4 open source HRMS options to consider for your custom project

An ability to customize the system can be a key factor when selecting your new HRMS. How important it is on your criteria list depends on your specific needs and requirements – you may simply need to rename a few fields and slap on a corporate logo here and there, or you may want to have the freedom to rewrite the code; you know, really fine tune it.

If that’s the case, then you’re probably looking at open source HRMS options in which your in-house developers can play to their hearts’ content. Here – in an order that is purely alphabetical – are four of the more popular open source HRMS systems available…

1) IceHrm

IceHrm comes in three flavors, all of which give you access to the source code. The free option lacks a few features built into the Pro and Enterprise versions, such as leave management, LMS, recruitment, document and travel management. That said, the free version is a very solid and well-tested basic HRMS package that you can tinker with, including basic employee records, company information (structure and organization), timesheets and attendance management (including attendance comparison charts). However, if you’re willing to pay (for the license, the hosting, or both) then you have a very sophisticated and wholly customizable system. Reviews are few but uniformly positive.

2) OrangeHRM

Orange might be the longest-running open source HRMS. Although there are professional and enterprise (and SaaS) versions, it’s the basic free ‘Open Source HRMS’ option that is the most popular. And with records/information management, time and attendance, leave management, recruitment, performance, and employee self-service it’s not hard to see why. Orange’s ‘entry-level’ option remains one of the more feature-packed on the market. Review-wise, functionality receives consistent praise, however support and responsiveness less so (but bear in mind that these reviews are from people who have not opted for the paid support and maintenance option).

Recommended Reading: HRMS Vendor Directory - Compare open source HRMS vendors along with traditional options

3) Sentrifugo

Good for organizations of up to 1,000 people, Sentrifugo is a relative newcomer to the open source HRMS market, albeit a popular one. With the tagline, “Adopt. Adapt. Advance. For Free!” they’re clearly pushing customizability as a core feature. Sentrifugo have built up their product to be feature-rich by any standards and not just those of the ‘freebie open source’ brigade. As well as the usual HR and workforce management modules, Sentrifugo also offers management of performance appraisals, background checks, interview scheduling, talent acquisition and even a comprehensive set of analytics. Reviews are limited but glowing, almost all being 4 or 5-star assessments.

4) SimpleHRM

Again, SimpleHRM focuses on the SME clientele. The first ‘stable release’ was put out in 2012 and it’s still being downloaded hundreds of times per day, which should indicate some degree of recommendation. There are two options: “Open Source” and “Professional” although the source code is available for both. The basic open source HRMS offers employee data and self-service, leave management, travel and expense management, and a benefits module. The professional version adds letter templates, an organizational chart, and a reporting function. Reviews indicate simplicity of use as a strong feature.

If open source HRMS is something you think is right for your company, then there is a good chance you will consider at least one of these four vendors, being that they are some of the most popular options.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall