Namely vs Zenefits: Which HR Software Is The Winner?


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:

Compare Namely and Zenefits Against Your Needs

Namely Vs Zenefits

Compare HR Software Pricing & Costs with our Pricing Guide

Advantages and Disadvantages

HRM Core Functions

Namely provides full HR capabilities, but one of its strongest differentiators is its benefits administration. The benefits administration module 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.

Zenefits’ software provides HR management for small businesses and mid-sized 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 on the main dashboard.

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. 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.

Both of these systems share much of the same core functions and provide a base as a comprehensive tool for human resource management.

Workforce Management

Namely’s workforce management features provide a comprehensive time and attendance system complete with time clocks, tracking and schedule editing, as well as more advanced features such as reports and integrated payroll processing. All information related to scheduling is stored in one place and can be managed and viewed by all members of an organization. Reporting dashboards provide managers with a complete view of their company’s workforce management metrics, with visualizations illustrating overtime, time off requests and more.

Zenefits is primarily an app-based platform, and the software’s workforce management features are no exception. The software’s time and attendance app handles standard scheduling features like clocking in and out and overtime management along with compliance and anti-fraud measures. The Zenefits Time Off mobile app, as the name implies, manages the approval of time off requests. Employees can request off through the app, and team leaders can approve or deny the requests through the dashboard or via an email link.

In addition, the app can integrate with Google Calendar, iCal and Outlook. The Time Off app can also be used to define time off policies — the system even offers built-in policies to choose from, as well as customization options.

The ease of use of Zenefits’ app-based workforce management system places the software above Namely in this feature category. With Zenefits, workforce management is simplified.

Zenefits time management

Zenefits’ workforce management features, including time off requests, holidays and mobile capabilities.

@Zenefits rates better than Namely for workforce management in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two tools. #HR #Software

Recruitment and Hiring

Namely provides onboarding dashboards where new employees can fill out hiring documents, complete with eSignature capabilities. New hires can complete their onboarding process independently, using the software as a guide.

Zenefits handles the entire process of hiring new employees post-selection, including offer letters, background checks, tax documents and benefits enrollment. The Zenefits platform gives new hires the tools to complete their own onboarding steps. In addition, the software provides features to automate all measures concerning the new hire. Email reminders automate messaging surrounding onboarding, offer letter templates can be created and compliance features are built-in. Also, all information entered by the employee is stored in the system and updated in each piece of the Zenefits suite.

Zenefits holds the advantage in the category of recruitment and hiring tools. Both systems primarily manage onboarding, but have little pure “recruitment” features, like job postings. Zenefits’ onboarding features are more all-inclusive than Namely’s features, with the inclusion of additional processing functions and data integration across the suite.

@Zenefits rates better than Namely for recruitment and hiring in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two tools. #HR #Software

Compensation and Rewards

Both Namely and Zenefits manage standard payroll functions but have no compensation or reward system. Outside of payroll, compensation features generally handle base salary administration, wage adjustments and bonuses based on performance. Namely and Zenefits do not provide these tools.

Get our HR Software Comparison Report.

Talent Management

Talent management is a 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. By tagging an employee’s skills, it’s easy to track their development as they add to and improve their skill set. 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 skill set.

Zenefits’ talent management system mainly handles performance reviews. All review information is organized in a dashboard with the ability to group employees. The software includes templates for multiple reviews types which can be adjusted according to the ultimate intention of the performance review.

Namely and Zenefits provide different talent management functionality. However, one is not necessarily better than the other. The systems both offer good tools for evaluating performance.

Namely talent management

An example of performance reports and talent management features from Namely.

Learning and Professional Development

Neither Namely or Zenefits provide learning and professional development features.


Namely’s accounting features handle local, state and federal payroll tax filing and documentation. Employees can access and complete W-2, 1099, 1094 and 1095 forms with Namely.

Namely holds the advantage in the category of accounting; Zenefits does not provide accounting features.

@NamelyHR rates better than Zenefits for accounting in SelectHub's research & analysis. #HR #Software

Advantage Summary

The race between Zenefits vs Namely is close, as these two human resource management systems share many of the same benefits — and shortcomings. Ultimately, Zenefits emerges as the more complete HR tool. What it lacks in some areas, the software makes up for it with its workforce management features, onboarding functionality and user-friendly, app-based interface.

Do you agree Zenefits is the superior HRM software? Let us know in the comments!

Top Competitors for Namely and Zenefits

Oracle HCM Cloud
Starting at $13 per user per month (minimum of 1000 users)
Ceridian Dayforce HCM
Starting at $10 per user per month
Kronos Workforce Central Suite
Ranges from $5,000 to $1,000,000
Criterion HCM
Starting at $2,000 per month
Starting at $600 for 5 users per year
ADP Workforce Now
Starting at $62 per month
Bamboo HR
Starting at $6 per user per month
Annual subscription cost starting at $400 – $800K
SAP SuccessFactors HR
Starting at $895 per 5 users per year
Alainia ConradNamely vs Zenefits: Which HR Software Is The Winner?


Join the conversation
  • LaVerne Cox - July 30, 2019 reply

    I have Zenefits since 2018 and it offered and still offers accounting and integrated benefit management for all employees, as well as independent contractors.

    Mariah Hansen

    Mariah Hansen - February 5, 2020 reply

    Hi LaVerne,

    Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention, it appears that this article is outdated and we will need to prioritize updating it. It looks like Zenefits does offer an accounting feature that helps to facilitate payroll processing as well as tax filing as well as integrations with third-party accounting systems.

  • Anon - November 19, 2019 reply

    Zenefits does have accounting integrations, along with education, training, and certifications.

    Mariah Hansen

    Mariah Hansen - February 5, 2020 reply

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention, we will prioritize updating this article with more accurate information. You’re right that Zenefits does offer accounting integrations with third-party solutions such as Xero and Quickbooks. It also provides users with access to the training portal which allows administrators, managers and employees to earn platform certifications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *