Self-service HR software for small businesses

Automate manual processes and empower your team to complete their own HR tasks.

With Charlie, you have everything you need to manage your team and craft your culture – no HR experience required.

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Why do small businesses need self-service HR software?

If you look after HR at a small business or startup, it’s likely that every query and every process goes through you and you only. 

That means that, in an average working week, a big portion of your ‘HR time’ is spent just getting manual admin tasks done.

That’s why many startups and small businesses use self-service HR software to automate manual processes and carve out more time to spend on making work better for their teams.

With an Employee Self Service (ESS) portal in place, your team can use the software to find answers to their questions and complete their own administrative tasks, without you having to get involved.  

Get rid of spreadsheetsGet rid of spreadsheets
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Top 5 applications of Charlie’s self-service HR software

Charlie’s all-in one self-service HR software allows you to streamline all processes at your small business — setting you up for success in this modern world of work.

  • All the answers, in one place: Store all of your HR information on Charlie, where your team can access it independently, whenever they need it.

  • Effortless onboarding: New starters can upload their documents in Charlie and fill in their profile themselves, saving you lots of email back-and-forths.

  • Automated time off requests: team members can book sick days and request holiday or annual leave directly through Charlie; managers can approve in one click.

  • Effective performance reviews: Charlie’s automated review cycles encourage open feedback between managers and direct reports for better performance management.

  • Self-service Perks platform: Your team can choose their favourite benefits and discounts from an almost infinite list (at no extra cost).

Automate your HR
Automate your HR

Make your HR effortless

Self-service HR software FAQs

What is self-service HR software?


Self-service HR software is a centralised management system that allows team members to carry out all sorts of HR tasks themselves — without you, an HR manager or anybody in the HR department having to get involved.

With this type of HR automation, your team just has to log in to be able to upload or update their own information, book time off and access policies and other HR information.

To find out more, read our ‘What is employee self-service’ guide.

What are the benefits of HR self-service software? 


If you look after Human Resources at your small company, you’ll find a self-service portal like CharlieHR can help you:

  • Get a big chunk of your time back: Re-invest the time you’d usually spend on admin on more impactful work.

  • Stop being the sole owner of HR processes: With self-service HR, you can delegate tasks to line managers and team members, and empower them to own their own workflows.

  • Avoid making mistakes: Having an HR self-service system will keep manual tasks and errors to a minimum.

  • Make remote working easier: Employees can access information and take action anytime and from anywhere.

  • Make a good impression: a self-service HR software offers a better employee experience.

How do I choose the right self-service HR software for my company?


You decided you need a self-service HR system to help you with some of the many tasks and processes we went through — the next step will be to pick the right one for you.

These are some important questions you’ll need to ask yourself while exploring different HR automation tools, to help you make the right decision:

1. What am I most struggling with at the moment?

What is blocking you from thriving in your role? What HR tasks are taking away most of your time from actually growing and nurturing your team? Figuring this out will give you a better idea of what HR automated workflows and type of features to look for in an ESS solution.

2. What type of self-service HR software is right for the size of my company?

If you work at a small business or startup, under 100 employees, you’ll want an agile HR portal that you can roll out quickly and is user friendly.

With a small team to manage, you need to avoid being overwhelmed by features you don’t need and focus on reducing your HR admin for key tasks like HR data entry, absence management, time tracking / timesheets, real-time leave requests and employee engagement.

On the other hand, larger companies often look for ESS platforms and other HR solutions that can support large teams based in different offices around the world. These employee self-service portals are more complex and offer large scale reporting dashboards.

3. What is my budget?

You’ll have to decide how much you’re ready to spend on employee self-service software. If you are a startup or small business, you’ll probably have fewer resources than if you work at a big corporate. What can you afford with your budget? Is the pricing sustainable in the long term?

4. How can I justify this extra spending?

We hope this blog has given you some useful information if you need to justify extra costs with your team — focus on how much of your time you’d get back from being able to rely on a self-service HR platform to automate your HR processes. And consider it as an investment for the future of your business.


“I was looking for a new HR platform to simplify things and I’ve been so impressed with Charlie in many ways.”

Oona, Matter of form


“My team love using CharlieHR – it means no more spreadsheets and everything is centralised.”

Raoul, Snaphr


“Charlie helped simplify our payroll, holiday and onboarding processes.”

Jess, Wonderbly

Key HR software features for your small business or startup

👋 Onboarding

Welcome new team members and seamlessly collect their data

Read more

📅 Time off

Let Charlie handle your time off admin for you

Read more

📈 Reviews

Help your team to grow personally and develop professionally

Read more

🗳️ Polls

Run engagement surveys that give your team a voice

Read more

🎁 Perks

Give your team the experience they deserve

Read more

💬 HR advice

Receive on-demand guidance from your dedicated advisor

Read more

Just £4 per employee per month


Best for UK small businesses (under 250 employees)


Simple pricing


No hidden fee


Includes all features

How much would Charlie cost your company?

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