BambooHR Competitors: Compare It With TalentLMS, iCIMS, Bridge LMS, Litmos LMS and Blackboard

bbStripped-down performance management is no longer the only criterion relevant to choosing solid HR systems, as those systems recently used the expansion of computerized business to grow in complexity. The way things are nowadays, a manager has to consider multiple factors and compare long lists of providers to find an app that will really meet his expectations. Our platform’s mission is to facilitate that process, which is why we often compare top performers, and highlight systems we believe are ‘one-size-fits-all’ business solutions.

In this particular case, we pulled off the similarities and differences between our HR category’s frontrunner BambooHR and five of our best employee onboarding-oriented apps (TalentLMS, iCIMS Talent Acquisition, Bridge LMS, Litmos LMS, and Blackboard. The purpose was to examine how BambooHR competitors cover talent acquisition, management, and employee retention, and help you obtain the maximal functionality for your money depending on what your team needs. A close overlook on prices, integrations, and mobile optimization is also included.

A few words on BambooHR


There is rarely an experienced HR manager who hasn’t heard of BambooHR, and the reason is that this product genuinely wraps all functionality needed to manage human capital in small and medium companies. It is a one-stop-shop for applicant tracking, training and onboarding, performance administration, and evaluation, while it also offers some advanced hints such as benefit management and payroll integration. All features can be examined using their free trial and if you want more details on the software read on to see how it compares with other popular solutions of this type. You can easily sign up for BambooHR free trial here.
You can also read our detailed analysis of BambooHR pros & cons. Read on to the learn the head-to-head comparison with BambooHR competitors:

BambooHR vs. Talent LMS


Despite the fact that Talent LMS is often regarded as an e-learning-exclusive system, it works quite similarly to BambooHR in corporate environments, in particular when a company is not looking for an umbrella-box that will cover all HR operations. BambooHR, on the other hand, is a high-tech HRIS for small and medium businesses which not only trains and educates employees, but it also tracks their performance and manages their expenses. Basically, the choice between the two would depend on whether you’re looking for a training focused system that produces talent, or one that acquires it from the external market, and manages it afterwards.

Basically, BambooHR allows companies to place job ads and evaluate applicants through an optional system using custom filters, includes chosen candidates in a database, and tracks their performance from then on. TalentLMS would cover only the initial stages of this process, making it possible to prepare brand-specific e-courses, test and examine employees’ achievements, report, and most of all define user roles for smarter task assignment and information distribution. If feasible, the ideal scenario is to use both systems in different phases of employee onboarding, knowing that BambooHR uses premade system files and training materials instead of creating task-specific modules. In case you must opt for one of them, we recommend BambooHR as a system that can administer performance once employees are trained and their needs are curated.

In terms of integrations, the two programs are fairly similar, and use comprehensive API to rely on third-party legacy systems. You should nevertheless consider that TalentLMS integrations move directly towards education, contact management, and CMS systems (WordPress, Sharepoint, MailChimp, etc.), while BambooHR covers accounting, payroll, file sharing and management programs as well. Both systems integrate easily with the leading e-commerce platforms, and are fully mobile optimized to use in remote teams.

Pricing is somehow trickier to compare, keeping in mind that TalentLMS has a fixed pricing scheme, and BambooHR a quote-based one. A general observation is the TalentLMS’s basic plans may turn out cheaper for small and medium business, which is expected having in mind its sphere of applicability. In the case of BambooHR, prices are calculated on the basis of what the business needs and can afford.

BambooHR vs. iCIMS Talent Acquisition


Both Bamboo HR and iCIMS Talent Acquisition have mastered the craft of hiring and onboarding quality performers, the later being exclusively designed for the purpose.

iCIMS is mostly known by its branded career portal that considers in detail the qualifications of interested applicants. It is also considerably powerful in distribution terms, making sure that vacancies appear on all popular job boards and social networks, the main disadvantage to BambooHR being that it lacks the text editor where that announcement would be prepared. Note that announcement preparation in BambooHR also gives access to a variety of brand-specific filters to apply before the offer goes viral, including contract types, salary details, notes, and long duty descriptions.

Between the two, we believe iCMIS is a smarter choice for recruiting agencies rather than typical companies looking to expand their team, and that’s because it parses resumes one-to-one, and manages interviews with all candidates that meet the basic requirements. Internal HR capacity is notably limited compared to BambooHR, which runs an entire performance administration system, and monitors how employees are doing for as long as they are hired. What is more, BambooHR also assigns and schedules tasks, administers benefits, and compares accomplishment to long-term goals and missions.

You should also be quite careful when comparing the software ecosystem of both apps: the list of iCIMS’s integrations is modest and HR-oriented, and comes nowhere close to Bamboo’s open API and multiple pre-made integrations.

As for the price, both tools are quote-based, and will require you to contact support and share your expectations.

BambooHR vs. Bridge LMS


This is another learning management vs. performance management setting, where choosing the more suitable product depends on whether you need to build or maintain a successful team.

Bridge LMS, for instance, has the competitive edge of being a complete corporate learning suite, enabling companies to train employees, compare and record their achievements. The same as TalentLMS, it empowers creation of impressive custom-branded courses, and uses advanced progress indicators to measure completion rates.

The issue will once again be whether it makes sense to support and upgrade this system once BambooHR is in function. Both products are successful in maintaining training databases, and have similar role permissions, information access rules, and email reminders. They also coincide in terms of drafting and exporting custom reports, work well on mobile devices, and offer public API to bundle them within every software infrastructure.

So what is it that makes Bridge LMS a less preferable choice? We’d say it is the range of functions it can cover: while it may be the perfect system to get employees acquainted with the company’s goals and activities, Bridge won’t do for managing human capital and keeping tasks in order. BambooHR with its traditional team management capacity is a much preferable option.

As both systems are priced by quote, we recommend you to contact their providers and compare which price is better for you, keeping in mind what you would get for it.

BambooHR vs. Litmos LMS


Being completely honest, Litmos LMS is the least HR-suitable system from the ones we analyze in this article, but its growing popularity as a powerful e-learning provider definitely deserves a look.

It is another professionally crafted system for course management with embedded content creation tools and custom branded assessment, which gives companies and sole trainers the opportunity to sell materials online, organize quizzes and competitions, and get paid on the very same platform. It is perfect for larger companies interested to craft their own courses and save money and time.

Litmos LMS uses developer APIs to integrate with HRIS, ERP, and CRM systems, which is how its functionality can be extended for performance administration. In such a case, it is up to the user to decide whether to acquire technical help and code the system for HR operations, or use BambooHR which doesn’t rely on external modules to track employees and assign them tasks. At first side, BambooHR’s quote-based pricing scheme may look like a reasonable excuse to skip a full suite, but in such a case we recommend you to compare the coding- and safety-related costs Litmos may require in the future. Plus, real-time reporting with Litmos is limited to the training process, and separate mobile apps are not provided.

BambooHR vs. Blackboard


Blackboard is just as successful in the corporate ecosystem as it is in the educational one, considering its open and customizable architecture, and the neat virtual environment. Its user-friendly interface reminds of BambooHR’s, mostly because of how learners’ information is structured and organized. Yet, the main similarity between these products is the presence of a retention center that evaluates performance. They are also collaboration-ready, allowing users to discuss common topics and share files.

Just as in the previous cases, Blackboard is a suitable option for companies looking to train employees and design their own courses, export learning information from social partners, and manage documents. It doesn’t cover internal HR and expense administration, and has almost no role in the hiring process. Even for learning purposes it might be better to consider a system that reports in real time, as Blackboard is not enabled to analyze data without the adequate extension.

Optimization won’t be an issue, as Blackboard is exclusively designed for mobile training (Android and iPhone/iPad apps are available). Similarly to BambooHR, the product is priced by quote.

Our final verdict

With all those powerful software performers on the market, HR managers can easily get confused and choose a tool that can’t meet their requirements. The most common mistake they make is choosing an employee training platform and expect it to administer performance after a particular e-learning module is closed. In a certain way, LMS functionality can be expanded to embrace specific operations such as benefit management, but the question is whether it is really worth to upgrade it and to pay for several apps at once.

Unless you’re an agency looking to recruit people, or an educational center dealing with course creation, the smarter option is always to purchase a fully-equipped HR suit that will onboard and retain talented performers. Analyzing many quality features of BambooHR led us to believe it is a really solid option for small and medium businesses, in particular the optional tracking system, benefit administration, and open API which allow you to use it from the first moment your account is created. However, we still recommend that you try out their free trial first to see if it’s a solution that will actually work for you. You can easily 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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