With advances in technology and the use of web-based platforms, performance management software has improved significantly in features, cost and number of products and vendors. Even the smallest of companies at 15 employees can afford and implement these solutions easily.  A recent research of performance appraisal software resulted in finding 137 products through the website http://www.capterra.com/performance-appraisal-software.  There are four products we further researched that are more appropriate for smaller organizations and provide a significant number of important features. The following list the four products reviewed and briefly describes the strengths and weaknesses.

Performance Management Solutions


This is part of Kenexa’s product portfolio and its primary strength is the user interface being graphical for managers (Bullseye graphic). It seemed during my demo that the features focus more on “the event” and less on the total cycle or performance management process. However, they do have an exhaustive list of features on the Capterra website.  This product is worth further consideration if you have a need for a comprehensive set of features in a single product.


This product is part of and connected to broader human resource solutions offered by the company. The strength of this product is the ability to customize the product and its ability to deliver a comprehensive set of features.  However, the amount of customization could feel overwhelming if you only have a need for a standard product.  This product is worth further consideration if you have a specific set of needs that do not fit standard products.  The cost of the product is available on their website.


The product has a variety of standard features, seems very easy to use and is provided for a very reasonable cost.  One of the benefits of automated solutions is the ability for managers to take notes throughout the performance period and then call them back and incorporate them into the performance appraisal document and discussion.  Reviewsnap takes this one step further by allowing the option for the manager to send his description of noteworthy behavior or results to the employee in a special format to provide special ongoing recognition.  They also have experience with ADP interfaces.


This product has the most extensive competency library with multiple definitions by rating.  This is further supported with a coaching library, so when a manager wants to suggests ways for employees to improve, there are some standard tips.  This solution may not as easily provide a link to compensation compared to the other products. Wilson Group has helped two clients customize and implement this solution and it is easy to work with and implement quickly. The per person cost is available on their website.

Important Features of Performance Appraisal Software

  • Creating and communicating goals at the beginning of the performance management process
  • Documenting performance events throughout the cycle – both employee and manager
  • Employee participation with self-assessments, setting goals and notes
  • Review and approval by next level of management/HR
  • Requesting input from others in preparing the employee’s review
  • Training/access to help for managers in using the product
  • Creating and evaluating development goals in a separate section from other goals
  • Flexibility to include different levels of goals – company and department in addition to individual goals
  • A significant competency library with definitions for each performance level
  • Ability to indicate readiness for advancement/promotion
  • Performance ratings and descriptions that are flexible in number and how they are sequenced
  • Linking ratings and goal achievement to rewards – base salary and bonus
  • Converting progress/ongoing performance notes to opportunities for recognition
  • Ability to develop multiple formats as needed to customize to different types of jobs/employees
  • Summary of performance results broken down by competency and goals for the total organization