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Zenefits competitor has thrown the gauntlet

(BUSINESS NEWS) Zenefits is currently under fire after a competitor has accused the HR company of bad business practices.



Drama is being stirred up in the human resources department.

Zenefits, the Human Resources and Benefits tech company, has been accused of stretching the truth, and a competitor may be giving them a run for their money.

Under fire

The accusation came from Alex Tolbert, creator and CEO of BerniePortal, which also provides HR/Benefits automation software to small and mid-sized companies.

However, according to Tolbert, “That is where the similarities between the companies end.”

Tolbert is frustrated that BerniePortal has been providing the services and upholding the standards that Zenefits falsely claims to have. In particular, he’s calling Zenefits on three major bluffs.

The value of Healthcare

First, BerniePortal believes employers need great healthcare advice.

They also encourage employers to use BerniePortal alongside their existing local broker.

Zenefits, however, does not see the same value in healthcare advice, instead recommending employers allocate funds towards automating HR processes.

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Tolbert states “the company encourages employers to do that by firing their local broker, working with a call center in Arizona on health plan strategy, and using Zenefits software.”

This approach, Tolbert believes, is dangerous in the face of the complex, constantly changing, region-specific nature of healthcare. He prefers employers use BerniePortal for its HR and Benefits functionality without compromising their existing healthcare plan.

Don’t trust their advice

Tolbert also reveals that Zenefits’ healthcare insurance advisers were not all they were cracked up to be.

The company boasted of its experienced advisers when apparently many of them were not actually licensed.

This makes sense to Tolbert, who points out, “The best benefits advisers are not going to work at a company that, at its core, believes the value of good health insurance advice is overblown and money spend there should be re-allocated somewhere else.” BerniePortal, on the other hand, works with highly qualified local health insurance advisers across the country.

Payroll issues

Healthcare isn’t the only area the two companies differ: Zenefits’ third strike is technical. As Tolbert explains, BerniePortal prides itself on its transparency regarding digital integrations with insurance and payroll companies;

Zenefits claimed to have this capability when in fact it had hired a team to manually input information.

This little fib actually got Zenefits into legal trouble with ADP. As proof of his company’s authenticity, Tolbert points to ADP’s website, which features its API integration with BerniePortal.

How core are core values?

These criticisms should be taken with a grain of salt as they come from a direct competitor.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The accusation does bring up the question of how many companies truly abide by their ‘core values.’” quote=”However, Tolbert’s accusation does bring up the question of how many companies truly abide by their supposed core values.”]

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Holding to core values is a rare but welcomed quality, particularly in the tech world, where breaking the rules is practically a rule if you want to win.


Written By

Helen Irias is a Staff Writer at The American Genius with a degree in English Literature from University of California, Santa Barbara. She works in marketing in Silicon Valley and hopes to one day publish a comically self-deprecating memoir that people bring up at dinner parties to make themselves sound interesting.

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