The Best Employee Onboarding Software for New Hires in 2024

Onboarding isn’t just signing contracts and filing paperwork. A seamless, user-friendly onboarding experience can make a great first impression and dramatically increase employee retention. The best onboarding solutions for small businesses will help you provide that experience while staying on top of complex compliance—all with a price tag that won’t break the bank. 

We’ve put together a handy guide to compare the best onboarding software on the market to help you make the right choice for your growing business.

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1. Gusto – Best all-in-one onboarding software for small businesses

Overview

Gusto tops our list for best employee onboarding software for small business with a wealth of easy-to-use functionality. Their intuitive interface simplifies even the most complex tasks, and their best-in-class onboarding workflows integrate seamlessly with their robust hiring, payroll, and people management tools, reducing your admin burden and streamlining your tech stack while saving you money.   

Gusto’s basic onboarding tools include onboarding checklists, custom offer letters and welcome cards, as well as built-in benefits administration at no extra cost. Background checks are available through Checkr, and unlike most competitors, Gusto handles state tax registration and compliance for new hires in all 50 states. Employee self-onboarding makes it easy to upload documents, e-sign contracts, select a benefits package, and gives employees lifetime access to paystubs, W-2s, and more. Both you and your new hires will get friendly dashboard reminders helping you stay on top of time-sensitive tasks. 

To access Gusto’s more advanced onboarding tools, you’ll need to sign up for the Plus plan, which adds on software provisioning, device management, customizable checklists and welcome cards, org charts, handbooks, and employee directories, as well as their full suite of hiring, time tracking, and project management tools. Gusto’s native learning management system, is still in its infancy with limited course offerings, but they integrate with some of the most popular LMS’s out there if new-hire training is a high priority for your team.

All of Gusto’s tools feel designed with humans in mind, easily handling the full employee lifecycle from recruiting and onboarding, to engagement and growth, to an employee’s last day. Gusto’s pricing is fully transparent, and the large majority of their powerful HR tools are available on their mid-range Plus plan. Overall, they offer more people-first functionality at a better price, winning them the top spot for SaaS onboarding software. 

Key Features

  • Seamlessly integrated hiring, onboarding, payroll, HR, and benefits
  • Automated compliance and new-hire reporting in all 50 states
  • Hiring documents, e-signing and storage, onboarding checklists, custom offer letters and welcome cards, and benefits administration included with all plans
  • Built-in background checks through Checkr
  • Advanced tools include software provisioning, device management, customizable checklists and welcome cards, org charts, and employee directory 
  • Fully integrated job postings and applicant tracking system (ATS)
  • Support for international contractors in 120+ countries; global payroll currently being rolled out
  • Dedicated support from certified HR experts available
  • Hundreds of software integrations  

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Intuitive, easy to use interfaceSimple plan includes only the most basic onboarding tools 
All-in-one solution for onboarding, payroll, benefits, and HROnboarding tools not available a la carte
Transparent pricing, no hidden feesLimited employee training functionality
Support for complete employee lifecycle
Great customer service; dedicated HR support available
Hundreds of software integrations included with all plans

Pricing

Gusto offers three pricing plans, with the Simple plan starting at $40 per month plus $6 per person per month. The Simple plan comes loaded with basic support for hiring and onboarding as well as benefits administration, but it lacks the more powerful onboarding tools like software provisioning and custom checklists.   

Plus plans start at $80 per month plus $12 per person per month and include the full suite of hiring, onboarding, and team management tools. Plus plans also come loaded with popular features like next-day payroll and Gusto’s integrated time tracking. 

Dedicated support from certified HR pros along with compliance alerts is available only with the Premium plan or through the HR add-on at $8 per person per month.

Premium plans are priced exclusively, and include everything Gusto has to offer with no hidden monthly fees. For more info on Premium pricing, contact their sales team today.

Free Trial? Yes, Gusto is free until you run your first payroll.

Free Version: No. 

Transform your payroll processes with Gusto, a platform that’s already the choice of over 300,000 businesses.

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2. Deel – Best HR software for global payroll & compliance

Overview

The future of work is global, and Deel makes it easy to hire and pay your team in more than 150 countries around the world. Their impressive suite of international support includes global payroll, contractors, hiring, self-service onboarding, compliance, and benefits. The best part is you can pay all of your team members around the world—whether contractor, full-time, or EOR—with a single payment.  

Onboarding with Deel is one of their strongest assets, simplifying what can be a painful process for new hires around the world. In addition to their user-friendly workflows and custom checklists, they offer global background checks, an employee directory, company org charts, and secure document storage. Their onboarding tools are complemented by a respectable suite of HR tools including time-off management and expense reporting, along with employee pulse surveys, 1-on-1 check-ins, and referral incentives for employees. The best part is, HR tools are completely free for companies with fewer than 200 people.

In 100+ countries where your business already has an established entity, they offer global payroll services that include hiring, onboarding, taxes, and local compliance. If you don’t have an entity, you can take advantage of their Employer of Record (EOR) service. For hiring international contractors, they provide compliant local contracts to make sure you’re staying within local labor laws as well as support for local taxes.

One downside is that Deel’s pricing can start to add up, especially for EOR services, and at some point it makes more financial sense to open your own entity. If you just have one or two international contractors, there are much more affordable options out there. But for small businesses and startups focused on international hiring, using Deel for global payroll and contractors is a no brainer. 

Key Features

  • Fully integrated payroll, HR, and benefits in 100+ countries
  • 2–3 day international onboarding time 
  • Custom workflows by department
  • Device & equipment management 
  • Global background checks
  • Self-onboarding and onboarding checklist
  • Multiple payment options including bank transfer, PayPal, Payoneer, and crypto 
  • Immigration and visa support in 25+ countries
  • HR package includes basic onboarding, time-off, document storage, and expense management, along with reporting and retention tools (free up to 200 people)

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Seamless integration for domestic and international employees, contractors, full-time and part-timeLimited integrations
Best-in-class onboarding processContractor misclassification protection only available for enterprise clients
Fast, 2–3 day turnaround time for international hiresExpensive for international contractors compared to other platforms
Free HR tools for businesses with fewer than 200 employeesNo transparent pricing for payroll or visa assistance
Great, user-friendly interface
24/7 customer service via chat, email, and phone

Pricing

If you’re only looking for HR tools, you can use Deel absolutely free for up to 200 people. This includes basic onboarding, secure document management, automated workflows, expense management, and org charts.

For the rest of their payroll and hiring services, they’re priced based on which kind of global hiring you need. For their EOR service, it costs $599 per employee per month, which is in line with industry standards. Their international contractor payments are pricey at $49 per month, but this includes compliance, taxes, and misclassification protection that more affordable providers don’t offer. However, contractor misclassification protection is only available for enterprise clients. For global payroll in countries where you operate your own entity, as well as for immigration and visa support, you have to contact sales for pricing.

Optional add-ons include device and equipment management, benefits administration, and WeWork workspaces.

Free Trial? You can set up an account and explore features at no cost. You’ll only be charged when you hire and pay global workers.

Free Plan: No.

Learn more about Deel

3. ADP – Best onboarding software for mid-sized businesses

Overview

ADP is a behemoth in the space and offers two HR and payroll solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses: ADP Run for businesses with fewer than 50 employees and ADP Workforce Now for businesses with 50–999. ADP Run includes payroll, basic onboarding, and reporting features, while ADP Workforce Now also includes retention tools like employee engagement and development.

ADP consistently tops lists of best onboarding employee software, likely because their list of features is so long. They have an extensive library of HR document templates to help get you started, and employees can get all their paperwork completed and submitted before day one. You can create custom welcome messages, company videos, and office neighborhood maps to help new employees feel at home. Their onboarding workflows make it easy to keep everyone on time and on track, and they also have a powerful LMS that comes with over 70,000 pre-packaged courses for compliance and professional development.  

While ADP Run is a highly rated platform, and includes hiring and onboarding tools in its higher-tier packages, it’s primarily a payroll tool with a few extra HR functions. And their pricing puts them out of reach for many. For this reason, we don’t recommend it for startups or smaller businesses. For businesses with more than 50 employers, however, their Workforce Now packages offer top-notch onboarding workflows with everything your team might need to manage HR, payroll, benefits, along with over 700 integrations. Best of all, you can build a package that includes only the services you need.  

The only question is: how much will that cost? Getting the answer requires reaching out for a custom quote. 

Key Features

  • Fully integrated HR, payroll, benefits, and time tracking
  • Custom workflows and checklists based on a variety of employee profiles
  • Built-in Learning Management System for compliance training with over 70,000 pre-packaged courses
  • Custom welcome messages, company videos, and neighborhood maps
  • Over 700 software integrations available
  • Applicant Tracking System available
  • Mobile app
  • Features siloed based on # of employees
  • Highly rated payroll tool

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Powerful LMS integration with massive course catalogSlow customer service
Robust options for businesses with 50999 employeesPricing is not transparent and difficult to piece together
Tons of products and features for maximum scalabilityOnly higher-tier plans offer the full suite of onboarding tools
Friendly, easy-to-use onboarding workflows

Pricing

ADP’s pricing tiers are confusing at best. For businesses with fewer than 50 employees, they offer 4 pricing tiers: Essential Payroll includes basic onboarding tools like employee self-onboarding, background checks, and new-hire reporting, and Enhanced Payroll doesn’t add much in terms of onboarding. To access more powerful onboarding functionality, you’ll need one of the higher-tier plans: Complete Payroll and HR+ adds on employee handbooks, proactive compliance alerts, a secure document vault (usually included with more basic plans), and access to the HR help desk, and HR Pro Payroll and HR includes an applicant tracking system and their LMS. 

Where ADP stands out is their Workforce Now packages for medium-sized businesses from 50–999 employees. They offer three tiers: Select, Plus, and Premium. Select is a basic suite of HR and payroll tools that comes loaded with their new-hire onboarding module, intelligent employee self-service, and enhanced HR tools for new-hire compliance. The Plus tier adds on benefits administration, and Premium adds on their suite of time and attendance tools including time tracking and PTO management. 

For companies looking for the best onboarding experience, however, you’ll need to add on their HR assist module for employee handbooks and the HR doc library and toolkit, and the Learning Management module.   

With any of the Workforce Now packages, you can also add on modules for Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Compensation Management, and Analytics and Enhanced Insights.

According to Forbes, users reported pricing starts from $62 per month, but the average business should expect to spend a lot more than that. For example, the ADP support team quoted payroll only for 50 employees at $400 per month.    

Free Trial? Yes, four months free on select products. 

Free Plan: No.


Learn more about ADP

4. BambooHR – Best HR-focused onboarding software

Overview

BambooHR is great for both small- and medium-sized businesses who want to easily manage personnel records, payroll, and perks. BambooHR is a Human Resources Management System (HRMS) at heart, with payroll, benefits, and time tracking as extras. 

Bamboo offers customizable pre-boarding packages and checklists along with a wealth of features to highlight personal connections for new employees. Onboarding, offboarding, document storage, employee satisfaction, and robust reporting options are all built right in. For managers, Insight Widgets can show where an employee is at in the onboarding process and make sure to-dos don’t fall through the cracks.

Document storage, company directories and org charts, and the employee self-service portal are available in both plans, but training tracking, onboarding checklists, custom workflows, new-hire packets, and e-signatures are only available on the Advanced plan. They don’t offer software or hardware provisioning, and they don’t support background checks or new-hire state reporting. 

Where Bamboo really shines is long-term HR management. The onboarding process is easy, friendly, and people-focused, and their document and personal data storage, along with automated workflows, help your HR department run as smoothly as possible.

If you don’t have complex payroll needs, and you’re looking for a more HR-focused tool to streamline your onboarding process, BambooHR has all the bells and whistles to welcome new team members while improving productivity across the board. Or, if you already have payroll and time tracking tools you love, using Bamboo to supercharge your HR department is a great choice.

Key Features

  • Intuitive, user-friendly onboarding and offboarding workflows
  • “Getting to Know You” welcome emails 
  • Employee self-service, e-signatures, and document storage 
  • Built-in compliance and development training 
  • Works with businesses in over 120 countries
  • Payroll processing in all 50 states
  • Integrated Applicant Tracking System
  • Custom reporting options on any data housed in the system
  • Payroll, benefits, time tracking, and performance management available as add-ons
  • 350+ software integrations

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
People-focused onboarding and offboarding Limited functionality in mobile app
Robust employee self-service portal Must purchase Advanced plan to access onboarding features
Highly customizableChat and telephone support only available on Advanced plan
Easy-to-follow workflows with built-in remindersNo transparent pricing

Pricing

For fewer than 20 employees, BambooHR charges a flat rate based on which package you choose. Over 20 employees, and you’ll pay on a per-employee-per-month basis. Unfortunately, they no longer post pricing on their website, and you’ll need to reach out for a quote.

BambooHR has two available plans along with a handful of optional add-ons. The Essentials Plan comes with employee records management, company directories and org charts, and the employee self-service portal, as well as standard reporting and analytics, time-off management, and a few automated workflows. 

But to access their onboarding and offboarding tools, you’ll need the Advantage plan. This also includes advanced reporting, custom workflows, their applicant tracking system, and employee wellness features. 

BambooHR also offers four add-on packages: payroll, benefits administration, performance management, and time tracking. These modules all have volume discounts, so the per employee cost will drop as your business grows. 

Free Trial? Yes, 7 days.

Free Plan: No.


Learn more about BambooHR

5. Homebase – Best onboarding software for shift-based businesses

Overview

Homebase is an all-in-one scheduling, HR, and payroll solution created specifically for shift-based businesses. While they’re more of a time-tracking and scheduling tool with an HR add-on, they’ve got everything hourly-based businesses need to hire, onboard, and manage their teams. 

When it comes to onboarding, Homebase covers the basics: W-4s, I-9s, and other forms, e-signatures, and a custom welcome package that can include anything from a welcome letter to training materials. They don’t have advanced workflow tracking, but they do offer secure document storage and an easy, built-in messaging app to help new hires connect with the team. They also support certification tracking, which is critical for many shift-based businesses such as restaurants and healthcare. 

For industries with traditionally high turnover, it’s great that recruiting and posting across multiple job boards is included, along with employee happiness surveys and no-cost benefit options to increase retention. Unfortunately, Homebase doesn’t handle background checks, and they don’t file new-hire reporting for each state. They will provide the documents for you to submit, however, and a team of HR pros is available to answer your compliance questions.  

As scheduling is one of the most cumbersome and time-consuming tasks for shift-based businesses, having a powerful platform to reduce admin that can also easily handle basic HR and onboarding is a win-win. There may be more powerful onboarding tools on the market, but Homebase is the easy choice for shift-based businesses looking to streamline their tech stack while still accessing all the people tools and functionality they need.

Key Features

  • Designed specifically for shift-based businesses 
  • Recruiting, hiring, and paperless onboarding with secure document storage
  • Welcome packets, onboarding checklists, and new-hire feedback
  • Custom employee handbooks
  • Tracking for employee certifications
  • Powerful time and scheduling tools 
  • Payroll add-on available with automated tax filings
  • Integrations with popular POS, recruiting, accounting, and payroll software
  • Robust, native communication tools
  • Mobile app for time tracking, communication, shift swapping, and more
  • Employee happiness surveys and retention tools

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Competitively priced, even for top-tier planFull suite of onboarding and HR tools is only available in the All-in-One plan
Advanced scheduling tools integrated with easy onboarding for hourly workersDoesn’t support state reporting for new hires
People-focused tools to keep your team happy and engagedBackground checks not supported
Easily integrates with more powerful payroll providersOccasional software bugs reported

Pricing

Homebase offers four pricing tiers. Their Basic plan is free and includes just scheduling, time, and hiring features for up to 20 employees at a single location. 

The Essentials plan is $20 a month billed annually for unlimited employees and includes team communication, performance tracking, and remote and field tools. 

At $48 per month (billed annually), the Plus plan adds on labor cost control and budgets, time-off and PTO tracking, as well as permissions and policies. The All-in-One plan adds the HR tools you need to thrive including new-hire onboarding, employee document storage, and their full HR and compliance suite at $80 per month.

Since Homebase doesn’t charge an additional per-employee fee, even their top-tier plan is affordable in comparison to most other HR and onboarding tools.  

For the payroll add-on, it’s $39 a month + $6 per employee paid per month. 

Homebase offers no-commitment monthly plans at slightly higher prices than listed above. 

Free Trial? Yes, 14 days.

Free Plan: Yes, basic scheduling, time, and hiring features for up to 20 employees at a single location. 

Learn more about Homebase

6. Kallidus – Best onboarding software for learning and development

Overview

Kallidus is a hybrid learning management and HR platform that offers everything you would expect from an HRIS. Their onboarding process has all the bells and whistles like company org charts and welcome packets, and workflows are fully automated and customizable by team, location, or employee type. With a focus on pre-boarding, they’ll help you set up a warm welcome while reducing admin and staying on top of compliance.

Kallidus onboarding also easily integrates with their in-house applicant tracking system, streamlining the hiring process and reducing duplication. 

Where Kallidus really shines is their native Learning Management System. For companies with larger training requirements, Kallidus makes it easy to get employees up to speed and keep them up to date. You can assign mandatory, out-of-the-box compliance training, build your own custom courses, or allow employees to choose from hundreds of skill-building courses.  

While ADP may have a more robust course catalog, Kallidus is more user-friendly and people-focused with more customizable options to better fit your company culture and goals.

Key Features

  • People-focused onboarding process with buddy system 
  • Company org charts, directories, welcome workflows
  • Workflow automation and customization 
  • E-signature and secure document storage
  • Auto-assigning compliance and new-hire training
  • Integrated ATS and employee lifecycle management
  • Mobile app
  • 40-plus integrations

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
People- and culture-focused onboardingBack-end functionality for LMS has a high learning curve
Automated, customizable workflows to increase productivityNo support for payroll or benefits administration
Powerful LMS with auto-assigned coursesNo transparent pricing

Pricing

Kallidus’ pricing is not at all transparent, and it’s impossible to know how much they charge for different functionality, or if it’s possible to build an a la carte package with only the tools you need. They currently offer products for recruitment, performance management, onboarding, compliance, and employee lifecycle management, along with their suite of learning tools that includes their LMS, off-the-shelf courses, and bespoke digital learning options. 

Kallidus was a dedicated LMS until they bought the Sapling HRIS platform in 2020.  

Free Trial? No. 

Free Plan: No.

Learn more about Kallidus

FAQs

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