Which HR Software for SME organisation?

Hi everyone,

I am currently looking for a new HR software. We still work on spreadsheets which is a nightmare. I was wondering if you have any experience with the below companies:

I appreciate people asked similar questions on this topic as browsed the previous threads too but these were about 2 years ago and things in this area change a lot over time. 

So any feedback/sharing your experience  would be welcome.

Thank you.



People HR
  • Hi Lenka

    Have looked at this recently and had trials of the following:


    Of these, People and Cezanne have, in my view, the most comprehensive functionality and most adaptable security settings (which is important for us as we have a transient workforce and strange reporting lines). They are different in style, with People being more "fun" an Cezanne being more "corporate."

    I looked at Breathe and liked what I saw but had to rule it out as it requires all employees to have a standardised holiday year which does not work for us. Bob is fun and I liked it as well, but the security set up does not work for us. Bamboo is American and doesn't record eg working patterns as this is usually a payroll function in the US. It can be adapted and i haven't ruled it out, but am also thinking of GDPR compliance and will need to verify if they comply and where their servers are located. Charlie is FREE and I liked it as well - again the security set up doesn't work for our business.

    I can't comment on the other system you mentioned but might take a look!

    Hope this helps.
  • Hi Lenka,

    I rolled out PeopleHR about 18 months ago, and it has been brilliant.

    The implementation was well supported and very simple, and the system itself is very intuitive - both for administrators and staff.

    It's got good functionality for all HR activity, and the ATS is great for recruitment.

    The only downside is the training module, which i think is quite poor. It's great for recording training, but think it could do a whole lot more with some development.

    Having said that, the positives definitely outweigh this one point. We are currently rolling out automated expenses through the system and before the end of the year also hope to be using it to issue electronic payslips. Updates are released regularly, and recently a chat function and pulse survey has been included on the app, which we haven't started using yet, but I will be introducing very soon.

    If you need any more information, you are more than welcome to contact me.

    Kind regards,
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    28 Sep, 2017 07:18

    In reply to Anka:

    Thanks for sharing this, Anka.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    28 Sep, 2017 07:21

    You are right, Lenka... this has been asked before - but this is turning out to be a good one. Excellent feedback so far.
  • In reply to Anka:

    Thank you Anka so much for taking the time to tell me about your experience. This is very helpful. I have too tested Bob but aside from security the holiday tracking was problem too as the system did not allow for employees with irregular working pattern. We have quite few employees working part-time and I need to be able to record these in hours rather days. Does any of the above system you trial allows for this?
    Thank you so much.
  • In reply to Nicola Coull:

    Thank you Nicola so much for your feedback. I have noticed a lot of people talked highly about PeopleHR so hence I want to look at them. Did they offer you a trial period to test this out? Is their holiday tracking system flexible to record in days as well as in hours?
    Thank you so much in advance.
  • In reply to Lenka:

    I just come off a call with PeopleHR. There's no trial period offered and, tbh, I'm not sure one would help unless they offered a six-month free trial, because it generally takes at least that long for all the issues to be worked out. But the system is modular, so you could take the £1/ee option for a couple of months while you input the data and run it in parallel with your existing system to check that it works how you would expect. Then you can upgrade to the self-service options for £2/ee (because that's what we want, isn't it? - our employees doing our work for us). Then once the system is embedded and people are used to it you can start adding on the other optional extras, like performance management, ATS and customized workflows).

    I'm still to hear the sell of breatheHR and bob. I like bob's focus on benefits and perks, but I think as a company we may be still a good few steps away from really needing what they offer. Also, they do come over a bit... perky. I'd be interested in hearing more about Anka's security concerns - are they because bob's servers are US-based?

    breatheHR has a more appealing pricing structure to PeopleHR, as it's banded for the number of employees, which means the cost won't go up and down each month unless you go through into a new band. But that's a fairly minor concern.

    Cascade got rules out immediately, because they require users to go through pre-launch training at a cost of four figures or more, before you even start paying for the system. However, they do have a system designed for SMEs called CascadeGo which I've not had a look at, yet.
  • Hi Lenka,

    I introduced PeopleHR to my last employer over 3 years ago. It was very much in its infancy then, but I liked what I saw and took a calculated risk on using it. Its a great system and has improved so much over the last few years. Yes, there are things it doesn't do and some things it could do better, but for a company of 150, it worked really well. It was by far the best value for money and the customer service team was always helpful. There is a great community where you can suggest improvements or tweaks and other users can vote for them. If something gets enough backing, PeopleHR will schedule it be implemented.

    At the time, I couldn't get funding for the on site training/support (for the HR team), but I figured everything out without too much trouble. It sounds like it has a lot more features since then, so if you have the option, I would recommend paying the extra money for the onsite training/set up.

  • In reply to Robey:

    Thank you Robey so much for your feedback and suggestions. Cascade will be rulled out too as dont' have big budget for this, thank you for sharing the info on them. I will look at People HR as this seems to be getting good reviews. :-)
    Thank you.
  • In reply to Jenny:

    Thank you so much Jenny, will definately have a look at them.
    All the best
  • In reply to Robey:

    Hi Robey

    I had a trial with People HR so not offering you one must be a fairly recent development on their part. I liked the system and it is still in the running as far as I'm concerned. It's a slow process for me as I will not be the only person using it, so I need to take other users' experiences into account and trust that they will be able to get on with whatever I implement with a minimum of training and supervision.

    Which brings me to the point re: Bob and security: Because of the structure of our business, with other people apart from me needing full access rights to hire, fire and change things in relation to their particular teams/projects, I need a system that offers a lot of flexibility in how to control access rights. We also have some subsidiaries that need accommodating. This is absolutely crucial for us, so other attributes of a system are relatively unimportant in comparison (eg reporting / training or performance management). Most of the systems marketed at SME's seem to struggle to accommodate our rather peculuar needs, which is why only PeopleHR and Cezanne are still in the running for me.

    for the points about Cascade - good to know who to avoid (am still looking). Has anyone tried CakeHR?
  • In reply to Anka:

    Hi everyone,

    We're about to launch PeopleHR but I wanted to throw NaturalHR into the mix. If you love your data analysis, it has a machine learning element that starts to predict future leavers etc which is super cool. They're not very well known but we loved them and would really recommend. The only reason we didn't go with them was price which was a real shame.

  • In reply to Anka:

    Well, it didn't come up and I've previously found trials unhelpful. But seeing as you've raised it, I will push back and see what I can get!

    Looking back, I realize I should emphasize: the pre-set up training from Cascade is for the full-on system, designed for large companies. CascadeGo is supposed to be training-lite.
  • Jumping in - I am currently also researching providers. I wondered if anyone had implemented YouManage and if they had any feedback?


  • In reply to Ceri:

    I've just had a demo of You Manage and it does seem to be pretty much the same as the People HR and Cezanne demos. Not sure what it's like in practice so would also like to see what others say about it.