Best HR cloud software options

We detail the best HR cloud options available to you, for both large and small businesses

Mobility and flexibility are becoming the norm in the modern workplace, and because of this, it has never been more important to keep track of what your employees are up to.

Fortunately, there's HR software available that does exactly that, allowing business owners and managers to keep an eye on those both inside and outside of the office, ensuring that employees are keeping up to date with their work.

HR software is also incredibly useful as part of the hiring process, as it's able to automate tasks such as sifting through candidates and matching qualifications and experience to the right roles.

Key features

The nature of HR software means organisations and businesses can add or remove services based on their specific needs. It's a fantastic feature, but means - as these needs vary from business to business - that there is no one-size-fits-all product.

Talent recruitment is an example of an issue faced by many organisations, for instance, struggling to recruit staff through the existing recruitment system. To mitigate this, an organisation may opt for a recruitment module to smooth the process. Employee reviews, similarly, may become difficult to manage, leading an organisation to deploy performance management tools as part of their overall software package.

HR software is popular in light of this modularity, allowing users to add or remove functions, and change configurations, as the business expands. Moreover, users are able to take up services from alternative providers in the event one provider does not have the module; integrating modules from multiple providers simultaneously.

Sticking with recruitment software, this can also be used to boost internal communication, among its many applications. A host of options out there today come with collaborative tools that allow members of a team, or multiple teams, to work together far more efficiently with each other, and across departments in an organisation.

With a huge variety of choices available, we examine your best options to help you choose the right platforms to suit your organisation's needs.

Types of HR systems

When looking for an HR system to implement in your organisation, it's important to consider the type of tool you need to help your HR team on a day-to-day basis.

The main purpose of a Core HR system is to manage existing staff, including keeping track of all your employees' personal details, their training schedule, the benefits they've signed up to and absence tracking. 

If you're looking to find, hire, retain and train staff, you'll need to think about signing up to a strategic HR system. For example, if you need to appoint a lot of staff in a short space of time, you'll want to consider a strategic system, because it'll cut the cost of finding right-fit candidates over time. It's perfect for high volume recruitment businesses such as retail or hospitality.

If you need aspects of both core and strategic HR systems, you'll want to consider an integrated HR tool that combines the best of both worlds. It covers the entire employee lifecycle - from finding candidates to managing existing staff, making every single step of discovering new talent, managing the onboarding process and ensuring the employee is always growing in their role a doddle

Activ Absence


Overview: Activ Absence focuses on managing staff absences. According to the company that created it, the cloud-based software is easy to pick up with minimal training, and businesses using the software save time and money and up to 30 per cent less sickness absence.

Features: As with the other cloud-based services in the roundup, Activ Absence sports a dashboard detailing staff absences, a calendar, departmental summaries and notifications, among others. This dashboard can also be customised to suit the user.

One of the many tools the service deploys is the Bradford Factor Score. This is commonly used to help with controlling absences and shows an organisation and its staff the direct impact of their absence on this score. The service claims this score can act as a deterrent to prevent further absences. If the score gets too high, trigger points alert the appropriate people to take action.

While the tool is aimed at HR staff, line managers and employees can also use it. Line managers can see who is off and when and get trend reports to manage shortages and help staff return to work. Employees can manage their own holiday requests through any device and see their own Bradford Score.

The software can also integrate with other HR software and cloud-based services.

Pricing: Guide price for 10 employees/ £22.50 per month (minimum 12-month subscription). In addition to the subscription, there is a one off set up fee starting from £99.



Overview: BambooHR is a web-based human resources information system (HRIS) to manage staff through a clean directory interface.

Features: “BambooHR is like having your own fleet of Pandas to do all of the work for you,” say its creators. That’s one way to describe this capable HR package, aimed at helping small to medium businesses manage existing staff.

It does away with spreadsheets and stores your employee data in a secure location. HR staff can access information quickly, make updates to records and approve requests using software that’s helpfully designed to feel more like the user experience of a social network.

BambooHR promises swift support from its team, and positive testimonies for the service have been given by Disqus, Stitcher and 99designs.

Pricing: On application



Overview: While ClearBooks may be better known as providing payroll and accountancy SaaS, it also provides HR functionality. The service is geared towards small businesses and integrates with the vendor's accounting and payroll apps.

Features: When logging in, the service home screen is a dashboard that shows information such as which staff are on holiday, upcoming birthdays, other absences, staff leaving and new joiners.

The service keeps track of employee attendance with an overview of holidays, illnesses and appointments, both approved and pending. Absences can be recorded as a half or full day and covers absences such as sick leave, lateness, parental leave, conference attendance and training, as well as holiday, to name a few.

Staff holiday records can be synced with other web and desktop calendars a business uses. Employees can log into their account to view how many days of their holiday allowance they have taken, how many they have remaining, and whether time off requests are approved or pending.

It also keeps track of employee qualifications and training documents and HR staff can also upload employee documents such as contracts, CVs and review summaries, which can then be shared between HR and other departments.

User permissions can be set to ensure only relevant people such as direct managers can see employee information and approve absences.

Pricing: From £2.50 per employee per month, minimum two employees.



Overview: This SaaS product is a cloud-based employee performance appraisal service that enables employees to improve their performance by focusing on achieving business goals. It automates the performance appraisal process and makes it easier to share and update information throughout the year.

Features: Dinamicks has a home screen that is not a dashboard as such, but a series of icons labelled Your Team, Our Goals and Values, Analysis, and Administration.
Within "Your Team", the user can see individual team members, their position and appraisal status, and new team members can be added here as well.

"Our Goals and Values" details an organisation's goals, (such as increasing sales, marketing strategy, etc) and values (such as honesty, integrity, keeping promises).

"Analysis" displays a simple dashboard displaying information regarding your team's performance objectives in relation to your own, and the business' overarching goals.

"Administration" covers adding employees to the service, job roles, goals, values and everything else needed to plan out and run an appraisal system.

Pricing: On application

Fairsail HRMS


Overview: This HR service is aimed at mid-sized organisations. While the provider is relatively small compared to other players in the market, the service has a comprehensive list of features needed by HR professionals.

Features: Fairsail HRMS is based on the Salesforce platform and boasts a full HR management system, including all employee records, organisation charts, employee portal, and reporting.

It also supports multi-national organisations, as it has multi-currency and multi-language options, as well as different employment rules and calendars. Its talent management section includes performance planning, goal setting, performance reviews, skills tracking, 360 feedback and succession planning.

It also comes with an applicant tracking system, criteria-based interviews and scorecards, careers page, screening, portals, email templates, and onboarding.

The service will also integrate with multiple payroll and benefits providers. It also sports time and attendance management, benefits and open enrolment as well as holiday management.

Pricing On application

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