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Employee onboarding

Employee onboarding software: What, why and how to choose the right one?

Organizations are expanding at a rate faster than ever — not only in terms of work and innovation but also in the way they build their workforce. Hiring has gone global and the responsibilities of the HR team has changed with time. Employee onboarding is transitioning towards automation and employee onboarding software is emerging as the flag bearer. 

The software will seamlessly handle all the repetitive tasks and HRs need to look only after the strategizing part. To put it simply, employee onboarding software is making the entire onboarding process seamless and experience-driven both for the HRs and the new hires. 

In this guide, let’s learn more about the capabilities of onboarding software and when is the right time to invest in one and automate employee onboarding. But first, let’s quickly recap and find out what employee onboarding is.

What is employee onboarding?

Employee onboarding refers to the process of introducing a new hire to the people, procedures, and culture of the organization. It starts the day the offer is extended to the candidate and ends when the candidates adjust to the organization’s environment. However, it may vary from company to company.

Employee onboarding comes with its own set of challenges. While the HRs put in their best efforts to make the onboarding experience memorable for the employees, they also have to take care of the joining formalities and tons of employee queries.  Employee onboarding software takes the load off the HRs by automating all the repetitive yet meaningful tasks.

Why should you invest in employee onboarding? 

Employee onboarding is often confused with orientation, but the two aren’t synonymous. Orientation may be a one-time event for the first few days of work, while employee onboarding is a lengthier and more involved process. All organizations need to abide by a dedicated onboarding program for the new hires and streamline employee onboarding. Here are seven reasons that will answer why is onboarding software important for all enterprises:

Minimizes expensive turnover

Considering the cost of re-posting the job, conducting interviews, and the other formalities involved in the employee onboarding process, the employee turnover can cost up to 150 percent of the new hire’s salary. The financial aspect is only a portion of it. Frequent employee turnover significantly affects the coordination between the entire team:

  • It lowers morale and harms existing employees’ faith in management.
  • It extends the time taken to complete the extra work until the right person is hired.
  • It reduces the team’s overall productivity, especially if they are of the view that someone new was coming to handle it.
  • Finally, if employees don’t believe new hires will stick around, it becomes difficult for them to bond with them.

Prevents misunderstandings

A dedicated onboarding process keeps everyone on the same page, from the recruiting managers to the team and employees. Sometimes, the new hires understand something completely different from what is expected from them. Onboarding entails a thorough review of the job description and formal meetings with the team and management. The gatherings allow everyone to unite as a group and discuss their hopes and expectations. 

Builds positive energy and engagement

54 percent of companies with institutionalized onboarding programs report higher employee engagement than before the program. Onboarding can help your new employees feel welcomed and accepted by those around you, which is vital for employee engagement.

Onboarding in the past included a fast tour of the facility and a quick introduction with other employees, with a primary focus on the deliverables. This killed the happy vibes in any situation. Always ensure that the onboarding process is interactive and the new employee can reevaluate it and ask questions if necessary.

Connected new hires perform better

When employees are supposed to “sink or swim” in a completely new situation, very few of them act smartly. Issuing a stack of manuals and instructing them to read them isn’t the way to ensure high employee productivity. The people you hire should be “go-getters,” but it doesn’t guarantee they understand your processes, software, or culture. It takes more than a manual to get there.

You should start with coaching and team-building activities to help new hires perform to their full potential. Moving forward, you can increase their goals and get them closer to independence, but this should be done gradually.

Higher employee engagement results in greater profits

So far, we’ve discussed the consequences that directly impact the bottom line, but they’re often difficult to quantify. Let’s look at the numbers: companies with an engaged staff outperform competitors by 147 percent in terms of earnings per share. You might not realize that a solid onboarding program does more than only increase new employee engagement.

Further, a well-structured onboarding program strengthens the bonding between the new recruits and existing team members. It also plays a pivotal role in assisting the current employees re-engage with the company and their work. The employees can begin to experience the joy merely from the enthusiasm of a new recruit who can give them new ideas and a fresh viewpoint to the team.

Role clarity and job satisfaction

The job description during the hiring process does not cover all the aspects of a job role. There are too many intricacies to include in a single job ad. As a result, a new hire will be a part of your team, but there will be no clear plan for what they are expected to do. This is fixed through a dedicated onboarding process.

Employees who have had a great onboarding experience are more likely to understand their roles and have better job satisfaction. Those are the outcomes that everyone wants in their company. Issuing the onboarding tools to the employees justifies the investment and effort made by management and can pay off both in the short and long term.

Simplifies the entire process

If you believe that investing in onboarding entails starting from scratch, you should reconsider it. There are a variety of best practices and guidance available, such as onboarding checklists and templates, that you may utilize as the foundation for your program. You can also try integrating an employee onboarding software. This will automate the entire onboarding process and unburden the HR team from a plethora of repetitive tasks. 

What is employee onboarding software?

An employee onboarding software is a centralized management system that automates the entire onboarding process with the help of modules such as knowledge management, document management, FAQ automation, etc. It also facilitates easy conversation between the HRs and the new hires with the help of an HR virtual assistant that can automatically resolve common queries.

What to look for when buying an employee onboarding software?

what should you look for when buying an employee onboarding software

User-friendly interface

The first day of a new job is stressful enough, excluding the added stress of the perplexing technology. According to HR Drive, about 28% of newly recruited members resign from their jobs within the first 90 days. By offering a straightforward solution, you may help your new employee escape the maze of unpleasant screens and lengthy and comprehensive onboarding processes. If your onboarding requirements are intricate, consider a solution that includes tooltips, in-app instruction, or dedicated service staff.

Several corporations disappoint the applicants they have spent months courting with an old and unorganized system. So whenever you look for onboarding software, keep a simple user interface as a crucial deciding factor.

Ease of integration

After discovering an excellent onboarding solution, the last thing you want is poor integration capabilities.. An ideal tool should seamlessly integrate into your existing business ecosystem and improve productivity. Incorporating these questions into the employee onboarding software buying process will always be beneficial Ascertain the integrations that your onboarding platform provides and their receptivity to interacting with other software platforms. If you find it  incompatible with your existing software, discard it.

Digital onboarding workflow

When you’re required to fill out new employee forms (those multi-colored forms help, but not nearly as much as you’d like) and repeatedly fill in the same fields, you can’t help but look for a more efficient way to get all that information to the right place. It’s a no-brainer to have a paperless onboarding procedure.

Using an employee onboarding software the new hires should be able to submit their documents digitally and even complete the process before their first day. The data should be saved safely in a central place, eliminating the chances of critical information going missing.

Ease of access to employee handbooks

Employees must have convenient online access to guides containing critical information distributed in various media formats. These may be read, seen, or listened to at any time and from any location, which eliminates the need for you to distribute paper copies. Managers may notify employees when guidelines are updated using the automated reminders of onboarding software and serve as reminders to read the material.

Reporting and analytics

While most onboarding software claims to have robust reporting capabilities, do they really provide the reports you require? The reporting elements should be consistent with your aims and equip you with critical insights about the effectiveness of your training and onboarding.. Always keep an eye out for ways to improve your onboarding program and provide new hires with the best possible experience.

What are the features of employee onboarding software?

A good employee onboarding software should be able to enhance employee experience and make HR’s work easier. That is only possible if you look for the right features in the software, and ensure that those are in sync with your organization’s vision and mission. Here are the most important employee onboarding software features you should look for:

Conversational virtual assistant

Do not underestimate the power of a fruitful and accurate conversation. New hires often have just one point of contact for all their queries, the HR. However, HR has to cater to the entire workforce and not just the new hires. One thing to look for in your employee onboarding software is a smart HR virtual assistant that uses AI to not only answer the questions of the new hires but also use that data to create more answers and analytics.

Another interesting way in which an HR virtual assistant can connect with the new hires is by having the option to converse and interact in various languages. Given all the organizations have a multicultural workforce, and remote working has further shrunk the globe, this is an interesting feature that would further enhance the experience of the new employee and put them at ease.

Employee helpdesk

While the virtual assistant handles the conversation part, your employee onboarding software should come equipped with an entire employee helpdesk module that comprises the following:

  • Case management: The employee should be able to raise tickets whenever they want to and get resolutions within a specific time period. They should also get automatic updates about their tickets.
  • Knowledge management: Another part of the employee helpdesk should be an efficient knowledge management module that has all the relevant information in place. The new hires and other employees should have easy access to such information and be able to extract it whenever needed. 
  • Workflows: Employee onboarding software should also be able to streamline and automate the workflows of new hires. This can be done in the form of charting out the first day’s schedule, first month’s schedule, etc. It should be equipped with all the relevant information to avoid any roadblocks.

Cloud infrastructure and data security

This is the most basic requirement for a good employee onboarding software, or even a good employee experience software with an onboarding module. Cloud infrastructure ensures that your data is not only stored well on the cloud but also connected well. This also includes all the feature updates across the modules. It’s crucial to ensure that your employee onboarding software comes equipped with iron-clad data security. And follows a multi-tiered security and compliance approach.

Employee engagement survey

Engaged employees perform better, interact better, and contribute better to the organization. The same holds true for new employees as well. Pick an employee onboarding software that comes with employee engagement surveys. These surveys should be crafted after a careful study of the employee journey — from hiring to exit. There should be equal focus on every stage and accordingly, the frequency and questions of the surveys should be decided. For instance, a survey for an employee who has just joined would be different from the one crafted for someone who is serving their notice period.

These surveys should be able to not only collect responses but also give real-time actionable insights enabling the managers to act quickly on the problem areas and address immediate concerns. It should be able to show the key drivers and concern areas so as to improve new and existing employee engagement, for an overall productivity boost.

Work from home surveys

This is a new but relevant module that should be a part of your employee onboarding software. The 2019 pandemic came with an unpredictable load on the professional and personal life. Nevertheless, the need of the hour was to make remote working as efficient as in-office working. A huge credit for the same goes to automation and other software that enabled seamless communication and exchange of knowledge.

Work from home surveys is an extension of the employee engagement surveys, albeit a little wider in sense. With remote working, remote hiring is also quite rampant. These AI-enabled surveys should be able to map the journey of the remote new hires and tap the right points to create relevant questions. The responses to these surveys should then be able to convey what action the leaders can take to enhance remote employee onboarding.

Easy integrations with other platforms

When you want to invest in an employee onboarding software, make sure that you pick one that is compatible with the rest of the employee platforms you use. The employee onboarding software should be able to integrate well with the communications tools like Slack and HRIS systems like SAP SuccessFactors. Remember, the goal is to enhance the onboarding experience and make the new hires feel welcomed.

Besides these, you’ll have to check your own parameters of cost and convenience. But, once you balance them all with the key features that you require for easy and efficient employee onboarding, you have the perfect onboarding software for your organization.

Why invest in employee onboarding software?

An employee onboarding software does nothing that HR cannot do. Then, why invest in one? In simple terms – it’s to utilize your time and resources in a much better and efficient manner while reducing human errors by miles. Here are the four most important touchpoints that it enhances by taking the load off the HR and making the transition easy for the new hires.


One of the most important things that onboarding automation does is ensure you and the new hire are on top of every legal update. There is a barrage of forms to be filled at the time of hiring. The onboarding software not only stores those forms but also offers accurate guidance on how to fill them avoiding room for any errors.


Easy and efficient employee onboarding saves the time of the new hire and instills them with confidence. This helps them transition well and boosts their productivity as they work better and perform better, not having to constantly think about the formalities.


Employee onboarding software comes with document management. It stores all the new hire documents and information in a secure format with access only to the relevant people. Not only that, it stores information such as birthdays, email addresses, emergency contacts, and all that comes in handy in various situations.


Automation of the onboarding process creates a set system and steps that make it easier for the new hires to know when to fill the forms and when to be available for orientation and other training programs. A good employee onboarding software not only makes transitioning into the organization’s culture easy for the new hire but also frees up a major chunk of the HR’s time, helping them devote it to better tasks.

Ensure smooth onboarding with employee onboarding software

Employees with a negative onboarding experience are more likely to look for opportunities elsewhere within just 6 months of joining. Given how tiring the hiring process is, surely you wouldn’t want your perfect candidate to leave because of bad onboarding. As good as you are with the entire process, you are human and you can only do so much. 

Employee onboarding software will free up the HR teams to identify other employee experience gaps in the organization and address those. Further, with the software intelligent analytics, you would get a fresh and more accurate perspective on the problem areas, and you can plan better on how to resolve them.

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Sumit Mukherjee

I am an enthusiastic content creator and marketer with a zeal to build brands from scratch. When I am not working, you'll find me traveling and sharing my stories on my travel blog.

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