Is a Free HRIS or HRIM Solution Right for Your Organization?

Looking for ways to manage your employee data, but don’t have a huge budget? Free HRIS/HRIM solutions can be a good option if your workforce is small, money is tight and you know how to design a system from a list of components, that meets your needs. These free HRIS and HRIM systems don’t come with free support or configuration assistance, so it’s important that you or one of your staff knows what they’re doing when setting them up.

Orange HR offers an open source solution that can be used for up to 20 employees, and offers a variety of modules from leave management to time and attendance to personnel information management and onboarding. You will need to download the source code at their website-to find it, simply hover over services, choose open source and click the button to download. You will need to know what you are doing, but Orange HR offers some support. Of course, they are hoping to convince you as you grow that their paid solution is a great fit for you. Wise sales strategy, and benefit to you!

IceHRM is free up to five employees and offers payroll reporting you can export to your third-party payroll processing application, in addition to other useful modules like training and recruitment/applicant tracking.

Zenefits offers a bronze package that includes a wide variety of employee management tasks, such as hiring, basic onboarding, integration with third party payroll applications, benefits administration, and employee data management. It does not include leave management or an applicant tracking system. Zenefits would like to get you to purchase employee benefits through them, so that’s their reason for offering this bronze package for free.

Finally, My HR is free. Period. For an unlimited number of employees. It offers flexibility for role based user access on the employer side, as well as employee access so that workers can manage their own information, including self-service leave requests and approvals. Potential downsides? A search for “security” in their help forum comes up with no results. There is no information on information security and privacy on the My HR site itself, but the tool is run by Malaysian software company Chrysanth Software, and if you visit their site, the company describes the site as “free and secure.” Their companion site, is also free, but also based in Malaysia, so payroll functionality may not be universal for all other countries/currencies.

One reminder for companies in the U.S.: you are responsible for employee data security, even if you are utilizing a third-party solution, so be sure you are confident these free systems maintain appropriate data privacy and cybersecurity protocols. Otherwise, your “free” HRIS could end up costing you a lot of money and reputational damage.

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