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June 6, 2024
XX min read

Gusto vs Freshteam


In the realm of Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), finding the right tool that fits your organization's needs can be a challenging process. Two popular options in this category are Gusto and Freshteam. 

Gusto offers a holistic approach to HR management by including modern HR features like payroll, benefits, hiring, and management resources — all in one place. It's designed to integrate seamlessly with a range of business functions, making it a versatile option for diverse requirements.

Freshteam, on the other hand, positions itself as the smart HR software for growing businesses. It focuses on attracting, hiring, and onboarding new talent efficiently. Additionally, it manages employee information and time-off, aiming to streamline various HR processes from one central platform.

Comparing these two HRIS tools is crucial for organizations aiming to optimize their HR workflows, improve employee experience, and ensure efficient management of HR tasks.

Gusto Overview

Key Features

  • Payroll Management: Handles all aspects of payroll, from calculations to payments and tax filings.
  • Benefits Administration: Offers a comprehensive range of benefits including health insurance, 401(k) plans, and more.
  • Hiring and Onboarding: Provides tools for job postings, applicant tracking, and a smooth onboarding process.
  • Time and Attendance: Tracks hours worked, manages time-off requests, and integrates with payroll.
  • Compliance: Ensures adherence to local, state, and federal labor laws, with automatic updates.
  • Employee Self-Service: Empowers employees to access their profiles, benefits, and payroll information.

Freshteam Overview

Key Features

  • Applicant Tracking System (ATS): Tools for posting jobs, sourcing candidates, tracking applications, and managing interview processes.
  • Onboarding: Automates the onboarding process with checklists, form submissions, and document management.
  • Employee Information Management: Centralized database for employee records, roles, and responsibilities.
  • Time-off Management: Simplifies tracking and approval processes for employee leave.
  • Recruitment Marketing: Attracts top talent through customizable career sites, job board integrations, and social media postings.


Gusto and Freshteam share several core functionalities as HRIS tools, making them handy options for comprehensive HR management:

  • Integrated HR Suite: Both platforms provide end-to-end HR management solutions encompassing hiring, onboarding, and employee management.
  • Onboarding Tools: Each offers features to streamline new employee onboarding with checklists, document handling, and task assignments.
  • Employee Data Management: Both systems serve as single repositories for storing and managing employee information and documents.
  • Time-off Tracking: Capabilities for managing employee leave requests and tracking time-off accruals.
  • Compliance Support: Each ensures adherence to relevant labor laws and regulatory requirements, albeit in slightly different capacities.


Though Gusto and Freshteam share several similarities, their unique features and varied primary focuses highlight the differences:

  • Core Focus:
  • Gusto: Concentrates on payroll and benefits administration alongside HR functions.
  • Freshteam: Focuses heavily on recruitment and onboarding, positioning itself as a talent acquisition tool.
  • Payroll Features:
  • Gusto: Offers a full payroll service with direct integration into benefit management.
  • Freshteam: Lacks built-in payroll management, requiring integration with external payroll systems.
  • Recruitment Marketing:
  • Gusto: Basic recruitment features without extensive marketing tools.
  • Freshteam: Comprehensive recruitment marketing capabilities, including job board postings and social media integration.
  • Benefits Administration:
  • Gusto: In-depth benefits management with health insurance, 401(k), and more.
  • Freshteam: Limited in-built benefits administration, may require other software for complete benefits handling.
  • Pricing Structure:
  • Gusto: Pricing is based on the number of employees, with additional costs for extra features.
  • Freshteam: Tiered pricing with various levels of service based on recruitment and HR function requirements.

Pros and Cons



  • Comprehensive payroll and tax management.
  • Extensive benefits administration options.
  • User-friendly interface with strong customer support.
  • Compliance tools to ensure adherence to regulations.


  • Higher cost for smaller businesses, especially with add-ons.
  • Limited recruitment and applicant tracking tools compared to Freshteam.
  • Employee self-service features may be too basic for larger organizations.



  • Robust applicant tracking and recruitment marketing tools.
  • Seamless onboarding process with automated workflows.
  • Centralized management for employee data and time-off.
  • Scalable pricing models catering to different business sizes and budgets.


  • Lacks built-in payroll management, necessitating third-party integrations.
  • Limited benefits administration capabilities.
  • Can overwhelm users seeking a simple, consolidated HR tool due to its focus on recruitment.

Use Cases


Gusto stands out as an ideal HRIS tool for companies seeking a robust payroll and benefits management system. It’s particularly beneficial for:

  • Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Companies looking for a flexible yet comprehensive HR solution that includes payroll, tax filings, and benefits administration.
  • Organizations Focused on Employee Benefits: Firms needing extensive benefits management, including health insurance and retirement plans.
  • Businesses Requiring Compliance Assurance: Ensuring adherence to labor laws and regulations is critical.


Freshteam excels in scenarios that require advanced recruitment and onboarding capabilities. It’s well-suited for:

  • Growth-Driven Businesses: Companies aggressively hiring and needing efficient recruitment through job postings, applicant tracking, and onboarding.
  • HR Teams Focused on Talent Acquisition: Firms prioritizing the recruitment process and integrations with various job boards and social media.
  • Organizations with Streamlined HR Needs: Businesses seeking a centralized hub for employee data, time-off management, and onboarding without needing extensive payroll services.


Comparing Gusto and Freshteam reveals that each HRIS tool excels in specific areas, catering to different organizational needs. Gusto is highly effective for companies seeking a robust payroll and benefits administration platform, complemented by essential HR features like compliance tools and employee self-service options. Its higher costs may be justified for enterprises that prioritize comprehensive benefits and payroll management.

Freshteam, however, shines in the realm of recruitment and onboarding, making it an ideal choice for businesses with aggressive growth and hiring goals. Its scalable pricing and extensive applicant tracking tools can significantly enhance the efficiency of HR departments focused on talent acquisition.

When choosing between Gusto and Freshteam, organizations should consider their primary HR functions and operational priorities. For those requiring extensive payroll and benefits management, Gusto is the superior choice. Conversely, for businesses looking to optimize recruitment and streamline onboarding, Freshteam is the recommended tool.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

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