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Honest Review:
Employment Hero

A HR-focused platform with misleading registration issues for payroll, promising more than it delivers

Written by Asim Qureshi
By Asim Qureshi, CEO PayrollPanda

As the CEO of a payroll software company, I need to know what my competitors are up to. That means I’m often researching about and/or playing around with their products, you know, it’s part of the job. Here, I share my findings of that research, giving credit to those competitors where credit is due and being honest about which products I believe you really need to avoid. For this particular review, I have asked my team to test and explore Employment Hero’s software. And so, there you have it, this review, and in it, we try to be honest, fair, and insightful…

This review covers:

Overview

As the CEO of PayrollPanda, I’ve explored various HR and payroll software options, and this time my team and I took the opportunity to check out Employment Hero.

Employment Hero is a cloud-based human resource management system (HRMS) designed for growing small and medium businesses. The platform offers modern HR policies, self-service functionality for employees, and an Applicant Tracking System for streamlined recruitment. Its payroll tools automate payroll processes, simplifying time and attendance management. However, concerns arise from customers regarding slow customer service, poor integration between HR and payroll products, and the inflexibility of yearly contracts.

Our user experience with Employment Hero revealed significant shortcomings. The registration process was marred by delays and redirection issues, making it cumbersome and frustrating. The trial page’s interface lacked clear guidance, particularly on how to access payroll features. Customer support responses were slow, and the ultimate revelation that a payroll trial account didn’t exist despite marketing claims raised transparency concerns.

Let’s be clear – what sets this review apart from other competitor reviews is the fact that we weren’t actually able to test their payroll software as intended due to the problems we encountered. This is the first time this happened to us which means we’re delivering our verdict based on other user experiences, public reviews, and the information presented on Employment Hero’s website. We also focus on our own experience with the platform, rather than hands-on interaction with their payroll software.

Our situation highlights the crucial need for transparent communication and an accurate representation of what a software platform offers, especially in the competitive world of HR and payroll solutions.

Prospective users should consider these shortcomings before committing to the platform.

Employment Hero's mascot walking while working on tasks.

What Do Users Like About Employment Hero?

  • Streamlines a lot of HR processes
  • Engaging for employees
  • Aesthetic user interface

What Don’t Users Like About Employment Hero?

  • Slow customer service
  • Poor integration between HR and payroll products
  • Yearly contract limits flexibility and hinders the ability to switch 
  • Setup for payroll is long with minimal help
  • Complex interface making it difficult to navigate

What Pricing Plans Does Employment Hero Offer?

Employment Hero offers two main feature sets: HR Features and Payroll Features. Each feature set includes multiple pricing plans designed to cater to different needs and requirements. Here’s an overview of their pricing structures:

1. HR Features:

  • Hiring Standard: RM8 per employee/month*. For simple recruitment needs. Includes access to onboarding checklists, the HR document library, leave management features, paperless agreements, and job board integration.
  • HR Premium: RM12 per employee/month*. Comprehensive employee lifecycle management. Covers applicant tracking, onboarding, custom reporting, engagement, and document management.
  • HR Platinum: RM18 per employee/month*. Enables goal setting with OKRs, team coaching, development, and personalised in-app branding, catering to ambitious teams. Includes everything in Premium, plus features like goal setting, custom fields, branding, API access, and 1:1s.

*Conditions apply.

2. Payroll Features:

  • Payroll Standard: RM8 per employee/month*. Fast and easy payroll that integrates with HR. Lets you automate payroll processing, timesheets, and PCB reporting with ease. Includes: Automated payroll processing, timesheets, leave management, basic reporting and automated public holidays.
  • Payroll Premium: RM12 per employee/month*. Includes everything in Standard, plus employee rostering, time and attendance kiosks, automated pay conditions and more.

*Conditions apply

NoahFace is an optional add-on for Employment Hero’s HR and Payroll Features. It offers facial recognition technology to ease clock-in and clock-out procedures. This optional feature can be added to Premium and Platinum subscriptions. The options are:

  • NoahFace – Premium: RM6.02 per employee/month. Includes advanced facial recognition technology that enhances the clock-in and clock-out process.
  • NoahFace – Standard: RM4 per employee/month. Gives access to standard facial recognition technology. 

Note that the above prices are still subject to 8% SST, something that is not explicitly indicated on their pricing website!

What are the Standout Features of Employment Hero?

1. Cloud Payroll Software

A solution for Malaysian businesses seeking HR and payroll management. The LHDN-approved system provides automated payroll calculations, encompassing PCB (MTD), EPF, SOCSO contributions, and more. The cloud-based payroll software is accessible via desktop and mobile app. Users can simplify payroll processes through automated statutory contribution calculations and form generation.

The software includes self-service options for leave requests, overtime recording, and accessing payslips. It encompasses automated pay calculations, employee scheduling, time tracking, as well as real-time location monitoring and shift alerts. Additionally, Employment Hero offers payroll integrations with accounting software like Xero, Zoho Books, and NetSuite.

carrying out a payrun audit report in Employment Hero

2. Cloud HR Software

Employment Hero’s HR software covers the full spectrum of the employee lifecycle, including recruitment, onboarding, engagement, and success. Their cloud-based HR platform provides secure access to employee data from various locations. The system offers a range of features to assist with contract compliance, policy adherence, tracking, and record-keeping. Additionally, it includes tools for enhancing engagement through pulse checks, rewards, recognition, and learning opportunities.

Features of the software include an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) designed to simplify job posting and management, and a Learning Management System for employee development. Additionally, they offer an Employer of Record service, which can assist with global hiring and compliance matters.

Employment Hero's recruitment feature

3. Employer of Record (EOR)

Employment Hero offers an Employer of Record (EOR) feature, providing a solution for businesses to hire remote employees globally. This service acts as the legal employer of record for employees outside your existing markets, facilitating the management, payment, motivation, and reward systems for both local and global teams, along with employee benefits.

The EOR feature simplifies talent acquisition and remote team management, ensuring compliance with local employment laws and contracts. It offers flexible pricing suitable for businesses of all sizes, making it easy to hire skilled permanent employees from various locations without concerns about compliance or tax requirements.

Employment Hero's employer of Record feature

4. Employee Learning Management System (LMS)

Employment Hero’s Employee Learning Management System (LMS) is a software designed for employee training. It helps organise, track, and report on learning activities, allowing employers to develop and test their employees’ knowledge. The LMS supports custom training programs and material uploads, making it suitable for compliance training, onboarding, and professional development. The system is designed to help boost retention rates by providing ongoing employee training. It is a good tool for companies looking to invest in their teams’ continual development and growth.

Employment Hero's employee learning management system

5. Applicant Tracking System

Employment Hero’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a recruiting automation software that helps organisations streamline their recruitment process by automating various tasks such as job posting, resume screening, interview scheduling, and communication with job seekers. The system is designed to help businesses advertise, hire, and onboard staff from one place. 

It allows employers to post job ads to multiple job sites with a single submission and integrate with candidate-preferred job boards including Job Street, Monster South Asia, Swag Jobs, and more. It also provides a digital onboarding experience for new hires. Employment Hero’s Hiring Essentials suite of tools includes an integrated applicant tracking system, digital contracts, and paperless onboarding software.

Hiring employees through Employment Hero's Applicant Tracking System

6. Swag Employment Superapp

Swag is an innovative platform that combines work and wages, offering a solution for both employers and employees. With a job board designed to attract top talents and streamline application management, candidates can track progress while team members can refer potential hires. 

The self-service hub brings a fresh interface to work-related tasks, including timesheets, leave requests, peer recognition, and company notifications. Swag enhances familiar Employment Hero features with a modernised touch.

applying for a job in Employment Hero's swag Superapp

7. NoahFace Time & Attendance

NoahFace Time & Attendance, a partnership between Employment Hero and NoahFace, introduces facial recognition technology to ease clock-in and clock-out procedures.

This innovative system not only simplifies time tracking but also streamlines timesheet management by allowing adjustments before payroll processing. Its flexibility adapts to different work scenarios, offering self-service options for breaks and unplanned shifts, thus empowering employees with more control over their schedules.

Another standout features of NoahFace Time & Attendance is its real-time attendance tracking, providing employers with immediate access to employee activities. This enables businesses to stay updated on staff presence and productivity levels effortlessly.

This optional feature can be added to Premium and Platinum subscriptions at a monthly cost per employee.

 

finding jobs with NoahFace time & attendance

Selected Positive User Feedback:

  • Employment Hero is an amazing platform and company. It’s super user friendly and has improved everything we do from the employee perspective, plus saved so much time.Laura (Source Trustpilot)
  • Simple to use HRIS for businesses of all sizes.” – Glenn (Source Trustpilot)
  • “Great! Easy to use. Engaging for our team and love the advice provided and the occasional webinar.” – Holly M. (Source Capterra)
  • Even the free version is excellent. The ability to send electronic employment contracts is fantastic.” – Oliver S. (Source GetApp)
  • Onboarding our employees is a simple and easy process. All HR records are kept in one place and we are able to keep paper files to a minimum.” – Samantha J. (Source Capterra)
  • Everything we need in regards to HR is in the one place” – Silvana (Source Software Advice)
  • Great off-the-shelf product for managing a small to medium size business. There is enough customisation to add the features we need and all of the basic HR functions are available.” – Sophia B. (Source Capterra)

Selected Negative User Feedback:

  • “The system would be much better with customisation ability to really make it your own. This is quite limited at present, so improvements in this area will be beneficial. – Charlotte G. (Source Trustpilot) 
  • Human Resources and Payroll software are two distinct products that result in frustration due to their poor integration with one another.” – Tim (Source Software Advice)
  • “Occasionally when I email employment contracts to staff they have difficulty finding this email in their junk mail/spam/inbox. Some are not able to find this at all.” – Rachel L. (Source GetApp)
  • Leave requests & expense reimbursements do not integrate from HR to Payroll. Neither do terminated employees integrate from Payroll to HR – if you terminate someone in Payroll, you have to replicate it in HR, so double-handling. That stupid app SWAG – should never have changed it.” – Charlie E. (Source Capterra)
  • “The integration between the two products – HR and payroll is awful. They often don’t communicate […] seamlessly, and you are required to learn by trial and error due to the poor deployment processes and cumbersome workflow regarding setup. […] Timekeeping apps (Clock Me In/Workzone) are simply terrible.” – Kim M. (Source Capterra)
  • “Support queries take a long time to get a response.” – Holly M. (Source Capterra)
  • “We will be cancelling our contract and looking for a different app. Overall a really frustrating experience, made even more frustrating by the fact I reached out to them with this feedback and just never heard back. For the absolutely outrageously high price it costs it isn’t worth it, and there are many other apps out there for cheaper.” – Bonnie (Source Software Advice)
  • Every feature has issues. The induction set-up is useless, rostering and budgeting unusable, payroll system glitchy and not logical. There are no proper instructions on how to use it so there is no way you will be able to figure it out. Half the instructions they do have are wrong or outdated. A large percentage of the features don’t work.” – Anonymous (Source Software Advice)

What are Employment Hero’s Ratings from Review Sites?

(As of March 2024)

  • Capterra: 4.4/5
  • G2: 4.5/5
  • GetApp: 4.4/5

What Were the Shortcomings in Our User Experience with Employment Hero?

1. A Frustrating Sign-Up Experience

In my team’s attempt to explore Employment Hero’s software, we embarked on an unexpected rollercoaster ride. Intrigued and with high expectations, we landed on their website and eagerly hit the “Start Your Free Trial” button, excited to dive in right away.

However, what followed can only be described as a series of disappointments. After dutifully entering our details, we were met with the promise of an email to confirm our account. We were informed that the verification email was only valid for 60 minutes, so we knew we had to proceed immediately.

Employment Hero's prompt to confirm your test account

Much to our disappointment, that email never arrived. We waited, refreshed, and even checked our spam folder, all to no avail. We waited over 15 minutes. Still nothing. 

We decided to try once more, this time using a different email address. Yet, the promised verification email continued to evade us. The longer we waited, the less patient we became, and we reluctantly decided to postpone our exploration to the next day.

To our surprise, more than 12 hours later, an email from Employment Hero finally landed in our inbox. However, it wasn’t the verification email my team expected. It was a reminder that we’d forgotten to finish registration and that the activation link had now expired. How could we forget when we hadn’t even received the verification email in the first place?

Employment Hero's email follow up that the registration link is expired

With a glimmer of hope, we clicked the provided link to restart registration. But, you guessed it, another obstacle: too many redirects. (Yes, we did clear our cookies!) Despite clearing them, we kept getting the same error message…

employment hero's redirect error message

My team embarked on a third attempt, for, as they say, “third time’s the charm.” Patiently filling in all the required details once again, we waited for that elusive verification email. This time, success! It arrived within a minute, leaving us to wonder what went awry in the previous two attempts.

Looking back, this experience raised many questions. What caused the delays and redirects? Was it a technical glitch or a bigger issue? Our initial encounter with Employment Hero’s software was certainly marred by needless obstacles.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, the initial experience can shape potential business relationships. A bumpy journey from interest to engagement is a significant drawback that can negatively impact decision-making in a competitive market.

2. Struggling Through Employment Hero’s Trial Account Maze

Employment Hero touts itself as a comprehensive HR and Payroll solution, and despite some initial hiccups, we managed to sign up for their 14-day trial. 

Our primary goal was simple: We wanted to test drive their payroll feature, a fundamental aspect of their offering. Yet, what awaited us on their trial page was a digital maze, an interface that seemed designed to baffle even the most tech-savvy among us.

My team spent what felt like ages clicking through tabs, exploring settings, and navigating a seemingly endless array of clickable elements, all in pursuit of initiating payroll processing. We diligently entered employees’ personal details, salary details and statutory information. But where was the button to run payroll? It was like searching for a needle in a haystack, and frustration slowly but surely crept into our experience.

It seemed that none of these clickable settings had anything to do with running payroll. Had we somehow missed the obvious, or had Employment Hero forgotten to include this crucial feature in their trial?

With each futile click, we questioned whether we were simply not tech-savvy enough to decipher their interface. After all, a software company of such stature should provide a user-friendly experience, right?

Determined to find a solution, we returned to their website once again and focused specifically on their payroll software page. Maybe we signed up for the wrong trial type by mistake? So let’s ensure we get it right this time!

sign up button to employment hero's payroll software trial

The same steps – personal details, email address, company information, and more – awaited us, as did the infamous verification email. 

We managed to get access to another trial account, but to our dismay, we were greeted by the same inscrutable interface that had confounded us before.

What was going on? Was Employment Hero’s trial page intentionally designed to test the patience of its users, or were we missing something glaringly obvious? Why do we end up on their HR trial page again when we specifically signed up for the Payroll trial? We found ourselves questioning our own competence, wondering if we had overlooked some crucial step. All I can say is that our experience so far has been frustrating, and it felt like we were caught in an endless loop, going in circles without a clear path forward. 

3. Login Challenges and Poor Customer Support

In our continuous quest to put Employment Hero’s HR and payroll software to the test, we tried to get some assistance from their customer support. When you’re exploring a software platform, you expect to have some sort of customer support to lean on if you hit a roadblock.

However, the support for Employment Hero is missing some important options. Direct phone support is available but requires the top-tier plan. The only option on the lower plans to get in touch is to submit a support request, and the hours of operation or turnaround time are not listed. 

Employment Hero’s trial app does not have live chat as a built-in customer support feature. Clicking the Help button within the app merely redirected us to their help centre webpage, stocked with a bunch of self-help articles. While these articles are certainly valuable, they can’t replace a real human’s guidance.

The chatbot they had in place was well-intentioned but didn’t have much to offer beyond keyword-based responses, suggesting certain help articles. Eventually, it did offer that we could submit a request to their support team. We submitted a ticket, letting them know that despite several attempts, we still haven’t been able to explore their payroll system.

Employment Hero's contact us feature

That’s when another twist hit. An automated reply reached our email inbox, informing us that due to a company-wide team building event this week, they will be slow to respond. Again, this is something you don’t anticipate hearing when trying to reach out to a company for immediate help! 

Employment Hero's automated email response informing about delays in response time

In our continued search for ways to explore the payroll app, we discovered another avenue: Their help centre page has the option to log in with your registered email address. Maybe logging in would provide the help we needed. But no matter how many times we tried, the platform stubbornly refused to recognise the email address and password. This was strange because we had successfully logged into the test account with the exact same email and password combination before. Yet, it didn’t work for access to their Support.

unable to access employment hero's support with a registered email address

 

It wasn’t until the following day after our support ticket submission that we finally received an email from one of Employment Hero’s support team members. He suggested that my team try to sign up for a trial again. This was a confusing déjà vu moment, as we’d already followed these exact same steps the day before. Nevertheless, we followed the instructions in his email, especially because he has now given us a specific link to register for a trial payroll account:

email from employment hero providing a link to sign up for a free payroll trial

The link led us back to their trial account sign-up page. A page we have now seen multiple times. When it came to entering the email address, a red message greeted us with “This field has already been taken”. This only confirmed that we already created an account on their payroll system, except that we don’t get to access it. Disappointingly, our attempts to access the software’s payroll features continued to be fruitless.

As frustrating as this was, we couldn’t accept defeat just yet. In a final, determined attempt, we decided to try logging in directly via their Payroll Login button using our registered email address. After all, an account on their payroll software exists, despite our continuous denial of access. 

Employment Hero's Payroll Login button

You guessed right – that too wasn’t possible. Our access remained barred. Another pop-up message, another failed attempt…

failed login to employment hero's payroll with test account details

The bottom line is that we’re still in the dark about what is causing this persistent blockade in our attempts to explore Employment Hero’s payroll software as intended. Our email address is in their system, considering we’ve accessed our trial account multiple times before. Still, the gateway to their payroll features remains inaccessible. To add to our frustrations, we must continue to endure the extended wait for email responses from their support team due to their week-long team-building event.

4. A Shocking Revelation: No Payroll Trial?

We continued to follow up with Employment Hero’s customer support via email. Despite all efforts and multiple sign-up attempts, we found ourselves perpetually redirected to the HR interface. Even though the first support agent directed us to a specific link in his email, we still had no access to payroll features. We sent several follow-up emails, seeking a resolution, but to no avail. 

Finally, a response to our emails but this time from a different customer support representative. She astonishingly stated that they “don’t provide a trial account for Payroll at this point, it’s only available for HR.” 

payroll trial accounts are currently not available for Employment Hero

This new information left us more than astounded, given that the initial communication with their customer service had pointed us towards signing up for a payroll test account. To add to the confusion, their website prominently featured a link inviting users to sign up for a free trial of their payroll software. 

Additionally, throughout our back-and-forth email exchanges, all enquiries consistently revolved around the desire to test their payroll software. Yet now, they tell us that this option is not available?! Why, then, does their website mislead people into believing otherwise? And not only their website but also their support agent clearly wrote in his email, “Please see if you are able to successfully register for a trial payroll account.”

Hours of navigating their labyrinthine interface, enduring technical hiccups, waiting for support emails and even questioning our own tech-savviness seemed to have been in vain.

The deceptive impression created by Employment Hero’s marketing and customer support not only wasted our time but also raised doubts about their transparency and user-friendliness. It underscores the importance of clear and honest communication to guide users to their intended destination, rather than leaving them lost in a digital maze and confusing them with false promises.

What’s Our Final Verdict on Employment Hero?

In our assessment of Employment Hero’s HR and payroll software, it’s evident that our journey through this platform was nothing short of a tumultuous ride.

From the get-go, our experience with Employment Hero was plagued by registration hassles that cast a shadow of doubt over the platform’s reliability and user-friendliness. The issue of not receiving a verification email promptly, followed by frustrating redirect problems, raised legitimate concerns about the software’s technical competence and its readiness for users.

Customer support, typically a lifeline in such situations, proved to be underwhelming. We encountered delayed responses and the excuse of team-building events, which only added to our negative experience.

But the ultimate bombshell came when we were told that a payroll trial account didn’t even exist, despite the website’s clear advertising to the contrary. This revelation, coupled with contradictory messages from customer support, left us dumbfounded and very disappointed. All attempts to navigate their trial page in pursuit of payroll functionality felt like an exercise in futility.

In conclusion, our journey with Employment Hero was a bumpy one, characterised by roadblocks, misleading information, and a lack of transparency. While Employment Hero may certainly offer great HR features, our experience with the trial software, particularly during our attempts to test the payroll software, has highlighted areas where improvements could be made in terms of user experience and communication.

Our verdict, without mincing words, is one of caution – approach this platform with care and be prepared for some challenges, especially if you attempt to explore their payroll system.

There might be other alternatives that prove more suitable when it comes to payroll or time tracking.

FAQs

...about Employment Hero

Based on our experience, we’d have to say, the Employment Hero payroll software isn’t all that good.

The platform presents a mixed bag of positives and negatives. On the positive side, the software offers personalized reports and a user-friendly interface, which can enhance user experience and streamline HR processes. However, it falls short in terms of integration options, limiting its compatibility with other systems. Additionally, our journey was marred by registration difficulties, technical glitches, and unsatisfactory customer support, raising concerns about the platform’s reliability and user support.

Employment Hero’s payroll plans include Payroll Standard and Payroll Premium. Pricing varies based on the plan and is billed per employee per month.

No, Employment Hero does not offer a free trial for its payroll software. The trial option is available only for HR features and is limited to 14 days.

Employment Hero offers integrations with accounting software like Xero, Zoho Books, and NetSuite.

However, users have reported poor integration between Employment Hero’s own HR and payroll products as a concern.

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