Research: How to buy Performance Management System - Part 3

Performance management systems

How to buy Performance Management System - Part 3

This is third and the last story of a three-part series How to buy Performance Management System. We have devised a working model for Performance Management System to help in decision making from SMBs perspective.
How to buy Performance Management System - Part 3

The Background

In the previous article we saw various global players that operate in this space. We highlighted certain companies based on their presence in India and strength of their solution/s. We also talked about few noticeable global players and some pointed solution providers which are noteworthy in this space. 

In this part of the article, we would now focus on SMB organizations and their realities. Our attempt here would be to further distill the list from an SMB perspective & see if we can give you a consideration set given your realities and constraints. 

The SMB Challenge

Talent management in an SMB environment is largely driven by the CEO or Owner himself /herself. In this situation, performance management, in particular, may or may not be a very strategic and important lever in the organization. The owner practically would have an “opinion” about every employee’s performance. But if you are an SMB owner or HR manager who believes that having a “suitable” performance management framework would assist you in your decision making, then that’s just the start of the long battle. 

Implementing a formal performance management system – where none exists before – would mean that you would have to consider the “additional” resources being allocated to this activity. The process so defined has to be simple enough yet effective to meet both individual and organizational objectives. 

So if you are looking to implement HR tech solution for your existing or revised performance management system, then assessing the solution capability to meet your existing process maturity is of paramount importance. Moving to an HR tech solution which has the “desired” process clearly defined can seem very lucrative – as you are able to merge the learning curve of process & technology into one. Here, however, your selection of the partner would need to go beyond just the solution but critically evaluate your support requirements especially during the initial implementation & ensuring user adoption. HR Tech players who are able to provide that support to you would be more valuable than one’s who would ask you to Do-it-Yourself (DIY). Here you would have to critically evaluate such situations with respect to your internal capabilities & readiness to the DIY situation. 

If you are still unsure if Talent Management is important or want a second opinion – read this 

Our Approach

While we will apply the same evaluation framework mentioned in earlier articles to look at the overall consideration set from an SMB perspective, we would primarily highlight companies that make sense for SMB. This would mean that we may not talk about some of the companies mentioned in earlier articles. This is simply because in our evaluation they did not address the needs of the SMB market sufficiently and / or they are not focused on this market at all. This is not a ranked list its just presented here alphabetically. 


Adrenalin provides a comprehensive web-based HR management software that automates entire HR processes. The Performance management solution has modules like pre-defined goals & competencies, customizable templates, Normalization etc.

Gartner recognised them as “niche player” in year 2013 & 2014 in the Gartner Magic quadrant – which is a very impressive achievement for an Indian product company in HCM space. 

With more than 10 years of HR Tech implementation experience and a strong SMB customer base, this becomes a natural contestant for all SMB players. 

Adrenalin Experience


A division of CrossDomain Solutions, this is a player focused on SMB and enterprise customers. Established in 2013, PeopleWorks HCM on Cloud solution is a comprehensive suite of HR solutions. The company has horizontally expanded its capabilities from its core competence of payroll solutions to include Talent management solutions.

PeopleWorks Tool experience


This is an Indian company which is also global. Zoho is very clearly focused on solving technology problems for SMB businesses and has a plethora of products including HR solutions. Our focus here is on Zoho people, which has 360 Degree Feedback, Employee Self-appraisal, Reports & Analytics built in. Zoho is a great solution for an SMB customer especially when they have the process expertise in-house. Zoho’s solutions also allow its users to custom design the workflows through an intuitive “self-help” platform. SMB players choosing to move to Zoho will have to be cognizant that they would need someone internal who understands the process & will be motivated enough to do all the customizations required for your workflow to work effectively.

Zoho Tool experience

Some Noticeable mentions

While we have talked about companies that have a broader solution along with Performance management, there are some companies which offer a point solution in this space. You can look at these providers if your need is to solve the specific problem of performance management.

Spire TalentShip suite is one such solution. The Talent Development and Talent Plan, Monitor & Control solutions have a very unique and highly contextual, data driven approach which would benefit most organizations.

Qilo Tech beautifully combines performance management with recognition & culture. The platform allows organizations to link performance with frequent feedback and to-do lists. This gets translated into social recognition and a culture index. These are very valuable insights, especially from an SMB environment. 

In Conclusion

The life of an SMB HR leader is no less difficult than his or her enterprise counterpart, especially when it comes to assessment and selection of technology solutions. It becomes even more critical for the SMB HR leader to know what he/she wants and be able to clearly map those requirements to available solutions in the market. It is very important for most HR leaders to continue to focus on their needs and organizational context rather than features provided by the vendors. 

We hope that this series has given you an overview of various Indian and Global solutions available for your business and would help you in your decision-making process. 

How to buy Performance Management System - Part 1
How to buy Performance Management System - Part 2

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