Comparison of Bamboo HR, Gusto HR, and Freshteam: Top 3 HR Management Software Systems

What is the best HR management software?

The best HR management software is BambooHR for its end-to-end workforce management solutions. From recruitment and onboarding to performance management and employee retention, this platform has everything businesses need to manage their employee lifecycle. What’s more, it has an easy-to-navigate and highly configurable interface, so you can ensure hassle-free user experience.

Having engaged employees is just as important to your business’ success as customer satisfaction. After all, without them, your customers would have no one to engage with, your production line will cease to operate, and your tasks will be more difficult to handle.

This is why many companies make it their mission to have the best possible human resource management tools at their disposal. Luckily, more and more vendors are creating sophisticated and unified platforms through which you can keep tabs on every aspect of the employee lifecycle and even find ways to improve overall productivity. However, with the number of options on the market, pinpointing the best one for you can be overwhelming. You can follow HR software buying tips or, better yet, narrow down your choices at once to the top 3 in this field.

To help you zero in on which HR software is the best for your operations, we have selected the top products on the market and analyzed them for you. We have prepared this comparison of BambooHR, Gusto HR and Freshteam highlighting their key features, scalability, and cost. This way, it is easier for you to gauge which one fits the needs of your business.

The Top 3 HR Management Systems:

In the age of the customer, it’s easy to get lost in the process of improving client experiences. So much so that managers and business owners often forget to pay attention to their employees—a mistake that can be costly in the long run. In fact, a survey by Forbes revealed that employee turnover diminishes customer experience and eventually contributes to the churn of clients. It also accounts for 20-50% of labor costs later on as you will have to spend money to recruit, onboard, and train replacements.

So, why do employees leave in the first place? According to a 2018 survey by LinkedIn, professionals resign due to lack of opportunities (45%), unsatisfactory leadership (41%), and unsatisfactory work environment (36%). All three issues could have easily been prevented had managers been more proactive when it comes to employee management. However, with all the work on their plate, it couldn’t have been possible to do this manually.

To curb this churn of employees without compromising the productive hours of your administrators, you might want to consider upgrading your HR system. For starters, you can graduate from your spreadsheets and invest in technology that will help you move your operations forward. In a report by Insights for Professionals, results showed that 22% of companies want to integrate AI and automation into their HR processes to further improve their workflows.

Thankfully, there are tons of reliable HR software for small businesses and large enterprises alike to choose from—three of which being BambooHR, Gusto HR, and Freshteam. Yes, even small businesses should use HR software to help them nurture their best talents down the road. These platforms are among the most popular in the industry for their comprehensive human resource functionalities, user-friendly interfaces, and affordable plans.

In this comparison of BambooHR, Gusto HR and Freshteam guide, we will be giving you a more in-depth look as to why these three SaaS products topped the market. Moreover, we will offer you detailed side-by-side comparisons so that you can gauge for yourself whether or not they are the right tool for your business.

1. BambooHR

bamboohr dashboard example

BambooHR is a comprehensive cloud-hosted software built to handle a wide variety of human resource processes. From recruitment and onboarding to performance management and employee engagement, this platform provides you with an end-to-end system for the entire employee lifecycle. It can even be used to create video engagement strategies and employee portals.

In addition, the application offers personnel data modules, stripped-down performance monitoring, and robust reporting that would come in handy for growing businesses that are looking to retain top performers. To make matters even better, BambooHR integrates with more than 20 business systems and applications for painless data import/export.

To further gauge how this platform can help you, simply sign up for BambooHR free trial here.

Key Features:

  • HRIS
  • Applicant Tracking System
  • Centralized Database
  • Onboarding
  • Performance Management
  • Payroll Management
  • Accurate Reporting

2. Gusto HR

gusto hr dashboard example

Gusto HR revolutionizes HR, payroll, and benefits management by encapsulating a robust set of functionalities in a highly intuitive user interface. True to its company mission, Gusto successfully brings order to one’s chaotic business processes. This is made possible by consolidating all employee records for transparent and streamlined HR management, fully automating payroll for human error-free calculations, and modernizing benefits administration. To top it all off, users can easily access Gusto HR using their mobile devices.

A standout feature of Gusto HR is its payroll capabilities. Employees simply need to input their data onto the system, and the software will handle the rest, synching all logged employee hours and automating filing of taxes and W-2s for speedy payroll completion while maintaining compliance.

For more information about what this solution has to offer, you can easily sign up for Gusto free trial.

Key Features:

  • Payroll Automation
  • Benefits Administration
  • Time Tracking
  • Tax Automation
  • Centralized Employee Data
  • Resource Center Creation
  • Recruitment and Onboarding Management

3. Freshteam

freshteam dashboard example

Freshteam is a human resource management solution primarily geared towards recruitment. Leveraging applicant tracking systems and recruitment CRM applications, it provides managers with ways to attract and engage the right professionals for their company. Moreover, it comes with a comprehensive set of best-in-class tools that will help them stay on top of their hiring processes.

Among these tools include comprehensive dashboards for employee management, smart notifications, and customizable hiring automation. With these at your disposal, it is easier to sift through talent pools and find the best possible candidates for your available positions. It even allows you to check on your recruitment processes while on the go with its mobile application

To learn more about this platform, be sure to sign up for Freshteam free trial here.

Key Features:

  • Recruitment Management
  • Applicant Tracking
  • Collaborative Hiring
  • Custom Talent Engagement
  • Searchable Talent Pool
  • Candidate Screening
  • Career Inbox

Comparison of The Top 3 HR Management Software

HR Management Comparison Topics We Will Be Covering:

Core HR functions

Among the three, BambooHR is the only product touted as an all-in-one system. True to its claim, this HR management system offers an end-to-end solution for companies. It lets you manage recruitment, evaluate performance, perform time tracking and attendance management, prepare payroll, and create reports. It also has HRIS and HRMS functionalities, making it one of the most comprehensive platforms on the market. The tradeoff, however, is that it doesn’t have specialized functionalities and it is designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. If you want to have access to more advanced tools, you might need to make use of the platform’s open API capabilities.Gusto HR takes on a different approach compared to Bamboo HR. It offers everything from time management and schedule organization to recruitment management and resource center creation. However, it shines most in the field of payroll management as it offers specialized functionalities that tackle benefits administration, tax preparation, and the like. This makes it especially useful for companies that are particular about their finances.

Lastly, Freshteam has a similar set-up to Gusto HR in the sense that it comes with a more curated feature set. It is focused primarily on talent management. This means it can handle recruitment management, onboarding and offboarding, as well as HRIS. The only downside is that it doesn’t offer payroll management features or employee retention options.

BambooHR’s core functions cover everything from recruitment management to payroll preparation.


Streamlining your work processes are anchored on having the right system to implement them. With that said, it is important to find an HR software that can be adjusted to your specifications.On this front, BambooHR and Gusto HR stands out from other applications. On one hand, BambooHR is built to adapt to specific workflows so that you don’t have to worry about tweaking your existing processes to accommodate the platform. It lets you program approval workflows, create automated scheduled changes, as well as come up with customized permission options for your managers and staff members. Moreover, it has an employee self-service portal that you can customize so that it only has features that are essential to your organizational requirements.

On the other hand, Gusto HR allows you to customize automated workflows, reports, and operational protocols for time-off, tenure accrual, or PTO. They also have coworker directories that can be modified to collect only the information that is important to your organization. This way, there is less clutter in your database. Lastly, this platform has pre-made templates that can be modified depending on your needs so that you can fast track any automation processes.

Freshteam does not fall far behind as it also comes with its own set of customization options, albeit slightly more limited than the others mentioned. Among the processes it allows you to fully modify are hiring workflows, time off policies, onboarding workflows, user roles, and forms. It is also equipped with customizable SSL certificates for your convenience.

BambooHR offers a customizable interface that allows it to adapt to your changing needs.


In order to move your business forward, you need to know where you stand. This means proactively monitoring your performance and gaining insight into your data by using reporting and analytics.For those who want a holistic view of their HR management efforts, BambooHR is the best option. It can generate detailed reports on quite a number of aspects ranging from turnover rates and retention rates to hiring needs projection and productivity data. It also comes with pre-made templates on terminations and additions, age profiles, applicant sources, and assessment progressions, among others to make report creation faster than ever.

In case you want to focus more on the financial aspect of HR, GustoHR might be a better choice for you. This is because it gives users complete visibility over your payroll information, benefits management efforts, bank transactions, agency payments, tax data, and time off balances. In addition, it can generate basic reports on contractor and employee performance.

Lastly, companies who want to check their recruitment and employee retention efforts will find that Freshteam is the most ideal. It can create reports on candidate sourcing, job posting management, recruitment pipeline, offers and hires, as well as talent pool management.

BambooHR offers robust reporting and analytics tools to help you gain insight into your HR processes.

Compliance and Security

Compliance with industry regulations and data security are crucial when you’re running a business. This is why SaaS providers equip their products with tools that protect the integrity of your company information and help you stay up-to-date on any regulation changes.Among our top 3 HR management software, Gusto HR is the one that went the extra mile in this aspect. They use multi-factor authentication, 256-bit advanced encryption standard (AES), firewall, and other security technology to safeguard all of your data from any external threats. Also, aside from adhering to state and federal privacy laws, the platform is HIPAA, ERISA, and ACA compliant to protect all employee information.

In terms of compliance management, Gusto HR can help you with workers’ compensation, onboarding, payroll, and other labor law requirements by updating federal forms for you. They even have certified HR personnel that can help with compliance-related questions if you are looking to make sure that you are operating according to the current industry standards.

BambooHR follows closely with its in-depth, multi-level data security that includes input validation, application firewalls, and information encryption. Their team also proactively reinforces the security of their service and their data centers by regularly scanning for vulnerabilities, scheduling annual third-party SOC II security audits, and performing penetration tests. Furthermore, they are GDPR compliant and stays on top of EU and UK data privacy laws.

Another great thing about BambooHR is that the product offers updated forms that you can use for HR operations. The platform is even equipped to check your documents and workflows for errors so that you can be sure that you are following industry regulations at all times.

As for Freshteam, the product is equipped with SSL security options and protected data storage. It is also GDPR compliant like the other productivity tools that the vendor offers. However, unlike the two other products we are comparing it with, Freshteam does not collect state and federal forms for you. Moreover, it cannot monitor the compliance of your workflows based on labor laws or industry requirements.

Gusto HR is fully compliant with industry regulations as well as state and federal laws.


Great cloud-hosted human resource management tools should include standard APIs. These are what will allow users to perform seamless data transfers as well as bring together the different systems they use for their HR operations. Luckily, all three products we are comparing offer a certain level of integrability.If you are looking for complete flexibility, BambooHR is the way to go. Aside from being equipped with its own Apps Marketplace where you can look for plug-and-play widgets, it also comes with an open API architecture. This allows it to integrate with virtually any third-party application you require. Among the many tools it can support are Glassdoor, Greenhouse, Bitium, and Zapier.

For those who have simpler integration requirements, Gusto HR is a great option. It may not offer open API capabilities but it is still designed to play well with a handful of popular business systems. In fact, it offers native integrations to Intuit, Xero, Google, and Clover Point, to name a few. What’s more, the vendor is actively working to expand their list of partners so that you can integrate with more applications in the future.

Freshteam is perhaps the underdog when it comes to this topic as it has limited integrations. It can work well with other products from the Freshworks family such as Freshdesk, Freshsales, Freshcaller, and Freshservice. However, it currently only supports a handful of social media channels and third-party applications. The good news is the vendor will soon be launching an open API feature for the platform but until then, this might not be able to blend with your existing software ecosystem.

Gusto HR has a good selection of integrations to help you streamline your HR processes.


Affordability is an important factor when it comes to purchasing anything for your company, and HR management tools are no exception. So, you’ll be glad to know that the three products we’ve selected for this comparison offer reasonably priced plans depending on the different needs of your business.In this regard, Freshteam is at an advantage as it is one of the most popular free HR software solutions on the market. The platform is available completely for free if you have less than 50 employees. This is already inclusive of core HR functions such as recruitment, team collaboration. For more advanced functionalities, they have paid plans starting at $50/month.

Meanwhile, Gusto HR has an affordable starting rate of $45/month for the core HR platform. This is inclusive of the monthly base and the additional rate per agent. These are highly flexible so you can upgrade as necessary. Like BambooHR, this also offers extra functionalities at additional costs.

Lastly, BambooHR is only available by quote. Unlike SaaS providers however that let you customize your plan, they already have pre-packaged subscriptions containing curated feature sets based on how basic or how advanced you need your functionalities to be. They will then calculate a price depending on the number of employees you have. This way, they can keep the rates competitive enough for your company. After choosing a plan, you may then take a look at what add-ons you want to further extend the platform.

Freshteam is among the most budget-friendly HR systems on the market.

Which HR Management Tool is the Best for Your Company?

HR management tools come in all shapes and sizes. They are often designed with specific purposes or companies in mind. So, there really isn’t a straight answer as to which one is the best for your company. What is clear is — HR software is useful.

However, if you are simply looking for a one-stop HR management system, then, we highly recommend BambooHR. As we mentioned earlier, this is an all-in-one tool that covers virtually all aspects of HR management, so you can ensure that you are getting a comprehensive set of features for your company. It even offers a user-friendly interface so that professional and novice users will find it a breeze to navigate. To top it all off, the software is highly configurable and scalable so it can easily adapt with your changing HR needs.

Coming a close second to it is Gusto HR. Designed mostly for payroll management, this is great for those who wish to improve the handling of salaries, employee benefits, and other forms of compensation. It also comes in handy if you are looking to streamline your HR processes as it offers basic functionalities for employee retention, performance management, and onboarding. In case that’s not enough, you can always rely on its integration capabilities.

Last but not least is Freshteam. While it may lack in terms of payroll tools, learning management programs, or reporting options, it will certainly become a boon for companies that want to focus on talent management. This platform is equipped with robust tools for applicant tracking, onboarding, and performance monitoring. What’s more, it has unmatched affordability and scalability that’s good for startups and growing businesses.

Hopefully, with this comparison of the top 3 HR management software, we were able to help you get a better idea about which platform is the best option for your business. You should also try for yourself the software here for a firsthand experience. This is easy to do, for instance, you can sign up for BambooHR free trial here.

Emily Watson

By Emily Watson

Emily Watson is a human resource management expert specializing in workforce planning and HR development. Throughout her years in the industry, she has also dabbled in career path development, employee training, and workforce management. In her four years as a contributor for FinancesOnline, she has reviewed over a thousand HR tools ranging from recruitment platforms to unified human capital management suites. She has also created in-depth analyses of emerging HR technologies and trends to provide companies worldwide with the data they need to keep up with industry shifts.

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