Best Homebase alternatives (to help you choose the right solution for your business)

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever for small businesses like stores or rental companies to manage their teams. Managers no longer have to rely on paper spreadsheets and Excel to get things done. Instead, they can use HR software to streamline processes like payroll and recruitment and give a small team the power of a big company.

That might be why you’re considering a platform like Homebase. But before you commit, you want to do your homework and consider all possible solutions.

We’ve researched* and compared the best Homebase alternatives based on their key features, pricing, and user experiences. That way, you can choose the right software for your business and feel confident in whatever decision you make.

*The information in this piece is based on our research on Homebase alternatives. All user feedback referenced in the text has been sourced from independent software review platforms, such as G2 and Capterra, in May 2023.

What is Homebase and What is it used for?

A screenshot of an autopopulated Homebase schedule.
Homebase combines employee management, accounting, and HR features to give small businesses a holistic solution.

Designed with hourly teams in mind, Homebase is an all-in-one HR and employee management solution. We’re loved by independent shops, restaurants, and health and wellness providers — but we’re also a great fit for any small business from entertainment to beauty. We help teams with scheduling and time tracking, plus connect you with tools to make payroll, hiring, onboarding, and HR even easier. 

Scheduling

A screenshot of the Homebase availability feature.
Homebase has a variety of methods to help you save time scheduling.

Scheduling is probably one of your most headache-inducing tasks — especially when you factor in trying to stay on top of changing staff availability, shift swaps, and time-off requests. Homebase speeds up the process with its range of autopopulation, template, and self-scheduling tools. 

You can have your team update their availability and create instant timetables based on their preferences and your labor needs. Or you can select a premade template from the library. Employees can also manage schedules by claiming open shifts or using the team communication app feature to arrange swaps and covers.

Time Tracking

A screenshot of a missed break alert.
Homebase helps you catch mistakes so you can avoid overpayments (and even fines!)

Late arrivals or forgetting to punch out — these common mistakes add up! And when you’re not using the right time-tracking tools for your team, it can mean overpaying hundreds of dollars in wages. You also risk penalties through compliance issues like missed breaks and low overtime rates. To avoid this, Homebase has a GPS time clock that verifies when and where your staff clock in. If they’re late, miss a break, or approach overtime, you get a notification so you can follow up.  

Payroll

A screenshot of Homebase's payroll dashboard.
Homebase combines scheduling and time tracking with payroll so you manage all your processes in one place.

All your data from Homebase’s time clock and timesheets syncs with our payroll feature. When your team clocks in and out, we instantly calculate hours, breaks, overtime, and PTO — so you can run error-free payroll in just a few clicks. We take care of the payments to your team, the state, and the IRS from there. Plus, we help you get organized — have your team e-sign forms, and store their documents and personal info (think emergency contacts, certifications, and birthdays!) all in one place. 

Homebase Pricing and Rating

Homebase’s scheduling and timesheet tool is free. But if you need more control and flexibility, there are also four plans:

  • Basic. Free for one location and up to 20 employees. It has basic scheduling and time tracking, a team chat tool, point of sale (POS) integrations, and email support.
  • Essentials. $24.95 per month per location. Everything in Basic plus payroll integrations, performance tracking, advanced scheduling, and time tracking tools, and access to live support.
  • Plus. $59.95 per month per location. Everything in Essentials plus hiring tools, time off controls, and departments and permissions.
  • All-in-one. $99.95 per month per location. Everything in Plus, with HR and compliance, onboarding tools, labor cost controls, and business insights.

Customers can save 20% on any of these plans by committing to an annual plan. There’s also the option to add payroll at $39 per month plus $6 per active user.

As of May 2023, Homebase has a 4.2/5 rating on G2 and a 4.6/5 rating on Capterra.

Key Features to Look for in a Homebase Alternative

Before we explore Homebase alternatives, let’s clarify the essential features that HR software should have. 

  • Employee management tools: Businesses can lose money through ineffective scheduling and inaccurate time tracking. But these tasks demand a lot of time and focus to get right. That’s why it’s best to look for robust scheduling and time tracking tools to streamline these tasks and reduce errors.
  • Payroll: Paying wages and filing taxes on time is crucial for the smooth running of your business. Otherwise, you risk causing your staff stress and getting fined. So, choose a platform that can automatically calculate and send all business-related payments for you.
  • Recruitment: Small shops and restaurants often hire seasonal staff at busy times of the year. But it can be a struggle for teams to fit interviewing and training around their regular duties. If that sounds like you, choose a platform with hiring and onboarding features to streamline this process.
  • A range of integrations: You probably use other apps besides HR software at your business like point of sales and inventory management. The best solutions integrate with all the most popular business software so you automatically share data between them and don’t have to juggle different programs.
  • Affordable pricing: Although cost shouldn’t be your sole focus, it’s essential to find software that fits your budget. The best tools have a choice of plans so you can tailor the price to your business and upgrade when you’re ready to add more features.

Top Homebase Alternatives

  1. HotSchedules (powered by Fourth)
  2. 7shifts
  3. When I Work
  4. Gusto
  5. Deputy
  6. Connecteam

1. HotSchedules

Overlapping screenshots of the HotSchedules dashboard on tablet and mobile.
HotSchedules’ range of features is best suited for large organizations. Source

Like Homebase, HotSchedules is a popular HR software but it has some key differences. Whereas Homebase focuses on the essential tools for small businesses, HotSchedules has merged with Fourth to target enterprise sized businesses. So, they provide features for larger, more complex organizations like task and inventory management.

Main Features

  • Drag-and-drop scheduling
  • Employee self-scheduling via the mobile app
  • Compliance tools
  • Labor forecasting
  • End-of-shift surveys

Pros and Cons

Similar to Homebase, HotSchedules has advanced data and analytics to help you manage labor forecasting and schedule more effectively. However, some users on Capterra say it can be “complicated” and “takes getting used to”.

Pricing and User Rating

HotSchedules doesn’t publish its pricing plans.

As of May 2023, it has a 4.3/5 rating on G2 and a 4.4/5 rating on Capterra.

2. 7shifts

A graphic of the 7shifts geofencing tool on a phone
7shifts serves large businesses in the food and beverage industry. Source

7shifts has a more niche offering than Homebase. While Homebase caters to a broad range of industries, including restaurants and cafes, 7shifts is not designed for businesses outside the hospitality category. The software is also more suitable for chains than small businesses as the higher cost plans include more features and fewer limits on employees and locations.

Main Features

  • Scheduling
  • Time tracking
  • Payroll
  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Communication

Pros and Cons

Although 7shifts is a comprehensive solution, its lowest cost plans have limited features. That means you might have to pay more than other alternatives to access all the tools you need. 

Pricing and User Rating

7shifts has a free plan for one location with up to 30 employees and three paid plans:

  • Entree for $34.99 per month for up to 30 employees and 50 locations.
  • The Works for $76.99 per month for up to 30 employees and 50 locations. 
  • Gourmet for $150 monthly for unlimited employees and locations, which is better suited for corporations than small businesses.

As of May 2023, 7shifts has a 4.5/5 rating on G2 and a 4.7/5 rating on Capterra.

3. When I Work

Screenshot of a shift alert on When I Work's mobile app
When I Work shares Homebase’s flexible payment feature that gives employees early access to wages. Source

If you liked the sound of Homebase’s flexible pay benefits, you may be interested in When I Work. The platform has partnered with Clair to offer employees flexible access to their wages via the app. 

But aside from this shared feature, Homebase and When I Work have many key differences. For instance, When I Work offers a stripped down set of tools, has fewer pricing options, and offers fewer integrations than Homebase.

Main Features

  • Scheduling
  • Time tracking
  • Communication
  • On-demand pay

Pros and Cons

If you have a very small team with basic needs, you can use When I Work for a relatively low cost. But beyond that, When I Work’s limited features and integrations may not be sufficient for many businesses.

Pricing and User Rating

When I Work has two pricing plans:

  • Standard. $4 per user per month for basic scheduling and time tracking tools plus the early access to wages feature.
  • Advanced. $8 per user per month for everything in Standard plus advanced scheduling tools.

As of May 2023, When I Work has a 4.4/5 rating on G2 and a 4.5/5 rating on Capterra.

4. Gusto

A screenshot of Gusto's payroll interface.
Gusto works best for small international businesses. Source

Perhaps you have Homebase’s wide range of payroll and HR tools but need to tailor them toward an international team. In that case, consider Gusto. The platform allows you to make payments to contractors in over 120 different countries while staying compliant with local laws. Gusto has also recently introduced international hiring and onboarding tools that help you find candidates and run background checks.

Main Features

  • Time tracking
  • Payroll
  • Benefits management
  • HR consultation
  • Recruitment

Pros and Cons

Similar to Homebase, Gusto is one of the few business platforms to combine HR, payroll, and recruitment tools. But the base rate and additional charge per employee make it one of the least cost effective solutions on our list.

Pricing and User Rating

There are three Gusto plans available:

  • Simple for $40 per month plus $6 per employee, which includes single state payroll, recruitment tools, and benefits management.
  • Plus for $80 per month plus $12 per employee, which has everything in Simple plus multi-state payroll, time tracking, and leave management.
  • Premium with custom pricing, which includes everything in Plus with compliance alerts, and performance management.

As of May 2023, Gusto has a 4/5 rating on G2 and a 4.6/5 rating on Capterra.

5. Deputy

Screenshots of the employee version of Deputy's time clock app on a tablet and a mobile
Deputy allows managers to check projects are on track to meet deadlines. Source

Low productivity and time theft can be a money suck. Deputy might be an ideal way to overcome these problems. The platform has a task management tool that lets you track performance and attendance so you can see if projects are falling behind. 

Main Features

  • Scheduling
  • Time tracking
  • Communication
  • Task management

Pros and Cons

Deputy has a level of customization which means businesses can tailor the tools to their processes. However, users on Capterra said the tradeoff is a platform with a steep learning curve” and complexfeatures.

Pricing and User Rating

Deputy has modular pricing plans:

  • All scheduling tools for $3.50 per user per month
  • All time tracking tools for $3.50 per user per month
  • A combination of scheduling and time tracking for $4.90 per user per month

As of May 2023, Deputy has a 4.6/5 rating on G2 and a 4.6/5 rating on Capterra.

6. Connecteam

Overlapping screenshots displaying Connecteam's GPS tracking feature
Connecteam has most of the tools small businesses need to run smoothly. Source

If you were considering Homebase for its range of tools, Connecteam might be for you. The platform has a comprehensive suite of workforce management, HR, and employee experience features. The only problem is Connecteam lacks a payroll function, which means you have to buy another software to manage wages and taxes.

Main Features

  • Scheduling
  • Time tracking
  • Communication
  • Surveys
  • HR tools
  • Directory

Pros and Cons

Connecteam has a free plan for small teams like Homebase. However, if you have more than ten users and don’t qualify for this package, you have to make a lot of upgrades to access all the tools you need.

Pricing and User Rating

Connecteam has a free plan for up to ten users with all the basic tools. It also has three hubs — Operations, Communications, and HR & Skills — with the following tiers:

  • Basic for $29 for up to 30 employees and $0.6 for each additional user.
  • Advanced for $49 for up to 30 employees and $1.80 for each additional user.
  • Expert for $99 for up to 30 employees and $3.60 for each additional user.
  • Enterprise with a custom price and no user limit.

Choosing the Right HR Software

When exploring Homebase competitors and considering apps like Homebase, it’s crucial to weigh each option carefully.

The alternatives mentioned, including HotSchedules, 7shifts, When I Work, Gusto, Deputy, and Connecteam, each cater to different aspects of business management.

These platforms offer a variety of features that range from scheduling and time tracking to payroll and HR tools, designed to meet the diverse needs of small to medium-sized businesses.

By comparing these options, businesses can pinpoint the solution that best aligns with their operational requirements, ensuring they select a tool that not only matches Homebase’s capabilities but also enhances their overall efficiency and effectiveness.

Why Homebase is the Best Choice for Small Businesses

The right HR platform not only helps you manage your team but takes your business to the next level. But the one you choose should depend on your specific needs and challenges. For instance, if you have an international team, Gusto might be the best option for you. And if you run a construction crew, then perhaps it’s Connecteam.

For most small businesses, Homebase is the best all-in-one solution. We have the most comprehensive range of tools designed specifically for small businesses. You can streamline the entire process of scheduling employees, tracking their hours, and paying their wages. And to coordinate all these tasks, you and your team can use the built-in chat tools. 

That means instead of spending all day on paperwork, you can start planning where you’ll open your next location or dreaming up new offerings to delight your customers.

Remember: This is not legal advice. If you have questions about your particular situation, please consult a lawyer, CPA, or other appropriate professional advisor or agency.

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