BambooHR is our Editors' Choice for human resources (HR) management systems. It features a gorgeous and easy-to-use user interface (UI), an open application programming interface (API) that lets you extend the tool to third-party software, and a variety of tack-on modules, such as project management, applicant tracking (AT), and payroll, that let you extend HR data beyond traditional fields.
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If you've read our review of BambooHR and you're interested in learning about how your company will use the system in its first four to six weeks, then rest assured: we've got you covered. We spoke to the company to give you a basic template to the implementation process.
Keep in mind that BambooHR has two types of implementation services. For customers with more than 16 employees, you'll be given the option to buy an implementation package. This package features custom pricing that begins at $700 but increases to several thousand dollars depending on how many employees your company plans to enter into the system. This is a four-to-six-week guided process and it's what we'll be detailing in this article.
For companies with 15 employees or fewer, BambooHR doesn't provide a full implementation service. Instead, the company offers a Quick Start program, which is essentially a self-service guided implementation. This includes four webinars that explain each of the tool's features and relevant topics as well as follow-up emails with interactive guides. The Quick Start program costs $199 but, if you complete the program in three weeks, then you get a $49 credit.
Getting Started (One Week)
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If you've opted for an implementation in coordination with BambooHR, then the first thing you'll do is turn your trial account into a brand-new, clean account. This clears all of your trial and demo data and directs you to an implementation survey. You'll click the Getting Started tab. Here, you'll be asked to enter company information, including your name, email, company name, and primary contact data. You'll also be asked specific implementation questions, including when you plan to enable employee access, whether or not you use employee ID numbers, third-party services you'd like to connect to the system, and which modules you'd like to activate. Other interesting fields include whether or not your system will need to take into account foreign data regulations for international employees and any conflicts that may prevent you from completing the integration within the next four weeks. You'll also be able to add custom fields to your system in this survey so have a list ready if and when you decide to begin implementing the system.
Once you complete the survey, you'll see a photo of the project manager who will be guiding you through this process as well as a rough timeline of what the implementation process will look like once BambooHR has received and input your data. When you're ready, send your employee and company data to your project manager. The data can be sent as a CSV file or via any major spreadsheet format (however, it can't be a text or PDF file). If you're already using an HR system, then you can export your data and send it directly to BambooHR's implementation specialist.
Once your data has been received and entered into BambooHR, you'll hop on your first call with a project manager. During this call, you'll verify the data in your system and discuss the entire implementation process from start to finish. Your project manager will then have you register for the Getting Started webinar.
The Getting Started webinar is a high-level administrative overview of the basic functionality of BambooHR. Admin users will learn navigation of their BambooHR account, what is available on the home page, and how to manage data across the employee life cycle, from hiring to termination. A simple introduction to employee access levels and reporting is also given. You won't learn anything super complicated on this webinar. Instead, it's meant to prepare you for your next phone call with your project manager, during which you'll start to learn how to use the system for your specific needs.
The Basics (3 Days)
The first major lesson your project manager will teach you is how to use reports within your system. He or she will run down a list of standard reports, including Additions and Terminations, Gender Profiles, Headcount, and Employee Turnover reports. You simply click the name of a report and see the data in graphical format. You can also add custom reports based on any data fields active in BambooHR.
The next thing you'll do is set up access levels for all employees. What information will employees see about themselves? What will they see about other employees? What changes to the system or their profiles will they be able to make within the system? Will they be able to add information to additional modules or only the standard HR tool?
Next, you'll learn how to create company announcements. This is a very simple, text-based editor that lets you post news and updates to the main page of the BambooHR dashboard for all employees. In addition to text, you'll be able to add images and links.
After company announcements, your project manager will walk you through how to manage data on employee profiles. Here, you'll figure out what information you'd like employees to enter in order to have complete profiles with readily accessible data. You'll find things such as emergency contact information fields. The project manager will walk you through the Help Center as well. There, you'll find interactive guides that you can point your employees to should they need help using the system but don't want to bother anyone.
Advanced Features (2 Weeks)
Next, your project manager will send you home with an assignment. How does your company onboard new employees? What tasks must be completed when someone new comes to your company? You'll submit those to your project manager. He or she will input them into the system. Next, he or she will walk you through the AT, hiring, onboarding, and off-boarding sections of the system. Within the AT system, you'll learn how to create new job openings, write offer letters, and onboard someone once they've signed an offer letter. On this page, you'll see the onboarding tasks you submitted; these are likely to include tasks such as orientation manuals, documents that need completing, and IT setup.
The next step will be doing more homework. You'll have to compile a document that details your company's time-off policies. For example, how many vacation days does a person accrue for each week at the company? What is the graduation structure for time off for people who've been at the company beyond one year? How many sick days does each person get? The implementation team will take the policies and types for your company and build them into the system so that they update automatically depending on accruals. On your next call, your project manager will walk you through these pages and ask you to verify that all of the policies are set up correctly.
Next, he or she will help you set up the workflow process for time-off requests (i.e., who can approve requests for whom). Next, he or she will show you how to set up company holidays, which lets your employees not be on the clock but not be docked pay for days your business is closed. You'll enter this yourself after the call is over. Next, you'll have to send the hard data. For example, "John has accrued 20 vacations per year and he reports to Jim." BambooHR will then assign each employee to the correct time-off policy in the system.
Next, you'll send your benefits information to BambooHR. You'll send over the plans your company uses and which groups of employees have access to these plans. This includes medical, retirement, and life insurance plans. BambooHR will input those plans into the software. You'll hop on a call to make sure all of the plans are correct in the system and that they're tied to the correct employee groups. Once that's done, you'll send the hard data concerning which employees are on which plans, which employees have added dependents, and which employees have waived coverage.
Next, your project manager will show you how to add employee trainings to the system. These include your standard orientation questionnaires and company harassment quizzes. If you click "Add Training," you'll be able to add a link or a file to your training materials so that employees can access the documents within BambooHR. Here, you'll be able to program for whom each training is required (i.e., all employees or only sales staff). He or she will also show you where to set up recurring trainings and training due dates. You'll then send hard data to the project manager indicating which employees have already completed trainings, which employees still owe trainings, and any other existing training data you'd like to continue working off of.
Prepare for Rollout (3 Days)
You'll have one more call with your project manager. You'll run through everything one last time. Your project manager will walk you through how to contact customer support. Once you've asked all of your questions and you feel comfortable operating within the system on your own, your project manager will mark the implementation as complete. You'll be directed to a survey in which you'll be able to voice your opinion on the entire implementation process. Once you've finished the survey, you'll be directed to your brand new BambooHR dashboard.