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With many different HR outsourcing services available, figuring out which is the right one for your HR needs is tough. You know you want extra help managing your core HR operations, but you need to figure out which HR outsourcing provider is best. In this article, I'll help you make this choice easier by sharing my insights on the best HR service providers to aid your employee management, monitor legal compliance, assist with staffing, and more.

What are HR Outsourcing Services?

HR outsourcing services are used frequently by organizations that don't have an internal HR team or have limited HR professionals on staff. The process of human resource outsourcing (HRO) involves hiring a third-party organization to manage the key human resources functions of the business. This includes responsibilities like payroll processing, benefits administration, training and development, and regulatory compliance.

HR outsourcing providers add value by offering a structured and professional approach to managing ongoing employee relations and HR administration, allowing client companies to focus on their core operations and strategic initiatives.

Overviews of the Best HR Outsourcing Services

Here are my summaries of the best HR outsourcing services, including their location, some pros & cons, and the reason I included each one in this list.

Best for outsourcing payroll tax filings

  • 30-day free trial
  • from $40/month plus $6/staff member
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

Gusto has carved out a niche in providing streamlined payroll, benefits, and HR services to businesses. What sets it apart is its emphasis on automating complex tax computations, which is especially vital for companies looking to reduce the manual labor and error margin associated with tax calculations.

Why I picked Gusto: In choosing companies to spotlight, I was intent on finding firms that bring something distinct to the table. Gusto was selected due to its notable prowess in automating tax computations, a task that has historically been both time-consuming and prone to human error. I chose Gusto because it stood out as a leader in reducing these issues, effectively addressing a common pain point for businesses.

Key Services:

Gusto offers a range of services that are central to efficient business operations. Among these are payroll services, which automate tax computations to ensure accuracy and compliance. Additionally, they offer employee benefits management and HR tools that centralize various operational aspects, thus simplifying administration and management tasks.

Customer Support:

Gusto provides customer support that is reachable through various channels including phone and email, facilitating timely assistance to client queries.

Location: San Francisco, USA

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Compliant with tax regulations
  • Centralizes payroll, benefits, and HR tasks
  • Automated tax computations reduce errors

Cons:

  • Subscription plans might be pricey for smaller businesses
  • The user interface might seem cluttered

Best for flexible HR service arrangements

  • Pricing upon request

ExtensisHR primarily is an HR outsourcing company that offers a range of services including payroll management, benefits administration, and risk management.

Why I picked ExtensisHR: I chose ExtensisHR for its well-rounded approach to HR support. Their HR services cover everything from payroll and benefits to risk management and HR compliance, facilitating smoother operations in companies. This wide array of services could potentially streamline a company’s HR department, making the task of managing employees less cumbersome.

Key Services:

Their services include several diverse HR solutions, including standard HR services (payroll, taxes, recruiting and talent management), benefit management services, risk and compliance services, PEO services, or their full-service, end-to-end HRO solution. They also service organizations across different industries many different industries, including consumer products, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, technology, and others.

Customer Support:

ExtensisHR customer support is accessible through phone and email.

Location: Woodbridge, USA

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Well-established with a good market presence
  • Combines several HR tasks under one roof
  • Offers a broad spectrum of HR services

Cons:

  • Limited information available on customer support responsiveness
  • Lack of transparent pricing structure

Best fractional HR services for North American companies

  • Pricing upon request

Castle HR is a consultancy that specializes in helping businesses develop and implement robust HR strategies. The firm offers fractional HR services including HR consulting, and HR outsourcing for a variety of tasks, including talent acquisition, values & virtues, training and development, and more.

Why I picked Castle HR: I included Castle HR in this list because I respect how they've built their business on top of five core principles. They have a heavy focus on creating Action Plans using proven processes to maximize benefits such as profits, retention, and productivity, while minimizing risks like hidden costs, turnover, and growth plateaus.

Key Services:

Castle HR's services are designed for small companies with 10 to 50 people based either in Canada or the USA. They offer assistance with hiring and retaining talent, monitoring compliance with laws and regulations, modernizing your performance review process, developing a winning company culture, and uniting your company values and virtues. They also offer their clients unlimited HR advice, including tops on how to terminate employees professionally to minimize further risks.

Customer Support:

Castle HR maintains a customer support service that is geared to provide consultations and address inquiries, assisting clients to navigate their HR challenges efficiently.

Location: Toronto, Canada

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Specializes in HR strategy crafting
  • Offers training and development
  • Comprehensive HR services

Cons:

  • Not much detail available on customer support structure
  • Limited information on pricing

Best for reliable payroll services

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request

ADP is a well-established company in the HR sector, offering solutions primarily in payroll, HR management, and talent management. Their long-standing reputation in delivering consistent and reliable payroll services sets them apart, making them a favorable option for businesses in search of trustworthy payroll processing.

Why I picked ADP: I included ADP in this list because of their long-standing reputation and reliability in payroll services. Currently, ADP is supporting over 3 million employees with their HR outsourcing services across small and midsized businesses.

Key Services:

ADP offers a range of essential services including payroll processing, time and attendance management, benefits administration, recruiting support, and talent management. In addition to these administrative functions, their extensive team of HR experts can also assist with specialized HR services such as employee turnover, compliance tracking and reporting, and workforce data analytics and insights.

Customer Support:

ADP provides a robust customer support system that includes 24/7 phone support and a comprehensive online help center.

Location: Roseland, USA

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Operates globally, accommodating a wide range of business needs
  • Offers a comprehensive range of HR solutions
  • Some customers have noted issues with customer service responsiveness

Cons:

  • Services can be on the pricier side
  • Services can be on the pricier side

Best HR outsourcing partner for startups

  • Pricing upon request

Bright + Early is a consultancy firm that directs its focus towards assisting startups in establishing and nurturing their HR frameworks. Their HR services cover compensation, diversity & inclusion, and company culture, as well as custom programs tailored to your unique organizational needs.

Why I picked Bright + Early: I selected Bright + Early because their tailored approach towards startups caught my attention. Their expertise aligns well with the specific needs and dynamics of a startup environment, making them a unique choice.

Key Services:

Bright + Early excels in offering crucial services that are vital for startups. They aid in establishing sound HR infrastructures, developing culture strategies that resonate with the company's core values, and facilitating a smooth talent acquisition process. They can also help you design onboarding workflows for new hires, create best-in-class employee handbooks, design an effective performance review process, and support employee retention and engagement activities. All these services are structured to help startups foster a nurturing and productive work environment.

Customer Support:

Bright + Early extends customer support mainly through direct consultation, offering guidance and advice grounded in deep industry experience.

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Assists in setting up foundational HR structures
  • Offers culture strategy development
  • Specializes in startup environments

Cons:

  • Services are focused on the early phases of company development
  • Limited information on their pricing structure

Best HR outsourcing partner for UK or European companies

  • Pricing upon request

Vero HR specializes in offering solutions that help streamline HR operations UK or European clients in the private, corporate, or public sectors. The firm provides a range of services centered around payroll and benefits, recruitment, learning & development, employment law, and health & safety.

Why I picked Vero HR: I included Vero HR in this list because of their unique ability to assist with health & safety management. Their services include access to health & safety specialists as well as an Occupational Health service provider to help you ensure your work practices are compliant with all health & safety regulations. They can also help support your internal training programs to make sure your practices are meeting all legal requirements.

Key Services:

Vero HR offers a broad selection of HR services including employee management, payroll, learning & development, recruitment, health & safety, employee rewards, legal advice, and HR technology solutions. They can help you implement new HR systems, provide advice on the best software options for specific business needs, and offer ongoing support to ensure the integrations are functioning as intended.

Customer Support:

Vero HR's customer support is equipped to provide timely responses, addressing client concerns and offering necessary assistance effectively.

Location: Peterborough, United Kingdom

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Well-versed on UK and EU employment laws & regulations
  • Offers advice on software selections tailored to business needs
  • Knowledgable on health & safety issues

Cons:

  • Hourly rate information is not disclosed
  • Specific pricing details are not readily available

Best for offering affordable health insurance plans

  • Free demo available
  • From $8/user/month (EOR pricing upon request)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

Rippling offers professional employer organization (PEO) services in addition to its well-known HR software. Their PEO clients benefit from Rippling's centralized HR platform that manages key business operations, including payroll, benefits, and IT, with additional HR experts for you to call on for specific needs.

Why I picked Rippling: I included Rippling in this list because of their access to big-company benefit packages. You can use Rippling's PEO service to offer health insurance to your US-based staff, or offer other benefits packages such as 401(k) retirement plans, health spending accounts, and other flexible options.

Once you're signed up, your employees can also access expert assistance through their Rightway Health Guide, which is an employee-facing app to assist with benefits enrollment, health plan education, and other common FAQs employees have about health plans.

Key Services:

Rippling's combined software and PEO services extend beyond just benefits administration. They can also assist with monitoring compliance, including ACA and COBRA administration, and other complex issues such as claims for wrongful termination, harassment, or discrimination.

Through their HR platform, they can also assist with device management, helping you manage and track employee laptops, apps, and software subscriptions at scale.

Customer Support:

Rippling offers a solid customer support framework, with assistance available through phone, email, or their self-service help wiki as needed.

Location: San Francisco, USA

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Integrates well with other business tools
  • Simplifies the payroll process, reducing the chances of errors
  • Centralized system for handling multiple business operations

Cons:

  • PEO services are for US-based customers only
  • Pricing details are not transparent

Best for affordable HR services

  • Free demo available
  • From $99/month
Visit Website
Rating: 3.6/5

Bambee is a company that offers tailored HR services and software for small to medium-sized businesses. They offer guided payroll services, as well as a dedicated HR Manager to assist with compliance, HR policies, coaching, and more.

Why I picked Bambee: I chose Bambee for this list because of its low price point, making it a suitable pick for businesses looking for quality services without a hefty price tag. In addition to receiving a dedicated HR Manager, Bambee's software also helps you run your HR functions on autopilot, including automated staff training & development, onboarding workflows for new employees, and HR policy auditing tools.

Key Services:

Bambee's HR services include guidance and coaching support for small business owners, plus assistance in creating HR policies that are compliant with US regulations. In addition to policy development, Bambee's services include an in-depth HR audit to uncover hidden business risks, as well as ongoing employee training and regulatory compliance monitoring.

Customer Support:

Bambee offers customer support through phone and email, as well as a dedicated HR Manager who is ready to assist clients with their concerns as needed.

Location: Los Angeles, USA

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Focus on compliance and regulatory adherence
  • Offers dedicated HR Manager
  • Affordable pricing structure

Cons:

  • Some customers mention variable service quality
  • Limited to foundational HR services

Best for industry-specific HR expertise

  • Pricing upon request

Insperity delivers comprehensive HR solutions to small and midsize businesses. They offer both HCM (human capital management) software in addition to their PEO (professional employer organization) services, which are run by their in-house experts in payroll, performance, safety, and other HR-related compliance issues.

Why I picked Insperity: I included Insperity in this list because of its blend of HR software and services that can be tailored to companies across numerous business sectors. Their team of HR specialists has industry experience across numerous sectors, including information technology, manufacturing, finance, insurance, construction, retail & wholesale, engineering, legal services, healthcare, and non-profits.

Key Services:

Insperity offers a range of HR services that cover all aspects of HR and employee management. From payroll processing and employee benefits administration to risk management and compliance assistance, they provide a consolidated platform for managing diverse HR functions efficiently.

Customer Support:

Insperity maintains customer support that is both accessible and responsive, providing assistance through various mediums including phone and online portals.

Location: Kingwood, USA

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Tailored solutions to suit different business needs
  • Streamlines various HR tasks under one platform
  • Offers a comprehensive range of HR services

Cons:

  • Some clients mention a complex contract structure
  • Only available for US organizations

Best for outsourcing complex HR issues

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request

TriNet offers specialized HR consulting and support services for small to medium-sized businesses, covering everything from recruiting, onboarding, and benefits, to more complex issues like compliance, leadership alignment, and talent retention.

Why I picked TriNet: I included TriNet in this list because of the depth of its compliance management services. Their compliance monitoring falls within their risk management service, which is run by a team of industry experts. Compliance management tools are also baked into their software, including tools to generate compliant W-2s, collect and remit all required taxes (local, state, and federal), and manage unemployment benefits.

Key Services:

TriNet offers legal resources and support through their professional employer services (PEO) service, giving you access to HR experts who will make sure you're up-to-date with the latest regulations and guidelines. They also have in-house specialists for employee benefits who can work with you to offer your employees a wide range of popular benefits (medical, dental, vision, life, disability, retirement, commuter, family planning) through popular insurance providers like Aetna, Blue California, MetLife, and United Health Group.

Customer Support:

Their customer support is available around the clock, excluding U.S. holidays, providing direct and comprehensive assistance for various employee needs, from onboarding to benefits enrollment.

Location: Dublin, California, United States

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Their software assists with compensation benchmarking
  • 24/7 customer service is available
  • Their HR support services are tailored for small to medium-sized businesses

Cons:

  • Their HR platform has a steep learning curve for new users
  • Pricing for their services is not transparent
Tools Price
Gusto from $40/month plus $6/staff member
ExtensisHR Pricing upon request
Castle HR Pricing upon request
ADP Pricing upon request
Bright + Early Pricing upon request
VeroHR Pricing upon request
Rippling From $8/user/month (EOR pricing upon request)
Bambee From $99/month
Insperity Pricing upon request
Trinet Pricing upon request
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Other HR Outsourcing Services

Below is a list of additional HR outsourcing companies which didn’t make it into my top 10 shortlist, but are still worth taking a closer look at:

  1. Accenture HR

    Best for innovative HR technology integration

  2. XcelHR

    Best for small business HR solutions

  3. Adecco

    Best for comprehensive workforce solutions

  4. Velocity Global

    Best for rapid international expansion

  5. CPEhr

    Best for personalized HR outsourcing

  6. Astron Solutions

    Best for custom-tailored compensation strategies

  7. Globalization Partners

    Best for seamless global workforce management

  8. Paychex

    Best payroll and PEO service for US-based companies

Selection Criteria for HR Outsourcing Services


Choosing the right HR service company is a critical decision that can have lasting impacts on your business. I carefully researched each of the HR companies in this list in order to share my top recommendations. To confirm my final selections, I paid special attention to the following aspects the most:

Key Services

When choosing an HR outsourcing company to support your needs, it's important to focus on the essential services that are key in this field. Here are the main services that stood out during my evaluation, which I belive are important:

  • Strategic HR Consulting: These services help management teams create and administer action plans to ensure your goals match your business objectives. This can involve strategies for hiring the right people or ways to keep employees engaged and motivated.
  • Comprehensive Workforce Management: This includes services like payroll management, benefits administration, and time and attendance tracking, ensuring your workforce runs smoothly.
  • Regulatory Compliance Assistance: This service provides advice and solutions to ensure your business meets all the legal and HR-related rules and regulations of your industry.
  • Employee Training and Development: This focuses on programs and initiatives to improve your employees' skills and knowledge, fostering a culture of continuous learning and development.
  • Performance Management: These services are focused on setting up and keeping track of performance goals to help evaluate employees and plan their future career growth and development.

Quality of Deliverables

A company's reputation often lies in the quality of its deliverables. In the case of HR outsourcing companies, it's paramount that they provide services that not only meet the client's requirements but also add significant value to their business.

From ensuring regulatory compliance to managing employee relations effectively, a quality service is marked by its ability to handle the complex dynamics of human resources management with expertise and efficiency.

I've evaluated each of these companies based on the depth of their knowledge, the skills and competencies they bring to the table, and their proven track record in delivering top-notch HR solutions.

Value & Reputation

While analyzing these companies, I put a strong emphasis on examining the true value their services offer to your existing HR staff. To do that, I've evaluated the depth and breadth of services offered, the expertise of the team, and the level of customization and personal attention that each company provides.

Furthermore, I looked for client testimonials and case studies to get a sense of the impact these companies have had on businesses. This way, I could ensure that these recommendations are not only cost-effective but also provide a robust return on investment, adding substantial value to your business in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions about HR Outsourcing Services

Still wondering how HR outsourcing services work, or how you can find the best one for your HR needs? These answers to popular FAQs should help clear things up:

What are the benefits of using an HR outsourcing company?

Using an HR outsourcing company can offer numerous advantages to businesses of all sizes, including:

  • Expertise Access: HR outsourcing firms have seasoned experts with extensive industry knowledge, ensuring your company complies with the latest laws and regulations.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Despite various HR software solutions and automation, it can be a more efficient option compared to maintaining an in-house team as it eliminates the overheads associated with full-time employees.
  • Focus on Core Activities: Outsourcing HR functions allow businesses to focus on their core activities, enhancing overall productivity and efficiency.
  • Scalability: These companies offer scalable solutions, which means you can easily adjust the services based on your business needs and growth.
  • Technology Access: Many HR outsourcing firms employ the latest technology and tools, providing your business with access to top-notch HR systems without a substantial investment.

How much do HR outsourcing services usually cost?

The cost of HR outsourcing services can vary widely depending on the range and depth of services required. Typically, the pricing can start from as low as $50 per employee per month for basic services and can go up to $150 or more for more comprehensive solutions.

The cheapest services usually include basic administrative tasks such as payroll processing and employee benefits management. On the other hand, the most expensive services often include strategic HR consulting, which involves developing and implementing sophisticated HR strategies aligned with the business goals.

What pricing models do HR outsourcing companies use?

The common pricing models adopted by HR outsourcing companies are:

  • Per Employee Per Month (PEPM): A pricing model where the cost is determined based on the number of employees in your company.
  • Project-Based: Here, the pricing is set for a particular project or a set of tasks.
  • Retainer Model: A fixed fee is charged monthly or annually for ongoing services.

How do I choose the right HR outsourcing company for my business?

When choosing an HR outsourcing company, consider factors like the range of services offered, the company’s reputation, expertise in your industry, and the potential return on investment. It’s also advisable to request case studies or references to gauge their effectiveness in real-world scenarios.

Will an HR outsourcing company customize the services they offer for my needs?

Yes, most HR outsourcing companies offer customizable service packages, allowing you to choose the services that align with your business needs and budget, helping you get the best value for your investment.

Parting Tips to Help You Choose the Best HR Outsourcing Company for You

Choosing the right HR outsourcing company is a significant decision that can profoundly influence your business's trajectory. Keeping this in mind, here are three crucial takeaways to assist you in making an informed choice:

  • Define Your Needs Clearly: Before embarking on the selection process, have a clear understanding of your business needs. Determine which HR functions you wish to outsource and what goals you aim to achieve through outsourcing.
  • Examine the Cost-Value Proposition: While budget is an important consideration, it shouldn't be the sole determinant. Evaluate the value each company brings and how their services align with your business objectives to ensure a high return on investment.
  • Assess the Quality of Deliverables: Take the time to investigate the quality of deliverables the outsourcing company offers. This includes scrutinizing their reputation, case studies, and testimonials to ensure they can meet or exceed your expectations.

By following these pointers, you can pave the way to a fruitful collaboration with an HR outsourcing company that suits your business best.

Stay in Touch

I hope this article gave you a deeper understanding of the landscape of HR outsourcing companies. As you can see, HR outsourcing companies offer numerous benefits, from gaining access to expert knowledge to enjoying cost savings and scalability.

I also recommend signing up for our weekly People Managing People newsletter. You'll gain access to a steady stream of articles covering best practices from industry experts, as well as our latest podcast episodes. We'll help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in every aspect of creating a better employee experience.

By Finn Bartram

Finn is an editor at People Managing People. He's passionate about growing organizations where people are empowered to continuously improve and genuinely enjoy coming to work. If not at his desk, you can find him playing sports or enjoying the great outdoors.