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Product Review

Rippling Review 2024

Stackfix's expert review of Rippling - a powerful, all-in-one HRIS.

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Steph Leung

Stackfix Expert

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What is Rippling?

Managing the complexities of HR, IT and Finance is no small feat. But what if there was one platform to rule them all?

Enter Rippling.

Originally launched as payroll software in the US in 2016, Rippling has become one of the most highly regarded end-to-end HR platforms, managing everything from recruiting and training to payroll and compliance.

But is it really as seamless as it sounds? And more importantly, is it the right HRIS solution for your business? To answer these questions, our team of experts spent a full month evaluating Rippling - here’s our take.

Stackfix's Verdict

Strengths

Richest functionality out of all HRIS’s

Most advanced reporting of all HRIS’s

Most advanced automation of all HRIS’s

Intuitive employee user experience

Weaknesses

Steep learning curve for reporting and automation

New functionality missing some advanced features

Expensive, and forces an annual contract

Best for

Businesses based in USA, UK, Canada, Australia, France or Ireland

Who need a HRIS with very rich functionality, including integrated Payroll and Applicant Tracking System ‍

And/ or who need the deepest automation, reporting and customization functionality

Less good For

Businesses based in other countries

Or who only need basic HRIS functionality (i.e. to store employee information and track absences)

Or who are operating on a tight budget

What does Rippling do?

Rippling is a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) software.‍

HRIS’s store, manage and track employee-related data, on top of streamlining core HR processes. With Rippling, you can:

  • Store employee information
  • Store employee Documents
  • Approve and track employee absences
  • Create onboarding and offboarding workflows
  • Run performance management
  • Manage learning and development
  • Send feedback surveys to employees

But Rippling goes even further than most HRIS’s. Specifically, it extends its capabilities into Finance, IT Management and Global HR, by enabling you to:

  • Run payroll
  • Administer employee benefits
  • Provision and manage employee hardware (devices) & software (SaaS Apps)
  • Hire and pay global employees (via its Employer of Record services)
  • Automate global compliance

For a full list of functionality, see Rippling's pricing page.

What does Rippling look like?

Strengths

Richest Functionality out of all HRIS’s

Of the 20+ HRISs we’ve tested, Rippling stands out when it comes to its sheer range of features and the number of other software products it can integrate with. From hire to retire, you can manage, automate and analyze almost every part of the employee lifecycle.

Rippling's home page
Rippling allows you to manage nearly all employee-related tasks within a single platform, all while maintaining a sleek, modern look and feel. It's powerful and user-friendly—a rare gem in the HRIS world.

Two capabilities that set Rippling apart from many other HRIS’s are its integrated Payroll and App & Device Management.

Rippling’s Payroll functionality (currently available in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, France and Ireland*) enables organisations to run payroll by themselves, removing the need to pay a 3rd party service provider. It takes employee data you’ve uploaded into Rippling, such as leave, hours worked (for part-time employees/contractors), pensions, benefits, and so on — and automatically calculates the taxes and net pay per employee, produces payslips and files taxes with the relevant local authority.

A gif showing how to run payroll natively within Rippling
Running payroll takes a couple of clicks on Rippling  - a welcome break from the dark days of editing spreadsheets and chasing your accountant for payroll updates. 

Another standout feature is Rippling’s App and Device Management functionality, which meaningfully speeds up employee onboarding. Instead of spending days chasing IT for access and pinging finance about payroll, we love how you can easily order and set up a new hire’s laptop, give them access to the apps they need, and add them to payroll - all in one single workflow.

*Payroll will also be available in Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain in Feb 2024.

Most Advanced Reporting of all HRIS’s

Rippling’s reporting capability is the best we’ve seen out of HRIS’s that target small and medium-sized businesses. It allows users to pull data from all its modules and connected apps, giving you access to thousands of data points like employee satisfaction, Diversity & Inclusion info, benefits and more.

A screen showing Rippling's advanced custom reporting features
We’re probably not exaggerating when we say the reports you can run on Rippling are endless - there are 350 variables in the "employee" bucket alone.

There is also an extensive library of pre-made reports for various use cases. For example, there are over 40 reports focused on recruiting analytics alone - but Rippling doesn't stop there. For power users who want to build reports from scratch, Rippling offers unparalleled flexibility to do so easily. You can combine data however you imagine - like connecting pulse survey data with productivity metrics from Zendesk and Github to see how employee satisfaction and productivity impact each other.

We are convinced that you can run any report your heart (or your founder) desires.

Screen showing the level of customisation possible after a report is created to filter and group data
Rippling even allows you to further customize reports via filters, pivots and chart settings.

Most Advanced Automation of all HRIS’s

Many of the users we talked to raved about Rippling’s powerful trigger-based workflow automations, which give them the ability to automate any HR workflow imaginable.

For example, here are some automation workflows we were able to create for different scenarios:

  • Checking in with underperforming employees: Define a trigger based on low Annual Review scores to automatically schedule 1:1 meetings.
  • Monthly reports: Set up a recurring monthly workflow to compile headcount, diversity, salary reports and send to respective department heads and executives.
  • Bureaucratic nightmare: Set up a seven-layer custom approval flow for a new hire.

For less technical users, Rippling also conveniently provides an extensive library of "Recipes" - ready-to-go automation workflows for common use cases, saving you the hassle of building them from scratch.

Screen showing Rippling's "recipe" screens for pre-configured automation workflows.
For example, under the “Time Off” categories, to prevent burnt-out, Rippling has a “recipe” for alerting employees and their manager if an employee hasn’t taken time-off in the past 6 months.

Intuitive Employee User Experience

Our team has found Rippling’s employee portal to be straightforward and easy-to-use. We appreciate the simplicity of finding everything—from payslips to time-off requests to clocking in and out - a sentiment shared by users we interviewed.

A payday email from Rippling with an fun animation of a dinosaur
The emails Rippling sends on a payday deserve a special mention :)

However, it's worth noting that while Rippling’s UI is clean and modern, we found it to be a bit on the plain side compared to some other HRIS’s (see our Humaans review for comparison).

Weaknesses

Steep Learning Curve for Reporting and Automation

Overall, even with its wide range of complex features, we still found Rippling to be relatively user-friendly for admin / HR managers. In no way was the experienced cluttered or overwhelming, which was a pleasant surprise considering how much it can do.

However, we found that when it comes to Rippling’s reporting and automation modules, there’s a learning curve before you can fully get to grips with them.

If you're new to no-code automation, you might find the sheer number of pre-set report templates and automation workflows a bit of a maze to navigate through. Users we interviewed reported needing a few days to get comfortable building custom reports and workflows from scratch. Rippling does offer free product training courses, which is a nice touch. But, the fact that you might need these courses is a hint of the learning curve you're up against.

New functionality missing some advanced features

Rippling has been rolling out new features, and while they show promise, we’ve noticed that they lack the depth you'd find in more specialized solutions. For instance, their Applicant Tracking System (ATS) doesn't have a Kanban view for quick pipeline tracking or a CV parser to automatically pull candidate info from an uploaded CV. Also, the performance management module still doesn't have an OKR setting function where you can align team and company goals.

We're keeping our fingers crossed though. These features are new, and Rippling has been quick to enhance its product and introduce new features. Given their past performance, we're hopeful that these advanced features are already on the way.

Side-by-side comparison of Ashby and Rippling where Ashby has a Kanban view for recruiting pipelines
In identifying key features of a top-notch ATS, users we interviewed often cited a Kanban view (right) for its clear, snapshot overview of candidates in the recruitment pipeline. 

Expensive, and forces an annual contract

Figuring out Rippling’s pricing can be a bit tricky. Each module (such as EoR, ATS, Payroll, App & Device management) is charged on a per-user-per-month basis, but contracts are a minimum one year. To understand the exact cost, you'll need to have a chat with their sales team. And then there are various 'base' fees to think about. For instance, to use their ATS alone, you're looking at around a $4K base fee*.
*The indicated price is an estimate.

Best for

  • Businesses based in USA, UK, Canada, Australia, France or Ireland
  • Who need a HRIS with very rich functionality, including integrated Payroll and Applicant Tracking System
  • And/ or who need the deepest automation, reporting and customization functionality

Less good for

  • Businesses based in other countries
  • Or who only need basic HRIS functionality (i.e. to store employee information and track absences)
  • Or who are operating on a tight budget

Wrapping up

Few HRIS platforms match Rippling's combination of powerful functionality and ease of use.

And given its pace of innovation, we suspect Rippling will continue to set the bar for HRIS platforms over the next 12 months.

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