Zenefits is continuing the expansion of its human resource platform, launching compliance and document management apps for small businesses, while also opening up its payroll service to five more states, adding new partners to its app store, and introducing a new pricing structure that brings it more in line with other subscription services.
With the massive redesign several months ago, Zenefits sought to reimagine how HR should look for small businesses, launching an app marketplace into a “tightly integrated online system.” Today, the next phase launches to let entrepreneurs focus on growing the their business instead of worrying about compliance and regulations.
Ensuring compliance among small businesses
“A growing concern among small businesses is around compliance, especially with the new president and other issues,” explained Arisa Amano, Zenefits’ vice president of product. “We’re hearing from customers that they feel uncertain about what’s going on. People spend more than 200 hours a year on regulations and compliance, and there are steep penalties for non-compliance.”
To reduce the stress its customers constantly face, Zenefits has launched its compliance assistance app. Think of it as a task management tool that’ll provide the relevant regulations and deadlines personalized for each business. It currently shows the federal statutes that are applicable, but state and local laws will be added in the future. Companies can add their own deadlines and sync the app with their internal calendars. As the name implies, the app will provide guidance on all the things businesses need to adhere to across benefits, payroll, taxes, and basic HR.
“Before the compliance assistance app, we’ve always thought about compliance as being core to the [Zenefits] platform. It has been baked into individual apps and workflow,” Amano shared. “But there are many compliance deadlines that fall outside of the core HR workflow. [This app] gives HR administrators a place to manage all the requirements in one place.”
In order for businesses to make sense of the regulations, Zenefits leveraged its content, legal, and compliance teams to review all the regulations and lay them out in a way that’s accurate and easy to understand.
It is ironic that Zenefits has introduced an app to ensure businesses comply with regulations after spending the past year or so settling with regulators over its own lack of compliance.
Another app that’s being launched today is focused on document management. This isn’t Zenefits’ version of Dropbox, but it’s a way to monitor whether employees have completed the necessary documentation. “The big thing was we’ve focused on is making sure HR administrators can use it to have all the HR documents in line. If someone is missing something, [administrators] can quickly identify it,” Amano said. “What’s most important is that you have all the documents you need for each employee.”
Leveraging the data across the Zenefits platform, this documents app knows when new employees get on-boarded and will help administrators keep track of who hasn’t returned an offer letter, signed an I-9 or W-2 form, acknowledged an employee handbook, and more. There are specific fields in the app that come standard, such as an offer letter, employment eligibility, background check, whether the employee is non-exempt, and more. However, based on the needs of a business’s workflow, custom fields can be added.
The compliance and document apps are now available nationwide.
Payroll and app marketplace expansion
In October, Zenefits relaunched its payroll tool. The difference was that it was developed in-house. It was initially available in California, before expanding to Florida, Texas, and Washington. Today, it’s now available in five more states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Colorado, and Arizona. The company said that it hopes to be in 30 states by July and nationwide by the end of the year.
The Zenefits platform is also expanding, with the inclusion of new partners and verticals. The company claimed that it now has 26 integrations, with 50 more in the works. Small businesses can now leverage 401(k) apps on the all-in-one marketplace produced by Principal Financial Group and CoPilot powered by PAi. Other additions include Lyft, which lets employees use commuter benefits for rides; Asana, Box, and Hive for work productivity; NexTravel for travel planning; Giftedd for employee engagement; Zapier to better connect applications with Zenefits; and even custom integrations designed for more proprietary systems.
New SaaS pricing
To put it more in line with other subscription-based enterprise services, Zenefits has revised its pricing plan, now offering four tiers with varying levels of access. A free version still remains, but that only includes access to employee management and benefits administration. For $5 per employee per month, the company’s Silver package includes the premium HR offering, which supports paid time off, enterprise-level reporting and permissioning, the document management and compliance apps, and health benefits. At $8 per employee per month, the Gold plan adds the payroll tool. And finally, for $12 per employee per month, the Platinum offering tacks on dedicated Zenefits customer support.
For nonprofits, Zenefits is providing a 25 percent discount on its plans.
Changes afoot at Zenefits
The latest changes at Zenefits are all part of its effort to turn itself around. After enduring high scrutiny from pundits and regulators, the company wants to move forward and showcase its potential. David Sacks, the outgoing chief executive, told VentureBeat that today’s announcements are an effort to “extend the strategy and product launch” from last October. “We want to make Zenefits the pre-emininent solution for small businesses,” he said.
Addressing the proverbial elephant in the room, Sacks declined to share specifics around the search for his replacement, but he noted that it’s underway. “We’re seeing a lot of great candidates…perhaps the ultimate validation [for Zenefits] is that we’ll be able to recruit a really great CEO.”
He has previously declared the company to have “a clean bill of health.”