A new hire’s first few months on the job are a whirlwind. They’re trying to adjust to processes and systems, prove their skills and make connections with their team members — all while assessing if the new position is a good fit long-term.
At the same time, company leaders and department heads keep a close eye on their new employee’s performance and fit with the company culture. They want to make sure the person they hired can perform the tasks and responsibilities they were brought on board to do.
For both parties to get through the adjustment period successfully, they need a robust onboarding process (especially if working in a remote or hybrid environment). With the proper onboarding structure in place, new hires can feel more comfortable with their position, engaged with their team and department, and empowered to step up and go above and beyond expectations.
But proper onboarding can’t exist without strong process management. Onboarding software tools and platforms are not-so-secret weapons to make a lackluster onboarding process welcoming, engaging and effective.
What are the best onboarding software platforms?
Check out the top onboarding software solutions:
What is onboarding software?
Onboarding software helps create, manage and record the tasks, processes and documents associated with onboarding employees. It can also act as a centralized portal for managing steps and monitoring materials or support training. From collecting HR forms to distributing knowledge guides, your software ensures that everything a new employee or hiring manager needs is accessible and organized.
Onboarding software streamlines the onboarding process, making it easier to manage while completing the appropriate steps. Teams can move forward with confidence knowing new hires have access to information they need to do their job efficiently.
How does onboarding software work?
Most onboarding tools provide users with a personalized dashboard outlining the specific steps they need to complete during the onboarding process. These actions might include uploading documents, watching videos, reading text or articles, filling out forms or surveys, etc. Onboarding software essentially streamlines or otherwise augments the process.
For the employee going through onboarding, clear instructions and guidelines make a traditionally complicated process easier to work through. Further, they can operate in one portal or easily integrated systems, reducing confusion and moving the process along more efficiently.
Hiring managers and supervisors can use these tools to monitor progress or access the forms or documents they need to collect. They can also communicate with employees, assign tasks and request approvals, often on a single platform.
What are the benefits of onboarding software?
An onboarding platform improves process management and productivity while creating a better experience for both the employee and manager (or managers) overseeing the process. The right software will:
- Reduce stress and confusion for all parties.
- Provide a more interactive, streamlined experience.
- Ensure consistency (and repeatability!) for the onboarding process.
Onboarding software is especially beneficial for remote or hybrid environments. It’s challenging onboarding virtual teams. And while it can’t completely replace face-to-face interactions, there’s an opportunity here to create a structure that prevents new hires from feeling lost or isolated and fosters early integration into the company.
Other benefits of onboarding software include:
- Reduced costs: Onboarding software can automate specific tasks to help shorten the onboarding process, helping reduce costs by improving productivity.
- Boosts in motivation: Software supports an effective onboarding process. A successful process streamlines integration and gets new employees excited about their new roles.
- Improved retention: Because it sets employees up for success, a strong onboarding process can lead to higher retention.
Key features of onboarding software
Software features will vary from tool to tool, so there is likely a perfect platform out there for every company. If you’re looking to improve productivity and impress new hires, check these core components:
- Integrations: When your onboarding software connects with the rest of your tech stack, you can reduce admin work and improve productivity.
- User-friendly interface: Your onboarding software must be accessible for all employees, regardless of experience or skill level.
- Multimedia compatibility: It’s important to have the ability to upload videos, GIFs, text and more to make your onboarding process more engaging.
- Reporting and analytics: Reporting and analytics features provide additional insights to your onboarding process, allowing you to make adjustments if necessary.
- Communication: In-app communication (such as comment or chat features) makes it easier for users to ask questions, provide feedback or give extra guidance.
- Automation: Built-in automation (especially for reminders, updates or task assignments) reduces stress and helps the process flow smoothly.
8 Best Onboarding Software Tools in 2022
G2 rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Capterra rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars
Pricing: Starting at $8/month/user
Rippling is an HR workflow automation platform that integrates with the tools and apps you’re already using to create a simplified, streamlined onboarding process for new hires. Rippling connects with many HR tools and apps (including learning management systems, employee recognition platforms and time and attendance trackers) to deliver the right prompts or information at the right time.
Using automated workflows and when/then logic, your onboarding process can flow smoothly without additional oversight from your team — and because it integrates with the tools you’re already using, you don’t need to switch up your entire process.
You can set custom automation or use Rippling’s templates to get started.
G2 rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Capterra rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Pricing: Starting at $4.95/user/month
BambooHR organizes the onboarding process with preboarding packages, welcome emails and IT checklists. With BambooHR, new employees can digitally sign contracts and complete paperwork to eliminate the hassle and complete tedious administrative tasks more efficiently.
BambooHR automates task notifications so that new hires can get started when it’s convenient for them. They can quickly get up to speed, complete the process and then focus on their work. As a bonus, BambooHR also manages applicant tracking and people data and analytics, so your HR team doesn’t need to move information between tools and apps.
G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Capterra rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Pricing: Starting at $49/month for up to 5 users
Trainual helps you train your team and scale your business by building a company “playbook” with processes, policies and SOPs all in one place. Bring your new hires up to speed on the company history, mission, competition and more through screen recordings, GIFs, videos and text. You can even use Trainual for your employee handbook and continuous learning initiatives, so all your employee information lives in one place.
Trainual provides tracking features so leaders can see how far along employees are in completing training programs or onboarding tasks. These real-time insights help your team stay up-to-date on employee progress to follow up or send reminders.
G2 rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Capterra rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Pricing: Starting at $1.20/user/month
Freshteam (created by the team at Freshworks) is modern HR software for everything from hiring and onboarding to managing employee data and time off. Freshteam’s virtual onboarding tool uses checklists, reminders and alerts to assign tasks and keep stakeholders informed of process updates or changes.
Custom Welcome Kits make it easy to send new hires documents, paperwork and forms they need to complete before Day one, allowing them to provide important HR information at a time that works for them. They can even sign electronically through Freshteam, keeping all their sensitive information in one secure place.
Gusto handles onboarding checklists to collect vital HR information from new hires. Their onboarding template starts with the basics, then allows you to easily customize items and tasks to make the process your own. Gusto also handles document share and collecting electronic signatures.
You can even add (or remove) user accounts for third-party tools through Gusto. Set your new hire up with project management, communication, document storage and whatever other platforms could support the day-to-day.
G2 rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Capterra rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Pricing: Not available
ClearCompany’s onboarding platform handles everything from device and equipment management to compliance, background checks and new member introductions. The software is mobile-friendly, so new hires can add their information, watch videos and get up to date quickly no matter what device they prefer.
ClearCompany also builds goal setting and check-ins into the onboarding process with review cycles, task reminders and easy reporting. New hires will know exactly what to do and when to deliver for a high chance of success. And ClearCompany has special features for bulk onboarding, perfect for companies scaling quickly.
G2 rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Capterra rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Pricing: Starting at $8/employee/month
Zenefits promises to streamline onboarding (and a whole variety of other HR tasks), so you can spend less time on administrative work. The platform manages all kinds of employees, from full-time workers to freelancers. You can send offer letters, run background checks and provide self-service onboarding tools so new hires can add their information on their own time.
Because Zenefits is a comprehensive HR platform, onboarding information is housed under the same roof as scheduling, payments, employment contracts and other essential documents. Your HR team doesn’t have to worry about moving data from app to app, helping them stay focused and productive.
G2 rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars
Capterra rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Pricing: Free basic plan
Scribe creates step-by-step visual guides in just a few clicks. Team members can record their workflow to turn any process into a guide, complete with text and screenshots. Show new hires exactly how to perform tasks and activities without taking any time from your day.
Consider it the virtual equivalent of an in-person walkthrough. Employees can create and share guides in seconds, making peer-to-peer knowledge sharing easy and effective.
Use Scribe to explain onboarding basics, address frequently asked questions and provide job training. Create a Scribe during in-person sessions for instant documentation and respond to incoming questions with a new guide.
Embed your Scribes into your knowledge sharing or communication tools so your whole team can have instant access.
G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Capterra rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Pricing: N/A - contact for a custom quote
Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that provides in-app guidance for new hires to drive adoption of software and digital processes. With Whatfix, L&D teams are empowered to create better employee experiences with more intuitive application interfaces, by creating no-code in-app content such as interactive walkthroughs, onboarding tasklists, smart tips, and embedded knowledge bases.
Whatfix provides onboarding training in the flow of work, allow new employees to become productive team members faster. Its in-app onboarding content provides performance support, in the moment of need, reducing the need of new hires to rely on their managers to provide answers to their questions.
Whatfix lays on top of all leading enterprise software, from CRMs, ERPs, HCMs, and more. It also directly integrates with all major LMS platforms, is SCORM and xAPI compliant, and provides automated translated and content repurposing features.
Choosing the right onboarding software for your team
A streamlined onboarding process starts with the right software, but the choice can feel overwhelming with many available tools.
It’s tempting to go for the flashiest design, the most recognizable name or the platform with the most features. But remember this— the only thing that really matters is if the tool meets your team’s needs.
When selecting your onboarding software, think about how you can create an engaging experience for new hires without adding additional stress to your HR team and hiring supervisors. To boost productivity, reduce costs and increase employee engagement, you need an easy-to-use, comprehensive onboarding platform that works for everybody.