CakeHR – Among The 10 Most Innovative HR Analytics Solution Providers

HR analytics software CakeHR - not a bakery, but a layer cake of HR services!
Analytics Insight names ‘The 10 Most Innovative HR Analytics Solutions Providers in 2019’. The magazine recognises companies offering cutting-edge talent and people analytics solutions.

Analytics Insight Magazine Announces ‘The 10 Most Innovative HR Analytics Solution Providers in 2019’

Selected through in-depth industry research and discussions with leading organizations and influencers, the magazine issue features 10 companies significantly driving HR transformation to facilitate strong reporting and analytics capabilities for people management processes.

Today, there is a growing demand for HR analytics as organizations are focusing on informed decision-making to improve their ability to hire and retain talent, forecast future workforce needs and create customized programs. The selected organizations offer cutting-edge talent and people analytics solutions to drive the transformation for a forward-thinking industry. “We congratulate all the ten companies for helping enterprises make and execute smarter workforce decisions which significantly impact business growth,” says Ashish Sukhadeve, Founder & CEO, Analytics Insight.

CakeHR is A cloud-based human resource management solution that integrates core features like 360-feedback, workforce management, performance appraisal and attendance tracking with scheduling that supports time-off policies and black-out days.

CakeHR: Delivering an innovative HR platform to transform business enterprises

They have a name that sounds like a bakery, they operated straddling Brexit threatened London and, for some people; still, – Riga, Latvia(where!?). Despite these seeming obstacles, the modular human resources (HR) management platform CakeHR has kept expanding its services, growing its user base and gathering accolades for the innovativeness and popularity of its solutions. The company now has around 30 000 employees using its services at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in around 50 countries around the world.

CakeHR co-founder Kaspars Upmanis recalls how the company started with his web development company offering other small companies a so-called leave application/module where any employee could request vacation, sick days and various other kinds of paid or unpaid leave.

Kaspars Upmanis, CEO & Co-founder at HR software company CakeHR
Kaspars Upmanis, CEO & Co-founder at HR software company CakeHR

“I used to have a digital agency that did web development. They built a simple leave management application as a side project. It was churning along. We didn’t pay much attention to it until we realized that it had actually grown to some decent monthly recurring revenue. And at that point we shifted focus and move the team to focus 100 percent on CakeHR. We started targeting smaller companies, then adding additional functionality by implementing additional modules. This modular structure helped us to win customers globally because we can build our product around customer needs and requirement,” Kaspars explains.

The company, though now operationally based in Latvia, got started and got most of its early customers in Great Britain because it was easier at the time to make recurring payments for CakeHR’s services with a credit card. It was not possible in Latvia at the time.  In 2015, Norberts Erts, also from Latvia,  came aboard as the other co-founder of CakeHR and, as Kaspars says, acted as a kind of “governor” to keep him on track and moving away from the web development mindset to growing the company but using his skills programming and managing programmers.

Developed six modules to use by customer need

Step by step, CakeHR developed a total of six HR-related, employee accessed and used modules that customers – mainly SMEs – licensed according to their needs. As Kaspars recalls, “CakeHR started offering leave management, to which we’ve added time sheets, shift scheduling, performance, expenses, and the latest one is recruitment. Our product suite contains everything what you need from finding an employee to managing his or her onboarding to the last day of the person with the company.”

HR management software CakeHR - complete Human Resource solution.
HR management software CakeHR – complete Human Resource solution.

The company has not gone unnoticed. “This year we got recognition from Newsweek, the US-based magazine. They made a “top 20” business tools ranking, and we were included on it. The IT-focused research and advisory company Gartner has a B2B (business to business) marketplace of applications listing the top HR software in the world. Um, we are currently number eight on that list.”

CakeHR - Your HR Analytics. Simplified!
CakeHR – Your HR Analytics. Simplified!

So far the secret of CakeHR’s success has been the classic formula of doing what customers want and following their lead in developing and adapting services. “Focus on the customer that’s a very big thing. It’s what’s been driver all these years as well as the user interface and generally the ease of use,” Kaspars says, adding that customers “are coming to us with specific business needs or specific workloads they have or something from real life situations. That’s very good because it allows us to think of and implement the right solution for them. Since everyone is using the same automatically updated version of the suite or module version. when we build something good for one specific customer, that’s actually being rolled out at the same time to everyone”

At the big data and predictive analytics use tipping point

CakeHR, or rather its SME customers now have some 30 000 employees and their data on the platform, which brings the company to the threshold of having the data to use for industry-wide analytics related to, say, retention rates in a particular field. It lists Latvia’s national airline airBaltic and the audit and consulting company Deloitte among its customers. As Kaspars explains, at the company level, the CakeHR suite offers analysis of key indicators such as employee retention rates, trends in employee feedback (reactions to new HR policies or practice and other issues). Employee activity on the platform and employee numbers are close to a kind of “tipping point” where the data gathered will make the use of sophisticated and predictive analytics to enhance current services viable in the near future. However, as Kaspars notes, SMEs are a diverse customer group – while some HR departments will soon appreciate a tool, based on “big data” from their industry to flag employee satisfaction or retention trends as they develop and remedy ‘the bad” and accelerate “the good” – other customers still need help with basics.

Basics need to be addressed before using AI

“They haven’t sorted out the lower level problems in order to need something like predictive AI (artificial intelligence). And the problems we are solving are actually the real day-to- day issues they have,” he says, citing such issues as writing an onboarding checklist, something that some companied until recently kept in an Excel spreadsheet.”

Looking back on the challenges CakeHR has faced, Kaspars says that thanks to a frugal approach the company has been self-funded. Its rapid expansion to around 50 countries has also been a challenge because HR departments have to follow local labor laws and practices, that can differ between countries.

“The biggest challenge is linked to exposure in different countries. We have more than 50 countries and each country, obviously has different local laws and regulations,” Kaspars says, saying that so far, CakeHR has managed to adapt to these customer need.

Finally, there is the obvious “cake” issue and he says, yes, there have been calls asking for wedding and birthday cakes and the people answering the phone politely explain that this is not exactly what CakeHR is all about.

“Of course, the idea with the name was that HR management should be ‘a piece of cake’ and now that we have the suite, that we are like a cake with several layers – take as much as you need,” Kaspars says.


CakeHR is a one stop shop for your HR management needs. With attention to user experience & making the software easy to use yet packed with loads of features we strive to make your HR management as easy as a piece of cake!

Written By

Norberts Erts

HR Degen and Product Marketing Manager at Sage. Former Co-founder of HR software company CakeHR (acquired by The Sage Group plc in 2019). Keep a sharp eye on HR, marketing, business, finance, science, technology, and the connections between them.