July 24, 2013

Zenefits – Put HR on Autopilot

Zenefits is a web-application that takes the hassle out of managing employees, providing the owners of small to mid-size businesses with all the tools they need to handle payroll, benefits, and other advanced employee services that would typically fall under the umbrella of a human resources department.

Zenefits’ functionality is split into two main parts: HR and Benefits. Connect Zenefits to your existing payroll provider, and the web-application will detect whenever employees have joined or left your company. Once Zenefits has detected a new hire, the platform will collect signed agreements and employee information (like bank numbers for direct deposits and standard tax information), and add the employee to your benefits plans. Employees can self-manage their benefits online, automatically enrolling dependents in company health insurance plans, changing their payroll deductions, and upping their payroll tax withholdings. Zenefits’ in-house specialists can answer specific HR questions or concerns from employees directly, either by phone or email.

Every manager has to deal with terminating an employee at one point or another. Zenefits makes the off-boarding process a breeze, immediately removing the employee from payroll and benefits, and helping the employee get access to COBRA insurance. Zenefits is technically a licensed insurance broker, which means the company makes money through broker fees and offers its platform to businesses for free.

Practical Uses:

  • Start offering health insurance benefits to your employees
  • Streamline the employee onboarding process
  • Encourage your employees to sign up for a company 401K
  • Collect bank and tax information from new hires

Insider Tips:

  • Zenefits makes money when companies use the platform to purchase or manage their insurance
  • Employees can get answers to their questions from Zenefits’ in-house specialists
  • Users can connect Zenefits to their existing payroll providers
  • Companies have the choice to send Zenefits’ offer letters to all new hires

What we liked:

  • Managers can decrease the time they spend dealing with internal employee issues
  • Employees can self-manage their benefits packages
  • Zenefits provides a completely free service to users
  • Zenefits securely stores all sensitive employee information for its SMB clients

What we didn’t like:

  • Zenefits currently only supports companies based in California and New York


Company Info:

  • Launched: February 2013
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: Parker Conrad and Laks Srini
  • Web site:


  • Free

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