BambooHR Review – Everything You Need to Know in 2024

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Our Verdict

All-in-one HR platform for US companies

When it comes to the best human resources management software, BambooHR is certainly a top competitor. This all-in-one platform is ideal for SMBs within the US that want to streamline HR functions like hiring, employee data, benefits packages, time tracking, and performance monitoring. However, it’s not viable for larger companies looking to hire contractors, freelancers, or FTEs from other countries.

What we loved about BambooHR, especially for smaller businesses, is having its core functions split into different modules. This gives you the flexibility to choose features you’d like access to, making it super cost-effective since you’re not paying for extra features you don’t plan on using – a very fair way of handling business.

Pros

  • Easy to implement and super user-friendly
  • Natively integrates with hundreds of third-party apps and tools
  • Excellent hiring features and a built-in applicant tracking system (ATS)
  • Intuitive performance management tools for 360-degree reviews
  • In-house customer support team

Cons

  • Payroll and employee benefits tailored to US-based companies
  • Doesn't offer a built-in Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Limited reporting for ATS

Our BambooHR review takes an in-depth look at the core features to help you decide whether it’s the best fit for your business and reviews how the software stacks up against other HR platforms.

    BambooHR Plans & Pricing

    When we carried out our BambooHR review, we found the pricing system quite convoluted. Pricing is all quote-based, but to receive a quote, you have to fill out a form on the pricing page.

    Your only options here are selecting your employee count and the country your business is located in. You don’t get to specify any additional features you’d like in your subscription, which can make the initial quote inaccurate.

    What we recommend instead is scheduling a demo of the platform and then talking to BambooHR’s sales team to get a rough estimate.

    After you have an idea of the platform’s monthly cost per employee, you can start a free seven-day trial to test it in practice before committing to a monthly subscription.

    Note that for companies with fewer than 20 employees, BambooHR charges a flat monthly rate, which typically ranges from $7 to $15 per month per employee.

    It’s important for new customers to understand that BambooHR offers two distinct pricing plans:

    1. Essentials Plan. This plan barely covers the essentials. We found that it only acts as an employee data repository with time-off management.
    2. Advantage Plan. This plan does, in fact, cover what we would deem essential HR features. This includes onboarding, applicant tracking systems (ATS), employee surveys, and customizable reports.

    You can get additional features in BambooHR as standalone modules, but each will change the price of your monthly plan. There are four modules in total:

    1. Payroll
    2. Benefits administration
    3. Performance management
    4. Time tracking

    BambooHR Review

    Starting price Quote-based
    Best for SMBs that want to simplify every aspect of employee lifecycle management
    Customer support Phone, email, social media
    App integrations Slack, 15Five, Lattice, Greenhouse, Zapier
    Security & Compliance Data encryption, secure servers, web application firewall, native multi-factor authentication, annual security audits
    Payroll Yes
    Reporting & analytics Yes
    Mobile app Yes
    Benefits administration Yes
    E-signatures Yes
    Auto-alerts and reminders Yes

    Features Available on BambooHR

    As we mentioned, BambooHR’s features are split between two plans and four modules. This way, you can choose what functionalities you need and avoid paying for features you don’t plan on using.

    Before our BambooHR review goes into detail on each one, the most noteworthy categories for features include:

    • Hiring and onboarding
    • Time tracking and payroll
    • Benefits administration
    • Performance management

    Hiring and Onboarding

    BambooHR's hiring and onboarding features

    BambooHR offers a solid ATS that streamlines everything in your hiring process. From job posting to employee onboarding, the system offers a seamless journey. We loved how you can easily include HR leaders and hiring managers in the process to share thoughts on each candidate.

    The system allows you to score every candidate against the core competencies and skills required for the job. Your team can even leave comments on their profile, which other people involved in recruiting can access.

    You can flag candidates with strong resumés, particular skills, or specific experience, letting you easily filter through your candidate pool and engage with the most qualified people faster.

    As for employee onboarding, hiring managers can create customized onboarding packages, which new hires can access on the BambooHR platform.

    In this handy setup, you can outline key onboarding tasks, introduce new hires to their coworkers, and ensure they have access to all the key documents, apps, and tools you’re using.

    Time Tracking and Payroll Services

    BambooHR's payroll services

    Although these are two separate modules, we found that time tracking and payroll sit well together in BambooHR’s offering. Your team members can easily clock in and out from their desktop or mobile devices, and the software will automatically log their hours worked. The software also automatically calculates overtime hours and takes holidays and PTO into consideration.

    Your HR leaders and department heads can review and edit automated employee timesheets, which include valuable data on each team member’s hours spent on specific projects. Having quick and easy access to timesheets also dramatically reduces the time required to complete accurate payroll runs.

    You’ll also appreciate having the freedom to create flexible payment schedules and choose preferred payment methods. What’s more, the platform handles federal and state tax filing on your behalf, reducing the chances of costly errors.

    In our BambooHR review, the only problem was that this feature only applies to companies based in the US – it’s not useful for international users.

    Employee Benefits Administration

    BambooHR lets you easily create and manage benefits packages, develop enrollment windows, and review and approve employee selections. We really liked how you can use the same dashboard to edit coverage levels and effective dates, as well as change the rates.

    The benefits administration module includes an employee self-service dashboard too. This means they can enroll in and review benefits plans from the same dashboard they use to request time off and manage personal information.

    If your company is creating benefits packages for the first time, BambooHR offers an ever-growing list of providers (or carriers) to choose from. By automatically sending them all the required employee data, it also streamlines and fast-tracks the process.

    You can connect your existing benefits carriers to BambooHR if you’d prefer to continue using the current package your company is offering.

    One crucial thing to note is that only US-based employees will be able to make use of the benefits administration feature.

    Again, this means BambooHR isn’t a great fit for remote and hybrid companies that employ international workers. For that purpose, we’d suggest Rippling and Deel as alternatives.

    Performance Management

    In our BambooHR review, we checked out the features of this module and found excellent results. With these tools, you can conduct 360-degree employee assessments, ensure alignment between managers and workers, and create and monitor measurable goals.

    BambooHR also features automated reminders, giving employees and managers enough time to prepare for performance reviews. We were impressed to see that the process is fully customizable – you can even create flexible schedules to ensure workflow won’t be disrupted by these 1-on-1 meetings.

    Managers will have access to notes from previous reviews, as well as feedback from the employee’s peers and their direct reports. This makes the platform easy for self-service, without the need for someone in the HR team to facilitate this sort of information handling.

     BambooHR Integrations

    You can integrate a ton of other apps into the BambooHR platform, ranging from ATSs and communication tools to time tracking and LMS solutions.

    Some of the most popular integrations on the BambooHR platform include:

    • Slack
    • 15Five
    • Deel
    • Lattice
    • TalentLMS
    • Assembly
    • Litmos
    • Kudos

    Unfortunately, for some organizations, BambooHR doesn’t integrate with project management tools like Jira, Trello, and Asana.

    In this case, the only options are to contend with duplicate data entry or rely on the internal Project Tracking feature to manage projects and tasks. That said, our BambooHR review did not find its native tools robust enough to meet most organizations’ needs.

    BambooHR Customer Reviews

    We found BambooHR to have solid customer reviews across the board, averaging above 4.5/5 stars on popular review sites like G2, GetApp, Capterra, and Gartner.

    BambooHR ratings overview on Gartner

    In terms of BambooHR’s strongest features, reviewers highlighted qualities such as:

    • Ease of implementation
    • User-friendliness
    • Reporting and analytics
    • Integration capabilities

    However, we also found that users wanted improvements in the following areas:

    • Notifications during employee onboarding
    • In-house payroll management
    • Platform stability after major updates

    What is BambooHR Good For?

    If you work within a US-based SMB that needs to streamline every aspect of employee lifecycle management, BambooHR is one of the best HRIS software solutions.

    To summarise its best characteristics:

    • Ease of use – The software is easy to implement and use, plus you can tailor your subscription fee based on modules you’ll need to use in day-to-day work.
    • Clean data – The platform acts as a central data repository for all your employee information. As it’s easy to integrate with your existing software stack, you won’t have to worry about duplicate data entry or discrepancies.
    • High-quality features – Identify and hire top candidates, do applicant tracking,  track attendance, monitor performance, and create and distribute employee benefits packages. On the administrative side of things, you can also fast-track payroll runs and simplify HR data and reporting.

    When we carried out our BambooHR review, we did find that it fell short in terms of skills development, given that it doesn’t include an LMS. Another shortcoming is that its benefits and payroll functionalities are only available for US employees, making it unsuitable for companies with international workers.

    After taking our BambooHR review into account, you might think an alternative type of software would be a better fit for your business. Check out our comparison guide to the best cloud HR software.

    BambooHR vs. Top Competitors

    Provider Best for Starting Price Payroll Benefits Admin Reporting/Analytics Mobile App
    BambooHR SMBs that want to simplify every aspect of employee lifecycle management Quote-based Yes Yes Customizable reports, built-in report templates with key HR KPIs Yes
    Rippling SMBs looking to streamline every aspect of their HR $8/month per employee Yes Yes Pre-built and custom workforce and compliance reports Yes
    Deel Hiring an international team and providing visa support and relocation Free with limited features Yes Yes Global payroll reports, Standard HR reports No
    SageHR Leave management, expense tracking, and shift scheduling $7/month per employee Yes No Standard reports Yes

    BambooHR vs. Rippling

    These human resources management platforms are quite similar in terms of core features and functionalities. Both cover all the basics, including hiring and onboarding employees, payroll services, benefits administration, time tracking, applicant tracking, and performance management.

    BambooHR and Rippling differ in their capacity for company size and location. We found that BambooHR suits US-based SMBs, as its payroll and employee benefits are strictly tied to US workers. In comparison, Rippling is a much better option for larger hybrid or remote companies.

    It offers global payroll, employment, compliance, and Employer of Record (EOR) services. However, the simplicity of BambooHR, making it easier for self-service, might sway larger US companies to use the platform too. You can read our Rippling review for more information.

    BambooHR vs. Deel

    If your company has fewer than 200 employees, Deel offers its core Deel HR package for free – this is a huge advantage over BambooHR. On the other hand, BambooHR only offers a free trial for seven days.

    Even for companies with fewer than 20 employees, BambooHR also charges a flat monthly rate, which ranges from $7 to $15 per month per employee.

    That said, when it comes to hiring, Deel focuses solely on international contractors and full-time employees. This makes BambooHR a much better option for companies hiring workers within the US.

    It’s very effective for facilitating job postings, plus its built-in ATS offers a full range of features for hiring managers.

    BambooHR vs. SageHR

    When comparing these two platforms, the main difference is the work environments they’re suited to. SageHR is primarily geared toward SMBs that work on site. Its core functionalities revolve around shift scheduling, expense tracking, PTO, and performance management.

    BambooHR, on the other hand, is a better-suited HRIS for small businesses providing digital services within a hybrid or remote environment (albeit in the US). With BambooHR, employees can easily clock in and out from their desktop or mobile devices – the platform automatically tracks all hours worked.

    This sort of data, along with timesheets, is much more useful for digital workforces compared to what SageHR can offer.

    How We Test HR Software

    Our expert reviews go into a lot of detail to help you choose wisely before purchasing HR software. When reviewing and comparing leading HR platforms, we test the following aspects:

    • Pricing – Different pricing plans and tiers, plus the value for money you get with each.
    • Features – The core HR features available on different subscription plans, plus advanced features offered as add-ons.
    • Automation – How well does the software automate workflow and HR functions, such as payroll or benefits enrollment?
    • Integration – We look at which third-party apps and tools the software allows integration with.
    • Reporting – Checking out the number of reports and templates, as well as the level of customization.
    • Ease of use – User interface, implementation, and functionality for day-to-day business operations.
    • User reviews – Feedback from third-party users, which we pull from a variety of reputable, trusted review sites.

    How to Choose the Best HR Software

    We recommend considering the following factors when choosing HR software. This will help you ensure that it’s the right fit for your organization:

    • Type of HR software – As you’ve seen throughout our BambooHR review, some HR management software is better suited for local SMBs, while others are geared towards enterprises with a large international workforce. Features and functionalities should align with your business and budget needs.
    • Essential HR features – Carefully check what standard features your chosen HR management platform offers, like a company calendar, manager resources, customer support, and background checks. Compare the same features on different pricing plans and check the software’s level of customization.
    • Pricing – Once you’ve determined your monthly budget, compare different pricing plans to find the most cost-effective HR software option. Bear in mind that you might need to contact their team to create a custom, quote-based pricing solution, like with BambooHR.
    • Ease of use – HR management solutions differ in terms of complexity, so it’s important to find the right balance between the number of features and the usability of the platform. You don’t want self-service HR software to be too difficult to use for your team, but you shouldn’t opt for a bare-bones solution that lacks key features, either.
    • Integrations – If you’re already using certain apps, make sure they appear in the list of integrations unless you’re willing to make a switch to different apps. Some HR management platforms offer an Application Programming Interface (API), which would allow you to integrate it with almost any application.
    • Customer support – Check the contact methods and working hours for customer service phone support. It’s best to opt for a provider with in-house customer service phone support, especially if they provide a dedicated support representative to your account.

    FAQs

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    Aleksandar Stevanovic
    Software Reviews Expert
    Aleksandar Stevanovic
    Software Reviews Expert

    Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…