In our ‘Tools for Startups’ series we’ll be reviewing some of the best SaaS solutions for managing your startup, tried and tested by one startup (us) for another (you)!

As a startup or small business, you probably don’t have a dedicated HR department and if you plan on keeping your team small, you might have decided you don’t need one. Here at Simpleweb, our Office Manager (that’s me!) takes care of HR, which is also overseen by the Directors.

What is HR?

HR, or Human Resources, is typically the department of a business that takes care of employees. This can include recruitment, management, motivating and training. The HR department will often take care of health and safety, diversity and equality, wellness, administration, benefits and virtually anything else that can affect an employee’s performance and job satisfaction.

How to stay on top of it

We use, which describes itself as “HR Software. Simplified.” So far so good. So how do we use Cake to stay on top of our HR processes?

1. Store employee data

You can store a load of useful information about your employees in Cake including nationality, gender, whether or not they can drive, contact details and any additional notes or files that you choose to upload.

2. Manage holidays

Employees can log in to their own accounts and submit holiday requests which will automatically be emailed to your chosen manager. Accept or deny a holiday request and Cake will automatically email the employee to let them know. Accepted holidays are automatically added to your Cake calendar which you can sync with iCal.

CakeHR 2

3. Create reports

Create and view reports showing certain employees’ holidays and sick days during your chosen period, the full history of holiday requests, details of terminated employees and even your employees’ Bradford Factor score if that’s what you’re into.

But is it any good?

With Cake, it’s easy to store all of your employee information in one place, and you can access your account from any device.

But in my opinion, it’s the holiday management that makes it worth the money (plans start at £15/month). We’ve set up a general holiday allowance that everybody gets, but if someone starts part way through the year, you can easily change their available holidays as per their pro rata allowance.


We loved doing away with holiday forms, it’s so much easier for our team to submit holiday requests with Cake, and they don’t have to be in the office to do it.

One downside is that once you’re logged in, it’s impossible to get any support, besides submitting a message using the “feedback” system and seeing if you get a reply. When you’re not logged in, you’re able to see a support email address and access the Support Centre. When you do finally get the contact details, you’re likely to receive a prompt, helpful and friendly reply to your query.

We’ve been using for a year now and we think it’s well worth the money for small businesses. With a 30 day free trial we’d definitely recommend giving it a go.

What HR solutions do you use?

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