by Jonathan Garro
Published on 21 October 2013
BambooHR Review - A unified database for your company's employees
A smoothly functioning human resources department is a critical component of an efficient business. With wide-reaching responsibilities, HR encompasses a variety of topics ranging from payroll to hiring. For large corporations, these tasks are carried out by entire departments full of highly trained employees, but smaller businesses have to find cheaper ways to fulfill their needs. BambooHR is a comprehensive HR online software for small and medium businesses that helps handle the many tasks of an HR department. In this BambooHR review, we will explore the app's central features and clean web interface, as well as take an in-depth look at the new Applicant Tracking System.
The main dashboard gives a broad overview of your company and offers quick access via a tabbed navigation bar. The widgets are highly configurable, and include things like an announcement board. Rather than simply posting information, this board can be set up to send reminder notifications to relevant groups of employees. There is a widget for upcoming worker birthdays and employment anniversaries that can be quickly viewed, as well as a basic statistics box that can present a breakdown various information.
Permissions can be customized so that BambooHR serves a different purpose depending on who is using it. Managers and HR representatives can be granted top-level access, while employees use the app to interact with HR. A simple example of that relationship can be seen in a scenario where an employee requests time off. Rather than fill out paperwork that has to be delivered to another department, he or she can log into BambooHR and quickly fill out a request to which the corresponding manager has instant access. On the manager's end, he or she is sent a notification and can visualize the current requests on an attached calendar. Decisions regarding the requests can then be made right in the app, or the manager can mark it as pending, and require that the employee submit more information.
Keeping an employee database that is robust, accurate, and easily searchable is vital for HR. Rather than pour all of your employees' information into a spreadsheet, BambooHR gives you the ability to create fully-featured profiles on every person in your company. Selecting an individual profile allows you to view and edit a massive amount of information, including job history and salary, benefits, dependents, training, emergency contacts, and much more. The options are extensive, but if you need another field that isn't included, you can create your own company-specific information. The documents tab in the employee profile serves as a sort of digital drop box to share important files. These can be organized into folders to help your users navigate everything more easily. Uploading and downloading is all done in the browser, so you don't need to worry about sending emails with attached documents. BambooHR does an excellent job of utilizing notifications, and emails can be sent automatically based on alerts like expired training or missing files.
All of this information can then become a powerful tool in the reports section. BambooHR creates dynamic reports based on a number of categories that you define. For instance, you can access a complete list of the salary history for all employees, or show the time off balances for each employee. Conveying the message behind the data you are viewing is important, so BambooHR includes both the numbers as well as several graphical visualization choices. These reports can be saved locally or exported via email, Excel, PDF or CSV.
When your business is growing, the only thing more important than filling new vacancies quickly is finding the right candidate. The new Applicant Tracking System (ATS) helps streamline the hiring process by organizing your search for the perfect new employee.
The tool has a navigation tab at the top of the app's interface, and accessing the section gives you an overview of the current applicants to your company. Each job opening is listed as its own line, with relevant information such as the current number of applicants, the hiring lead, and status included. Clicking on an individual applicant brings up contact information and allows you to give a rating (one, two or three stars), set whether he or she has been interviewed, and even bring up a quick view of the applicant's résumé. BambooHR allows you to connect applicants with their LinkedIn profiles as well, which is a nice addition. The ATS also allows for collaboration between various members of your company that you want to keep in the loop - or get feedback from - regarding applicants.
Applicant tracking (ATS)
As searching for a candidate is typically a process that takes weeks, you won't want to sit down and go through your applicants' profiles all at the same time. BambooHR will automatically keep track of whose applications you've read and will filter out new ones whenever you log in. The app will also track any changes you make and keep a tidy record of them for your reference. The job page that is created for each unique position includes a multitude of sharing options, allowing you to tweet out or post the job openings on popular social networks.
The ATS extends its clean, easy-to-use interface to potential employees as well, making the application process simple. They will start with the list-view of all the current openings, and selecting any of them will bring up information you provide regarding the job description, salary, and anything else you choose. The page allows users to apply via a built-in form that you customize. Alternatively, users can connect to LinkedIn or Indeed.com to automatically submit their profiles and resumes. An email is sent to the hiring manager (or anyone else you specify) alerting you that a new application has arrived.
BambooHR's pricing structure is based on the number of employees in your organization. Prices range from $49 per month for up to 10 employees up to $449 for up to 300, with custom quotes available for larger companies. A simple slider in the signup process can give you an instant quote.
Human resource specialists are integral parts of any organization due to their varied duties. However, the simple, repetitive tasks that can consume much of their time frequently limit their abilities to work on larger strategies and innovate. We have seen in this BambooHR review that they do a masterful job of creating a unified database for your company's employees and give you countless tools to automate basic HR tasks and analyze your team.
The all-new Applicant Tracking System is a fantastic addition to an already robust set of features. The ATS helps you search for the perfect new employee and collaborate on the hiring decision. And the front-end application page is beautifully simple.