5 Best Employee Onboarding Software for Your Small Business


Since 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company if they have a great onboarding experience,1 it’s crucial for growing small businesses to diligently onboard new hires using cutting-edge onboarding software.

Human resource professionals, managers, and small-business owners rely on a slew of personnel and resources to get a new employee onboarded in a timely manner. A successful onboarding process leads to a better new hire experience, which can prevent costly employee turnover and create long-term, rewarding relationships. And by using an effective onboarding software, you can save some time without sacrificing the quality of your onboarding process.

To help your small business attract and retain quality employees as you grow, we’ve put together a list of five onboarding software that offer different features at affordable prices.

Below, we go over our five favorite onboarding tools for small businesses:

The overall winner: BambooHR

BambooHR’s sleek and modern interface coupled with a competent set of features has earned BambooHR the top spot on our list of best software for onboarding new employees. Its easy-to-use software covers everything a company might need, including integrated applicant tracking, onboarding tools, e-signatures, employee databases, and performance management. Toss in its in-depth content and webinar libraries, and BambooHR truly stands out in the pack of onboarding software.

This company has two packages: Essentials and Advantage. The Essentials package includes HR management, employee self-service, and email support. If you need a more robust package, upgrade to the Advantage package, which includes onboarding and offboarding features, applicant tracking, customized workflows, advanced reporting, and phone support.

BambooHR has a quote-based pricing model, which ensures that each company gets a price offer tailored to their specific needs and budget. If you’re not ready to commit but want to experience their platform, take advantage of their 7-day free trial.

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Strengths

  • Simple interface
  • Custom workflows
  • Open API
  • Free 7-day trial
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Weaknesses

  • Complaints of poor mobile functionality
  • No payroll integrations

Most mobile-friendly: WorkBright

As a mobile-first onboarding software, WorkBright virtually eliminates paperwork, ensuring a quick and smooth—and paperless—onboarding process. New hires can use their mobile devices to upload photos of licenses and certifications and securely complete any and all documents before their first day.

WorkBright further streamlines the onboarding process by sending automated email reminders to new hires to ensure that important tasks are completed. And with WorkBright’s digital HR filing cabinet, you have full access to each employee’s files. Plus, their API seamlessly integrates with other software platforms, including payroll systems.

While pricing starts at $100 a month, companies must enter their information to get a quote. If you’re hesitant to take the leap, request a free demo to make sure WorkBright meets your unique HR needs.

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Strengths

  • Mobile onboarding capabilities
  • Seamless payroll integrations
  • Quality customer support
  • Fingertip signature capture
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Weaknesses

  • Limited customizations

Most user-friendly: ClearCompany

For the most user-friendly onboarding solution of the five HR onboarding apps we reviewed, consider ClearCompany. Its user-friendly platform was recently ranked number one in usability among HR management suites by G2Crowd.2

From recruiting and onboarding to performance management and goal tracking, ClearCompany helps small to midsize businesses streamline critical business operations. As part of their seamless, paperless onboarding process, freshly hired employees are equipped with a personalized portal that gives them all the information and documents they need for their first day.

Plus, managers can properly manage the entire employee life cycle with ClearCompany’s intuitive dashboard.

Similar to BambooHR, ClearCompany’s plans are customized depending on the number of users and features used. If you’re not sold on ClearCompany, opt for their free demo to see if it’s right for your business.

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Strengths

  • Intuitive interface
  • Payroll integrations
  • Mobile-friendly operation
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Weaknesses

  • Limited reporting

Best all-in-one HR tool: GoCo

As an all-in-one solution for HR management, GoCo allows users to gain high-value insight into their businesses. This software automates hiring new employees and gathering the required documents, such as I-9s, W-4s, agreements, work eligibility, and more.

Plus, the onboarding tool centralizes all information, documents, and benefits in one location, making it easy to organize and manage. In addition to its onboarding capabilities, GoCo offers an array of HR services, including benefit enrollment, automatic payroll deductions, and employee self-service. And to help businesses maintain compliance with relevant agencies, GoCo offers the support of expert benefit advisors.

GoCo offers two plans. Its Complete HR plan ($29 per month plus $6 per month for each employee) is a great solution for smaller businesses that don’t need a ton of custom onboarding tests, assignments, and checklists. If your business needs unlimited features, choose the Premium HR plan for $29 per month plus $10 per month for each employee. Users may also add payroll auto sync and ACA form filing services at an additional cost.

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Strengths

  • Top-notch security
  • Seamless payroll integrations
  • Automated employee onboarding
  • Built-in compliance rules
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Weaknesses

  • Complaints of latency

Best for sales teams: Lessonly

Lessonly is an HR software and learning management system that’s ideal for sales and customer support teams in need of online learning tools. Users can create unlimited training courses, quizzes, and flip cards to accelerate productivity and improve their employees’ skills.

New hires can also rehearse real-life customer interactions via webcam—and managers and teammates can provide helpful feedback on their delivery. Managers can also measure fulfillment and productivity data using Lessonly’s Gradebook.

As an added bonus, Lessonly allows companies to customize training material for their specific brand.

Lessonly has four subscription plans, including Basic, Plus, Growth, and Enterprise. The prices of these plans range from $300 to $1,250 (or more) per month. But before users can get started with Lessonly, they must take a five-step tour of the software.

Fun Fact

In 2017, Viasat launched its ViaSat-2 satellite into orbit. The system’s new technology can deliver satellite internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps, according to the company.1 Although we’ve yet to see ViaSat offer these next-generation plans to US businesses, we’ll update you when we do.

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Strengths

  • Engaging online learning courses
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Salesforce and Slack integration
  • Excellent customer service
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Weaknesses

  • No import and export functionality
  • Limited reporting options

Honorable mentions

HR Cloud

As an end-to-end human resources and employee management software, HR Cloud automates onboarding new hires to save businesses money while they’re hiring. New employees can access their customized portal to view company videos, handbooks, and other required documents. And to help business owners comply with I-9 and E-Verify requirements, HR Cloud automatically performs an audit by cross-checking with official government records.

But like most of the onboarding software we reviewed, businesses must request a quote to get specific and customized pricing.

Kin HR

Kin HR’s affordable pricing and automated onboarding features earns it a spot on our runner-up list. Its solid onboarding software helps new hires prepare for their first day by automatically sending tasks to team members who play an active role in a new hire’s onboarding. Kin HR users will also benefit from team calendars, employee data management, and paid time off tracking.

Kin HR’s simple and affordable pricing is just $5 per user per month.

ExactHire

As a cloud-based HR software, ExactHire aims to improve employee onboarding with applicant tracking, reference checking, training assignments, custom work flows, trigger reminders, secure digital storage, and E-Verify—just to name a few.

ExactHire’s employee onboarding software starts at $150 per month. But keep in mind that business who hire frequently will most likely pay more incrementally. Try ExactHire’s handy pricing calculator to receive a rough estimate.

FAQs about the onboarding process

Is there something about employee onboarding we haven’t covered? Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about the onboarding process.

What is the onboarding process for new employees?

New employee onboarding is the process of integrating new hires into a company. Normally, managers or other workers do this by helping them adjust to the cultural and performance aspects of their new job. Most successful onboarding processes begin during the hiring process—instead of on a new hire’s first day.

What are the best practices for effective onboarding?

To help you create a successful onboarding process, consider the following best practices for employee onboarding:

  • Stay in contact with new hires before their start date.
  • Communicate expectations.
  • Create a tightly structured schedule for your new employees’ first week.
  • Give them a welcome package.
  • Send I-9s, payrolls forms, employee handbooks, and any other required paperwork.
  • Prepare benefit packages.
  • Set up their work stations, ID badges, emails, passwords, etc.
  • Develop an effective employee training program.
  • Conduct a performance review after their first 90 days.

What are the downfalls to not having a comprehensive onboarding plan?

Lacking a comprehensive onboarding strategy can make it more difficult to attract and retain valuable employees. Employees leave companies for a variety of reasons, including inadequate benefits, disapproval of management, lack of job growth, and more. But many also leave because they were misinformed about what the job entailed or because they struggled to learn and keep up with the demands of the job. To make sure new hires are set up to succeed, have a quality onboarding process in place.

What are the business benefits of onboarding new hires effectively?

Employing a successful employee onboarding software will help businesses improve retention and increase employee productivity. Plus, it’ll automate new hire onboarding, which can save time and money. Replacing an employee can generally cost between 16% and 20.4% of that employee’s salary, depending on their role. For skill- and education-specific positions, it can sometimes cost around 200% of the lost employee’s salary.4 So be sure to onboard employees properly—or it could cost you more than you think.

When should you create an onboarding process, and when should you use an onboarding software?

HR workflows and employee onboarding shouldn’t be managed by outdated spreadsheets and messy paperwork. If you find yourself losing important documents or running out of filing cabinet space, it’s time to manage your onboarding process with a quality onboarding software. An employee onboarding program will eliminate paperwork and redundancy while making your new employees happier as they quickly get up to speed.

The takeaway

The intuitive interface, in-depth features, and customer satisfaction that comes with BambooHR is the perfect combination for small-business owners. But of course, every company and HR team has different needs. So we recommend shopping around until you find an onboarding application that works for you and your business.

Do you have a different onboarding software you use? Let us know in the comments below!

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources

1. O.C. Tanner, “An Onboarding Checklist for Success [Infographic]
2. PRWeb, “The Most Usable HR Management Suites Software Accordign to G2 Crowd Spring 2017 Rankings, Based on User Reviews
3. Forbes, “Lessonly Aims to Reimagine Training at Work with $8 Million Raise
4. Recruiteze, “How Much Does It Cost to Hire a New Employee?