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Top Free Employee Onboarding Software

The Best Free Employee Onboarding Software (Q1 2024)

The 4 best free employee onboarding software tools on the market as selected by our in-house HR tech experts. Get feature comparisons, use cases, pricing info, and more below.

Chris Hatler
Written by
Chris Hatler
HR tech researcher, writer and editor
Contributing Experts
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Last Updated: Dec 13, 2023
TOP
Onboarding by a top vendor
BambooHR
4.6
Popularity Score
4.5
User Score
4.4
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
Onboarding by a top vendor
BambooHR
4.6
Popularity Score
4.5
User Score
4.4
Product  Score
Learn More
TOP
Free open-source HRMS
Sentrifugo
4.0
Popularity Score
4.3
User Score
4.2
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
Free open-source HRMS
Sentrifugo
4.0
Popularity Score
4.3
User Score
4.2
Product  Score
Learn More
TOP
Free onboarding, or modular pricing
WebHR
4.0
Popularity Score
4.3
User Score
4.0
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
Free onboarding, or modular pricing
WebHR
4.0
Popularity Score
4.3
User Score
4.0
Product  Score
Learn More
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Introduction to Free Employee Onboarding Software

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.

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Top Free Employee Onboarding Software

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BambooHR

: Onboarding by a top vendor

Sentrifugo

: Free open-source HRMS

WebHR

: Free onboarding, or modular pricing

Zenefits

: No-paperwork employee onboarding

Our Criteria: Here's How We Chose The 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.

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Compare the Top Free Employee Onboarding Software

Popularity Score
Best for
Key Differentiator
Pricing
Free Trial
Customers
Users Score
Product Score

BambooHR

Most Popular
4.6
Custom Pricing
Yes
30,000+
4.5
4.4

Sentrifugo

Most Popular
4.0
Custom Pricing
Yes
17+ companies
4.3
4.2

WebHR

Most Popular
4.0
$2/mo/user
Yes
25,000+ companies
4.3
4.0

Zenefits

Most Popular
4.0
Starts at $8/employee/month
Yes
10,000+
3.9
4.0
Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast

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Detailed Reviews of the Best Free Employee Onboarding Software

BambooHR

Visit Website
BambooHR
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Popularity Score
4.6 / 5
User Score
4.5 / 5
Product Score
4.4 / 5

Why we picked BambooHR

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.

PROS

  • 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.

CONS

  • 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 Review

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.

BambooHR Customers

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.

BambooHR Pricing

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.

Best For

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.

BambooHR in action
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Sentrifugo

Visit Website
Sentrifugo
Learn More
Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.3 / 5
Product Score
4.2 / 5

Why we picked Sentrifugo

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.

PROS

CONS

Sentrifugo Review

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 Customers

Sentrifugo Pricing

Sentrifugo is completely free, but you need to take into consideration the cost of hosting it yourself.

Best For

Small and medium-sized companies that want to explore the open-source route.

Sentrifugo in action
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WebHR

Visit Website
WebHR
Learn More
Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.3 / 5
Product Score
4 / 5

Why we picked WebHR

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.

PROS

CONS

WebHR Review

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.

WebHR Customers

Chevrolet, Nissan, Infiniti, WaterAid, GMC, and Budget.

WebHR Pricing

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.

Best For

Small businesses looking for a simple solution with all the necessary features.

WebHR in action
Reviewer's Rating
9/10

WebHR has plenty of convenient features. Firstly, we can download the HR manual for our reference through it. Furthermore, we may raise requests for staff loan, whistleblower, and hospitalization claims. WebHR also has an integrated chatbot which offers assistance in addressing a wide range of HR-related inquiries.

What do you like about this tool?
  • We initiate requests on the WebHR portal and we are able to see the progress status, whether the requests were approved or pending; In short, we like its transparency.
  • There is a chatbot where we can directly communicate with HR employees for guidance.
  • The HR manual and all circulars are easily available and can be searched by text or date.
Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

Earlier, our organization’s human resource department shared the updated HR manual via email. All queries by the employees were entertained through email as well. It was a hectic exercise as many follow-ups were needed and, sometimes, we lost track of the email threads. In order to overcome this, our organization transitioned to WebHR. The platform automated the requests initiated by the employees, while tracking the changes and approvals.

What do you dislike about this tool?
  • Upgrades sometimes take 2 or 3 working days of downtime which is a hurdle for employees.
  • Uploading the relevant PDF documents for case submission and approval takes time.
  • WebHR isn’t the most user-friendly; new users do need some guidance on how to use it. Guide book needs to read out for fresh employee to use the web HR as it is not much user friendly.
How is this tool different than their competitors?

Well, earlier we were using emails for all types of queries and approvals so we have not used any other software yet.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

This is a good platform where employees and HR connect with each other and communicate easily.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

It is very necessary for our organization with a large number of employees. Each of our needs and requests are important, and it is HR's duty to resolve them promptly.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

I am associated with the banking industry and I believe it is good for banking and other industries as well.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

I don't think any organization will dislike this platform as it improves alot of processes for employees and HR.

Zenefits

Visit Website
Zenefits
Learn More
Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
3.9 / 5
Product Score
4 / 5

Why we picked Zenefits

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.

PROS

  • 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.

CONS

  • 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 Review

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.

Zenefits Customers

Quora, Goals for Autism, Universal Group, Reddit, Asana

Zenefits Pricing

After the free trial, Zenefits starts with the Essentials plan at $8 per month per employee.

Best For

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.

Zenefits in action
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Use Cases for Free Employee Onboarding Software

Every company wants to build a successful onboarding program to motivate and inspire new team members. After all, a motivated employee is a productive employee. But you might think that your human resources team can handle onboarding by themselves. If you’re unsure how software can streamline your onboarding process, here are some use cases that may convince you to try a solution out, especially if it’s free.

  • Training: Much of the onboarding experience is training a new hire to understand how they fit into your company’s operations. There’s learning missions and values, products and services, customers, software systems, and much more. Employee onboarding software offers an easy solution to lots of learning. You can create streamlined training plans, provide skill assessments, and connections to mentorship opportunities with senior staff.
  • Creating Culture: Learning about your company’s missions and values is incredibly important to ensure that new hires successfully assimilate. Employee onboarding software lets you intertwine that culture into every communication with a new hire. In addition, the software solutions offer “buddy” functionality to match new employees with someone similar in the company to guide them along the onboarding journey.
  • Managing Paperwork: Paperwork is one of the big headaches in new employee onboarding. Employee onboarding software makes the process way less time consuming and completely paperless. Offer letters, background checks, W2s, NDAs, employee handbooks, benefits and payroll forms and more can be automatically sent to new hires, where they can complete them on their own. Mobile functionality makes it user-friendly for new employees to provide e-signatures to such documents. 
  • Better Organization: Employee onboarding management software provides customizable checklists and workflows so it’s easy to recognize what’s done and what needs to be done. Built-in notification systems alert your HR team when something isn’t done.  
  • Automation: Automated onboarding tasks means less time spent collecting and manually processing information.

Pro Tips on Free Employee Onboarding Software

Pitfalls When Using Free Employee Onboarding Software

Free software typically does not offer all of the benefits a paid software does. It’s important to keep that in mind as you go forward with your research. However, you can get a pretty good offering that will help automate HR processes, especially as a small business who can’t afford the pricing of enterprise SaaS solutions.

As for free trials, they are exactly that -- trials. They are great solutions for a couple weeks. You can sometimes even request a trial extension and most times vendors will be accommodating. But once your time is up, it’s either pay the fees or lose the service. If the trial requires you to put a credit card down before trying, make sure you cancel the subscription in time to avoid getting auto-charged!

What Features To Expect from Free Employee Onboarding Software

At the very least, the best employee onboarding software optimizes the first steps of an employee’s lifecycle with your company. Most free software solutions offer the basic needs of automating paperwork, streamlining the training process, and organizing HR workflows. But the key benefit from an employee onboarding solution should be a great new employee experience that translates into a long fruitful career within your organization.

Here are some additional features that our listed free vendors offer that we think are useful.

  • Email & Text Capabilities: Streamlining communications with new employees by automating emails and texts. Email templates and calendar syncing allow you to efficiently take care of administrative work.
  • Training: You can create training materials and even facilitate training sessions so new hires can learn everything they need to know about your company, from mission and values to their work function and key clients. There are often test and quiz capabilities as well for increased accountability.
  • Performance Management: Some employee onboarding systems offer performance management features that let you set team and company goals to track progress. This can be incredibly useful for new hires as well, as they can immediately get tuned into how they can immediately impact your company.
  • 30/60/90 days: Hiring managers should have a measurable plan for the first 30, 60, and 90 days of a new employee's time with their company. Onboarding software usually comes with templates to help keep track of those metrics. 
  • ATS & Recruiting: Some employee onboarding software has applicant tracking components that help streamline your hiring process even further. If you’re curious about ATS’s, check out our landscape of free applicant tracking systems.

It’s important to note that free software offerings might not have every feature on the above list. Figure out what’s most important to your organization and seek out vendors based on your preferences.

Free Onboarding Tools FAQs

What is employee onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the process of adding a new employee into the organization. This involves introducing a new hire with the company culture, filling out documentation such as payroll and benefits information, distributing handbooks and tools, and connecting them with other employees.

What are free employee onboarding tools?

Employee onboarding tools are software solutions designed to streamline the onboarding process.

What features do free onboarding tools have?

Onboarding tools have many useful features, including automated workflows, email and text capabilities, legal documentation and other paperwork, training modules, performance management functions, ATS components, employer branding, background checks, and offer letter management.

What benefits do free onboarding tools provide?

Some benefits of onboarding tools include better retention, heightened employee engagement, and more streamlined HR processes.

What considerations should I think about when getting a free employee onboarding software?

When considering purchasing employee onboarding software, make sure that the solution you get is going to enhance your current procedure. Don’t end up paying for extra features that you aren’t going to use.

Final Advice on Free Onboarding Software

When looking for a free software, you’re not going to be able to get everything on your list. Narrow down the list of features you want into “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” and pursue the offering that fits as much of the must-haves as possible.

As your company grows, you’ll be able to branch out to the full version of these vendors, or even seek out a different one. We have an entire landscape dedicated to the best employee onboarding software when you’re ready to make the jump. In the meantime, use this page to find the best possible solution.

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  • Our goal at SSR is to help HR and recruiting teams to find and buy the right software for their needs.
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  • 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.

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