What is the best HR System to implement into a small-yet-growing business?

Hello everyone,

I have been tasked with finding a decent HR system for our growing company (currently 50 employees), we currently don't have anything. There seem to be so many it is hard to know where to start so I thought I would ask you. I would like the following features;

A database so each employee has their own file that we can scan their documents onto and then moving forward just upload.

It would be good for employees to book their own holiday, submit expenses, complete their timesheets.

It would be great if they could access their own payslips and see their benefits (benefit statements).

If you work on a particularly good system please can you tell me what it is and why you like it.

I have been made aware of 'Clarity HR' and 'Staffed Squared' - what do you think of these?

Thank you in advance for your help!


  • Another vote for CascadeGo here. We currently use Namely after having moved away from CascadeGo. The former was much better. It's not got the most attractive user interface but it's a brilliant system - easy to use and there is good customer support. Can't comment on expenses but it does everything else you're looking for.
  • I went through a similar project a year or so ago. Came down to two - Breathe and People HR. In the end we went with People HR, it had more functionality, and could allow us to add functionality as we developed our use of the system (recruitment, performance/appraisals, integration with payroll & payslips, timesheets, clock in/clock out, electronic signatures) as well as the usual basics you mention. It has been a pretty straight forward implementation and users picked it up very quickly. I also agree with others re GDPR compliance and servers being based in the UK.
  • In reply to Debora:

    I am currently using CitrusHR Debora. We are not using the full functionality yet as it's forever growing - much faster than I can get my head around anyway! - but it allows me to manage the aspects of our business that are important to us. It's very user friendly, and my team here both like and trust it! That goes a long way.
  • In reply to Anna Morris:

    Hi Anna
    Hope well, I am looking at both PeopleHR and Cezanne as to good options for our company. I would love to hear your view on the system Is there a work number I could contact you on. I work for Consilient Health Ltd they are based both in the UK and Ireland. Thank you Maeve
  • In reply to MAEVE DEVERY O' CONNOR:

    We use My HRToolkit

    It works for us and several clients
  • Morning. I can do nothing but praise a system called Brighthr. It has the functionality you describe, is intuitive and easy to navigate and also looks great to the user. Not only that but it is constantly getting developed based on what businesses of the size you describe need. The support team is also great and will go out of their way to make the users life as easy as possible. Best system I have come across in my 20 years in business, nothing else has come close.
  • In reply to Anna Morris:

    Hi Anna,
    We are business of over 350 employees and are at the final testing stages with PeopleHR, before committing we would like to speak to some users to see how its working in real life and if possible what a few key focus areas may look like. Is this something that you would be willing to discuss with us further?
    Kind regards
  • In reply to Catherine:

    Hi Catherine - I've been using People HR for over two years now for circa 250+ employees. I'd be happy to have a chat. If you'd like to speak to a few different companies People HR will also provide you customers to speak to relevant to how you are going to use the system if you ask them for references.
  • In reply to Catherine:

    Absolutely. I use it extensively. I'm happy to share my insight with you. PM your number and I'll give you a call.
  • Hi Sarah,
    www.staffcircle.com StaffCircle is the one I would recommend and they have also made their software free for 90 days to help businesses cope with these uncertain times. So if you wanted to, you could just test it to see if it suits you. They also have Microsoft 365 and Teams integration. You can report on pretty much anything imaginable as the platform acts as one single source of truth incorporating culture, performance management, hols & absence etc.

  • In reply to Catherine:

    Hi Catherine
    We used to be with PeopleHR but I think they have been bought out by the Access Group and since then a lot of their developers have left so new features are very sporadic. The system also lacks on the culture side, which we find increasingly important with remote work becoming more and more of the norm. I would recommend StaffCircle (www.staffcircle.com) that's what we use now and and honestly you can report on absolutely anything imaginable. It integrates performance management is driven by culture as it has a culture part as well. The employee engagement part goes beyond just a staff survey it is really dynamic which again allows for progressive performance management. If you wanted to, you can keep your current appraisal system and it requires almost no change management effort. Every aspect of is it customisable as well (you can re-name things to fit your existing system). I love it.
  • In reply to Kate:

    Hi Kate. I found your post really useful. I also work for a small charitable organisation and am looking for an easy to use HRIS system, for things like booking holidays. I'm interested in learning that it's free for charities. Are you able to point me in the direction of where I can find more info on this please?