When it comes to running your business’s human resources operations, you don’t want to get anything wrong. For a small business, HR can cover everything from timesheets and payroll to benefits administration and onboarding. Whether you have a dedicated HR professional on staff or not, HR software can be a gamechanger for any business.
Two names in the industry you may have come across are Justworks and Namely. Is either of these HR software providers right for your business? In this Justworks vs. Namely comparison, we’ll explore the features of each, pros and cons, pricing, and more.
Justworks vs. Namely: Overview
Before getting into the more granular details of each of these software providers, it can be best to take a look at them on a high level.
Justworks is a PEO, or a professional employer organization, meaning they act as a co-employer to your employees in order to offer more competitive benefits plans and rates.
Namely, on the other hand, is not a PEO; however, they still offer an array of HR management tools, including payroll, benefits management, onboarding, and more.
Justworks vs. Namely Comparison
Benefits, payroll, compliance support, HR consulting, and more
Payroll, time management, benefits, talent management services, and more
24/7 via email, chat, Slack, and phone
Live HR advisors
Justworks Plans and Pricing
As we mentioned, Justworks is a PEO, so it can be a true full-service HR solution. However, if you’re only looking for the basics, you can also opt for a lower-tier plan. This makes Justworks a great solution for businesses that are planning to grow, as it can scale with your business. Not to mention, it’s a great option for smaller businesses that want to offer their employees cost-effective health benefits plans.
Justworks’ pricing is determined by whether you opt for their Basic or Plus plan and then how many employees you have, as summed up in the below table.
|Number of Employees||< 25||25 to 99||100 to 174||175+|
Now that you know how pricing works, you’re likely wondering what the difference between the Basic and Plus plans is. Let’s take a closer look.
The Basic plan from Justworks comes with an array of the payroll, benefits, HR tools, and compliance features. We’ll cover these features more in-depth later in the review, but as an overview, here’s what Justworks’ Basic plan includes:
- Payroll for salaried and hourly employees
- Off-cycle payments
- Vendor and contractor payments
- Employer payroll tax filings
- W-2 and 1099 filings
- Unemployment insurance filings
- Employment practices liability insurance
- 24/7 support
- HR consulting
- Harassment prevention and inclusion training
- Online employee onboarding
- PTO management
- Calendar, doc center, directory
- Accounting software integrations
- Commuter benefits
- Plan setup
You’ll also get access to several add-ons, including workers compensation management, life and disability insurance, health and wellness perks, fitness memberships, and 401(k) administration. These will come at an additional cost per employee.
The Plus plan comes with everything listed above, but you’ll also get COBRA administration, health advocacy services, and One Medical.
You’ll also have access to the same add-ons as the Basic plan, as well as medical insurance, dental and vision insurance, and HSA/FSA accounts.
Namely Plans and Pricing
Namely differs from Justworks in some major ways when it comes to plans and pricing. While not a PEO, cloud-based Namely does offer a comprehensive feature set that allows businesses to manage employee payroll, benefits, onboarding, and more.
However, while Justworks offers upfront plans and pricing, Namely operates on a quote-based system. As such, you will have to work with Namely directly to create a plan for your company based on the features you need and size of your business.
If you want a highly specialized experience when choosing an HR software system, then this might be a great option, since you can build something unique to your business. However, there’s also no way of knowing that the price you’re quoted is more or less than a similarly sized business looking for the same features. For this reason, upfront pricing is typically preferred.
We mentioned them briefly above, but now let’s take a closer look at the features you can expect with Justworks.
The payroll feature from Justworks can be used for paying all your employees—whether they’re full-time, part-time, salaried, hourly, contractors, or vendors. In addition to basic automated payroll on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule, you can also pay employees bonuses, commissions, reimbursements, and one-time payments.
The payroll option can accommodate you no matter what kind of payroll you need to run. It can also help you stay compliant with the various state tax requirements and allows you to split deposits across several accounts, set payment reminders, and integrates with various accounting software such as Xero and QuickBooks.
The fringe benefits you offer employees can go a long way in attracting and retaining top talent. With Justworks, you can offer your employees health benefits through Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, MetLife, and UnitedHealthcare. Besides health benefits, you can also offer commuter benefits, life insurance, vision and dental insurance, and 401(k) plans.
Not only can you easily manage these options online, but your employees will also be able to use their own portal to view, select, and manage their benefits.
Streamline the hiring and onboarding process, as well as manage your employee’s paid time off, approve time off requests, create a company holiday calendar, employee directory, and more. Again, you can manage all this from the convenient Justworks dashboard, while your employees can do the same.
From taxes to industry laws to harassment prevention training, Justworks will ensure your company and employees are in compliance.
You can expect a lot of the same features with Namely; however, unlike Justworks, you’ll be able to pick and choose which features you want to create your custom plan.
There are a number of tools offered by Namely that can be used to manage your employees. They offer tools to help you recruit new employees, onboard them, get them up to speed, and more. The recruiting tool allows you to post jobs, track applicants, conduct background checks, and write offer letters.
Once you choose an applicant, there are options to help you onboard that employee. This includes a paperless process for entering them into your system. You can also set up a living handbook for your employees so they always have access to the most up-to-date policies and procedures.
Your employees will be able to enroll online for the plans they choose, which may include health benefits, 401(k), and any other benefits you decide to offer them.
Administrators can also sign off on employee elections and automatically integrate them into the payroll system, so you don’t have to worry about manually calculating any deductions. Employees will also be able to see their benefits easily online or on their phones.
Namely offers a complete payroll suite that can be used to manage employee time and attendance, paid time off, and, of course, their pay—including pay stubs and paycheck history. They’ll also handle your local, state, and federal taxes and year-end reporting. If you have hourly employees, time integration is included as well.
Namely offers access to live HR advisors who can give you advice whenever you need it. You can also use the learning management system to upload trainings for your employees and check in on their progress to make sure they’ve completed any requirements. There is also the option to manage your Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements online.
Justworks Customer Reviews
When it comes to customer reviews, Justworks receives high marks from major review sites, and most customer feedback is positive. Among these good reviews, customers call out how easy Justworks is to set up and use, both from an employer and employee perspective. Employee onboarding, in particular, is a cinch, according to reviews. The ability to compare different benefits plans side by side when making a selection is especially helpful, and users also find the support through Slack to be a unique feature.
On the flip side, negative reviews often circle back to customer service, which users have found to be slow or unhelpful, often directing them to articles they don’t find helpful or giving them conflicting advice.
Namely Customer Reviews
Namely comes in slightly behind Justworks on major review sites, although they still have high marks. Positive reviews tend to focus on how simple it is to compare and select benefits plans, view payroll history, and find employee information through the directory.
Less positive reviews, on the other hand, also call out Namely’s customer service. Customers report long response times and unhelpful advice, not unlike Justworks reviews.
The Bottom Line
Which cloud-based software is best for your business is going to depend on the features you need and have prioritized for business and what your budget is. However, it’s hard to fully compare Justworks and Namely since Namely’s pricing is not listed on their website.
A big benefit of Justworks, beyond their transparent pricing, is that they’re a PEO. This makes them a great solution for businesses looking for an all-in-one platform that can also offer their employees competitively priced benefits plans. This is also a system that can scale with your business as it grows so you don’t have to worry outgrowing it.
On the other hand, if you are only looking for a few features and want to pick and choose exactly what you need without paying for anything you don’t, Namely may be the right solution for you. If you’re interested in learning more, contact Namely directly for pricing information so you can better compare these two solutions to find the best one for your business.
Nina Godlewski is a former staff writer at Fundera.
Nina worked to help make complicated business topics more accessible for small business owners. At Fundera, she focused on complex topics ranging from payroll management to launching a business. She was previously a staff writer at Newsweek covering technology, science, breaking news, and culture. She has also worked as a reporter for Business Insider and The Boston Globe.