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Zoho People’s fast facts

Starting price: $1.50/user/mo.

Key features:

India-based Zoho is known for its broad enterprise software titles. And that includes Zoho People, the company’s flagship human resource (HR) solution.

The platform delivers highly affordable human resource software for small businesses. There is a free version, and paid versions start at just a buck and change. Plus, the title is very user-friendly, so no fancy technical background is required.

Still, there are catches. There’s quite a bit of emphasis on combining Zoho products, and it has minimal third-party integrations. So, if you decide to go with Zoho People, you may have to stick with the company for non-HR needs too — for maximum ease.

Let’s look into whether Zoho People is right for your small business.

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Zoho People’s pricing

The platform’s pricing is below industry average. This low cost makes it a boon for cash-strapped businesses. Plus, its prices are fully transparent and upfront. There is no need to speak with a salesperson first.

Keep in mind that, while this is a great deal, Zoho does encourage users to sign up for their other products too. Most of them cost money, and some include extra fees like excess invoice fees and payment processing charges. So, just be sure to read the fine print and ensure other products, like accounting software, fit your needs.

Compare Zoho People prices and plans

Plan Price (per user per month) Includes performance management Includes recruiting functions Document storage space
Essential HR $1.50 No No — add-on available for $600/recruiter/yr. 1 GB See Plans
Professional $2.50 No No — add-on available for $600/recruiter/yr. 2 GB See Plans
Premium $3.50 Yes No — add-on available for $600/recruiter/yr. 3 GB See Plans
Enterprise $5.00 Yes No — add-on available for $600/recruiter/yr. 5 GB See Plans
People Plus $10.00 Yes Yes Unspecified See Plans

Zoho People’s free plan

If you’re really strapped for cash, there is a free option available. But we don’t recommend it, at least not as a long-term solution. That’s because it takes “bare bones” to a new level. You’ll only get a simple employee database and limited time management perks. Both of these functions are easily replicated via spreadsheets, but you may like the ease of having it already set up for you.

Zoho People’s key features

Time-saving automation

The software can automate many routine HR tasks like sending out birthday greetings, work anniversary emails or reminders for performance reviews. This automation saves HR staff significant time, allowing them to focus on more valuable duties.

And it’s not just proactive reminders. Leave requests, expense claims and timesheet submissions, among other response-required items, can enjoy automated workflows. These processes ensure quick and efficient handling of approvals, which reduces delays and enhances morale.

Time and performance management

Higher subscription tiers include advanced time-tracking tools, which enable businesses to automatically keep tabs on employee hours, overtime and time off. This perk helps ensure accurate payroll processing and compliance with labor laws.

Plus, Zoho People also boasts a robust employee performance management system. It allows managers to set goals, conduct performance reviews and provide continuous feedback. Employees can log in and see their records too.

Many HR titles focus on the basics and leave these two functions out. Thankfully, Zoho People doesn’t forget these crucial tools.

Top-notch analytics

If you’re a data junkie, you’re in luck. Zoho People’s analytics tool offers in-depth analysis of HR data. These reports include employee performance metrics, attendance trends, leave patterns and more. You can also research demographic information, such as employee gender, race and age. This data helps you reach diversity and inclusion goals.

Since the platform’s analytics can make operations more efficient, it could pay for itself. For example, Zoho People can uncover a department with high turnover, which is costly. You can then target efforts to improve morale in this area, improving retention as a result.

Zoho People pros

Exceptionally affordable

Zoho People’s pricing is far below average compared to competitors like Gusto. Instead of a hefty flat fee plus a high per-person charge, Zoho People boasts a simple pay-as-you-grow model. This approach results in a cost as low as $1 and change per staffer per month, with no additional flat fee. So, you could pay as little as a few dollars if you only have a handful of employees.

Compare this scheme to Gusto. The competitor charges $40 flat plus $6 per person on a monthly basis. Many other competitors, like Patriot Software, cost similar amounts.

Connection to Zoho ecosystem

The integration of Zoho People with other Zoho titles stands as a significant advantage, particularly for businesses seeking a unified and seamless software ecosystem. Zoho, known for its extensive suite of business applications, offers solutions ranging from CRM, email, accounting, project management and more. The fact that Zoho People can integrate effortlessly with these applications makes it an excellent value play as your business grows.

Beginner-friendly interface

The platform’s intuitive interface is a key aspect of its user-friendliness. Zoho People is designed with a clear, logical layout, making navigation straightforward, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy. The simplicity in design means that new users can quickly become comfortable with the system. This greatly slashes time and resources spent on training. Plus, features like the employee self-service portal are straightforward and improve staff morale.

Zoho People cons

Limited customization

Zoho People, while versatile, may not offer the same level of customization as some of its competitors. For one comparison, ADP offers tailored functionality with your company’s branding to boot. As a result, People’s limitations can be a drawback for businesses with unique or complex HR processes.

Few third-party integrations

If you have a favorite non-Zoho application, you’re in for disappointment. While Zoho People offers excellent connections within the Zoho ecosystem, its third-party integrations are not as extensive. You can connect to some Google and Microsoft products, but there isn’t much else available. And crucially, there is no ability to connect to a payroll service, like Gusto or Patriot software. This limitation can be particularly challenging if you rely on a diverse array of tools outside the Zoho world.

Alternatives to Zoho People

If Zoho’s human resources platform isn’t your style, consider these worthy competitors.

Rippling

Rippling stands out as a formidable alternative to Zoho People, particularly in its seamless integration of IT and HR functions. Unlike Zoho People, which focuses primarily on HR processes, Rippling offers a unique blend where users can manage not only HR tasks but also IT aspects like employee computer and app setups. This integration makes it an ideal choice for companies looking for a comprehensive workforce management solution.

Rippling’s user interface is prized for its intuitiveness and ease of use, allowing for quick onboarding and employee management. Its standout feature is the ability to automate payroll, benefits enrollment and even device management. This comprehensiveness makes it a one-stop shop for HR and IT needs.

Gusto

Gusto is another excellent alternative that’s particularly renowned for its payroll services. While Zoho People provides a broad HR management suite, Gusto shines in simplifying payroll, tax and benefits administration. Its interface is user-friendly and designed specifically for small to medium-sized businesses. This ease of use makes it a more accessible option for entities without extensive HR departments.

Gusto also offers unique features like automatic tax filing and compliance, rush direct deposit and a host of employee financial tools. These features make it particularly attractive for businesses prioritizing efficient and employee-friendly payroll services.

Paychex

Paychex is a robust alternative that caters to a wide range of business sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. Unlike Zoho People, which is more suited to small to medium-sized businesses, Paychex offers scalability and a wide array of features that can accommodate growing organizations. It provides comprehensive payroll services, HR management and compliance support — much like Zoho People, but with added flexibility to suit different business sizes.

Paychex is particularly known for its strong customer support and extensive training resources. This excellent knowledge base makes it an excellent choice for businesses that need more guidance as they get to know their HR functions. Additionally, its highly customizable solutions mean that businesses can tailor the service to their specific needs.

Review methodology

We carefully analyzed customer feedback, common complaints and suitability for various business sizes. We also researched competitors and the platform’s overall functionality and value. In addition, we considered Zoho People’s ease of use, technical documentation and customer service availability, among other factors.


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