TriNet PEO: Robust SMB Solution
Updated: October 10, 2023
TriNet is a full-service Professional Employer Organization (PEO) founded in 1988 and based in Dublin, California. They have offices in ten states and serve over 330,000 worksite employees in the US and Canada. They offer HR and co-employment solutions to small and medium businesses (SMBs), catering to a variety of industries and administrative needs. Put simply, TriNet's team of experts wants to do all the heavy lifting, giving you the time to focus on what matters most—your business growth.
In this review, we will explore TriNet's services, features, and client perceptions to help you find out if they are the best fit for your business.
TriNet PEO In Brief
TriNet is a dedicated PEO that provides human resources and business solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs), which may or may not have large HR teams. They take care of most administrative, financial, and legal responsibilities that are involved with running an HR department, allowing your smaller business to compete on a more level playing field. If you're looking for a service provider that takes administrative and HR-related burdens off your shoulders, then TriNet aims to fill that role by providing a real-time technological solution with immediate performance from one single source.
Their technological solution handles many general and SMB-specific needs, such as payroll, employee benefits, HR administration, performance management, risk management, compliance, talent management, leadership training, and expert consultations. And it all may be accessed by employees, administrators, and employers alike on an easy-to-use platform that is available on the web and via a mobile app.
They have accrued many industry accolades for their leadership and small business know-how from G2, Business.com, and TrustRadius. They are a fully credentialed PEO that is IRS-certified and accredited by the Employer Service Assurance Corporation (ESAC). However, they do not currently hold Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation, even though the BBB gives them an A+ rating.
Industries & Business Sizes Served by TriNet PEO
This PEO exclusively serves SMBs, and states that they will accept businesses with as few as five employees, all the way to those with over 1,000 employees in their roster. They also provide HR support services for start-ups.
They serve many industries, including retail, education, e-commerce, consulting, financial services, manufacturing, life sciences, marketing, media and entertainment, nonprofits, technology, legal services, real estate, and more. Of course, depending on your capabilities and criteria, you may stand to benefit more from their services than others, which is why they have you take an assessment on their website.
TriNet PEO Features
Engaging the PEO services of TriNet means being offered their main suite of HR and payroll tools as a package, which results in you having full workplace compliance in all its forms. Here’s an overview of the features you can expect:
- Technology platform: Their comprehensive online portal offers a seamless solution to streamline all your HR requirements, ensuring that your business operates smoothly and effectively. It houses such services as document management, benefits administration, expense management, recruitment, employee training, workforce analytics, and third-party application integrations. It can be accessed through the web or mobile app platform
- HR services: TriNet provides tailored human resource solutions that cater to your industry, location, and business size, ensuring your needs are met. Their services include, but are not limited to, performance management, employee onboarding, recruiting, HR reports, and analytics
- Payroll services: Their software covers all aspects of your employee payroll in a paperless system, featuring an electronic W-2 process and e-pay stubs. It handles everything from payroll taxes to new hire processes, promotions, time and expense tracking, reporting, offboarding, and so on. They also have a full suite of employee self-service features, allowing them to set up direct deposits, change statuses, check on their paid time off (PTO), and view their stubs and W-2s. They also allow third-party accounting software integrations, so that all your payroll data is accessible in one place
- Risk mitigation: TriNet's experts and tools will ensure you are in compliance and keeping up with workplace rules and regulations. That means being on top of payroll and tax filings, unemployment benefits, and health plans, among other things. It also entails offering risk and safety management programs and administering workers' compensation when necessary
- Employee benefits and compliance: They strive to offer competitive benefits that can be used to attract new employees, and thus partner with many top providers like Kaiser Permanente, Aflac, and MetLife. Through them, you gain medical, dental, vision, life, transit, shopping and entertainment discounts, and retirement plans, among other benefits. They also ensure you are fully in compliance by adhering to COBRA, disability, and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements
- HR expert guidance: Whether you are an administrator in a very small business without HR managers, or an administrator who is having trouble with certain functions, TriNet provides HR consultants that can aid you. They'll answer any inquiry you have about best practices and regulations, hire new team members, and offer you strategies to grow your business and increase employee morale
TriNet PEO Pricing
Like most other PEOs, TriNet does not advertise specific prices for plans or packages, and requires you to contact them for a quote. They do share that they use a PEPM pricing model, where they generally charge a flat monthly fee per employee. They state that their fees stay the same if you give your employees raises, and actually go down if employees max out tax or social security deduction limits.
TriNet has a customizable quote for every client that is created based on their needs and requirements, and doesn't charge a percentage of your payroll each month. We understand that their costs are tied to business size, with an online source giving a wide range of monthly costs of between $80 and $600 per employee. Another source quoted a variable price of $150–$165 per employee per month. Based on this, they certainly are not the most affordable PEO.
TriNet PEO Perks
Whether you choose to use a PEO depends on the advantages they bring to your business. In the case of TriNet, those include:
- Payroll in multiple locations: They have shown that they can handle simultaneous payroll across states and in multiple locations, as is necessary during remote work times
- Easy, full-featured software: TriNet's platform houses all your HR, payroll, benefits, onboarding, compliance, and support needs in one dashboard, which most agree is intuitive and easy to use
- Multiple support options: Not only can you call or email them for customer service or expert guidance, but you may also use the live chat option on the web or mobile app
- Industry-specific services: Some industries have greater levels and different types of risk, and their cultures and employment structures will also differ from others. TriNet will tailor their PEO to your business needs based on your business type and size, complete with the appropriate experts to support you so that you feel uniquely covered
- "Big company" benefits: Whether you run a growing business with only five employees or a midsized company, TriNet offers competitive benefits that will draw in applicants and ensure satisfactory employee relations
- Mobile app: Not only can you access their system on the web, but also through their easy mobile application
TriNet PEO Drawbacks
Although this company can present a lot of value to you, there may be reasons that deter you from employing them for your business. These may include:
- May charge more than others: Although they tout their pricing model as straightforward, and that it does not go up with employee benefit use or payroll, they generally charge more than many other top PEOs
- Some integration issues: Time tracking is not well-integrated into the software, and they also may not allow as many third-party application integrations as other PEOs
- Reporting is not as streamlined: Users say that the right reports are hard to find on the system, and that the reporting process may take too much time
The TriNet Customer Experience
This PEO receives mixed feedback online, although it generally enjoys a solid reputation with its clients. They have a good score of 4 out of 5 stars on G2, and a similar 7.1 out of 10 on TrustRadius. However, they have a poor review score of 1.6 out of 5 on Trustpilot, although it must be noted that the number of reviews there is significantly lower. Based on the reviews found there, and feedback found on the BBB, we can draw some useful conclusions.
Ease of Use
TriNet's user interface has garnered unanimous praise for its innate intuitiveness and seamless usability. Whether accessed through the web or mobile app, users consistently find it straightforward and effortless to navigate. Some have mentioned that there is a learning curve, but once you're familiar with it, navigating your options becomes a breeze. Otherwise, positive reviewers state that they sometimes have issues finding the correct reports or services on the platform. Some users complain that the time clock does not integrate well into the systems, which leads to some problems with time-off tracking, and others say that integrations are generally clunky and not as impressive as the rest of the system.
There are users who are not as impressed by the usability of the TriNet platform, which a few call outdated or bloated. They complain about the turnaround associated with help tickets and sending reports, and generally find it more time-consuming than expected. However, we found that the user's overall experience with system usability greatly depended on the level of customer service they received.
Guidance and support
Most reviewers thought TriNet's support team was satisfactory, and many were especially happy with their specially assigned contact person. Whether via email, phone, or chat, they state that customer service responds quickly, explains any recent system changes thoroughly, and adequately addresses your issues so they are solved. Many users also praise the company's HR support during the COVID-19 pandemic because they ensured they stayed in compliance during remote work with employees in multiple states. They also aided in other aspects, such as getting clients the PPP loans and forgiveness they needed.
The guidance the assigned contact person provided meant that sensitive HR issues like employment termination were handled delicately and in a timely fashion. Recent reviewers generally found them knowledgeable about HR management issues, and when their expertise fell short, they would get their clients in touch with someone else who could help.
However, certainly not everyone was complimentary of support. A few report being passed from representative to representative, wasting time on their end, while others felt that they had to do too much independent research to solve their issues and that representatives did not tailor their responses to the client's needs. Some longer-term clients find that TriNet's support is improving, but it may take more time than desired to address an issue properly.
Is it worth it?
Some clients found TriNet's costs too high, though more found issues with benefits expenses, especially if they had trouble getting associated reimbursements or coverage. Some had difficulty accessing benefits, such as health plans with partners like AETNA, and reported being given false information from the provider about their eligibility. However, users were generally satisfied with the amount of benefits offered, as well as the coverage they typically offered.
When customers complain on BBB, TriNet replies promptly but briefly, indicating that they have resolved the issue or are reaching out privately.
TriNet Customer Support
You can reach their support through various means. They are available 24/7 by live chat when you log in to their system or on the Android and iOS mobile apps, although they take select US holidays off.
You may also call them at 800-638-0461 on weekdays, from 6 AM to midnight ET. Finally, if you wish to email them, you may do so at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a manager or administrator, or email@example.com if you are an employee.
The Bottom Line
TriNet certainly makes for an attractive co-employment option as a PEO that offers comprehensive administrative services to a wide variety of growing businesses. Their robust one-stop cloud platform and support options serve SMB needs while keeping them competitive with considerable enterprise-level benefits, HR, and payroll capabilities.
Their services are generally recommended for their ease of use and their excellent customer support options. However, clients have said that their system can sometimes seem overstuffed, and some have had issues with such tasks as reporting procedures, time tracking, and finding the proper targeted support or guidance.
Even if you have settled on TriNet as your PEO, we recommend comparing them against similar companies. If your business has few employees, it may help you to read our post on the top providers for small businesses and then check out the best PEOs on our reviews page. We have a lot of information and resources to help you make the best corporate purchase decision.
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