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HR Software for self-organization

Hi all,

I'm hoping to collect some input about HR software for organizations that use self organization.

We are looking at alternatives for our Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and possibly replacing many of our other HR software as well. I have specifically been looking into Greenhouse which seems to be the superior ATS and BambooHR which is not as feature complete as Greenhouse when it comes to the ATS part but has the benefit that you can also use it to, sign contracts, administrate absentees, organize onboarding and training, etc.

Both applications have been created with the assumption that they will be used in a management hierarchy. For example, in BambooHR there is an assumption that you request a leave from your manager instead of taking days off after making sure with the relevant roles that it is no problem to be unavailable. We have the same thing with our current application, and our work around is that someone blindly clicks approve on all absentee requests at the end of the week. A more difficult thing is the assumption that all organizations are divided into branches, departments, etc. Again, you can place everyone in one department but that way you would be missing out on a powerful part of the software.

It may be that that is the best workable solution at this time, but I would be interested to know if there are organizations that have found software that feels more natural.

3 Replies


At GrantTree we use Workable - and I find that it's fantastic as an ATS. Full of features, great integration with Gmail and Google Calendar (e.g. we have Chrome Boxes in our meeting rooms which create meeting room calendars, and Workable allows us to book the rooms when we send calendar invites for interviews).

For our HR software (for booking leave, basically) we use TeamSeer, and we get free access to it (and are required to use it!) with our long-term sick leave insurance policy. It's lightweight and easy to use. But, as you say, it automatically assumes that you have a 'line manager'.

Well our solution with all of these things is to hack them. Generally with any software tool we use, we make every user an Admin unless there's a reason that would cause harm. We also tend to be transparent about everything, and share information with everyone that we possibly can.

On the HR software, I just make everyone their own line manager. This means that when they get back from sick leave, they have to fill in a form to confirm why they were off (the insurers require this), and then they have to "approve" that form as their own "manager". (It then also automatically emails me, because the system has to have a designated "HR Manager" - and I just have an email filter set up to delete those mails automatically). It's also possible to set it so that people can approve their own holiday without needing manager approval - and you can have multiple groups, so you can have everyone in one group, and then sub-groups available too.

I think that's how it always has to be - you hack the system to make it work for you. (Hey -it's like Holacracy, right? Any set of tools you get off the shelf is not going to fit you perfectly, so you use some bits a lot, and others not so much, and you hack it to do what you need it to do).

IT's frustrating that the rest of the world assumes some things about how companies work and how working relationships are that you don't subscribe to. Welcome to the world of being queer! Time to start campaigning for the business equivalent of gay marriage! 

Best wishes, Andrew 


Thanks Andrew! I'll look into the products that you mentioned.

Tyler Danke

We use breezy.hr