Best Human Resource Software 2021

Justworks vs. ADP RUN

Is Justworks or ADP RUN the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you decide which human resource tool is the best fit for your business.

Human resource software includes features like payroll, benefits management, and compliance assistance. It is one of the most critical software tools alongside other foundational software systems like document management software and accounting software.

This article will discuss the differences between two of the largest players in this space: Justworks and ADP RUN. We’ll discuss the notable strengths and weaknesses of each tool, and provide recommendations for who each tool will suit best.

All of our recommendations are based on first-hand research, product demos with the software companies, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing human resource tools. More details regarding our research process can be found on our human resource category page.

Justworks & ADP RUN Comparison Summary

We researched and extensively tested both Justworks and ADP RUN. Justworks received a SoftwarePundit Analyst Rating of 93 while ADP RUN received a rating of 83.

Justworks was rated higher because it offers essential and robust human resource features in a more accessible way than ADP RUN. Justworks also supports compliance assistance and expense management features which are not supported in ADP RUN. Justworks received one of our highest ratings in the human resource software category.

Here’s a breakdown of our review criteria and how Justworks and ADP RUN performed in each category.

CriteriaAnalyst RatingFeaturesUsabilityPricingCustomer Support
ADP RUN8388.588.5

Justworks’s pricing is transparent while ADP RUN’s is not. Justworks's pricing starts at $49 per user per month. ADP RUN’s pricing is ambiguous and not listed on their website.

Both solutions offer essential features found across human resource software tools. These include payroll, benefits, onboarding, time tracking, and custom reports. Justworks’s strongest points are its unlimited payroll and compliance assistance. ADP RUN offers business insurance and robust custom report creation.

Overall, we recommend Justworks over ADP RUN for small businesses. Justworks is more accessible and feature-rich than ADP RUN. ADP RUN lacks features like expense management and offers more limited time tracking capabilities. Many of the features ADP RUN does support are easier to set up and run in Justworks.

Here’s a quick breakdown of who will prefer each option:

You'll prefer Justworks if:

  • You want to offer free training courses for your employees
  • You require expense management features like reimbursements
  • You are a newer business in need of a user-friendly HR product

Try Justworks Today

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

Try ADP RUN Today

Table of Contents

Justworks & ADP RUN Price Comparison

Justworks’s pricing is relatively less affordable than its two direct competitors, Gusto and Zenefits. ADP RUN’s pricing is ambiguous and not available to the general public.

Justworks Pricing Details

Justworks’ pricing starts at $49 per month per employee. Pricing is split in two tiers, Basic and Plus. Note that the following plans are for businesses with less than 25 employees. Justworks is around 15% more affordable if you have anywhere between 25 and 99 employees.

Plan NamePrice per Month per EmployeeFeatures
  • Payroll
  • Tax filings
  • Vendor and contractor payments
  • HR consulting
  • Reporting
  • Everything in Basic plan
  • COBRA administration
  • Health advocacy services

ADP RUN Pricing Details

ADP RUN’s pricing is ambiguous and not stated transparently on the company’s site. Four plans are available with varying degrees of features offered. Note that your company’s employee count, frequency of ADP RUN use, and feature needs will be important factors in pricing.


  • Payroll on multiple devices
  • Direct deposit
  • Onboarding
  • Everything in Essential plan
  • Ziprecruiter integration
  • Background checks
  • Everything in Enhanced plan
  • HR tracking
  • HR helpdesk support
HR Pro
  • Everything in Complete plan
  • Access to HR businesses
  • Employer and employee training

Justworks & ADP RUN Feature Comparison

Overall, Justworks has a wider breadth of features than ADP RUN. However, both solutions do not offer applicant tracking features such as job posting and distribution.

For a full analysis of each solution’s features, read our Justworks review and ADP RUN review.

FeatureJustworksADP RUN
Job posting distributionNoNo
Employee onboardingYes (stronger)Yes
Performance managementNoNo
Expense managementYesNo
Time TrackingYes (stronger)Yes
Compliance SupportYesNo
Custom reportsYesYes (stronger)


We recommend Justworks over ADP RUN if running unlimited payroll is a determining factor for you. Both Justworks and ADP RUN offer strong, unlimited payroll. However, Justworks’ payroll is more user-friendly than it is in ADP RUN. We do recommend considering Gusto if you’re in need of a more affordable payroll solution.

ADP RUN Payroll Example

Justworks and ADP RUN offer high level views of the employees being paid in their payroll dashboards. Both applications also handle federal and state taxes for your payroll. Justworks and ADP RUN can calculate, remit, and file common tax documents such as W-2s and 1099s.

Both applications also let you run a number of off-cycle payments. Here are some common off-cycle payments you might run if your business uses Justworks or ADP RUN:

  • Contractor pay
  • Vendor pay
  • Bonuses
  • Missed payments

Employee Onboarding

Onboarding in Justworks is more flexible than in ADP RUN. Many of ADP RUN’s onboarding processes involve payroll and earnings. Justworks allows you to onboard employees on payroll and benefits, as well as send onboarding documents and set user permissions.

ADP RUN Onboarding

Onboarding in ADP RUN is seen above. ADP RUN assists you with seven steps when onboarding new employees:

  • Employee info
  • Employment info
  • Tax info
  • Payroll info
  • Earnings deductions
  • Garnishments
  • Direct deposit

ADP RUN does not assist you with onboarding outside of these steps. Justworks can assist you with onboarding payroll and benefits, as well as sending offer letters, hiring agreements, and company handbooks to be sent to your new hire. This is similar to Gusto and Zenefits.

Justworks Onboarding

Justworks’ standout onboarding feature is its ability to set permissions for employees. This is not a feature available in other HR solutions. A typical use case for this is giving more access to accountants and HR representatives than other employees.


We recommend that small businesses use Justworks to manage their benefits due to its accessible interface. Justworks supports benefits management in all 50 states unlike Gusto and Zenefits. We only recommend selecting ADP RUN over Justworks if you want to purchase business insurance for your company.

Justworks Benefits

Tracking and selecting benefits in Justworks is more user-friendly than ADP RUN. Both Justworks and ADP RUN support common medical, dental, and vision plans. You can also offer employees health care FSAs, HSAs, 401(k)s, and commuter benefits.

ADP RUN’s only advantage over Justworks in this category is its business insurance management. This allows you to select insurance plans for your business. Common business coverage services that ADP RUN offers include:

Coverage PlanDescription
General LiabilityGeneral liability protects you from risks that arise from your business operations, such as injury or property.
Umbrella InsuranceThis type of insurance covers more catastrophic losses that general liability cannot cover.
Commercial Auto InsuranceThis insurance protects your business against costs resulting from business-related auto accidents.
ADP RUN Benefits

Time Tracking

Time tracking in Justworks is more powerful than ADP RUN. Justworks allows you to create unlimited paid-time-off (PTO) policies while ADP RUN only supports barebones time tracking features.

Justworks Timesheets

Justworks and ADP RUN have a similar user-interface for employee hours. You are given a high-level view of employee time cards with additional drill down capabilities.

Time tracking in ADP RUN is handled through its Timekeeping add-on. This add-on brings additional, yet basic time tracking features similar to Sage HR and BambooHR.

ADP RUN Time Tracking Clock

Justworks’ strongest advantage over ADP RUN in this category is its ability to create unlimited PTO policies. ADP RUN does not support custom PTO policy creation at all. Much like Zenefits, Justworks offers a number of pre-made PTO policies that you can further customize to suit your company.


Creating and accessing reports in Justworks is less user-friendly than in ADP RUN. Custom report creation is one of ADP RUN’s strongest features. You can select from a variety of statistics to include in your report as well as preview reports before exporting them.

ADP RUN Report

Custom report creation in ADP RUN is seen above. ADP RUN’s custom report creator is similar to Gusto and Zoho People.

Finally, both applications come with a number of pre-made reports, including:

  • Benefits usage
  • Payroll
  • PTO balances
  • W-2 preview


Justworks and ADP RUN both offer a number of popular integrations found in standard human resource software. Both solutions primarily integrate with accounting, document management, and integration software. Here are some of the most popular native integrations both solutions offer:

Software SolutionIntegrations

Bottom Line

Overall, we recommend Justworks over ADP RUN for small businesses. Justworks is more accessible and feature-rich than ADP RUN. ADP RUN lacks features like expense management and offers more limited time tracking capabilities. Many of the features ADP RUN does support are easier to set up and run in Justworks.

If you’re interested, visit Justworks or ADP RUN today to get started.

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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