If you’re like many small business owners, you started your business because you are passionate about what you do, and not the nuts and bolts of running a company. Unfortunately, those business management chores (such as bookkeeping, purchasing, invoicing and payment processing, recruiting, payroll, office cleaning, filing, etc.) are the price you pay to ensure your dream business succeeds. Although outsourcing these tasks or purchasing automation software is tempting, it can also be cost-prohibitive for small businesses. That’s why we want you to know about some free HR management systems.

One of our goals with these articles is to share info about free software that can tackle the struggle of managing your business. With our tips, we hope you can devote more time to focusing on the parts of your business that you love—like designing new products, perfecting customer service, or promoting your vision in the marketplace.


What is HRLocker?

​​HRLocker is an HR management system that allows you to track basic employee data such as employee details, sick time accrual, and benefits for free. 


HRLocker is free if you have under 5 employees. 

Features of the Free Model

While HRLocker offers paid models with additional features and access to support, their basic software provides the following free of charge:

  • Employee details and HRIS database
  • Holiday/Sickness management
  • HR Docs and digital signatures
  • Employee self-service
  • Project times and reporting
  • Dashboard
  • Calendar integrations
  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Onboarding and off-boarding
  • HRLocker App – iOS & Android


The free model does not include access to support. However, they have a support website for self-help assistance and articles and videos with step-by-step tutorials.

What HRLocker users have to say

“As a growing SME, we need an HR software solution that could tackle staff records and reviews, absence and holiday bookings that moved away from our excel and word docs. By introducing HRLocker, we have greater visibility, reporting, and employees can manage their holidays.”


What is Homebase?

​​Homebase is an HR management system that allows you to track and manage your employees’ schedules and availability. Their free version also allows for job posts and applicant tracking. Homebase works best for hourly teams like beauty salons, restaurants, and healthcare, to name a few.


Free for one location and unlimited employees. 

Features of the Free Model

Homebase offers paid models with additional features like HR compliance and support, but their basic software provides the following tools free of charge without a limit on the number of employees you have:

  • Time and attendance
  • Time clocks
  • Job posts, applicant tracking
  • Scheduling and availability 
  • Messaging
  • POS and payroll integrations
  • Employee mobile app
  • Support via phone, email, or chat


Homebase has a great support database that offers user guides and articles. You can also call, chat, or email them directly with the free plan.

What Homebase users have to say

“We are using the free features of Homebase and couldn’t be happier. It is reliable, accessible, and just plain awesome.”


What is Freshteam?

Freshteam allows you to manage your hiring and onboarding in one place. It’s a great free resource for managing your hiring and recruiting processes.


Free for up to 50 employees

Features of the Free Model

  • Up to 3 published job postings
  • Recruitment team inbox
  • Basic career site
  • Email integration
  • Kanban boards for applicant tracking
  • Team collaboration
  • Candidate application via email
  • Employee referral
  • Employee directory
  • Organization chart
  • Mobile apps (iOS and Android)
  • Basic time-off management


Freshteam has a great support database that offers user guides, videos, and cheat sheets. You can also call, chat, or email them directly with the free plan.

As a small business owner, you have to make decisions based on your business’s budget. While not ideal, sometimes limited resources make that the only option. If you’re looking to upgrade your systems on a budget, don’t be afraid to try multiple free applications or low-cost tools for your needs. Then, as you grow, you can upgrade your tools and find all-in-one applications that work best for your business.