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BambooHR has remained one of the top names in HR software for years. They have won numerous awards for customer support, ease of use, and good value. Their numerous features can be flexibly packaged according to your needs.
Ease of Use
- Flexible packaging and custom pricing is the way they roll. You can pick out one or two packages and pick other modules as add-ons based on your needs.
- Very simple and straightforward tool, easy to use.
- Payroll is only available for US-based employees
- Customer support is only offered during US business hours.
- Some modules like time tracking, performance management, and surveys are only available as add-ons.
BambooHR tries to accommodate one or another version of their technology to fit your business. Their HR platform spans across the employee lifecycle as they have tons of other functionalities (like a full ATS or a performance management module) in addition to the core HRIS offer.
They do offer the core HR part as a stand-alone product. The way they package features can be flexible. For instance, they have a small business package called Essentials.
This package covers all the HR Management features like employee records, benefit tracking, standard reporting, document storage and more. It also has the employee self-service module, which is where workers can manage their time off, consult the employee directory and org chart, see a company calendar, and do all this from either the desktop version or the mobile app.
Further, Modules like payroll, time tracking, and performance management are offered as add-ons. If you need more, you can opt for the Advantage package. This plan includes onboarding and offboarding features, the Applicant Tracking System, advanced reporting, company branding, access to the open API, satisfaction surveys, and much more.
The flexibility of building out your plan like this is part of what keeps drawing one HR team after another to the tool. Arguably, it’s also what makes BambooHR one of the most popular HR software products of all time.
The product itself is fairly easy to use and figure out on your own. It’s one of the most simple tools to navigate that packs so many features. At SSR, we’ve demoed the tool, tried it for free, and even worked at companies where it was the HRIS of choice. We can say it’s rare to have to consult any help articles in order to make use of the tool. You just log in, do what you have to do, and trust that your colleagues will be notified.
Take the process of requesting time off, for instance. A worker would log in, send the request to their manager, and the manager gets an email notification. Once approved or rejected, the worker gets an email notification as well and the company calendar is updated accordingly. There’s no need for the worker to log back into the tool.
Lastly, BambooHR also have numerous amenities like an app marketplace of HR/recruiting vendors that integrate with their system, an HR glossary, and host HR events on occasion.
Many of BambooHR’s features work grandly for businesses in virtually every part of the world. However, modules like payroll, hiring & onboarding, and time tracking are certainly either thought of for US business practices or, in the case of payroll, only available for US employees. International or remote businesses looking for an HRMS to handle both HR and payroll needs would not be a good fit. Unless, that is, they use the HR part only and integrate payroll through another vendor, like one of the best international payroll providers.
Among the 20,000+ companies that use BambooHR, you’d find names like Quora, Universal Group, Reddit, Asana, Change.org, University of Maryland, Grammarly, Stance, Postmates, Wistia, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and ZipRecruiter.
BambooHR has two feature sets. Essentials provides human resources management modules, employee self-service tools, and baseline customer support.
Advantage includes everything in Essentials but adds premium customer support, hiring and onboarding systems, an ATS, training, reporting, a job site, company branding, and access to BambooHR's partner marketplace and open API integration.
Add-ons such as time tracking, payroll, and performance management are available at additional costs.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the top features:
- People Data & Analytics: BambooHR strives to be the single and secure database where all your employee information is stored and managed. They couple that with powerful, intuitive reporting tools and a strong focus on security.
- Mobile Hiring App: One of their most-talked-about perks, their hiring app gives recruiters the ease to perform most applicant tracking tasks from their phone if needed.
- Automated onboarding: Set up tasks to new hires for them to complete at a time of their choosing.
- Introductions: BambooHR makes introductions easy with resources like customizable new-hire packets and get-to-know-you emails.
- Electronic signatures: New employees can sign the stuff they need to without stepping a foot in the office.
BambooHR also has capabilities for:
- Attendance tracking
- Benefits administration
- Employee communication tools
- Employee engagement
- Reporting and analytics
- Performance appraisal
- Time tracking
- Workforce management
- Compensation management
- Performance management tools and surveys
BambooHR has an API with lots of partnerships and an app marketplace, although these are only available from the Advantage onwards. If you do go with that plan, the platform integrates with most applicant tracking systems, as well as solutions for employee assessments, background checks, employment verification, payroll, benefits administration, ERP & accounting, training, onboarding, performance management, recognition, and more. Their marketplace keeps growing and already features a few hundred vendor integrations.
Pricing is not disclosed upfront, but they do offer a free trial of their all-in-one software and then go out of their way to find a version that will suit you. Before they come up with a personalized quote that will align with your budget, however, they are also likely to extend your free trial upon request or even give you a free demo of the advanced features.
BambooHR is a good fit for companies looking for a very customizable HR product, with pricing that reflects their needs. It’s also popular among teams that are partially or even fully remote.
Getting started with BambooHR is as easy as signing up for their free trial and then getting in touch with their team. They'll likely want to talk to you about choosing a plan that's based on your needs, and the implementation of that will vary accordingly.
BambooHR does more of a self-service approach to customer success. The Essentials package includes email support and access to their Customer Success Webinar library. For their telephone support, you’d have to upgrade to the Advantage plan. From our understanding, both kinds of personal support are only offered in US business hours.
BambooHR was started in 2008 by Ben Peterson and Ryan Sanders. Their goal was to create a product that customers would love using and that would save countless man hours. At the same time, they wanted the company behind this product to be a place people would enjoy working at.
This approach worked, as they have kept growing both their employee and customer count quite steadily over the years. They had 470 employees around the end of 2019. Now, as of Summer 2022, they have over 1250. Their product is used by thousands of companies in well over 100 countries.
An interesting bit about the way they manage their company is that they have an “anti-workaholic policy”. Basically, BambooHR employees are forbidden from laboring over 40 hours per week.
Also noteworthy is the fact that while both founding members are still on the board, BambooHR’s CEO is now Brad Rencher. He was previously a marketing executive at Adobe Inc., before being recruited for the post in October 2019.
Number of Employees
According to their Crunchbase profile, BambooHR has raised an undisclosed amount of funding over 2 rounds. The last one of which was in Summer 2016. Among others, BambooHR is funded by Sorenson Capital.
How come BambooHR is so popular?
We’d argue that BambooHR was one of the first companies to bring HR functionalities to the SaaS realm with modern UX design. However, while many companies do that now, they’ve secured their position as a household name in HR software due to their ever-growing features and flexible packages; which suit SMBs and enterprises alike.
Is BambooHR Free?
As of summer 2022, BambooHR doesn’t offer a stand-alone free-for-life product. They do have a free trial, however, and they’ve been known to extend it based on your needs and plans. That being said, it does eventually cost, but the pricing is completely customized based on what features you need.