Zenefits Review, Pricing & Features

What is Zenefits?

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.

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Table of Contents

Zenefits Review Summary

Zenefits was founded in 2013 by Parker Conrad and Laks Srini. Zenefits was originally founded as a benefits broker company and pivoted into the self-service HR software space in 2017. Since then, Zenefits has served over 11,000 businesses from its headquarters in San Francisco.

Zenefits’s strong points are its payroll and onboarding and offboarding capabilities. It also includes benefits and performance management features. However, you can only run expense management through its Expensify integration. You also cannot create and distribute job postings directly from Zenefits.

Zenefits’s pricing starts at $10 per month per employee. It is more affordable than its closest competitor: Gusto.

Overall, Zenefits excels when it comes to payroll and onboarding employees. Its benefits are more flexible than Gusto, but it lacks the job creation and distribution capabilities that alternatives like Sage HR and BambooHR have. Businesses new to HR software and in need of compliance assistance will also find Zenefits very helpful.

  • If you prioritize expense management features in HR software, consider Zoho People.
  • If you primarily need job posting and distribution features alongside payroll, try BambooHR.
  • If you want more affordable payroll, try Gusto.

Zenefits Pricing & Cost

Zenefits’ pricing starts at $10 per month per user. It is one of the more affordable human resource software systems on the market today. Payroll, advisory services, and onboarding your own broker to the platform cost an additional $6, $10, and $5 respectively.


Price per Month per UserFeatures
  • Core HR
  • Time tracking
  • Integrations
  • Everything in Essentials plan
  • Compensation management
  • Performance management
  • Everything in Growth plan
  • Well-being
  • Employee engagement surveys

Zenefits Features

Below, we'll discuss Zenefits’s key features. We include product screenshots to give you a sense of this solution’s interface and usability.

Employee Onboarding & Offboarding

Onboarding in Zenefits is a guided and helpful experience. Once you’ve decided to hire a candidate, Zenefits guides you through each necessary onboarding step. This means you can send onboarding documents, perform background checks, and onboard employees onto tools like Slack or Google Workspace from one centralized hub.

This process is equally convenient when it comes to offboarding employees. However, let’s first discuss how Zenefits helps you onboard new employees to your company.

Zenefits Onboarding

Upon selecting a candidate, you can set offer letters, hiring agreements, and company handbooks to be automatically sent to your new hire. Zenefits saves each template you’ve created for these documents so you can easily access them later on.

One unique feature of Zenefits’ onboarding is its background checks. There are two types of automated background checks you can run on new hires: Standard and Premium. They cost $25 and $35 respectively for each employee checked.

Each background check covers the following:

  • SSN
  • National criminal records
  • Sex offender list
  • Address history
  • County criminal records

Zenefits’ Premium Check expands the Standard Check to include all counties of residence in the past seven years.

Finally, you can leverage Zenefits’ native integrations to onboard your new hire onto several popular tools. Zenefits can automatically create accounts or send invitations for the following:

  • Gmail
  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • Carta
  • Lattice
  • Expensify

Offboarding is similar to onboarding in that it is a guided experience with a list of steps.

Zenefits Offboarding

As you can see above, offboarding employees requires you to fill out their termination info and determine how they will leave your payroll and benefits.

Discontinuing an employee’s benefits is a process that can be confusing for newer small business owners. We will discuss how Zenefits assists SMBs with this point in the Benefits section.


Payroll in Zenefits is convenient to manage and accounts for a variety of employee types. This means that payroll is easy to set up for part time employees, contractors, and employees that work on commission.

Zenefits Payroll

Zenefits’ payroll dashboard gives you a high level view of which employees are being paid. You can drill-down on each employee and see individual details regarding their pay.

Zenefits also handles federal and state taxes relating to your payroll. Zenefits can calculate, remit, and file your taxes for your business.

Zenefits’ standout feature is that its payroll supports contingent workers such as interns, part time employees, and even volunteers. Furthermore, you can set up variable compensation such as hiring bonuses and sales commissions.

Time Tracking

Zenefits’s time tracking tools help your business do more than just schedule and manage hourly employees. Zenefits’ standout capability is guiding your business in creating a full-fledged set of paid-time-off policies. This goes beyond alternatives like Sage HR or BambooHR, which provide helpful yet barebones time tracking features.

Zenefits Paid Time Off Businesses

Zenefits’ PTO policy creator is extremely intuitive for first-time users. As you can see above, Zenefits provides a general summary of pre-made PTO policies you can apply to your company. From there, you can drill-down and edit further.

You can create as many PTO policies as you require for your employees. Common policies include sick days, vacation days, or bereavement. You can customize entitlement, accrual methods, applicability, and restrictions.

Monitoring and scheduling employee hours in Zenefits is easy to do. As you can see below, you have an overview of your employees’ schedules with Zenefits’s pay periods view. You can approve timesheets from this dashboard as well.

Zenefits Timesheets

Compliance Support

Zenefits’ compliance support is built to ensure both state and federal compliance for your company. Zenefits lists each action item that you must take care of to ensure your compliance in a very user-friendly manner. This helps customers get these mandatory tasks done efficiently.

Zenefits Compliance Assistance Deadlines

Your compliance deadline dashboard includes a checklist that clearly shows the actions your company needs to take in order to stay fully compliant with state and federal laws. You can quickly view which tasks need to be completed, who these tasks apply to, and what steps need to be taken to complete them.

Seeing your deadlines is not the only way Zenefits supports businesses. Zenefits also automates several compliance tasks including:

  • Calculating, remitting, and filing taxes
  • Creating and formatting W-2s and 1099s
  • Providing support for FLSA overtime pay regulations
  • Calculating proper COBRA payments for terminated employees


Zenefits allows small businesses to offer affordable health care and financial benefits to their employees. Setting up benefits for your employees is easy. Note that Zenefits offers benefits in all states except Hawaii.

In the Benefits Dashboard, you can manage your team’s benefits, and track employee & employer contributions.

Zenefits Benefits Dashboard

Alongside medical, dental, and vision plans, Zenefits offers a number of plans for the following:

  • Commuter benefits
  • Health care FSA
  • Child & elder care FSA
  • Health savings account (HSA)
  • Life insurance
Zenefits Benefits Discontinuation

Zeneifts comes with features to manage the discontinuation of employee benefits. A key example is administering COBRA for terminated employees. You can choose to cover your employees’ premiums for any part of their 18-month coverage period.

Finally, note that benefits can be offered to part-time employees through Zenefits depending on the policy of your insurance carrier.

Performance Management

Zenefits features performance management tools that help create and track employee goals, performance reviews, and feedback.

Each step of a performance review is easy to organize and complete in Zenefits. This includes creating the review itself, setting goals, and scheduling one-on-ones.

Zenefits allows you to create your own performance review templates or choose from its industry-standard options. These include:

  • Coaching session
  • General review
  • Manager review
  • Peer review
  • Quarterly review
Zenefits Performance Review Dashboard

Once you’ve set up your review, you can see a list of all upcoming or current reviews in your dashboard.

Feedback is easy to give as well. You can choose from a scale or give free-response feedback. This gives you both quantitative and qualitative data to work with when analyzing employee performance.

Zenefits Performance Review Ratings

Analytics and Reporting

Zenefits comes with a comprehensive amount of important reports. This provides you with multiple ways to investigate your company’s performance. Zenefits’ reports are robust, but not as user-friendly as Gusto or Zoho People.

Here is an overview of some of the most common reports your company can benefit from:

Employee Information
  • Headcount
  • Turnover
  • Diversity
HR Reports
  • Compensation changes
  • Contingent workers
  • Employee history
  • Benefits costs
  • Benefits enrollment
  • Benefits deductions
  • Bank transactions
  • Individual earnings
  • Tax payments
Time and Attendance
  • Hours
  • Meal break compliance
  • Salaried non-exempt employees

Creating reports is decent in Zenefits. Although you have a number of custom fields to choose from, you cannot preview your report. Instead, you must export it as an Excel or CSV file and open it in a spreadsheet app. Contrast this with Gusto, which has the most user-friendly report creator we’ve analyzed.


Zenefits integrates with a number of applications that improve your company’s productivity and unlock features like expense management. Here are some of Zenefits’s most popular third party integrations:

Customer Support

Zenefits’s customer support team is friendly and responsive. They are available through phone, email, and live chat. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 4 PM PST.

Zenefits also has a resource hub entitled Workest. Workest is a website that includes industry news, tips, tools, and resources. These are all effective resources to learn more about Zenefits and HR software as a whole.

Customer Support ChannelsPhone, email, live chat
Other Support ResourcesResource hub
Application Status PageNo

Zenefits Alternatives & Competitors

Zenefits competes with a variety of human resources management solutions that offer similar functionality. The best choice for you will depend on your budget and feature preferences. Its most comparable alternative is Gusto.

Zenefits's top competitors are:

Learn more about how Zenefits stacks up against its top individual competitors:

Is Zenefits Right For You?

Overall, Zenefits excels when it comes to payroll and onboarding employees. Its benefits are more flexible than Gusto, but it lacks the job creation and distribution capabilities that alternatives like Sage HR and BambooHR have. Businesses new to HR software and in need of compliance assistance will also find Zenefits very helpful.

  • If you prioritize expense management features in HR software, consider Zoho People.
  • If you primarily need job posting and distribution features alongside payroll, try BambooHR.
  • If you want more affordable payroll, try Gusto.

For a full breakdown, read our analysis of Zenefits Competitors and Alternatives.

If you're interested, you can try Zenefits here.

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