Best Human Resource Software 2021

Gusto Competitors & Alternatives

Are you considering purchasing Gusto to manage your human resource management needs? Before making the purchase, it’s best to learn about Gusto’s top competitors. The six best alternatives are listed below, along with details on their features and pricing.

Gusto is one of the most popular human resource solutions on the market today. That market, however, is competitive. Therefore, we recommend comparing Gusto against its top competitors before purchasing.

There are many excellent competitors in the human resource space that are worth considering. Most of Gusto’s top competitors offer similarly or more robust features at less affordable prices.

Software CompanyAnalyst RatingFeaturesUsabilityPricingCustomer Support
Gusto92910107.5
Justworks939.510810
Zenefits959.59.59.59.5
Zoho People908.59108
BambooHR8998.589
Sage HR8998.57.59.5
ADP RUN8388.588.5

Throughout this article, we’ll provide an overview of the main Gusto competitors and alternatives, which are:

In this guide, we examine Gusto’s features and pricing, and compare these factors against competitors. To gain a better understanding of Gusto as a solution, you can read our in-depth Gusto review.

All of the information in this article is based upon research, discussions with small business owners, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing the leader human resource software platforms. To learn more about our research and reviews, read about our unbiased review process.

Table of Contents

Gusto Features

Before we compare Gusto against its competitors, it’s important to understand the features included in Gusto. Gusto offers features geared more towards human resource management and payroll rather than applicant tracking.

The seven most important features that Gusto offers are described in the table below. Gusto’s unlimited payroll and custom reports are its strongest features.

FeatureDescription
PayrollPayroll is Gusto’s speciality. You can run a number of off-cycle payments for hourly, salaried, and other contingent workers. Gusto’s payroll is designed to be as hands-off as possible.
Employee OnboardingGusto’s employee onboarding guides customers through setting up payroll and benefits, as well as sending documents to new hires. Onboarding is user-friendly but ultimately limited in comparison with Justworks and Zenefits.
Time TrackingTime tracking in Gusto is helpful for salaried and hourly employees. Employees can use Gusto’s mobile app to clock in and out of work. Managers can track and approve employee hours, as well as create unlimited paid-time-off (PTO) policies.
Compliance SupportCompliance support in Gusto is decent. You are notified of required documents and changing compliance laws much like Justworks and Zenefits. You do, however, gain a certified HR representative to assist with compliance with Gusto’s most expensive plan.
BenefitsBenefits management is easy to set up in Gusto but only supported in 39 states. Gusto supports a number of medical, dental, and vision plans.
Performance ManagementGusto’s performance management is its most limited feature. This is because you can only track employee insights and happiness. You cannot set goals and one-on-one meetings, or track team performance.
Analytics and ReportingGusto’s analytics and custom report features are robust and user-friendly. You can preview your custom reports before you export them. You’re also provided a number of helpful pre-made reports to gain analysis from.

Gusto Competitor Overview: Features

Below is a chart that compares each platform’s features and affordability. They differ primarily based on how affordable each platform is and how wide their breadth of features is.

For example, solutions like ADP RUN are built more for payroll rather than human resource management. This is limiting for businesses interested in recruiting features or performance management. This contrasts with Gusto, which offers a more diverse set of features.

Human Resource Competitors Feature Chart

Gusto Competitor Overview: Pricing

Gusto pricing starts at $6 per month per user. Gusto also comes with a platform fee starting at $39 per month. Pricing increases depending on the number of employees added to your account. Compared to its competitors’ pricing, Gusto is one of the most affordable solutions.

Here are the prices of Gusto and its top competitors with additional pricing details:

Software VendorStarting Monthly PriceFree TrialPricing Details
Gusto$39No
  • Additional $6 per month per user
Zenefits$10 per userYes
  • Free for up to five employees
  • Additional $1.50 per month per user for base plan
Justworks$49Yes
  • 15% off if your company has 25 to 99 employees
Zoho PeopleFreeNo
  • None
BambooHR$99Yes
  • $99 for up to 12 users
  • Additional $8.25 per month per user for base plan
Sage HR$5.50 per userYes
  • None
ADP RUNCustomNo
  • None

Top Gusto Competitors

Below are one-to-one comparisons between Gusto and its top alternatives. Gusto is best for customers interested primarily in running affordable payroll for their hourly and salaried employees. We’ve ranked Gusto’s top six competitors based on their features, pricing, and usability.

#1: Zenefits

Zenefits is one of Gusto’s closest competitors in regards to its target user-base and features. Zenefits’ biggest strengths compared to Gusto are its onboarding assistance and performance management features.

We recommend Zenefits if you’re in need of a powerful all-in-one human resource solution. However, consider Gusto if more affordable payroll is your priority. Finally, note that Gusto only supports benefits management in 39 states, while Zenefits supports 49.

For more details, read our in-depth analysis of Gusto vs. Zenefits.

You'll prefer Gusto if:

  • Gusto can offer benefits management in your state
  • You are in need of affordable payroll software
  • You want to easily create customizable reports
You'll prefer Zenefits if:

  • You leverage HR software for onboarding and performance management
  • You want to automate creating new software accounts for new hires
  • You want to perform background checks on new hires
Zenefits
Rating: 95
Starting Price: $10 per month per user

Zenefits is a human resource software solution used by over 11,000 businesses. It is used by businesses primarily to run payroll, onboard employees, and manage employee benefits. It is primarily built for businesses with 50-200 employees.

Pros:
  • Zenefits’ payroll can compensate contingent workers such as part-time employees and interns
  • Zenefits can run automated background checks for your new hires
  • Zenefits can create Google Workspace, Salesforce, and Slack accounts for new hires
Cons:
  • You cannot create and distribute job postings directly from Zenefits
  • Zenefits does not offer native expense management features
  • You cannot preview reports in Zenefits which hinders your workflow

#2: Justworks

Justworks is an alternative to Gusto with greater benefits management support and stronger compliance assistance. Much like Zenefits, Justworks is best for businesses in need of a robust all-in-one HR solution. Otherwise, we believe Gusto is effective for businesses primarily interested in affordable payroll.

For more details, read our in-depth analysis of Justworks vs. Gusto.

You'll prefer Gusto if:

  • Gusto supports benefits in your state
  • You are in need of an affordable payroll solution
  • You want to create customizable reports for employee and company analysis
You'll prefer Justworks if:

  • Gusto does not support benefits in your state
  • You want to offer free training courses for your employees
  • You are a newer business in need of a user-friendly HR product
Justworks
Rating: 93
Starting Price: $49 per month per user

Justworks is a human resource software solution used by over 130,000 employees. It is primarily built for businesses with 2-200 employees.

Pros:
  • Justworks’ interface is user-friendly for newer businesses
  • Payroll in Justworks can be used in all 50 states
  • Justworks comes with a number of free training courses to assist with compliance
  • Justworks allows you to set permissions for your employees
Cons:
  • Justworks cannot create and distribute job postings
  • Justworks does not offer native expense management features
  • You cannot preview reports in Justworks, which hinders your workflow
  • Justworks does not offer a high number of native integrations

#3: Zoho People

Zoho People is an alternative to Gusto designed more for recruiting. Zoho People is more similar to BambooHR and Sage HR, rather than Gusto.

Still, we believe that Zoho People is the best software solution for businesses interested in affordable recruiting features such as job post distribution and interview pipelines.

You'll prefer Gusto if:

  • You do not require recruiting features in your HR software
  • You want to easily create customizable reports
  • You are a newer business in need of a user-friendly HR product
You'll prefer Zoho People if:

  • You leverage HR software mainly for recruiting features
  • You want a more affordable HR software solution
  • You do not require robust performance management features
Zoho People
Rating: 90
Starting Price: Free

Zoho People is a human resource software solution best for businesses interested in affordable software that excels at recruiting and managing expenses.

Pros:
  • Zoho People integrates with a large number of job boards to distribute your job posts
  • Zoho People offers convenient expense management features such as receipt scanning
  • Creating reports is flexible in Zoho People
Cons:
  • Payroll and benefits are only available in India
  • Zoho People cannot automate employee offboarding processes
  • Performance management is not as user-friendly as alternatives

#4: BambooHR

BambooHR is more similar to Zoho People and Sage HR than Gusto in regards to its features. This is because it focuses less on user-friendly payroll and benefits management, and more on recruiting features.

BambooHR could work as an alternative to Gusto if recruiting features are important for your business. However, consider Zoho People before making your purchase decision.

For more details, read our in-depth analysis of Gusto vs. BambooHR.

You'll prefer Gusto if:

  • Gusto can offer benefits management in your state
  • You are in need of more affordable payroll
  • You want to easily create customizable reports
You'll prefer BambooHR if:

  • You require a solution to create and distribute job posts
  • You only need to track benefits for your company instead of selecting them
  • You do not need a robust custom report creator
BambooHR
Rating: 89
Starting Price: $99 per month

BambooHR is a human resource software solution best for businesses with 25 to 300 employees. It is primarily used by businesses to create job postings and time track employees. Its standout features are its recruiting capabilities, as well as its onboarding and offboarding features.

Pros:
  • Job postings are very user-friendly and simple to set up in BambooHR
  • BambooHR can automate and track onboarding and offboarding processes
  • Monitoring employee hours is easy to visualize with BambooHR’s calendar
Cons:
  • Payroll, time tracking, and performance management modules all cost additional money
  • BambooHR does not support expense management
  • You cannot run benefits directly in BambooHR

#5: Sage HR

Sage HR is a less user-friendly alternative to Gusto. Its strong points are its workflow automations and its performance management. Sage HR is closer to BambooHR and Zoho People than Gusto.

We highly recommend selecting Gusto over Sage HR due to its accessibility and affordability.

You'll prefer Gusto if:

  • You do not require recruiting features in your HR software
  • You want to easily create customizable reports
  • You are a newer business in need of a user-friendly HR product
You'll prefer Sage HR if:

  • You leverage HR software mainly for recruiting features
  • You want a more affordable HR software solution
  • You are in need of robust performance management features
Sage HR
Rating: 89
Starting Price: $5.50 per month per user

Sage HR is a human resource software used by small businesses with up to 125 employees. It is used by businesses to create job postings and track applicants and their interview process. Its standout features are its hiring and onboarding, as well as its analytics and reporting.

Pros:
  • Job postings are very user-friendly and simple to set up in Sage HR
  • Sage HR can automate repetitive tasks through workflow automation
  • Sage HR comes with helpful reports on your company and employees
Cons:
  • You cannot run payroll or manage employee benefits with Sage HR
  • Sage HR does not assist you with state and federal compliance
  • Sage HR does not offer an adequate amount of native integrations with other software tools

#6: ADP RUN

ADP RUN is a direct alternative to Gusto also centered around payroll. Ultimately, we strongly recommend Gusto over ADP RUN for small businesses. ADP RUN is not as accessible as Gusto, and lacks essential HR features such as compliance assistance and performance management.

For more details, read our in-depth analysis of Gusto vs. ADP RUN.

You'll prefer Gusto if:

  • Gusto supports benefits management in your state
  • You want a more affordable payroll solutions
  • You require compliance assistance and performance management features
You'll prefer ADP RUN if:

  • You want to create customizable reports for employee and company analysis
  • You require onboarding assistance for new hires and payroll
  • You want to purchase business coverage services such as general liability insurance
ADP RUN
Rating: 83
Starting Price: Custom

ADP RUN is a human resource software solution used by over 700,000 businesses. It is used by businesses primarily to run payroll. It is built for businesses with 1-49 employees.

Pros:
  • Payroll in ADP RUN can be used in all 50 states
  • ADP RUN assists with selecting business insurance
  • ADP RUN allows you to send physical checks for payroll
  • Creating reports in ADP RUN is flexible and easy to do
Cons:
  • ADP RUN’s pricing is not transparent
  • ADP RUN’s user interface and lack of guidance make onboarding and offboarding difficult for newer businesses
  • ADP RUN does not support both performance and expense management features
  • Creating and distributing job posts must be done through ADP Run’s ZipRecruiter integration

Bottom Line

Gusto is an affordable human resource software solution that can run unlimited payroll for hourly and salaried employees. It is one of the most user-friendly solutions that we’ve analyzed in the HR category.

Before you make your purchase, we also suggest comparing Gusto to other highly rated platforms:

  • Zenefits is best for businesses in need of software similar to Gusto that want more app integrations and software onboarding assistance.
  • Zoho People is ideal for businesses that need stronger expense management features than Gusto offers.
  • Justworks is best for businesses in need of benefits in a state not supported by Gusto.
Yousef Fatehpour

Yousef Fatehpour is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit. He graduated from University of California, San Diego, where he studied Human Centered Design and Communications. His work at UCSD's Design Lab emphasized UX research and product management.

Yousef's primary areas of interest are software design, user journeys, and how user experience is handled across software markets. Yousef also has experience in product design and multimedia content production. You can connect with Yousef on LinkedIn.

Yousef is an expert in several software categories including:

  • SMS marketing software
  • Document management software
  • Human resource software
  • Applicant tracking software
  • Design software

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