The Difference Between Paid vs Free HR Software

We explore the differences between the two

Every business needs some form of HR software. They could use it to monitor employee performance, store employee information or just focus on talent management. Regardless of what a company needs HR software for, they will face a quandary sooner or later.

Whether to opt for paid software or risk using free HR software.

Human resources is rarely a simple job. An HR department juggles everything from time off requests to handling benefits administration. These tasks call for specialised management and employee-focused software.

BrightHR is the smart software that handles every element of HR with ease. BrightHR is adaptable enough to provide essential services. These range from organising payroll and benefits reports to time tracking.

BrightHR also excels with niche, speciality tools. These include, but aren’t limited to, a back to work navigator tool and a redundancy navigator tool.

Some may still question the difference between paid and free human resource software. Questions such as “what’s the best HR software for small businesses in the UK?” might still need answers.

The long and short? Free HR employee database software isn’t as reliable, adaptable or supported as paid HR software. Paid HR software will also feature important tools that free HR software will not.

It’s also hard to say that there are any examples of truly free HR software.

This is to say that sometimes free HR management software isn’t entirely ‘free’. Whether it's HR database software or free software for HR management systems, chances are good that there’ll be a cost for it down the line.

The costs of free HR software

These ‘costs’ aren’t figuratively daunting, they’re literal price tags to free software. Costs for HR software don’t always come in the form of a one-off payment for the software itself or the activation key. They can come in many different, unexpected forms.

One of the easiest ways to get mixed up with what is or is not free HR software is whether there’s a subscription fee. These types of software advertise monthly or annual charges from the beginning of the downloading process. Or, they only become obvious after a free trial expires.

It should go without saying that this can end up making free HR software cost more than paid HR software with a clear price tag.

Another way that HR software can result in not being free software is by adding on specific services. Installation fees are one of these services. Specific software training is another. These can make some HR software difficult to understand unless the user knows exactly how to use it.

In the long run, costs like these will make them unfit for those seeking free HR software for small businesses.

Why use free HR system software?

Simply put, free software can serve as the perfect introduction to HR software for new businesses or inexperienced users.

An example of this is someone new to HR payroll software or those unaware of what they need within HR software packages. Those seeking free HR software for startups also often make use of these.

Companies will often look to HR software for essential business tasks and little else. This can cover everything from payroll to arranging specific training. Some could argue that free HR management software can handle these minimal requirements.

But, as a business grows, HR will become more important to a company. Using one, or even several, free HR tools will eventually become more a hindrance than any help.

For example, online HR software is often somewhat capable of integrating HR management systems with the cloud. However, free HR cloud software will likely have a fixed storage capacity or will limit accessibility.

As cloud HR software becomes more vital to businesses by the day, relying on free HR software will quickly become detrimental to a business.

Why you get more from paid HR software

While it’s true that you can get HR software for free, you won’t necessarily be getting everything that you need from the software.

Paywalls can prevent you from getting everything you need from HR software. Even stitching together several free HR software systems together can end up being less useful than one good paid piece of HR software.

Paid HR software often offers a more user-friendly HR process. This is because it’s designed to streamline HR tasks and perform well for both large and small-sized businesses. It will also have many more benefits for an HR team. These include securing confidential employee information and saving time with automatic HR processes.

BrightHR proves itself as an adaptable and efficient piece of HR software, capable of providing help and benefits to an HR team and a company in general.

However, BrightHR can tailor help and advice to you.

For help with anything HR related, you can visit BrightInform, or you can book a free demo of BrightHR.


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