8 Best Onboarding Software Programs for 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Payroll Services.
The best onboarding software should streamline the onboarding process, ensure that all necessary information is gathered and processed promptly, create onboarding workflow and tasks, and more.
We looked at onboarding software solutions that work well when hiring new employees. After considering over a dozen, we narrowed it down to the eight best:
- Rippling: Best overall onboarding software, especially for tech companies
- BambooHR: Best for helping new hires connect with co-workers
- GoCo: Best for personalizing onboarding documents with pre-entered information
- ApplicantStack: Best onboarding software with a dynamic ATS
- TriNet Zenefits: Best for self-onboarding
- Gusto: Best for onboarding software integrated with affordable payroll services
- Homebase: Best onboarding software for schedule-based businesses
- Monday.com: Best for customizable onboarding processes
Best Onboarding Software Compared
Minimum monthly pricing*
Profiles beyond contact info
$8/employee + $35 platform fee**
Checklist and workflow
$105/month flat rate
Checklist and workflow
$10/employee per month
$40 + $6/person
Clock In/Out only
$0 (for two users)
Checklist and workflows
*Pricing is for the plan that includes onboarding, which may be a higher-tier plan.
** Pricing is based on a quote we received
Rippling: Best Overall Onboarding Software
- 600+ software integrations
- Super easy to use
- Automatic hiring and onboarding flows per country
- Has hardware rental program for computers
- You can’t purchase other modules without buying the core Rippling Unity platform first
- Gets expensive as you add modules
- No form creator
- Core Rippling Unity platform: Starts at $8/employee monthly plus a $35 platform fee. It includes onboarding/offboarding automation, unified workforce directory, integrations, and more
- Other modules like benefits administration, time and attendance tracking, and application tracking have custom pricing
*Pricing is based on a quote we received
Rippling is a complete HR software that works on a modular system, so you can add (and pay for) only the tools you need. It earned its spot as best overall onboarding software because onboarding is included in its most basic package. It is very easy to use and works internationally, where its claim to fame is how easily it creates onboarding flows for each country, streamlining the HR legwork.
Rippling starts with a core module that includes onboarding, positions management, and document and e-signature management. It starts at $8 per employee monthly plus a $35 platform fee. From there, you can add more features from a large number of modules and tools to create a custom package for your onboarding and HR needs. This can get pricey, but real-world users say the price is worth it.
We gave Rippling 4.58 out of 5 stars. The semi-transparent pricing took its score down a little, as did the fact that it does not have free, live phone support. It has maximum scores for popularity and payment features, and the highest score for HR tools.
Rippling’s Standout Features
- Software assignments: Rippling was the only software on our list that can automatically add new employees to the apps they need. You can set this by role, department, project, or whatever condition you decide. BambooHR and GoCo can help with login information only.
- Hardware setup: If you’d like to outsource IT, Rippling can prepare a laptop with everything a new employee needs and send it to them. It manages the device from security to updates, throughout the employee’s tenure. At the end of your worker’s employment, Rippling retrieves the computer and decommissions it. We haven’t seen this option with any other HR service we’ve encountered. It can be pricey, however.
- International: With the introduction of Rippling Global during the fourth quarter of last year, Rippling’s onboarding feature now supports all types of international employees and not just contractors. With this feature, businesses and organizations can dynamically adjust their onboarding flows no matter where they are.
- Integrations: Rippling is one of the best HR systems for integrations, with over 600 partner apps. Compare this to Bamboo, which has 50.
- Super easy to use: Rippling’s user interface is intuitive and easy to use. Users on multiple third-party user review sites rate it 4.81 out of 5 on average. Over the years, we’ve seen it fluctuate between 4.8 and 4.9, making it the most consistently praised software we’ve seen.
BambooHR: Best for Helping New Hires Connect With Co-workers
- Easy to use
- Customizable employee database
- Automated reminders for missing paperwork or late tasks
- Has great human resources information system (HRIS) features
- Pricing not transparent
- Does not onboard software, hardware
- No task flows
- Essentials Plan: Custom-quote; Includes basic features
- Advantage Plan: $8.25 per employee monthly (custom quote)*
Add-ons: You can add these packages to the core plan.
- Performance Management
- Time Tracking
Take note: You need the Advantage Plan for onboarding.
*Pricing is based on a quote we received
We like BambooHR because it’s an easy yet complete HR system with excellent onboarding tools. It earns its place on our list by being a solid system with all-around great tools, but we especially liked the Get to Know You email feature, which helps new hires forge social connections with co-workers. While it has custom pricing, it has defined plans, so you get what you need without having to build your own plan. Users rate it highly, as do our competitors.
BambooHR has two plans: Essentials and Advantage. However, you can only get onboarding with the Advantage plan. It’s quote-based, and we were given a quote of $8.25 per employee monthly, assuming a company of 15 employees. This is highly competitive since it has all the features, including training. GoCo and Rippling, by contrast, add fees for each tool.
We gave BambooHR 4.15 out of 5 in our evaluation. The quote-based pricing brought its score down. It earned high scores for tools and popularity, and a perfect score for ease of use. It does not onboard hardware nor does it have background checks or hire new state forms. These can be done with integrations, but check out Rippling if you want these tools.
BambooHR’s Standout Features
- Get to Know You email: Making connections affects employee satisfaction—and employee retention. BambooHR gets new hires off to the right start with a Get To Know You email. New hires fill out a form with questions about their hobbies, likes, whether they have kids, etc. (You decide what’s important to your crew). Then you decide who should get an email with the responses. While GoCo lets you create a similar form, only BambooHR takes that extra step in helping a new hire make potential friend connections right away.
- International: BambooHR can work with businesses in over 120 countries with HR and payroll tools. Only Rippling exceeds this, serving 150+ countries.
- Insight widgets: These have been launched recently to give managers and HR more insight into their workforce. It contains 16 premade widgets that include hiring and onboarding data which shows all the candidates that receive a job offer and any training they might have not completed yet. Through this, you can easily find any things HR might have missed during hiring and onboarding.
- Training: Bamboo HR includes training tools. You can set mandatory courses for new hires to ensure compliance, schedule refreshers for maintaining compliances with all employees, and create optional courses to help your people develop their skills.
- Satisfaction survey: The Advantage Plan includes the eNPS survey system, which lets you take the pulse of your workforce through quick surveys. This is a great tool for monitoring employee satisfaction at work, but you can also use it to let your new hire rate their onboarding process and check up on them in their first days.
- Full HRIS: Like GoCo and Rippling, Bamboo is a complete HR support system. However, unlike these two, it provides a full toolset in its base plans, with the option of adding on payroll, time tracking, and performance management. GoCo’s paid time off (PTO) function automatically tracks accruals, balances, and other important time-off functions. If you purchase add-ons, you can also manage your benefits and time sheets, and complete ACA forms.
GoCo: Best for Personalized Onboarding Documents
- Create fillable documents
- Helps onboard IDs and passwords
- Benefits enrollment included
- Custom workflows
- US only
- No new hire reporting
- Mobile app glitchy, especially on Android
- Pricing starts at $5 per employee monthly
GoCo, like BambooHR, is a human resources application that makes it easy to onboard employees. It offers e-signatures and custom workflows. It impressed us with its Magic Docs function, which lets you create interactive documents with custom fields. It’s highly regarded by real-world users, and one of the most affordable programs on our list.
Like Rippling, GoCo has a modular system, though it calls them apps. It creates a custom package based on what apps you need. Prices start at $5 per employee monthly, which is cheaper than most of the onboarding software we considered. While it does not offer a free trial, it does offer a free online tour of the software, populated with sample information.
GoCo earned 4.11 out of 5 in our evaluation. It earned a perfect score for ease of use—which was reflected in its user-review rating—and was among the best for pricing and payment features. It lost points for not having online employee training tools like sexual harassment awareness videos (although you can add them manually), background checks, and other standout functions.
GoCo’s Standout Features
- Magic Docs: While the others on our list allow you to upload files for your new employee to read and even sign, only GoCo offers a fully automated document creation system that includes fill-in fields. It will even autofill fields where the system has the information, like names and addresses. Use this for anything from getting-to-know-you forms to performance reviews.
- Custom workflows: GoCo’s workflows are as easy to design as Monday’s, although it lacks Monday’s project management tools (such as Kanban boards). It’s easy to see progress and click on a project or person to get details. This function works for any type of project—not just onboarding.
- Payroll and benefits: GoCo’s payroll wizard collects the information you need for payroll, including W-4 details and benefit enrollment deductions. While it does not offer complete payroll like Rippling or Gusto, it does integrate with payroll software.
- Time clock, scheduling, and tasks: Like Homebase, your employees can use GoCo for clocking in and out, which is a nice extra. It allows you to task people through workflows and can send reminders. However, it does not have scheduling like Homebase.
ApplicantStack: Best Onboarding Software With a Dynamic ATS
- Easy to set up
- Supports e-signatures
- Candidate keywords
- Custom questionnaires
- No universal candidate profiles
- Has a learning curve
- Some functions are sometimes glitchy
- Onboard: $105/month flat rate
- Recruit: $105/month flat rate
- Bundle: $150/month flat rate
ApplicantStack has a wide range of onboarding tools like workflows and checklists, and keyword filters for a seamless hiring to onboarding process. It also has a chronological summary for each applicant, which shows all the actions that have been taken for a particular job candidate.
Unlike the other software on this list, ApplicantStack has a compartmentalized pricing plan for its onboarding and recruiting. Users who just want the onboarding features can purchase the Onboard plan, while those that want the recruiting features can get the Recruit plan. It also offers a Bundle plan at a discounted price.
ApplicantStack scored 3.93 out of 5 because it lacks several features, like a free version, an offer letter, and background check features, which can be found in Rippling and Zenefits.
ApplicantStack’s Standout Features
- Customized question modules: Helps managers tailor the questions to a specific and related job, so they can get the information and insight they need about an applicant or employee.
- Candidate keyword tracker: This is ApplicantStack’s unique feature which the other software in the list don’t have. This powerful tool helps recruiters track the most important keywords and phrases used by potential candidates in their applications. It helps recruiters quickly classify the best-suited or unqualified candidate for the position.
- Import hires: If you have a Bundle plan, you can easily import data from new hires to onboarding with just a click.
- Customized new hire portal: Invite new hires on a branded and customized portal that contains the steps and tasks they need to complete during onboarding.
TriNet Zenefits: Best for Self-onboarding
- Easy to use
- Onboarding included in all plans
- Unified platform for HR, onboarding, payroll, and benefits management
- Self-onboarding feature
- No training features
- No free version or free trial
- No checklists and task flows*
- Essentials: $10/employee per month
($8 for annual contract)
- Growth: $20/employee per month
($16 for annual contract)
- Zen: $27/employee per month
($21 for annual contract)
TriNet Zenefits is a leading HR software that has all the HR functionality from onboarding to payroll. What makes it an optimal onboarding solution is its self-onboarding feature and how it automatically connects to your HR system. This streamlines the onboarding process because there’s no more back and forth of information.
The onboarding feature is available in all of TriNet Zenefits’ plans. Although Rippling has onboarding in its core features, it has an additional platform fee.
We gave TriNet Zenefits a 3.66 out of 5 rating because it lacks some onboarding features like the new employee training tools and onboarding checklist, like GoCo and Gusto. But what it lacks, TriNet Zenefits has made up for other features like the offer letter, document management, and performance management features.
TriNet Zenefits Standout Features
- Automated onboarding process: From signing offer letters to creating tax documents, TriNet Zenefits make onboarding fast by going paperless. More so, it automatically creates customized tax documents based on the information the employee provided on TriNet Zenefits.
- Time tracking feature: TriNet Zenefits has time tracking and scheduling capabilities like Homebase. It also automatically syncs employee PTOs, making payroll as easy as pie.
- Supports international onboarding: Like Rippling, TriNet Zenefits supports international onboarding for both employees and contract workers, which is perfect for businesses with remote and in-office setups.
Gusto: Best for Onboarding With Payroll
- Easy to use
- Files state new hire reports
- Device management
- Onboards payroll
- No performance, training features
- Does not onboard hardware, software
- No task flows
You need a Complete Plan or higher for onboarding tools.
- Simple: $40/month plus $6/ employee monthly
- Plus: $80/month plus $9/person a month
- Premium: custom pricing
*Gusto is offering a 25% price discount for their Plus plan for a limited time only.
Gusto is a popular US payroll and HR service that includes some useful onboarding tools. Plus, its device management program is second only to Rippling’s. It handles onboarding from offer letters to benefits enrollment, but the tools only come in a payroll plan. Gusto is our No. 1 choice for HR payroll software, best SMB payroll software, and best online payroll services.
Like Monday, Gusto lists its plans and pricing right on its website, except its Premium plan. But even with the custom pricing, you can see exactly the features you will get. You need the Plus Plan if you want access to the onboarding tools. It runs $80 per month plus $12 per month per employee and includes PTO and time tracking, project tracking, hiring, team management, and performance reviews.
We gave Gusto a 3.53 out of 5 in our evaluation. Like Monday.com and BambooHR, it got a perfect score for ease of use and scored high for pricing and popularity. It lost points for not having training tools, although you can track things like watching a training video or reading a document you add.
Gusto’s Standout Features
- Payroll and benefits: As mentioned above, Gusto is a top-rated payroll application. In addition, it offers Gusto-brokered health insurance and other benefits in 37 states. Rippling also made some of our top payroll provider lists, but you have to purchase payroll and benefits as extra modules. BambooHR and GoCo offer payroll as add-ons.
- New hire reporting: While others on our list will have employees fill out state new hire reports, Gusto is the only one that files them automatically (unless you get Rippling’s payroll module).
Need payroll software? We think Gusto has the best onboarding for payroll, but unfortunately, its benefits are limited to 37 states. There are many payroll software services that integrate with onboarding software. For other alternatives, check out our best payroll services guide.
Homebase: Best Onboarding Software for Schedule-based Businesses
- Easy to use
- Excellent messaging tools
- Pay by location—handles unlimited employees
- Easily schedule new employees
- Has a free version
- Only the highest plan includes onboarding
- Few HR tools
- Does not file state new hire documents
- Essentials: $20/month per location
- Plus: $48/month per location
- All-in-One Plan: $80 per month per location
*Only the All-in-One Plan has onboarding features.
Homebase is top-rated scheduling software that we like because its free program has hiring tools and scheduling, and the onboarding tools cover the basics: W-4s and other forms, e-signature, and a welcome package that can include anything from the welcome letter to training materials. While you need its most expensive plan for onboarding functions, it’s competitively priced and offers excellent scheduling features. It’s a great choice for restaurants and retailers who primarily hire hourly workers.
As with Gusto, there are other, lower-priced plans—but you need the All-in-One Plan to get onboarding. While it costs $80 per month, it’s nonetheless very affordable, since it charges by location with unlimited users. Thus, if you have more than 14 employees in one store, it’s cheaper even than the cheapest GoCo plan. Plus, you get excellent scheduling tools that the others on our list cannot touch. Here’s a sample computation for 50 employees:
- GoCo: 50 X $5/user = $250
- Homebase: 50 users in the same location = $80
Even if you add another location and subscribe to the All-in-One plan, it is still going to be cheaper than GoCo by $90.
Homebase got only 3.43 out of 5 in our evaluation, primarily because of its weakness in extra onboarding features like device management and workflows—things you may not need if you’re running a restaurant or retail store. It also lost points for training tools and background checks, but so did others on our list. It’s an extremely popular and highly rated tool and has the advantage of hiring tools and scheduling as well as onboarding.
Homebase’s Standout Features
- Scheduling: While Rippling and GoCo offer time clocks, and Monday lets you track time for projects, only Homebase has complete scheduling, clock in/out, shift swaps, and more. It onboards straight into the scheduling software, so you can get your new employee assigned to their shift right away.
- Hiring tools: Homebase has a library of templates to help you write job descriptions and then it posts to job boards for free. It has a simple applicant tracking system, lets you message and schedule interviews in-app, and moves straight to onboarding when you choose to hire. Gusto also has some hiring tools, but no templates. Rippling’s hiring tools cost extra. BambooHR has an ATS but does not post to job boards. GoCo and Monday do not include hiring tools.
- On-the-fly feedback: While it does not have performance tools like the more traditional HR products on our list, Homebase does allow for intermittent feedback. Its shift survey can also be used for having new employees rate their onboarding process. The shift notes let shift supervisors or managers make notes on how an employee is fitting in at their new job.
Monday.com: Best for Customizable Onboarding Processes
- Intuitive interface
- Highly customizable
- Forms creation
- Free plan
- Not an HR software
- Storage limited depending on plan
- Integration actions limited depending on plan
- Individual: Free for 2 users, no guests
- Basic: $10/user per month, no guests
- Standard: $12/user per month, 4 guests = 1 user
- Pro: $20/user per month, unlimited guests
- Enterprise: Custom, unlimited guests
Not every company needs HR software for onboarding. If you’re looking for an awesome project management tool that has onboarding functions, we suggest Monday.com. This project management program includes checklists, workflows, reminders, and document storage, so it’s easily adaptable to onboarding new hires while helping you organize all your HR and team functions.
Monday.com has a free plan, which is sufficient if you are a solopreneur looking to bring in one additional employee, such as a temp for a busy season. However, you’ll most likely need a paid plan. Prices increase by tools, storage, automated tasks (like reminders), and integration actions. (No other software on our list limits automations or integrations.)
Price per user
Free, limit 2
$8 per month
$10 per month, no guests*
$16 per month, 4 guests* = 1 user
250 actions per month
25,000 actions per month
250,000 actions per month
250 actions per month
25,000 actions per month
250,000 actions per month
Timeline and calendar views
*Guests have access to particular projects without access to the whole Monday.com account
Even though Monday.com is not traditional onboarding software, it nonetheless beat out several HR-type products that did not make our list. It helped that it earned perfect scores for pricing and ease of use, as well as a high score for popularity. Its workflow tools were top-rate, but it lost a lot of points for the things HR software handles better—offer letters, background checks, training, PTO, and the like. Overall score: 3.42 out of 5.
Monday.com’s Standout Features
- Project management: Using its onboarding template, it’s easy to adapt it to bringing in new hires and getting them started on projects (which you can organize through Monday.com). You can use Monday to track training, act as a simple CRM, and plan and collaborate on any kind of project, from website building to planning the company holiday party.
- Workflow and reminders: Especially with higher plans, Monday.com beats the competition for workflows. It’s easy to create new projects, and with automations, it can automate reminders, alerts, or bring a new hire to a new task, even one not associated with onboarding. Rippling, BambooHR, and GoCo all have workflow management and some reminders, but Monday is built to keep a process (like onboarding) moving forward.
- Top-rated mobile app: All of the software programs on our list have mobile apps, although Gusto’s are for finances only. Monday’s app had the best user ratings, with 4.7 out of 5 for iOS and Android. Monday’s app lets you manage teams, communicate via @mentions, view tasks, and more. While it lacks PTO tracking like the others, it’s nonetheless great for onboarding.
If you are looking for a provider that offers more than just onboarding features, there are full HRIS or HRMS solutions designed for small businesses.
How We Chose the Onboarding Software
A well-planned onboarding process not only makes things easier for human resources but also makes a lasting good impression on the employee. We looked for tools that made it easy to gather information (from emergency contacts to benefits preferences), get signatures on agreements and other legal paperwork, conduct initial training, and even introduce your employees to the company culture.
Rippling took top billing because it has so many tools to offer, and its modular system means that you can get just what you need. Among our choices, only Rippling onboards users to hardware as well as software, and it is the easiest to use.
Click through the tabs below for our full evaluation criteria:
15% of Overall Score
We had a mix of custom and transparent plan-based pricing, so we looked for overall affordability, transparency, and whether or not there was a free trial. Monday.com and Homebase earned perfect scores.
35% of Overall Score
No matter what the specialization, we wanted to see the software do some basic things: allow employees to self-onboard, get some basic training, fill out and e-sign forms, and be able to access documents like the company handbook. We gave extra points for background checks and performance management. Rippling had the highest score at 4.63 out of 5, but it should be noted that you may have to purchase extra modules for some features.
10% of Overall Score
As much time as we spend on research, it cannot replace the experiences of real-world users. Here we consider scoring on popular review sites like Capterra and G2. All the software is extremely well liked, with most scoring 4 of 5 and Rippling getting a perfect score.
20% of Overall Score
Other onboarding features included checklists, workflows, and getting software accounts. Homebase only earned 2.25 stars here, a reflection of its focus rather than its quality of features. Rippling once again had a perfect score since it onboards hardware and software. Coming in close second are ApplicantStack, BambooHR, and GoCo with a 4.5 rating.
20% of Overall Score
We considered interface, customer support, online guides, and dedicated help when compiling this score. We also looked for integrations. Everyone scored high, and Gusto, BambooHR, GoCo, and Monday all got perfect scores.
Onboarding software does more than save time. It can help you meet regulations, ensure a trained work staff, and give employees a great first impression. The best onboarding applications have tools for managing onboarding tasks, tracking training and certifications, and maintaining regular communication with new hires.
Rippling’s versatility and fantastic user interface make it our top choice for onboarding software. Employees will be able to onboard quickly and securely, from signing their offer letter to getting their company laptop. Rippling’s prices start at $8/user per month with a $35 base fee for basic onboarding and HR and go up depending on specialized modules. Call Rippling today to get a quote.