HR software and systems

Find HR software and systems to help your business to improve efficiency in staff management

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HR software and HR systems can be the difference between the efficient running and processing of all HR functions, and costly errors or lawbreaking.

HR software UK aims to make the HR function more efficient and accurate, however, choosing the best HR software for your business can be tricky. Particular attention needs to be paid to the best HR software for small businesses.

This article will address what you can expect from HR software packages and online HR software, as well as helping you identify which are the best HR software solutions for your business.

Top HR software systems

When you look at a list of HR software and begin to contemplate which is the best for your small business, you can be inundated with choice. Knowing which to choose, and which will serve well as small business HR software, can be complicated.

We’ve selected our top 3 best HR software systems to provide you with a good starting point – the table below compares a quick, side-by-side comparison, with more information about each supplier included below.

SupplierFeaturesBest for
CitrusHRPaid per employee, easily scalableSmall & medium businesses
MoorepayBest for payroll and salarySmall to large businesses
NaturalHRHR analytics for easy trackingSmall to large businesses

Take a look at the larger sections below for more information about the suppliers.


citrushr firm logoCitrusHR is a popular choice for small businesses in the UK and with good reason. It’s been specifically designed for small UK businesses, making it an ideal choice for a range of different organisations. It is specifically offered for free when you use CitrusHR’s wider HR service. This is paid per employee, and they offer a discount for charities.

This HR service will give you access to various employment documents and templates, as well as Health and Safety assistance, and access to HR consultants, making it a worthwhile package.

With the CitrusHR software, you will have access through an online dashboard. Here you can quickly see what’s going on with your staff from day to day, as well as receive reminders and notifications.

Within the system, you have a holiday and absence planner which tracks and calculates leave for you. There is a suite of useful HR reports such as sickness reporting, or payroll. Also included are online time-sheets if you have staff paid hourly.

Online appraisals are also integrated into the system, including reminders and guides. You can also utilise the system to easily send references and even text message to your staff.


moorepay payroll logoMoorepay’s HR system is an online system enabling you to manage your HR requirements, with a central focus on payroll. This is a cloud-based HR solution which will help you with every aspect of HR requirements from employee acquisition onwards.

At its heart is an excellent HR database which is user-friendly and intuitive, as well as highly secure. Here you can see everything about an employee from application until the time they leave your employment. This works as a storage point not only for data but also documents such as contracts and managing things such as employee use of company assets such as technology. This database makes personnel management much more streamlined and efficient.

Additionally, Moorepay HR allows you to manage and enact all legislative requirements pertaining to employment, such as disciplinary and grievance logging, performance management, pensions, and parental rights.

Moorepay HR has grown from its core function as an excellent payroll system, and as such the payroll, remuneration, and benefits element of the software is exceptionally good. Functionality within the payroll element allows for accuracy and reliability. It can also be used for reward management such as bonuses, pay reviews, promotions and more.

Furthermore, Moorepay HR has a self-service element whereby employees can self-submit holiday requests and report absences, as well as edit their personal details, removing the administrative tasks which typically become burdensome in small businesses.

Lastly, Moorepay HR offers worthwhile and useful reporting functions which can be used strategically and for decision-making purposes, such as absence costs, labour turnover, salary costs, training and more, as well as personalised reporting.


NaturalHRNaturalHR seeks to address the needs of Human Resources management throughout the employee lifecycle through an online HR system. The system also incorporates HR analytics so that you can make strategic HR decisions, in addition to serving as an excellent HR database.

Many elements of NaturalHR work on a self-service basis whereby employees can book holidays, submit timesheets, submit expenses, and other time-consuming tasks. This data, and other data within the system, can then be used for a large range of different reports. If the standard reports don’t quite meet your needs, then you can also use the report builder to create your own.

In addition, NaturalHR is a useful recruitment tool, allowing you to administer and manage the entire recruitment process. Furthermore, once staff have been recruited, it can then be used for performance management and feedback. It can also be used for employee engagement using feedback questionnaires and surveys.

What are HR systems?

HR systems can go by a myriad of names. You will likely hear them referred to as HR management software, hosted HR software, online HR systems, HR administrations software and others. You may also see them referred to by the acronym HRMS standing for Human Resources Management Software, or HMC, or HRIS.

Whilst there are a variety of names, they seek to achieve one main aim: simplify and streamline HR activities and processes by using available technology. However, Human Resources software differs enormously from one HR software system to another.

Even the most simple HR software system should address the business HR functions such as personnel management and record-keeping, and information for payroll. At its best, Human resource software allows enormous efficiencies to be made, both in terms of people management itself, but also HR costs.

Given that HR costs are frequently seen as a necessary evil in business management, it makes sense to keep these as low as possible, especially in small businesses. HR software for small businesses specifically seeks to meet that requirement.

Importantly, HR software allows consistent and accurate data recording. This enables you to comfortably operate within your legal requirements regarding various aspects of Human Resources, including data protection and employment rights.

More complex HR software will allow a greater range of function, including recruitment management, benefits administration, attendance tracking and more. What is crucial is that you choose the best HR software to suit your business, whether that be cloud HR software or a standalone package.

What does HR software do?

As we explained above, human resource software can perform various different functions depending on the HR system chosen. The best HR software packages and the best small business HR software should be capable of creating efficiencies and aiding processes in:

  • Payroll
  • Employment law
  • Employment benefits
  • Talent acquisition
  • Training
  • Health and safety
  • Strategic HR


Payroll systems can be integral to HR systems. At its heart, HR software will serve as an HR information database, being a central point for all relevant employee data. This should mean you can effectively remove duplication and even hard-copy employee files. Being able to access the information quickly and easily makes for efficient payrolls.

Good systems will make processing employee pay easy and automatic, and allow changes, scheduling, and tracking hours simple.

Employment law and regulations

With UK employment law, the onus is on the employer to get it right consistently and all the time. The only way this is possible is with extremely accurate records. HR software allows you to stay on top of employment law and regulations, including data protection, parental rights and pay, sickness and absence management, and more.

Employee benefits

What sells you as an employer is your benefits package. Whilst some are legal necessities such as pensions, and some will be voluntary additions to their salary package for staff, such as private healthcare, they all need to be monitored, recorded, tracked and administered. HR administrations software makes benefit enrolment and management more straightforward.

Talent acquisition and workforce management

Recruitment can quickly become a headache for the small business owner, as can time-consuming performance reviews, training requirements, and the like. HR management software can allow for online performance reviews rather than cumbersome paper versions which are then easily accessible at a future date for tracking.

Contemporary HR cloud software can also integrate job postings to social media, the company website and elsewhere, as well as taking much of the legwork out of filtering applications.


Meeting your business training needs, and being able to record training over time, is essential. HR software can act as both a record-keeper for training requirements and even sometimes as a portal for accessing generic or soft skills training as well.

Health and Safety

Obligations on employers in the UK regarding Health and Safety apply to all small businesses, whether it’s working hours record-keeping, or relevant training and risk assessment schedule. HR systems make this process easier and more reliable.

Strategic HR

HR management software can radically transform strategic level HR processes. By providing accurate data, more accurate decisions can be made. At times of growth or redundancies, strategic decisions can be enacted fairly and appropriately. Decision making at a strategic level becomes easier and more accountable.

On a day to day level, HR systems can work as employee self-service functions for things such as time-off requests, making it easier to see the bigger picture regarding employee management.

Benefits of HR software

HR software can bring you a range of different benefits including:

  • Time-saving – Electronic or online HR systems save on duplication and labour hours – crucial in any small business. Time can be saved in multiple ways across the features offered.
  • Efficiency – Accessing and processing data is much more efficient than with manual alternatives.
  • Analytics – HR analytics can be performed easily, with real, up-to-date information and data.
  • Automation – Many HR functions – including payroll and holiday approval – can be automated.
  • Self-service for employees – Some HR systems act as a self-service portal. This means employees can handle their own personal issues – from booking a holiday to logging sickness, or even complaints.
  • Performance management – Performance management becomes easily trackable. From automated reports, check-in reminders, and accurate logging of issues.

Why use HR software?

There are multiple reasons why you should use HR software, particularly if you are a small to medium-sized business, with limited HR staff. By choosing carefully, you can always find the right HR system to get the benefits that will be hugely worthwhile for your business.

With HR software and systems, decisions affecting or regarding staff within the business can be made much more effectively and efficiently. Poor decision making can be costly in terms of both money and time. Human Resources software will always ensure you have the right information for making the right decisions.

With small business HR software, you will be able to improve productivity. Manual record keeping is a laborious and time-intensive task, fraught with room for human error. Many HR systems, especially cloud HR software, put much of the responsibility for accurate record-keeping in the hands of the employees themselves. They can answer their own questions and queries, and process many of their own employment-based requests.

The initial outlay for HR systems can be costly. However, in the long run, they typically represent worthwhile and substantial cost savings. For small businesses looking to drive down costs, this is invaluable. Similarly, preventing unwanted costs due to errors and mistakes is important.

Who should use HR software?

There are so many different options available for HR software, that it is possible to find one which meets your HR requirements whatever the nature of your business. In the UK it is arguable that every business should use HR software, no matter how large or small they are.

HR mistakes can prove costly, and small businesses are particularly unable to absorb such costs easily. On a day-to-day level, HR software systems remove a huge amount of the HR burden. This is invaluable for small businesses that are unable to sustain a large HR department.

Types of HR software

There are three key different types of HR software which you will find in any list of HR software:

  • HRIS (Human Resource Information System)
  • HCM (Human Capital Management)
  • HRMS (Human Resource Management System)


An HRIS system will largely be a data collection and tracking system. It’s where all employee-related data is held and accessed. It allows many of the HR functions to happen, or be processed, electronically. Typically, this will be either a standalone software option or an online HR system. These systems are always as good as their data entry. They are excellent for meeting the typical personnel requirements of most small businesses. Sometimes you purchase these in modular form, adding on elements which you particularly need.


HCM software meets the business needs of those businesses that view their staff as assets, known as human capital, and need to therefore measure their input and output in real terms in order to make decisions. These software systems are about using data to make decisions. This may therefore include elements or modules which are dedicated to the recruitment, compensation management, and performance management. Additionally, you can also expect HCM systems to make many of the day-to-day tasks of the HR function more efficient. These systems are in many ways, synonymous with HRMS systems.


The forerunner to HCM systems, HRMS were initially designed with strategic HR management at the forefront, and are capable of many of the same features as HCM, except HCM systems tend to integrate the talent-management elements, rather than having them as optional extras.

Compare HR software and systems

Choosing the best HR software for your business is important to reduce costs and improve efficiency. There are several excellent options for small business HR software, so you will be able to find one suitable for your needs.

To start comparing HR providers and speaking to them today, simply complete the form at the top of this page. Comparing providers this way is free, quick and easy, and it could save your business time and money.

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Bryn Glover has been Editor of since 2017. Running the site's content strategy, Bryn spends a lot of time speaking to entrepreneurs and preparing for Startups' annual editorial campaigns.

Having worked in journalism for just under a decade, Bryn wrote for sites like The Times, Reader's Digest, Independent and Times Higher Education before moving into the small business world.

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