Spreadsheets and calculators may have served you well in the beginning, but as your small business has grown, you’ve likely realized how error-prone analog systems are for staff management. And when it comes to taking care of human resources and administrative tasks, you can’t take chances with discrepancies and mistakes.
There’s no use wasting time managing staff hours, processing payroll, scheduling employees, and hiring new team members all on your own.
Upgrading to staff management software is the answer. But how do you land on a platform that suits your team, industry, and small business needs? We’ve done the homework for you with this detailed breakdown of the top ten staff management solutions on the market in 2023.**
What is staff management software?
Staff management software are systems business owners use to coordinate and simplify their daily human resources (HR) and operations tasks. Most management platforms can help you streamline employee scheduling, time tracking, payroll, and hiring — and keep you up to date on labor costs and sales data with reports and analytics. They also help you comply with local, state, and federal labor and tax laws.
Why staff management software is important for your business
You need staff management software for your small business because:
- You have a wide range of duties on your plate and need support with HR and administrative tasks so you can focus on your team and more high-level projects.
- You’re tired of making errors on things like employee schedules, time tracking, and payroll.
- You need help staying compliant and avoiding unsatisfied staff and even legal issues.
Key features to look for in staff management software
How do you choose staff management software that makes your small business HR easier without adding to your workload? Keep an eye out for features like:
- Time and attendance — Making mistakes when tracking staff hours can easily lead to payroll errors. Time clock tools can prevent this by allowing employees to clock in and out of work from any device — and even remind them to do so. They also let you monitor overtime hours and breaks more closely.
- Payroll — Staff management software should include payroll tools that instantly convert employee hours into timesheets, letting you process payroll efficiently and without errors. These features mean you don’t need to worry about tax deductions and filings — the right platform can do them for you.
- Recruiting and onboarding — Comprehensive staff management tools can streamline the hiring process, giving you access to templates and hiring features for writing job descriptions. The platform should then let you post your ads to job boards, screen applications, and communicate with candidates without needing to switch tools.
- Compliance — It’s essential to record and store employee information and tax documents to comply with labor laws. That means you should opt for a staff management platform that allows you to send, receive, and securely store onboarding documents electronically, eliminating the need for cumbersome paperwork.
- A mobile app — Choose a staff management solution with a fully-functional mobile app. This makes it easy to communicate with your team, process payroll, schedule employees, and track their hours — all from your phone. But staff should also be able to use the app to clock in and out of shifts, view schedules, swap shifts, ask for time off, and check previous payroll history.
- Integrations — Are you already using accounting, time tracking, or point-of-sale (POS) software for your small business? If yes, be sure to verify the employee management software you prefer can integrate with those tools. Doing so makes it easier to sync data and information between platforms.
- Technical support — You may need help adopting new software. So, make sure you have the option of contacting a customer support agent by phone, email, or chat. And if your platform of choice’s plans include access to live HR experts who can answer questions about taxes, labor laws, and compliance? Even better.
Our top pick for staff management software in 2023 (+ the rest ranked)
Homebase is our number one pick for small business owners who are ready to streamline their staff management tasks in 2023.
Why? Homebase offers:
- A free plan that includes unlimited employees and has features for time tracking, scheduling, hiring, and team messaging.
- Easy setup and use. It only takes a few minutes to sign up for a free Homebase account. You don’t have to talk to a sales representative or demo the product first.
- Location-based plans. We don’t price per employee, making Homebase a more cost-effective option as you grow.
And unlike many other alternatives on this list, we offer transparent pricing, so it’s easy to compare tiers of paid plans before you commit.
However, there are other staff management software solutions that work well for different use cases. Here’s how we’ve broken them down:
- Best all-in-one: Homebase
- Best for hiring and onboarding: Eddy
- Best for workforce planning: Hibob
- Best for scheduling staff: Deputy
- Best for task management: Connecteam
- Best for temporary staffing: Zoho
- Best for employee benefits: Paycor
- Best for fast payroll processing: ADP
- Best for remote teams: Deel
- Best for managing labor costs: Workday
Comparison chart: Top 10 staff management software solutions for 2023
|Software||Time tracking||Employee scheduling||Hiring and onboarding||Payroll||Labor compliance||Team communication||Mobile app||Free plan||Pricing|
|✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||Plans range from free to $100 per location per month
Homebase payroll costs $39/month base fee and $6/month per active employee
|✓||✗||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||Pricing not readily available, but review sites say plans start at $8 per employee per month|
|✓||✗||✓ — onboarding only||✓||✓||✓||✓||✗||Pricing not readily available|
|✓||✓||✗||✗||✓||✓||✓||✓ — 100 shifts per month||Plans range from $3.50 to $4.90 per user. You need a custom quote for the Enterprise plan|
|✓||✓||✗||✗||✓||✓||✓||✓ — for up to 10 users||Plans range from $29 to $49 per month|
|✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓ — for up to 20 users||Zoho’s HR suite People Plus starts at $10 per user per month|
|✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✗||Pricing not readily available|
|✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||Pricing not readily available, but users say the Essentials plan starts at $59/month plus $4 per employee|
|✗||✗||✓ — onboarding only||✓||✓||✗||✗||✓||Plans range from $49 to $599 per month|
|✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||Pricing not readily available, but some users report plans start at $99 per user per month (7)|
A breakdown of the 10 best staff management software solutions
1. Best all-in-one: Homebase
Caption: Use Homebase to manage payroll, schedule employees, track time, hire new staff members, and stay compliant — from any device.
What sets Homebase apart from other solutions on this list? To start, the free plan covers an unlimited number of employees — and never expires. It also has features for:
You can also upgrade your plan or get add-ons for:
Pros and cons
Homebase was designed to be an end-to-end solution for hourly teams they can use every day. That means you’ll have all the tools you need in one place — and won’t need to pay for several different applications to manage your core HR processes. Plus, the Homebase mobile app gives you access to almost all of our features, making it easy for managers and employees to work together while they’re on the go.
However, Homebase doesn’t offer the tools for performance management or benefits administration that many mid-sized staff management solutions do. So if that’s what you’re looking for, Homebase might not be the best fit for you.
Caption: Employees can clock in and out of their shifts securely from the Homebase mobile app.
Homebase offers a free plan for unlimited employees. You can also upgrade to:
- The Essentials plan, which starts at $24.95 per location per month. It provides more features for team announcements and employee performance tracking.
- The Plus plan, which starts at $59.95 per location per month. It gives you more tools to track labor costs, budgeting, and employee PTO.
- The All-In-One plan, which starts at $99.95 per location per month. It has more features for new hire onboarding and employee document storage, as well as more robust HR and compliance options, including access to in-person HR experts.
You can also add payroll to any plan for $39 per month and $6 per person per month.
2. Best for hiring and onboarding: Eddy
Caption: Eddy lets you create streamlined workflows for hiring and onboarding employees.
Eddy is a staff management solution with features for HR, payroll, time tracking, and compliance. But what makes it noteworthy is its hiring and onboarding features. You can use the platform to design branded careers pages for your website and create quick links for coworkers to post your job openings on social media.
Job candidates can also book interviews through Eddy’s hiring interface. And once you decide to bring them on board, the platform will automatically send a customized offer letter and notify you when the candidate accepts.
Pros and cons
However, Eddy doesn’t have features for employee scheduling or communication. And as a result of its recent entry into the market, users have also pointed out its current lack of integrations (1).
Eddy’s pricing isn’t readily available on its website, but review sites say plans start at $8 per employee per month.
3. Best for workforce planning: Hibob
Caption:Hibob works best for mid-sized and large organizations that need in-depth tools for workforce planning.
With its tools for managing performance and compensation, conducting surveys, and monitoring people analytics, Hibob is a platform well-suited to mid-sized companies and larger organizations looking to help their employees grow in their careers.
HR professionals may benefit from the platform’s workforce planning tools. They allow organizations to predict staffing needs by taking a granular look at their current employee headcount, workforce budgets, and turnover data, ultimately simplifying recruitment.
Pros and cons
Hibob is a comprehensive HR solution, offering features for payroll, time and attendance, and time off management in addition to performance management services. And although the platform doesn’t have team messaging and communication tools like Homebase, Hibob has an anonymous reporting tool where people can express their concerns without fear of judgment or confrontation, allowing for more internal transparency and accountability.
However, Hibob doesn’t offer any information about its pricing packages on the website. And with email as the only way to contact the customer support team, some users have difficulty resolving the bugs and issues they encounter (3).
You have to contact Hibob’s sales team for a custom quote.
4. Best for scheduling staff: Deputy
Caption: Deputy lets users post open shifts that available employees can claim and cover.
Deputy has plenty in common with Homebase with its capabilities for time tracking, team messaging, and compliance. And like Homebase, it also simplifies scheduling for hourly teams by allowing managers to create reusable schedule templates. You can also put scheduling in your team’s hands by posting open shifts for them to pick up if it fits with your business model.
Pros and cons
Deputy doesn’t just help teams automate scheduling — like Homebase, its smart scheduling tools provide detailed labor reports so you can weigh sales data against labor costs, helping you make more informed choices.
However, some Deputy customers find its scheduling tools — and interface in general — difficult to navigate (4).
You can use Deputy for free if you need to post 100 shifts or less a month, and you can access all of its features for free for 31 days. You can also get:
- Scheduling tools for $3.50 per user per month
- Time tracking tools for $3.50 per user per month
- Scheduling and time tracking for $4.90 per user per month
5. Best for task management: Connecteam
Caption: Connecteam lets you consolidate task lists, safety forms, onboarding information, policies, and procedures in one place.
Like Homebase, Connecteam has tools for time tracking, scheduling, and messaging. It also offers additional employee engagement features for onboarding, training, and surveys. But what sets Connecteam apart is its features for task management. You can assign tasks to team members and include subtasks, images, and files to set them up for success.
The platform also lets you create task-related channels where employees and supervisors can check in on progress — and you can communicate over Connecteam’s mobile app, giving you more flexibility to manage your team off-site.
Pros and cons
You can use Connecteam to store operational checklists, safety forms, onboarding information, and standard operating procedures in one digital platform. That means you can easily access reusable templates and forms when you assign a task.
However, the platform doesn’t have any options for running payroll or hiring new employees, so it’s not ideal for small business owners who need help with those core HR processes.
Connecteam has three main products — Operations, Communications, and HR and Skills. Besides its free plan for small businesses with up to ten users, it offers three different pricing tiers for each product:
- A Basic plan for $29 per month
- An Advanced plan for $49 per month
- An Expert plan for $99 per month
6. Best for temporary staffing: Zoho
Caption: Streamline your temporary staffing management with Zoho Workerly.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer number of Zoho products. With its suite of business tools, it has a dedicated solution for almost every department you’d find within a large company, including:
- Project management
- Customer service
And as part of its HR suite — Zoho People Plus — you’ll find tools for hiring, onboarding, scheduling, time tracking, running payroll, and staff communication. But what makes Zoho a unique addition to our staff management software list is its temp management product, Zoho Workerly.
Zoho Workerly helps manage temp workflows with job requisition forms that detail your client’s scope of work. Then, you can assign temps from your internal database and submit job requests to the most appropriate candidates. Temps can then track their hours with Workerly so you can easily invoice clients.
Pros and cons
As mentioned, Zoho has products to fit almost every business need. But it’s probably not ideal for small businesses that typically don’t need such a wide range of tools. Plus, the variety of products could also be a disadvantage when you’re trying to determine what features you need, resulting in an excess of tools and expenses. For example, products like Workerly don’t come as part of the core HR suite Zoho People Plus — you’ll have to add it for an extra fee.
Zoho also has transparent pricing and follows a tiered subscription model. But it also prices every product individually, which can lead to confusion about what you’re getting for your money.
Zoho People Plus starts at $10 per user per month.
7. Best for employee benefits: Paycor
Caption: Paycor’s self-service enrollment portals make benefits administration a breeze.
Paycor is a human capital management (HCM) software solution that provides HR, payroll, and time and attendance features for small to medium-sized businesses.
Companies use Paycor to manage employee data, payroll processing, and tax compliance processes. But it’s the platform’s benefits administration features that make it a particularly attractive addition to this list. It streamlines benefits administration with employee self-service portals, so team members can sign up for a health plan or make changes to their current plans during open enrollment periods on their own.
Pros and cons
Paycor tools are best suited to medium-sized businesses with HR teams. And HR experts will appreciate its Affordable Care Act-compliant benefits reporting software, which generates the ACA compliance forms HR departments are legally required to complete and submit.
Paycor customers also find the platform easy to use and navigate and rave about its recruiting features in particular. But when they encounter issues, many people say they have difficulty getting in touch with customer support, making it a less viable option for busy small business owners who may need immediate assistance (5).
Paycor’s pricing isn’t readily available — you have to get in touch with sales for a custom quote.
8. Best for fast payroll processing: ADP
Caption: While ADP is well-known for its payroll features, it also has useful tools for time tracking and scheduling.
There are two versions of ADP’s product:
- ADP Workforce Now, which focuses on mid-sized to large businesses that have in-house HR professionals and/or departments.
- RUN Powered by ADP, which serves small businesses of between one and 50 people.
As a small business solution, RUN ADP lets you track time, schedule employees, and recruit and hire new staff members. But its standout feature is the RUN and Done tool that allows users to schedule payroll cycles in advance. As long as you enter the same pay data every week or month, this feature means you can run payroll without checking timesheets for errors or discrepancies every pay period.
Pros and cons
With 70 years of expertise in HR and payroll, it comes as no surprise that customers enjoy RUN ADP’s suite of products and extensive list of integrations.
But although RUN ADP caters to small businesses, its performance management, benefits, and insurance options make it more suitable for small accounting or consulting firms with salaried employees rather than nimble hourly teams in the restaurant or retail industries. And it’s worth noting that you can’t access ADP RUN’s features on its dedicated ADP RUN mobile app — you have to switch to an ADP Workforce plan.
Pricing information isn’t readily available on ADP’s website, but users say the Essentials plan starts at $59/month plus $4 per employee.
9. Best for remote teams: Deel
Caption: Deel is best for global organizations that have to navigate the legal complexities of international hiring.
Focused on global and remote team management, Deel’s tools help companies hire employees abroad and support them with getting their work visas in order. And if you use its payroll tool, Deel’s in-house experts also make it easy to figure out international tax systems, compliance, and health benefits by processing payroll directly for global organizations.
You can also equip your team with laptops, monitors, headphones, and other remote working equipment through Deel’s direct partnership with Hofy. This collaboration means you can shop, ship, and provide tech support exclusively through Deel’s platform.
Pros and cons
Customers who use Deel appreciate its intuitive interface, and people ops professionals mention how easy the platform makes it to hire and onboard employees internationally (6).
However, Deel is lacking in a few areas. It doesn’t have team messaging and scheduling features, and as of February 2023, it doesn’t have a mobile app. And Deel probably isn’t an ideal solution for you if you don’t need to hire international employees or contractors.
Deel plans include:
- A free plan, which lets you manage employees in 90 countries and gives you access to features for payroll, onboarding and offboarding, benefits, and time off management.
- Contractors plan for $49 per month, which gives you more advanced features for hiring and managing international freelancers.
- EOR Employees’ plan for $599 per month, where Deel hires remote employees for you and handles your local agreements, HR, payroll, and exceptional benefits.
10. Best for managing labor costs: Workday
Caption: Workday offers powerful labor costing features for mid-sized to large companies.
With customers like Netflix, Target, Airbnb, and Bank of America under its belt, Workday’s HCM caters to large organizations and enterprises with multiple locations. And as such, its labor costing tools make it a standout on this list.
Workday lets you monitor labor expenses in real time with detailed analytics broken down by pay range, role, and location. That’s ideal for global companies looking to see if their current labor data supports their strategic goals for growth.
You can also use the platform to model “what-if” market and labor scenarios, so you can prepare for unforeseen circumstances and contingencies.
Pros and cons
According to Workday users, the platform’s interface is intuitive and user-friendly, and its mobile app makes remote work convenient for managers and employees. Some even refer to it as the “gold standard” of HCM systems.
But even with its great reputation, medium-sized businesses describe the system as complicated, difficult to implement, and “extremely costly” (8). Given those shortcomings, Workday likely wouldn’t be suitable for small business owners working with tight budgets and limited free hours.
While its pricing isn’t readily available, some users report that Workday plans start at $99 per user per month (7).
How to buy staff management software
We hope we’ve saved you hours of research with this staff management software breakdown. But it’s ultimately up to you to make the right choice for your business. Here are a few other factors to consider.
While many staff management options offer a similar range of features, not all are small business-friendly. With that in mind, pay attention to pricing and ease of implementation. Does the platform offer location-based plans, which tend to be more scalable for small businesses? And how long will it take to set up and train your team on your new software of choice? Can you afford to devote the necessary time and resources to get the most out of it?
Specific features and functions you require
Choosing a platform that has all the capabilities you need is essential since not all employee management platforms have the same features. Read reviews, watch demo videos, and sign up for free trials to make sure the software will work for you. And don’t forget to download and test out the mobile app, which should give managers and employees access to the same features they’d have on a desktop browser.
Ease of use
Small business owners typically don’t have hours to spend learning a new platform or training employees how to navigate it. So, the software solution you choose should make it easy for you to create an account and figure out how it works without help from a sales rep.
And when you need assistance, you should have access to a dedicated help center that provides detailed articles, videos, and step-by-step tutorials.
Choosing the right staff management software
It’s okay to take your time when deciding which staff management software to adopt for your small business. After all, you need to consider how the new tool will impact your team and how effective it’ll be. You also have to take stock of your finances and business needs before you invest.
But Homebase is the perfect fit for small business owners with hourly teams and salaried employees. You can sign up for our feature-packed free plan right now to test out tools for time tracking, scheduling, and messaging. And once you do, you’ll soon see that our transparent, location-based pricing makes our platform the most practical solution for any small business owner who wants to scale sustainably.
- G2 review for Eddy
- G2 review for Eddy
- G2 review for Hibob
- G2 review for Deputy
- G2 review for Paycor
- G2 review for Deel
- Forbes review for Workday
- G2 review for Workday
**The information above is based on our research on staff management software. All user feedback referenced in the text has been sourced from independent software review platforms, such as G2 and Capterra, in February 2023.