BambooHR: The Pros & Cons of this Award-Winning HR System

bhlThe challenge of producing quality HR software is to deliver a product that will genuinely focus on people, instead of paperwork, and that’s where even top performers burn out. While it is extremely tempting to perform raw numbers experiments in a team, the only reasonable way to succeed is to allocate work where it is about to be handled best. Today, we are discussing a human resources management system we perceive to be intuitive in this sense, and we’re snuggling into the tiniest details of the BambooHR pros and cons to check whether it can sustain the reputation it has been given.

The truth is we’ve praised BambooHR numerous times, and were in the absolute right to do so for the clean and well-designed system that it is. BambooHR is one of the leaders in this software category and winner of multiple prestigious awards.

But is BambooHR indeed an all-inclusive SMB management tool? More importantly, does it feature all capacity you need to run an organized team? Let’s check the BambooHR pros and cons:

BambooHR for onboarding new employees

Since BambooHR features are an umbrella-box that covers all HR-related processes, you are entitled to expect it to bring novice players on board. What is unique about it though is how it emphasizes the manager’s capacity to make onboarding easy rather than evaluating the employee’s willingness to fit into his team. With BambooHR, an approved applicant obtains full membership right away, assuming that the manager has emailed him a folder of training materials and system files, and empowered him to participate in all relevant discussions (unlike high-tech and enterprise-grade performers, BambooHR didn’t go as far as to allow team members to tag coworkers on newsfeed updates, the rationale being the size of the team and the manager-governed roles). On his behalf, the employee is expected to update information on his profile, instead of sending documents and awaiting approval, which obviously benefits both parties.

Let’s not forget that BambooHR has one of the easiest and most intuitive interfaces, which allows even non-savvy comers get grasp on their assignments without training. At first sight, operations appear so simple that some users wish Bamboo was a more vibrant environment to work at. The neat chapter-based organization of people and direct reports in the system may not give you the quick sneak peeks you’re used to, but will provide you the most detailed summaries upon a single additional click. It is up to you to decide which option means more to the health of your performance.


BambooHR for distributing information

BambooHR doesn’t deviate significantly from the conventional Role-Based access rule, meaning that the authority to decide who is going to see what is still delegated to HR managers and system admins. Upon the creation of the employee’s portfolio, the admin assigns him one or more roles, which is smart because he won’t have to approve that employee’s participation over and over again in the future. Plus, role-based access locks corporate data control in the manager’s suitcase, which is way safer than trusting the good will of employees not to misuse it. BambooHR, in fact, allows the manager to be pretty selective about sharing information, cracking down sections to separate files or parts of those files. As the man behind the wheel, you may find it a bit overwhelming to carry responsibility for all picks and dates, but that will at the end of the day summarize the price we all pay for leadership.


BambooHR for applicant tracking

This is where purchasing an applicant-tracking system really starts to make sense. From first-hand experience, we can all agree there is little paperwork can do to evaluate individual candidates, unless you’ve asked them to evaluate themselves, and chosen to believe in it.

So can BambooHR take over? For a small/medium business system, we believe Bamboo has expanded its hiring & benefits administration suite enough to compete fiercely with corporate use systems, and is still working to stand shoulder to shoulder with leading HR players. Its applicant tracking system is an optional one, highly customizable and based on advanced filters to select nothing but talented performers. While it may take a bit longer to select employees, it gives you absolute control for building an ideal employee profile.

The first thing it does for you is to prepare a decent job announcement, covering details such as contract types, vacation programs, and salary increases, and features an equipped text editor to use when describing the obligations related to the position. Once ready, the vacancy can be distributed on all social networks and popular job boards to expand your reach. As applications start pouring in, the filters you enabled select only those candidates that match your requirements, but store others in a separate folder in case you decide to give them a look. Note that all application notifications arrive straight to your email, so you may end up with a heaped inbox to clean. You can easily avoid this though if you create a special account, and redirect the alerts to it.

BambooHR in your software ecosystem

BambooHR is a reasonable solution for businesses appreciating the benefits of open API technologies, and which are most of all willing to code basic connections and make the software blend in their ecosystem. In particular, BambooHR suits companies that are already running a variety of digital time-trackers, expense management systems, HR processors and accounting apps. More precisely, BambooHR is ready-to-use with ZenPayroll, NetSuite, Greenhouse, RightSignature, SeamlessDocs, Applicant Pro, and many other systems.

Once integrated, BambooHR exports/imports data seamlessly, and adjusts automatically to all updated versions introduced by its partners. What is questionable, though, is whether relying on third-party modules for critical operations (predictive/prescriptive analysis, AI automation, benefits management) will eventually get so far to make it unusable as a standalone service. Our experts believe there is no reason to fear such scenario because Bamboo is after all a high-tech product with the tendency of following trends, and one that is always looking to deliver maximal value to its clients.

BambooHR and your budget

The first thing each business checks before selecting an HR system is whether it can afford it. The first encounter with BambooHR pricing would be blurry, since the app is quote-priced, and its value is calculated upon request. How does it come than that BambooHR decided to charge by quote?

We’ve said numerous times that BambooHR curates the needs of each client individually, which is actually the rationale for their pricing scheme. This is the company’s strategy for getting to know clients and establishing connections, and making sure you get what you’re paying for. The first thing you would be asked by them is how large your team is, and what you expect from the perfect HR systems, so that they would bundle all essential functions in a package you can afford. Basically, they are making the effort of wrapping special offers on daily basis, which is a rare practice in the SMB software industry. There is also a great free trial available so you will always have the option to check out the software for free first. You can easily sign up for BambooHR free trial here.

BambooHR’s technical support

BambooHR doesn’t only allow you to execute HR operations, but it teaches you how to execute them in the best possible way. A knowledgeable team is one phone call or one email away from solving your issues, or answering even the most technical question related to the system. Live chat with tech agents is not available, but that shouldn’t discourage you from testing the speed of their alternative communication channels. Another good thing Bamboo’s team will do for you is to supply you with news and training materials, so that you will always remain in line with the system’s improvement.

Technical support can be ascribed a major role in Bamboo’s time and money-saving story, which makes it possible for companies to recruit, retain, and supervise employees much faster. It eliminates the need of canned reports and replaces them with custom and tax-adjusted ones, while it also provides advanced possibilities such as analyzing employee equality. For payment period change reports, nevertheless, BambooHR still relies on third-party integrations.

BambooHR on mobile devices

A remote team shouldn’t expect less than full mobile optimization when talking about BambooHR, as observations reveal no meaningful difference to how the program functions on desktop and portables. If you’re not that experienced with mobile technology, administrative assignments such as printing Org Charts on the go may seem cumbersome to you, but in all other cases navigation is pretty intuitive.

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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