Five tools for managing employee performance reviews

Performance reviews can trigger an avalanche of work, but the right app will prevent you from being overwhelmed by the task.

Human resources departments run best when they have the right tools -- tools that can collect information about multiple aspects of the company, such as employee management. Without the right tools, managing employees can be a nightmare. And performance reviews? Even worse. Imagine having to tackle employee performance reviews in a midsize to large company without an effective application to facilitate the work.

Fortunately, there are some outstanding tools that make this task much easier. I want to highlight five of them so you can see what's available to help you with employee performance reviews.

1: OrangeHRM (Web-based)

OrangeHRM comes in two flavors: The free/open source version and the cloud-based version. Either way you go, OrangeHRM is one of the finest tools for managing employee performance, with what it calls a Performance Module. This module is designed specifically to aid in the review of the performance of employees. Each section of the review is based on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest rating), so nearly all aspects of the review are turned into metrics that can be easily quantified. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of reviews. Upon completion, each review can be submitted and accepted or rejected. If you go the cloud route, OrangeHRM has a 14-day free trial, after which you will have to request a quote for pricing.

2: WayPointHR (Web-based)

WayPointHR doesn't have a specific performance module. What it does have is the ability to keep a large amount of information on employees and to compile comprehensive reports. Together, these features make performance reviews a snap. With WayPointHR, you have all sorts of information at your fingertips:

  • Personal details and emergency contact information
  • Holiday, sickness, and absence history
  • Employment, contract, job, and salary details
  • Discipline and grievance records
  • Performance appraisal records
  • Exit interviews and employment termination details
  • Current and historical data

WayPointHR is open source software, so there is no cost associated with it

3: eAppraisal (client-based)

eAppraisal is performance review-specific software. The task of performance reviews is as automated as possible, allowing you to reduce the time spent on performance reviews by up to 85%. eAppraisal offers simple forms for conducting the review process. The one downfall for eAppraisal is that it's not created for every industry. It's optimized for healthcare, financial services, professional services, manufacturing, education, public sector, and hospitality. Of course, you may be able to bend one of those categories to fit your needs. The cost for eAppriasal is high. For 150 licenses, you're looking at $6,937.50 per year. For 5,000 licenses, the price tag is $88,250.00 per year.

4: Appraisal Smart (client/server-based)

Appraisal Smart is another HR tool that handles only performance reviews and performance management. Similar to eAppraisal, Appraisal Smart automates the review process. This tool is flexible in its performance cycles and can handle appraisals at one-, two-, three-, four-, six-, and 12-month intervals. It will also do employee anniversary reviews. Appraisal Smart can handle anywhere from 20 employees to thousands of employees. For pricing, you must contact Appraisal Smart.

5: ICIMS (client/server-based)

ICIMS is a powerhouse of a tool that offers an outstanding performance review module. The Performance Management and Compensation Solution module of ICIMS handles a range of tasks, such as assessments to performance management checklists, robust reporting tools (where you can put together the perfect employee performance report to make the task of reviews as simple as possible), 16 easy-to-use electronic forms specific to performance reviews (such as Compensation Adjustment, Internship Evaluation Report, and Performance Action Plan), and much more. ICIMS allows you to manage your employee succession planning as well (for when employees move up the company ladder). For pricing on ICIMS, contact its sales department.

Other solutions?

If you do a search for HRM tools, you will find thousands. So figuring out which might be best suited for your needs is a challenging task. The five tools above offer a wide range of features and prices, but they all handle employee performance reviews quite well.

Do you use a product you think belongs on this list? Share your recommendations with other TechRepublic members.


Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website


Hi Christian, thanks for you list of HR tool, if I'm not wrong this tool is missing: and it seems interesting to me. Cheers, Cristina


Thanks Christian, your website is a great compilation of HR tools and is really easy to navigate through, despite me know understanding danish. There are so many HR tools on the market and each one has it's own point of difference. BambooHR, for instance, focuses on HRIS and hence its key competency is employee data management. It is, indeed, a fantastic and intuitive tool for employee tracking but when it comes to other HR needs, they integrate with tools that have a different area of expertise, like payroll or training. For performance reviews, BambooHR integrates with Small Improvements, as recently announced on The result of those joint-forces is that every tool can concentrate on its key area of expertise, while the integrations/collaborations ensure that HR managers can create their own set of tools that they feel are relevant for their organisations. If you are keen to extend your list of HR tools on your website, please get in touch with me. Cheers, Linda


There are probably as many performance review tools out there as there approaches to HR management. It is important to find the most effective strategy for your company and with that in mind, look for the most suitable tool to match your needs. One of the biggest differentiating factors is whether you are looking for a heavyweight or lightweight tool. I am not a big believer in the traditional performance review approach. The more you measure, the longer the process takes, the more people hate it. The more people hate it, the less accurate the results become! I believe in a lightweight approach, which narrows the field of tools down by quite a bit. In my opinion, performance management for agile teams should be based on - continuous communication for timely feedback (ideally traceable for future reference) - accountable goals for result tracking (setting them early, knowing what is expected) - 360 degree feedback for more objectivity (Ideally anonymous, only few questions) - a lightweight performance review summarising the last 6 months or so Atlassian, the Australian software company, has done an open review on performance management and ended up using a tool called Small Improvements ( Would be keen to get some feedback if you think Small Improvements should be added to your list.


I've added Small Improvements to my list :) It looks like a great product, and I will certainly try it out soon. Cheerio, Christian

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