ones? like really cheap! Maybe a monthly payment of $50? We are a company with 75 employees but based in a developing country so budget is tight!

Thanks

Wes

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Zenefits just announced they will no longer be free. It’s a shame since it’s perfect for our needs.

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Which one would you say is the most comparable to the RedCort Software?

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This is a great thread, I am sourcing a system (not too fancy) for a client new business with less than 20 employees, preferably that staff key in their own absence (on an app?) and input their own training. Key function covers:

Employee records
Attendance
Training Records

Any thoughts?

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is there any software for exit management (resigned employees).

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Hi all,

I am looking for a very simple, free (but possibly not web-based) tool capable of automatize the HR planning. Meaning that once it has the employees, their eventual absences and a given number of tasks, it must be able to create a planning. I know, that can be done with Excel, but I’m just looking for something nicer and a bit more dynamic. Any tips?

Thanks!

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Hey Noor, I highly recommend orange ( http://www.orangehrm.com ) as their hr software is very easy to use and comes with all the bells and whistles.

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Hi all,
I’m looking for Free HR software to handle and develop my small company with 7 employees,
I don’t have a strong background about HR management so i need an overall software
Can any one help ^^?

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Hi Chris, HR.my is specifically focused on Malaysia, but I don’t think its tax rates are customizable beyond that. Zoho is based in India so might have that functionality. I know Zenefits does not, and their payroll system was only just released for California specifically.

You may have more luck with one of the open source tools like Odoo or Orange as far as customization, but then you may have to host/install them yourself.

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