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Updated May 21, 2024

Bambee vs. Gusto Comparison

The right HR software or HRO can have a major impact on a small business's HR processes. Here's how Bambee and Gusto compare.

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Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
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Table of Contents

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Editor's Rating9.5/10
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Editor's Rating9.4/10

Human resources (HR) solutions like HR software and HR outsourcing (HRO) services can make a big difference to your small business, especially if you have employees. They can help you streamline time-consuming and potentially confusing HR functions, such as recruitment and onboarding, payroll processing and tax filing, employee benefits administration, workforce management and risk mitigation.

Human resources (HR) solutions like HR software and HR outsourcing (HRO) services can make a big difference to your small business, especially if you have employees. They can help you streamline time-consuming and potentially confusing HR functions, such as recruitment and onboarding, payroll processing and tax filing, employee benefits administration, workforce management and risk mitigation.

Two popular HR solutions that excel when it comes to HR management are Bambee and Gusto, and this article will help you decide which of these leading providers is better for your business. We broke down each of their features, pricing and customer support options for a direct comparison. You can also check out our Bambee review and Gusto review if you want a more in-depth analysis of each service individually.

Bambee vs. Gusto

Bambee vs. Gusto Highlights

Bambee and Gusto each offer several valuable HR features to help you manage your workforce. However, they do have a few key differences that are important to make note of.

Criteria

Bambee

Gusto

Starting monthly price

$99 per month

$35 per month plus $6 per person, per month

HR administration

Recruiting and onboarding, document storage, HR audits, HR policy creation, corrective action, termination and time and attendance integration

Hiring and onboarding, background checks, applicant tracking system (ATS), document storage, HR reports, org charts, performance management, time tracking, time off management, research and development (R&D) tax credit services and employer of record (EOR)

Payroll & benefits administration

Basic (add-on option)

Comprehensive (included in all plans)

Ease of use

Very intuitive and user-friendly

Intuitive and user-friendly

Customer support

Dedicated HR manager; HR coordinator; business manager; phone, email and web chat available 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time (weekdays)

Phone, email and web chat available 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mountain time (weekdays)

Who Is Bambee For?

Bambee is an HR outsourcing service geared toward helping small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with up to 500 employees. Although it does facilitate some HR tasks like job descriptions and HR policy creation, its main benefit is providing employers with HR risk mitigation and compliance support. This vendor is a good option for business owners looking for HR audits and guided HR assistance. [Find out how Bambee can solve your HR needs.]

Who Is Gusto For?

Gusto provides an HR software platform that caters to small businesses with fewer than 50 employees or contractors. It’s an ideal option for those looking for a comprehensive, full-service payroll solution and employee benefits administrator. If you want a flexible HR service, Gusto allows companies to choose from multiple plans with varying degrees of HR tools and features and its platform supports hundreds of third-party applications.

Bambee vs. Gusto Comparison

Let’s dive into the primary differences between Bambee and Gusto. Below, we outline each vendor’s pricing and contracts, HR services, payroll processing, employee benefits administration, usability and customer support so that you can see which solution performs best in each aspect.

Pricing and Plans

Bambee Pricing

Bambee has six plans, which is more than most competitors offer. It uses month-to-month pricing. However, when we spoke to a Bambee representative, we were told that six-month, one-year and two-year contracts are common, with these paid for upfront. Each package has a slightly different number of features, but the plan you can access will largely depend on how many employees you’re looking to support:

  • Bambee offers a 30-day trial for just $1.
  • Bambee charges a flat monthly fee based on employee count ranges as opposed to charging on a per-employee basis like most rivals, including Gusto.
  • Unlike most competitors, Bambee charges setup fees for most of its plans.
  • Bambee’s guided payroll platform can be included in your package for an additional monthly fee.

Here’s a breakdown of Bambee’s HR outsourcing plans.

Number of employees

HR services included

Monthly cost

Setup fee

0

Four core HR policies, two custom HR policies, two job descriptions and email and web chat support

$99

None

1-4

Four core HR policies, two custom HR policies, three job descriptions, access to a dedicated HR manager with phone, email and web chat support

$299

$500

5-19

Four core HR policies, four custom HR policies, four job descriptions, access to a dedicated HR manager with phone, email and web chat support

$399

$500

20-49

Four core HR policies, eight custom HR policies, five job descriptions, access to a dedicated HR manager with phone, email and web chat support

$499

$1,500

50-70

Four core HR policies, 12 custom HR policies, five job descriptions, access to a dedicated HR manager with phone, email and web chat support

$1,299

$2,000

71+

Customized services

Custom pricing

Custom pricing

FYIDid you know
Bambee is one of the only HR solutions we found that will let business owners access its features without having any employees on staff.

Gusto Pricing

Gusto has three plans for businesses with employees (Simple, Plus and Premium) as well as one plan for contractors. Features and support are tiered based on which plan you choose.

  • Gusto offers a free trial until you use the system to run your first payroll.
  • Gusto charges a base monthly fee, plus an additional monthly fee per employee.
  • Businesses don’t have to sign long-term contracts; you can cancel or switch plans at any time.
  • Gusto doesn’t charge any setup fees.
  • Gusto has more than a dozen add-on features that can be bundled with your plan.

Here’s a breakdown of Gusto’s HR plans.

Plan name

HR services included

Monthly cost

Contractor

Unlimited contractor payments, four-day direct deposit, 1099-NECs and new-hire reporting (if required), international contractor payments (optional add-on)

$35 per month, plus $6 per contractor, per month

Simple

Single-state payroll, hiring and onboarding, employee self-service, custom admin permissions, optional employee benefits, HR reporting, team management, integrations and customer support

$40 per month, plus $6 per employee, per month

Plus

Everything in the Simple plan as well as multistate payroll, ATS, advanced hiring and onboarding tools, time tracking and kiosk, software/email provisioning/deprovisioning, employee surveys, workforce costing and reports, team management, org chart, performance reviews, customer support and optional support add-ons

$80 per month, plus $12 per employee, per month

Premium

Everything in the Plus plan as well as priority support, R&D tax credit discount, health insurance broker integration, full-service payroll migration, compliance alerts, an HR resources center and access to a dedicated customer success manager

Exclusive pricing for large teams

Best for Pricing
Tie

Bambee and Gusto generally have different features and pricing structures, so it's tough to make an apples-to-apples comparison for which is better in this specific category. The right choice for your organization will largely depend on how many employees you have and what services you need. As a result, we are calling it a tie between Bambee and Gusto when it comes to pricing.

We like that Gusto doesn't charge a setup fee and, if you have relatively few employees, it can be an affordable HR solution with comprehensive payroll features. However, it does have several appealing add-on functions and those can raise your monthly rates rather quickly.

If you're a larger organization (but still with less than 500 employees), you may favor Bambee's pricing model instead since it groups employees together for bulk rates as opposed to the more common method of charging per employee. We like that this financial structure can help businesses stabilize their monthly HR costs even as they hire a few more workers. However, we don't love that Bambee charges a setup fee for most of its packages and, since it's not as comprehensive as Gusto in terms of HR features, you may need to pay for additional third-party HR software as well.

Overall, we like that both vendors give companies the option for month-to-month pricing, granting some flexibility for small businesses. We also like that each provider has multiple plans and add-on options, allowing for a customized solution that meets your organization's unique needs. 

HR Administration

Bambee HR Services

  • Bambee is an HRO that can conduct HR audits and create custom HR policies.
  • Bambee is rather limited when it comes to HR services, but it does enable basic functions like job description creation, document storage, employee training, corrective action and employee termination.
  • Bambee offers guided payroll, time and attendance tracking (through Deputy) and benefits administration (through SimplyInsured) as add-on options. These services can integrate with the rest of the Bambee HR platform.

Gusto HR Services

  • Gusto’s HR services are tiered, but its platform boasts essential HR functions like hiring and onboarding, applicant tracking, background checks, payroll, benefits administration, time tracking, software/email provisioning and deprovisioning, HR reporting, employee surveys, team management, organization charts and performance reviews.
  • All Gusto plans include compliance assistance and some offer federal and state compliance alerts.
  • Gusto sells several add-on HR services, such as international contractor payments, state tax registration, research and development tax credits, health benefits, financial benefits and tax-advantaged benefits.
Gusto dashboard

Gusto’s dashboard makes it easy to navigate through various HR tasks. Source: Gusto

Best for HR Administration
Gusto
Although Bambee is very helpful in mitigating HR risks, Gusto is the clear winner for HR administration overall. This vendor facilitates all the essential HR functions you need to manage and pay your small workforce. We also like that it has tiered features and add-on options as this lets businesses create a package that best fits their HR needs and budget.
TipBottom line
If you're looking for an HR solution that allows mobile access for employees, you'll want to partner with Gusto. It offers user-friendly iOS and Android mobile apps.

Payroll and Benefits Administration

Bambee Payroll and Benefits Administration

  • Bambee lets businesses add on its guided payroll solution or you can integrate its HR platform with a third-party payroll provider.
  • Bambee can handle your federal, state and local payroll taxes.
  • Bambee offers employee benefits through SimplyInsured, but you must use its guided payroll service to qualify for it.
  • Bambee provides add-on time and attendance features through its partnership with Deputy. Although it’s a third-party application, the platform can be Bambee-branded and directly integrated with Bambee’s payroll tools.

Gusto Payroll and Benefits Administration

  • Gusto allows for both employee and contractor payment management.
  • Gusto can automate employee compensation functions, such as syncing employee hours automatically and calculating and filing payroll taxes.
  • Gusto is a benefits broker, so it can sync your benefits data, such as workers’ comp insurance, with payroll processing.
  • Gusto can act as an EOR to help you hire and pay employees in another country. We recommend speaking with a Gusto representative to see which countries are supported currently. 
Best for Payroll Benefits Administration
Gusto
Gusto offers some of the most comprehensive payroll features of any HR software we reviewed, giving it an undeniable edge in this category. We appreciate that Bambee's guided payroll solution is easy to use but it's somewhat basic in comparison to Gusto. We love that comprehensive payroll features are included automatically in every employee plan Gusto offers as opposed to only having it as an added option as Bambee does. We also like that Gusto makes it simple to manage employee and contractor payments, which isn't something all competitors offer. [Related article: How to Do Payroll for a Small Business]
Gusto time-tracking features

Gusto’s time tracking features integrate with its payroll solution. Source: Gusto

Ease of Use

Bambee Ease of Use

  • When testing the Bambee platform, we were pleased with how intuitive and easy it was to navigate.
  • Bambee has a function called HR Autopilot, which essentially automates certain HR functions for you, simplifying various processes.
  • Bambee’s add-on payroll solution is a guided platform that can walk users through the payroll process easily.

Gusto Ease of Use

  • Gusto is a cloud-based platform.
  • Gusto has employee self-service features that can speed up the implementation process.
  • New users can test the platform with an interactive demo.
Best for Ease of Use
Bambee
We found both software systems easy to navigate. However, Bambee's overall simplicity gets our vote for this category. Not only is the platform straightforward to use, but it also has several automation tools to help speed up and simplify your HR processes further down the road — and this is true for its payroll solution as well. We also like that each Bambee employee plan pairs your organization with a designated HR representative who can conduct HR audits and create custom policies to help ensure your business is staying up to date with laws and regulations.
Bambee guided payroll

Bambee’s guided payroll solution lends to its overall usability. Source: Bambee

Customer Support

Bambee Customer Support

  • Every Bambee employee plan includes access to a dedicated HR manager, who can be reached by phone, email or web chat.
  • Businesses can receive HR audits and custom HR policies from their HR managers.
  • Your Bambee representative can also help with handling tough employment situations, such as corrective action and employee termination.

Gusto Customer Support

  • Every Gusto employee plan includes call, email and chat support; select plans include priority support with a direct line to assistance.
  • Gusto users get 24/7 Help Center access, which is on par with what other competitors offer.
  • Businesses with Premium plans get paired with a dedicated customer success manager.
Best for Customer Support
Bambee

We appreciate that Gusto offers helpful, adequate support, but we found Bambee's customer service to be a bit more extensive, making it our winner in this category. We like that every business signed up with Bambee (provided you have employees) automatically has access to their own dedicated HR manager. This wasn't something we saw all vendors in this sector provide. For example, Gusto only offers this assistance with its Premium plan. It's reassuring knowing personalized customer service is readily available for almost all Bambee users. Plus, when we tested the Bambee platform, we found it rather easy to navigate to the HR support page to reach out for help.

We also like the HR audits and HR policy creation that Bambee facilitates. This can be a big advantage for small and medium-sized businesses that aren't sure where their HR processes are lacking.

Bambee help request

It’s easy to submit a help request to your dedicated Bambee HR manager through the “New HR Request” tab. Source: Bambee

Did You Know?Did you know
While not our top choice for customer support, we were impressed with the number of useful resources Gusto offers online. They have a blog, small business guides, tools and calculators, data and research, a Help Center and a support team login center all accessible at your convenience.

Bambee vs. Gusto Summary

Bambee and Gusto provide some of the best HR services and software on the market, but the best solution for you will depend on the structure of your business and the type of HR assistance you need.

Bambee is the better HR solution for SMBs (with less than 500 employees) that are looking for an HR outsourcing service with hands-on HR guidance and support. 

With its dedicated HR managers for all companies with employees, businesses can receive hands-on help managing HR issues. This vendor is also great for those seeking assistance with risk mitigation as Bambee facilitates HR audits and policy creations to help you stay compliant with current HR laws.

Gusto is the better solution for small companies (with fewer than 50 employees or contractors) that are looking for HR software with full-service payroll features. 

This platform has a wealth of features for conducting everyday HR tasks, from employee onboarding to time tracking to benefits administration. Gusto is also great for those seeking a customizable HR solution since it has multiple tiered HR plans and several add-on options.

FAQs

Yes, Bambee is accredited by the BBB and has a B rating with the agency.
No, Gusto is not accredited by the BBB. While this doesn't necessarily indicate the quality of the service you will receive from the company, we prefer vendors to have accreditation. Still, Gusto has an A rating with the agency.
No, Bambee does not have a mobile app. However, its HR platform is cloud-based, so it can be accessed easily from web browsers on mobile devices.
HR software implementation times largely depend on how many employees you have and what HR features you will be setting up. However, our research indicates businesses can potentially implement Gusto's services in less than a week. This is impressive, seeing as some of the vendor's competitors can take weeks or months to get up and running fully.
author image
Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Skye Schooley is a dedicated business professional who is especially passionate about human resources and digital marketing. For more than a decade, she has helped clients navigate the employee recruitment and customer acquisition processes, ensuring small business owners have the knowledge they need to succeed and grow their companies. In recent years, Schooley has enjoyed evaluating and comparing HR software and other human resources solutions to help businesses find the tools and services that best suit their needs. With a degree in business communications, she excels at simplifying complicated subjects and interviewing business vendors and entrepreneurs to gain new insights. Her guidance spans various formats, including newsletters, long-form videos and YouTube Shorts, reflecting her commitment to providing valuable expertise in accessible ways.
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