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BambooHR Software Review

Jeff Hale
Jeff Hale
  • We examined the leading HR software providers and chose BambooHR as the best for performance management.
  • BambooHR is an all-in-one HR platform with advanced performance management tools.
  • BambooHR supports a wide range of performance management tasks, including goal setting and tracking, 360-degree feedback and performance assessments.
  • This review is for business owners who are considering BambooHR for their HR software.

BambooHR is a popular general HR software platform for small and midsize businesses. It places a strong emphasis on the people within your organization, making it our best pick for performance management. The software focuses on five core areas: data and analytics, hiring, onboarding, compensation, and culture. The service is highly customizable, with a long list of add-ons available directly from BambooHR or through its marketplace solutions partners. The open application programming interface (API) makes it relatively easy for developers to integrate other applications, share data across systems and generate reports in several formats.

BambooHR company logo

BambooHR Software

The Verdict

BambooHR is great for businesses looking for HR software with lots of add-on features, customization and third-party integrations. Its performance features are especially impressive, earning it our best pick for performance management in HR software.

BambooHR Editor’s Score: 94/100

User interface100
Customer support90

Why BambooHR Is the Best for Performance Management

BambooHR’s performance management add-on includes advanced management tools that allow you to set and track employee goals, gather 360-degree feedback and send out self-assessments. The software lets you create an automated schedule to send these surveys on a recurring basis to facilitate ongoing discussions regarding employee performance. These robust features make BambooHR stand out as the top HR software option for employee performance management.


  • BambooHR has strong performance management features that support goal tracking, performance assessments and ongoing 360-degree feedback.
  • BambooHR offers a seven-day free trial.


  • Business owners must speak to a sales agent to get a price quote.
  • BambooHR’s scheduling and benefits administration features are somewhat limited compared with those of some competitors.

BambooHR progress

BambooHR makes it easy to track progress on employees’ performance goals. Credit: BambooHR


BambooHR offers a clean user interface that makes the most important information available to users right away, with no more than a couple of clicks required to get to the tools you need. The data BambooHR selects and displays for measurement are all about the people in your company. The people-focused admin dashboard immediately shows you who’s out for the day and any approved time off in the upper-left widget. It also gives you a list of “celebrations” for birthdays and work anniversaries to encourage you and your other admins to help everyone at the company feel noticed and appreciated.

BambooHR dashboard

The top of BambooHR’s dashboard shows vacation and sick time at a glance, as well as team members who are out, ongoing chat messages and task updates. Credit: BambooHR

The large center widget for “announcements” gives you access to time-sensitive notifications regarding lunch appointments, new applicants, employee requests, document signatures and more. We like the home dashboard reminders that encourage managers to provide feedback about their team members. Keeping communication-centric features like these at the top of the dashboard will help ensure that your team leaders and HR admins are making the time to understand how team members are succeeding and where they may need help growing within their roles or working with their peers.

Key Takeaway

The dashboard offers intuitive navigation, notifications and reminders, making it easy to stay on top of pending tasks.

BambooHR reporting

The bottom of the dashboard includes customizable reporting graphics, key company links and training resources. Credit: BambooHR

The bottom of the home admin dashboard displays a wealth of custom report data on your employees, including headcount, employment status, department, division and location. We really like how your most-run reports auto-populate in this section, giving you and your HR admins intuitive modifying abilities to increase efficiency in your day-to-day tasks.

One standout feature here is Employee Satisfaction with eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score). You can create employee surveys to get easy-to-understand, actionable insight into your employees’ satisfaction, which you can use to increase productivity, reduce turnover and boost your company’s reputation.

BambooHR employee satisfaction

The Employee Satisfaction (or eNPS) feature helps you measure employee morale. You can also see the top five things people like about working for your company, as well as their top five dislikes. Credit: BambooHR

BambooHR Features

Performance managementEvaluate and improve performance in your organization via a three-piece approach.
Employee satisfaction (eNPS)Reduce turnover costs, increase productivity and improve your company’s reputation.
Open APIFind the right developer to build custom integrations.
MarketplaceIntegrate with popular tools and benefits providers.
OnboardingCreate an effective program to retain new hires and keep them engaged.

Performance Management

BambooHR’s three-pronged approach to evaluating an employee’s performance consists of manager and self-assessments, peer feedback, and goals to provide a complete perspective of how the employee is doing. This system does more than determine if someone is ready for a raise; it asks questions designed to improve performance. You can choose for these review cycles to run annually, semiannually or quarterly. By tracking and measuring employees’ performance and goals with built-in analytics, managers and executives get actionable insights for both individuals and the company as a whole.

BambooHR analysis

BambooHR’s performance analysis tool helps you understand individual employees’ attitudes about your company and identify possible shortcomings, especially concerning key players on your team. Credit: BambooHR

Employee Satisfaction (eNPS)

Regular internal surveys with anonymous submissions are necessary to improve company culture, but digesting that information can be time-consuming. This feature assigns you an employee Net Promoter Score based on a series of quick questions your team has answered. The software scans the responses for keyword analytics before grouping them into positive, neutral or negative feedback. You can see trends in your results and filter by age, employment status, length of service and location for each department or division. Over time, these analytics make it much easier to identify trends in your employee satisfaction that you can use to reduce employee turnover, increase productivity and improve your company’s reputation.

Open API

BambooHR uses a RESTful API that can be used to modify employee data and generate reports in multiple formats. The open API makes it easy for your developers to integrate other applications with your account to share data seamlessly across your systems.


You can find a solid list of free and paid apps and integrations through the BambooHR Marketplace, including those for hiring and onboarding, people and culture, compensation and benefits, and business operations and growth. You get free access to Google Single Sign-On, Indeed, Glassdoor, SAML, Gifted and Truework. There are also solutions for benefits administration and retirement accounts.


BambooHR’s structured process ramps up new hires quickly and keeps them engaged. You can easily modify your onboarding checklist and set due dates that trigger automatic reminders. The customizable new-hire packet lets you handle all of the normal paperwork quickly with e-signature capability. This platform gives you everything you need to make sure your newest team members hit the ground running on their first day.

BambooHR onboarding

BambooHR provides customizable onboarding templates to streamline the new-hire paperwork and onboarding process. Credit: BambooHR

BambooHR Cost

BambooHR offers two subscription packages, Essentials and Advantage, to cover the HR needs of most small and midsize businesses. Unfortunately, the company does not publish or advertise the pricing for any of its products or services. Though you certainly need to determine all of the features your business will use before you can make a purchase decision, you may not have all of that information in the early stages of your buying process. That could make it much more difficult to compare plans and services from alternative providers, like those in our Paychex Flex review or Gusto review.

Most of the companies we’ve reviewed in this category at least provide a starting cost (usually a monthly per-user fee on top of the monthly base fee) for their lower-level service packages and add-ons. Existing BambooHR customers have reported pricing from $5 to $40 per user per month, which would make this one of the more expensive HR software providers we reviewed.

Did You Know?

BambooHR offers a number of solutions beyond HR software. To learn more about BambooHR’s other services and add-ons, check out our BambooHR employee monitoring software review and BambooHR time and attendance review.


  • Pricing: Custom quote required
  • Standout features: Employee records, benefits tracking, standard reporting, document storage, email alerts, time-off management, single sign-on, mobile app functionality, workflows and weekday email support


  • Pricing: Custom quote required
  • Standout features: Advanced reporting, branding, audit trails, open API, BambooHR Marketplace access, employee satisfaction gauge with eNPS, onboarding, offboarding, e-signatures, training progress and weekday telephone support

There are also many available add-ons for payroll, time tracking and performance management, including full-service tax filing, employee access, timesheets, automatic overtime calculations, manager and self-assessments, and performance reports. However, these features are not included in either subscription package; you must pay extra for them, and some may be available only with the Advantage plan.

We really like that BambooHR offers a seven-day free trial that doesn’t require a credit card. After answering a few short questions about your company, the size of your operation and your HR needs, you get full access to a demo account that’s customized to your business’s requirements.


Before you buy, take advantage of BambooHR’s seven-day free trial to be sure it is the right fit for your company and your team. If you still need a bit more time to decide after your trial period expires, just reach out to the BambooHR team to get an extension.

BambooHR Setup

You can expect to receive a great deal of assistance when implementing your new BambooHR account. Once you sign up for a plan, BambooHR will assign a dedicated HR project manager as part of your implementation team to guide you through each step of the setup process and customize your account to suit your company’s needs.

Your project manager can help you define all of the correct permission levels across your enterprise, configure any important workflows and approval processes, customize employee onboarding information, and implement anything else you need to get your HR department up and running smoothly. Organizing your HR account the right way from day one will save you significant time and frustration down the road, and BambooHR will ensure you’re ready for success.

BambooHR Customer Service

Customer service is available for all subscribers by email on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Telephone support is available for Advantage plan subscribers on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. The BambooHR website also has a vast library of self-help articles, interactive guides and webinars to answer the most common questions related to the software and settings.

BambooHR Drawbacks

One downside of BambooHR is that the lack of transparent pricing means you will have to devote some time and effort just to discover if BambooHR is a viable option for your business; you must call to discuss your needs just to get a ballpark quote. Without published price estimates, it’s difficult to compare service providers, and adding new features down the road could significantly increase your monthly cost. On the plus side, companies without set prices may allow you to negotiate a better deal if you speak to a sales agent at the end of the month or quarter.

Another limitation is that there’s no direct option to manage your employee benefits, such as health insurance or retirement plans, through BambooHR. However, the platform can track your benefits. BambooHR has a large app marketplace with full integrations for benefits administration through Maxwell Health, PlanSource, BeneTrac and Effortless Admin. It has similar integrations for financial services, including 401(k) and retirement benefits, through Human Interest and LoanBenefits – but as some customers have pointed out, all of these additional piecemeal features can make the cost of your overall HR service skyrocket fairly quickly. If you would prefer additional benefits administration tools or plans, check out our Zenefits HR software review; we picked Zenefits as our top choice for benefits administration.


We conducted comprehensive research and analyzed dozens of HR systems to identify the top HR software solutions on the market. We reviewed product videos and utilized the available free trial offer to test BambooHR. When looking for the best HR software for performance management specifically, we prioritized features such as onboarding and implementation, payroll processing, benefits administration, usability, integrations, reporting and customer support.

BambooHR FAQs

Is BambooHR cloud-based software?

Yes, the BambooHR platform is cloud-based. Users do not have to download or install anything to access any of the included HR tools.

Is BambooHR a CRM?

No, BambooHR is an HR software platform. However, it does integrate with some customer relationship management software, including Pipeline CRM.

Can BambooHR help employers run background checks?

BambooHR integrates with many of the top background check services, including Checkr, GoodHire, and Backgrounds Online.

Overall Value

We recommend BambooHR for …

  • Businesses that are looking for a people-focused, general HR platform with a strong emphasis on employee performance.
  • Small and midsize businesses that want to improve their company culture through a deep understanding of employees.
  • Any business that wants to assemble a highly customizable HR platform.

We don’t recommend BambooHR for …

  • Small and midsize businesses that are looking for a straightforward all-in-one HR service to handle onboarding, employee benefits, payroll taxes and compliance through one subscription plan.
  • Business owners who like to see transparent pricing rather than having to contact a sales rep for a quote.
BambooHR company logo

BambooHR Software

The Verdict

BambooHR is great for businesses looking for HR software with lots of add-on features, customization and third-party integrations. Its performance features are especially impressive, earning it our best pick for performance management in HR software.

Jeff Hale
Jeff Hale
Contributing Writer
Jeff Hale is a writer and editor based in San Diego with a background in business development and marketing. He has identified new market opportunities for Fortune 500 companies and developed communications strategies and digital branding for tech startups and small businesses. Jeff covers emerging technologies and business solutions with a focus on efficiency and growth. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, and an MBA from Chapman University.