Your Guide to Software Selection

Namely vs Zenefits

So, you’ve decided to adopt HR software.  Or, you’ve decided to switch HR platforms.  Either way, you’ve made up your mind and it’s time to look at vendors.  You’re looking for solutions deployed on the cloud?  We have just the thing.  To help you peruse the possibilities, analyze the features and compare solutions, we put together a quick comparison of two HR software industry leaders.  Let’s compare Namely vs Zenefits:


Namely is specifically targeted for use by a mid-size company.  The first thing that sticks out to Namely users is its interface.  Featuring one of the most user-friendly interfaces on the market, anyone can use the platform.  One of the most appealing aspects of this interface is the social news feed, which creates a social media-like feel.  Employees are much more likely to engage with the software and each other, thereby keeping them engaged in their work.  And as several studies have shown, companies need to do whatever they can to increase employee engagement.

Namely provides full HR capabilities, but one of its strongest differentiators is its benefits administration.  The benefits administration is especially unique, as you can both use the software and a consultant.  Namely employs expert benefit consultants to help you choose the right packages for your employees.  Most HR software vendors leave the benefits administration to the software, but Namely can walk you through the whole process if you need it.

Talent Management is another strong feature for Namely.  Like any worthy talent management module, Namely provides onboarding, reviews, goal setting and more.  What sets it apart, however, is its ability to “tag” employees.  We don’t mean tagging them like you would a bear, but rather adding a skill as a tag on their records.  By tagging an employee’s skills, it’s easy to track their development as they add to and improve their skillset.  In addition, as Dave Foxall at HRMSWorld describes, you can use these skills tags to create teams tailored to a specific project based on the required skillset.


Zenefits’ software provides HR management for small businesses and mid-size companies alike.  One of the reasons it’s appealing to small businesses?  It offers a free version.  If all your business needs is employee management and benefits administration, you can use Zenefits completely for free.  The software works in an app-based system, where there’s an app for payroll, benefits, etc.  All of these apps are available to see and use through the main dashboard.

As you probably gathered from the name, one of Zenefits’ biggest selling points is its benefits.  Offering medical, dental, vision and life insurance plans, there’s no shortage of options for your employees.  In fact, it offers thousands of plans from hundreds of providers.  Your employees don’t have to be restricted to just “the low or high deductible” anymore.  With the available plans, you can offer the most relevant ones for your employees based on location and needs.

Although you may be able to get by with the free version, you’ll be missing out on payroll — one of Zenefits’ most appealing features.  Payroll integrates with everything else to streamline the process.  From benefits to time off, HR departments can reduce their manual work as each app shares information and is presented in an easy-to-use interface.  Zenefits makes hourly time entry simple too.  It offers mobile clock-in/clock-out and automatically calculates overtime, so you don’t have to.

Additionally, you can add several apps to your package for a small fee.  For example, you can easily add commuter benefits and integrated contractor payments to your Zenefits dashboard.

Other Competitors

If you’re still looking at other HR technology vendors, the following competitors also provide robust HR solutions:


BambooHR, like Name and Zenefits, is geared toward SMBs.  Offering applicant tracking, onboarding and performance management, it’s a true all-in-one solution.  The BambooHR mobile app also provides employee self-service for convenient time-off and other services.


Epicor is the only solution on this list that offers on-premise and hosting deployments, in addition to the cloud.  The platform is one of the best vendors for performance and talent management, in addition to training and recruiting.  Epicor also makes it easy to integrate the system with third-party payroll and benefit vendors.

Interact HRMS

Interact HRMS provides a fully web-based solution for HR.  Another all-in-one platform, Interact HRMS offers core HR features plus FMLA/COBRA and safety management.  Interact HRMS is also the only open source vendor on this list.

APS Online

The HR platform from APS Online is geared for businesses of all sizes, large or small.  The software is designed to be as centralized as possible thanks to easy third-party integrations.  A cloud-based solution, APS also provides instant analytics and reporting.

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