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Updated Apr 18, 2024

TriNet vs. Justworks Comparison

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A professional employer organization (PEO) can be a game-changer for SMBs that need help managing their human resources (HR) functions. TriNet and Justworks are two excellent PEOs that work within a co-employment model to handle onboarding, payroll processing, filing payroll taxes, administering employee benefits, managing employee performance, mitigating legal risks, and dealing with administrative HR functions. We’ll look at how TriNet and Justworks measure up in pricing, essential HR tasks, customer service and ease of use to help businesses choose the best PEO for their needs. 

TriNet vs. Justworks

TriNet vs. Justworks HR Highlights

TriNet and Justworks are among the best PEO services for hiring, training and managing employees. Both are ESAC- and IRS-certified and provide crucial features like payroll, benefits administration, HR support, mobile applications and intuitive employee self-service capabilities.

However, TriNet and Justworks have key differences that may make one or the other more suitable for your organization. 

Feature

TriNet

Justworks

Starting monthly price

Varies for each customer

$59 per employee per month

HR services

  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding
  • Risk mitigation
  • Employee training
  • Termination
  • Document storage
  • Reporting
  • Onboarding
  • Employee training
  • Document storage
  • Reporting

Payroll and benefits administration

In-house (payroll is required)

In-house (payroll is required)

Ease of use

Intuitive and user-friendly

Very intuitive and user-friendly

Customer support

Industry-specific support based on customer needs

Account manager, live chat, phone and email

Who Is TriNet For?

TriNet is a professional employer organization that caters to small and midsize businesses with fewer than 250 employees. It’s a bundled solution ideal for businesses that want comprehensive HR support with recruiting, payroll processing, payroll tax filing, benefits administration, compliance assistance and employee development. TriNet makes skilled industry experts available to its clients, so it’s ideal for companies that need industry-specific HR support. Learn more about TriNet’s options and features by reading our in-depth TriNet review.

Who Is Justworks For?

Justworks is ideal for businesses with fewer than 100 employees. It’s one of the only PEOs we reviewed that offers transparent, upfront pricing online, making it an ideal solution for small or growing companies with a limited HR budget. Its platform is intuitive and user-friendly; this PEO is an excellent option for businesses seeking an affordable HR solution that’s easy to implement and navigate. Read our detailed review of Justworks to gain a more comprehensive overview of the platform.

TipBottom line

You should consider outsourcing your HR functions if you spend too much time handling HR problems or if your industry subjects your company to liability risks.

TriNet vs. Justworks Comparison

Here’s how TriNet and Justworks compare in pricing, ease of use, customer service and standard PEO services

Pricing and Plans

Fitting your PEO into your business budget is crucial. Here’s how TriNet and Justworks handle pricing. 

TriNet Pricing

Like many PEOs, TriNet does not list its pricing online. Instead, it provides custom quotes based on each client’s needs. Depending on your preferences, TriNet’s pricing model could be a benefit or drawback.

Here is some notable TriNet pricing information:   

  • TriNet charges on a per-employee-per-month basis, similar to other PEOs.
  • You must have a minimum of five employees to work with TriNet. This requirement is also commonplace in the PEO industry.
  • We like that TriNet users aren’t locked into long-term plans. You can cancel anytime by submitting a 30-day written notice.
TipBottom line

If you want a TriNet HR solution without the PEO model, check out Zenefits by TriNet, an HRO service with onboarding and other employee-centric features. Read our review TriNet for more information.

Justworks Pricing

Justworks transparently lists its pricing online – a rarity in the industry. It offers two PEO plans: 

  • Basic: $59 per employee per month up to your 49th employee; your 50th employee onward costs $49 per employee per month. The Basic plan includes payroll, employee benefits, HR tools and compliance assistance.
  • Plus: $99 per employee per month up to your 49th employee; your 50th employee onward costs $89 per employee per month. This plan includes everything in Basic, plus employee benefits like medical, dental, and vision insurance; COBRA administration; health advocacy services; and health savings and flexible spending accounts.

Here is some notable Justworks pricing information:   

  • Healthcare benefits and workers’ compensation incur additional fees (this is industry standard).
  • You must have a minimum of two employees before signing up for Justworks. This requirement is lower than that of many other PEOs.
  • Like TriNet, Justworks doesn’t lock users into long-term plans. You can cancel anytime by submitting a 30-day written notice.

Winner

Justworks wins this round with its transparent pricing and reasonable rates. We like that business owners can get a quick assessment of their costs and services. The two-employee minimum also impressed us; this is an excellent option for very small companies. Additionally, users can easily switch from Basic to Plus if their needs change. Although TriNet’s customized pricing and plans deliver personalized solutions, costs can add up – and your price won’t be clear until you contact a representative.  

FYIDid you know

PEOs have their pros and cons. One potential downside: These services typically bundle their HR features, so you may end up paying for functions you don’t need.

HR Services

HR services are the bread and butter of PEO offerings. Here’s how TriNet and Justworks stack up. 

TriNet HR Services

  • Recruitment: TriNet can help with employee recruitment by providing automated job postings, customized hiring workflows and recruiting pipelines, and applicant tracking.
  • Employee management: TriNet can help with employee management functions like onboarding, training, performance management, document management and termination.
  • HR compliance: TriNet can help you handle HR compliance challenges with industry-specialized guidance.
  • High-tech services: TriNet’s technology platform can provide workforce analytics and compensation benchmarking.
Did You Know?Did you know

A PEO can help your business avoid wrongful termination situations by providing expert guidance and ensuring diligent processes are followed.

Justworks HR Services

  • Employee services: Justworks offers online employee onboarding and can help with document storage management, company directories and employee handbooks.
  • Workforce guidance: Users can take advantage of harassment prevention and inclusion training.
  • HR administration: Justworks offers administrative HR functions like an online calendar, document center and directory. It also has robust HR reporting capabilities.

Winner

When it comes to HR administration features, we found TriNet to be more comprehensive. While Justworks offers essential HR services, TriNet provides a broader range of HR features overall, including an in-house applicant-tracking feature. We also like that TriNet focuses on specialized resources, providing employers with industry-specific support. 

Trinet applicant tracking feature

TriNet’s applicant-tracking features simplify the recruitment process. Source: TriNet

Payroll and Benefits Administration

Here’s how TriNet’s and Justworks’s payroll and benefits administration features measure up.

TriNet Payroll and Benefits Administration

  • Payroll: Employers must use TriNet’s in-house payroll solution if they want to partner with TriNet.
  • Time and attendance: Users can access TriNet’s built-in time and attendance software or partner with one of the best time and attendance software providers. 
  • Payroll taxes: TriNet can handle all your payroll tax responsibilities, including filing payroll taxes.
  • Benefits: TriNet offers comprehensive employee benefits and can help employers manage ACA and COBRA compliance. 

Justworks Payroll and Benefits Administration

  • Payroll: Employers must use Justworks’s intuitive in-house payroll solution if they want to partner with the company.
  • Time and attendance: If you want comprehensive time-tracking features for employees and contractors, you can upgrade your plan to include Justworks Hours for an additional $8 per user per month.
  • Payroll taxes: Both plans include payroll and tax management functionality for employees and contractors.
  • Benefits: Justworks offers comprehensive employee benefits and benefits administration; it can help employers with ACA filings and COBRA insurance administration.

Winner

We found TriNet and Justworks to be comparable when it comes to payroll and benefits administration. Both PEOs offer an in-house payroll platform and optional employee benefits and time-tracking features. During hands-on testing, we were impressed with how easy both companies’ payroll solutions were to navigate. Since access to affordable benefits is a significant advantage of PEOs, we were pleased to see that both solutions offer comprehensive benefits. 

Trinet time and attendance

TriNet’s time and attendance features include a visual scheduler that can generate work schedules. Source: TriNet

Did You Know?Did you know

If you want to offer employee benefits through a PEO, prices aren’t included in your PEO plan. Your benefits provider will charge you separately.

Ease of Use

Your PEO should provide an easily navigable interface. Here’s how TriNet and Justworks compare.

TriNet Ease of Use

  • User-friendliness: TriNet is a user-friendly platform. When we tested the software, we were pleased with its layout and functionality.
  • Employee self-service: Your team can access employee self-service features with TriNet’s iOS and Android mobile apps.
  • Prebuilt reports: Although TriNet allows custom reporting, it also simplifies the reporting process with roughly 100 prebuilt reports.

Justworks Ease of Use

  • User-friendliness: Justworks is one of the simplest and most user-friendly PEO platforms we tested and reviewed.
  • Mobile apps: The Justworks mobile apps are also very easy to use. The apps rate highly on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
  • Guided implementation: A Justworks representative can help smooth your implementation process.

Winner

This category was a close call, but Justworks edged out TriNet with a few advantages. The platform is extremely easy to implement and includes ongoing support to keep setup and operations seamless and smooth. We also like that employees can access the platform online and via iOS and Android mobile apps, lending to its overall accessibility.

Justworks platform

The Justworks platform is easy to implement and navigate. Source: Justworks

Customer Support

Your PEO’s customer support options should accommodate your preferences and schedule. 

TriNet Customer Support

  • Industry-specific support: Unlike many competing PEOs, TriNet offers industry-specific support to provide expert guidance. Options include phone, email and web chat HR support.
  • Additional support: Employers can add Connect 360 to their plan for 24/7 specialized HR support. Online resources are also robust.
  • Employee assistance: Employees can access TriNet’s HealthAdvocate for assistance with benefits enrollment.
  • Credentials: TriNet is a certified professional employer organization (CPEO). It is also accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) and the IRS, and has an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. 

Justworks Customer Support

  • Support options: Support is available by phone, email, web chat, Slack and text. Companies with 15 or more employees are provided with a dedicated account manager.
  • Online resources: Justworks has online resources like blogs, videos, webinars and a help center.
  • Credentials: Justworks is a CPEO. It is also accredited by the ESAC and the IRS. It has a C- rating with the BBB.

Winner

We like that both companies provide excellent customer support. However, TriNet wins this category by a slight margin. In addition to its online resources and general support, TriNet provides industry-specific support – a significant benefit for getting HR compliance questions answered. We also like that TriNet has an A+ rating with the BBB, compared to Justworks’ C- rating. While this rating isn’t always indicative of the service you’ll receive from a company, it’s worth noting.

Justworks customer support

Justworks provides excellent customer support and a dedicated account manager for companies with over 15 employees. Source: Justworks

TriNet vs. Justworks Summary

TriNet and Justworks both provide essential PEO services with top-notch support. We recommend these companies in the following situations. 

TriNet is best for SMBs that want a PEO with comprehensive HR features.

TriNet’s wide-ranging features can handle most companies’ needs. Additionally, TriNet is ideal for employers that want to partner with a PEO that can offer industry-specific support.

Justworks is best for small businesses that need affordable HR basics. 

Justworks is an ideal solution for employers that need PEO assistance with HR basics at an affordable rate. It’s also an excellent choice for small businesses seeking a PEO with good customer service and an intuitive HR platform.

FAQs

Who are TriNet’s competitors?

TriNet is a big name in the PEO space. It competes against other well-known PEOs like Justworks, Rippling, Insperity, ADP and Paychex.

How long does it take to implement TriNet?

While implementation times will vary based on your organization’s size and selected features, TriNet has an average implementation time of about two weeks.

How long does it take to implement Justworks?

Implementation time will vary based on organization size and your chosen plan. However, Justworks has an average implementation time of about two to three weeks.

What kind of insurance providers does Justworks partner with?

If you want to access insurance services through Justworks, the PEO can partner with several popular benefits providers. Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, MetLife and UnitedHealthcare are all benefits partners. 

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