Charlie vs Hibob:

What's Better For UK Startups & SMBs?

Try CharlieHR for free

Free for 7 days


No credit card needed   


Cancel any time

Charlie vs hibobCharlie vs hibob

We get it. Choosing HR software is not easy. It can put a lot of pressure on your shoulders: after all, this is a decision that can shape the way you do HR at your business.

If you’re currently comparing various HR platforms and trying to find the right one for your company, you’re in the right place.

On this page, you’ll find an in-depth CharlieHR vs Hibob comparison including pros and cons of each HR software.

So, let’s dive right into it.

Why is CharlieHR the best fit for startups and small businesses?

CharlieHR gives you all the tools to automate your HR processes and save hours on HR admin every week.

We’re a startup ourselves, and have thoughtfully designed Charlie’s features to meet the needs of small businesses like ours:

  • Find freedom from HR admin – automate time off, onboard new hires in one click and get all your data in one place.
  • Get what you need, fast, with faff-free software setup – maximise your time with Charlie’s quick setup and user-friendly interface, no training required for your team.
  • Unlock high performance – give your team the high-impact performance reviews they need (without drowning in admin)
  • Build a great place to work – foster an environment where team members feel valued with engagement surveys that take their opinions on board and perks that give them the right rewards.
  • Get expert advice on any HR challenge – instant answers to your People questions, by phone, email or live chat
  • Transparent and affordable pricing — pay based on your company size (£5/month for up to 4 employees, £40/month for 4-14, £100/month for 15-29)

Designed for small businesses and startups

How easy is it to set up Charlie and Hibob?

Hibob’s myriad of features can be “too much too soon” for a small business or startup that’s short on time, especially because you’ll need a technical advisor to set you up. From talking to Hibob customers, we learned that their platform setup and training can keep you busy for over a month, on top of costing you a hefty setup fee.

With Charlie, you get up and running in no time. You can start using the platform from the moment you sign up, and its user-friendly interface means you don’t need your team to go through any type of training. There are no hidden fees: setting up Charlie is free.

How do Charlie and Hibob’s features meet the needs of small businesses?

Having tons of features and options, as Hibob does, can be appealing when you first choose HR software, but bear in mind you’ll probably end up not using all of these and you risk overwhelming your team members. The last thing you want is to pay for a complex HR software that is too daunting for your team to use. 

At CharlieHR we did a lot of research to narrow down the needs of small businesses and startups. By listening to them, we’ve focused on core HR functions like time off management, onboarding and performance reviews, so that small companies can smoothly transition from manual processes to automation. This way, teams can make the best use of the platform and easily find their way across the different features.

James, GoSquared

Every time I recommend CharlieHR to a fellow startup founder I insist that it’s never too soon. If you have any intention of hiring, it’s going to save you so much time and energy."

— James, GoSquared

Automation of repetitive admin tasks

Employee Onboarding: CharlieHR vs Hibob

Onboarding is key to retaining your new hires and setting them up for success in their role, which is why both Charlie and Hibob offer:

  • Automated onboarding flows that allow new hires to upload their own documents and fill in their details directly into the software
  • Customised onboarding that gives your new starter a taste of your company culture
  • Checklists so that everyone – from new starter to IT team – knows what they have to do and when

In addition to this, Charlie can also host your company handbook directly into the platform. This is a great way to have new hires get to know the ins and outs of the company, and have your handbook on hand at all times.

Rachael, Koru Kids

CharlieHR saved our bacon! As a business owner, I was completely overwhelmed by HR paperwork.

— Rachael, Koru Kids

Team performance and engagement

Performance Reviews: CharlieHR vs Hibob

Performance reviews at Hibob are quite complex for a small business or startup to make best use of. 

Hibob’s Performance Management feature requires your company to already have a well-established review process in place — you then pick the tool that most closely matches your existing performance reviews. This may work well for a large company, but small teams that are just starting out may easily get lost in the amount of options. 

At Charlie, we tackled this challenge differently. We created a straightforward three-step review process that's more impactful and user-friendly, and can be rolled out automatically:

  • Team members submit self-assessments
  • Managers share their feedback
  • Review meetings take place

We also included a lot of tips from industry experts, providing team members and team managers alike with insightful advice to get the most from the performance review process.

Both Charlie and Hibob offer 360-degree reviews where employees can collect feedback from their peers.

Engagement surveys: CharlieHR vs Hibob

Hibob and Charlie both offer engagement surveys to help foster the right culture at your company: built-in templates, customised questions, anonymous results, etc.

Charlie, however, takes it up a notch with weekly micro polls to build a feedback habit at the heart of your business, and built-in templates designed by industry experts to make sure your people’s voices are heard.

Perks: CharlieHR vs Hibob

Small businesses and startups often can’t afford to offer generous perks and benefits to their employees — which makes it hard for them to compete with bigger businesses when it comes to hiring and retention.

Charlie is the only HR software on the market that provides perks at no extra cost with discounts on more than 30,000 brands for your team members.

Shoutouts: CharlieHR vs Hibob

Both Charlie and Hibob offer fun ways for your employees to celebrate each other's achievements.

Hibob has a ‘Kudos’ feature where team members can recognise someone else’s success by posting an appreciation message on the platform’s homepage.

Charlie has a similar feature called ‘Shoutouts’ where the message is also shared on Slack for everyone to celebrate and congratulate the team member who went above and beyond.

Charlotte, Born Social

Charlie is central to creating an amazing culture – enabling us to hire the best people.

— Charlotte, Born Social

Expert HR guidance

One-to-one HR support with Charlie’s HR Advice

When it comes to HR, it can be difficult to know what’s right for your business. Our HR Advice service can help you with these challenges: 

  • Ensure your policies and contracts are fully compliant
  • Get a bespoke company handbook crafted by an expert
  • Get advice from a team of experts with over 20 years of experience in the moments you need it most (via email, phone or live chat)

Hibob doesn’t offer any type of HR advice.

Ben Wharfe, Chief People Officer at Fiit

With HR Advice, it’s like having an extra member on your team. You have that kind of expertise you can lean on whenever you need it, without needing to hire someone into the business.

— Ben Wharfe, Chief People Officer at Fiit

Be ready for any HR challenge

With HR Advice, you get access to a dedicated HR advisor to help you get fully compliant and achieve your People goals.

Book a free call
Alisa Mistry HR advisor at Charlie HR

Customer service and pricing

Customer service: CharlieHR vs Hibob

Customers who switched from Hibob to Charlie report that Hibob often refers their customers back to their FAQs instead of directly dealing with their issues.

Charlie offers a responsive support platform with real people who take time and consideration to look into every issue and help customers as much as possible.

They are extremely responsive when you need urgent support and are willing to create new templates and processes to support you.

— Vicky, Elder

Hibob’s pricing 

Hibob's pricing is unfortunately not available on their website, so you’ll have to get in touch with them for a quote, meaning you won’t have a clear idea of potential costs and you’ll risk getting tons of unwanted follow-up from their sales team.

Not all of Hibob’s features are included in their basic plan, so you may end up being charged extra depending on your needs.

Also, the fact that Hibob’s pricing is not transparent means different types of companies can be charged in different ways. Ex-Hibob customers told us they used to pay around £10 per employee per month, but companies with more than 200 employees may get volume discounts. 

CharlieHR’s pricing

Charlie understands how important transparent pricing is from the get-go for small businesses and startups, and that’s why all pricing information is available on our website.

Pricing starts at £5 per month, inclusive of all features, and varies depending on the number of team members at your business.

We also offer a 7-day free trial to let you have a look around and decide if Charlie is the right thing for you.

Our HR Advice service is £179/month for companies with less than 10 team members; or £299/month for larger businesses.

1-4 team members

£5 per month

5-14 team members

£40 per month

15-29 team members

£100 per month

30-49 team members

£170 per month

50-99 team members

£300 per month

100-149 team members

£400 per month

150-199 team members

£500 per month

200-249 team members

£600 per month

250+ team members

£700 per month

Why choose CharlieHR over Hibob?

There are many reasons why small companies choose CharlieHR over HiBob: 

  • CharlieHR has been designed with small businesses and startups in mind with quick and easy setup, user-friendly UI, centralisation of admin tasks and the exact number of features your business needs to thrive
  • CharlieHR automates your repetitive admin tasks with a smooth and tailored onboarding experience, a time off management system and all of your employee records in one place
  • CharlieHR helps you build and engaged and high-performing team with automated performance reviews, engagement surveys, perks, and a built-in handbook
  • CharlieHR removes the need for an HR person, with HR advice on demand to help with small to big queries
  • CharlieHR offers great service and pricing with responsive customer support and transparent pricing that’s got no hidden fees

If you’re still not sure whether CharlieHR is fit for your small business or startup, you can try it free for 7 days. No credit card required.

Try Charlie for free

With Charlie, you have everything you need to manage your team and craft your culture – no HR experience required.

Start your 7-day trial

Make your HR effortless