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June 6, 2024
XX min read

TriNet vs Sapling


In the realm of HRIS tools, TriNet and Sapling both offer robust solutions designed to streamline human resources management for organizations. TriNet, a professional employer organization (PEO), provides small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with comprehensive HR solutions tailored to industry-specific needs. The platform aims to free SMBs from complex HR tasks by offering expertise in human capital management, benefits, risk mitigation, compliance, payroll, and real-time technology.

On the other hand, Sapling, a product of Kallidus, excels in onboarding, offboarding, core HR, and people operations. Sapling's capabilities are further enhanced by Kallidus' expertise in learning, performance, talent management, and learning content. This combination delivers a holistic approach to HR management that covers an employee's entire lifecycle within an organization.

When choosing an HRIS tool, it's crucial to compare solutions like TriNet and Sapling to determine which one best aligns with your organization's needs and goals.

TriNet Overview

Key Features

  1. Full-Service HR Solutions: TriNet excels in providing comprehensive HR services tailored to the specific needs of various industries. This includes managing employee benefits, payroll, and compliance.
  2. Human Capital Expertise: The platform offers expert guidance in managing human capital, helping SMBs enhance their HR processes with specialized industry knowledge.
  3. Risk Mitigation and Compliance: TriNet ensures that businesses comply with legal requirements and helps mitigate risks associated with HR management.
  4. Payroll Management: Efficient and accurate payroll services that integrate seamlessly with other HR functions.
  5. Real-Time Technology: TriNet provides advanced technology solutions that enable real-time HR management, ensuring that businesses can make informed decisions promptly.

Sapling Overview

Key Features

  1. Onboarding and Offboarding: Sapling specializes in automating the onboarding and offboarding processes, ensuring a smooth transition for employees entering or leaving the organization.
  2. Core HR Management: The platform offers robust tools for managing essential HR functions, such as employee records, time-off tracking, and organizational charts.
  3. People Operations: Sapling focuses on enhancing people operations by offering integrated solutions for performance management and employee engagement.
  4. Kallidus Integration: By leveraging Kallidus' learning and performance management expertise, Sapling provides a well-rounded HR solution that covers employee development and talent management.
  5. Custom Workflows: The platform allows organizations to create custom workflows tailored to their specific HR processes, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness.


Both TriNet and Sapling share several similarities as HRIS tools:

  1. Comprehensive HR Management: Both platforms offer solutions that cover a broad range of HR functions, from payroll and benefits to compliance and risk mitigation.
  2. Industry-Specific Expertise: TriNet and Sapling both provide industry-specific HR solutions, ensuring that their services are tailored to meet the unique needs of different business sectors.
  3. Automation: Both platforms emphasize the automation of HR processes, such as onboarding, payroll, and compliance, to improve efficiency and reduce manual tasks.
  4. Employee Lifecycle Management: TriNet and Sapling are designed to manage the entire employee lifecycle, from onboarding to offboarding, ensuring a seamless HR experience.
  5. Integration Capabilities: Both tools offer integration with other HR and business systems, allowing for a more cohesive and streamlined approach to HR management.


While TriNet and Sapling share several similarities, they also have key differences that set them apart:

  1. Service Model:
    • TriNet operates as a professional employer organization (PEO), meaning it co-employs the client’s employees and takes on many employer responsibilities.
    • Sapling functions as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool without engaging in co-employment. It offers HR software solutions without taking over employer responsibilities.
  2. Focus Areas:
    • TriNet emphasizes comprehensive HR services, including human capital expertise, compliance, and risk mitigation.
    • Sapling focuses on people operations, onboarding, and performance management, drawing on Kallidus’ strengths in learning and talent management.
  3. Target Audience:
    • TriNet is tailored primarily to small and medium-sized businesses looking for full-service HR solutions.
    • Sapling is ideal for organizations looking for a customizable HR software solution, particularly those needing strong onboarding and performance management capabilities.
  4. Technology and User Experience:
    • TriNet offers real-time technology solutions designed to provide immediate insights and streamline HR tasks.
    • Sapling emphasizes user-friendly interfaces and customizable workflows, aiming to enhance the user experience and meet specific organizational needs.


Pros and Cons



  • Comprehensive HR services, including payroll, benefits, compliance, and risk mitigation.
  • Industry-specific expertise that helps tailor solutions to meet unique business needs.
  • Takes over many employer responsibilities, reducing the burden on SMBs.
  • Real-time technology solutions provide immediate insights and efficiency.
  • Strong customer support and expert guidance in human capital management.


  • The PEO model may not be suitable for all businesses, particularly those that prefer to retain complete control over HR functions.
  • Costs can be higher due to the full-service nature and co-employment model.
  • May require more involvement from businesses to meet compliance and reporting requirements.



  • Excellent onboarding and offboarding solutions ensure smooth employee transitions.
  • Strong focus on people operations and performance management, enhanced by Kallidus’ expertise.
  • Customizable workflows that can be tailored to specific organizational needs.
  • User-friendly interface and strong emphasis on enhancing the user experience.
  • Integrates well with other HR and business systems.


  • May not offer as comprehensive HR services as TriNet, particularly in areas like payroll and compliance.
  • Suitable mainly for organizations that are comfortable managing HR tasks in-house.
  • Lacks the full-service PEO model, meaning businesses must handle more employer responsibilities.
  • Might be less suitable for very small businesses or those needing extensive HR support.

Use Cases


  • Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses that need comprehensive HR services and industry-specific expertise.
  • Suitable for organizations looking to offload many employer responsibilities and ensure compliance with legal requirements.
  • Best for companies that require robust risk mitigation and human capital management solutions.



  • Perfect for organizations focused on improving onboarding, offboarding, and people operations.
  • Ideal for businesses seeking customizable HR workflows and strong performance management capabilities.
  • Suitable for companies that need an integrated approach to employee development and talent management.


In comparing TriNet and Sapling, both offer robust HRIS solutions tailored to different organizational needs. TriNet stands out with its full-service PEO model, providing comprehensive HR solutions that cover payroll, benefits, compliance, and risk mitigation. This makes it an excellent choice for SMBs looking to offload employer responsibilities and ensure compliance.

On the other hand, Sapling excels in onboarding, offboarding, and people operations, enhanced by Kallidus' expertise in learning and performance management. Its customizable workflows and user-friendly interface make it a strong option for organizations looking to improve their HR processes and enhance employee experiences.

Ultimately, the choice between TriNet and Sapling will depend on your organization's specific needs. If you require full-service HR management and industry-specific expertise, TriNet may be the better option. However, if your focus is on improving onboarding, performance management, and people operations, Sapling offers a customizable and user-friendly solution that can meet those needs effectively.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

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