Kevin Conti Of Software Ideas On How To Be A Successful Founder

Kevin Conti Of Software Ideas On How To Be A Successful Founder

Kevin Conti joins us for another text based interview this week.

Kevin is the founder of multiple SaaS products, but is currently focusing on The name of the company says it all really!

It’s a paid newsletter that gives potential SaaS founders software ideas. Kevin does the research and analysis into current successful software companies and determines whether or not there is room to compete.

There’s a lot more to it than this which Kevin goes into in this interview, along with the story of his first venture which did not go so well!

Hello! Could you introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Kevin Conti! My main focus currently is Software Ideas, a market research and analysis company for serious founders who are looking for their next opportunity.

Software Ideas does roughly $10K MRR. I’ve just recently quit my day job as a software developer to go full-time on Software Ideas and future SaaS projects!

How did you start with Saas products?

I started with SaaS products two years ago with no audience and none of the “unfair advantages” that some people talk about. My only strengths were knowing how to write code and being willing to learn.

I started with my first SaaS,, which was completely a “scratch your own itch” type of idea.

I wanted a note platform for code snippets that had a powerful search engine behind it. This was so that I wouldn’t have to worry about categorizing the snippets and struggling to find them later.

I spent about six months building the product, and on June 07, 2020, I launched CoderNotes on ProductHunt and was #1 Product of the Day for most of the day before settling into #2!

At this point, I thought I had everything figured out. I had hundreds of users heading to the site and tons of positive comments on ProductHunt, including people who said things like, “Thank you, I have always wanted this!”

I shared the metrics and the whole story behind the crazy ProductHunt launch experience here on Indie Hackers .

However, after the craziness died down, I quickly found out that there were a number of issues with my product. Most of them stemmed from the fact that I had committed the most common mistake that engineers make: I had focused on building the product I wanted instead of building something that potential users wanted.

After realizing my mistakes, I wrote a retrospective titled “5 Lessons Learned from Launching My First SaaS.” The goal of this was to help others avoid making the same mistake by entering a market where there isn’t much consumer interest.

Why did you choose to start

what is

Software Ideas actually began as my own personal research to find my next SaaS opportunity.

I had learned from my first experience that it was very important to enter a market where there is already demand, rather than trying to innovate and create a completely new concept.

Kevin Conti

I began by simply looking at job boards to find software companies that were successful enough to be hiring. After all, if they were successful enough to have millions of dollars in payroll, they must be doing something right!

After a while, I realized I could perform the research better if I had access to some of the paid databases that offer company info – things like Crunchbase and Owler – and it would be far more effective than looking through job boards. The only problem was that these things cost thousands of dollars.

The price, combined with a hunch that this research might be valuable to other entrepreneurs looking to start their next business idea, led me to convert my research into a newsletter format. Then I started pre-selling to test for demand!

What has worked for you to grow your business?

how to get ideas for saas products

One of the hot takes I have as a founder is that it’s important to discover a reliable marketing/distribution channel as soon as possible. With CoderNotes, I made the mistake of waiting to build the MVP before finding out how I could acquire customers, which was a huge mistake.

For Software Ideas, I decided to test channels first.

I did this by taking some of my existing research at the time, formatting it into a post (check out the original post here), and including the following snippet at the bottom:

“I’m considering making posts like this every week if there is enough interest.

If you would like (and would pay for) posts like these, reach out to me through my email. I’m giving away another free post just like this one to the people who email me there!

Thanks for reading and I hope you found it valuable!”

I then went and shared the post across a number of different channels, such as Twitter, Reddit, and Indie Hackers.

Those posts led to email conversations (which I’ve posted publicly) that resulted in over $200 of pre-sales before the newsletter even had a name!

This is a huge piece of why I decided to go through with creating the product and it set the stage for Software Ideas’ success and rapid growth to $10K+ MRR. 

However, things have changed as the business has matured.

Here’s how Software Ideas is growing currently.

The number one way that people sign up for a premium subscription of the newsletter is after signing up for the free email list. The free version offers a weekly preview of all the market research and down-market opportunities we cover for the week.

Kevin Conti

Out of the top 10 ways that users have signed up over the past six months, the bulk has been from the free email list:

kevin conti software ideas Saas products

As such, the main focus for our growth is getting as many interested users on the free email list as possible. That’s why if you head to, you will only see one call-to-action (CTA) to pay for the newsletter, but three CTAs to sign up for the free email list.

In fact, our above-the-fold CTA isn’t even to pay for the product – we just want you to see the research and judge it yourself!

software ideas review

Most of our traffic originally came from founder communities such as Indie Hackers and Twitter, but as we’ve grown, our organic traffic from Google has slowly started to eclipse these other channels.

If you look at the last 30 days of traffic, Google brings us nearly double the traffic that Indie Hackers does.

kevin conti

Right now, the main focus of the company from a marketing perspective is to continue to invest in SEO/organic traffic as well as word-of-mouth by adding an affiliate program and a referral program.

Jolly SEO and Link Sourcery have partnered with NichePursuits this week to take your HARO outreach to the next level.

Get $50 Off Jolly SEO Link Building


For those that prefer the DIY option. Linksourcery is offering anyone who signs up for the $25/month Founder’s Tier, free coaching with detailed feedback on your first 3 HARO pitches.

Get DA75+ Links with Jolly and LinkSourcery


What does Churn look like for your business?

Customers tend to leave for 3 major reasons:

  • They are no longer interested in starting a company, so the newsletter is no longer required
  • They have discovered a business idea that they’re working on (either from the newsletter or externally) and no longer need the ideas and market research
  • They have a difference in values when it comes to what makes a good business idea (most rare) 

I have a different feeling around each category.

For category #1, I consider these churns a wash.

Software Ideas is specifically for very serious founders who are actively looking for their next software business, and if customers fall out of that category then there’s not much we can do to keep them.

For category #2, I consider it a success!

People who leave because they’ve started a company and no longer need the newsletter have received good value from the newsletter!

That said, there is still so much that Software Ideas can do to support early-stage founders. A lot of our product direction in the future will be based on helping founders go from “idea” to “traction”, which includes The Foundation course that I’m working on now.

Category #3 is rare, but it does happen.

The people who fall into category #3 are typically big believers in the “scratch your own itch” type of idea. This is the opposite premise the newsletter was founded on.

After all, the point of the research was so that I would avoid “scratching my own itch” and instead focus on profitable ideas for myself. These founders are very selective about which ideas they’ll consider, and typically I end up refunding them and wishing them luck.

What have you learned through building your business?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that most early-stage founders are focused on completely the wrong aspects of their company.

It’s natural to focus on the product/MVP above all else. After all, that’s what people are going to be buying, and it needs to be good enough for customers to love it!

But for most founders I talk to, the hardest part of building a company isn’t writing the code (or using no-code tools) to build the actual product. It may be the most time-consuming, but it isn’t the hardest part.

The hardest part is the general category of “marketing.” Most founders I talk to want to have a few customer discovery calls, and if nothing comes up that kills the project they go straight into a building mode.

Kevin Conti

What’s worked best for me is to be far more focused on the distribution channels, trying to get a clear picture of how new potential customers can find out about Software Ideas. I focused on that aspect of the business early on which has made the initial growth much easier. It also allowed me to get an understanding of whether or not it was an idea worth pursuing.

For this reason, I always include a list of high-potential distribution channels for each idea in the Software Ideas newsletter. I want to make sure that we’re emphasizing the importance of exploring these channels, and not just handing subscribers an MVP with no way for them to turn that into an actual business.

Can you share examples of success from your customers?

I’m actually working with a couple of Software Ideas subscribers right now to make some case studies from the businesses that they’ve formed! Unfortunately at this point, I don’t have permission to share company names or more information, so I can’t speak about these in public yet.

That being said, here are some founders that are building in public that I can speak about.

  • Ganesh Mani (@ganeshmani009 on Twitter) built and launched CrossPost App and reached #2 Product of the Day on Product Hunt!
  • Chris Davies created Rentify based on the Software Ideas newsletter, which he then launched on AppSumo. Based on the questions on the AppSumo page, it looks like he may have had some technical issues, but I know that he’s seen a number of sales from this promotion alone.
  • One reader (who may wish to remain anonymous) is building a very cool product called VexMap, a UX error monitoring software that’s currently in a free beta as they explore their positioning in the market.

What tools do you use for your newsletter?

I think that there’s some real opportunity here!

Substack, which is often used in this situation, is a horrible solution for a paid newsletter (in my opinion) – 10% fees plus payment processing fees is just ridiculous for someone looking to turn a profit.

I currently use a home-grown solution. I use MailChimp for the email aspects of Software Ideas, Stripe for billing, and I wrote my own Phoenix application for the membership site, which is where the newsletter archive lives.

If I were to do it over again, I’d look closer at Ghost as a blogging solution, but overall I’m quite happy with my setup for now.

What keeps you going when things are tough?

Ha! I could talk about this forever.

I’ve recently started sharing some of what’s been going on in my personal life over the past few months. Long story short, I’ve been dealing with some serious health issues in my family that completely changed how I’ve been able to work on the business.

Before, I probably would have made some platitudes about how to handle things falling apart, but I’d like to be real here – when you have things going on in your life that are more important than the company you’re founding, it’s one of the hardest things that you go through. What’s more, there’s no easy answer I could share with you, even if I knew the answer myself.

The one thing that has worked for me is to stay grounded.

Kevin Conti

It’s important to be honest with yourself as a founder, which can be difficult to do. All I could do when things were at their worst was to admit to myself that I wasn’t going to be able to accomplish everything I wanted to do and to try to be okay with it.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do when everything feels like it’s falling apart is to have someone there who can support you. Not just emotionally, but actually helping pick up the slack in the business. Being a solo founder is tough because most of the time it’s just you.

If you have people in your life who care about you and are willing to help where they can, even if it’s just answering support questions, it is a huge help in tough times.

Advice for other SaaS founders who are just starting out?

I’m fortunate in that I get to talk to a lot of founders that are just starting out. I get to see the most common mistakes that are being made, as well as the type of founders that end up being successful.

The biggest insight I have into the process of starting a company is to focus on:

  • traction
  • marketing
  • distribution channels

And, to focus early on in the process!

For most engineers, building a product isn’t hard, it’s fun! And it might be challenging, but it’s almost never impossible.

So many engineers, myself included, fall for the trap of thinking that the hard part of starting a company is building the product that people want to buy. But that’s usually not the case! The hard part is finding ways to reliably attract new leads and customers.

In contrast, finding distribution channels is hard! You have to try a lot of them, and you never really know if your experiments failed because the channel legitimately isn’t a good fit or if you just did a bad job.

And for many products, it turns out that finding a single channel to acquire customers never happens or happens too late.

If you’re building a product but don’t have any experiments to prove that the channels you think will drive traffic to your product actually work, I highly recommend you start exploring ways to test it out.

The Best Free Graphic Design Software for Marketers and Beginners

The Best Free Graphic Design Software for Marketers and Beginners

When it comes to website success, what you see is what you get. While compelling text, blog, and social media content can help set your brand apart from the competition, the visual appeal of your site is the first thing users see when they follow backlinks or click through on search engine results.

Recent research found that it takes just 2.6 seconds for users’ eyes to focus on a specific area of your website. What’s more, it takes just 0.05 seconds for visitors to form a general first impression of your site — meaning you’ve got just one opportunity to change their minds or reinforce this impression, and it happens in the first three seconds of arrival.

As a result, it’s critical to create webpages that are both aesthetically appealing and contextually relevant. For larger businesses, this often means hiring dedicated graphic designers to develop eye-catching designs and deploy them consistently across web pages, but SMB budgets may not support this type of spending.

Take our free Graphic Design Essentials Course on HubSpot Academy to learn  design fundamentals and how to create simple designs.

What it Takes to Have a Great Design

Advanced graphic design skills require practice, practice, practice. Great designers can take one look at your webpage and see where current visual elements aren’t performing, then create visual content options that capture both your brand position and aesthetic style. But what about website and business owners who can’t afford the skills of a master graphic designer? How can they jumpstart the process of improving their site’s visual appeal?

The first step is taking a step back. Open your own webpage in multiple browsers and see what stands out. What’s the first thing you notice? Is it a specific image — or lack thereof? Is the image clear and concise, and does it drive action? What about the text formatting, color, and font? Here, the goal isn’t to drill down and analyze the nitty-gritty details of website design but instead put yourself in the digital shoes of a site visitor.

It’s also a good idea to ask for feedback from other staff members along with friends and family. While this comes with natural bias — they want your site to succeed, after all — it can help identify persistent or problematic visual elements and suggest an initial course of action.

In this piece, we’ll examine some of the best free graphic design software tools, where this software fits into your website strategy, and how they can help capture user interest from the moment they arrive.

What is the Best Free Graphic Design Software?

If your research turns up a problem — your images aren’t compelling, your text is hard to read and your color scheme hurts the eyes — you need a simple solution.

Free graphic design software offers the ability to customize the look and feel of your site without breaking the bank. But with a host of options on the market, which is the best fit for your business?

Two broad factors impact this outcome: Your current graphical ability and your potential use case. For example, if you have no experience with graphic tools of any kind, look for a solution that’s simple, streamlined, and does most of the work behind-the-scenes. If you have a graphic design background or natural inclination, tools with more robust customization and control may be a better fit.

If you’re planning to revamp your entire site with new colors, images, logos, and menus, meanwhile, you’ll need an in-depth solution that provides this level of control. If you’re starting small with minor changes to your color scheme or image quality, this kind of granular adjustment isn’t necessary.

So which software tool is the best fit for your business? Here’s a look at five free graphic design tools and some pros and cons for each.

The Best Free Graphic Design Software for Beginners and Mac Owners

The Best Free Graphic Design Software for Beginners

1. DesignWizard

designwizarrd interface

DesignWizard ranks among the best free graphic design software for beginners. The tool offers a large database of images along with a host of free templates (over 10,000) plus a simple, easy-to-use interface. You can also quickly create custom templates, but where DesignWizard excels is as a front-line, free graphic design tool for beginners.

Despite an easy-to-use interface and no upfront costs, it’s worth noting that most of the more powerful options in DesignWizard are only available in its for-pay version.

2. Setka Editor

Setka editor user interface

Setka bills itself as “everything you need to create content that converts”. This graphic design software is primarily focused on delivering enhanced content branding across your website, ad campaigns and social media posts — and works from within your current CMS or in the cloud.

The caveat? Although the Setka Editor is free to try for two weeks, companies will need to select a plan — Starter, Pro, or Enterprise — to unlock the full feature set and keep using Setka.

3. Canva

Whether you’re looking to create an ebook, infographic, business card, or email header, Canva has a template to simplify your process. The free web design tool, developed by non-designers, offers professional, easy-to-customize templates for just about any design need you can think of.

The drawback? You might need to invest in the paid version or try one of the more advanced free graphic design softwares as you skill up. While Canva’s free version is great for new designers working with templates, you can access more complex tools and features — such as team sharing — in the paid version.

4. Adobe Spark

adobe spark user interface

Adobe Spark is a free alternative to the company’s popular, for-pay Adobe Illustrator. While it’s not nearly as full-featured it does support integration with other Adobe products, is easy to use and comes with a host of free templates. If you’re looking to quickly create posters or videos for ad campaigns, Spark is a great choice.

The potential drawback? A limited feature set makes this a great starting point for beginners but less useful for more in-depth projects or experienced designers. Spark is available for both web and mobile, however, meaning you design anywhere, anytime.

Best Free Graphic Design Software for Mac

5. Krita

Krita is a free, open-source painting program made by artists, for artists. Ongoing development of this tool depends on donations and is driven by the needs of the designer community at large. It’s no surprise, then, that Krita includes a customizable user interface, feature-rich toolset, and a comprehensive resource manager.

For businesses looking to boost their graphic design impact, Krita is a great tool — if they have the help of an experienced designer. For companies in need of simple, streamlined solutions, meanwhile, other software on this list offers a better fit for beginners.

6. Gravit

Gravit is a vector design application created by the makers of Corel Draw. With a host of tools for creating vector art and a self-adjusting interface, Gravit earns its place among the best free graphic design software for Mac and Windows — the tool is also available for ChromeOS and Linux.

graphic designer software

Image Source

Worth noting? When you sign up for a free trial of Gravit you automatically get access to “Pro” features including the ability to work offline and see version history. However, you lose these features when your trial is up unless you’re willing to pay for a subscription.

Creating a Great First Impression

The first thing users see when they land on your website significantly impacts their perception of your brand — and their likelihood to become paying customers. The right free graphic design software can help ensure your site delivers visual value from first impressions to eventual purchases and streamlines the process of ongoing aesthetic adjustment.

New call-to-action

Best HR Software

Best HR Software

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Human resources can be a tough department to manage. From hiring to onboarding, employee scheduling, and HR compliance, there are dozens of responsibilities being juggled.

What if an employee wants to view an old paystub? How does someone access information about their vacation days or benefits?

Without the right technology, it’s a hassle for everyone involved. 

That’s why HR software has become so popular over the years. Businesses of all sizes across every industry are leveraging these tools to reduce bottlenecks and improve workflows in their HR departments while simultaneously improving the employee experience. 

Interested in getting HR software, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place. 

The Top 5 Options For HR Software

  1. Namely — Best HR Software For Employee Self-Service
  2. APS— The Best HR Software For Payroll
  3. BerniePortal — The Best HRIS Software
  4. Workday — Best For Human Capital Management (HCM)
  5. Kissflow — Best HR Software For Onboarding and Applicant Tracking

How to Choose the Best HR Software For You

There’s no one-size-fits-all HR software. Products have evolved to meet the needs of businesses that face very different challenges.

Some companies need a system to recruit, hire, and onboard hundreds of people each month. Others just want something dependable for payroll and benefits.

You know your organization’s situation better than anyone else. Which capabilities are going to make the biggest difference for HR and employees?

Let’s walk through the major features of HR software, and how they can make a positive impact.

Employee Self-Service

HR software with an employee self-service portal is a must-have in today’s day and age. This portal will give your staff access to crucial information, without having to call, email, or physically visit the HR department.

Want to access the employee handbook? Log in and look it up. Have questions about your benefits? It’s available in the portal. Need to request a day off? Just a few clicks away.

All of this information, and more, is available 24/7. So if one of your employees is sitting home on a Saturday night and wants to look at an old paystub, they don’t have to wait until 9:00 AM Monday morning to call HR.

As a result, everyone on your team will be more productive, and your HR staff won’t be wasting time answering questions all day.

Mobile Access

The best HR software will have a free mobile app. 

This app can be used on the employee side for the self-service tools mentioned above, but it’s also helpful from an administrative perspective. HR managers and other admins can complete tasks and view important information in real-time from anywhere. HR responsibilities won’t be tied to a physical office.

In some cases, you can even use these apps to communicate with your employees. They can opt-in for notifications delivered straight to their devices, which can reach them faster than an email.

Payroll and Benefits Administration

The vast majority of HR solutions will allow you to run payroll directly through the platform. This isn’t necessarily a make or break feature; it depends on your personal needs.

But since HR and payroll typically go hand-in-hand, lots of businesses look for an all-in-one solution for the two.

If you’re happy with your current payroll solution and don’t want to switch, that’s fine too. See if you can find an HR software that integrates with whatever you’re using for payroll. Your HR team and employees will like having access to everything from a single place. 


Efficiency is the main concept behind using HR software. Nothing is more efficient than automating repetitive tasks. 

Look for software that eliminates manual labor. For example, some HR tools will automatically track and calculate time-off requests, taxes, government filings, and more. Think about how much money you’ll save in labor hours if you can eliminate even just 5-10 hours per week on these types of tasks. At scale, the savings are astronomical. 

Company Size

Another way to narrow down your choices is by looking for software that fits the needs of your business size. 

A small business with 15 employees won’t have the same HR needs as firm with 150 employees or an enterprise with 1,500 employees. It sounds simple, but so many companies overlook this aspect. 

Larger organizations will have more complex HR needs that some software just won’t accommodate. On the flip side, small businesses usually won’t need all of the features offered by certain HR solutions. 

The Different Types of HR Software

HR software is actually a pretty broad term. As you know, there are so many different aspects and components of human resources. Certain types of HR software have been developed to meet these specialized needs.

Here’s a brief overview of the main types of HR software available on the market today. 

HCM Software

HCM stands for “human capital management.” 

This type of HR software primarily focuses on how individuals are managed within a company in terms of systems and HR policies. Talent management is a large component of HCM software.

It’s common for HCM tools to have features for onboarding, performance management, salary planning, training, succession planning, benefits administration, and more. 

Lots of HR professionals consider HCM software to be an advanced version of HR software.

HRMS Software

HRMS stands for “human resource management system.” 

In most cases, HRMS software will include lots of the HCM software features. But there are two characteristics that all true HRMS solutions have in common—payroll and TLM (time & labor management).

Not every HRMS software will have employee scheduling features, but many do. There are standalone software products for time & labor management that are commonly referred to as “workforce management” software. But these typically fall under the umbrella of HRMS.

HRIS Software

Human resource information system—or HRIS for short—is a tool built for managing people, policies, and procedures.   

HRIS software typically includes all core HR features. But this type of software will usually have solutions for absence management, benefits administration, recruiting, compensation management, workflows, self-service portals, training, employee development, and reporting. 

Lots of this can be open for interpretation from software to software, but these are the core components you’ll likely find in an HRIS solution. 

ATS Software

ATS software is an “applicant tracking system.” 

This is a very specific type of HR software. In many cases, ATS software gets branded as a standalone product without core HR features. But with that said, lots of all-in-one HR solutions have features for applicant tracking. 

ATS software is highly beneficial for companies who are recruiting and onboarding at scale. The software makes it easier for you to find top-level talent, qualify them, schedule interviews, and onboard new hires. 

Payroll Software

Larger businesses may have separate departments for HR and payroll. But in most cases, the two go hand-in-hand. Payroll is typically considered to be a component of HR. Some of you might already be using an online payroll provider. 

Not every HR software has payroll features (although many do). And not every payroll software has every core HR feature.

This is another scenario where lots of payroll solutions are branded as standalone products from HR. But there are plenty of all-in-one HR solutions that include payroll processing capabilities. However, this is usually an add-on package. 

#1 – Namely Review — Best HR Software For Employee Self-Service

Namely is an all-in-one solution for HR, talent management, payroll, and benefits. The platform makes it easy for businesses to improve their HR processes while remaining compliant. It’s trusted by 1,400+ organizations worldwide.

The software is actually branded as a “people operations platform.” It includes features for employee management, onboarding, talent management, recruiting, time and attendance, analytics, and more.

I’d say that Namely definitely falls into the HRIS category.

I like Namely because the software is designed to improve employee engagement. It gives your staff access to all of the HR information they could possibly need from an easy-to-use employee portal.

The software can be accessed from anywhere from the Namely mobile app. You can even use Namely to share company news, improve communication, and set up a company directory. 

Namely’s core HR package comes with tools and features like:

  • Onboarding
  • Performance and goal tracking
  • Task lists
  • Time off management
  • Compliance database
  • E-signature
  • Employee self-service and workflows
  • Custom fields

Then there are add-ons and extensions for things like payroll, benefits administration, recruiting, time & attendance, and managed services. 

Overall, Namely is a good fit for midsize organizations. 

#2 – APS Review — The Best HR Software For Payroll

The acronym “APS” actually stands for “Automatic Payroll Systems.” As this name clearly implies, payroll is their specialty. 

But with that said, APS is not a standalone payroll software; it’s an all-in-one solution for HR and payroll alike. 

In addition to payroll, APS has HR features for benefits administration, performance management, employee scheduling, recruiting, onboarding, compliance, employee self-service, and more. They also have industry-specific solutions for healthcare, restaurants, wholesalers, nonprofits, manufacturing, hospitality, financial services, and other unique categories. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the top benefits of using APS for payroll:

  • Streamline tax compliance with accuracy, timeliness, and wage garnishment
  • Automate your tax system to reduce your burden and risk
  • Reduce time spent processing payroll with paycheck reconciliation
  • Automate federal, state, and local tax filings
  • Improve your efficiencies and reduce costs with paperless payroll processing

The self-service tools provided by APS are outstanding; on the employee end and administrative sides alike. 

More than 2,000 businesses across different industries rely on APS. For those of you looking for an all-in-one solution for HR and payroll, APS should be at the top of your list. 

#3 – BerniePortal Review — The Best HRIS Software

BerniePortal isn’t as well-known as some of the other HR solutions available on the market today. But that shouldn’t be a reason for you to pass up on considering it. In terms of HRIS software, BerniePortal really has everything you could possibly need.

For those of you who want to use technology to improve the total lifecycle management of your employees, BerniePortal should be at the top of your list.

BerniePortal was founded back in 2008, so they have over a decade of experience in the HR software space. The software has been deployed in 5,000+ HR departments in all 50 states, and it has 210,000+ active users.

Why BerniePortal? Let’s take a closer look at what this HRIS software has to offer.

  • Attract and retain top-level talent with benefits administration
  • Compliance, custom enrollment, and payroll reporting
  • Improve productivity and engagement with seamless employee onboarding 
  • Collaborative hiring decisions with built-in applicant tracking features
  • PTO tracking, time-off management, and custom policies
  • Tools for time and attendance tracking with detailed reporting
  • Mobile access with employee self-service tools
  • Performance management and compliance features

You can even use BerniePortal for things like IRS filings. While the software doesn’t have built-in payroll features, it can seamlessly integrate with your existing payroll system. 

Most of the BerniePortal features start at $5 per employee per month, with a $15 base fee.

#4 – Workday Review — Best For Human Capital Management (HCM)

Workday is a popular HR software with a unique twist. Every component of the tool is focused on finance. It helps you manage your HR processes while always keeping your bottom line in mind—all from a single platform.

The software is used by industry leaders in a wide range of categories. Some of the well-known companies that rely on Workday include Visa, Toyota, Salesforce, CE, Target, Charles Schwab, and Adobe.

Overall, Workday is pretty versatile. The software has solutions for human capital management, talent management, enterprise planning, payroll and workforce management, spend management, and more. 

Workday is robust, but also really easy to use. You’ll benefit from features like:

  • Automation to eliminate manual work and improve productivity
  • Advanced analytics to guide decision making
  • Improve communication and engagement
  • Machine learning to identify employees’ skills
  • Time tracking tools
  • Compensation, payroll, and benefits administration
  • Employee directories and self-service tools

The software can also adapt as your HCM needs evolve over time. 

Another reason why Workday ranks so high on our list is because of its industry-specific HR solutions across a wide range of categories. Some of these include healthcare, government, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, professional services, energy, and more. 

#5 – Kissflow Review — Best HR Software For Onboarding and Applicant Tracking

Kissflow is one of my favorite tools for managing HR processes. It’s a top choice for businesses that want to improve the talent management aspect of human resources.

The software comes with features for applicant tracking, employee onboarding, attendance management, absence management, leave management, and employee offboarding.

With Kissflow, you’ll benefit from features and functionality like:

  • Get open jobs in front of top-level talent at the perfect time
  • Improve employee engagement
  • Employee self-service tools
  • 360-degree feedback and evaluations
  • Customizable HR solutions

Kissflow is definitely designed for larger teams. Pricing starts at $690 per month, which includes 100 users. Enterprise rates with unlimited users start at $1,290 per month.

The downside of Kissflow is that it’s not a true all-in-one HR solution. It focuses on certain areas but lacks functionality for things like payroll. With that said, Kissflow does have a wide range of integrations, so you can sync it with your existing tools. 


Every business can benefit from HR software. This statement holds true regardless of your company size or industry.

But before you finalize a decision, make sure you go through the process explained in this guide. Figure out what type of HR software fits your needs the best, then follow the methodology that I explained earlier. 

The five solutions recommended in this guide will be the best place for you to start your search.