What is Bamboo HR?

BambooHR is a cloud-based HR software platform aimed squarely at small to medium-sized businesses. While some providers lean toward payroll or HR management, BambooHR attempts to package up everything a small business needs, with a wide range of features and some good functionality. From hiring to onboarding, time tracking, payroll, culture management, and offboarding, BambooHR integrates everything under one roof. It also provides employee data storage, analytics, and reporting.

BambooHR is a privately-owned technology company founded in 2008 in Lindon, Utah. The founders envisaged and launched the platform as a recruitment and talent management tool for those starting businesses. That’s why you’ll find BambooHR today has a wide set of features for what they call ‘culture management,’ with employee satisfaction tools and performance management. However, the software has grown into an end-to-end HR solutions package. The company currently has over 1,000 employees, with revenues exceeding $85 million annually.

There are a lot of nice features crammed into BambooHR beyond those you normally find in HR software. The software’s genetics as a recruitment and talent platform show, with a sophisticated applicant tracking system that tracks each step of the recruitment process, keeping candidates informed throughout. Offer templates, auto-fill capability, and digital signing reduce time and paperwork to a minimum. BambooHR doesn’t have a unified payroll system; instead, it recently purchased San Francisco-based TRAXPayroll to meet that need. TRAXPayroll offers a well-regarded payroll solution, including benefit tracking, tax filing, and time tracking. It also supports multiple pay groups for those running multiple payrolls for different groups of frequencies.

Once employees are onboard and being paid, BambooHR tracks employee performance through goal setting, assessments, feedback surveys, and performance reports, with automated workflows scheduling 30, 60, or 90-day reviews. Time and attendance tracking, paid time off requests, and approvals are managed through the employer dashboard and an employee portal. The employee portal allows your workers to update data, check on benefit plans, and view the employee directory. The software also has a competent data and analytics tool, allowing the generation of reports to monitor and plan workforce strategies. When it comes time for someone to leave your business, the offboarding workflow is as structured as the onboarding process, ensuring nothing is missed.

What popular features do you get with Bamboo HR?


  • Strong recruitment and applicant tracking
  • The open API eases integrations
  • Competent payroll management
  • Automated workflows and approval processes

  • Automated tax filing
  • Simple easy-to-use  interface
  • Mobile app
  • Employee data portal

  • Excellent performance management functionality
  • Employee satisfaction monitoring features

Customer Support is available at Bamboo HR

BambooHR allows you to chat with their support team when you’re signed into your dashboard, and you also can submit a support request. However, if you prefer speaking to someone, phone numbers are provided. Be aware the service is not 24/7; it operates between 6 am and 6 pm US Mountain Time.

 

What kind of business is Bamboo HR ideal for?

We believe BambooHR has nailed its target niche well. If you are a small to medium-sized business needing an end-to-end HR management platform, you have it in BambooHR. It offers everything you need to hire, manage, pay and reward your employees. It has a simple interface that makes it easy for those new to business to begin operation. Yet, it comprises a powerful and comprehensive set of features that add value to established businesses with many employees. BambooHR is a great all-rounder.

Pros and Cons

  • A complete HR management package
  • Open APIs allow easy integration with other vendors and software
  • Seven-day free trial
  • Extensive and simple one-click reporting and analytics
  • Excellent recruitment and applicant tracking systems
  • Uncluttered and friendly user interface


  • BambooHR website is extremely limited in information and functionality
  • Pricing is not displayed
  • Benefits administration is adequate but no more

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How much does Bamboo HR cost?

*based on information provided by the vendor. Actual cost may vary.

BambooHR does not publish its prices, which is a little tiresome nowadays when everyone else does. However, we have gleaned from other sources some data from which to make comparisons. It seems that you can choose between two plans, the Essentials Plan and the Advantage Plan.

The Essentials Plan is notable for what it doesn’t include, such as performance management and time tracking. You also don’t get employee onboarding and offboarding features, employee satisfaction, or well-being functionality, and you can’t brand the HR system with your company colors and logo. You can add some of these features as optional extras for a price.

What you do get is web and mobile access to your data, standard HR reporting, time-off management, and benefits tracking. A secure employee login allows employee self-service, and you receive standard email alerts, workflows, and approvals. We can’t confirm whether there is an annual subscription fee, but the per head cost for the Essentials Plan is $4.95 per employee per month.

The Advantage Plan includes all features in the Essentials Plan, but you get some of those previously mentioned exclusions. You can brand the software to suit your company, get employee satisfaction, well-being management, applicant tracking functionality, and employee onboarding and offboarding. The Advantage Plan costs $8.25 per employee per month.

Reports suggest that performance management, payroll, and time tracking are add-ons to the monthly cost, although we have no prices. We also understand that BambooHR offers discounts to growing businesses and established businesses once their employee headcount exceeds a threshold. You need to contact their sales department for further details on these savings.

Final thoughts...

There’s a lot to like about the BambooHR platform; offering clients a comprehensive suite of tools to provide end-to-end management of their HR function, including recruitment, onboarding, and offboarding. We’re less impressed with BambooHR’s pricing and packaging structure to use the service. It’s obscure and confusing and detracts from what is a great product. We recommend picking up the phone or filling in the online form and taking advantage of the seven-day trial, then speaking with BambooHR to understand what it will cost for the features you need. It’s a great solution for small to medium-sized businesses and worth pursuing.