Best Employee Onboarding Software for Your Small Business 2021

Start your employees off right with a great onboarding experience—here are our recommendations for cutting-edge onboarding software.
Best overall software
bambooHR
BambooHR
Get a quote
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    7-day free trial and affordable plans
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Intuitive interface
Best for mobile-only use
Workbright
WorkBright
Starting from
$158
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Mobile-first app
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Great customer support
Most user-friendly option
ClearCompany
ClearCompany
Get a quote
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    User-friendly interface
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Payroll integrations available
Best all-in-one HR tool
Goco
GoCo
Starting from
$0.00
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Top-notch security
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Advanced and unlimited features
Best for sales teams
Lessonly
Lessonly
Get a quote
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Online training
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Third-party integrations

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.

Best Employee Onboarding Software for Small Business 2021

BambooHR: Best onboarding software overall

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.

BambooHR’s 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. Only the Advantage package 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 its platform, take advantage of its seven-day free trial.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Simple interface
Pro Bullet Custom workflows
Pro Bullet Open API
Pro Bullet Free 7-day trial
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Complaints of poor mobile functionality
Con Bullet No payroll integrations

WorkBright: Best mobile onboarding app

Workbright
As a mobile-first onboarding software, WorkBright virtually eliminates paperwork, ensuring a quick and smooth—and paperless—onboarding process.

With WorkBright, 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, its API seamlessly integrates with other software platforms, including payroll systems.

WorkBright’s Onboarding plan starts at $158 a month and goes up to $426 a month depending on how many employees you hire each year. If you’re hesitant to take the leap, request a free demo to make sure WorkBright meets your unique HR needs.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Mobile onboarding capabilities
Pro Bullet Seamless payroll integrations
Pro Bullet Quality customer support
Pro Bullet Fingertip signature capture
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Limited customizations

ClearCompany: Most user-friendly onboarding

ClearCompany
For the most user-friendly onboarding solution of the five HR onboarding apps we reviewed, consider ClearCompany.

From recruiting and onboarding to performance management and goal tracking, ClearCompany helps small to midsize businesses streamline critical business operations. As part of ClearCompany's 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 its free demo to see if it’s right for your business.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Intuitive interface
Pro Bullet Payroll integrations
Pro Bullet Mobile-friendly operation
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Limited reporting

GoCo: Best all-in-one HR management tool

Goco
As an all-in-one solution for HR management, GoCo allows users to gain high-value insight into their businesses.

GoCo 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 starts with a free plan that includes hiring, onboarding, and access to an HR platform. However, it doesn’t include payroll integration or benefits administration. For more robust HR support, you’ll want to upgrade your plan (price available upon request). You can also add payroll auto sync and ACA form filing services at an additional cost.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Top-notch security
Pro Bullet Seamless payroll integrations
Pro Bullet Automated employee onboarding
Pro Bullet Built-in compliance rules
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Complaints of latency

Lessonly: Best for sales and customer support 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.

Lessonly allows users to create unlimited training courses, quizzes, and flip cards to accelerate productivity and improve 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: Pro, Pro + Coaching, and Enterprise Learning for Growing Teams. Lessonly used to list its pricing online, but now you have to contact the company for a personalized quote.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Engaging online learning courses
Pro Bullet Easy-to-use interface
Pro Bullet Salesforce and Slack integration
Pro Bullet Excellent customer service
Weaknesses
Con Bullet No import and export functionality
Con Bullet 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.

To get a Kin HR plan with onboarding options, you’ll have to choose the Growth plan, which costs $199 per month if you choose to pay annually.

ExactHire

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

ExactHire’s employee onboarding software starts at $199 per month. But remember—businesses that 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.1 For skill- and education-specific positions, it can sometimes cost around 200% of the lost employee’s salary.2 So be sure to onboard employees properly—or it could cost you more than you think.

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.

Learn more about how to keep employees happy at work with our article on why you should offer competitive employee benefits.

Disclaimer

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. Recruiteze, “How Much Does It Cost to Hire a New Employee?” Accessed December 29, 2020.

Sarah Ryther Francom
Written by
Sarah Ryther Francom
Sarah is Business.org’s senior content editor. She has more than 15 years of experience writing, editing, and managing business-focused content. As the former editor-in-chief of Utah Business magazine, Sarah oversaw the state’s premier business publication, developed several custom publications, and managed all business-to-business content. She also co-authored a business book with FJ Management CEO Crystal Maggelet. Sarah is passionate about helping small-business owners reach sustained success.
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