Managing human resources functions can be daunting for small or growing businesses with limited HR personnel. Fortunately, various HR solutions, including the best HR software providers and the best HRO outsourcing companies, can help streamline and automate HR processes and take the burden off your staff.
Rippling and Zenefits are excellent HR platforms that can handle employee recruitment, onboarding, payroll, time management, benefits administration, compliance and risk management, and workforce analytics. However, their features and structures differ, making one potentially more suitable than the other for various business types. We gathered details from our in-depth Rippling review and review of Zenefits to compare these platforms side by side and help businesses choose the right solution.
Starting monthly price
$8 per user per month (plus add-on features)
$8 per user per month (plus add-on features)
Payroll and benefits
Domestic and global payroll services
Domestic payroll services
Highly customizable and automated
Intuitive and user-friendly
Email and web chat (optional add-on for phone support and real-time compliance updates)
Phone, email and web chat (optional add-on for advisory services)
Rippling is a workforce management platform that combines payroll, HR, employee benefits and IT into a single platform. It’s an ideal solution for businesses seeking a comprehensive and integrated workforce management solution.
Rippling is available as a stand-alone HR solution or a professional employer organization (PEO). Businesses can customize and automate Rippling’s various HR features, making it an excellent option for companies with the time and resources to configure a customized solution and automate their HR processes.
Rippling stands out as an HR solution for the following reasons:
Rippling’s device management features help businesses monitor and control employee and company devices. Source: Rippling
Zenefits is a comprehensive and affordable HR platform that’s best for small and midsize businesses interested in outsourcing HR functions. It’s also a good fit for rapidly growing companies that must scale their HR and payroll operations quickly and efficiently. Additionally, Ripping is one of the few HR solutions we reviewed that lists all its pricing transparently online, which makes it an excellent option for companies that need accurate cost assessments when assessing potential HR solutions.
The following factors make Zenefits a noteworthy HR solution:
Rippling’s base workforce management platform is called Rippling Unity. Rippling says its plans start at $8 per user per month; however, you must contact the company to assess the features and services you need and receive a custom quote.
Consider the following information about Rippling’s pricing:
While we were impressed at the breadth of features and level of customizability Rippling offers, we wished the platform had more transparency about its pricing.
We were pleased to see that Zenefits lists its prices on its website. It’s one of the only vendors we reviewed with this level of pricing transparency. Its plans are as follows (pricing reflects a discount for annual billing; you’ll pay more for monthly pricing):
Notable add-on features include the following:
We were happy to see that Zenefits offers a 14-day free trial so businesses can test the platform and its features. However, Zenefits charges for a minimum of five employees on its base plans and add-ons — something very small businesses should be aware of.
Zenefits is the winner when it comes to pricing. We love its transparent online pricing and affordable rates. Rippling and many other vendors require you to request a customized quote — though we appreciate that highly customized plans can be challenging to price. We were also pleased to see that Zenefits is flexible in terms of offering multiple plans and add-on options. This is a great way for startups and small businesses to scale their plans as they grow while being mindful of costs.
Rippling offers stand-alone HR services, as well as PEO and EOR services, allowing businesses to customize their HR solution. Notable HR services include the following:
Employees can be onboarded to the Rippling platform within 90 seconds. It has several automation features to streamline the process.
Zenefits offers a wide breadth of HR features and services, including the following:
Zenefits can efficiently handle time-off requests within the platform. Source: Zenefits
While both Rippling and Zenefits offer comprehensive HR functions, we were especially impressed with Rippling’s ability to automate so many of those processes. We like that Rippling is a customized solution that allows employers to choose which HR features they need. We also like that Rippling offers HR-adjacent IT and finance management features. Managing all of these processes from one centralized location is ideal.
Rippling provides a quick and straightforward payroll process. Note that if you use Rippling’s PEO and EOR services, you must use its payroll platform.
Payroll is automatically included with the highest-tier Zen plan. Businesses can add payroll functions to lower-level plans for $6 per employee per month.
In terms of payroll automation, Rippling is more powerful and flexible than Zenefits. Rippling users can create customized payroll rules to meet their business’s unique needs. The Rippling platform also supports domestic and global payroll, while Zenefits only supports U.S.-based payroll. Overall, Rippling is a better choice for businesses that need a more powerful and flexible payroll solution.
Rippling makes running payroll easy with a quick and straightforward process. Source: Rippling
When testing Rippling’s platform, we found it intuitive and user-friendly. It’s customizable and can help you automate many HR processes. We really like that employers can use one centralized platform to manage their HR and IT functions.
When we tested the Zenefits platform, we were pleased with how visually appealing and easy it was to learn. Zenefits users can choose between self-service and guided product setup options.
We also like that the Zenefits dashboard displays alerts and crucial information, so you and your employees don’t miss anything.
These two solutions are very different, so rating their usability was a challenge. However, Zenefits wins because of how easy it is to set up and navigate the platform. It’s a highly visual platform that new hires will learn quickly. In contrast, it takes a bit more time and effort to customize Rippling’s robust automations. Still, while Zenefits is easier out of the box, Rippling will ultimately simplify your HR processes.
Zenefits users can easily track their workforce with its employee directory. Source: Zenefits
All Rippling plans automatically include email and web chat support. We like that Rippling provides real-time support status response times on its website. Users looking for phone support can add Rippling’s Help Desk: HR Support to their plan for an additional fee. Rippling also offers standard online resources like blogs, templates and a help center.
Zenefits offers phone, email and web chat support. If you want additional expert support, you can add Zenefits’ advisory services for a monthly fee. Zenefits also offers standard online resources like blogs, checklists, guides, e-books, templates and an online training portal.
Rippling and Zenefits offer similar standard customer support options with various pros and cons. For example, Rippling users must pay an additional fee to access phone support — a feature included in Zenefits’ plans. However, some user reviews say Zenefits can be slow to respond at times. We like that both vendors offer online resources and the option to upgrade to priority support.
Choose Rippling if:
Choose Zenefits if:
Implementation time can vary depending on company size, selected features, and how many HR functions you must automate. However, Rippling can typically be implemented within a few weeks.
Rippling is one of the most impressive HR solutions when it comes to integrations. The software can integrate with over 500 third-party applications.
No, Zenefits is not a professional employer organization. Zenefits is an HR platform that includes essential HR functions. If you need added HR support (similar to a PEO), you can add Zenefits’ advisory services to your plan. However, this doesn’t include the co-employment model of a PEO.
Zenefits’ implementation time depends on company size and selected features. While there are companies that can take weeks to get set up, Zenefits claims some users can get set up within a matter of hours.