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Updated Mar 29, 2024

TriNet HR Software Review and Pricing

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

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Editors Score:9.6/10
The TriNet HR platform facilitates core human resources functions — such as employee onboarding, time tracking, payroll and benefits administration — to help your startup thrive. It's a great option for new businesses with small and midsize workforces.
Thumbs Up Pros
  • The TriNet HR platform is easily scalable, with multiple plans and add-ons available.
  • The vendor offers both self-guided and company-guided implementation processes.
  • The platform's intuitive user interface is easy to navigate.
  • The software makes it simple to onboard new employees.
Thumbs Down Cons
  • TriNet's HR service requires businesses to pay for at least five employees.
  • Many customer reviews say the company's support team can be tough to reach.
Trinet logo
Editor's Rating9.6/10

TriNet’s HR platform (formerly known as Zenefits) is a digital human resources solution for small and midsize businesses, and its features make it especially useful for startups. There are three tiered service plans, multiple add-on options, and monthly and annual rates, all of which make it the ideal product for businesses that need HR software that can scale with them. 

The TriNet HR platform facilitates core human resources services, like HR administration, employee onboarding, time and attendance tracking, payroll, benefits administration, compensation management, analytics and performance management. The TriNet mobile app and employee self-service features put some HR functions in your employees’ hands, freeing you up to focus on other business operations. With these tools and benefits in mind, we selected the TriNet HR platform as the best HR software for startups.

TriNet HR Software Editor's Rating:

9.6 / 10

Price/value
9.8/10
Features
9.7/10
Customizations, add-ons and integrations
9.6/10
Ease of use
9.8/10
Customer service
8.9/10

Why We Chose TriNet for Startups

We like the TriNet HR platform as a human resources software solution for startups because of its wide range of services and features. The vendor offers various plans and add-ons, so new businesses can easily select the package that best fits their current needs. Then, as their needs change, they can scale up or down to a different plan that accommodates their evolving workforce. Additionally, the TriNet platform can support full-time employees and contractors, which can be helpful for startups that need to manage and pay various types of workers.

TriNet employee directory

It’s easy to manage your growing organization with the TriNet HR platform’s employee directory.
Source: TriNet

The TriNet HR platform provides essential HR services to help you manage your workforce. These include recruitment tools, automated employee onboarding, performance management features, employee scheduling, time tracking and payroll processing. These key functions make it simple for startups to stay on top of human resources responsibilities while getting their businesses off the ground.

When offering employee benefits, you can partner with TriNet’s certified brokers or use your own. We like that you have the flexibility to choose the best benefits administration option for your organization and budget. We also appreciate that the platform is intuitive and has a simple user interface so employers and employees can navigate it with ease.

Did You Know?Did you know
Employees can use the TriNet HR platform's mobile app to complete HR-related tasks, such as clocking in and out, requesting time off, accessing the employee directory, viewing pay stubs and managing benefits.

Usability

One of our favorite aspects of the TriNet HR platform is its ease of use. When we tested the software, we found the user interface to be modern and simple to navigate. You can automate HR processes, like employee onboarding, which helps speed up various tasks. 

Because employees have access to a variety of self-service features, they can easily take control of some individual-level HR needs and responsibilities. Furthermore, the TriNet software integrates with more than 40 third-party applications. While this is fewer than some other systems offer, we still found the available integrations valuable for simplifying and streamlining many business processes.

TriNet HR Platform Features

TriNet’s HR platform offers businesses the core HR tools needed to manage employees. Although the specific features you can access will depend on the plan and add-ons you sign up for, here are a few of the capabilities we think stand out most for startups.

Recruiting and Onboarding

If your business is in its growing stages, you know that recruiting and onboarding can be a laborious yet essential part of HR. The TriNet HR platform can be enhanced with recruiting tools powered by JazzHR; they’re offered as optional add-ons for those who want to streamline the candidate sourcing and recruitment process. However, even without the add-on, TriNet’s HR software can help with the onboarding process through automated onboarding tools, which include digital offer letters and templates. We like that the platform includes employee self-

TipBottom line
If you want your new employees to grow with your organization, we recommend taking advantage of TriNet's performance management tools, like performance reviews, goal setting and tracking, employee engagement surveys and one-on-one meeting management.

Similar to other HR solutions, the TriNet HR platform includes digital documents with e-signatures, an employee system of record, document management tools, and company directories and organizational charts. The program also integrates with background check service Checkr, so you can easily work such screenings into your onboarding process. Plus, because the software facilitates automated workflows, you can rest assured that no onboarding steps will be missed — a key benefit for busy startups.

TriNet pricing plans

TriNet’s Growth and Zen plans include performance management features. Source: TriNet

Benefits Administration

Some HR software companies require you to use them as a benefits broker, while others let you supply your own. We like that TriNet gives you a choice. It has certified brokers and can provide employee benefits such as medical, dental and vision insurance; health savings accounts; flexible spending accounts; commuter benefits; 401(k) retirement plans; life and disability insurance; and supplemental benefits. Notably, if you decide to administer benefits through a TriNet-referred broker, the service is free.

If you want to use your own benefits broker, the vendor allows it but charges an additional $5 per employee per month. Either way, we found this level of flexibility especially useful for startups, as newer businesses may or may not already have a preferred benefits broker.

 

Time and Attendance

When testing TriNet’s HR services, we loved that every software plan comes with time and attendance features, including employee scheduling and time-off tracking. You can create and edit shifts, build employee schedules around specific times or roles, and receive automated schedule notifications.

Employees can clock in and out, and you can track their locations with geolocation features. The platform also offers standard time-off tools, like paid-time-off (PTO) policy management, time-off requests and approvals, time-off blackout dates and a PTO balance calculator. TriNet automatically syncs time and attendance data with its payroll module. These features are on a par with industry standards.

TriNet time-off requests

The TriNet HR platform makes it easy to request, approve and deny time off. Source: TriNet

Payroll

If you choose to add the TriNet HR platform’s payroll module to your plan, you’ll get access to features like unlimited payroll runs, direct deposit, garnishment support, tips reporting, and general ledger reporting. We like that you can set multiple schedules and pay rates, as well as handle contractor payments.

When we tested the software, we found the payroll dashboard easy to navigate. It has a calendar for pay periods and a list of paid and pending payroll runs, and it displays a big banner that tells you when you need to approve your next payroll run.

TriNet compensation management

TriNet’s compensation management features help ensure you’re paying staff competitively.
Source: TriNet

TriNet HR Platform Pricing

We appreciate that TriNet’s HR platform is available via multiple plans with optional add-ons. This wide selection makes it easy for startups and growing businesses to find a package tailored to their current needs and then scale it as their needs change. Furthermore, unlike some rival HR vendors, TriNet offers both monthly and annual payment options, adding to its flexibility. 

The chart below will help you compare the different plans and payment options.

Plan

Price

Services and features

Essentials

$8 per employee per month (billed annually) or $10 per employee per month (billed monthly)

Automated onboarding, employee scheduling and management, time-off tracking, integrations, mobile app and analytics dashboard

Growth

$16 per employee per month (billed annually) or $20 per employee per month (billed monthly)

Everything in the Essentials plan, plus compensation management, performance management and configurable people analytics

Zen

$27 per employee per month (billed annually) or $33 per employee per month (billed monthly)

Everything in the Growth plan, plus payroll (for supported industries), employee engagement surveys and people hub

You can also add these features to your package for additional fees:

  • Payroll: $6 per employee per month (free with the Zen package)
  • Benefits administration using your own broker: $5 per employee per month (free when you use a TriNet-referred broker)
  • Recruitment: $35 and up per month
  • Advisory services: $8 per employee per month

If you need more support, you can tack on TriNet’s administrative service offering (ASO), HR Plus, which offers these add-ons: 

  • Payroll tax compliance manager: $500 per month, plus a $1,000 audit fee per year
  • Payroll manager: $875 per month, plus a $1,000 audit fee per year
  • HR manager: $1,500 per month, plus a $2,500 audit fee per year
  • Payroll tax compliance audit: $1,000 per audit
  • HR operations audit: $2,500 per audit

Like many other HR providers, TriNet doesn’t offer an online demo account or a free trial of its HR platform. However, you can book a demo with a sales representative. If you’d like to try a provider with a more traditional free trial, see our review of Paycor.

TipBottom line
If a traditional HR platform or ASO is still not enough HR support for your business, you may be a good candidate for a PEO service, which TriNet also offers. Read our TriNet PEO review to learn more about this alternative.

Implementation and Onboarding

We love that the TriNet HR platform is quick to implement. Basic implementation takes about 30 to 45 days. Some small businesses, like startups, can be up and running in a couple of weeks, depending on how long it takes to import company information and policies. You can use the provider’s self-service implementation method to set up your company and employee profiles, hiring process, policies and more on your own.

Larger companies can choose the advanced implementation process. This involves working with a TriNet implementation manager to map out an implementation and onboarding plan and set up your account. This process typically takes about 30 to 90 days, which is on a par with the industry standard for larger organizations.

Customer Service

TriNet has a few methods for reaching customer support for its HR software. Phone and web chat support are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. You can receive assistance through email as well. We found this to be similar to what competitors provide.

We like that TriNet offers advisory services, although this requires an additional monthly fee. With this add-on, HR and payroll experts can help you manage difficult employees, handle compliance issues, navigate overtime regulations, and impose wage garnishments and levies. This add-on is worth considering if you think your startup may need a little extra help with HR tasks. However, there are also some self-help options, such as TriNet’s online training portal and knowledge base.

FYIDid you know
If you want even more HR support, you can sign up for the TriNet HR Plus plan. Options include hands-on assistance from payroll tax compliance managers, payroll managers and HR managers.

Limitations

Although the TriNet HR platform has many advantages, we did notice a few limitations. For example, TriNet has a five-employee minimum for its base software plan and add-ons. You can still sign up for the program if you have fewer than five employees, but you’ll have to pay for at least five people regardless. While this won’t be an issue for most employers, it may be a costly dealbreaker for companies with only one or two workers.

Another notable drawback is the customer service that accompanies the TriNet HR platform. Although the assistance offerings are fairly standard, some customer reviews claim the support team can be difficult to reach. If customer support is a top priority for you, you may want to check out our review of Gusto or our GoCo review. Both companies offer top-rated HR software with similarly top-notch support.

Methodology

We spent weeks investigating and analyzing dozens of HR systems to find the best human resources software on the market. Our evaluations focused on pricing, contracts, recruiting and onboarding tools, employee benefits administration, time-tracking features, payroll processing abilities, performance management features, analytics, integrations, legal compliance assistance, usability and customer service options. Whenever possible, we watched product videos, took advantage of trial accounts and participated in demos. 

To identify the best HR software for startups specifically, we compared a number of products and focused especially on pricing, scalability, employee onboarding tools, ease of use, employee self-service options, and payroll and benefits administration.

FAQs

Yes, TriNet's HR platform is reliable. TriNet is a trusted human resources software vendor that offers a full suite of features and services. Although the company's customer support may fall short at times, the software itself is reliable, intuitive and easy to navigate.
Direct deposit funds are transferred with the TriNet HR platform in one or two banking days after the check date; the exact deposit time varies by bank. If direct deposit funds don't successfully post to a valid bank account within roughly five to seven banking days of submission, TriNet will return the funds to the company's payroll account.

Bottom Line

We recommend TriNet’s HR platform for …

  • Startups and growing businesses.
  • Companies that want to streamline employee onboarding.
  • Organizations that are looking for an all-in-one HR software solution.

We don’t recommend TriNet’s HR platform for …

  • Companies that need frequent and speedy customer service.
  • Businesses that have fewer than five employees and don’t plan on growing.
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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Editor's Rating9.6/10
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