Want to jump straight to the answer? The best HR outsourcing services for most people is definitely ADP, Insperity, and Paychex.

Human resources is a critical aspect of any business.

Historically, HR departments were reserved for larger organizations. Small businesses might just have a bookkeeper handle HR responsibilities.

But today, businesses of all shapes and sizes can leverage HR outsourcing to perform crucial tasks. Large businesses can use HR outsourcing to reduce operational costs. Outsourcing tasks and roles is much more cost-effective than in-house employees.

What’s the best HR outsourcing service? Find out below.

The 8 Best HR Outsourcing Services of 2021

Lots of companies offer some form of HR outsourcing. Human resources is offered by most of the best PEO service providers on the market.

After researching dozens of HR firms and outsourcing services, I’ve narrowed down the top eight for you to consider.

  • ADP — Best HR outsourcing service for benefits administration.
  • Insperity — Best HR outsourcing service for mid-market companies.
  • Paychex — Best HR outsourcing service for payroll.
  • Zenefits — Best HR software for small businesses.
  • Engage PEO — Best HR outsourcing service for legal compliance.
  • TriNet — Most flexible HR outsourcing solutions.
  • G&A Partners — Best HR outsourcing for employee onboarding and development.
  • Tandem HR — Best HR outsourcing service for growing small businesses.

I’ll give you an in-depth review covering the features, benefits, and other considerations for each one of these providers below.

Best HR Outsourcing Services Reviews

ADP (Best for benefits administration)

  • Full-service HR solutions
  • Flexible plans and services
  • Solutions for any size business
  • Top notch customer service

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ADP offers both HR software and services. They provide solutions for small businesses as well as mid-sized organizations and enterprises.

ADP is also very flexible. You have the option to outsource all or just part of your HR management team.

Some of ADPs HR services include:

  • Payroll
  • Time and attendance
  • Retirement plans
  • Insurance

This provider offers business insurance as well as group health insurance for your employees. Since ADP is such a large company, they have leverage and bargaining power with all major health insurance providers.

So even small businesses can get access to exceptional plans for their employees, that they wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere outside of this network.

ADP has a support team of knowledgeable HR professionals that can be reached via phone, email, or live chat. They can create and distribute all of the necessary forms, policies, and job descriptions for your organization. You can even create a custom employee handbook in compliance with local and federal laws.

They also give you guidance to help you get the optimal HR experience.

From benefits packages to compliance and setting up employee self-service tools, ADP has it all.

Their pricing is obscured on the website, but you can get a free quote through their website.

Insperity (Best for mid-market companies)

  • Full-service HR solution
  • Individual & custom HR packages
  • In business 35 years
  • Best for mid-sized organizations

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Insperity offers a full-service HR solution.

From technology to benefits, they fully customize HR packages based on your organization’s needs.

Insperity gives your employees access to Fortune 500-level benefits. This includes medical, vision, and dental coverage.

Outsource processing payroll, handling W-2s, W-4s, and employment verification to Insperity.

They’ll also help you with liability insurance, workers’ compensation, and other areas of risk management. This service provider helps with HR-related compliance for things like unemployment claims and government reporting.

Every business wants to retain the best talent. Insperity will help you create recognition programs, an employee handbook, and improve your employee training process.

I’d recommend Insperity to mid-market organizations. They do have solutions for businesses with 5-149 employees. But their main focus and expertise is for businesses with 150+ employees.

In addition to the full-service HR packages, you can also use Insperity for individual solutions like:

  • Recruiting
  • HR consulting
  • Retirement
  • Insurance
  • Accounting and bookkeeping

Like most of the best outsourcing services, Insperity offers new and up to date technology for all of its services.

With nearly 35 years in business and 70+ offices across the country, Insperity is a top consideration for HR outsourcing.

Paychex (Best for payroll)

  • Wide range of HR services
  • Pricing based on # of employees
  • Great for smaller organizations
  • Knowledgeable HR professionals

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Paychex is one of the best online payroll services on the market today.

In addition, they also fantastic HR outsourcing services.

Some of their great feature:

  • Retirement services
  • Insurance services
  • HR professionals
  • Benefits administration
  • Compliance services

While Paychex does have HR services for businesses with up to 90+ employees, it’s one of the best providers for businesses with 50 employees or less. As such, it’s a great service for small businesses.

Paychex has an awesome mobile app that can be used to track things like hiring, labor costs, and employee turnover.

The app can also be used for employee self-service tools and employee training.

More than 670,000 organizations use Paychex. So this is definitely a company that you can trust with your most critical business needs.

For those of you who have an existing HR department in place, Paychex can act as an extension of this department by providing you a dedicated outsourced HR manager. They can assist with hiring, onboarding, and retaining top-level talent.

An outsourced HR manager from Paychex will handle workforce analytics, benchmarking, corporate culture strategy, manage benefits, and basic employee training.

It’s essentially everything you’d need in an HR manager, without having to hire a full-time in-house staff member. Learn more at Paychex.

Zenefits (Best for small businesses)

  • Best HR software
  • Built for small businesses
  • Streamline your HR tasks
  • Pricing starts at $8/month

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Zenefits is a bit different compared to some of the other options on our list. Technically, Zenefits is not an outsourcing service; it’s software for human resources.

But it serves the same purpose as an outsourced service in terms of ease and cost reduction. As such, Zenefits will be a cheaper alternative than a full-service outsourcing firm.

Their HR software is tailormade for small businesses. It has everything you need to streamline your HR tasks and administration.

Some of the top HR features available on Zenefits include:

  • Creating compensation packages and sending them to new hires
  • Self onboarding for new employees
  • Employee management tools
  • PTO policies and managing time off requests
  • Intelligence reports for your workforce
  • Mobile accessibility (for administration and employees)

Zenefits has dozens of integrations already built into the system. The platform also has options for payroll, employee benefits, employee scheduling, and time tracking.

Most HR outsourcing services require you to get a custom quote from the provider. But Zenefits’ pricing is straightforward and available on the website. Here’s a quick overview of the plans and pricing for Zenefits:

Essentials — $8 per month per employee

  • All core HR features
  • Employee time and scheduling tools
  • Integrations (G Suite, Slack, Salesforce, etc.)
  • Zenefits mobile app

Growth — $14 per month per employee

  • All Essentials features
  • Compensation management tools
  • Performance management

Essentials — $21 per month per employee

  • All Growth features
  • Track and measure employee well-being
  • Personalized tools, tips, and training advice
  • Relevant well-being content automatically triggered based on employee actions

All of these rates are based on an annual plan. Zenefits does offer month-to-month rates for about 30% more per month. In addition to the base plans, you can add-on the following features to your Zenefits subscription:

  • Payroll — $6 per month per employee
  • Advisory services — $8 per month per employee
  • Benefits administration (with your own broker) — $5 per month per employee

If your small business needs to improve the way you handle HR tasks but don’t have the funds to completely outsource the service, Zenefits is the perfect solution for you.

Engage PEO (Best for legal compliance)

  • Full service PEO provider
  • Manage complex HR legal needs
  • Every consultant is an attorney
  • Strict compliance standards

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Engage PEO is a full-service professional employer organization. They provide a PEO experience that always aims to put the client’s needs first with its innovative business model.

What makes Engage PEO so unique as an HR services provider? It’s the people.

Every member of their HR consulting team is an attorney. These legal professionals have significant experience with labor and employment law.

For those of you with complex HR legal needs for industries with strict compliance, Engage PEO will be a top choice for you to consider. Here’s a quick overview of some of the top outsourced HR functions offered by this provider:

  • Employee policies
  • Employee handbook
  • EEO, ADA, and FMLA compliance
  • State and US Department of Labor and Hour compliance
  • Administration of unemployment claims
  • Hiring and recruitment assistance
  • Background check and drug screening
  • Employment practices liability insurance
  • Employee training

As a PEO provider, Engage PEO also offers payroll and tax administration, workers’ compensation, risk management, employee benefits, and integrated technology solutions.

TriNet (Most flexible HR outsourcing solution)

  • Full-service HR solution
  • Wide range of industries
  • Comprehensive HR platform
  • Flexible plans and services

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TriNet is another full-service HR outsourcing solution. They provide flexible plans and services to meet the needs of any sized business.

They work with with businesses in a wide range of industries, including:

  • Retail
  • Financial services
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Nonprofits
  • Wholesale
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Technology
  • Consulting
  • Life sciences

These industry-specific solutions will help you attract and retain top-level talent.

The HR outsourcing services consist of HR consulting, benefit options, payroll services, and risk mitigation. You’ll also benefit from TriNet’s comprehensive HR platform. This technology contains tools for employee self-service and mobile access.

There is a bit of a learning curve, but the service they offer is very beneficial once you do.

TriNet works with some of the best insurance carriers on the market today. You can give your employees medical, dental, vision, life, retirement, and disability coverage.

Some of TriNet’s top carriers include MetLife, Kaiser Permanente, Transamerica, Aetna, Aflac, MassMutual, and UnitedHealth Group.

G&A Partners (Best for employee onboarding and development)

  • In business for 20+ years
  • Full-service or á la cart
  • Payroll, recruitment, & more
  • Best for niche industries

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G&A Partners has been providing professional services to businesses for more than 20 years. They offer full-service HR outsourcing for things like payroll, benefits, compliance, workplace safety, performance management, and recruitment.

There are two different ways that your company can work with G&A Partners.

You can allow them to act as the employer of record with a PEO (professional employer organization) plan. Alternatively, you can pick and choose the services you need with their ASO (administrative services organization) options.

Think of it like this. The first choice is full-service, and the second is á la carte.

For those of you who already have an in-house HR department with the infrastructure in place, the ASO model will likely be a better option for you. If not, I’d recommend the PEO services.

In addition to human resources, G&A Partners offers payroll services, benefits packages, and HR technology.

This provider isn’t for everyone. Common industries served by G&A Partners include:

  • Nonprofits
  • Health care
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional services
  • Franchises

One unique standout of G&A Partners is its employee development services. This HR function includes candidate sourcing, job description, job postings, resume screening, and pre-hire assessments.

Once an employee is hired, this outsourced firm will handle onboarding, benefits enrollment, and performance management as well.

Tandem HR (Best for growing small businesses)

  • Fully customized plans
  • Easy to scale
  • Wide range of services
  • Full-service PEO provider

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Tandem HR offers a wide range of human resources solutions for small businesses. This provider has the tools and expertise to help small businesses as they scale.

If your business is growing rapidly and you need an outsourced HR firm to grow with you, Tandem HR will be a top choice for you to consider.

I like Tandem HR because they do not believe in cookie-cutter solutions. Every business gets a fully customized plan based on its needs. As a full-service PEO provider, Tandem HR has tools and solutions for:

  • Payroll
  • Human resources
  • Benefits
  • Risk management
  • Technology

Most small businesses don’t have much of an HR infrastructure in place. Tandem HR can help you set that up and manage the entire department. As your organization grows, Tandem HR will grow with you.

These custom HR solutions will help you save time, save money, boost employee productivity, retain talent, and remain compliant at the state and federal level.

How to Choose the Best HR Outsourcing Service For Your Business

With so many options at your disposal, how can you possibly know which HR service is the best?

This is the methodology that we use here at Quick Sprout. You can use it as well to help narrow down your choices.

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A Hands-On vs a Hands-Off HR Partner

Every HR outsourcing company is going to offer fairly similar services: payroll, insurance, worker’s comp, and 401ks, and the like.

Where they often differ is how hands-on they’ll be with your organization and employees.

For example, some of the companies on our list are personal employer organization (PEO) providers such as ADP and Insperity. They provide businesses with HR services like payroll, benefits (such as insurance and 401k), and worker’s comp. They also can go the extra mile and assist with recruiting and onboarding, for example.

However, they’re distinct because PEO providers are considered a “co-employer” of workers. That means if there’s a legal issue with your employees, both you and your PEO provider assume responsibility. You agree beforehand on the liabilities you each assume.

A PEO provider’s hands-on role means it’s more hands-off for you, allowing you to focus your time and energy on other things.

There are also administrative service organization (ASO) services that also provide assistance in payroll and benefits, like G&A Partners. However, they’re not co-employers of your workforce.

An ASO doesn’t typically offer as comprehensive an array of services as a PEO provider—though they’ll still be able to take care of most administrative work and provide benefits like health insurance.

They’re both typically the same in cost. It just comes down to how much responsibility you’d like to assume over administering your employees’ benefits.

Customizable and Sweeping Service Packages 

Of course, not every company is looking for comprehensive medical/dental/vision/veterinary insurance, with a 401k, and a gym membership to every place in town.

The HR provider you use will determine how many (or how little) services you’ll be able to access and provide for your employees.

For example, ADP TotalSource is great if you’re looking for a comprehensive PEO with payroll, time trackers, recruiting, retirement plans, medical/vision/dental insurance, and more.

G&A Partners offers a great ASO service that allows you to pick-and-choose HR services in an a la carte fashion. That might be great for building out an HR package if you have specific needs you want to home in on.

For example, maybe you own a company in an industry with strict labor compliance laws. In a situation like this, you’d benefit from an outsourced HR service like Engage PEO. They have attorneys that specialize in employment law.

Or, maybe you need an HR service that can improve your payroll process. Paychex would be the best option if you fall into this category.

Whatever unique circumstances your business might have, there is usually a human resource outsourcing service that specializes in it.

Another thing worth noting is how easy the HR service you’re considering is to use. Is it intuitive to new employees being onboarded for the first time? Can you easily approve time off requests? Can everyone find their insurance information quickly?

Make sure to request a demo from a service rep beforehand and play around on the dashboard. Make sure you can access insurance and PTO information easily at a bare minimum. Many of the services above allow you to do so.

Current Level of HR Maturity

The level of HR systems a business currently has in place should play a big role in outsourcing considerations.

Your business might be a startup looking to offer employees medical insurance and 401ks. Or your business could be an enterprise-grade operation looking to supplement (or replace) the HR department with a good third-party solution.

Outsourcing firms typically have experience working with certain types of businesses. It all really boils down to if you have an HR system already and, if you do, how long you have had it in place.

For example, if you’re a small business owner with no HR infrastructure, you want to choose a service that has experience building from the ground up with smaller organizations, such as Tandem HR.

Large companies might not need that type of assistance. Instead, a larger business might just need a certain role or task outsourced. TriNet is a good solution for flexible HR services. ADP is another good one if you already have a few HR systems but just want a platform to manage it all from a single dashboard.

No matter what, decide whether or not you’re looking to simply add onto your current HR infrastructure or if you’re looking to fully outsource it.

Prompt Customer Support 

Like a jumper cable or toilet paper, the worst time to realize you don’t have adequate customer support is when you need it but don’t have it.

Some common headache-inducing examples include:

  • Your employee can’t access their health insurance group ID and policy information—and have a medical emergency they need addressed ASAP.
  • You need to recruit and onboard a new employee to fill a role quickly.
  • There’s an issue with an employee’s or contractor’s recent paycheck.
  • A global pandemic just hit and you need to completely reorganize your employee structure immediately.

That’s why the level of customer support played a large role in determining our list of HR outsourcing services.

Some HR service providers are on hand at all hours to help you at all hours of the day such as ADP. They have live payroll support available 24/7/365 to help answer any questions you might possibly have.

Paychex also has 24/7 customer support along with a massive HR online library that gives you resources and tools for everything you might need related to HR.

Also worth noting is whether the HR service you’re considering gives you a dedicated account manager. If they don’t, who is your point person when issues come up?

Be sure to note how support is doled out throughout each of the HR providers you research. Some of them offer the same level of support no matter what pricing plan you choose. Others, such as Gusto, offer more intensive, hands-on support with more expensive pricing plans.

Conclusion

What’s the best human resources outsourcing service? Here’s a recap of the top options reviewed in this guide:

  • ADP — Best HR outsourcing service for benefits administration.
  • Insperity — Best HR outsourcing service for mid-market companies.
  • Paychex — Best HR outsourcing service for payroll.
  • Zenefits — Best HR software for small businesses.
  • Engage PEO — Best HR outsourcing service for legal compliance.
  • TriNet — Most flexible HR outsourcing solutions.
  • G&A Partners — Best HR outsourcing for employee onboarding and development.
  • Tandem HR — Best HR outsourcing service for growing small businesses.

From payroll assistance to benefits administration and HR software, there’s an option for every business of all shapes and sizes on this list.

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