Zoho People Review

Zoho People
Channai, India
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Zoho People At A Glance

Good: Streamline core HR tasks, custom features to fit a company's unique processes, free plan and flexible paid plans.
Bad: Recruiting and payroll features aren't built in and requires integration with Zoho Recruit and Zoho Payroll, respectively.
Bottom Line: Cloud-based HR solution with robust features that helps organizations manage their talent.

Product Overview

Zoho People is a cloud-based human resource management system (HRMS) that helps companies streamline HR processes, so they can focus on strategic HR matters, such as attracting or retaining talent. It offers custom features that fit an industry’s or organization’s needs or requirements. Because Zoho People is hosted in the cloud, HR staff, managers and employees can access the software from anywhere, whether in the office or from home.

The software has additional benefits, such as:

  • Centralized storage of employee records
  • Increased employee engagement with self-service, collaboration and learning tools
  • The ability for managers to optimize employee attendance, leave and shift schedules
  • Short implementation process
  • Free plan for companies that only need basic HR functionality


Zoho People has robust features. Here are some of its key ones:

Employee database – The employee database stores all employee profiles and can be customized to fit a company’s global or unique requirements. Users can add new employees, group employees based on job roles, locations or departments or manage multiple business units. Employees can edit their personnel info or use the employee directory to easily search for a specific colleague.

Employee self-service – In addition to updating their info, employees can use Zoho People to track their leave, record attendance, get assignments, complete their self evaluations, manage their learning and more. They can also get real-time company announcements and communicate with colleagues through live feeds.

Zia – Zia, Zoho People’s smart AI assistant, uses machine learning technology to help employees complete common tasks, such as providing time-off availability, filling out time-off requests, clocking in and out and generating work assignments. It can also provide employees answers to HR questions by searching through the company’s FAQ page.

Time and attendance – With Zoho People, managers can track their employees’ attendance, approve time-off requests or create shift schedules. The software includes custom features, such as pay period configuration, an absence scheduler (for converting absences into leaves) and leave policy configuration. Employees can record their time on a timesheet or clock in and out via the web, mobile app or the Zoho People Kiosk (a smart facial recognition app). Managers can track employee absences with the Bradford score, a key performance indicator (KPI) that measures short one-off absences (e.g., employee calling out sick). Additional time and attendance features include a time off dashboard, a holiday calendar, leave grants for special time-off requests, shift management, job scheduling and integration with biometric systems.

Performance management – The performance management module lets managers effectively evaluate their employee’s performance based on skill sets and competencies. They can help their employees set achievable goals and check in on their employee’s performance with regular feedback. Additional features include self reviews, the ability to use multiple ratings, 360-degree feedback and raises management. Zoho People also integrates with XoxoDay, a rewards and recognition software.

Learning management system (LMS) – Zoho People’s LMS module supports blended learning, so companies can deploy self-paced, onsite or virtual training programs. Trainers can create content (e.g., videos, tests), set up personalized learning plans and manage enrollment. The Manager’s Space feature lets managers suggest specific courses to their employees, track the employee’s learning initiatives and provide feedback on a course.

The LMS module integrates with Zoho Meeting for virtual courses and integrates with the performance management module, so an employee’s skillset data is automatically updated. Additional features include feedback and discussion forums.

HR analytics – Everyone at the company can track data and trends with HR analytics features. Employees can track metrics like time off, tasks worked, performance ratings and goals reached, managers can get insights on attendance, project status and other key metrics, and executives can get insights into hiring, attrition, employee diversity and other important business trends. Zoho People has both standard and custom reports, and users can drill down into the data in each report for further insights. The software integrates with Zoho Analytics for more advanced analytics functionality.

Recruiting and onboarding – Zoho People integrates with Zoho Recruit, a recruiting management software. Zoho Recruit includes features like job postings, resume parsing, video interviewing, offer management and recruitment analytics. Once a candidate is hired, their profile is automatically created in Zoho People.

Payroll – Zoho People doesn’t have payroll features built in, but it integrates with the Zoho Payroll solution. Zoho Payroll includes features, such as automatic payroll, tax management and on-demand reports.

Employee engagement – Companies can measure their employee engagement with annual surveys. HR can choose from a standard template or create their own survey with custom questions and rating scales. They can target the surveys to different demographics, such as gender, job roles, department or location. Zoho People sends the surveys by email or the mobile app, and employees can answer it anonymously.

For companies that want to measure employee satisfaction, Zoho People provides eNPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys that analyze employee sentiment. Employees can fill out a quick, anonymous survey, with the options to provide comments. Zoho People can then analyze the comments and return common keywords, so HR can get an at-a-glance idea of employee sentiment.

Target Market

Zoho People targets companies of all sizes in many industries, such as healthcare, finance and education. We’ve listed 10 of its clients below:

  • Asia School of Business
  • Cabot Technology Solutions
  • Commercial Eyes
  • Innocode
  • KeepCalling
  • McDonald's
  • Plum Skin Sciences
  • SpiceJet Limited
  • Visual BI
  • Women Win

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Prospective clients can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Zoho People within minutes. Once the trial ends, they can select from any of the subscription pricing plans. There’s also a step-by-step implementation guide that provides instruction in setting up the software.

Zoho offers a Jumpstart onboarding program for companies that need help in setting up Zoho People. Jumpstart consists of  four plans that range from $1,000 for 25 hours (15 days) to $4,000 to 80 hours (60 days). The plans are:

  • Essential – The Essential plan costs $1,000 for up to 25 hours or 15 days. In this plan, the Zoho team sets up the following Zoho People features: candidate onboarding, employee onboarding, the employee module, leave management, attendance policy configuration, document sharing policies, integration with other Zoho products and system access permissions.
  • Professional – The Professional plan costs $2,000 for up to 40 hours or 25 days. It includes all of the services of the Essential plan, plus setup of these features: integration with biometric systems, time tracking, attendance management and custom processes.
  • Premium – The Premium plan costs $3,000 for up to 60 hours or 40 days. It includes all of the services of the Professional plan, plus custom reports creation and setup of performance management features.
  • Enterprise – The Enterprise plan costs $4,000 for up to 80 hours or 60 days. It includes all of the services of the other three plans, plus setup of these features: employee transfer, organizational structures, learning management and employee query management.

Customer Service & Support

Users can browse the knowledge base, participate in community forums, submit a support ticket via Zoho Desk or contact support by email. They can also participate in Zoho People webinars, watch videos on HR best practices and access COVID-19 resources. Email response times is within 24 hours and phone support is only used for critical requests.

Zoho People offers optional premium support for all of its paid plans. There are two such plans:

  • Premium – The Premium support plan costs $114 per month or 20% of the subscription fee (whichever is higher). It adds on six-hour email response time, 24/5 phone and live chat support and a technical account manager.
  • Enterprise – The Enterprise support plan costs 25% of the subscription fee. It includes all of the services of the Premium support plan, plus four-hour email response time, change requests (changes to modules and workflows) and four hours of training. This plan requires a minimum of 500 users.


Zoho People has a free plan for up to five users that includes an employee database and time-off management. Then, there are five paid plans (billed annually):

  • Essential HR – The Essential HR plan costs $1.25 per user, per month and includes employee onboarding, employee database management, document management, employee self-service, time-off management, multi-level approvals, workflow management, module-based reports, the Zia artificial intelligence bot and office readiness (module that helps companies safely reopen their offices).
  • Professional – The Professional plan costs $2 per user, per month and includes all of the features of the Essential HR plan, plus employee clock-in via web, mobile and facial recognition devices, integration with biometric systems, People Kiosk (facial recognition), shift scheduling, shift rotation, IP and geographical restrictions, overtime calculations, job scheduling, time tracking, timesheet management and integration with billing and invoicing solutions.
  • Premium –  The Premium plan costs $3 per user, per month and includes all of the features of the Professional plan, plus performance management (e.g., appraisals, goals tracking, 360-degree feedback, self reviews), advanced HR analytics and employee engagement.
  • Enterprise – The Enterprise plan costs $4.50 per user, per month and includes all of the features of the Premium plan, plus cases (also known as employee query management), cases SLA tracking and learning management (e.g., self and blended learning, course management, course feedback, discussion forums, assessments).
  • People Plus – The People Plus plan combines the features of Zoho People plus select features of other Zoho products: Zoho Recruit (Enterprise plan for Corporate HRs), Zoho Expense (Standard plan), Zoho Connect (internal network), the Zoho Cliq collaboration tool (free plan) and the Zoho Vault password management software (Standard plan). It costs $9 per user, per month.

Note that all plans are for companies with up to 500 employees; companies with over 500 employees can contact Zoho for a price quote.

Zoho People provides these optional features:

  • Employee profiles – This feature pertains to companies that want to maintain profiles of their employee but don’t require those employees to access the software. Pricing starts at 23 cents per employee profile, per month.
  • Zoho Recruit – In-house recruiters can access Zoho Recruit’s Corporate Enterprise plan features for $600 per recruiter, per year. Those features include 3 GB of storage, up to 20 active jobs, 10 vendor portal licenses, one video interview credit and up to 750 mass emails per day.
  • Learning management – Essential HR, Professional and Premium plan users can optionally purchase learning management features for $18 per user, per year. As noted, learning management features are standard in the Enterprise plan.


Companies that want full recruiting features will need to integrate Zoho People with Zoho Recruit.

Zoho People’s integration with Zoho Payroll is only available for companies located in India and in select states within the U.S. (CA, FL, IL, KS, NY, NC, TN, TX, UT, WA). Additional states will be added down the road.


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Zoho began in 1996 as a network management company called AdventNet. In 2009, it rebranded itself as Zoho Corporation. In addition to Zoho apps, the company has two divisions: IT management and network management.

Over the years, it has added more solutions, such as Zoho CRM (2005), Zoho People (2008) and Zoho Connect (2013). Zoho One, an all-in-one suite of more than 35 integrated applications, was introduced in 2017. The company reached the 50 million mark in number of users and rolled out Zoho MarketingHub, a marketing automation software, in 2019.

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