Best Human Resource Software 2021

Justworks vs. Gusto

Is Justworks or Gusto 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. In today’s digital world, small businesses are adopting human resource software 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 Gusto. 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 & Gusto Comparison Summary

We researched and extensively tested both Justworks and Gusto. Justworks received a SoftwarePundit Analyst Rating of 93 while Gusto received a rating of 92.

Justworks was rated higher because it supports benefits management in all 50 states and offers free training courses for employee compliance. Gusto received a slightly lower rating because while its features are very helpful for small businesses interested in running unlimited payroll, it only offers benefits in 39 states and has weaker compliance support.

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

CriteriaAnalyst RatingFeaturesUsabilityPricingCustomer Support

In terms of pricing, Justworks is less affordable than Gusto. Justworks’ pricing starts at $49 per month per user. Gusto starts at $6 per month per user with an additional monthly platform fee of $39.

Both solutions offer the standard features found across human resource software tools. These include payroll, benefits, time tracking, compliance assistance, and custom reports. Justworks’s strongest points are its compliance assistance and benefits. It offers benefits in all 50 states unlike Gusto. Gusto offers more flexible time-tracking features.

Overall, the primary factor in choosing between Justworks and Gusto lies in whether Gusto supports benefits in your state and what your general human resource software needs are. For example, Justworks is the ideal solution for your business if you require strong compliance assistance and user permissions. However, Gusto is best for businesses strictly interested in an affordable payroll tool.

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

You'll prefer Justworks if:

  • You are in a state that Gusto does not offer benefits in
  • You want to offer free training courses for your employees
  • You are a newer business in need of a user-friendly HR product

Try Justworks Today

You'll prefer Gusto if:

  • You are in a state that Gusto supports benefits in
  • You are in need of an affordable payroll solution
  • You want to create customizable reports for employee and company analysis

Try Gusto Today

Table of Contents

Justworks & Gusto Price Comparison

Overall, Justworks is less affordable than Gusto. Both applications come with payroll and benefits in their base plans.

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

Gusto Pricing Details

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.

Core Plan
  • $39 per month base price
  • $6 per month per person
Complete Plan
  • $39 per month base price
  • $12 per month per person
Concierge Plan
  • $149 per month base price
  • $12 per month per person

Justworks & Gusto Feature Comparison

Overall, both Justworks and Gusto have a similar breadth of features. 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 Gusto review.

Job posting distributionNoNo
Employee onboardingYesYes (stronger)
Performance managementNoYes
Expense managementYesNo
Time TrackingYesYes
Compliance SupportYesYes
BenefitsYes (stronger)Yes
Custom reportsYesYes (stronger)


Both Justworks and Gusto offer strong, unlimited payroll for full-time, part-time, and contingent employees. If your primary concern with HR software is running payroll for an affordable rate, we recommend Gusto. An example of payroll in Gusto is seen below.

Gusto Payroll Example

Justworks and Gusto offer high level views of which employees are being paid in their payroll dashboards. Both applications also handle federal and state taxes for your payroll. Justworks and Gusto can calculate, remit, and file the following taxes:

  • W-2
  • 1099
  • 940
  • 941

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 Gusto:

  • Contractor pay
  • Vendor pay
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Severance


Benefits are easy to set up in both software solutions. However, Justworks supports benefits in all 50 states while Gusto only supports 39. Justworks also comes with a benefits overview feature that is unique and helpful for gaining prospective employees.

If you are only interested in leveraging HR software for benefits management and your state is supported, Gusto will be sufficient. Otherwise, we recommend Justworks.

Justworks Benefits

Selecting and managing benefits in both Justworks and Gusto is a user-friendly and guided experience. Both software solutions support common medical, dental, and vision plans. You can also offer employees health care FSAs, HSAs, 401(k)s, and commuter benefits.

Justworks supports benefits management in all 50 states. Gusto does not support the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Hawaiii
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
Justworks Benefits Overview

One feature that Justworks supports that Gusto doesn’t is its company benefits overview. This is an overview you can generate once you’ve selected your company’s benefits. This organized document clearly lays out your company’s benefit plans to persuade prospective employees to join your company.

Time Tracking

Time tracking in Justworks and Gusto is similar for salaried employees. You can clock in and out or manually input hours using both applications. Finally, creating paid-time-off (PTO) policies in both solutions is a guided experience.

Gusto Time Tracking Clock

Gusto’s time tracking is catered to employee self-service. You can clock in through Gusto’s desktop or mobile app. This will be particularly advantageous for workers who need to clock-in on the go such as field service management employees

Creating PTO policies in both applications is a guided process. You can create multiple policies that suit the needs of your employees. This includes bereavement, jury duty, floating holidays, and more. You can define how much time employees can take off and PTO accrual methods.

One particular advantage of Justworks is its guidance in creating PTO policies for non-U.S. employees. This means that Justworks will be helpful for you if you need to offer benefits for full-time, part-time, or contingent employees that are not U.S. citizens.

Compliance Assistance

Justworks has stronger compliance assistance than Gusto. This is because in addition to its alerts on new legislation and missing compliance tasks your business must fulfill, Justworks offers a number of free online workplace training courses. This means that your business can stay up to date on federal and state compliance for both your company and employees.

Justworks Training Courses

Seen above is Justworks’ training course library. Courses are automatically compliant with the state your company is registered in. Justworks offers these three main courses, each one adjusted to your state’s legislative policies:

CourseAdditional Notes
Harassment and Discrimination PreventionThis course is available for supervisors and employees. Helps eliminate workplace harassment and discrimination.
Inclusion in the Modern WorkplaceThis is the primary diversity course that Justworks offers. Provides strategies on workplace inclusion.
Managing BiasThis course is primarily designed for employees to educate them on biases and how they affect the workplace.
Gusto Compliance Checklist

Gusto’s compliance assistance lies in its compliance checklist. This checklist clearly shows what tasks your company needs to take to stay compliant with state and federal laws. Justworks does not have a dedicated dashboard for these tasks. Instead, your company is alerted through email.

Although Gusto offers a more effective way to visualize important legal steps your company must handle, it ultimately does not outweigh the breadth of training courses Justworks offers. This is especially true considering that Justworks still alerts businesses of missing compliance tasks, albeit not through a dedicated dashboard.


Creating and accessing reports in Justworks is more convoluted than in Gusto. In fact, we found that Gusto’s custom report creator was amongst the best we’ve analyzed in the human resource software category. This is primarily due to its user-friendly interface and preview function.

Gusto Report Creator

Gusto’s report creator is seen above. You can select from three report types: employee, payroll, and trend. Once you’ve selected your report type, you can customize your report with columns and filters. These help segment your reports and make them as specific as possible.

Building reports in Gusto is easier to do than in Justworks. Justworks merely allows you to check off boxes to include or exclude statistics. The biggest disadvantage is that you cannot preview your report before exporting it. This means that Gusto’s report creation is easier for your workflow than that in Justworks.

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

  • Benefits usage
  • Payroll
  • 1099 report
  • PTO balances


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

Software SolutionIntegrations

Bottom Line

Overall, the primary factor in choosing between Justworks and Gusto lies in whether Gusto supports benefits in your state and more so what your general human resource software needs are. For example, Justworks is the ideal solution for your business if you require strong compliance assistance and user permissions. However, Gusto is best for businesses strictly interested in an affordable payroll tool.

If you’re interested, visit Justworks or Gusto 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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