May 13, 2024

Top 5 Gusto Competitors & Alternatives for 2024

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Tags: HR

Gusto is an excellent payroll and human resources (HR) platform with features aimed at small and midsize businesses. However, it lacks features for other functionalities like talent acquisition, analytics, and employee relations, which can negatively affect organizations with more complex HR needs. 

If that’s you, consider some of my favorite Gusto alternatives below: 

May 13, 2024: Irene Casucian revised the copy and reevaluated our recommendations. As a result, Paychex Flex, BambooHR, Namely, and Worknice were replaced by Zoho People and UKG Ready. She also refined the page layout to improve the visual flow of information.

I picked my choices with you in mind.

First, I evaluated 15 solutions based on current options and the reviews of customers like you. I then narrowed our selections to alternatives with functionalities Gusto needs to improve, like employee relations, scalability, reporting, and analytics.

I considered the following products during our research:

  • ADP Workforce Now
  • BambooHR
  • Bob
  • Connecteam
  • Deel HR
  • GoCo
  • Homebase Essentials
  • Namely
  • Paycor
  • Paylocity
  • Rippling
  • Sage HR
  • TriNet HR Platform
  • UKG Ready
  • Zoho People

As the market changes, I reevaluate our choices so you always receive the best insight for purchasing decisions.

What are the top Gusto alternatives?

Starting price Free trial?
Zoho People $1.25 per user per month 30-day
Visit Zoho
ADP Workforce Now Contact sales No
Visit ADP
UKG Ready $18.75 PEPM No
Visit UKG
Rippling $8 PEPM No
Visit Rippling
Paycor $99 per month plus $6 PEPM Yes (Contact Paycor for eligibility)
Visit Paycor

Zoho People: Better at talent acquisition

Zoho People logo.

Zoho People is a cloud-based HR solution that helps HR professionals manage tasks in every aspect. From recruitment to onboarding, leave and attendance tracking, and exit procedures, Zoho People can help streamline these tasks. Apart from being scalable, Zoho People also integrates with other software solutions within the Zoho ecosystem.

However, it is important to stress that Zoho People gets its recruiting capabilities by integrating with Zoho Recruit. To take advantage of Zoho’s talent acquisition features, you need to get both Zoho People and Zoho Recruit.

A screenshot of Zoho Recruit’s ATS feature that allows recruiters to screen and evaluate candidates.
Zoho Recruit is an intuitive platform that streamlines recruitment process. Source: Zoho Recruit

Zoho People, when integrated with Zoho Recruit, stands out when it comes to talent acquisition because of its features meant to simplify the recruitment process, as opposed to Gusto, which is primarily focused on providing payroll. Zoho Recruit’s applicant tracking system, a feature that automates recruitment by tracking and managing job applications, can sort, filter, and rank candidates according to their qualifications. It also automates various recruitment tasks, like interview invitations and candidate feedback requests. 

Learn more about Zoho People →

Flexible training and career development module

Incorporating a Learning Management System (LMS) within an HR platform can significantly expedite the training of new hires during the onboarding process. Unlike other platforms, Gusto lacks a built-in LMS and offers limited training functionalities. This setup may fall short for companies requiring more specialized or tailored training solutions.

Zoho People has a learning management feature that helps facilitate continuous learning and growth within a company. This allows HR professionals and managers to create and customize training materials. It can be in a PDF, presentation, or quiz.

Zoho Blueprint

Zoho’s Blueprint feature automates HR workflows and maps out each step of the HR process by creating structured workflows for tasks like onboarding, leave requests, and performance evaluations. Managers save time by automating repetitive and manual tasks like onboarding processes and leave approvals. Zoho Blueprint also standardizes procedures across the organization by automating job posting, applicant tracking, interview scheduling, and feedback collection.

Gusto primarily focuses on payroll services alongside HR features, and its pricing is structured around payroll processing needs. On the other hand, Zoho People offers a flexible pricing model based on the number of users and the features needed, like Zoho Recruit. 

Standard tiers

  • Free plan: for up to 5 users and 250 MB storage.
  • Essential HR: $1.25 per user, per month.
  • Professional: $2.00 per user, per month.
  • Premium: $3.00 per user, per month.
  • Enterprise: $4.50 per user, per month.
  • Premium Plus: $9.00 per user, per month.


  • Employee Profiles: starting at $0.23 per employee profile, per month.
  • Zoho Recruit: starting at $25 per user, per month.
  • Learning Management System: $18 per user, per month for Essential HR, Professional, or Premium plans.

  • More customizable workforce management features, like shift scheduling, for companies with complex people operations.
  • Talent acquisition features, like job posting management and ATS via Zoho Recruit integration. 
  • More scalable and can be used by larger organizations.

ADP Workforce Now: Better scalability

ADP logo.

ADP Workforce Now is an all-in-one human resource management system that caters to medium and large-sized organizations. Like Gusto, it helps HR professionals process payroll, benefits, time, and labor management. ADP Workforce Now integrates with 485 platforms to streamline employee tracking, data analysis, and strategic planning processes. 

ADP Workforce Now suits growing companies because of its scalability and features for managing global workforce, advanced analytics and reporting. It also helps management and the HR team ensure that everything in the workplace complies with labor laws. 

ADP provides detailed insights with its ADP DataCloud. This feature can provide labor costs, employee turnover, compliance, and performance metrics analytics. These advanced reporting capabilities allow companies to make informed decisions and benchmark against industry standards. This level of detail and predictive analytics distinguishes ADP from Gusto, which focuses on basic reporting.

Learn more about ADP Workforce Now →

Payroll management 

ADP Workforce Now simplifies payroll operations with its automated system that ensures accuracy, compliance, and efficiency. It calculates employees’ pay based on work hours and incorporates deductions such as taxes and benefits contributions. This key feature will reduce the risk of errors that occur with manual calculations. While Gusto is significantly easier to use than ADP, its simplicity limits customization options, which makes it less suited for handling complex payroll and tax requirements.

A screenshot of ADP’s payroll dashboard showing the statuses of different payroll tasks.
ADP provides a high-level view of ongoing payroll and displays a list of related tasks. Source: ADP
Core HR features

ADP Workforce Now offers features that support core HR activities For example, it has a centralized employee database that holds employee records and documents. This makes it easy for managers and HR teams to access employee information quickly.

In addition, ADP Workforce Now includes a self-service portal where employees and managers can log in and manage their HR-related tasks, such as updating personal information, requesting time off, and accessing company policies.

ADP Workforce Now has three plans: Select, Plus, and Premium. However, you need to contact ADP to get pricing details. 

  • Quote based on the number of employees, subscription tier, and add-ons needed.
  • Additional expenses for HR services, like recruiting and onboarding, LMS, and compliance management. 

  • Its scalability makes it suitable for medium to large businesses anticipating growth or having varying HR demands.
  • More extensive range of HR functionalities than Gusto. 
  • It has global compliance features that are ideal for multinational companies. 

UKG Ready: Better in analytics

UKG logo.

UKG Ready is noted for its flexibility in meeting the HR needs of different industries. Similar to ADP Workforce Now, UKG Ready also offers a comprehensive set of solutions such as payroll, talent management, and time and attendance. While users have reported some issues integrating UKG Ready, it was recognized for its customizable interface that benefits employees and managers. 

UKG Ready surpasses Gusto with its advanced analytics features, which provide detailed reports on labor costs, compliance, and productivity. Its reporting capabilities also identify workforce trends, which helps with employee scheduling and decision-making. Managers and HR professionals can also create custom reports for their industry needs. 

Learn more about UKG →

Time and attendance analytics.

UKG Ready’s time and attendance analytics features help HR and management teams in multiple ways. First, it provides insights about the workforce, which helps them identify the situations where a disciplinary action or change in HR processes is necessary. Also, having real-time visibility of a team’s attendance allows managers to make immediate adjustments to staffing. These analytics data allow HR professionals to structure the schedule and optimize staffing levels strategically.

While Gusto provides straightforward time tracking and attendance management, UKG Ready’s time and attendance analytics are more suitable for more complex workforce management needs. 

Predictive analytics

UKG Predictive analytics is a forward-looking tool that forecasts workforce trends based on historical data. Looking at these trends help make calculated decisions about scheduling, staffing, and policies. It performs analysis by keeping historical data and recognizing the patterns that affect turnover, time, and attendance.

Aside from making predictions based on historical data related to the workforce, this feature also projects labor costs for specific HR decisions like raises, benefits changes, and bonuses. This boosts resource management by helping managers strategically plan and manage company budgets. 

UKG Ready has a per-employee-per-month pricing structure with no base fee. They typically require a minimum 12-month contract. The subscription includes the cost of core products and ancillary fees, which are often charged separately by other vendors.

  • It provides sophisticated time and attendance tracking. 
  • UKG Ready offers detailed reports and analytics on attendance patterns. 
  • Its customizability meets diverse HR management needs.

Rippling: Better in global payroll

Rippling logo.

Rippling is an all-in-one HRMS for organizations that need IT and app management in addition to HR functions like payroll, benefits administration, and time-tracking. 

One of Rippling’s key advantages over Gusto is its international payroll feature. It helps you to manage payroll across multiple countries’ diverse currencies, tax systems, and labor laws. This functionality is a game-changer for companies with a global workforce, simplifying complex payroll processes. 

Learn more about Rippling →

Employer of record services

Rippling’s Employer of Record (EOR) helps organizations grow their workforce in countries where they don’t have a legal entity. It eliminates the need to set up local entities, making it a better choice over Gusto because it simplifies the expansion process by managing overseas payroll, taxes, and compliance without the overhead of establishing and maintaining multiple international legal entities.

A screenshot of Rippling’s analytics showing summary of a global team’s salaries converted in USD.
Rippling organizes and processes global teams’ payroll data. Source:
Payroll management.

Rippling payroll management has a suite of features that not only streamlines payroll calculation but also ensures compliance, as well as timely and convenient payment to employees. With Rippling’s automated payroll, you can accurately calculate your employee’s pay, taxes, and benefits. This automated payroll processing reduces manual errors.

Rippling also supports multi-country payroll. It accommodates different currencies, tax systems, and payroll regulations. It also promotes transparency with this self-service portal, where employers and employees can access pay stubs, tax documents, and payroll history. 

Rippling helps save time by simultaneously processing payroll for contractors and employees during a single payroll run. In contrast, Gusto typically requires separate payroll runs for contractors and employees, which makes Rippling a more efficient choice for businesses managing diverse types of workers.

Customers must purchase Rippling Unity first, which starts at $8 per employee per month. And then get Rippling’s U.S. and Global Full-Service Payroll as an add-on feature.

  • It’s an all-in-one platform that offers payroll, benefits administration, and IT management. 
  • Rippling minimizes manual workload and boosts accuracy with its automated payroll feature. 

Paycor: Better employee relations

Paycor logo.

Similar to Gusto, Paycor is an HR solution that will benefit startups in businesses to medium-sized companies because it has tools for payroll management, performance evaluations, and employee development integrated into a single platform that scales with business growth. Paycor is a human capital management (HCM) system with a comprehensive set of features like payroll management, time and attendance, onboarding, and benefits administration. On top of these, Paycor is also noted for its strength in performance management.

When it comes to employee relations, Paycor stands out over Gusto with its customizable review templates, OKR-based goal setting, and continuous feedback mechanisms. These tools foster active engagement and development and are more effective for managing employee performance than Gusto’s simpler setup.

Learn more about Paycor →

Performance management tools

Paycor includes tools useful to HR professionals in evaluating and improving employee performance. This feature encourages a culture of being receptive to feedback and development and aligns individual goals with the company objectives. While Paycor enables goal setting and tracking, using objectives and key results (OKRs) to foster priority alignment across the company, Gusto provides basic performance review tools, primarily focused on streamlined feedback and simple evaluations. Paycor also simplifies performance reviews with its customizable templates and scoring system. 

Learning management system

Regarding LMS, Paycor stands out over Gusto because it allows administrators to create and customize training modules. In contrast, Gusto does not offer a native learning management system. There is also a library of pre-built courses that cover a wide range of basic lessons, such as workplace safety and soft skills. This learning management system feature also tracks employees’ progress in the training.

A screenshot of Paycor’s dashboard showing the LMS analytics.
Paycor can track an organization’s progress in taking courses through LMS. Source: Paycor

Paycor’s pricing structure offers specific plans for small businesses and mid-market companies. Overall, Paycor’s approach is to provide scalable, customizable solutions that grow with your business needs.

  • Basic plan starts at $99 per month plus $6 per employee per month.

  • It helps in succession planning by identifying and developing internal candidates for critical leadership positions. 
  • Strong performance management tools to encourage employee development through career growth and cross-company goal setting.

What are Gusto’s limitations?

Gusto is an excellent choice for payroll processing, especially for small and midsize organizations. However, you might want to consider looking for alternatives if: 

  • You need a more comprehensive solution that can do more than payroll processing, like talent acquisition, advanced onboarding, and performance management. 
  • You have industry-specific needs like shift scheduling.
  • You need a more scalable HR software solution. 
  • You are looking for an HR tool with a broader scope of integrations.

Choosing the right Gusto alternative

Gusto’s strength lies in its user-friendly payroll and implementation. Still, if you find it lacking in areas like talent acquisition, reports and analytics, employee relations, or specific integrations, you might want to explore alternatives and consider one of these options:

  • Choose Zoho People if your priority is streamlining recruitment and talent acquisition.
  • Use ADP Workforce Now for its scalability, which can support your business as it grows.
  • Go with UKG Ready for advanced analytics and if you need deep insights about your workforce.
  • Pick Rippling if you require international payroll capabilities.
  • Select Paycor if you need to streamline your workforce’s performance management. 

Explore our HR Software Guide for a complete list of solutions to fit your needs.

Irene Casucian Avatar

About the author

Featured HR software partners

1 Rippling

Visit website

Rippling is the first way for businesses to manage all of their HR, IT, and Finance — payroll, benefits, computers, apps, corporate cards, expenses, and more — in one unified workforce platform. By connecting every business system to one source of truth for employee data, businesses can automate all of the manual work they normally need to do to make employee changes.

Learn more about Rippling

2 BambooHR

Visit website

BambooHR is an award-winning HR platform that helps your growing organizations automate, centralize, and connect your people data all in one place. It gives you a one stop shop to manage data, hire talent, run payroll, and help employees grow.

Learn more about BambooHR

3 GoCo

Visit website

Elevate your HR with a modern, easy-to-use HRIS designed for small businesses. GoCo is a secure, compliant hub for sending, digitally signing, and organizing your sensitive HR documents and data. Manage records, performance, time off, onboarding, benefits, and more – all in one place. With the best support in the industry, every GoCo customer is assigned a dedicated Customer Success Team that is readily available to provide guidance and ensure a smooth and reliable HRIS experience.

Learn more about GoCo

Browse all HR software →

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