Exploring Pricing Models in the HRO Market: A Comprehensive Analysis

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The Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO) market has witnessed substantial growth in recent years, driven by organizations looking to optimize HR functions, cut costs, and focus on core business activities. As businesses increasingly turn to HRO services, understanding the prevailing pricing models is crucial. In this blog, we will delve into the pricing models commonly used in the HRO market, supported by statistics and insights.

Per Employee Per Month (PEPM) Pricing Model

The PEPM pricing model is one of the most prevalent in the HRO market. In this model, clients pay a fixed fee for each employee covered by the outsourcing service on a monthly basis. It simplifies budgeting for HR services and provides scalability. According to industry statistics, the average PEPM rate for comprehensive HRO services ranges from $75 to $150 per employee per month, depending on the scope of services and the service provider’s expertise.

Tiered Pricing Model

Tiered pricing involves categorizing employees into different tiers based on their roles, responsibilities, or service requirements. Each tier is associated with a specific pricing structure. This model allows clients to pay varying rates based on the complexity of HR tasks required for different employee groups. On average, tiered pricing can range from $50 to $300 per employee per month, depending on the tier.

Pay-for-Service Pricing Model

In this model, clients are billed based on the specific HR services they use, rather than a fixed monthly fee per employee. For example, an organization might pay a set fee for each payroll run, each recruitment process, or each benefits administration task. This pricing model offers flexibility, with costs directly linked to the volume of HR services consumed. Pricing can vary widely based on the specific services required.

Percentage of Payroll

Some HRO providers charge a percentage of the client’s total payroll as their fee. This model aligns the service provider’s compensation with the client’s payroll expenses, which can be advantageous for both parties. On average, this percentage ranges from 1% to 5% of the total payroll cost.

Value-Based Pricing

Value-based pricing is gaining popularity in the HRO market. Here, the service provider charges a fee based on the perceived value they deliver to the client. This model encourages service providers to focus on delivering measurable results and improving HR outcomes. Pricing in value-based models can be highly variable, with fees based on mutually agreed-upon performance metrics.

Customized Pricing

Many HRO agreements involve customized pricing structures tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the client. This may include a combination of the above pricing models, with additional add-ons or adjustments as required.

Statistics and Insights

According to industry research, the HRO market is expected to continue growing at a CAGR of around 8% between 2023 and 2028. This growth is attributed to factors such as increased adoption of cloud-based HRO solutions, globalization of businesses, and the ongoing need for cost optimization.

When it comes to pricing, several factors influence the rates charged by HRO providers, including:

Scope of Services: 

The breadth and complexity of services required by the client impact pricing significantly. Comprehensive HRO services that cover everything from payroll to talent acquisition generally command higher fees.

Service Provider Reputation: 

Established and reputable HRO providers often charge premium rates due to their track record of delivering high-quality services.

Geographic Location: 

Pricing can vary based on the geographic location of the client and the HRO provider. For instance, rates may differ between onshore, nearshore, and offshore outsourcing.

Technology and Innovation: 

Providers leveraging advanced HR technologies, such as AI and automation, may charge higher fees for their innovative solutions.


The Human Resources Outsourcing market offers a range of pricing models to cater to diverse client needs and preferences. Understanding these pricing models and their associated costs is crucial for organizations looking to optimize their HR functions while effectively managing their budgets. As the HRO market continues to evolve, pricing models may become even more flexible and tailored to meet the evolving demands of businesses worldwide. To make informed decisions regarding HRO services, clients should carefully assess their specific requirements, the scope of services needed, and the overall value proposition offered by potential service providers.

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