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Zenefits Review: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives (with Video)

zenefits review
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If you’re looking like a thorough Zenefits review, you’re in the right place. Here, we’ll be discussing the pros, cons, and alternatives to Zenefits so you can make the best decision about which solution to use for your business.

One of the biggest compliance issues businesses can run into is in human resources.  There are pitfalls that many businesses don’t see coming like:

  • Unemployment issues – Paying unemployment taxes or doing record-keeping correctly
  • Annual reports and franchise taxes
  • Tracking time off and leave balances
  • Paying overtime and holiday pay
  • Creating pay stubs and tax forms
  • and so many other issues

A pen and paper can come in handy sometimes, but once you’re running a business that’s growing, the pen and paper may be too outdated to stay on top of everything.  If you’re here looking for an alternative to manual payroll, and you want to know whether Zenefits is a viable option, you’re in the right place.  In this Zenefits review, I’ll give you:

  • What it is
  • How it works
  • Pros and cons
  • What others are saying (good and bad)
  • Who it’s for
  • My recommendation
  • and some alternatives (in case you want to shop comparisons)

If you’d like to see this full Zenefits review in video format, check it out here:

If you’re reading and you decide you want to go ahead and GIVE ZENEFITS A TRY, you can CREATE YOUR FREE DEMO ACCOUNT HERE.

What is Zenefits? Product Overview

As of this writing, Zenefits is currently known as the fastest growing SaaS company.  They started in 2013, and went from startup to a $4.5 billion valuation in two years–that’s faster than Salesforce!  They were able to raise $500 million just two years after launch.

zenefits review
The demand for HR solutions is obvious.  Small businesses weren’t satisfied with the HR gameplayers that were in the market like Oracle, ADP, and Paychex. Instead, they wanted a solution that accomodated the “new way of working”–that’s where cloud-based solutions like Gusto and Zenefits have responded to the market demand. Zenefits is an all-in-one cloud-based HR solution that helps businesses manage:

Employee onboarding
Time and Attendance Tracking
and, overall HR compliance

Their founder says the mission of Zenefits is:

“To make employment hassle-free”

So, rather than having many separate systems: a time tracking solution, brokers for insurance, a payroll provider, performance management documents, and several binders with employee onboarding materials, with Zenefits, you can have everything in one hub.

Here’s a video of the Zenefits brand story:

How Does Zenefits Work?

When you hire a new employee, you’d onboard them using Zenefits.  It will add them into the other Zenefits’ apps you’ve subscribed for: payroll, time and attendance, benefits, etc.  It will prorate their pay, make their onboarding concise, and enable all users to check HR related info on the go. Paystubs, time off requests, commuter and other benefits can be checked all from the mobile app. Here’s a video that explains more of the features and how Zenefits works:

How Do I Get Started with Zenefits?

zenefits review

To get started in Zenefits, you can:

1. Take a Test Drive

Zenefits offers three options to test out the software.  You can SET UP A FREE DEMO ACCOUNT, ATTEND A LIVE WEBINAR, or REQUEST A CALL.

2. Choose the Zenefits package you need

After you’ve walked thru the demo, then you can see which features might be helpful for you and which you can wait on.

3. Create Your Account

Then you’d create your Zenefits account.

4. Begin Using Zenefits

Once your account is created, you can begin populating the important documents and people into the platform.

Who is Zenefits For?

Zenefits is for:

  • Companies who want a concise HR solution for compliance documents, employee onboarding, payroll, and benefits
  • Those who want HR consultation to help as their growing their workforce
  • Those who want to be able to handle HR on-the-go
  • and, Businesses who want an HR option that will scale as they grow

Zenefits Tools & Training

For tools and training, Zenefits offers a blog, a resource center (with downloadable HR tools like new hire checklists, etc.), and webinars.  They host several webinars on HR to help businesses remain compliant and to teach them how to use their software. CHECK OUT THEIR ON-DEMAND WEBINARS HERE.

Zenefits Support

Zenefits offers phone and support ticket for support.

What Does Zenefits Do Well

Zenefits lets you test out the software so you can see if it’ll work for you:

What Doesn’t Zenefits Do Well

  • Zenefits may be able to communicate more effectively when they make updates to the software, however, most customer describe the updates as “pleasant surprises”
  • They don’t have on-demand phone support, instead, they’ve moved into a “ticket” phone support model
  • They’ve simplified the benefits process so much, some customers feel that it’s very easy to overlook important details (like insurance fine print)

Zenefits Review Roundup

After reading loads of Zenefits customer reviews, this is the good and bad that I’ve found about the service…

Common Positive Feedback

  • Zenefits listens to customer feedback
  • They are a great all-in-one solution
  • They have saved businesses alot of time
  • They continue to surprise customers with new improvements

Common Negative Feedback

  • Customers don’t like the “ticket” model of customer support and seem to prefer if they were able to call and talk to someone on-demand
  • Zenefits had a leadership turnover early on in the business related to compliance and ethics issues that made customers uncertain if they could trust the business, however, the issue was self-reported, and since cleaned up. They’d hired insurance brokers that weren’t properly licensed and had to clean up their brokers’ compliance.
  • There was also media rumors about employees having “sex in the stairwells” that raised ethical flags, but it’s been deemed as a “rumor”. You can hear more from the CEO about the Zenefits scandals HERE.
  • There’s also been cases of customers complaining about technical malfunctions

Most Helpful Positive Zenefits Review

A reviewer on G2Crowd said “Great for small/medium business”

What do you like best?

Zenefits helps keep a good portion of HR paperwork all in one spot. HR always has a tremendous amount of paperwork and deadlines, so it’s amazing to find a product to keep a lot of that chaos all in one spot. We use Zenefits for our benefits, onboarding, documents, tracking and reminder for training, and several other features. It has organized and decreased the amount of paper on my desk by a lot. One great feature is that it’s fairly easy to customize to fit to your company rather than the company trying to fit to the software. We continue to find new ways to utilize it which makes it easy for me to justify it to the CFO & ED. We have definitely found efficiency and effectiveness with this product. For any business that can’t afford the ridiculous prices they have for other software, Zenefits has a great bang for the buck!

What do you dislike?

Although I love Zenefits, there have been some bumps in the road. We’ve been using Zenefits for two years and it has definitely changed a lot in those two years. Sometimes things are changed without the best of communication, but it is getting better than it was two years ago. And truthfully, even though some of the changes surprised me, most of them really were good changes, so that helped. There are a few things within the categories I use that I would change for my particular business, but that would happen with any software. They are, however, very good about listening to their customers on what they want changed. All in all, not a lot to gripe about.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I highly recommend Zenefits, especially to any company that would like to ease into software to help with their HR needs. Zenefits is pretty easy to use, which is nice when starting a new software in a business. Make sure to utilize part of it you can, it will save you money in the long run.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It has tremendously limited our benefits paperwork, which is amazing! It has also streamlined our onboarding process and I have only heard positive feedback from our new hires. We also use the ACA tool, which has saved our company money and made it fairly easy to follow those regulations. The documents section has also changed several of our processes and helped us stay compliant with state agency regulations we must follow.

Most Helpful Negative Zenefits Review

A G2Crowd reviewer named Kath F. said this of Zenefits:

“Initial adopter of Zenefits, we have seen a lot of changes”

What do you like best?

Zenefits has had a lot of ups and downs, but it is constantly changing and evolving. There is no doubt how much time and money Zenefits has saved us as a small company in gathering information, tracking people, tracking insurance, hiring, terminating, and payroll. I think by far the best feature that we utilize with Zenefits is payroll. It took our payroll process down from 8 hours to 30 minutes. It used to be a two person process that would involve a day of double checking numbers and now I do it myself within 30 minutes and Zenefits always does the math right and remembers things that I would not.

Also, I love documents. We can track all of our employee documents here and it is such a relief. Also, we can send yearly documents that need to be signed or updated. This is such a time save.

What do you dislike?

We have yet to have a very wonderful experience with Zenefit’s insurance brokerage. They used to do it in house and it was just a disaster for someone that wasn’t from California, where they are located. We struggled in Georgia with a lack of knowledge from their brokers, and an inability to advise us on crucial things like HSA’s and FSA’s. They have changed their process and are now using a different agency, and I can’t wait to see what this process is like (and they are in Atlanta, too!)

Also, their time off app needs tweaking. I LOVE having a time off app and it is so useful, but the way that it calculates available time is just wonky and none of my employees seem to understand it.

Recommendations to others considering the product

This is a company that listens and makes the right changes in the right direction. I have never felt my voice heard as well as I do with Zenefits.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

1. Keeping track of important personal employee files

2. Processing insurance and tracking benefits

3. Tracking ETO/PTO

4. General HR questions

5. Payroll

6. Employee onboarding

As the HR Contact, I use this software on a daily basis. It helps me with so many things. My employees know they have it and occasionally have to use it for things like ETO or checking their paystubs, but don’t need to bother it, and that’s how I like it.

Zenefits Video Reviews

A Growing Marketing Company:

A Physical Therapy Company:

Zenefits Price

Zenefits has a the basic HR packages.

Basic HR Packages (Monthly Pricing):

The Basic HR Packages include features like:

  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Employee Directory
  • HR Records
  • Company Org Charts
  • Mobile apps
  • HR Benefits and Payroll Reports
  • Data Visualization
  • Custom reports
  • and more…

When you decide to get an annual plan, you’ll SAVE 25% ON YOUR HR PACKAGE, however, this is the breakdown on the monthly plan pricing (the highest price option):

zenefits review


If you decide you want to use Zenefits for the basic HR functions and other HR components, those are addons. The addons include:

  • Payroll – $6/mo/employee
  • Time and Attendance tracking – $5/mo/employee
  • Benefits Brokers – Subject to quote
  • Payroll and Benefits advisors – $5-$8/mo/employee
  • Performance management – $4/mo/employee

With the addons, the price will look more like this:

zenefits review

My Final Opinion of Zenefits

Of all of the software solutions that customers have rated, Zenefits has been one of the highest rated for a reason!  They provide a one-stop shop that saves businesses lots of time, money, and headaches. I’d recommend you to SET UP A DEMO and see if this solution might work for you. CHOOSE YOUR DEMO PREFERENCE HERE.

Top Alternatives

Gusto – Gusto is a good alternative for small and medium-sized teams. Read a full review HERE.

Quickbooks – Quickbooks software integrates with Zenefits, and many customers say using the Quickbooks for bookkeeping and Zenefits for HR is a better fit.  However, you may decide that their solution works best for you. It’s a preference you can evaluate.  Check what customers are saying HERE.

Manual processing

VERDICT: Recommend








User Friendly







  • They listen to customer feedback
  • They're constantly improving their service
  • The software is very user friendly
  • It eliminates alot of hassle by making HR a one-stop shop
  • Most of the customers have positive things to say


  • They could probably do better at communicating updates
  • They don't currently integrate with some mainstream software (like Freshbooks)
  • They offer phone support by tickets rather than on-demand

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