BambooHR is an industry-leading human resources software solution that lets companies streamline processes like hiring and onboarding, time tracking, payroll, time off management, and performance management.
Customers like that it’s easy to use and appreciate its comprehensive reporting options. But when it comes to small business management, you’ll find it has a few limitations. Specifically:
- BambooHR lacks a scheduling feature. That’s not ideal for hospitality, retail, wellness, or any shift-based industry with fluctuating schedules and changing team availability.
- BambooHR doesn’t have a built-in communication tool. This makes for an added challenge if your team needs to swap shifts, organize coverage, or reach out to their manager with questions.
- BambooHR isn’t built for small businesses that handle their own HR and compliance. It won’t help you stay up-to-date with the latest state and federal labor laws, and you won’t have access to a team of HR experts for guidance.
Platforms like BambooHR make employee management and compliance easier for medium-to-large-sized businesses with a dedicated in-house HR or operations team. But without scheduling and communication tools, it’s not a good fit for small business owners who employ hourly teams in fast-paced environments.
Basically, there are better options. We’ll help you explore what makes Homebase the best choice for small business owners who are looking for affordable, scalable software that has all the team management tools they need.
Plus, we’ll look at nine other BambooHR alternatives and break them down by use case, features, and pricing.
Top 10 BambooHR alternatives
- Homebase: Best all-in-one solution for small businesses
- ADP: Best for automatic payroll runs
- Paychex: Best for benefits administration
- Paylocity: Best for employee experience
- UKG Pro: Best for compensation and promotion management
- Paycom: Best for background checks
- JazzHR: Best for collaborative hiring
- ExactHire: Best for handling onboarding paperwork
- Darwinbox: Best for people analytics
- Trakstar: Best for training employees
1. Homebase: Best all-in-one solution for small businesses
But as an all-in-one team management platform, it also has features business owners rely on every day, like time tracking, scheduling, and communication. That means you won’t need to pay for several software subscriptions to stay on top of all of your administrative processes.
And for those tricky questions you need a professional to answer, Homebase gives you access to an extensive HR library along with a team of experts who are ready to help.
HR and compliance
Compliance and HR-related issues can be intimidating for small business owners who don’t have an in-house professional to help them, especially since labor regulations are constantly changing. That’s why we have our own tools for onboarding, document storage, and time off management.
But on top of that, Homebase notifies you of updates to federal and state labor laws and gives you access to a database of resources, guides, and training materials to help you stay compliant. We also have HR experts who can answer your questions and review your internal policies. And, unlike BambooHR, we’ll create a customized employee handbook for you so you can centralize your business policies and procedures in one easy-to-navigate resource.
Hiring and onboarding
Growing a small business is hard if you have to act as your own recruiter on top of all your other day-to-day tasks, but that’s what makes Homebase’s free hiring tools so useful. You can instantly post job descriptions to popular job sites like ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and Google Jobs. Hot tip: that means you don’t need to manage multiple accounts on various recruiting sites.
And if you don’t have time to write lengthy job posts, choose from one of our pre-written templates for roles like cashier, assistant manager, barista, or bartender. And once you’ve shared your job opening, Homebase lets you ask screening questions, message candidates, and set up interviews directly within the platform.
If you upgrade to the All-In-One Plan, you’ll get features to streamline onboarding, too. For example, you can send new team members welcome packs with paperwork, tax documents, and your employee handbook — all of which they can read, e-sign, and submit before their first day.
Homebase makes time tracking simple with our mobile app, which lets team members punch in and track their hours from any device — they don’t have to wait for the nearest clock-in kiosk to become available and risk starting their shifts late.
And to avoid early clock ins, the platform lets you set up geofences that prevent team members from signing into their shifts before they arrive.
Homebase time tracking also integrates with our payroll tools, which means that once employees punch in and out of shifts, the platform automatically converts their hours into timesheets that are ready for payroll processing. There’s no need to export hours and wages to a third-party bookkeeping tool or re-enter data into a separate spreadsheet.
Homebase makes paying employees more efficient with its payroll add-on. For $39 per month and $6 per active employee, you can run payroll directly from the Homebase platform, eliminating the need to export timesheets to third-party software.
Homebase payroll also takes the stress out of taxes. Every time you process employee checks, the platform automatically withholds and files the right amount of state and federal taxes for you.
You’ll get more helpful features with our paid plans, which we price per location rather than per employee, so your costs will remain the same as your team grows. The options include:
- Essentials — All the free plan features, plus extras like shift notes, late clock-in alerts, and geofencing tools for $24.95 per month.
- Plus — Tools for time off management and tracking labor costs for $59.95 per month.
- All-in-one — All the Homebase tools, including HR and compliance, onboarding, and document storage features for $99.95 per month.
You can also add payroll to any plan for $39 per month plus $6 per active employee.
Signing up for an annual Homebase plan also means you can save 20% on your monthly payments.
2. ADP: Best for automatic payroll runs
ADP has provided HR and payroll services to companies worldwide for 70 years and offers services to organizations of all sizes. As a well-known brand with a long history, ADP has made its services accessible to smaller businesses with the product RUN Powered by ADP. This pared-down version of the main platform has tools for payroll, compliance, and hiring and onboarding, plus add-ons for benefits and time and attendance.
ADP’s most notable feature is its time-saving RUN & Done tool, which lets you run payroll automatically. While this may not work for you if employee hours and wages change from week to week, it’s a useful tool if you don’t need to make any changes or edits to employee timesheets.
- HR and compliance
- Hiring and onboarding
- Time and attendance
- Retirement planning
As of March 2023, RUN ADP offers three months of free access to their paid plans. After your free trial ends, you’ll need to contact the sales team directly for a custom quote, but users have reported they pay $59 per month and $4 per user per month for an Essential plan.
3. Paychex: Best for benefits administration
Offering an employee benefits package is a great way to take care of team members while making your business more attractive to job seekers, but it can be overwhelming to organize. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, Paychex could be a good option for you. In addition to its tools for hiring, onboarding, time and attendance, payroll, and analytics, you can use the platform to provide, manage, and track staff benefits.
And Paychex doesn’t just make it easier to offer your team standard group insurance. It also provides tools for managing flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, and 401(k) plans. The catch is that not all small business owners can offer these types of benefits, so you may want to opt for a tool with a more flexible subscription and transparent, affordable pricing.
- Time and attendance
- Document storage
- Retirement services
- Health benefits administration and management
Paychex pricing isn’t readily available.
4. Paylocity: Best for employee experience
Part of creating a great work experience for your team is implementing a regular process for gathering and giving feedback and praise. Paylocity can help you automate those processes with its tools for employee surveys and internal communication, in addition to standard HR tools for payroll, scheduling, time tracking, and compliance.
But what makes it most unique is its peer recognition feature, which allows teammates to leave positive comments called Impressions to acknowledge coworkers’ efforts, contributing to a more motivating work environment.
Still, some customers report the Paylocity interface is difficult to navigate, so it’s best to try before you buy.
- Time and attendance
- Employee scheduling
- Compliance tools
- Benefits administration
- Employee experience tools
Contact Paylocity to try their products and get a custom quote.
5. UKG Pro: Best for compensation and promotion management
When you have a large team of talented individuals, you can’t base promotion and compensation decisions on seniority alone. Platforms like UKG help address this issue with tools for performance management. For instance, the platform enables you to review previous performance review scores and progress toward goals to help you decide who’s ready for a raise or a new role.
Like Homebase, UKG also integrates these tools with features for hiring, payroll, time and attendance, and scheduling. However, bear in mind that it’s more suited to medium-to-large organizations with distributed teams and is less practical for small businesses that employ hourly workers.
- Human resource management
- Talent management
- Compensation and promotion management
- Time and attendance tools
- Compliance tools
- Employee scheduling
- Reports and analytics
UKG pricing isn’t available on their website.
6. Paycom: Best for background checks
Paycom is an HR management software that combines tools for payroll, talent acquisition, talent management, and time management. But what makes it a distinct choice from the other options on this list is its background check feature.
Paycom allows you to screen applicants for a variety of factors, like whether they appear on a sex offender registry or in a county criminal search. Additionally, Paycom will help you ensure you’re complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires employers to get applicant consent before screening.
Potential customers should be aware: Some users have had serious issues with Paycom’s payroll product, so be sure to research it thoroughly before committing.
- Applicant tracking
- Onboarding tools
- Performance management
- Budgeting tools
- Time and attendance
Contact Paycom’s sales team to learn more about their product and get a custom quote.
7. JazzHR: Best for collaborative hiring
JazzHR is a recruitment and hiring platform designed to make candidate sourcing easier. It might not be best for small business owners, but it’s worth considering if you have a medium or large company with a high demand for staffing.
Internal feedback helps you make more unbiased hiring decisions, and JazzHR makes team cooperation seamless with its collaborative hiring tools. With its platform, everyone can share their insights, write candidate assessments, and compare candidate rankings in one centralized platform.
- Applicant tracking system
- Candidate sourcing
- Collaborative hiring tools
- Compliance and reporting
- Interview and assessment tools
JazzHR has three tiers of plans, including:
- Hero — Post three open jobs for unlimited users for $49 per month when billed annually.
- Plus — More advanced features for job posting, applicant tracking, and interviews and assessments for $239 per month on an annual plan.
- Pro — Everything in Plus and tools for reporting, compliance, e-signatures, and job offers for $359 per month when billed annually.
8. ExactHire: Best for handling onboarding paperwork
One of the most stressful aspects of onboarding paperwork is timing. For instance, did you know employers only have three business days after hiring someone to submit Form I-9?
That’s why platforms like ExactHire and Homebase exist. Besides its tools for applicant tracking and candidate assessments, ExactHire can make your onboarding paperwork process completely paperless and on track with regulatory timelines, even across various business locations.
Unfortunately, some users cite deliverability issues with the platform, so you should discuss that with a sales rep before investing in ExactHire.
- Applicant tracking system
- Employee onboarding software
- Candidate assessments
- Onboarding paperwork
ExactHire’s onboarding software starts at $130 per month, and pricing goes up based on how many employees you hire every year.
9. Darwinbox: Best for people analytics
Growing organizations often look to platforms that provide in-depth workforce analytics — also called people analytics — to help them understand and improve performance, productivity, and job satisfaction for team members.
As one such platform, Darwinbox integrates people analytics and reporting with tools for performance management, recruitment, engagement, and compensation planning so companies can assess and update their strategies. For example, Darwinbox’s attrition dashboard lets you filter turnover data by department and tenure. And although Darwinbox may not be the right fit for small business owners that are new to HR, larger organizations may find it useful.
- Time and attendance
- Employee onboarding
- Performance management tools
- Recruitment tools
Darwinbox pricing isn’t readily available.
10. Trakstar: Best for employee training
Multimedia training courses can make the onboarding process more engaging, and that’s what Trakstar aims to do with its built-in learning management system (LMS). The platform lets you incorporate materials from presentations, video, audio, and text to create training sessions that are interactive and interesting.
And because Trakstar’s hiring system syncs with its learning tools, you can enroll new hires in your onboarding course as soon as you bring them on board.
- Performance reviews
- Engagement surveys
- 360-degree review tools
- Training course tools
Trakstar doesn’t provide pricing on its website. However, third-party review sites say the Learn platform starts at $4,599 per year, which may not be accessible for small business owners with limited resources.
Experience simplified HR with Homebase
It can be overwhelming to choose the right human resources software solution, especially if you’ve got limited experience with HR platforms and don’t have the extra time and resources to implement a complicated system.
Homebase is your best bet for a few reasons. To start, a free Homebase plan gives you access to tools for time tracking, scheduling, hiring, and team communication — and you can use them all with our mobile app. And if you upgrade your subscription, you’ll also have built-in payroll and HR and compliance features that make human resources and admin even simpler.
Finally, our per-location pricing means your monthly bills won’t go up as you hire new team members, making our platform more scalable and affordable for small business owners.
**The information above is based on our research on BambooHR alternatives. All user feedback referenced in the text has been sourced from independent software review platforms, such as G2 and Capterra, in March 2023.