TriNet Zenefits Review 2024 – HR and Payroll Tested & Rated

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Our Verdict

User-friendly tool for HR and Payroll needs for medium-sized businesses

Zenefits is a full-service HR solutions software that makes processing payroll, streamlining onboarding, and managing benefits easy with a user-friendly platform. The software streamlines workflows so human resource management teams can focus on tasks that truly matter.

TriNet’s customer service receives good scores on third-party review sites and users love the HR support, attendance management, and benefits enrollment. With pricing starting as low as $8/month per employee and with HR functions such as automated onboarding, mobile app, and employee management, TriNet Zenefits stands out as a budget-friendly option suitable for small to medium-sized businesses.

Pros

  • User-friendly platform with advanced customization options
  • Plenty of integrations to streamline onboarding and offboarding processes
  • Comprehensive payroll feature catering to SMBs
  • Great for HR administration and 401k integration
  • Affordable range of pricing plans

Cons

  • Doesn't offer the option to save dynamic employee earnings
  • Lacks dedicated account manager and HR manager customer support
  • Talent acquisition and applicant tracking is an additional cost

What is TriNet Zenefits?

TriNet Zenefits is a professional employer organization (PEO provider) that offers HR support to small and medium-sized businesses. The company’s specific focus is on HR, payroll, and health insurance.

In our TriNet review, we dig down on its key features, evaluate its pricing and plans, and compare the overall offering with three of TriNets main competitors: Rippling, Papaya, and Gusto.

TriNet Pricing & Plans

Our table below compares the top-level information about TriNet Zenefits pricing plans and the features offered in each tier that can support your HR department. We assess how these options align with the diverse needs of businesses of all scales and types.

Plan Tier/Level Monthly Cost/Per user Administrators Reporting Customer Support Payroll Benefits Admin
Essentials $8/m Basic – Live chat
– On-demand meetings
✅ Free for the first year
Growth $16/m Standard – Live chat
– On-demand meetings
✅ Free for the first year
Zen $27/m Multiple Advanced – Live chat
– On-demand meetings

One of the best things about using TriNet Zenefits is that you can test it for free by requesting a demo upon registration. Unlike its competitors, this service does not require credit card details for its 14-day trial. We liked that you can choose between two subscription models – monthly and annually. If you subscribe to an annual contract, TriNet Zenefits also rewards you with free payroll software for the first year.

The cost for each tier depends on the subscription length but also changes depending on the tier you choose. For example:

  • The Essentials monthly plan costs $10/m per employee
  • The Essentials annual subscription costs $8/m per employee

Among the three options (Essential, Growth, and Zen), we found that Growth is the most popular TriNet Zenefit subscription tier. It’s most cost-effective for organizations with 50+ employees.

To get access to recruiting and applicant tracking software pricing starts at $35/month.

TriNet Zenefits Essentials Plan – Starts at $8/m

The Essentials pricing plan is ideal for smaller organizations of up to 50 employees. With this basic set of resource management and employee productivity features, small businesses can balance workloads and increase productivity by helping their employees manage their work.

The main features of an Essentials Plan subscription include:

  • Automated onboarding
  • Employee management
  • Time-off scheduling
  • Analytics dashboard
  • Integrations
  • Mobile app

New users can also manage payroll for free, but only in the first subscription year. You’ll be able to continue using this feature, but it’ll cost $6 extra on top of the Essentials subscription price.

TriNet Zenefits Growth Plan – Starts at $16/m

The Growth Plan comes with the same feature set as the Essentials Plan (including the free payroll for the first year) but also offers some advanced management features.

The advanced features of a Growth Plan subscription include:

  • Configurable people analytics
  • Compensation management
  • Performance management

We recommend this subscription tier for small- and mid-scale businesses planning to enhance their employee base in the near future.

The biggest benefit of this plan comes from the ‘Performance management’ feature. This allows companies to set measurable employee objectives, thus improving performance evaluations and helping staff better understand what’s expected from them.

Out of everything, we really liked how this advanced feature helps align individual goals with organizational objectives – a crucial tool for enhancing the company’s overall success.

TriNet Zenefits Zen Plan – Starts at $27/m

We found that the TriNet Zenefits Zen subscription plan stood out as a comprehensive solution. Not only does it have all of the functionalities in the Essentials and Growth plans, but three extra features make it special.

The extra features in a Zen Plan subscription include:

  • Employee engagement surveys
  • People hub
  • Includes Payroll (permanently included)

The payroll feature helps companies streamline and automate the complex process of managing employee compensation. It handles accurate calculations, payroll taxes, and seamless direct deposit options. We found that a Zen subscription not only saves valuable time but reduces the risk of errors. Thanks to its payroll tools, businesses of all sizes can focus on core operations instead.

Without such efficient payroll tools, you might have to look into purchasing additional services, which you can sometimes find as part of the best tax software.

TriNet Zenefits Overview

Starting price $8/m
Best for Small- and mid-size companies to easily manage HR functions
Customer support Help Center, Live Chat
App integrations G Suite, Slack, Office 365, Salesforce, QuickBooks
Security & Compliance Two-factor authentication, AES-256 encryption, SCO II Certificate, industry-standard compliance
Payroll
Reporting & analytics
Mobile app
Benefits administration
E-signatures
Auto-alerts and reminders

Features of TriNet Zenefits

In the features section of our TriNet Zenefits review, we dive into exploring the capabilities that make this service stand out from other HR software solutions.

Time Tracking & Scheduling

TriNet Zenefits Dashboard - Scheduling

The scheduling feature eliminates the need to use spreadsheets or lists, allowing you to organize employees’ shifts and balance workloads seamlessly.

What’s great is that time tracking is included in the lowest pricing tier, and includes a clock-in/clock-out functionality as well as automatic payroll synchronization. This feature is particularly valuable for complex organizations with multiple departments and varying work shifts or time zones.

We tested the mobile app time tracking and clocking in was quick and easy. TriNet offers time card fraud prevention such as pictures taken at clock-in so employers know the exact location. The reporting works in real-time and we found it to be a great assist to calculate project time and overtime pay.

Performance Management

TriNet Zenefits Dashboard - Performance

A robust performance management option included in your HR software will help you define and track company goals more easily. TriNet Zenefits’ offering helps managers focus on both individual and team performance, which can help boost productivity and efficiency across departments.

You can find multiple customizable templates included, like peer reviews, 360 reviews, and self-reviews which is great seeing as performance management consulting is only added at the second-tier price point.

We tested filling out a quick feedback review on the mobile app which worked well as it was optimized for mobile use. This is a great feature as having access from anywhere will reduce time-to-completion and increase the overall completion rate with employees.

People Analytics

TriNet Zenefits Dashboard - Analytics

TriNet Zenefits also offers a people analytics feature that uses multiple statistical techniques and AI. With this valuable information, your business can gain valuable insights into different aspects of its workforce, including:

  • Employee turnover
  • Retention
  • Diversity
  • Exits
  • Movement

This tool means organizations can transform raw HR data into actionable insights through easy-to-understand workforce analytics. It’s never felt easier to make informed strategic decisions rather than relying on intuition. For example, an HR manager can use this information to expand on benefits within the platform or overhaul the onboarding process.

Payroll Management

TriNet Zenefits Dashboard - Payroll

The comprehensive running payroll tool works to streamline the entire payroll process. It’s also worth remembering that it’s free for the first year of an annual subscription.

This includes several tasks, such as:

  • Salary management
  • Payroll taxes
  • Payment processing
  • Recorded hours worked
  • Benefit deductions

The TriNet Zenefits payroll feature eliminates manual calculation and daunting paperwork, allowing companies to automate payroll processes – it certainly does save time as well as effort. Employees can also access the self-service portal to view pay stubs and request PTO.

When using TriNet for payroll processing, the software calculates and withholds federal, state, and local payroll taxes. Employee files like W-2 can be imported easily when syncing with TurboTax.

For general accounting, however, you’ll have to rely on a third-party tool such as QuickBooks (which integrates well but is an additional cost).

Mobile App

TriNet Zenefits Mobile App

TriNet offers a mobile app that’s suitable for both Apple and Android. Employees can access all their information such as pay stubs, health insurance information, request time off, clock in/out, and access their benefits information. Making changes is easy, for example, you can change your benefits offerings within the ‘benefit options’ section of the app.

We like that the app works to connect remote employees and new employees by making it easy to find team members, view specific departments, and call, text, or email directly from the app.

Integrations Available with TriNet Zenefits

TriNet Zenefits supports the seamless integration of new modules, multiple applications, and third-party tools. This ensures that the HR system can evolve to meet the needs of a growing workforce while maintaining optimal functionality.

In our TriNet Zenefits review, we found it supports 36 apps across 10 categories, including:

  • Productivity
  • Time tracking
  • Accounting
  • Travel
  • Learning software
  • Legal
  • Financial

Compared to the best cloud HR software tools like Rippling and Gusto, TriNet is somewhere in between when it comes to integrations. It doesn’t offer the largest integration library we’ve seen so far, but isn’t limited either.

For example:

  • TriNet Zenefits offers 10 productivity tools, including G Suite, Office 365, Asana, Zapier, and Salesforce.
  • Rippling’s library of third-party tools also offers Google Workspace, Zendesk, and Jira.
  • Gusto integrates with over 190 applications in total, an impressive amount.

TriNet Zenefits Customer Reviews

TriNet Zenefits HR software earns glowing user reviews on major sites like G2, Getapp, and TrustRadius. Overall, the software stands out for its stellar performance, versatility, and positive user experiences from an HR perspective. One TriNet user even highlighted that the software is excellent for both employers and employees.

The main praises in TriNet reviews are:

  • Its exceptionally user-friendly interface for self-service features
  • Smooth onboarding processes
  • Robust customization options tailored for HR managers

TriNet Zenefits Customer review

In the majority of instances, users commented on the platform’s intuitive design, making complicated HR tasks efficient and straightforward. While some people did mention the absence of dedicated customer support or account manager over a randomly assigned agent, we wouldn’t consider this a major disadvantage.

What is TriNet Zenefits Good for?

TriNet Zenefits is well-suited to a small business looking to expand, as well as medium-scale organizations seeking comprehensive HR solutions.

Its intuitive design makes it accessible to people with varying levels of technical expertise, from an office administrator to a human resources pro. As a result, it ensures seamless navigation through the HR platform, even for first-time users.

The platform serves as a centralized hub for administering diverse employee perks, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and additional employee benefits

This efficient, combined approach simplifies the typically complex process of in-house benefits management. It also helps organizations ensure regulatory compliance for benefits by automating tasks related to reporting and documentation.

We liked being able to track employees’ pay rates and raises in our TriNet Zenefits review, as well as add bonuses. There’s also the option to get a detailed insight into their time off and time-shifted work, all from one place.

The only aspect in which TriNet Zenefits falls short is its W2 functionalities. Several competitors also have the functionality to send donations from the user’s paycheck, which might come as a minor inconvenience to some employees.

TriNet Zenefits vs. Top Alternatives

Provider Best for Starting Price Payroll Benefits Admin Reporting/Analytics Mobile App
TriNet Zenefits Small- and mid-scale businesses looking to simplify the benefits management processes $8/m per employee Configurable people analytics and compensation management
Rippling Training new recruits $8/month per employee Pre-built and custom workforce and compliance reports
Papaya Businesses seeking to streamline and automate payment processes $3/m per employee Standard HR and Payroll analytics
Gusto Smaller businesses with limited resources looking to stay compliant with payroll tax regulations $40/m plus $6/m per person Comprehensive custom reports and anonymous employee surveys

TriNet Zenefits vs. Rippling

Rippling is a robust payroll solution with broader human resources and IT functionalities. While TriNet fails to offer a comparable feature set, it stands out with its Configurable People Analytics, providing in-depth insights into workforce trends.

TriNet’s focus on comprehensive HR management, including analytics, makes it a valuable choice for small businesses seeking insightful perspectives. But Rippling’s extensive hr platform competes on another level in terms of the features offered at a similar minimum price plan.

Learn more in our Rippling review.

TriNet Zenefits vs Papaya

As a global payroll management system, Papaya’s customer base focuses on larger businesses with international workforces. It does, of course, offer robust expense reports and analytics features, similar to TriNet Zenefits.

That said, TriNet Zenefits is suitable for businesses seeking broader HR solutions specializing in management and analytics. While it does have payroll features – albeit less comprehensive than Papaya’s – it also offers 360-degree feedback, attendance, sick leave tracking, and workflow management options, an area Papaya falls short of.

Learn more in our Papaya Global review.

TriNet Zenefits vs. Gusto

During our comprehensive TriNet Zenefits review, we found the two platforms are similar in terms of pricing and ease of use. Both HR software solutions are known for a payroll-centric approach with vast integration capabilities.

However, it is vital to note that TriNet offers solutions beyond payroll, including benefits administration and compliance management. In contrast, Gusto provides plenty of self-service employee options, allowing staff to easily access and manage their information using the Gusto Wallet app.

Learn more in our Gusto review.

Verdict – is TriNet Zenefits Worth it?

We found in our TriNet review that Zenefits is a value-driven solution for effective HR management. Our favorite features include benefits administration, compensation management, payroll processing, configurable people analytics, and integration capabilities. We also found that the platform offers a holistic approach to workforce management.

The versatility, scalability, and user-centric approach make TriNet Zenefits a worthwhile investment for SMBs in particular. If you’re looking to optimize HR processes (particularly payroll) and enhance overall organizational efficiency, look no further.

How We Test HR Software

We consider certain key factors when testing the best human resources management software:

  • Pricing – We evaluate each software’s affordability and value, ensuring it can align with the budgets of both small and large-scale businesses.
  • Features – We check core HR functionalities like benefits administration, payroll processing, and people tracking, as well as extra-special tools and features.
  • Integrations – Our team analyzes the HR platform’s compatibility and ability to integrate with other business tools seamlessly.
  • Automation – We examine the level of automation and closely monitor how each solution resolves repetitive tasks.
  • Ease of use – Making sure each platform offers an accessible interface catering to users with different levels of technical expertise.
  • Third-party reviews – We do the legwork for you by reviewing feedback and testimonials from other users to gain insights into real-world experiences.

How to Choose the Best HR Software

Whether you choose to try out TriNet Zenefits or not, selecting the right HR software that aligns with your unique business needs is no easy task. It requires a thoughtful evaluation of various factors.

The key aspects we recommend considering when choosing the best HR software include:

  • Type of HR software – Work out the specific type of HR software that meets your business’s organizational needs. Some solutions focus on HR functionalities, while others specialize solely in administration or payroll processing.
  • Essential HR features Identify what features are required for effective HR management. Is it employee onboarding for a seamless integration of new hires? Attendance tracking for efficient time management? It’s important to know what you need most.
  • Pricing – Before making any financial commitment, you should consider the HR software’s pricing structure. Make sure it fits your budget constraints, and check for hidden costs.
  • Ease of use – Make sure the interface is intuitive and accessible. It should be able to cater to less tech-savvy users.
  • Integrations – Check that the HR platform is compatible with third-party apps your business is already using. You want to avoid duplicating any data.
  • Customer support – Choosing a platform that offers responsive customer support with multiple communication channels – this might include live chat, video sessions, contact forms, email, or phone support.

FAQs

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Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert
Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…