6 Zenefits Alternatives to Consider

Managing a workforce is no easy task for human resources professionals. Perhaps one of the most important tasks is onboarding employees.

Onboarding helps new hires transition to their roles and get acquainted with the company. A positive onboarding experience is key to building strong relationships from the outset and retaining talent.

However, 36% of organizations say they lack the tools to organize their onboarding programs and train managers in proper techniques.

This is where a human resource management system (HRMS) can prove helpful. An HRMS is a suite of software that allows organizations to automate administrative processes, streamline onboarding and increase employee engagement.

You may have heard of Zenefits — an online HR software that provides tools for startups and small businesses to manage their employees.

But are there Zenefits alternatives?

Here’s a comprehensive guide we’ve put together that compares the leading vendors in the HRMS market.

Zenefits Alternatives:

Introduction to Zenefits


What the Vendor Says: “Streamline onboarding, benefits, payroll, PTO, and more with our simple, intuitive platform.”

About Zenefits

Zenefits is an all-in-one online HR suite that consolidates multiple HR tools into a simple and intuitive platform.

What’s Offered by Zenefits?

Zenefits offers a robust set of features that enable startups and small businesses to manage their workforce and automate repetitive tasks. The online dashboard provides a centralized location for companies to manage their workforce and onboard new employees.

Zenefits offers a fully integrated payroll software, which automatically calculates and files payroll taxes. Zenefits makes it easy for employees to compare and choose benefits packages that are right for them.

The platform also includes advanced time and scheduling tools that sync with HR, benefits and payroll. Companies can create new schedules for their employees, automatically send notifications and track employee activity in real-time.

Additional features include:

  • Self-service portal
  • Employee onboarding
  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Reports and analytics
  • Benefits administration
  • Business Intelligence
  • Payroll sync

Dashboard at a glance:

Zenefits Dashboard

Employee Directory

Pay Runs

How Much Does Zenefits Cost?

Zenefits offers three plans: Essentials, Growth and Zen.

The Essentials plan is $10 per employee a month and includes an HR platform, scheduling, third-party integrations and more.

The Growth plan is $20 per employee a month and includes all the features in the Essentials plan as well as compensation management, performance management and more.

The Zen plan is $33 per employee a month and adds on employee engagement surveys, payroll and a People Hub (a centralized hub where employees can see and participate in company feeds and track tasks).

Discounts are available with the yearly plan.

Zenefits also offers the following add-ons:

  • Payroll ($6 per employee, per month) for users on the Essentials and Growth plans
  • Recruiting (starting at $35 per employee, per month)
  • Benefits ($5 per employee, per month if company wants to use their existing broker; free for companies that use a broker from Zenefits’ partner network)
  • Advisory services ($8 per employee, per month): This feature includes access to certified HR and payroll experts for questions or issues


Zenefits offers a free 14-day trial for interested businesses.

Pros and Cons of Zenefits

Pros: An online HR platform that’s simple to use for admins and employees. Includes payroll integration and allows HR departments to automate repetitive tasks.

Cons: Some users note a lengthy onboarding process and difficulty in reaching their assigned representatives after launch.

Check out the following Zenefits review to learn more about this vendor.

Zenefits Alternative #1: Sage HR (formerly CakeHR)

What the Vendor Says: “We created Sage HR to solve your HR challenges and let you focus on building business.”

Introduction to Sage HR

Sage HR is a cloud-based HR management solution for small to mid-sized businesses to quickly onboard their employees and automate HR processes.

What’s Offered by Sage HR?

Sage HR offers the following modules:

  • Leave Management
  • Performance Management
  • Timesheets Management
  • Shift Scheduling
  • Expense Management
  • Recruitment Management

Companies can add the specific modules they need.

Sage HR offers an easy-to-use interface that enables managers to onboard new employees, handle time-off approvals, create schedules, approve expenses and gather insights with HR reports. Sage HR also offers end-to-end recruitment software that features a simple drag-and-drop interface, allowing companies to streamline the recruitment process.

Additional features include:

  • Employee directory
  • Document storage
  • Workflow builder
  • Onboarding templates
  • Third-party integrations
  • Custom reports

Dashboard at a glance:

CakeHR Dashboard

My Personal Goals


How Much Does Sage HR Cost?

Sage HR doesn’t offer pricing plans like other HR platforms. Instead, companies can select the specific modules they need. Pricing is not publicly available, so please contact Sage HR directly for a quote.


Companies interested in this vendor can sign up for a 14-day free trial.

Pros and Cons of Sage HR

Pros: Intuitive HR platform with an easy setup process. Companies can choose the modules that fit their needs.

Cons: Doesn’t offer payroll management or benefits administration. Some users note limited features with the mobile app.

Check out our in-depth Sage HR review for more details.

Zenefits Alternative #2: Sage HRMS


What the Vendor Says: “A complete on-premise human resource management solution that will help you maximize every amount you invest in your employees.”

Introduction to Sage HRMS

Sage HRMS is a robust, on-premise human capital management (HCM) application that enables small to mid-sized businesses to manage the entire life cycle of their employees.

What’s Offered by Sage HRMS?

Sage HRMS offers a customized HR solution that allows companies to purchase the modules they need. The platform includes modules for employee onboarding, talent recruiting, payroll processing, time tracking and more.

Each of these features allows companies to improve their HR processes and focus more of their efforts on attracting and retaining talent.

Additional features include:

  • Payroll management
  • Recruiting and onboarding
  • Employee benefits
  • Performance management
  • Paperless HR
  • Self-service portal

Dashboard at a glance:

Sage Dashboard

Employees Tab

Payroll Tab

How Much Does Sage HRMS Cost?

Sage doesn’t display pricing information on its website. Implementation is based on different factors, including what the client needs and the modules they purchase. Businesses interested in using Sage HRMS will need to reach out to the vendor’s sales team to request a quote.

Pros and Cons of Sage HRMS

Pros: Powerful platform for managing key HR processes. Plenty of learning resources available for teams to learn the software.

Cons: Pricing is determined on a case-by-case basis. Some users note a steep learning curve with the platform.

Read the following Sage HRMS review for more details about this vendor.

Zenefits Alternative #3: HR Cloud

HR Cloud

What the Vendor Says: “Easy-to-use HR software that empowers your whole team.”

Introduction to HR Cloud

HR Cloud is a cloud-based HR software that streamlines the onboarding process and makes it easier for HR departments to manage employee data.

What’s Offered by HR Cloud?

HR Cloud offers an intuitive employee onboarding module that eliminates time-consuming tasks. Features include automated introduction emails, personalized employee portals, easy-fill forms, customized checklists and more.

HR Cloud also offers Workmates — an employee experience platform that allows companies to reward employee accomplishments and share important milestones with the whole team. HR Cloud integrates with many third-party applications for applicant tracking, payroll processing, performance management and more.

Additional features include:

  • Social hub
  • Employee directory
  • Organizational chart
  • Mobile app
  • Time tracking
  • Document management
  • Enterprise-level security
  • Third-party applications

Dashboard at a glance:

HR Cloud Dashboard

People Tasks


How Much Does HR Cloud Cost?

HR Cloud allows companies to choose packages that suit their HR needs.

Here’s a snapshot of the different packages that HR Cloud offers:

HR Cloud Packages

HR Cloud doesn’t display pricing information. Interested businesses can fill out a form to request a quote or reach out directly to its sales team for more details.

Pros and Cons of HR Cloud

Pros: Robust HR platform with an intuitive interface for streamlining HR processes. Top-notch customer support.

Cons: Payroll processing and learning management aren’t offered, but HR Cloud offers integrations for applications that provide those features.

Check out the following HR Cloud review for more information.

Zenefits Alternative #4: Criterion HCM



What the Vendor Says: “Our comprehensive suite of HCM solutions addresses every facet of the employment lifecycle and built on a single, unified database.”

Introduction to Criterion HCM

Criterion HCM is a cloud-based HCM solution built primarily for mid-sized companies.

What’s Offered by Criterion HCM?

Criterion HCM offers a comprehensive suite of HCM tools that enable companies to manage the entire employee lifecycle from one unified database. Its robust capabilities include benefits management and open enrollment, applicant tracking and onboarding, scheduling, payroll processing and more.

Criterion HCM also offers a self-service portal, which employees can use to track their time, apply for time-off and get payroll information. The portal is accessible from the web or through a mobile app.

Additional features include:

  • Centralized employee database
  • Applicant tracking
  • Time and attendance management
  • Payroll management
  • Performance Management

Dashboard at a glance:

Criterion HCM Dashboard

Recruiting Tab


How Much Does Criterion HCM Cost?

Criterion HCM doesn’t publicly list pricing information or offer a free trial. Please reach out directly to its sales team to schedule a demo or request pricing information.

Pros and Cons of Criterion HCM

Pros: Comprehensive HCM solutions for managing the entire employee life cycle. Responsive customer support team.

Cons: The platform primarily targets mid-market customers. Larger organizations or enterprises may need to look elsewhere for HR solutions.

Check out the following Criterion HCM review for more details.

Zenefits Alternative #5: Workday


What the Vendor Says: “See how Workday is helping enterprises around the world adapt to change as fast as change happens.”

Introduction to Workday

Workday is a web-based enterprise resource management (ERP) software that targets mid-sized companies and enterprises.

What’s Offered by Workday?

Workday offers a robust ERP solution that combines finance, HR and IT capabilities into a single platform. The financial management module includes tools for accounting, internal controls, financial planning, revenue management, reporting and more.

The HCM module allows companies to manage the entire employee life cycle from onboarding to payroll processing and career growth. Companies can use analytics to assess their workforce and gather actionable insights.

Additional features include:

  • Human resources management
  • Career and development planning
  • Talent management
  • Workforce analytics
  • Big Data integration
  • Payroll solutions
  • benefits administration
  • Onboarding tools
  • Time tracking
  • Learning management

Dashboard at a glance:

Workday Dashboard

Data Discovery

Financial Summary

How Much Does Workday Cost?

Workday doesn’t display pricing information for its HR platform. Prospective clients should reach out directly to its sales team for more specific pricing information.

Pros and Cons of Workday

Pros: Robust platform that combines numerous HR capabilities into one platform. Companies can use analytics and business intelligence to drive decision making.

Cons: Primarily targeted toward mid-sized companies and large enterprises. Some users found the reporting features lackluster.

Check out this in-depth Workday review for additional details.

Zenefits Alternative #6: Paylocity


What the Vendor Says: “Deliver a seamless and meaningful employee experience.”

Introduction to Paylocity

Paylocity is a web-based HCM that enables companies to streamline administrative tasks and enhance employee engagement.

What’s Offered by Paylocity?

Paylocity offers a robust platform that consolidates numerous functions into a single platform. The software includes modules for payroll processing, employee onboarding, schedule tracking, benefits administration, applicant tracking and talent engagement.

With the self-service functionality, admins and employees can use their information through a browser or from the mobile app. Paylocity also offers integrations with over 300 third-party applications.

Additional features include:

  • Payroll management
  • Employee portal
  • Document templates
  • Interactive reporting
  • Activity dashboard
  • Talent management
  • Benefits administration
  • Time tracking

Dashboard at a glance:

Paylocity Dashboard

Benefits Enrollment Tab

New Journal Entry

How Much Does Paylocity Cost?

Paylocity doesn’t display pricing information for its HR platform. Instead, companies interested in using this software will need to reach out directly to its sales team for a quote.

Pros and Cons of Paylocity

Pros: Robust HR platform that can be customized for specific business needs. Tons of learning resources available, including online training courses.

Cons: Creating reports with built-in tools can be cumbersome. Some users note that finding specific features in the interface can be difficult.

Check out our Paylocity review to learn more about this vendor.

The Right Zenefits Alternative for Your Business

Feeling overwhelmed with the number of HRMS solutions on the market?

Here are some Zenefits alternatives we recommend for different types of businesses:

The Right Zenefits Alternative for Small Teams

We recommend small teams check out:

The Right Zenefits Alternative for Mid-Sized Companies

We recommend mid-sized companies check out:

The Right Zenefits Alternative for Enterprises

We recommend enterprises check out:


HRMS software can benefit all organizations from startups to large enterprises. These solutions allow companies to manage their workforce, onboard new employees, process payroll, retain talent and more.

Zenefits is a popular cloud-based HRMS solution that brings together multiple HR functions into a single platform.

However, other options on the market may fit your existing processes better or offer features that Zenefits doesn’t have. Better Buys has several resources available to help you compare the leading Zenefits alternatives and make a decision.

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