Label Free

Run Your HR For Free

During a recent #HRTechChat, we were discussing how social media influences HR. One question led to another, until finally we talked about free HR services, which led me to ask: can you run HR on free technology?

As this was not the topic, we didn’t discuss it any further, but now that we need a fun post for the upcoming Carnival of HR, I thought this topic qualifies as a fun exercise.

It is obvious that for legal reasons, not to mention compliance, we probably won’t end up running HR for free, but for a small startup company, there might be some ways to benefit from starting out on an HR shoestring.

So how about it, can we run HR on free technology?

Here are a few ideas to get you started. First some free HR Apps:
TimeStation – a time-and-attendance app that enables employees to punch in and out using an iPhone or iPad (free up to 10 users).
LinkedIn – allows you to setup your profile and communicate with other professionals. You don’t need a paid profile to get in touch with people and send them vacancies.
Attendance Register – lets you keep track of your employees’ attendance and absence records.
HR Ladder – HR need some serious gaming! This App lets you climb the corporate ladder as long as you know how to deal with disgruntled employees along the way.

Here are a few generic Apps that can be adapted for every day HR use:
Google+ – using a G+ account, you can start a company circle and post messages only to employees. You can chat with employees using video Hangouts. You can also post vacancies and company news to public circles.
Twitter – create a private account, allow only employees to follow and start answering questions. User admin will be a bit of a hassle, but other than that it’s completely free. Don’t forget to create a public account to publish vacancies and company news.
EverNote – this is a great tool for HR professionals looking for a filing system. You can store and organize notes, policies, videos, files and images and access them from a mobile device.

The following tools are completely free and offer extensive HR functionality:
OrangeHRM, Natural HR and WayPoint HR – are open source, free HR systems including personal data, performance management, benefits and reporting and self service. WebHR is a free HRMS for up to 10 users offering limited functionality.

The summary above is a start, but by no means complete – why not add your suggestion in a comment?

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  2. Thank you for the mention – very interesting comment about not running free HR for legal and compliance reasons. Would be really interested to hear your reasoning behind this as well as to understand other companies views on the subject.

    Also, just for clarity, we offer a free Cloud (or hosted) HR service but it is not open source in the same way the others mentioned are though it is free.

    1. Hi, thanks for the clarification of your offering.

      Regarding legal and compliance, most global companies have strict rules about accountability that have been built into ERP solutions. It might be that free technology simply has to catch up. From what I’ve seen from the free technology available, it is not a main feature, and if it is there, it is usually a bare minimum and not enough to be compliant all over the world.

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