Open Source Human Resource Management Software: OrangeHRM

OrangeHRM ver 3.1 © OrangeHRM. 2005 - 2014 All rights reserved.

OrangeHRM is a opensource (free-to-use) HR Management portal. What this means is that you can deploy OrangeHRM on your local server environment in your office or business and as a result all employees and administrators on the network will have access.

Fooling around with OrangeHRM, I found it to be quite powerful. It seems to cover all the basics quite well. Below is a summary of the features I have found.


 *Please click on images to enlarge


Personal Information Management Screen

Personal Information Manager Screen

Storage of all employee information:

  • Personal details
  • Contact details
  • Emergency contacts
  • Dependents
  • Immigration details including attachments, like work permits
  • Job details including attachments, like Job descriptions
  • Salary
  • Reporting Lines, superiors and subordinates
  • Qualifications, including Experience, Education, Skills and Languages
  • Memberships including attachments, like  Licenses

Further options allow you to include your own fields per employee, e.g. disability fields, etc.

Leave Screen

Employee Leave Screen

Management of Employee Leave:

  • Allow employees to request leave
  • Allow manages to approve/ decline leave
  • Create reports on employee leave
  • Define Leave Periods
  • Define Leave types
  • Record Public Holidays
  • Define a work week
  • Manage Employee Leave entitlements
  • Report on all leave taken/applied for

I tested the leave functionality both from an employee and an employer perspective. Logging leave as an employee and then logging on as an employer to approve the leave, to understand what kind of experience either party  would achieve when using the leave functionality. I found it to be more than adequate for business needs, however did not find any functionality to add a sick note as an attachment.


Time Capture Screen

Time Screen


Management of Employee Time Records:

  • Add/Edit Customers
  • Add/Edit Projects
  • Add/Edit Activities on Projects
  • Log hours in a time-sheet format against Customer, Project and Activity
  • Approve/Decline time sheets with comments
  • Report on timesheets per employee
  • Punch in/out to keep track of attendance
  •  Report/ Generate attendance registers

In dealing with time, OrangeHRM caters for both types of companies: those that log employee hours via a time-sheet system like consultants/ service providers and those that log employee hours against attendance registers.

TimeSheet Example Screen

Time-sheet Example Screen

Both mechanisms work well, however without any software modification, every employee would need to log onto a computer panel and record hours, or punch in/out for the day, unless an administrator would manually do this for them (which is somewhat unfeasible for a large number of employees with no access to a computer). Fortunately there seems to be customized integration options available for organisations with large numbers of staff, as I found a company which  managed to connect OrangeHRM to a finger print reader to automatically punch staff in and out (article here).

Recruitment Screen

Recruitment Screen

Consolidation of Recruitment process information:

  • Publish Vacancies on a weblink to allow candidates to apply
  • Accept applications
  • List candidates who have applied
  • Mark Shortlisted candidates
  • Mark those candidates who have moved on to an interview
  • Record interview date and time
  • Record results of Interview
  • Schedule another interview or Offer Job
  • If Job Offer accepted all previously captured information is transferred to Employee details storage

Whilst basic the Recruitment aspect of OrangeHRM, was rather simple and easy to navigate.

Performance Management Screen from OrangeHRM

Performance Management Screen

Manage Performance Reports of Employees:

  • Listing Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) per role
  • Add Performance reviews
  • Report on reviews completed
  • Assign reviewer (existing employee) to performance review

I found the Performance Management aspect of OrangeHRM very simplistic. It covered basic KPI’s, but did not attempt to provide any varied levels of flexibility or customization.

Overall I think OrangeHRM is more than adequate for small or medium enterprises. Once OrangeHRM was setup and some employee information was present it was relatively easy to navigate and access common functions. I did however refer to the comprehensive user guide (found here) more than I would of liked, mainly due to the hierarchical mechanisms used to ensure robustness and clarity of date. For example: when creating a performance review, you first have to create KPI’s, which need to assign to a role, which in turn needs to be assigned to an employee in that role.

It must be noted though that OrangeHRM specifically addresses the following categories of employee needs: information management, leave, attendance, recruitment and performance. At the very least an accounting or payroll package will need to be used in conjunction with OrangeHRM to comprehensively address the remuneration and claims procedures around staff.


OrangeHRM Website

OrangeHRM User Guide

TechRepublic Review: OrangeHRM

Further reading: Comparison of 3 HR Management Solutions


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