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We Researched Popular Online Human Resources Services So You Don’t Have To

For small businesses trying to manage employees, the providers are endless. We researched popular online human resources services and here's what we found.

Managing human resources can be difficult for any business, but for a small business in particular it can seem like a tremendous undertaking. We researched three of the most popular online human resource management services and what follows is what we discovered.


Launched in 2012, Gusto serves more than 60,000 businesses in human resource operations including payroll and benefits. They process 401k accounts and health insurance accounts in addition to the aforementioned services. They also give a portion of their revenues back through ‘Gusto Giving,’ which as of May 15, 2017 had donated more than 1 million dollars. Gusto has strong values in community development and personal growth in addition to supporting small businesses. When comparing the three HR management services, Gusto definitely comes out on top for customer centered service.

Tame the chaos of payroll, benefits, and HR.

In addition to being able to fully customize your plan of service, Gusto offers 3 different plans: Concierge, Complete, and Core. Each of the three plans comes with one month of free service. Starting out with the most basic level of service, ‘Core,’ which prices at $6/month per person plus $39/month base price includes full service payroll, employee self-service, health benefits, workers’ compensation, support services, and PTO tracking. Coming up next, ‘Complete,’ which prices at $12/month per person plus $39/month base price includes all of the benefits of Core plus employee offers and onboarding and an employee directory plus the ability to administer surveys. The top level of services, ‘Concierge,’ includes all of the previously mentioned benefits as well as a centralized HR service and support from certified HR representatives. Additional benefits such as 401ks and HSAs can be added on at an additional fee. Full explanations of the services offered with each plan are available on their website.

Gusto is fully integratable with accounting software such as QuickBooks, Xero, and Freshbooks. While Gusto does not have an app currently, their website is adapted to cell phone use. At the current time, Gusto only can process payroll within the United States, meaning no international employees. Tax documents such as W2s and 1099s are filed on your behalf through Gusto, making tax time a little bit easier for the small business owner. In all, Gusto is an all-around expert at human resources and would be an excellent tool for any small business.

Learn More About Gusto



Justworks aims to make it their mission to ensure that payroll, benefits, and compliance are simplified and streamlined for the small business owner. They advertise that they work with valued providers such as Aetna, MetLife, Citi Bike, One Medical, and Health Advocate, and JustWorks has been mentioned in Axios, Creative Mornings, Fluent City, Reboot, and Man Repeller. JustWorks also operates as a PEO (Professional Employer Organization), meaning that they can band all of the employees together under one umbrella to receive benefits that large organizations do.

Justworks simplifies your business’s back office complexities.

In addition to automated payroll and HR tools, Justworks offers access to benefits, compliance support, product support, and HR consulting. Pricing is depending on the number of employees in the organization with categories of ‘2-4,’ ‘5-24,’ ‘25-99,’ and ‘100+,’ making it tailored to a small business workforce. For each category, there is a ‘Basic’ and ‘Plus’ plan. A Basic plan includes payments and payroll, compliance, HR support and consultation, reporting tools, and contractor and vendor payments. Plus plans include the previously mentioned benefits in addition to medical, dental, and vision, ancillary benefits, 401k, and health and wellness benefits. For a business of 2-4 employees, you’re looking at $79/employee per month, billed annually. For businesses of 100+ employees, you’re encouraged to contact Justworks for a custom quote.

Justworks does have an extensive resource base for individuals looking to learn more about HR and outsourcing HR services. One of the unique qualities of Justworks is its JustWomen events which invite Fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurs, and other female leaders together to promote growth, share knowledge, and build community among women in business. Justworks has a strong company value of diversity and inclusion which may be appealing to some small business owners.

Learn More About Justworks


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Namely focuses on helping the mid-sized business built better workplaces. Founded in 2012, Namely has been growing steadily, processing over $10 million in payroll each year, serving over 1,000 mid-sized companies. Businesses with 15 to 2,000 employees are ideal for Namely’s services, and it is the employee interaction with Namely that makes it ideal for a mid-sized business. The employee, employer, and executive user interfaces are built to be as intuitive and easy to navigate as social media applications.

An all-in-one HR platform for mid-sized companies.

Some of the features of Namely’s ‘Modern HR,’ include an employee database, social media feed, mobile app, custom profiles and organization charts, analytics, time off tracking, calendar, field history and auditing, roles and permissions, workflows, and resources. These features make it easy for a company to recognize work anniversaries and birthdays while simultaneously managing HR functions. Namely has partnered with Cigna to manage health-related benefits, allowing employees to use their online marketplace to select their benefits. Outside of this partnership, Namely provides the benefits of health insurance, HSA and FSA, telehealth, life and disability, 401ks, employee wellness, and many more. Namely also provides time and attendance software including online time tracking, physical time clocks, clock in on mobile, and many, many more. Namely’s features and functions are too enormous to fully explain, and we suggest that if you’re considering Namely as your HR service, you explore them fully.

Pricing is not readily published via their website. Namely encourages businesses to set up demos and consultations with them to truly determine the needs of the business and what benefits would best fit those needs. For an all-inclusive and thorough HR service, Namely is there to handle all facets of a small business’ HR.

Learn More About Namely


Wrapping It Up

Finding a company to manage your human resources department shouldn’t be difficult, that’s why we compared these three businesses for you. Things to consider when choosing a company are the company’s values and mission, the size of the company, and what benefits you’d receive using that service over others. There are plenty of resources available for small business owners considering outsourcing their human resource services. Be sure to make yourself educated on the services at hand and make the best decision for your small business.