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Product Review

Zelt Review 2024

Stackfix's verdict on Zelt - a new HRIS built for startups.

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Paddy Stobbs

Co-Founder & CEO

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What is Zelt?

An HR Information System (HRIS) that actually gets people excited to use it?

‍Enter Zelt.

Zelt packs more punch than its minimalist look suggests. It provides a much broader range of functionality than the majority of entry-level HRIS products - whilst keeping the cost low and the UX delightful, making it a strong option for startups and SMBs.

‍‍But is it right for your business? To find out, our team put Zelt through the Stackfix test process. Here’s our verdict.

Stackfix's Verdict

Strengths

Rich functionality, given the price point (including native payroll)

Cost-effective compared to competitors

Delightful look & feel

Weaknesses

Limited global payroll functionality

Lacks a few advanced reporting capabilities

Minor quibbles

Best for

Businesses based in the UK 

Who need a cost-effective, easy-to-use HRIS with rich functionality, including integrated payroll 

And/or who are looking for a tool that is delightful to use

Less good For

Businesses based outside of the UK 

Who need a HRIS with even richer functionality, such as advanced automation, reporting and customisation

What does Zelt do?

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

HRIS’s store, manage and track employee-related data, in addition to streamlining core HR processes. With Zelt, and most HRIS, you’ll find key features like:

  • Store employee information (e.g. Name, Address, Date of Birth etc)
  • Store employee Documents (e.g. ID Document, Visa etc)
  • Approve and track employee absences (for illness or vacation etc)
  • Send employee engagement surveys

Zelt does that and more. Notably, it also enables you to:

  • Manage & pay Payroll
  • Manage Employee Software (SaaS Apps) and Hardware (Devices)
  • Run Performance Reviews‍

See Zelt's pricing page for a full list of functionality.

What does Zelt look like?

Strengths

Rich functionality, given the price point

Not only will Zelt give you the core HR functionality you knew you needed, but it will also give you the extras most organisations we speak to hadn’t thought of (but will likely find valuable).

Most notably, Zelt’s Payroll functionality enables organisations to run payroll by themselves, removing the need to pay a 3rd party service provider (e.g. your accountant) or specialist software provider (e.g. Pento) to do this. It takes employee data you’ve uploaded into Zelt - leave, hours worked (for part-time employees/contractors), pensions, benefits, so on - then automatically calculates the taxes and net pay per employee and produces payslips. For its UK payroll, Zelt will even automatically files taxes with HMRC.

Depending on the cost of your current payroll provider, this could result in significant savings. Plus, it could save you time as it removes the need to liaise with your accountant about payroll updates or log into separate payroll software.

A screenshot of Zelt's payroll UI
Running payroll on Zelt takes a maximum of 3 minutes - simply review payroll details, add custom income like bonuses, then make payments to your employees - and that's it, voila!

Zelt’s ability to Manage Employee Software (SaaS Apps) and Hardware (Devices) also sets it apart from most HRIS products. The hardware component allows you to create records for any laptops/mobile devices that your company has loaned to employees, or even rent hardware from Zelt’s integrated store. On the software side, Zelt enables you to provision certain logins to new joiners, and cancel them at the touch of a button when an employee leaves. Both these capabilities should save you time and money, by removing the need to create and maintain your own records and manually implement changes.

A screenshot of Zelt's Software and Hardware Management UI
Zelt's app/ device management features make onboarding/ offboarding a LOT easier. They enable you to grant or remove software access, and distribute or retrieve hardware, all without leaving the Zelt platform.

However, bear in mind it only works for a limited number of third party applications (e.g. Google Workspace, Slack, Zoom etc), meaning you likely won’t be able to use it for all your company’s SaaS logins. It also lacks the ability to track and rationalise spend, meaning it won’t (yet) be a substitute for a dedicated SaaS management platform (e.g. Vendr, Cledara or Saastrify).

Cost-effective compared to competitors

Zelt offers an affordable entry point at $5 per employee/ month. Payroll, Device management are add-ons that cost $4 per employee/ month each.
This represents excellent value, especially for payroll functionality. (by way of comparison, Pento’s basic payroll functionality also costs ~$6 per employee per month, but it has a minimum spend of ~$180 per month - equivalent to 30 employees). The only caveat here is that Zelt’s pricing starts at a minimum of 10 employees.

Delightful look & feel

Another key strength of Zelt is its delightful usability. The UI is clean and uncluttered, with an abundance of white space that is pleasing on the eye. Small touches, such as icons that animate when hovered over, lend a touch of class, and the platform’s speed is also lightning fast. Crucially, we find Zelt to be very intuitive - we set up onboarding workflows and created performance review cycles and surveys in under 30 minutes with zero guidance. The "Quick actions" menu is a neat addition as well, providing easy access to routine tasks.

A screenshot of Zelt's Homepage UI.
Zelt's homepage is a true gem. It offers the flexibility to add, remove or rearrange widgets, so you can prioritize the info you want front and centre. Whether you want to keep an eye on your time-off balance, action items, or upcoming birthdays or work anniversaries, Zelt has you covered.

Weaknesses

Limited global payroll functionality

Zelt manages UK and global payroll differently. For UK payroll, it conveniently files taxes with HMRC (UK tax authority) automatically. However, for global payroll, Zelt only calculates taxes and salaries. You'll then have to manually download the payroll report and file it with the respective tax authority. In our opinion, this makes Zelt less ideal for teams operating primarily outside the UK.

Lacks a few advanced reporting capabilities

Don’t get us wrong - Zelt’s reporting functionality will be more than sufficient for most businesses. Not only does Zelt offer quick access to insights like headcount by department, gender pay gap, recent joiners and leavers, it also allows you to build and save custom reports within Zelt.

A gif of Zelt's custom reports UI.
Zelt’s custom reports builder is delightfully intuitive - our only gripe is that there are limited variables you can choose from.

However, if you’re looking for the most advanced reporting Zelt may fall short. For example, when building a custom report you can't pull in data from Zelt's performance and survey modules - a limitation that prevents you from extracting insights like the correlation between age and performance or well-being. We also wish Zelt would allow us to visualize our custom reports within the platform (rather than having to download them) - it would make understanding key metrics much more straightforward.

Minor quibbles

Zelt has some smaller imperfections which means it doesn’t yet feel like the finished article. We find it a bit of a drag (pun intended) that you can't rearrange the order of questions in engagement surveys via a simple drag-and-drop. And businesses that use Slack may find it frustrating that you can’t can’t push surveys directly to your employees' Slack inboxes. Finally, whilst Zelt has a good mobile app for employees to manage their details (and time-off requests) on the go, it’s currently iOS-only. We’re looking forward to the Android release :)

A screenshot fo Zelt's mobile app UI.
Zelt’s mobile app also boasts handy features such as easily viewing who’s off at a glance, and requesting/ approving time off with just a click. Sadly, it’s currently only available for iOS - sorry, Android users.

Best for

  • Businesses based in the UK 
  • Who need a cost-effective, easy-to-use HRIS with rich functionality, including integrated payroll 
  • And/or who are looking for a tool that is easy to use

Less good for

  • Businesses based outside of the UK 
  • Who need a HRIS with even richer functionality, such as advanced automation, reporting and customisation

Wrapping up

Zelt is a delightful product that packs much more punch than its price would suggest. If you’re a small or medium-sized business, particularly a UK company seeking a combined HRIS and payroll product, Zelt represents a strong option.

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