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The Best HR Outsourcing Companies of 2024

Updated Jan 25, 2024
Best for Reporting and Analytics
  • Industry-specific advisors
  • Expansive HR features
  • Expense reporting functionality
  • Industry-specific advisors
  • Expansive HR features
  • Expense reporting functionality
Best for Talent Acquisition
  • User-friendly job posting
  • Compensation tools
  • Advanced recruitment reports
  • User-friendly job posting
  • Compensation tools
  • Advanced recruitment reports
Best for Startups
  • Dedicated HR support
  • Affordable plan options
  • Policy development tools
  • Dedicated HR support
  • Affordable plan options
  • Policy development tools
Best for Payroll
  • Seamless payroll process
  • Contractor payments
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Seamless payroll process
  • Contractor payments
  • 24/7 customer support
Best for Strategic HR Advising
  • Fortune-500-level benefits
  • Easy open enrollment
  • User-friendly self-service tools
  • Fortune-500-level benefits
  • Easy open enrollment
  • User-friendly self-service tools

Table of Contents

Open row

What is HR outsourcing?

HR outsourcing, or HRO, involves hiring a third-party service to conduct human resources operations for your business rather than employing an in-house HR team. HR outsourcing firms offer an exceptional level of expertise to manage your workforce and can save you money on salaries and benefits. However, using a third-party team means relying on their customer service department to ensure you have a full understanding of your business’s HR operations. Should you use an HR outsourcing service for your small business? Read more in our guide to HR outsourcing, or check out our reviews below.


  • An HR outsourcing service can handle some or all of your business’s HR functions, taking the burden off your team.
  • An HR outsourcing provider can save you money that you would otherwise spend on salaries and wages for HR personnel while introducing a heightened level of HR expertise to your company and employees.
  • An HR outsourcing service can help your business comply with several rules and regulations in various areas, including employment law, payroll, benefits management, recruiting, hiring and firing.
  • This best picks page is for business owners and decision-makers who are considering partnering with an HR outsourcing company to conduct some or all of their HR processes.

Whether you’re looking to outsource all of your HR functions or your in-house team just needs a bit of support, HR outsourcing services may be just what you need. These companies offer expert HR staff who can take over this critical function for you, handling areas such as employee benefits, payroll, regulatory compliance and documentation. If you’re thinking about outsourcing some or all of your HR department, consider our picks for the best HR outsourcing companies below.

Compare Our Best Picks

BND Ribbon
Our Top Picks for 2024
TriNet HR Outsourcing
BambooHR HR Outsourcing
Bambee HR Outsourcing
Paychex HR Outsourcing
ADP HR Outsourcing
Insperity HR Outsourcing
Gusto HR Software
WorkSight by G&A Partners
Rating9.2/109.4/108.7/108.6/109.1/109.1/109.6/109.0/10
Best Use Case

Best for Reporting and Analytics

Best for Talent Acquisition

Best for Startups

Best for Payroll

Best for Strategic HR Advising

Best for Midsize Businesses

Best for Onboarding

Best for Employee Training and Development

Pricing

Custom pricing

Custom pricing

Starts at $99 per month

Custom pricing

Custom pricing

Custom pricing

Starts at $40 per month, plus $6 per employee per month

Custom Pricing

Employee minimum

5

1

0

1

1

5

1

5

Mobile App

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Customer Service

Phone, email, live chat, dedicated specialists

Phone, email, live chat

Phone, email, live chat, dedicated specialists

Phone, email, live chat, dedicated specialists

Phone, email, live chat, dedicated specialists

Phone, email, live chat, dedicated specialists

Phone, email, live chat

Phone, email, dedicated support

Review Link
Scroll Table

Reviews

TriNet HR Outsourcing: Best for Reporting and Analytics

  • TriNet offers highly customizable reporting tools.
  • TriNet has a network of industry specialists to provide industry-specific expertise.
  • TriNet’s customer service has mixed reviews.
Editor's Rating: 9.2/10
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For many small business owners, HR can be a challenging world to navigate. If you outsource your HR services to TriNet, expect to receive actionable advice, feedback and support from a team of HR experts, including experts in your specific industry. TriNet offers a variety of HR functions, like recruitment, payroll, risk mitigation and employee benefits. These services are even more useful when used in conjunction with TriNet’s robust reporting and analytics tools to obtain data-driven insights about different areas of your business’s HR operations.

TriNet’s HRO services provide access to TriNet’s robust technology platform, which includes strong workforce reporting and analytics tools. The company offers many pre-built HR reports, as well as a user-friendly report builder for customized reporting. Organizations can also schedule reports to run regularly. Administrators can choose the frequency of the report, who should receive it, and its format. They can also create customized reporting dashboards for quick access to the most relevant data.

BambooHR HR Outsourcing: Best for Talent Acquisition

  • BambooHR’s mobile app is one of the best. Managers can easily support employees anywhere, anytime.
  • The job-posting tool allows companies to easily jump-start their recruitment efforts.
  • BambooHR has difficulty calculating wages for employees who work at multiple pay rates, such as employees who help in different departments or those on shifts with pay differentials.
Editor's Rating: 9.4/10
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BambooHR is a comprehensive HR outsourcing provider that includes many of the services and tools needed to manage your workforce, such as recruiting, document management, time-off management, approvals and workflows, organization charts, and hiring and onboarding solutions. You can also add services for payroll, employee benefits administration, time tracking and performance management. BambooHR’s suite of talent acquisition tools, including a built-in applicant tracking system, are more expansive than those of many other HRO providers. If you opt for BambooHR’s benefits administration add-on, the platform autosaves employee enrollment progress, so your new hires can pause and continue benefits enrollment when it’s convenient for them.

BambooHR comes with exceptional talent acquisition tools that help employers locate top talent and then track candidates as they progress through the hiring process. For example, you can post job openings for remote jobs, share and save offer letters, and access onboarding checklists. As new employees finish their required training items, they can conveniently mark each item as complete, thus streamlining the training tracking process.

BambooHR has a number of customizable reports, complete with a Favorites tab so you can easily identify and take action on crucial reports. With features such as the Candidate Source Report, you get a visual breakdown of where and why candidates are dropping off in the recruitment process — a valuable insight that can enhance your scaling process. Additionally, BambooHR helps employers craft compensation packages and workplace policies that make a company more attractive to candidates.

Bambee HR Outsourcing: Best for Startups

  • Bambee offers knowledgeable HR advice for startups.
  • The company can help you tailor your internal HR policies to your business.
  • Bambee is not well suited for larger companies or those that need benefits administration support.
Editor's Rating: 8.7/10
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Bambee’s offerings are the best for startups that need help getting their HR activities off the ground. Companies are assigned a dedicated HR manager who provides direct support on HR matters such as onboarding, terminations, hiring and company policy creation. Bambee also provides automated tools to simplify compliance, payroll and other HR processes for startups. For rapidly growing startups, Bambee stays on top of ongoing legal compliance issues and updates.

Many HRO providers don’t accommodate businesses with fewer than five employees. However, Bambee has no employee minimum, so you can use this service when hiring your first batch of employees. Keep in mind that the costs rise as your business grows.

Bambee’s guided payroll feature and employee policy tools are well suited for new startups that don’t have an employee handbook or HR processes in place, or for businesses that may be new to approving or processing payroll. Many startups need to build everything from scratch, including HR policies and documentation, and Bambee is designed to support startups in doing so.

Bambee can also help you secure various types of insurance for your business. General liability and workers’ compensation are a great start, but they may not give your business all the protection it needs for the broader set of possible business-related exposures. Bambee is the only HRO provider we’ve seen that offers supplemental insurance to its clients.

Paychex HR Outsourcing: Best for Payroll

  • Paychex provides a variety of payroll tools, including direct deposit, off-cycle payments and contractor payments.
  • Paychex’s team of experts actively monitors and reports on new employment laws and regulatory changes.
  • Customer support is sometimes slow to respond to phone calls and emails.
Editor's Rating: 8.6/10
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Paychex is a leading provider in the HR space, with established and well-respected solutions. The company offers affordable HRO services for small businesses alongside one of the best payroll processing solutions we reviewed. Paychex offers a seamless payroll processing experience on the employer side, as well as easy-to-navigate self-service tools for employees who need to enter their time or view their pay stubs.

Of the companies we reviewed, Paychex offers one of the easiest processes of transitioning to an HRO from a professional employer organization (PEO). Many businesses use a PEO service at first but transition to an HRO as they grow. The transition is usually bumpy, but with Paychex, it can be seamless. To further assist customers, Paychex offers 24/7 live support within the U.S. Customers can discuss their payroll, HR and other related business or personnel questions with a Paychex expert.

An additional benefit of using Paychex is that its Paychex Flex solution has advanced reporting features you may not get with other HROs, like diversity and equal pay reporting, general ledger live reporting and enhanced live report functionalities. If you have a Clover point-of-sale system or a loan through Biz2Credit, Paychex also offers streamlined integration capabilities with these two companies. Paychex also offers an expense management integration, powered by ExpenseWire, for companies seeking to streamline their expense reimbursement process and gain better control over company expenses.

ADP HR Outsourcing: Best HRO for Strategic HR Advising

  • ADP can offer both strategic HR advising and administrative support.
  • ADP is an experienced, proven leader in the HRO industry, so businesses can feel confident about the quality of the company’s services.
  • ADP does not list pricing online; you must contact a representative for a quote.
Editor's Rating: 9.1/10
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ADP’s human resources and payroll outsourcing services combine ADP’s robust tech platform with a personalized support team of HR specialists who can advise on HR, payroll or benefits matters. The service supports payroll processing, open enrollment, compliance, employee training and more. Businesses can customize their service package and select only the services they need across ADP’s HR, payroll and benefits administration outsourcing options. 

ADP’s strategic HR advising is an excellent resource for businesses that need hands-on support from an experienced HR partner. According to ADP, this service is ideal for small businesses that don’t have their own HR team. ADP’s advisors can help businesses address employee retention, build recruiting strategies and more. Customers may also receive support for compliance matters related to employment laws and regulations, workplace safety, payroll and taxes and more. Businesses that select these services get a strategic HR expert assigned to them; this representative acts as a go-to resource for HR questions.

Insperity HR Outsourcing: Best for Midsize Businesses

  • Insperity offers a comprehensive selection of HRO services, including solutions tailored to midsize businesses.
  • Insperity provides extensive health benefit administration tools.
  • The plan pricing is somewhat confusing, and it may be difficult to determine whether to use Insperity’s PEO or HRO services.
Editor's Rating: 9.1/10
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Insperity offers specialized experts to help midsize businesses navigate complex issues relating to time and attendance, payroll, performance management, recruitment and onboarding, employee safety, and benefits and compensation. Insperity also assigns its customers a dedicated account representative who can answer questions and, for more complex questions and issues, serve as a liaison to route queries to the appropriate expert.

Small businesses with plans to expand their workforce can also rest assured that transitioning from Insperity’s PEO service to its HRO service is simple. This can offer growing businesses the reassurance that they won’t run into the common challenges that come with migrating to a completely new platform.

Gusto HR Software: Best HRO for Onboarding

  • Gusto makes it easy to create customized onboarding workflows.
  • The company is one of the few HRO providers that offer transparent pricing.
  • Multistate payroll requires enrollment in one of the more costly pricing tiers.
Editor's Rating: 9.6/10
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Gusto is best known for its payroll platform, but it can also be used to outsource a wide range of HR tasks, including employee onboarding. Gusto supports the hiring process with seamless job postings and personalized offer letters through the new-hire onboarding and training process. Although Gusto was previously limited to U.S.-based employees, it now offers an employer-of-record service that allows you to onboard and pay employees around the globe.

Gusto offers an intuitive and highly customizable employee onboarding experience. Businesses can build their own onboarding checklists to guide employees through the required steps, including completing new-hire paperwork, receiving welcome emails and enrolling in direct deposit. Gusto also offers a software provisioning feature that allows hiring managers to quickly set up accounts for new hires in Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, Slack, Zoom, Dropbox, Asana and more.

Businesses can get advice from Gusto’s team of HR experts; certified HR professionals are available by phone or email to walk employers through HR questions and complex processes. If a business needs help onboarding an employee compliantly, the expert team can answer questions and provide templates for common onboarding documents, such as offer letters and new-hire paperwork.

WorkSight by G&A Partners : Best HRO for Employee Training and Development

WorkSight by G&A Partners
G&A Partners logo
  • WorkSight offers an expansive library of training resources and courses.
  • The online platform can be used to build customized performance workflows.
  • The company does not offer transparent pricing.
Editor's Rating: 9/10

G&A Partners’ WorkSight is a secure and robust online HR platform that can automate many common HR tasks for small businesses. WorkSight stands out most in employee training and development. With a large library of training resources and customizable performance management and professional development offerings, WorkSight is an excellent choice for small businesses that want to improve employee productivity and performance.

G&A Partners’ HR experts can guide employers on how to optimize employee performance by assessing their current policies and training procedures to eliminate inefficiencies and improve employee productivity. G&A’s team can advise on setting goals, conducting performance reviews, and understanding productivity and performance data. The WorkSight online platform features helpful performance tracking tools, including the ability to create customized performance review workflows and collect 360-degree feedback.

G&A offers a huge library of online employee training courses. The WorkSight learning management system gives your company access to thousands of timely and cost-effective training courses in diverse subject areas. The platform allows employers to easily assign training tasks and track employees’ progress.

HRO Costs

The cost of HRO services varies widely. Most providers charge based on one of two models: by the individual service provided, or by a subscription plan that includes a bundle of features and/or services.

For small and midsize businesses, base costs typically range from $8 to $50 per employee per month. Of the services we reviewed, Zenefits had the lowest per-employee price, with plans starting at $8 per employee per month. Many of the HRO providers we reviewed offer custom pricing at all levels, so the cost depends on your service selections and company size.

Consider your business’s needs before you purchase a bundled subscription plan — you don’t want to pay for services you don’t need.

Other Add-on Costs

If you need what many HRO providers consider add-on services, plan on increases in your monthly costs. The pricing is also influenced by the size of your business, whether you have multiple locations and the complexity of your organization. Examples of add-ons include time tracking, recruitment services and advanced reporting features. When you compare plans, pay close attention to add-ons, because what one vendor considers an add-on may be a standard part of another HRO vendor’s basic service bundle.

Implementation Fees

Besides service-related costs, you may see one-time implementation fees, which can range from $200 to $3,000. Some HRO providers don’t charge setup or implementation fees, so consider these fees when you’re shopping around and factor them into your cost comparisons.

HR Outsourcing Features

HRO service offerings vary among providers, and businesses can often pick which functions they would like. While your business may not need to outsource all of these services, here are the key features that you will typically find in a well-rounded HRO provider:

FeatureDescription
Dedicated HR supportOne of the main advantages of working with an HR outsourcing company is the dedicated support. Most HRO companies provide you with a dedicated contact or team to help you navigate HR questions.
Payroll processingHRO providers give you the tools you need to process payroll accurately and efficiently.
Compliance assistanceHRO providers can help you navigate complex compliance issues and stay up to date on applicable employment laws.
Benefits administrationNot all HRO companies offer benefits enrollment and administration, but many can help you provide benefits such as health insurance to your staff.
RecruitmentMany HRO providers can help you find top talent to fill your open roles.

Dedicated HR Support

Running a business isn’t easy, and you’ll inevitably encounter issues that require HR services. That’s why your HRO provider’s dedicated support team is there. The exact support level and options vary. HRO companies may provide a dedicated HR manager, industry-specific support, or a whole team of experts in different areas of HR. For smaller businesses, a dedicated account manager may be enough, but for larger, more complex businesses, an expert team or specialized industry knowledge could be useful.

Payroll Processing

You don’t want to make any mistakes with employee payments or payroll taxes. HRO companies typically provide a user-friendly payroll platform that can help you manage your salaries and wages. This platform can often automatically calculate applicable local, state and federal payroll taxes and benefits deductions so that you’re always withholding the right amount from your employees’ paychecks. Some HRO companies also provide payroll specialists who can guide you in managing your business’s payroll.

TipTip

If you’re looking for one of the best payroll software providers that offers a great user experience without a steep learning curve, consider our Rippling payroll review.

Compliance Assistance

HRO providers typically support compliance in a number of ways. They tend to have automated tools to improve payroll compliance, and some HRO companies help businesses develop compliant company policies or provide online compliance training services. The dedicated HRO support team often can advise on specific compliance issues to help businesses manage risk and legal compliance. Many business owners turn to their HRO provider for advice with processes such as terminations, which could have negative compliance or legal consequences if processed incorrectly.

Benefits Administration

Offering employee benefits is important, but sometimes, it’s complicated. HRO providers vary greatly in their benefits services, so pay special attention to the benefits tools while you’re shopping around. Most HRO companies integrate with different benefits providers so employees can complete their enrollment and check on their benefits information in a centralized platform. If you already have a preferred vendor, inquire about available integrations when choosing an HRO service. Some can also help you choose benefits providers, handle Affordable Care Act compliance, or otherwise support your benefits administration needs.

Did You Know?Did you know

We’ve reviewed some of the best employee retirement benefits plans available. If you’re looking for benefits packages to offer your employees, check out our best picks page.

Recruitment

HRO providers offer varying levels of recruitment support. Many offer simple job posting and applicant tracking functions, while others have expert recruiters to help you find the best talent available. Some don’t offer any recruitment support at all. As recruiting becomes increasingly competitive, outsourcing some of the process may alleviate stress for your internal team and help you fill vacant roles more efficiently.

Choosing an HRO Service

Selecting the right HRO does not have to be an overwhelming task. Aside from getting to know what services a provider offers (which can be difficult if all you are doing is visiting provider websites), you must assess its reputation for customer service and product customization.

Most HRO companies want your contact information before they share any useful information about their services and their costs. We recommend that you take the following steps during your search process:

1. Research HRO options.

Start by researching different HRO providers. Work to create a short list of HRO companies that have the features and support your business currently needs. Each HRO provider has its own strengths. Often, you can customize their HRO service packages so that you pay only for what you need. So, when you compare options, be sure to focus on the core functions you specifically need in an HRO service. We highly recommend talking to other business owners within your industry to see which HROs are held in high regard and which ones to avoid.

2. Ask the HRO service for a demonstration of its platform.

While HRO companies offer a lot of hands-on services, including consulting from expert advisors, a solid tech platform is also important. Sign up for demos with several providers to find a platform that you find user-friendly and that offers the tools you need. Don’t forget to ask about mobile app offerings for employees and administrators. Besides giving you a thorough demonstration of their platforms, many HRO companies offer a free trial of their software, so take some for a spin to see what you like best.

3. Compare price quotes.

Many HRO providers offer custom pricing based on the HR functions your organization wishes to outsource, so you’ll need to obtain quotes from each vendor. You can often get a quote when you meet with the sales team for a demo or by completing a quote form on the vendor’s website. Then, you can compare the pricing and the included services to find out which vendor offers the best value for your money.

4. Find customer references.

If you have selected an HRO provider that you are excited about, do not proceed further until the company provides at least three customer references that you can contact to learn about their experiences with the HRO provider.

Customer references should meet the following criteria:

  • They are in your industry.
  • They have roughly the same number of employees.
  • They have been a customer of the HRO for at least two years.
  • They have documented and up-to-date processes, policies and systems. Inquire about how they remain current on best practices regarding employment, payroll, leave laws and other regulatory issues.

Advantages of HRO Services

For small and midsize businesses, there are many advantages of a strong HRO partnership. An HRO provider tracks, reviews and informs your business of changes in HR trends, laws and best practices. It also allows your team to focus on business operations instead of compliance.

A good HRO service provides the following benefits:

  • Saved time and resources: The first thing many businesses realize when they hire an HRO provider is the available time that their in-house personnel get back. For small business owners who have been trying to manage HR functions themselves or with a small team, the ability to rededicate these resources to operations that drive return on investment is a powerful benefit.
  • Comprehensive HR services: Many new business owners (and their staff) are unfamiliar with employment laws and regulations. Many also know little about recruiting, hiring and retaining top talent. Working with an HRO provider not only shifts these tasks to a third party but also places them in the hands of experienced professionals who know how to handle these responsibilities efficiently.
  • Expertise: Your HRO provider’s knowledge and HR practices are shaped by expertise and an ongoing study of the HR landscape. The best HRO companies are adaptable and up to date on current and evolving HR trends and regulations.
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) training and development: Diversity training is an increasingly important focus area for businesses. A good HRO company can provide training and development assistance that can help a small company effectively create a DE&I program that fosters employee engagement. Companies with more engaged employees are more productive, and HR plays a major role in employee engagement.
  • Employee handbook updates: Figuring out whether your company’s employee handbook is up to date can be a hassle. If you outsource this time-consuming task to an HRO company, your handbook will always comply with current federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Recruitment and onboarding guidance: Recruitment and onboarding are not only labor intensive but also easy to get wrong. Recruiting and hiring the wrong person is a costly mistake. Well-equipped HRO providers can help with these processes or, at the very least, provide templates, policy samples and guidance to get these important tasks right.
Key TakeawayKey takeaway

HRO providers free up your team’s time so you can focus on your business’s operations without neglecting any compliance issues or essential processes, like payroll, employee development and internal policies.

HR Outsourcing FAQs

No. HROs allow companies to maintain control over their employees and systems and access the administrative benefits through HR services third-party outsourcing. PEOs directly manage or employ the client’s employees. In other cases, PEOs require access to employee data to automate various processes, such as payroll, benefits and time-off management.

No, but a good HRO provider will coach you and offer suggestions for the best way to proceed with employment actions such as termination, including when to involve legal counsel.

In many cases, yes, an HRO can manage benefits. You will need to ask prospective HROs specific questions relating to benefits management, such as those regarding their overall service offerings and open enrollment process.

In some cases, HRO providers can partner with a customer to process and manage a workers’ compensation claim. This service differs among HRO providers and states, where the workers’ compensation laws are set and governed.

HR outsourcing services are robust in what they can do for you, but there are a few human resources functions that shouldn’t be outsourced: employee support, conflict resolution and company culture. An internal HR professional understands your team better than someone from an HR outsourcing agency, so they will be better equipped to provide employee support when someone on your team is going through a hard time. Similarly, if two employees have a disagreement, an internal team member can use their knowledge of each individual to help resolve the conflict.

Another major HR function that should not be outsourced is the development of your company culture. An external organization does not understand the details of your culture as well as an internal team member does. As such, you should create and grow your company culture internally.

Although the HRO providers we reviewed know all federal and state employment-related laws, not all HRO providers extend their expertise or services to international markets. When talking to an HRO provider, you should ask specific questions about your needs.

Most HROs require 30 days’ notice. However, the more services a business has assigned to their HRO provider, the longer the offboarding period should be. Winding down a partnership with an HRO should be a careful process to ensure continuity of your HR functions during the transition.

Outsourcing HR functions to an HRO company may be cheaper than hiring an in-house team, depending on your organization’s needs. However, many businesses use HROs to supplement, rather than fully replace, their in-house teams.

Kaylyn McKenna
Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
Kaylyn McKenna is a freelance writer specializing in business, tech, and leadership. She received her MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Touro University, and enjoys using her industrial psychology background to share management, HR, and organizational effectiveness tips with small business owners. She has covered topics related to business law, compliance, employee retention, company culture, and management strategies.
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