Personio vs Hibob:

Which one is best for your business?

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Personio vs HibobPersonio vs Hibob
Joe Hodges

Written by:

Angèle Chevalier

You may have landed on this page, unsure of what to expect. After all, why would we, CharlieHR (software specialised in small businesses and startups) write a guide about Hibob and Personio?

The reason is pretty simple: we’ve done the research and thought it’d be a shame if we kept it all to ourselves.

That’s why we decided to make it public so people like you can decide which software is best for them. So what will it be between Hibob vs Personio? Let’s have a look together to find out.


An all-in-one solution for companies with more than 200 employees  

Why Personio would be a great fit for your business  

Calling themselves the “People Operating System”, Personio is an excellent choice for scaling up your business.

With its wide range of advanced features as well as core HR features, Personio can fit the needs of many different companies – we’ve found, however, that many people who used to have Personio and then switched to Charlie realised one thing: it doesn’t work as much when it comes to small businesses and startups.

Looking at the type of companies that use Personio, it makes sense. Between Lush (400 employees), Emma (600 employees) or Premier Inn (600 employees), we’re far from businesses that have just started out. They’re all more established and need software that’s more sophisticated.

So perhaps this is something to remember when you make your choice, but we’ll come back to it later in this guide.

But first, let’s outline the main reasons why Personio can work for your business with the following core features: 

  • A time tracking tool that makes it easy to record attendance and working hours to adjust pay accordingly 
  • An absence management system to keep on top of employees’ absences whether that’s holidays, sick days or any kind of time off. Team members can request time off through a self-serve system that managers can approve or deny. 
  • An onboarding and offboarding flow for your team members to get a seamless experience when they join 

These are all, of course, pretty standard when it comes to HR software. Every competitor we’ve researched, however, has got their edge.

For Personio, this edge can be found in the way they put an emphasis on the needs of scaling businesses, especially when it comes to recruitment and reporting.

This is what makes Personio stand out from Hibob: 

  • A central HR helpdesk with a concierge to reply to any employee questions such as payslip errors or time off errors – this is a great way to avoid hiring an extra person to deal with HR
  • An applicant tracking system that gives you the opportunity to automate recruitment tasks, streamline collaboration within your hiring team, and make the hire-to-onboarding experience as seamless as possible 
  • An applicant sourcing and posting bundle tool that help you create pages to promote your existing roles, get them live on different platforms and even boost them so they appear first to candidates (this last bit comes at an additional cost)
  • A myriad of ways to report on your HR with deep insights to analyse your personnel data and control who has access to what. You can also gather insights from pre-built reports or customise your own

These features can be a good opportunity for your business and its future, as they will help you save effort and hire high-performing team members in no time. 

Why Personio won’t work for your team

As we mentioned before, we don’t see Personio as the best fit for small businesses. This is because, and we’re not going to shy away from it, our client base is mainly made of small businesses and startups – and many have switched from Personio to Charlie because of this particular reason.

So, although we provide software that’s focused on small businesses and startups, we also have spoken to our customers to back it up.

The points below are not exclusive to small businesses and startups, of course, but are arguments that may be valid when you’re looking for an affordable all-in-one HR solution

Personio can be difficult to use 

One of the main issues people have encountered with Personio is the fact that it’s not user-friendly.

So whilst this is a good experience for HR people, employees tend to struggle with understanding how to use the software and require a lot of assistance. This makes it difficult for people responsible for HR as they’re constantly pulled in different directions for help.

Many small businesses and startups look for software that’s straight out of the box and intuitive, so they won’t have to train their team or provide too much assistance. If that’s what you’re looking for, perhaps Personio is not the right choice for you. 

Personio has a long set up time 

Although people responsible for HR say it’s a great experience in terms of reporting facilities and streamlining a lot of their daily tasks, they also admit the setup can be pretty complicated and takes a long time.

Not only does it require assistance (and a set up fee for it), but it’s also a matter of training your team members to use it. You will need to set time aside for it that you don’t necessarily have and which could be detrimental to your business success. 

Personio may not be affordable for some businesses 

Another aspect that keeps coming up when talking to our users about Personio is how expensive the solution can be if you fall under the lower end of the pricing brackets – for example, if you’re a 10–people company, you’ll end up paying the same as a 25-people company.

There is also an initial set up fee for whichever type of contract you choose to go for and depending on the size of your business. Bear in mind that all contracts do not offer the same features:

  • Essential gives you access to all of Personio’s core functions including absence management, attendance tracking, custom reports, employee calendar, wages and salaries 
  • Professional gives you access to all of the above as well as onboarding/offboarding, advanced extended reports, advanced document management, google single sign-on, Personio marketplace
  • Enterprise gives you access to all of the above as well as login via oAuth, Integration to Okta and Azure AD, Access to personal data API, unlimited document storage, management of sub-companies 

As their pricing stands, that means an essential package, for example, will cost a total of €99-179 per month. You can find out more about Personio pricing on this page

If you need an enterprise package, you will, however, need to contact a sales representative for a quote. 


A culture-focused solution for scaling businesses 

Why Hibob could be the right choice for your business 

As a “modern platform for HR”, Hibob has a lot of worthy arguments when wondering why you should pick them as an HR software for your business.

Not unlike Personio, Hibob also provides a range of core features such as:

  • Onboarding – where you can provide a positive first impression and experience to your news starters through customisable onboarding flows that allow you to tailor the experience depending on each person and each role 
  • Time and attendance – that allows you to track hours, having a clock in and clock out feature and report on attendance 
  • Time off – leave management software where team members can request time off, where you can approve or deny it and where you have the possibility to implement customised policies for time off 
  • People Analytics – a tool that allows you to analyse your business through reporting, KPIs, and insights. 

Yes, Hibob’s got a lot going on for them, but one thing that’s worth mentioning is the emphasis they put on culture. 

From top to bottom, Hibob focuses all of its features on building culture at your business. That may be alright for some, but it might not be the right focus for your business. Let’s have a look at a few examples of how they do this:

  • Compensation management hub – a compensation management software that gives you the opportunity to have everything on one platform to deal with easy salary reviews, bonus and equity allocation and other benefits you want to give to your team
  • Shoutouts, kudos and bob clubs to help team members feel recognised for their work and create connections that will last through similar hobbies  
  • Customisable feature names and social-media-like homepage to promote your own branding and have a modern outlook on your company 
  • Anonymous reporting tool to provide a safe space for team members to lodge grievances and complaints 

So if you’re looking for software that’s really into building culture and fostering a great environment to work in, Hibob may just be the right fit for you. 

Why Hibob could be the wrong choice for your team

Like every other software, Hibob’s got a few shortcomings that we thought were worth mentioning. Similarly to their competitor Personio, we gathered this feedback from our own customers – small businesses and startups that didn’t find what they wanted in Hibob. 

Hibob is too pricey for small businesses 

Hibob’s pricing does not appear on their website, which can make it inconvenient when you’re trying to compare packages for different software – you don’t necessarily want to contact one of their sales representatives straight away.

Bear in mind, also, that not all of their features are included in their basic plan – their plans are customisable, which means you will have to figure out the price and what it includes directly on the phone, instead of working it out yourself and taking some time to think before subscribing. 

From the feedback we got from our own customers, customisable plans often mean that Hibob ends up charging very different prices depending on the size of your company. Some of Hibob’s ex-customers revealed they used to pay around £10 per employee per month for less than 50 employees. It may be the case that companies with more than 200 employees, however, get higher discounts. 

Hibob offers features that may be redundant for some businesses 

Although a lot of businesses will appreciate the focus that Hibob puts on culture, some might argue that it may deflect the core purpose of HR software.

Of course, building a great environment to work in is essential, but what makes it even better at a workplace is if its core HR is up to scratch.

Many small businesses have found that features focused on culture are not as useful as they thought they would initially be, and end up being a distraction. Hibob’s team may have a tendency to focus on building shiny new features instead of focusing on the improvement of their existing core features, which may be a problem for some customers. 

Hibob has a complex and time-consuming set up 

The last piece of feedback we got from our own customers who had switched from Hibob to Charlie was how time-consuming the software was to set up – it required a lot of assistance to set up workflows from their customer service team and wasn’t ready to use straight away. 

So… What’s best in the end? Hibob or Personio? 

As we outlined in this guide, Hibob and Personio both have good and bad sides. Here are, however, a few key elements to remember: 


  • Focuses on culture-building elements
  • Offers core HR features 
  • Can be tricky to set up 
  • Often too expensive for small businesses 


  • Great for companies that have more than 200 employees 
  • Supports recruiting efficiently 
  • Offers a wide range of HR features that focus on core and more in-depth aspects of HR 
  • Takes a long time to get used to and requires training for your team 
  • Can be quite expensive 

The choice is now yours. One thing I can recommend, however, and if you haven’t checked it out yet is perhaps to have a look at our own tool.

With Charlie, you get exactly what you need to reduce the time you spend on HR admin, automate all your main tasks and reinvest that time in other areas of your business.

Make your HR effortless