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June 6, 2024
XX min read

Gusto vs Sapling


In the world of Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) tools, it's essential to find a solution that best fits your organization’s needs. Gusto and Sapling are two leading HRIS tools that offer comprehensive HR features designed to simplify and enhance HR operations.

Gusto offers modern HR features including payroll, benefits, hiring, and management resources, all integrated into a single platform. This makes Gusto a one-stop-shop for various HR needs, streamlining processes and improving overall efficiency.

Sapling, a Kallidus product, focuses extensively on onboarding, offboarding, core HR functions, and people operations. Sapling leverages Kallidus' expertise in learning, performance, and talent management, thereby offering a robust suite for HR operations.

When it comes to choosing the right HRIS tool, understanding the similarities and differences between Gusto and Sapling is crucial. This comparison aims to provide a detailed analysis to help you decide which tool might be the best fit for your organization.

Gusto Overview

Key Features

Gusto offers a range of features that aim to streamline HR processes and improve operational efficiency:

  • Payroll Management: Automated payroll processing, tax filing, and direct deposits.
  • Benefits Administration: Health benefits, 401(k) plans, and workers' compensation.
  • Hiring & Onboarding: Customizable offer letters, onboarding checklists, and e-signatures.
  • Time Tracking: Employee time tracking, project tracking, and PTO management.
  • Employee Self-Service: Online portal for employees to manage their information and benefits.
  • Compliance Assistance: Support for federal, state, and local tax compliance, employee handbooks, and regulatory requirements.
  • Team Management Tools: Organizational charts, performance reviews, and employee surveys.

Sapling Overview 

Key Features

Sapling focuses on enhancing HR operations through robust features tailored for employee lifecycle management:

  • Onboarding: Automated workflows, preboarding tools, and customized onboarding experiences.
  • Offboarding: Structured offboarding processes, exit surveys, and compliance checklists.
  • Core HR: Centralized employee database, self-service portals, and reporting tools.
  • People Operations: Employee engagement surveys, goal setting, and performance management.
  • Integration: Seamless integration with other HR and productivity tools like Slack, Google Workspace, and Salesforce.
  • Learning & Development: Access to Kallidus' learning content and performance management modules.
  • Custom Workflows: Ability to create custom workflows to suit specific HR processes.


Both Gusto and Sapling offer comprehensive HRIS capabilities designed to improve HR operations and employee management. Some notable similarities include:

  • Centralized Employee Information: Both tools offer a unified employee database where all information can be easily accessed and managed.
  • Automation: Both solutions automate various HR processes, such as payroll, benefits administration, onboarding, and offboarding.
  • Self-Service Portals: Employees can manage their information, benefits, and requests through self-service portals.
  • Compliance Management: Tools to help manage and ensure compliance with various local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Integration Capabilities: Both offer integrations with other popular productivity and HR tools.


While Gusto and Sapling share several similarities, they also have distinct differences that may make one more suitable for certain organizations over the other:

  • Focus Areas: Gusto excels in payroll and benefits administration, making it ideal for companies that prioritize these features. Sapling, on the other hand, shines in onboarding, offboarding, and overall people operations, leveraging Kallidus' background in learning and performance management.
  • Integration Scope: Sapling offers more extensive integrations with a variety of productivity tools, making it suitable for companies looking for deep integration across their tech stack.
  • Customization: Sapling allows for more customization in workflows and HR processes, catering to companies with unique HR needs.
  • Learning Content: Sapling provides access to Kallidus’ learning content, which is an added benefit for companies focused on learning and development.
  • Team Management Tools: Gusto provides tools such as organizational charts and performance reviews, focusing more on ongoing team management and employee development.

Pros and Cons



  • Comprehensive payroll and benefits administration.
  • User-friendly interface and easy setup process.
  • Strong compliance support for tax filing and regulatory requirements.
  • Affordable pricing for small to mid-sized businesses.
  • Integrated time tracking and team management tools.


  • Limited customization options for HR workflows.
  • Fewer integrations compared to Sapling.
  • Primarily focused on payroll and benefits, with less emphasis on learning and development.



  • Extensive onboarding and offboarding capabilities.
  • Highly customizable workflows and HR processes.
  • Seamless integration with a wide range of productivity and HR tools.
  • Access to Kallidus’ learning and performance management modules.
  • Strong focus on employee engagement and performance management.


  • Can be more expensive compared to Gusto.
  • May require a longer setup and implementation process due to its extensive features.
  • Less emphasis on payroll and benefits administration compared to Gusto.

Use Cases


Gusto is an excellent choice for:

  • Small to medium-sized businesses looking for an all-in-one HR solution with a strong emphasis on payroll and benefits administration.
  • Companies that need comprehensive compliance support for tax filing and regulatory requirements.
  • Organizations seeking an affordable and user-friendly HRIS tool that provides essential HR features in a single platform.


Sapling is ideal for:

  • Companies focused on improving their onboarding and offboarding experiences with customizable workflows.
  • Organizations that require deep integration capabilities with their existing tech stack.
  • Businesses that prioritize learning and development, along with performance management.
  • Larger companies or those with complex HR needs looking for extensive customization options.
  • HR teams seeking a robust solution for managing employee engagement and overall people operations.


In summary, both Gusto and Sapling offer valuable features for HR management but cater to different priorities and needs.

Gusto stands out for its payroll and benefits administration, making it particularly suitable for small to medium-sized businesses that require a reliable, all-in-one HRIS solution. Its user-friendly interface, compliance support, and affordability make it an attractive option for organizations looking to streamline their HR processes without breaking the bank.

Sapling, on the other hand, excels in onboarding, offboarding, and overall people operations, leveraging Kallidus’ expertise in learning and development. It offers deep integration capabilities and extensive customization options, making it ideal for companies with more complex HR needs and a focus on employee engagement and development.

Choosing between Gusto and Sapling ultimately depends on your organization’s specific HR priorities and requirements. If payroll and benefits administration are your top needs, Gusto may be the better fit. However, if you prioritize comprehensive onboarding, offboarding, and employee development, Sapling may offer the features and flexibility you need to enhance your HR operations.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

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