Dedicated performance management or all-in-one HR systems?

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min read
September 12, 2022
April 23, 2024
Reviewing performance management platforms
In this article

There are now hundreds of different online platforms that support performance management. Choosing the right one can be a challenge? Should you opt for a dedicated performance management platform or an all-in-one HR platform? Here's how they stack up against each other.

What to choose?

The HR tech market has grown dramatically over the past decade. Since Appraisd was founded in 2012, hundreds of new systems have launched. There is a huge amount of choice available, which can be daunting. So, if you are looking for a new performance management platform, where do you start? Do you plump for an all-in-one solution that covers a wide range of different areas or do you choose something more specific, created especially for the job?

Simple or specialist?

All-in-one HR systems are a little like supermarkets. For simple, straightforward shopping like your weekly grocery shop they tick a lot of boxes. However, if you are looking for something out of the ordinary, perhaps a gift for someone special, a boutique on your local high street might be more appropriate. The performance management module in an all-in-one system is unlikely to be their core focus. Usually, it is something that has been bolted on to the main system and limited in scope and functionality.

Getting your performance management process right is a little like creating a specialist recipe. It is about finding the right blend of elements that work for your organisation. Being able to customise your approach is vital to fit your business requirements, achieve buy-in from employees and deliver positive benefits. Things like being able to tailor the language on your review forms, update objectives if circumstances change and alter the review cycle for different departments can all create a more personalised and relevant experience for employees.

"We were very clear about the problems we needed to fix and the solution that we wanted. From our own experience of developing technology, we know systems that have one main focus tend to have every angle covered and enormous attention to detail. This is what we wanted, and broader HR tools with an added performance management function weren’t up to the job.”<div  class="author">Andrzej Ogonowski, Co-Founder and Head of Platform at Growsari</div>

How to choose the right performance management platform

When it comes to finding the perfect performance management platform, there are six key areas that organisations should investigate. These are:

  • Functionality
  • Customer service/support
  • User experience
  • Innovation
  • Cost 
  • Customisation 

Before beginning any search for a performance management platform, consider how important each of these elements are to your organisation. What is it that you absolutely must have and what could you compromise on? Is something that initially looks like a good deal, but not giving you everything that you need? Can it evolve with your business or will making changes or adding new elements be difficult?

Here’s how Appraisd shapes up against all-in-one HR systems to help you make a direct comparison.

Feature Appraisd All-in-one HR systems
  • Appraisd is designed specifically around performance management, so everything on the system is related to it.
  • As a dedicated tool, the functionality around objectives, reviews and feedback is as detailed as possible and has many small nuances.
  • All-in-ones meet a wide variety of HR needs, appearing to offer an easy solution for those businesses looking for a quick solution. However, often what looks like it will be rapid to implement often takes time to adjust to.
  • For additional modules, like performance management, they tend to have limited functionality, restricting customisation.
  • From the first contact with Appraisd, clients have a named contact to answer any questions and give advice.
  • Every client has a dedicated account manager, working with them from onboarding onwards who gets to know their business and their needs inside out.
  • Contact is usually via a general call centre.
  • Clients are likely to speak to a different person every time they have a query.
  • This can lead to a lack of continuity and time being wasted as clients must start from the beginning every time they call for help, explaining who they are, what they do and what they need.
User experience
  • Appraisd has been specifically designed with users in mind – created to be as easy and simple to use as possible.
  • With email reminders and integrations, for example to Slack and HRIS, Appraisd nudges users into best practice, making reviews part of their working day.
  • New innovations are tested with a selection of clients first to ensure they meet requirements and are as easy to use as possible.
  • Large all-in-ones will spend considerable time and resources on UX.
  • As they perform a wide variety of functions, many of which are just used by HR, the UX is skewed towards their needs rather than the needs of general employees. This can mean the UX of their performance management area is less than ideal.
  • Appraisd has been built on the needs and requests from clients from the beginning.
  • Innovation is stimulated by working collaboratively with clients.
  • We actively encourage clients to ask for what they want and will do our best to make it happen for them.
  • If it is something that other clients may find useful, then it is rolled out more widely.
  • As a small organisation, Appraisd can be extremely agile – innovations can take weeks rather than months to implement.
  • They tend to be large operations, so have huge resources to draw on.
  • As a large organisation though, they are likely to have more stakeholders involved, so likely to be less agile when it comes to making changes – like turning a tanker at sea.
  • The fact that they do much more than performance management means that it may be viewed as an add on, not a key component, that needs to be cutting edge and receives less attention.
  • Appraisd is competitively priced and able to be more flexible around pricing and individual offers.
  • Clients are not just paying for a system; they’re paying for the dedicated support and expertise that goes with it.
  • Building long-term relationships is a priority, creating a mutually beneficial partnership with clients.
  • It is a collaborative process that puts the clients in control, giving them ownership.
  • The cost per licence model makes it affordable to all organisations no matter what size.
  • Clients pay for the whole package, not just the services they use which may not be the best value for money.
  • It can often feel like the client is just a number and their specific circumstances are not necessarily taken to account.
  • A range of flexible options are available.
  • Appraisd can support different models and types of approaches.
  • Clients can customise their workflows and create a specific schedule that works for them.
  • Account managers work with clients to set up their account exactly to their requirements.
  • It is a collaborative process that puts the clients in control, giving them ownership.
  • There is not a prescribed version of the system – it is designed to be flexible and easily adaptable so clients can get exactly what they want.
  • They often lack flexibility and are quite rigid in structure, with little room for deviating from the recommended set-up.
  • They prefer clients to use the system as it comes – their business model is not set up to support complex customisation for one particular area.
  • They have an approach that suits the many and it is not designed to be tailored to fit the individual – they offer a “good enough” solution.


If you are considering a new performance management platform or looking to change your existing one, talk to one of our experts. They will take the time to discover your needs, your priorities and your current processes to understand your business and how we can help your performance management work better.

Appraisd or all-in-one HR systems?

Looking for a performance management solution? Unsure about an HR-all-in platform or a dedicated performance management platform? Download our guide for a direct comparison between the two.

Appraisd or all-in-one HR systems comparison guide
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