Organizations that emphasize benefits say the strategy pays big dividends not only in recruitment and retention but also in overall performance, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
However, offering great benefits can be a challenge, especially for small and growing businesses. There are the associated costs, of course, as well as the challenge of shopping for providers with attractive offerings. Then there’s the day-to-day burden. Top benefits packages—which often stand out for their variety and comprehensiveness—can create a substantial administrative workload.
That’s where benefits administration software comes in. These programs allow organizations to offer an attractive benefits program while offloading much of the heavy lifting, both in terms of integrating with partner organizations and keeping up with daily management. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of some software solutions that could fit the bill for businesses aiming to raise their benefits game.
For the HR admin who wants a great UX: Gusto
Gusto’s hallmark is ease of use, and that extends to employees as well as managers. The central feature is payroll, but Gusto’s benefits-specific tools also allow for an array of health insurance options and retirement and college savings plans. Employees create individual accounts that they can use to enroll in the program and manage their benefits. Beyond the core package, additional tiers include HR tools to cover time tracking and time-off requests.
For the business that requires customization: Zenefits
Businesses aiming to offer benefits that deliver a recruitment edge should look at Zenefits, which leads the pack in customization. In addition to standard health and retirement options, managers can craft a boutique benefits package that includes options such as commuter benefits, workers’ compensation insurance and even stock options. There are also extensive dashboards both for employees and employers, as well as a best-in-class benefits-management app.
For the company that wants to coordinate benefits through a trusted insurance broker: Ease
While platforms such as Gusto and Zenefits offer insurance coverage through a limited network of brokers (and, in Gusto’s case, not in every state), Ease takes a different approach. Its software is sold through insurance agencies to their small-business clients. That way, if you’ve got a broker you want to use, benefits administration software shouldn’t stand in the way. Ease is a worthy rival to the other platforms on this list. And while it’s benefits-focused, it also includes broader HR capabilities like time-off requests, and it integrates with payroll services such as ADP Workforce Now.
For the CEO who wants a silver-bullet solution for all things administrative: Rippling
Newcomer Rippling takes the all-in-one HR software approach and pushes it a step further by incorporating IT management. In addition to handling HR basics and benefits-related features such as paid time off and health insurance, Rippling coordinates tasks, including the assignment of computers and phones to team members as well as upgrades, passwords and different tiers of network access.
For the startup that wants to offer insurance without actually offering insurance: PeopleKeep
PeopleKeep specializes in health reimbursement arrangements, in which organizations reimburse their employees for qualified medical expenses up to a predetermined threshold. It provides a way for small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) to take on some of the burden of their employees’ health care costs without directly participating in group coverage. PeopleKeep’s software handles the reimbursement paperwork and regulatory compliance issues and integrates with Stride Health to help employees select insurance plans.
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