Last updated on December 16th, 2022
A natural step for most businesses as they begin to grow is to take on more employees to build their team.
I’ve seen businesses grow from just a single employee to full teams with different experts in their own fields – but I’ve also seen some businesses struggle with one particular thing when hiring new employees.
That ‘thing’ is employee onboarding.
I have covered employee onboarding in the past and the various phases in its process but here, I thought I could make a guide to onboarding software.
There are a ton of different softwares which can really benefit businesses and onboarding software could be the solution for businesses struggling with employee onboarding.
So, here is my guide to onboarding software and my best recommendations. I hope you find this insightful and useful!
What Is Employee Onboarding?
First, let me explain what exactly employee onboarding is and how it can affect your small business (see also ‘Best Procurement Software For Small Businesses‘).
Employee onboarding is basically the process of taking on new employees and introducing them to the company.
It focuses on bringing employees onboard, integrating them with the company by introducing them to their new coworkers, training them up for their role, and completing any necessary paperwork.
There are multiple steps to the onboarding process (with each company following their own onboarding plan with their own steps) but the purpose is all the same – bringing on new employees and introducing them to the business.
The Benefits Of Employee Onboarding
There are a lot of benefits that come with employee onboarding, and these benefits are the reasons why so many companies want to perfect their own onboarding processes.
Having an effective onboarding process can boost employee productivity by 50%.
This means that by onboarding your employees appropriately, they will settle into their role more quickly, start producing quality work and completing tasks more efficiently, and this can have a direct impact on your business’s revenue.
Employee onboarding also has a direct impact on employee retention rates.
Studies have shown that employees at companies with great onboarding processes are more likely to remain with the company for longer.
This is because most of the reasons why employees leave their companies within the first six months can be addressed during a well structured onboarding process.
According to a survey from BambooHR, 33% of new employees leave their job within six months and when they were asked what would have encouraged them to stay, 23% responded with clearer guidelines, and 21% replied with more effective training.
A further 17% said that more helpful and friendly co-workers. All of these issues can be addressed with an improved onboarding process!
Employee retention can also help businesses improve their profit margins by cutting back on recruitment.
The average small business pays around $4,000 in recruitment costs to hire new employees, but introducing an onboarding process to help boost employee retention only costs on average $1,000 per new employee – so onboarding is a much more affordable option than recruiting new employees again and again!
This benefit of employee onboarding is especially startling when you consider that 35% of businesses do not spend a single cent on employee onboarding.
As a result, 36% of employers have no structured onboarding process in place at their business – with high costs being one of the most common reasons why!
How Onboarding Software Can Help
Because of all the above benefits, a lot of businesses and companies want to get their onboarding process right. One solution businesses are using to help improve their onboarding processes is through onboarding systems and softwares.
83% of businesses use technology to help with their onboarding processes as they help make the process more efficient and streamlined.
Each new employee is expected to complete an average of 54 tasks during their onboarding experience – that’s a lot of paperwork to fill in, check ups to complete with managers, and training to cover!
Onboarding softwares is designed to make onboarding new employees quicker, more effective, and easier to repeat for each new employee.
However, each software will offer different tools and features for companies to take advantage of – and each small business will have their own needs.
So, here are some of the top recommended onboarding softwares for small businesses. Check them out below to see what they have to offer.
BambooHR is a US based software provider which offers a great onboarding software along with a range of other services that can be used to build a strong, functional HR department for your small business.
Along with onboarding, you can access tools for recruitment and performance management although what tools you can access are limited by which plan you sign up to.
There are a lot of different features with BambooHR that can be incredibly useful for onboarding processes.
Firstly, it allows its users to create e-signatures so filling in that necessary onboarding paperwork can be done more quickly and keep them looking more professional.
You can also create your own New Hire Packets with different templates for different jobs and roles – so, you can issue your new hires any necessary paperwork, guides, and handbooks they can access at any time.
The templates allow businesses to quickly make professional yet informative documents for their new employees and can be assigned based on department, role, etc.
These documents can also be sent automatically to new employees to help improve the onboarding process’s efficiency and you don’t have to waste time sending each package manually.
BambooHR also offers customizable checklists so you can double check that you have provided your new employees with everything they need, following the five C’s of employee onboarding and preparing them for the next phase of the process.
Since the COVID19 pandemic, a lot of businesses have started to offer remote working for many reasons. 77% of workers report better productivity when working from home, with 68% agreeing that they experience fewer interruptions compared to in the office.
So, what this means when it comes to onboarding employees is that a lot of companies now need to onboard their employees remotely.
Remote is an onboarding software that specializes with remote employees. This makes the platform an extremely modern one that offers a lot of useful features and flexibility to suit today’s modern working world.
It allows businesses to hire remote employees from all around the world and offers both legal and HR experts for every country the platform operates in.
This means that not only can you use Remote to onboard employees from around the world but recruit them too.
However, if you want these global features, then you will have to opt for their Global Employment plan – which means small businesses that don’t want these features won’t have to pay for them.
Instead, Remote offers flat pricing to help make it a very affordable platform for many users around the world.
Remote can also be used as a payroll and HR software for your business but it also offers some great onboarding features as well.
This includes an easy to use interface to help simplify the onboarding process, and a streamline document management system so it is easy to create, access, and send documents to your employees no matter where they are.
One aspect of business I have seen digitization make a huge impact on is employee onboarding, mainly through the implementation of onboarding software.
Enboarder is an onboarding software that helps you digitalize as much of the onboarding process as possible.
From connecting your new employees with their team to checking in on their progress to ensure they are settling into their new role, Enboarder offers a ton of different features which can really help new employees feel comfortable and welcomed.
It is a cloud-based platform where your teams can access from any device. It’s incredibly versatile as it allows you to review employees’ performances (both new and experienced), transition them into new roles, communicate through chat features, and more.
Because Enboarder is a completely digitized software that documents your employees data, it also provides you with great analytics to help you evaluate how your employees are performing – which is super handy for monitoring your new employees without interrupting them every so often!
For an onboarding software solution that offers a ton of automation features and plenty of useful tools for businesses to use, Eloomi really knocks it out of the park.
It works as an online learning platform that businesses can use to give new employees access to training or learning modules and materials, along with other onboarding tools for managers to help streamline the overall process.
This includes a huge library of templates business owners can use to create their learning materials quickly while making them look professional.
There are also plenty of opportunities for your employees to provide your business with feedback through surveys so you can continue making improvements to your onboarding process – an incredibly useful tool that you don’t often see with onboarding softwares.
This also helps employees feel more valued and engaged with the company even though they have only just recently joined.
Overall, Eloomi is an onboarding solution that focuses around training your new employees so they can start working productively as soon as possible.
Not only does this benefit your business, but new employees are given in-depth training and around the clock access to learning materials on any platform.
My final recommendation for a good onboarding software for a small business is Freshteam.
As a result, businesses are always looking for affordable but high quality solutions that meet their business needs.
Freshteam is a great onboarding software that is affordable with great scalability options through its various payment plans.
Although the free plan does have limited features, it’s still a great place to start for very small and new businesses until they have the funds to upgrade to a paid plan with far more features.
These additional features include automated reminders, task tracking for your employee onboarding training, and additional offboarding features for when your employees leave.
Onboarding Software Buyer’s Guide
So, those were my top recommendations when it comes to onboarding software for small businesses. However, as I have mentioned before, different companies will have different needs.
If you are not sure what you want or need from your onboarding software, then here are some factors and areas to consider while browsing for the right one.
This is the same criteria I used for choosing my above recommendations so check them out and keep them in mind when evaluating your onboarding software choices.
Manage Documents Feature
58% of businesses say that their onboarding processes and programs focus mainly on paperwork. This means that for each new employee your business onboards, you will likely have to fill in a lot of paperwork and manage a lot of different documents.
This can be a huge hassle. Not only can it be costly in terms of administration costs and time to source and print these documents, but also you could make an error and miss out on one or two pieces of paperwork.
This can reflect badly on you and your business as it can make you look unprofessional and make your new employees feel unprepared for their new role.
So, opting for an onboarding software that offers a document management tool or system is a great idea. They allow you to make and upload documents, manage them so you can easily find them, and then forward them to the appropriate new employees.
You can also create your own checklists to tick off your process steps, and use templates to build packages that are both extremely professional and incredibly useful for your new employees.
These package documents can range from company policies, instructions for the role, or simply a welcome handbook explaining the business and introducing its staff before your new employee even steps into the office.
Trying to handle all these documents manually can be a nightmare (trust me, I know from experience!) and so a document management tool with your onboarding software can really improve your productivity and help your new employees feel prepared.
As a business owner, I care a lot about efficiency and productivity.
Businesses lose on average $7 trillion through lost employee productivity each and every year and that means that wasting time on repetitive, menial and manual tasks can not only eat into my time but also my business’s profits.
One of the best solutions for this is automation
70% of workers say that automation is a great opportunity for reducing time wasted on repetitive tasks during working hours, so you and your employees can focus on other things to help your business operate more efficiently.
As a result, a Deloitte report found that 24% of companies have started using automation for aspects of their business with another 29% claiming that they plan to introduce automation very soon.
One way you can introduce automation to your small business is through your onboarding software.
40% of workers agree that roughly a quarter of their week is spent on repetitive tasks like sending emails or collecting data – both of which are a part of the onboarding process through communication with new hires and sorting their paperwork and documents.
Having onboarding software with automated features (such as communicating with new employees, sending documents, reminders and schedules for check-ins) can save you a lot of time and improve your own productivity.
I mentioned earlier how employee productivity has an impact on business revenue so by using software with automation, you could widen your profit margins through better employee productivity.
I know many business owners who like to access and monitor their businesses softwares from their phone via mobile apps – and you can do the same with your onboarding software.
Accessing your onboarding software through a mobile app allows you to monitor your new employees, manage your documents, send and retrieve information all while you are out of the office.
This in turn can boost your business’s efficiency by doing quick tasks while you have to step away from your business’s main computer.
Not every onboarding software will offer a mobile app version but if you like being able to monitor and update your business while you are out of the office, then opting for an onboarding software that comes with a mobile app can help you achieve just that.
One feature I absolutely love to see in business softwares is e-signatures. They are something so easily overlooked and yet they are incredibly useful – especially when it comes to onboarding new employees.
Hiring new employees means that you as a small business owner need to fill in a ton of paperwork. Most contracts are done digitally these days as electronic documents can save businesses between 55% and 78% in administration costs.
However, simply typing your signature can look unprofessional and potentially cause future legal trouble.
So, having an onboarding software that offers the ability to use e-signatures is incredibly helpful. They can speed up the time it takes to fill in your paperwork, they look far more professional, and more closely resemble your actual signature.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Onboarding Software?
Onboarding software is basically a computer software program that can help you set things up ready for your new employees so everything is prepared for their first day working for your company.
Onboarding software can also help settle your new employees through the first few days, weeks, or even months with your company.
Different onboarding softwares offer different tools and features to help streamline document management, send and collect forms, track their performance, communicate with them and other relevant departments you may need information and guidance from, etc.
Basically, onboarding software is a software businesses use to help new employees get off to a great start with your company.
What Are The Four Phases Of Onboarding?
I have already written another article that goes into depth regarding the four phases of employee onboarding, but here is a quick run-down if you want the answer summed up.
The four phases of onboarding are the steps businesses take to introduce new employees to their business and monitor their progress. The phases are orientation, training, transition, and ongoing development.
The first phase is orientation. This is when the paperwork is prepared and completed, and the new employee is welcomed into the company by a member of senior management. They get a tour of the office, introduced to other members of the team, and given an explanation of the company’s values and expectations.
The second phase is training. Here, the new employee is shown how to do their role and what is expected of them. Mistakes are likely to happen so it’s important to monitor and provide support for your new employees.
Next is the transition phase when the employee becomes a permanent member of your company. Now, they have settled down and may start looking for further training and development, along with advancement opportunities.
The final phase is ongoing development. This is when employees sit down with their managers to map their career and continue developing their skills for future advancement opportunities. This is also a good time to reward and recognize your employees for their hard work and progress.
Some businesses or onboarding models may add additional phases but these four are considered to be the most important and prominent phases that all companies follow when introducing an onboarding program to their business.
What Are The Five C’S Of Onboarding?
The five C’s are five components of onboarding practices which businesses are encouraged and advised to adopt. They should guide your interactions with your new employees and what you discuss with them during the orientation phase.
The five C’s are compliance, clarification, culture, connections, and check back. This means that when onboarding new employees, you need to:
Inform them of the company’s policies and rules while also completing all the necessary paperwork (Compliance).
Make your new employees aware of their responsibilities and what the company expects of them (Clarification).
Introduce them to the culture of your company, usually with a handbook with the company’s values, objectives, and plans (Culture).
Introduce them to the other employees in your company including their co-workers, supervisor, head of human resources, IT support, etc (Connections).
Have regular meetings and conversations with your new employee to see how they are performing and to address any questions or concerns they have (Check Back).
A lot of businesses use this as a checklist for onboarding their new employees to ensure they have given them all the right information.
Using an onboarding software could really help businesses achieve the five C’s so check out the guide above for more information!
I hope that this guide to employee onboarding and onboarding software has been helpful to you. There are lots of different softwares you can choose from and no single software will suit every single business’s needs.
As a result, I hope you carefully consider what you want and need from your onboarding software so you can find the right one.
There are a lot of advantages to using onboarding software (which I have highlighted above) so I really do recommend that you implement one to help improve your employee productivity and retention rates.
I hope the guide above has provided you with all the information you need to find the right onboarding software for you and your small business – good luck!