The Top Zenefits Competitors And Alternatives For 2023


The Top Zenefits Competitors And Alternatives For 2023


The Top Zenefits Competitors and Alternatives for 2023

If Zenefits’ comprehensive HR software platform isn’t right for your small or midsize business, one of these Zenefits alternatives could work for you.

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  • Rippling: Best for tech-heavy businesses

  • Gusto: Best payroll software tool

  • Papaya Global: Best for international payroll

  • Justworks: Best PEO

  • Paychex: Best for midsize businesses

  • BambooHR: Best for streamlined HR

Image: TriNet

Zenefits’ comprehensive people management platform combines payroll with crucial HR features. It’s ideal for small and midsize businesses that want to tackle every HR task — from benefits and payroll to onboarding and compliance — on one streamlined system instead of using different tools for each process.

SEE: Choosing a payroll service: A guide for business leaders (TechRepublic Premium)

However, Zenefits (also known as Trinet Zenefits) isn’t the right HR/payroll software pick for every business. Whether you’re looking for a less expensive alternative or you’d prefer a payroll-focused system to a total HR management solution, there are plenty of software options available. We review six of those Zenefits alternatives below.

Jump to:

  • Top Zenefits competitors and alternatives: Comparison table
  • Top Zenefits competitors
  • Is Zenefits worth it?
  • Zenefits pros and cons
  • Do you need an alternative to Zenefits?
  • Methodology

Top Zenefits competitors and alternatives: Comparison table

VendorAutomatic tax withholding and remittanceDirect depositTime and attendanceInternational payrollStarting monthly price
ZenefitsYesYesYesNo$8 per employee
RipplingYesYesYesYes$8 per employee
GustoYesYesYesYes (contractors only)$40 plus $6 per employee
Papaya GlobalYesYesYesYes$12 per employee
JustworksYesYesYesNo$59 per employee
PaychexYesYesYesYes (through a third party)$39 plus $5 per employee
BambooHRYesYesYesYes (through a third party)Contact for quote

Top Zenefits competitors

Rippling: Best for tech-heavy businesses

Image: Rippling

Rippling was founded by Zenefits’ former CEO, Parker Conrad, so the two platforms have fairly similar features. Like Zenefits, Rippling’s people management solution is an all-in-one platform that lets you manage payroll, benefits, HR, hiring and time tracking.

Unlike Zenefits, Rippling also includes remote device management, financial services like employee expense management and inventory management. Rippling’s tech features make it ideal for businesses that rely heavily on technology, especially companies managing a global workforce. In contrast to Zenefits, which is specific to the United States, Rippling offers global payroll processing, employee management, device management and benefits options.

Learn more about Rippling by reading our comprehensive Rippling review.


Most Rippling modules cost a monthly per-employee fee, though some also include a monthly base price. For instance, Rippling’s payroll pricing starts at $8 per month per user on top of a monthly base fee for Rippling’s software platform, Rippling Unity.

Rippling Unity’s pricing isn’t listed online. Additionally, since Rippling’s plans are entirely customizable, interested customers must request a custom quote.


  • Automatic payroll tax calculation, withdrawal and filing.
  • IT services, including remote device management, GDPR data security compliance, password management and remote off-boarding.
  • Built-in time and attendance tracking.
  • Employee self-service access.
  • Employee benefits administration.


  • Thorough automation of most payroll, HR and IT tasks.
  • General ledger integration and automatic syncing save time and keep your business’s financial information up to date.
  • Fully customizable plans let you choose only the tools your business needs.
  • Scalable software can accommodate businesses from two to 2,000 employees.
  • All-in-one platform ensures you can handle most payroll and HR tasks on the same operating system.


  • Limited pricing information on the site.
  • Potentially steep software learning curve for new business owners.

Rippling is currently offering a one-month free subscription for TechRepublic readers. Click the button below to sign up.

Papaya Global: Best for international payroll

Image: Papaya Global

Papaya Global’s comprehensive platform includes payroll, payments and global HR features that can be used to manage and pay employees in more than 160 countries. The software automates most aspects of hiring, from onboarding to benefits selection. Its workflows, payments, benefits and payroll runs can all be tailored to each employee’s location.

Papaya is one of the more flexible workforce — and, depending on what you use it for, one of the cheapest — management systems. For instance, if you don’t want to use Papaya as your payroll provider, integrating your current provider with Papaya’s platform costs $3 per employee per month. As with Rippling, businesses can build customized plan packages that include only the Papaya tools they need and none of the tools they don’t.

Learn more about Papaya Global by reading our Papaya Global review.


Each of Papaya’s services comes at a monthly and/or per-employee fee. Naturally, the more Papaya services you opt into, the higher your monthly cost.

  • Full-Service Payroll starts at $12 per employee per month.
  • Payroll Platform License starts at $3 per employee per month. It integrates your existing payroll software with Papaya’s platform.
  • Data and Insights Platform License starts at $150 per month per business location (not per employee). It gives you access to high-level payroll data analysis.
  • Payments-as-a-Service start at $3 per employee per month. This module is required to automate employee and third-party payments across the globe.
  • Employer of Record services start at $650 per employee per month.
  • Contractor Management starts at $2 per contractor per month.
  • Global Expertise Services starts at $190 per employee per month.


  • Automated payroll runs, tax withdrawals and payroll tax remittance.
  • Automated global payments made in 100+ currencies.
  • Global benefits options, including equity.
  • Employee payslip creation and access.
  • Global payments to third-party entities like the IRS.


  • Access to local legal experts for assistance with visa and immigration permit compliance.
  • GDPR-compliant data security.
  • AI-automated compliance alerts keep businesses ahead of upcoming legal changes in each country.
  • Low starting price ($3 per person per month).


  • No free trial.
  • Additional fee for in-depth reporting and data analysis.
  • High per-employee fees for EOR services may put Papaya out of some small and midsize businesses’ budgets.

Justworks: Best PEO

Image: Justworks

Justworks is a PEO, or professional employer organization. Unlike a payroll or HR software company such as Gusto, Justworks doesn’t just provide you with the software to run payroll in house. Instead, Justworks shares ownership of your company, leaving the business management side up to you while taking workforce management off your plate.

As a PEO, Justworks assumes responsibility for remitting payroll taxes, managing employee benefits and automatically paying your employees through direct deposit. Justworks can pay and manage both hourly and salaried workers. However, its overtime alerts for both employers and employees, app-based time and attendance tracking, scheduling features, and location-tracking features make it even more valuable for businesses with hourly workers who clock in and out at specific locations.

Learn more about Justworks by reading our Justworks review.


Justworks has two plans: Basic and Plus. While both plans include workers’ compensation insurance and 401(k) plans for employees, only the Plus plan includes health insurance benefits.

  • Basic starts at $59 per employee per month and includes HR, payroll, limited employee benefits and compliance tools. The rate changes to $49 per employee per month if you have 50 or more employees.
  • Plus starts at $99 per employee per month and includes all of Basic’s features plus access to medical, vision and dental insurance. The rate changes to $89 per employee per month for 50 or more employees.


  • Automated full-service payroll and benefits administration.
  • Automated hiring and onboarding for remote employees.
  • Health and wellness, life and disability insurance, and 401(k) benefit options.
  • PTO management, time-off approval, employee handbook setup and company directory setup.


  • Live 24/7 customer support for both employers and employees.
  • Customer service available over phone, chat, Slack, text message or email.
  • Transparent online pricing, which is not typical for PEOs.


  • No international payroll processing, payments, benefits or HR features.
  • Health insurance is available with the most expensive plan only.

Paychex: Best for midsize businesses

Image: Paychex

Paychex has a range of payroll and HR solutions, including comprehensive PEO services and three tiers of full-service payroll software plans. Paychex Flex is Paychex’s primary software product and, much like Gusto, it combines automatic payroll processing services with the most common HR tools for small and midsize businesses.

Paychex’s main feature is its fully automated payroll service. Like any other full-service payroll system, Paychex calculates employee paychecks, deducts taxes and other withholding amounts, pays employees, and remits taxes and other deductions to the correct entities. Payroll runs can be set to autopilot and scheduled in advance. The company also offers more HR features than competitors like Gusto, including access to a comprehensive HR library with every plan.

Learn more about Paychex by reading our Paychex Flex review.


  • Essentials: $39 per month + $5 per employee.
  • Select: Custom pricing.
  • Pro: Custom pricing.


  • Automated full-service payroll processing.
  • Direct deposit, paper check and prepaid debit card employee payment options.
  • Global payroll and HR management through Paychex’s third-party partner, FMP Global.
  • Hiring and onboarding with every plan.
  • Access to 160 standardized payroll, financial and employee reports.
  • Built-in HR tools for hiring and onboarding, labor posters, employee self-service, and HR library access.


  • Multiple payroll and HR solutions to accommodate multiple business types.
  • Excellent built-in reporting features offer in-depth financial, payroll and employee insights.
  • High-quality mobile payroll app for both employers and employees.
  • Useful hiring features with more expensive plans, including applicant tracking, pre-employment screening and employee handbook setup.


  • Extra fees for services many competitors include for free (e.g., W-2 and 1099 form creation, general ledger integration, and time and attendance).
  • Limited transparent pricing information on Paychex’s site.
  • General ledger integration is not available with the cheapest plan.

BambooHR: Best for streamlined HR

Image: BambooHR

BambooHR has many of the same HR and payroll features as Justworks, but it’s an in-house software system like Zenefits rather than an outsourced PEO like Justworks. While the software includes automated full-service payroll, its main focus is on facilitating HR tasks like recruiting candidates, onboarding new hires, gathering employee feedback, managing time and attendance, and offboarding employees once they leave.

Although it was created specifically for small businesses, BambooHR can also accommodate medium-sized businesses. However, like Zenefits, BambooHR’s primary focus is HR — not payroll. While you can definitely use the platform to run payroll and track employee hours, BambooHR is a better fit for small and midsize businesses looking for software that focuses on providing a solid employee experience.

To learn more about BambooHR, read our BambooHR review.


BambooHR doesn’t list prices for either of its two plans online. You can request a quote immediately, or you can sign up for a seven-day free trial with limited features.

  • Essentials is a simple, streamlined plan that includes basic reporting, time management and employee self-service features.
  • Advantage is BambooHR’s comprehensive plan that includes more unique HR features like onboarding, offboarding and employee wellbeing surveys.


  • Employee record management.
  • Built-in automated workflows.
  • Time and attendance tracking, PTO management, and one-click timesheet approval.
  • Employee satisfaction surveys.
  • Performance appraisal software tools.
  • Integration with third-party app, Remote, for global workforce management.


  • Emphasis on employee feedback and job satisfaction helps build a strong workplace culture.
  • Two plans let businesses scale up as they grow with more HR features and support.
  • A unique mobile hiring app lets you make job postings, send offer letters and evaluate candidates.
  • Access to 40 standard reports that can be generated on a pre-set schedule.


  • No transparent prices listed online.
  • Fewer payroll features than most Zenefits competitors.
  • Limited plan and feature customization.

Is Zenefits worth it?

Zenefits is worth it for businesses that want all-in-one HR and payroll management on one fully integrated platform. If you’d rather not search for individual payroll, time tracking, benefits administration and HR tools that may or may not integrate with each other, using Zenefits’ streamlined system will save you time and effort.

On the other hand, you should consider a Zenefits competitor if you want global payroll management, payroll-first software or customizable HR plans with more robust financial and tech support features.

Zenefits pros and cons

Zenefits pros

  • User-friendly dashboard and mobile app.
  • The cheapest plan includes HR tools (onboarding, scheduling and reports) that cost extra with competitors like Paychex and Papaya Global.
  • Completely automated payroll processing, from paycheck calculation to tax filing.
  • No additional fee for benefits administration when benefits are chosen through one of Zenefits’ broker partners.

Zenefits cons

  • Five-employee minimum.
  • Potentially expensive plans compared to some competitors.
  • Limited customizations.
  • No employee learning management system.

Zenefits pricing

Zenefits has three base HR plans and several add-on modules, most of which cost a monthly per-employee fee. All three HR base plans include onboarding, time tracking, employee scheduling, reporting, and mobile app access for both employers and employees.

  • Essentials costs $8 per employee per month.
  • Growth costs $16 per employee per month.
  • Zen costs $21 per employee per month.

You can also pick and choose which modules to add on top of your HR base plan:

  • Payroll costs an additional $6 per employee per month.
  • Benefits Admin Using Own Broker costs an additional $5 per employee per month.
  • Advisory Services cost an additional $8 per employee per month.
  • Recruiting plans start at $35 per month.

Do you need an alternative to Zenefits?

Whether or not you should choose Zenefits or a Zenefits alternative depends in large part on your business’s size, HR expectations and specific payroll needs.

Start by assessing the above options using our payroll services comparison tool, which can help you pinpoint exactly which payroll and HR features you’re looking for in your software system.

If you want payroll-first software and consider HR tools to be perks rather than necessities, Gusto or Paychex could be less complicated and less expensive for you than Zenefits. If international payroll and benefits management is a must for you, Rippling and Papaya are both better picks than Zenefits. And if your small business values employee feedback and company culture tools more than comprehensive payroll or total workforce management, BambooHR could meet your expectations better than any other provider on our list.


To write our review and evaluate each Zenefits competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, we looked at sites that compile aggregate data based on verified user reviews, such as Trustpilot and Gartner Peer Insights. We also reviewed demos on vendor sites, test-drove the software when possible, and scoured each site to evaluate its features, customer service, user-friendliness, prices and scalability.

To learn more about our approach to writing reviews and evaluating software, see our payroll review methodology page.

Read next: The Best HR Analytics Tools and Software (TechRepublic)

Also See

  • The Best Payroll Software for Your Small Business in 2023 (TechRepublic)
  • QuickBooks Payroll Review (2023): Pricing, Features, Pros and Cons (TechRepublic)
  • Payroll processing checklist (TechRepublic Premium)
  • Best software for businesses and end users (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

on August 25, 2023, 4:56 PM EDT The Top Zenefits Competitors and Alternatives for 2023 If Zenefits’ comprehensive HR software platform isn’t right for your small or midsize business, one of these Zenefits alternatives could work for you. We may be compensated by vendors who appear on this page through methods such as affiliate links…