Almost 30% of job seekers say they have left a position within their first 90 days. Therefore, it is important to properly engage your workforce at the very beginning of their journey with your company to ensure a high retention rate. Onboarding tools prepare them for success in their new roles, empower them to set high expectations for themselves, and even encourage them to stick around longer.
Employee turnover is costly, especially if those costs come immediately after new employee hiring expenses. Despite that, many small businesses and startups still might not be able to fit an onboarding platform in their budget. As such, we put together a list of the best free onboarding solutions, including free trials and free forever options. Our aim is to help small businesses empower new hires and create high-growth teams while also saving money and valuable time.
This guide outlines the best free employee onboarding systems, either those that have free trials or are actually free depending on your company size. You can also check out our landscape on the top employee onboarding solutions.
Top Free Employee Onboarding Software
To select the best free employee onboarding software, we combined insights from multiple sources including product demos, user feedback, expert opinions, and our in-house team's experience. We’ve only listed products that have a free option (either a free plan or a free trial). We think the features that matter most for free employee onboarding software are ease of use, integration ability, and reporting.
- Ease of use: We prioritized platforms that simplify onboarding and allow new hires to access the necessary paperwork, e-sign documents, and complete tasks effortlessly. Free tools with mobile accessibility scored particularly high on our list as they add a considerable amount of convenience to the whole process.
- Seamless integration: Employee onboarding software is what links your recruiting tech with your people management tech, so even free versions should be able to integrate with most solutions in those spaces, either through built-in modules (which we prefer) or through API. Bonus points were also given to free employee onboarding tools that integrate with popular employee engagement and survey tools, giving you insights into how your onboarding process could improve.
- Reporting: Good free employee onboarding software helps you track where new hires are in the onboarding process, as well as gives you insight into completion time and rate so you can pinpoint where the process can be improved.
For a deeper understanding of our methodology, we have a detailed guide explaining our editorial guidelines.
BambooHR helps you save countless man hours in onboarding processes. It comes with built-in electronic signatures, onboarding templates, automatic sending of onboarding tasks to new employees, and customizable pre-boarding packages.
- Flexible packaging and custom pricing to suit your requirements. Choose from different packages and add additional modules as you go.
- User-friendly and intuitive tool that simplifies the onboarding process with its straightforward interface.
- Flexible packaging and custom pricing is the way they roll. You can pick out one or two packages and pick other modules as add-ons based on your needs.
- Very simple and straightforward tool, easy to use.
- Payroll functionality is exclusively available for U.S.-based employees.
- Customer support is limited to U.S. business hours.
- Certain modules, such as time tracking, performance management, and surveys, are only accessible as add-ons.
- Payroll is only available for US-based employees
- Customer support is only offered during US business hours.
- Some modules like time tracking, performance management, and surveys are only available as add-ons.
BambooHR's software spans across the entire employee lifecycle, as they also have recruiting and performance management in addition to the core HRMS functionality. Their onboarding and offboarding features, while available only for some of their custom plans, are easy to use and made for saving time and keeping employees engaged.
Among the 20,000+ companies that use BambooHR, you’d find names like Quora, Universal Group, Reddit, Asana, Change.org, University of Maryland, Grammarly, Stance, Postmates, Wistia, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and ZipRecruiter.
Pricing is not disclosed upfront, but they do offer a free trial of their all-in-one software and then go out of their way to find a version that will suit you. Before they come up with a personalized quote that will align with your budget, however, they are also likely to extend your free trial upon request or even give you a free demo of the advanced features.
BambooHR is an excellent choice for companies seeking a highly customizable HR solution that aligns with their specific needs. It is particularly well-suited for teams operating remotely, whether partially or fully.
Sentrifugo is one of the top open-source HRMSs out there. Whether you're a small business or a large organization, it can be configured to fit your exact needs.
Sentrifugo is a free open-source HRMS, which includes an onboarding module in its feature set. If your company is looking for a little bit of everything on top of onboarding, Sentrifugo is a great option. However, because it’s open source you have to save all of your data on your own servers. For a small to medium sized business, that shouldn’t end up being an issue.
Sentrifugo is completely free, but you need to take into consideration the cost of hosting it yourself.
Small and medium-sized companies that want to explore the open-source route.
WebHR is free if you have 5 employees or less in your organization. Its base module includes onboarding tools, which are designed for new hire self-service.
With WebHR, employees can use any device to fill out paperwork, sign and upload documentation, choose benefits plans, and complete training modules. Even if you need to upgrade from the free plan, WebHR's options are pretty inexpensive; as little as $2/month per staff member. That makes it an ideal employee management system for small businesses.
Chevrolet, Nissan, Infiniti, WaterAid, GMC, and Budget.
WebHR's pricing after the free version depends on the amount of modules you add. As mentioned above, it can be as little as $2 per user per month for all the base modules.
Small businesses looking for a simple solution with all the necessary features.
Zenefits offer top-notch product experience with a self-service ethos for most of its products. That has worked for thousands of companies because their products are so easy to use.
- Very user-friendly tool is accessible via both browsers and mobile devices.
- Self-service includes onboarding, benefits, payroll, PTO, and more.
- Has a free trial. Plans’ pricing is cost-friendly to SMBs.
- It’s one of the top names in HR tech and payroll software for American small businesses.
- Their platform is one of the best-looking and easiest to figure out among the sector.
- Zenefits can grow with you. Its pricing plans allow you to pay and tweak as you go, add certain modules when you need them, or get rid of them if you don’t.
- U.S.-focused, so payroll and benefits don’t work for multinational companies.
- Payroll isn’t included in base plans but is offered as an add-on.
- Doesn’t has phone support or dedicated account managers.
- As oriented to small businesses as the tool is, it doesn’t give you the chance to create a custom bundle of the services and/or modules you’d like to have. For instance, Zenefits does not offer a standalone ACA module. Therefore, you will need to purchase an entire HRIS plan if you want to access that offering.
- In addition, Zenefits focuses on small to mid sized companies. If you're an enterprise organization, you may want to consider another option.
- Zenefits is also rather focused on the US market at this point. So, if your team is mostly in another country and you need more of a local know-how, it might not be the best bet for certain modules like payroll and benefits.
Zenefits offers a two-week free trial of their hiring and onboarding software. Zenefits’ hiring and onboarding software is mobile-friendly and allows employees to self-onboard, saving HR teams lots of time. The solution follows the entire onboarding process, from making the offer to managing employees once they’re fully assimilated. We particularly like Zenefits’ benefits offering. The tool gives us flexibility and guidance on which benefits plans suit us. We can also bring our broker to the system if we already have the plans in mind. The mobile app is helpful in bringing convenience for employees to enroll in the benefits they want and access information like balances and claims on the go.
Plus, Zenefits hiring and onboarding software connects automatically to the rest of its HR suite, making it ideal if you’re already a Zenefits customer.
Quora, Goals for Autism, Universal Group, Reddit, Asana
After the free trial, Zenefits starts with the Essentials plan at $8 per month per employee.
Smaller teams (<50) that want to save time by streamlining their HR services with an intuitive platform that lets them pay and tweak as they go.
- Our goal at SSR is to help HR and recruiting teams to find and buy the right software for their needs.
- Our site is free to use as some vendors will pay us for web traffic.
- SSR lists all companies we feel are top vendors - not just those who pay us - in our comprehensive directories full of the advice needed to make the right purchase decision for your HR team.