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  • Best for new businesses: Gusto
  • Best for international businesses: Papaya
  • Best for all-in-one HR outsourcing: Rippling
  • Best for payroll: Paychex
  • Best for small and medium-sized businesses: Justworks
  • Best for automating HR: Insperity
  • Best for labor law compliance: Bambee

A human resources department is vital to any organization’s success. However, some businesses can benefit from outsourcing their HR tasks, particularly if an organization does not have the expertise, resources or time to handle certain HR functions themselves.

HR outsourcing software can handle many of the HR functions required by your business. HR outsourcing can be a great way to free up time and resources. On this page, we have highlighted the top six HR outsourcing tools for 2023. We have also shared our methodology for shortlisting these products and provided some tips on choosing the right HR outsourcing application for your business.


Feature comparison table

Free trial Employee self-service Free phone support Global coverage Mobile app Unlimited payrolls
Gusto Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Papaya No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rippling No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Paychex No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Justworks No Yes Yes No Yes No
Insperity Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Top HR outsourcing software

Gusto: Best for new businesses

Gusto is a cloud-based HR software platform that offers human resource management, payroll, employee benefits and more. You can use Gusto to completely outsource your HR functions, including hiring and employee onboarding. Gusto’s payroll feature is available in all 50 U.S. states. In addition, the software integrates with major accounting, expense reporting and other applications. Gusto can also be used to manage HR functions for contractors, including automatic filing and emailing of tax documents. Although international payroll is not available, Gusto acquired global payroll startup Remote Team in October 2021, so this feature might be available in future versions.

Gusto user interface.
Gusto user interface (Source: Gusto.com)

Standout features

Insights and reporting: Gusto offers robust analytics and reporting tools that include reports for time-off balances, taxes, pay stub history and more. You can also customize reporting templates to analyze data based on your requirements.

Hiring and onboarding: You can use Gusto to outsource your recruitment, hiring and onboarding tasks, such as creating job posts and offers letters, onboarding checklists, and organizing and storing documents online.

Pros

  • Full range of HR functions.
  • Automatic tax filing.
  • Intuitive user interface.

Cons

  • Pricing structure can get costly at scale.
  • Limited time tracking tools.

Pricing

  • Simple: $40 per month + $6 per month per person.
  • Plus: $80 per month + $12 per month per person.
  • Premium: Customized pricing.

Papaya: Best for international businesses

Papaya Global is the best choice for global HR outsourcing needs. It offers HR and compliance support in over 160 countries. This includes an international professional employer organization service for payroll and expense reimbursement in local currencies. Companies also get guidance on international labor laws and employee visa requirements.

Papaya Global user interface.
Papaya Global user interface. Source: Papayaglobal.com

Standout features

Employee of record: The employee of record feature offered by Papaya allows businesses to handle employment in any country around the globe without needing to set up a local entity. Papaya has in-country partners who act as local employers for each country.

Compliance: Papaya offers legal expertise to ensure employment contracts comply with local regulations and labor laws, such as mandatory benefits.

Pros

  • Global coverage.
  • Strong reporting and analytics.
  • Pricing transparency.

Cons

  • Initial setup is time-consuming.
  • Expensive.

Pricing

Papaya offers multiple global payroll solutions starting at the following price points: 

  • Global Payroll: Starts at $25/employee/month for businesses with 101+ employees, $20/employee/month with 501+ employees, or $15/employee/month with 1,001+ employees.
  • EOR: Starts at $650/employee/month.
  • Contractor Payments & Management: Starts at $30/contractor/month.

Rippling: Best for all-in-one HR outsourcing

Rippling is a Software-as-as-Service (SaaS) company that offers cloud-based HR tools to streamline HR functions. The product includes employee benefits, payroll and HR integrations. One of the advantages of Rippling as an outsourcing partner is that it offers a full range of HR tools. It offers excellent versatility for modern businesses. Businesses can outsource their hiring, employee time tracking, global payroll, employee benefits and other HR tasks to Rippling.

Rippling user interface.
Rippling user interface. Source: Rippling.com

Standout features

Onboarding: Rippling makes it easy for businesses to grow. It can run background checks, automatically add new hires to the payroll, enroll them in benefits, and set them up with the required tools, such as Slack and Microsoft 365.

Time and attendance: You can put time and attendance on autopilot with Rippling. It will automatically track hours from clock-in to paycheck. There is no need to enter data manually or have delays in approval from managers.

Pros

  • Highly customizable.
  • Little to no learning curve.

Cons

  • No standard pricing.
  • Minimum one-year contract.

Pricing

Customized pricing that starts at $8 per user per month.

Paychex: Best for payroll

Paychex can handle HR outsourcing for businesses of all sizes. It is one of the industry’s leading HR outsourcing and payroll service providers, offering advanced payroll tools, such as off-cycle payments, direct deposits and contractor payments. You could also use their consultancy services to streamline your in-house HR department or completely outsource your HR to them.

Paychex screenshot.
Paychex screenshot. Source: https://www.paychex.com/demos/mobile-app

Standout features

Payroll and taxes: Paychex’s payroll and tax services are among the industry’s best. You can use it to track employee hours, ensure compliance with government regulations and more.

Expert HR guidance: Through its professional consultancy services, Paychex offers guidance on employment laws, regulations, and other HR matters for local or international employees.

Pros

  • Outstanding payroll tools.
  • Powerful analytics for data-driven insights.
  • Consultancy services are available.

Cons

  • Extra fees for tax filing.
  • Pricing is not transparent.
  • Live chat for technical support is slow.

Pricing

  • Paychex Flex Essentials: Custom quote.
  • Paychex Flex Select: Custom quote.
  • Paychex Flex Pro: Custom quote.

Justworks: Best for small and medium-sized businesses

Justworks is an HR information system designed to support small and midsize businesses. It offers extensive features, including payroll processing for small to medium sized businesses, tax filing, document storage and HR compliance assistance. The intuitive user interface, responsive 24/7 customer service, full PEO (Professional Employer Organization) support, and a complete range of features makes Justworks an ideal HR outsourcing partner.

Justworks screenshot.
Justworks screenshot. Source: justworks.com

Standout features

Risk management and legal compliance: Justworks offers risk management and legal compliance with local, state and federal employment laws. This feature is most suited for small and medium-sized businesses, as larger organizations might find Justworks’ tools limited.

Employee benefits administration: The Plus plan offers a compressive range of employee benefits features. This includes health insurance, 401(k), dental and vision insurance and HSA. Employees can also benefit from using the tax-advantaged savings account, health and wellness perks, and health advocacy services.

Pros

  • 24/7 customer service for all plans.
  • Simple and transparent pricing.

Cons

  • Time tracking is a paid add-on.
  • Reporting feature needs improvement.

Pricing

  • Basic: $59 per month per employee.
  • Plus: $99 per month per employee.

Insperity: Best for automating HR

Having Insperity as your HR outsourcing partner gives you access to its network of HR specialists. You will have a dedicated client success manager to help you navigate the intricacies of outsourced HR services. Insperity offers a full range of HR features, including HR support, benefits enrollment, data integrations, and health, dental and vision insurance. They also offer talent acquisition and onboarding services.

Insperity user interface.
Insperity user interface. Source: https://www.business.com/reviews/insperity-hr-outsourcing

Standout features

HR administration: One of the major advantages of choosing Insperity is that it can take care of all HR functions for your business. This includes HR administration tasks, paperless onboarding, custom-built reporting, employee self-service access and benefits enrollment.

Clean and simple interface: Insperity has managed to keep a clean and simple user interface, with all information on the dashboard and reports presented very clearly. This allows for an easy learning curve.

Pros

  • Certified by the IRS.
  • 401(k) management.
  • Excellent HR support.

Cons

  • Pricing is not transparent.
  • Lack of control in creating benefits.
  • Minimum one-year contract.

Pricing

Customized pricing structure.

Bambee: Best for labor law compliance

Bambee is a unique option that combines outsourced HR compliance management with a simple human resources information system (HRIS). Unlike Rippling and Justworks’ PEO solutions, Bambee provides you with a dedicated HR manager to handle the risk component of your people operations. This includes assisting with employee terminations, developing company handbooks and tracking mandatory state or industry trainings.

Although Bambee is an excellent solution if you cannot hire and maintain an HR department for your small business, one of the drawbacks is that it doesn’t provide you the same liability protection as a PEO or an employer of record (EOR). Because you either share or relinquish liability with a PEO or an EOR, you have far more legal protection in the event of an employment lawsuit.

That said, a Bambee HR manager is likely more attuned to your business needs since they are your single point of contact. This means quicker turnaround times and more personalized, relevant service than a big-name HR software vendor.

Bambee displays the text "What is the EEOC?" followed by two speech bubbles from someone named Ashley Medows explaining that the EEOC stands for the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission.
View of Bambee’s HR manager live chat function. Image: Bambee

Standout features

HR policy monitoring: Bambee’s HR manager can craft company-specific and compliant HR policies, such as attendance, anti-harassment and paid time off (PTO). Bambee will then follow up with staff for electronic signatures to verify acknowledgment and automatically update policies as labor law regulations change.

Live chat: All Bambee subscription plans include a live chat feature, allowing you to reach your HR manager directly in its cloud-based platform. This makes it easy to troubleshoot HR concerns within the flow of work and allows you to retain a written record of advice that you can refer to in the event of similar issues in the future.

Pros

  • Comprehensive HR audit to identify potential or current compliant risks.
  • Inexpensive compared to a PEO or an EOR.
  • Can start using the service before hiring your first employee.

Cons

  • Lacks a mobile application to handle employee self-service tasks, like paystub retrieval.
  • It does not manage employee benefits or offer employment practices liability insurance (EPLI).
  • Payroll services are a paid add-on and relatively weak.

Pricing

Bambee offers several subscription tiers based on your employee headcount, as outlined in the table below:

0 employees 1–4 employees 5–19 employees 20–49 employees 50–70 employees 71+ employees
Price $99/mo. $299/mo. $399/mo. $499/mo. $1,299/mo. Contact sales
One-time setup fee $0 $500 $500 $1,500 $2,000 Contact sales
HR manager access No (Bambee HR platform access only) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of core HR policies supported 4 4 4 4 4 Custom
Number of custom HR policies supported 2 2 4 8 12 Custom
Number of job descriptions 2 3 4 5 5 Custom
Support mediums Chat and email Chat, email and phone Chat, email and phone Chat, email and phone Chat, email and phone Chat, email and phone

How to choose the right HR outsourcing software

As a first step to choosing the right HR outsourcing software, you need to analyze your needs. You can start this process by mapping out the HR workflows and engaging key stakeholders across departments to get their feedback on what they need from the software.

The next step is to determine the must-have features of the software. Most of the top HR software will offer core features such as payroll and benefits enrollment. However, the unique features will help you shortlist the top candidates. For example, if you have international employees, you will need an outsourcing partner that offers global coverage. Similarly, If you are an organization with fewer than 100 employees, you may need HR software specially designed for small businesses. Such filters help narrow your search to the most suitable HR outsourcing software.

You also need to determine the true cost of the HR outsourcing software to determine the return on investment. The pricing structure can vary from one vendor to another, so you must dig deep to determine the cost to your organization. Make sure your calculations include any extra charges for implementation, technical support, initial setup and license fees. It is worth keeping an eye on the future, so you don’t end up outgrowing the software.

Lastly, you must ensure the new software fits your existing tech stack. If you already use accounting software or CRM, the HR software must be compatible with the software you are using. Otherwise, you will need to invest in new software or run separate systems, which isn’t ideal for operational efficiency and employee productivity.

Methodology

To compile this list of top HR outsourcing tools, we conducted comprehensive research and analyzed several products on the market. We evaluated the software based on expert reviews, customer testimonials, pricing structure, core features, advanced features, customer service and other parameters. We also analyzed the user interface for ease of use and intuitive design. Although having a mobile app has become a standard for top HR software, we also considered the app’s quality as a factor in our research.


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