Personio review

A mature and comprehensive HR platform for SMBs

Personio Review Hero
(Image: © Persinio)

TechRadar Verdict

Personio offers a tiered approach with additional options. While the upfront pricing is a big plus, we did not appreciate some details such as the e-signature feature limited to the higher plans and that it still requires two additional packages to get it, nor that phone support is left out of the lowest tier.

Pros

  • +

    Transparent pricing

  • +

    Direct support options

  • +

    Comprehensive Help Center

  • +

    Free demo and free trial available

Cons

  • -

    Green focus

  • -

    Limited hours of direct support

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    Phone support left out of lower tier plan

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    Electronic signature not included on higher plans and requires add-on package

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Personio (opens in new tab) grew from the Center for Digital Technology & Management (CDTM) in Munich in 2015. As it grew, it opened offices in Madrid, Dublin, Amsterdam and London, receiving millions in funding, and having over 1,000 employees serving over 5,000 customers including Futurice, Mindful Chef and Premier Inn. Today, it serves 56 nationalities from its 5 offices with a global presence, and is led by current CEO Hanno Renner, one of the original founders. 

Personio also has a focus on being a “Green impact” company, with a partnership with Planetly, giving the example of saving five trees, 11k liters of water and 21 Kg of CO2 saved every three months by using its e-signature feature.

Pricing

Personio offers three paid plans as well as a number of add-on features (Image credit: Persinio)

Plans and pricing

For those that get frustrated with opaque pricing, Personio offers an upfront and transparent approach to pricing out a plan- well mostly anyway. As there are a number of options in terms of tiers, options and the payment schedule, sales can also be contacted to price this all out. Still, we like to see the prices easily available so that the contact can then be made with some appropriate information.

The tiers of the plan are divided into three, with the lowest being the Essential Plan (opens in new tab), which is designed to cover the basics, which starts from €2.88 per employee per month. The core functions include a digital personnel file, absence management, wages and salaries, and custom reports.

The middle tier is the Professional Plan (opens in new tab) which has a cost of €4.43 per employee per month. It includes all the functions of the Essential Plan, plus advanced document management, onboarding and offboarding, direct phone support, and performance management.

At the top of the tiers is the Enterprise Plan (opens in new tab) which carries forward the features of the lower two plans, and ups the ante even more with unlimited document storage, login via OAuth (opens in new tab) (Open Authorization), and management of sub-companies. A limitation is that the pricing for this top plan is not forthcoming, and rather company contact is needed for a quote. 

Confused yet? Well, then there are various add-on features, and the pricing varies by the size of your company. For example, there is a recruiting option to publish open positions, and for a company of 201 to 250 employees, for the “Medium” recruiting plan of up to 25 positions, it costs an additional € 549.00 monthly. Then there is the additional Productivity Plus plan that adds features such as document templates, and inline editing of employee data, but this costs an additional € 159.00 monthly, and this piece is required before adding the highly touted electronic signature feature, which costs € 319.00 monthly.

Pricing Calculator

In addition to a free trial, Personio also provides a pricing calculator to help you estimate costs (Image credit: Persinio)

We appreciate that there is a pricing calculator to be able to select various features to figure out a plan that meets your company’s needs- and budget. Also, in fairness the prices are for the total cost, either monthly, or annually with a 5% discount, while many of the competitors may seem less expensive but then you pay for each and every employee, so be sure to compare apples to apples when pricing out plans.

Features

Personio aims to simplify HR by putting everything you need in one tool (Image credit: Persinio)

Features

The functions of the Personio platform are divided into a handful of categories, which includes Recruit for applicant tracking and posting bundles, Manage for absence management, Pay for preliminary payroll, and Develop for performance. There is both a free demo, and free trial available. The latter is for 14 days, and does not require a credit card, but rather can be started with a business email.

Each module is highly developed, such as the Performance Management area. This allows management to set up performance cycles either by the team or even for the entire company. With the cycle initiated, managers and employees get prompted to complete the reviews, with the option for scheduling individual performance meetings, which can be done directly and without HR intervening. Another neat feature is that performance reviews can be templated, so that the reviews are fairer, with feedback that prompts action via an easy to use evaluation scale.

Support

Personio provides for a number of options for users to access support. This includes a direct phone number and a support portal to submit a query. For this access though, the website states that it is only available during “Business hours,” which is indicated for after 9 AM on Monday to Friday, and unfortunately does not indicate what time of the day it ends. There are also some missing alternative options, such as a fax number, and chat (although a chat box for sales does pop up periodically when on the home page).

Help Center

Personio's Help Center includes tutorials on a wide variety of topics (Image credit: Persinio)

Those users that prefer, or want to take a look first can access the well done Help Center. This has information organized around topics, such as in “Getting Started” we find step by step directions, such as “Overview of the Implementation Process,” and “Options for Connecting your Career Page to Personio,” with an illustrated article. Other topic areas encompass Employee Management, Payroll, and People Workflow Automation, among others. If you are not sure what area your issue falls into, there is also a search box to find an article easily on a specific topic.

Final verdict

The Personio HR platform is mature, and comprehensive, with a focus on value and ease of use. We point out the rich feature set such as templated reviews, the more than not transparent pricing with the handy calculator, and the available support. Nitpicks include that the phone support is deleted from the lowest tier, that the pricing is for the package and not by the employee, and we really can’t get past that the e-signature feature not only requires the top tier, but then additional modules to be able to have this functionality. Still, with an offer of a free trial, we can easily recommend Personio be pushed high on the list of cloud based HR software (opens in new tab) to look at for your small to medium sized business.

We've also featured the best HR software (opens in new tab), best payroll software (opens in new tab) and best HR outsourcing services (opens in new tab)

Jonas P. DeMuro

Jonas P. DeMuro is a freelance reviewer covering wireless networking hardware.