My co-founder built our entire backend. I guess there's two pieces to that story. One, my co-founder sometimes does that. If he doesn't like what he sees, he'll build it himself--that's just something about him. He wouldn't recommend it to anyone else, but it's worked out fine for us. The second piece is that there's a huge part of our business based around community management. We ended up automating a bunch of the steps that were necessary to our business. Most CRM systems are not great, but you should just pick one and stick to it.
TriNet is fine. If we were to start over again, I don't know we would use them. They're a big company, so they don't just focus on the startup community. There has been frustration around all the pen-and-paper aspects of the HR process. I feel like we should be able to do more online. Whenever there are changes, we end up needing to print things out and fax them over, and it seems like we should just be able to do that on their site.
Workable is fine. Because of the nature of the company, we weren't hiring very frequently. Most sites like Greenhouse and a few others are expensive. Workable was priced right for what we were looking for. We really just wanted to push our job posting out to a bunch of listings. It was good enough for what we were looking for because we're not actively recruiting all the time.