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How to choose between Appraisd vs Clear Review

Roly Walter
30th April 2021

Appraisd and Clear Review are two of the foremost contenders in the performance management and engagement space in the UK, so it wouldn't be a surprise to find both on your shortlist. So how do you choose between them?

Well, there are a number of factors to consider. I've tried to pick out the ones I think are important, but of course you'll be the judge of that. I've also made every effort to be impartial - I don't think this article will carry much weight if you detect any bias. I've avoided things like 'value for money' because they're somewhat subjective and it depends on what you value.

Let's get started.

Ethos

Both Appraisd and Clear Review are headed by people with a long history in the HR tech sector, perhaps with Appraisd's Roly Walter taking more interest in how tech can improve management and productivity from his days at Goldman Sachs, as opposed to Stuart Hearn's background in HR policy and strategy from his days at PlusHR and Sony.

The Appraisd company is older than Clear Review and has been bootstrapped (grew through customer profits, not investment) fully to date. Clear Review has been successfully funded by VCs throughout its growth stage which has enabled them to build their product and ramp up marketing significantly in a short period of time.


Features

Clear Review's core feature is performance management, based on ditching the annual appraisal and moving to regular conversations. They also have an engagement module (as an add-on) that polls employees against a set of proprietary engagement measures. There's also a suggestion box tool.

Appraisd is possibly a bit more agnostic: it encourages organisations to move to a continuous performance model (with check-ins and instant feedback) but it also well suited to companies who wish to stick with something more formal on an annual or semi-annual basis with check-ins in between.

Both systems offer talent profiling and goal setting and reviewing, with different types of goal (OKRs, Personal Development etc). In Appraisd, goals can have 'child goals' such as targets, tasks, actions or key results - it's not clear from the website if Clear Review supports this.

Both products offer features to support managing remote works and both offer a 3-month free trial of its tool as a response to COVID19. Each tool features "Working from Home" conversations to help organisations make the transition from on-premises to fully or partly remote. I suspect both Appraisd and Clear Review will see a surge in popularity in the forthcoming months and years as they become natural choices for keeping employees and managers engaged and on track. Appraisd also offers a built-in video check-in feature which helps manager (or coach etc) and employee get straight to nuts and bolts without any faff, and keeps usage and adoption of the forms you've settled on high.

For engagement, the divisions open up a little. With Appraisd you get the ability to collect engagement information at any time using any set of measures using a fairly simple modification to the standard feedback process. In Clear Review however, this feature is more comprehensive - but you need to pay extra for it. We anticipate that Appraisd will respond with a full engagement feature in the near future, again most likely for an additional fee. It's possible that many organisations would like to keep engagement and performance separate for the time being, especially if engagement data must be kept anonymous.

Design: both systems look attractive and easy to use. Appraisd is perhaps more funky and colourful, with Clear Review perhaps less likely to attract any criticism for its choice of design.

In 2020, Appraisd unveiled its brand new design which - while a long time in the making - gives it a fresh look and propels it much higher in the usability stakes than it previously fared.

Customisation

Since being agnostic on ending annual reviews or a specific ideology, Appraisd has long been the choice for organisations looking to implement a very specific performance management process. Appraisd allows, for example, the Sales team to have sales targets that are reviewed with monthly sales check-ins, whereas Marketing might have quarterly reviews using a completely different set of rules. These features, along with other enterprise tools such as administr

Service

Both organisations pride themselves on the service they provide to clients. Clear Review sets out a number of components to their onboarding and communications plan, and their Resources section of their website is top notch. Appraisd however has achieved excellent feedback from existing clients on Capterra and G2.

Price

For 100 users, Appraisd comes out at £4,500 per year. Clear Review is a touch higher at £4,900 per year, plus another 30% for the engagement module.

Appraisd has a minimum fee of £2,250 whereas Clear Review's is higher at £3,600. We wouldn't be surprised if Appraisd increases its price significantly soon now that its new version is live but we know that they typically 'grandfather' in clients using old pricing models.