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Updated Mar 29, 2024

BambooHR Review and Pricing

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Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
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Editors Score:9.5/10
BambooHR is our choice for the best HR software and best HR outsourcing solution for employee onboarding. It's ideal for small businesses seeking a streamlined hiring process via an HR solution that facilitates employee recruitment, hiring and onboarding.
Thumbs Up Pros
  • BambooHR offers an applicant tracking system to streamline hiring process.
  • Select plans include training monitoring to help ensure compliance and development.
  • You can add benefits administration features, like the ability to customize open enrollment windows, edit benefit coverage levels and dates, and approve employee elections.
  • Employees can access self-service features through the BambooHR mobile app.
Thumbs Down Cons
  • BambooHR requires you to contact the company for pricing.
  • Only the Pro plan includes BambooHR's performance management features.
Editor's Rating9.5/10

BambooHR is our choice for the best human resources (HR) software and best HR outsourcing solution for businesses prioritizing employee onboarding. Why? Because of its customizable plans, easy-to-use software, and advanced recruitment and onboarding tools. BambooHR’s flexible packages include traditional HR management features like applicant tracking, onboarding and offboarding, document storage, benefits tracking, time-off management, reporting, employee performance evaluations and employee self-service functions. We appreciate that if businesses want a more comprehensive platform, they can easily add enhanced functions like payroll processing, benefits administration and time tracking.

BambooHR Editor's Rating:

9.5 / 10

Price/value
9.5/10
Features
9.5/10
Customizations, add-ons and integrations
9.3/10
Ease of use
9.8/10
Customer service
9.2/10

Why We Chose BambooHR for Employee Onboarding

Each version of BambooHR software comes with basic HR functions and essential workforce management features, including employee records, benefits tracking, document storage, time-off management, and workflows and approvals. We like that BambooHR plans also include the features you need to take employee recruitment and onboarding to the next level and help you eliminate typical hiring challenges. For example, BambooHR’s applicant tracking system lets you post open positions on job boards, career pages and social media. You can filter candidate resumes and cover letters on keywords to create talent pools of viable candidates. Applicant tracking isn’t something all competitors offer, but it can be a vital element of effective hiring.

BambooHR’s post-hiring tools impressed us. Once you find the perfect candidate, you can create an effective onboarding process with BambooHR by sending out offer letters, welcome emails and new-hire packets. You can also create, assign and track other essential onboarding activities for new hires and current employees. The software’s automated workflows help ensure no onboarding task slips through the cracks. We appreciate that BambooHR also offers similar features for employee offboarding, so you can manage employment from start to finish. For all these reasons and more, Bamboo HR is our choice for the best HR software and best HR outsourcing solution for employee onboarding.

Did You Know?Did you know
BambooHR eases the onboarding process and helps new hires create instant connections with co-workers using customizable new-hire packets and get-to-know-you emails.

BambooHR automated onboarding

BambooHR helps you automate the employee onboarding process with new-hire packet templates. Source: BambooHR

Ease of Use

When we tested BambooHR, its usability was one of its most appealing aspects. Because the platform is web-based, anyone on your team can access the software from any device, including smartphones and tablets. Employees can use the self-service portal to manage their time off, review employee benefits and training, and access company calendars.

We liked that Bamboo HR’s user-friendly dashboard doesn’t require much training; this wasn’t the case with many competitors we reviewed. While the software is intuitive, BambooHR offers several online videos that explain each tool and function in depth. To make the platform even easier to use, BambooHR integrates with more than 130 third-party applications – in addition to boasting an open API for all users – to give businesses a unified system that can handle multiple critical workflows.

TipBottom line
Access BambooHR's marketplace to integrate the HR platform with other apps and software you may already use, including Slack, Checkr, 15Five, Leapsome and Deputy.

BambooHR Features

BambooHR has two primary HR software plans: Core and Pro. While the two are similar, the Pro plan adds features for performance management, employee community, employee experience and rewards. For this review, we primarily evaluated the Pro plan’s features and found the following noteworthy.

Recruiting and Onboarding

BambooHR helps you manage employees from the recruitment stage through offboarding. The software lets you post job openings (via social media, job boards and your website’s career page) and track them, making recruiting easier for hiring managers. You can easily search for keywords in applicant resumes, cover letters and application questions and filter those results based on other features. We like that you can review and rate applicants, send emails and track the status of candidates, distribute offer letters and new-hire packets, and onboard remotely with e-signature capabilities.

If you aren’t ready to hire or have received too many qualified applicants, we love that you can create talent pools with the BambooHR software. This feature lets you nurture previous candidate relationships to keep them in your pipeline for when you’re ready to fill your next open position.

We also like that BambooHR offers a mobile app for iOS and Android devices; this is on par with industry standards. The mobile version of BambooHR’s software helps employers and HR staff stay organized even when they’re on the go. Plus, instead of being restricted to the office, you can manage your recruiting and onboarding process from any location.

Benefits Administration

Part of onboarding new hires includes administering employee benefits. We like that BambooHR offers benefits management and administration as an add-on feature to its plans (for U.S.-based employees only). This enhancement lets you customize and manage open-enrollment windows, edit benefit coverage levels and dates, communicate benefit plan information, and review and approve employee benefit elections. All this is available on one platform. It also offers benefits reporting and data, as well as employee self-service features. We found this service comparable to what others in the industry offer.

Time and Attendance

If you want time and attendance features included with your BambooHR software, you can add the company’s time-tracking package. This module provides access to valuable tools like daily time entry, employee timesheets, group settings, automatic overtime calculations and payroll reports. We especially like that you can create approval workflows. For example, create a workflow that automatically sends time sheets to managers at the end of each pay period for approval. We found BambooHR’s time-tracking features to be on par with its rivals.

FYIDid you know
If you prefer a stand-alone time and attendance solution, read our reviews of the best time and attendance services. These solutions have robust scheduling, punch-in, tracking and time-off management features.

BambooHR workflows

BambooHR’s approval workflows allow managers to approve employee hours with just one click. Source: BambooHR

Payroll

Companies that need basic payroll functions can add BambooHR’s in-house payroll solution to their BambooHR plan. It provides help with tax filings and end-of-year tax forms. It also syncs your financial data in the BambooHR platform with wages, hours worked, employee benefits, account numbers, federal and state withholdings, and deductions. 

We like that the payroll system comes with HR reporting features that let you quickly analyze critical payroll summaries and data. We also like that BambooHR uses security measures like data encryption and continuous monitoring to ensure sensitive data is secure. 

TipBottom line
If you're looking for a vendor that automatically includes payroll in its HR software plans instead of offering it as an add-on, read our review of Gusto.

Performance Management

After onboarding employees, you can easily assess their performance with BambooHR’s performance management features. You must ensure your new hires are the right hires, so these assessments can quickly identify and address areas of improvement and increase employee engagement

We like that BambooHR’s performance management functions include a peer feedback feature. Employees answer questions about their co-workers; you can use their answers to gain a clear view of your team’s overall performance and each staffer’s strengths and weaknesses. Encouraging employees to provide honest feedback is also a great way to retain the employees you worked so hard to hire and onboard.

When we tested BambooHR’s performance management features, we liked how easily the software can create and monitor employee performance goals. Instead of guessing how close each person is to achieving their specific objectives, managers can use the program to track employee success. If a worker isn’t meeting their goals, you can address the problem, provide additional assistance if needed and restructure their objectives to meet the needs of the employee and the business. [Read related article: How to Improve Work With a Performance Improvement Plan]

Additionally, BambooHR offers a unique tool that helps you view employee and company performance reports. These reports provide a visual indication of which employees or teams are your highest performers. They also show you how employees feel about your organization. You can use these reports to predict performance issues before they occur. This feature can be critical in managing performance and setting employee goals.

BambooHR review cycles

Users can create review cycles by automating their performance assessment schedules. Source: BambooHR

Legal Compliance

You can use BambooHR to create custom access levels that protect employees’ privacy and ensure only team members with the appropriate authority level can view specific HR information. Another essential but somewhat unique HR compliance feature BambooHR offers is its audit trail function, which tracks each staff member’s changes to the system. This trail helps ensure you always know who has changed the software should an issue arise. [Interested in HR software that lets you create custom workflows for HR processes other than approvals? Read our review of GoCo.]

Reporting and Analytics

BambooHR’s reporting and analytics functions vary by plan. Both plans provide essential reporting features like ACA reports or audit trails and email alerts, allowing you to view HR data relevant to your business’s needs. When you sign up for the Pro plan, you also receive performance management and employee satisfaction (employee Net Promoter Score, or eNPS) reports. This helps you to better understand how your employees feel about your organization. Although not all of BambooHR’s competitors offer eNPS reports, team member satisfaction tracking is becoming more common.

BambooHR reporting

BambooHR can aggregate data into meaningful reports and charts. Source: BambooHR

BambooHR Pricing and Terms

We were disappointed that BambooHR doesn’t list pricing for its two HR software plans (Core and Pro). We appreciate transparent online pricing as it helps businesses gauge expenses at a glance. You’ll need to contact BambooHR for a custom quote based on your business’s HR needs, necessary functions and implementation timeline. You can customize each plan with add-ons, including payroll, benefits administration, and time and attendance tracking.

Additionally, BambooHR’s pricing model differs by how many employees you have. For example, if you have 20 employees or less, you will be charged a flat monthly rate. Employers with more than 20 employees will be charged on a per-employee, per-month basis. 

We appreciate that the vendor doesn’t charge cancellation fees, and we also like that BambooHR will automatically apply volume discounts as your employee count increases. This is great for keeping costs low while growing your business.

FYIDid you know
If you want to try the BambooHR software before purchasing, you can take advantage of the company's online demo. Unlike many competitors, BambooHR also offers a seven-day free trial.

Implementation and Onboarding

BambooHR is one of the more intuitive HR platforms we investigated; its implementation process is relatively straightforward. Once you upload employee data to the software, you can customize the system to meet your company’s needs and train employees. We like that BambooHR has several self-service features employees can use to manage their information.

According to the vendor, the average implementation period is four to six weeks. While HR system setup is quicker with some providers, like Gusto, BambooHR’s implementation time frame aligns with those of similar services. Fortunately, as noted above, learning to use the BambooHR software doesn’t take much time, and plenty of instructional material is available if needed.

Customer Support

Users can turn to BambooHR’s blog, podcast, online library, webinars, HR glossary, guides, case studies and online calculators for quick answers to their questions. We like that the company also provides a webpage outlining product updates, new features and fixes. This communication level shows clients that the company actively listens to and acts on product enhancement suggestions. Surprisingly, we didn’t see many competitors list their updates as thoroughly as BambooHR.

If you prefer to speak with a BambooHR representative, you can call, email, or live chat with the vendor. There’s also an option to fill out a contact form on the company’s website that will relay your message to the right person. Notably, BambooHR’s phone support is limited to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT, whereas some competitors we reviewed offer 24/7 support. 

Although BambooHR is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau like many of its competitors, we like that the HR provider has an A+ rating with the agency. This rating is a testament to the high-quality product and support you receive with BambooHR.

BambooHR blog

BambooHR’s blog provides extensive information on its products and HR topics of interest. Source: BambooHR

Limitations

Although BambooHR has several great features that make it an attractive choice for businesses in need of an HR solution, we found some limitations:

  • No online pricing listed: One downside during the buying process is that, unlike some rivals, the vendor doesn’t list its pricing online. Instead, you must contact a BambooHR representative for a customized quote. This may be a turnoff for business owners who prefer having a general pricing idea upfront to know whether the solution fits their budget before entering the sales process. If transparent online pricing is important to you, one HR solution to consider is Bambee. Check out our Bambee review and our comparison of Bambee vs. BambooHR to see which vendor is right for you.
  • Limited employee scheduling functions: Another potential drawback is that BambooHR doesn’t offer all the advanced employee scheduling features some competitors provide. For example, you can’t add or edit shifts, build schedules around roles or times, or allow employees to trade or drop shifts. However, BambooHR does integrate with third-party employee scheduling software. If you’re looking for an HR solution that can more readily provide employee scheduling, check out our review of ADP.

Methodology

We researched and analyzed dozens of HR systems and HRO solutions to identify the best HR software and services on the market. We examined pricing, contracts, recruiting and onboarding capabilities, employee benefits administration, time-tracking features, payroll processing, performance management tools, reports, integrations, legal compliance assistance, usability, and customer service. We also watched product videos and conducted demos when possible. To determine the best HR software and services for employee onboarding specifically, we prioritized features for recruiting, applicant tracking, hiring, e-signature capabilities, usability, reporting, employee self-service, and customer service. You can read more about our editorial process here.

BambooHR FAQ

No, BambooHR is not free. However, the vendor offers a seven-day free trial for those who want to test the software before committing. Once you're ready to sign up, there are two paid plans to choose from and three optional feature sets (payroll, benefits administration and time tracking) you can add to each plan. BambooHR doesn't list pricing online, so you must contact a company representative for a quote.
No, BambooHR is not a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Instead, it's an HR software solution designed to help you recruit, hire and onboard employees. With its additional features, the system can also help you track employee hours, administer benefits, pay workers and manage employee performance.
Yes. BambooHR is compatible with more than 130 third-party applications, including QuickBooks.
While BambooHR can support various business sizes, most of its customers tend to be small and midsize businesses with fewer than 250 employees. If you have between 20 and 100 employees, you are likely a great candidate for BambooHR.

Bottom Line

We recommend BambooHR for …

  • Companies that want to streamline the employee hiring and onboarding process.
  • Small businesses that want an easy way to track employee performance.
  • Organizations that prefer software with an intuitive user interface.

We don’t recommend BambooHR for …

  • Very large businesses with complex HR needs.
  • Organizations that want pricing information upfront.
author image
Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Skye Schooley is a dedicated business professional who is especially passionate about human resources and digital marketing. For more than a decade, she has helped clients navigate the employee recruitment and customer acquisition processes, ensuring small business owners have the knowledge they need to succeed and grow their companies. In recent years, Schooley has enjoyed evaluating and comparing HR software and other human resources solutions to help businesses find the tools and services that best suit their needs. With a degree in business communications, she excels at simplifying complicated subjects and interviewing business vendors and entrepreneurs to gain new insights. Her guidance spans various formats, including newsletters, long-form videos and YouTube Shorts, reflecting her commitment to providing valuable expertise in accessible ways.
Editor's Rating9.5/10
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