10 Best HR Software For Onboarding New Hires [2021]

Onboarding new employees costs time and resources—but it’s worth doing well. Why? A good onboarding experience can increase employee retention by up to 82%, according to Glassdoor. As it currently stands, a mere 12% of employees think their organization does a great job at onboarding. Yikes! 

HR software for onboarding is exactly what it sounds like. HR software…that specializes in onboarding features, solutions, and processes. To help you find the best tool in this niche, I’ve compiled this list of HR software with great onboarding capabilities.

Keep reading to learn about your best options for HR software with onboarding, including best use cases, stand-out features, and even snapshots of the platform in action.

The Best HR Software for Onboarding

Here’s the list of the best employee onboarding software solutions that I’ll cover in this article

  1. Sapling - Best for middle market companies
  2. Rippling - Best for device & software management
  3. Looop - Best learning management system (LMS) tools
  4. ClearCompany - Best for bulk onboarding
  5. eloomi - Best for preboarding processes
  6. Humi - Best for canadian companies
  7. Back HQ - Best self-service knowledge base
  8. Absorb - Best for gamifying onboarding & training
  9. BambooHR - Best HR onboarding for startups
  10. Trainual - Best business playbook software

Don’t need onboarding specifically? Check out our recommendations for the best general, jack-of-all-trades HR software solutions.

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best employee onboarding apps? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. UI: Onboarding software will need to have a tailored user interface for each type of user—administrative and employee. Admin will need access to onboarding program creation tools, employee data fields, and progress reports. Employees need a UX that prioritizes program mapping, software tutorials, and help desk access. 
  2. Usability: I look for HR onboarding software where the user experience works with the user, not against them. The first day and onboarding experience with these different tools should be intuitive, fun, logical, and well-paced. 
  3. Integrations: It’s a safe assumption that you make use of common tools like Slack, Microsoft, and Google products, just to name a few. How easily do the following software solutions integrate with these kinds of tools? 
  4. Value for price: I’m looking for an HR onboarding experience with a scalable, transparent pricing scheme that works as a standalone product or as part of a complete HR stack. Generous free trials or freemium plans are welcomed. 

HR for Onboarding: Key Features

  1. Company wiki: Well organized information and FAQs will be invaluable to any new employee needing basic how-tos, ORG charts, and company culture notes.
  2. Automate workflows: Instead of needing to do something over and over, I look for software that allows the user to create criteria and triggers to automate workflows. 
  3. Communication with Liaison(s): Onboarding tools should connect new employees to the names, faces, and contact information of the people who can help them.
  4. Training modules: Onboarding means a lot of process orientation and training; software can help organize, facilitate, and track learning initiatives. 
  5. Contracts and e-signatures: Official papers can either be paperless through the onboarding system or scanned into the system for document management purposes.
  6. Self-service benefits: Onboarding may include signing up for company benefits like health care, parking passes, and supply requests; this can all be done virtually.
  7. Employee feedback: The ability to collect feedback and questions across the onboarding process is invaluable to assure employees are feeling satisfied with the structure and pace.

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HR Software for Onboarding: Platform Overviews

In this section, I will introduce each of the best HR software for onboarding and explain what each does best so that you can better understand which will work for you.

  • Free demo
  • From $6/user/month

Sapling - Best for middle market companies

Sapling helps you build automated playbooks that orchestrate the transition from candidate to productive team member.

Sapling is a people operations platform for mid-market companies with distributed offices that connects your people, tools, and data on a customizable platform. They allow you to build no-code automated workflows for hiring, onboarding, and training new staff. Sapling comes with all the features needed to store and manage people data, create employee profiles, and build and share org charts in fast-growing companies. For recruitment and onboarding, Sapling allows you to introduce new hires to your company and culture before the start date with history timelines, news bulletins, and causal reading material. Sapling easily integrates with your existing systems through native integrations with a variety of software including applicant tracking systems, payroll software, time tracking software, and other workforce apps. The tool also has an API and webhooks available for further integration options as well. Sapling costs $6/user/month and offers a free demo.
  • From $8/user/month

Rippling - Best for device & software management

Rippling is an employee management software with modules for onboarding, offboarding, payroll, benefits, time, and attendance.

Rippling is an employee management platform with onboarding tools for administrative data entry, benefits enrollment, and learning management modules to streamline the welcome process for new team members. Instead of needing to rely on traditional paperwork and signatures, Rippling sends e-documentation to employees that can be signed electronically on the spot.

Rippling has a full feature suite for managing employee device set-up, configuration, security, and monitoring. Their IT onboarding tools ensure all workplace apps and software are installed and password protected before the employee ever gets to their desk. You can even control team password management (with single sign-on and multi-factor authentication) to ensure no one’s password is left as “1234” or “password.”

Rippling integrates with over 400+ apps, including Google Workspace, Slack, Zoom, Asana, Zendesk, and more.

Rippling starts at $8/user/month and offers a free 30-minute demo.

  • 7 days free trial
  • From $299/month for up to 50 users

Looop - Best learning management system (LMS) tools

Looop takes the best practices of marketing automation and applies them into a LMS setting.

User experience can be fairly iffy on HR software—especially for enterprise-level solutions—but Looop makes use of modern user experience principles to optimize the user experience and has won numerous UI and CX awards in the process. Looop boasts both iOS and Android mobile apps, too, further supporting its customer-first approach to content delivery.

Looop provides no-code onboarding “course” creation for online learning management systems as well as training automation to make sure new employees are seeing the right material, in the right order, at the right time. The training process is primarily self-service oriented and the platform is ridiculously intuitive, so new additions to your team can dive in and start working immediately and at their own pace.

Looop starts at $299/month for up to 50 users and comes with a 7-day free trial.

  • Pricing upon request

ClearCompany - Best for bulk onboarding

ClearCompany delivers preboarding and onboarding material using checklists and video content.

With ClearCompany, new hires will be introduced to their hiring manager, their team members, and HR prior to starting. ClearCompany features a bulk onboarding tool that lets you label, date, and launch many onboarding programs simultaneously. You can also use the platform to preschedule personalized 30/60/90-day check-ins so that no one gets lost in the crowd.

ClearCompany is a product that scales easily, whether you are a small company or have hundreds of thousands of employees. You can mix and match the platform modules so that you only pay for what you need. If you just need their applicant tracking module, paperless onboarding module, or performance management module, you can do that—then scale up your package as needed.

ClearCompany integrates with a number of payroll providers and HRIS systems such as BambooHR and ADP.

ClearCompany offers customized pricing upon request. You can schedule a free demo with them to get started.

  • Pricing upon request

eloomi - Best for preboarding processes

eloomi lets you build and then assign training courses as preboarding homework, which can be easily accessed by any PC or mobile device.

Eloomi is an award-winning learning and performance management tool used by the likes of Icelandair, Sophos, Dominos, and Delta. Eloomi allows you to create customized onboarding courses but also offers pre-built programs that you can access, edit, and assign. You can create and automate learning paths based on the job role to streamline the onboarding process.

Eloomi offers preboarding and onboarding packages that are culturally immersive, do well to manage expectations, incorporate smart compliances, and initiate the process of future training preparation and scheduling 1:1 follow-up meetings for key milestones or anniversaries.

Eloomi offers customized pricing upon request and a free demo to get you started.

  • Pricing upon request

Humi - Best for canadian companies

Humi has a robust people directory where you can build out onboarding processes, including training task lists and welcome messages.

Humi is branded as Canada’s #1 all-in-one HR software. Humi allows you to automate many of the mundane onboarding tasks to streamline the hiring process, and allows for electronic signatures. Humi offers an in-depth hub for employee data to ensure that nothing will be lost in the chaos that comes when you onboard new hires.

With its focus on Canada, Humi is the best choice for getting all the right paperwork for Canadian Benefits, T4s, and more. Humi offers a user-friendly and simple interface, as well as an app for a mobile device.

Like many of the other HR software featured on this loop, Humi integrates with all the common apps like Slack, Microsoft, and Google products, and more.

For Humi, you will need to book a demo with Humi. They do have a free trial that you can try out.

  • 14 days free trial
  • Pricing upon request

Back HQ - Best self-service knowledge base

Back helps you develop position-specific onboarding modules for in-house training, remote employees, or even freelancer/contractors.

Back is an employee experience platform with an automations-first operations system designed to alleviate administrative pain points. Back allows you to create company documentation, to which their AI bot can direct employees to for self-service onboarding needs. Requests from employees can be assigned to live agents as active tasks when the bot is insufficient.

Back offers automation workflows to help make the onboarding process much smoother. It’s ability to be a knowledge database that can self-guide new hires instead of needing to go to someone else for every such request will free up your team to focus on the more high-level aspects of the employee onboarding process.

Back integrates with Slack, Teams, Workday, Bamboo, and more. Back focuses on not replacing your current systems, but used to integrate them together in a better way.

Back offers customized pricing upon request and comes with a 14-day free trial as well as a personalized demo.

  • Pricing upon request

Absorb - Best for gamifying onboarding & training

Absorb tracks top learners and recent developments, which can help you incentivize ongoing learning objectives for new and existing employees alike.

Absorb is a highly customizable learning management system that offers certificates and badges that can be shared on social profiles for some healthy competition to build employee engagement. Absorb makes use of intelligent assist, an AI to streamline workflows for admin tasks and suggest learning topics for students.

Absorb also offers a mobile map for on-the-go teaching. It has an excellent user experience, and is simple to customize the content by department to make for a more personalized onboarding experience.

Absorb as an LMS integrates with Zoom, BambooHR, Salesforce, ClearCompany, ADP, and other platforms you’re likely to find in the workplace.

Absorb offers customized pricing upon request and comes with a free trial and demo.

  • 7 days free trial
  • From $6.19/user/month

BambooHR - Best HR onboarding for startups

BambooHR’s employee profiles can track onboarding status according to predefined milestone dates and deadlines.

A staple in the startup world, BambooHR allows for a high level of customization for each new hire. This can be broken down by the job, the department, the location, and more. Onboarding tasks can be automated, with tasks assigned to the new hire, and assigned tasks to managers and other employees to help them on their way.

The simplicity and customization allows for a unique user experience for each hire. With the templates, you can make an onboarding guide aimed at specific roles, seniority, and departments for a better overall experience. Bamboo’s overall user experience makes it easy for the HR team to track progress and focus on the bigger picture of the onboarding process.

Bamboo has a number of common integrations that you see with other similar HR platforms, such as workday, LinkedIn, Google, Slack, Microsoft, and other digital workplace apps.

BambooHR costs from $6.19/user/month and comes with a 7-day free trial. A perfect entry price for small companies and startups with small budgets but big needs.

  • 7 days free trial
  • From $49/month (annually) for up to 5 users

Trainual - Best business playbook software

Trainual

Trainual is training-meets-manual—a unique business playbook software with tons of onboarding process potential. It serves big name customers like Ironman, UPS, Remax, and Stanford University. Right off the bat, you’ll have access to 150+ policy and standard operating procedure (SOP) templates to get you up and running quickly.

Trainual is great for onboarding because it can be the business process and playbook resource you need to make sure employees at every level are on the same page about policies, culture, expectations, compensation, and learning goals. Easily build business info modules, group them into packages, and assign them to incoming employees according to need.

Trainual integrates with Loom, Quickbooks, Justworks, BambooHR, Zenefits, Paylocity, Asana, Basecamp, dotLoop, Dropbox, Gmail, Google Calendar, Harvest, LInkedIn, Rippling, Slack, Teamwork, Time Doctor, and other useful HR and office apps.

Trainual costs from $49/month (annually) for up to 5 users and comes with a 7-day free trial.

HR Software For Onboarding Summary

Other HR Software Onboarding Platforms

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Qualtrics EmployeeXM – Enterprise-grade HR software with onboarding tool and a focus on employee experience. Boasts a SaaS marketplace for a mix-and-match solution.
  2. Newired – Onboarding solution with a feature to place contextual overlays over documents to give further guidance.
  1. Avature Onboarding
    Onboarding tool that uses an AI to read CVs and make smart learning recommendations and career goals they can follow within your organization.
  2. Wrike – Excellent template library for building process documentation, training workflows, and setting up a task-management schedule for learning goals and outcomes. It’s free plan for unlimited users means it can be a supplementary tool to whatever else you are using.
  3. Sage HR – Automate the onboarding process through predefined tasks with its workflow builder.
  4. Lessonly – LMS with a simple interface that allows you to create content in minutes. 
  5. Process Street – Software solution that makes workflow creation a quick and simple process. 
  6. Collage HR – Simple solution to collect all required information prior to starting day. 
  7. Jobvite Onboard – Offers a centralized onboarding platform so new hires can get the right answers right withi nthe platform.
  8. EMPtrust HR – Onboarding solution puts emphasis on compliance with its e-verify solutions. 
  9. Talmundos – Highly customizable onboarding solution that can create more precise experiences depending on role, department, and seniority. 
  10. Kissflow – Simple way to quickly build forms and workflows. 
  11. Userlane – Provides workflow guidance to create a simpler experience. 
  12. iSpring Learn – LMS onboarding tool that offers a mobile app, with plenty of choices for automated workflows. 
  13. FileInvite – Excellent document portal that new hires can look for any information they need.
  14. Fuse – Makes use of Google’s natural AI to guide learning to employees. 
  15.  Lanteria HR – HR platform that uses Microsoft Sharepoint and Office 365 for onboarding and learning management. 
  16. AcquireTMs OPENdoor – Talent management solution for small and mid-sized companies for application tracking. 

Is there any free employee onboarding software?

While there are plenty of the mentioned software solutions that have free trials, if you’re a small organization or someone who is a strong advocate for open-source software, you do have a few options.

Sentrifugo is an open-source HRMS. While it is free, it will be up to you to get it set up and running. It does have the trappings of most open-source software, where aspects like the user experience receive less focus than a paid solution. 

For up to 50 employees, Freshworks is a free onboarding software option. 

What is onboarding software?

Onboarding software allows you to automate and track where new employees are with their onboarding process. As there are many steps to the onboarding process, having software keep track of everything, allowing you to assign tasks to the new hire or management, and ensuring they are receiving everything they need to know is an essential part of creating a good first impression upon starting a new role. 

What is onboarding new employees? 

Onboarding is the timeframe of bringing new employees up to speed as they get settled into their new roles. This includes anything from meeting the team, learning the technology, understanding the roles and responsibilities of their job, and more. Onboarding can last anywhere from one day to a year.

For more on onboarding, here are a few of our articles you can check out:

In Conclusion

There are a number of choices in regards to onboarding software. Whether you are a small company, or a Fortune 500, there’s something that will work for you. 

If you’re looking for more insight into the world of onboarding and the employee experience, be sure to sign up to our mailing list