Vendor Reviews
8 min read

The Most Cost-Effective HR Tech in 2019

Updated on
July 24, 2023
Brett Ungashick
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[Updated on 8/26/2020]

With the tight labor market and growing importance of talent above all else, HR has begun to be viewed as much more than a cost center, and instead, as one of the core investment areas for any successful business.

However, this transition is still happening at an uneven pace, and there are still many HR leaders who do not have unlimited financial resources to accomplish their talent goals. For those leaders, making strong, cost-effective software decisions can be some of the most important choices they make.

Below are some of the most cost-effective solutions in the SMB HR technology space. Note: cost-effective does not mean lowest price, but instead is looking for the best combination of ROI and competitive price.


For companies that do not have an ATS in place, the amount of manual tracking that HR leaders have to manage in a recruitment process can become unbearable. They often have to check email aliases for new candidates, track the interview stages in a spreadsheet and build offer letters from scratch.

JazzHR offers a modern, full-featured ATS platform for less than $350 / month. For that price, employers can have: their jobs distributed throughout the web, simple candidate tracking, automated communication to candidates and hiring managers and digital offer letters.

HRIS: BambooHR

One tried and true way to make your dollar go further in an HR technology purchase is to try and bundle as much functionality as possible with a single vendor. Unfortunately, many vendors that operate in this budget-conscious space often can't deliver a modern user experience, a strong service model and a wide breadth of functionality.

Thankfully, there is BambooHR which offers functionality across recruiting, onboarding, HRIS, time & attendance, performance and surveys, all at a market competitive price. Not only does Bamboo have the breadth that budget conscious buyers need, but they also provide a great user experience for admins and employees, as well as a responsive customer support team.

Culture: Bob

For modern employers, it's not enough to have an HR system that tracks and automates HR workflows. Modern companies are looking for tools that will help them understand and engage with their culture in meaningful ways that can drive longer tenures and happier employees.

In the past few years, there have been a lot of innovations in this area, with new companies creating smart, easy-to-use tools across: performance management, employee engagement, surveys, peer-to-peer recognition, and more. However, investing in a standalone tool for each area of need can get expensive quickly.

Thankfully, Bob has gone the furthest in bundling these employee-centric tools into a modern HRIS. Bob can be a true system of record complete with onboarding and time & attendance modules, but they really differentiate by putting employee engagement and development at the heart of their platform.

Learning: Coassemble

For an HR team that has limited resources, keeping up with training and compliance can be a really challenging task. Staying complaint means knowing exactly when employee trainings and certifications need to be renewed, communicating those deadlines to employees, following up with them until they take the training and then getting confirmation of the courses completion.

Coassemble offers a modern and intuitive learning platform, for as little as $150 / month, that can streamline the administration and tracking of learning for employers. They offer quite a few workflow integrations and automations to create a set-it-and-forget-it experience for admins, and also make it incredibly simple for admins to create new courses.

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Rewards: Wishlist

Creating a rewards program can go a long way in helping employees feel valued at their jobs. However, most rewards programs can either deliver a low ROI (expensive gifts that don't really move the needle) or can be very time-intensive (thoughtful acts of gratitude that are hard to scale).

Wishlist does a great job of threading the needle between being easy-to-administer for HR, while also delivering buzz-worthy rewards to employees. Wishlist helps companies reward their employees with experiences (brewery tours, sky diving, spa day, etc.) rather than gift cards, and their concierge team manages all of the logistics required to make sure your employees have a great time redeeming their rewards.