neon sign on the wall reads "This must be the pace" signifying that strategic onboarding is all about helping people feel that they've found the right place for them.

The Ultimate Guide To Strategic Onboarding Tools In 2023

Since early 2021, the business world has been deeply affected by the ‘Great Resignation,’ also known as the ‘Big Quit,’ where over 50.5 million individuals left their roles in 2022 alone. Moreover, an unbelievable 33% of employees quit their new role within 90 days of starting the position. 

But what’s the leading cause behind this mass employee exodus? Well, a study revealed that a staggering 80% of new hires leave due to receiving a lackluster onboarding experience. 

This shocking statistic should set alarm bells ringing for hiring managers and stakeholders alike, as a high turnover is a massive drain on resources, time, and employee productivity  that can drastically affect your bottom line. 

Don’t panic just yet, as there’s an easy fix.  Evidence suggests that an effective onboarding process can improve employee retention rates by a whopping 82%, so, if you’re looking for somewhere to start making improvements, this is a great place to do so. 

Thankfully, there’s an abundance of software services available online designed to create successful pre-boarding and onboarding plans that will improve employee retention rates. Come with us as we take a look at how these fabulous tools can improve an employee’s experience with your company from their start date, all the way through to retirement. 

The 5 Cs of a successful onboarding strategy 

Numerous HR professionals refer to the 5 Cs of onboarding as the golden standard of the onboarding process. Let’s take a moment to break down:

  • What these Cs represent 
  • How they optimize your strategic onboarding program
  • How they help you select the perfect onboarding software
A screenshot that shows the 5 C's of onboarding which are, compliance, clarity, culture, connection, check-back.


1. Compliance 

This refers to the endless amount of tasks that must be completed at the start of the onboarding process to comply with legislation and company obligations. These include jobs such as: 

  • Filling out paperwork like contracts, tax forms, and declarations
  • Familiarization with company values and policy, which is incredibly important as it gives employees an opportunity to internalize these values and align them with their own
  • Initial training and courses on anti-harassment, data security, and other essential topics
  • Badging process
  • Relevant background checks
  • Creating logins for company systems and software
  • Providing the required equipment such as laptops, stationery, and lanyards

While this never-ending barrage of busywork may seem like a nuisance at times, it’s a crucial element of the onboarding process that ensures businesses meet legal and ethical requirements. It also helps to set a strong foundation for the employee, giving them something to refer back to as they progress throughout their career.

Unfortunately, this process can be incredibly time-consuming and take up much of the first week of a new starter’s employment. However, onboarding automation tools are  able to digitize the entire experience, turning this administrative burden into an efficient and manageable workflow. 

The numerous aspects of the onboarding process including, set up accounts, create logins, employee training, paperwork, and check-in plan.


2. Clarification 

In an ideal world, new employees would come into a position having been provided with a concrete and detailed understanding of what the role entails from the recruitment process. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. 

Therefore, it is imperative to reinforce the company’s expectations for an employee in their new role. There are multiple ways that this can be done, including:

  • Providing a thorough and detailed job description 
  • Creating a high-quality employee handbook
  • Showcasing these points in an informative welcome presentation
  • Creating performance milestones and checklists
  • Outlining the different metrics used to monitor performance 
  • Setting reasonable targets for a specified period of time
  • Providing regular check-ins to discuss performance and expectations

An effective employee onboarding tool will allow users to provide their team members with this information in an easily digestible and obtainable manner through an online resource portal. This will also save you time as an employer, since you won’t have to go through the same information over and over again. It’s also easier to refer back to these resources, rather than try and remember everything discussed in a face-to-face conversation

A list of 21 employee performance metrics, which include: number of sales, absentee rate, overtime, human capital ROI, profit per FTE, and number of phone calls.


3. Culture

Your company culture is undeniably unique to your brand, and it is unlikely that a new employee will be familiar with its distinct flavor of qualities and quirks. It is, therefore, necessary for a talent manager to shine a spotlight on the brand culture during new hire onboarding. 

Make sure to continuously reference the following points throughout the entire process to make a solid first impression:

  • History of the company and other interesting stories 
  • The original motivation for creating the business 
  • Company values and core beliefs
  • Key individuals within the business
  • Incentives and opportunities

There are many fantastic methods you can use to reinforce the company culture, including: 

  • Create a detailed employee handbook that informs the team about the history of the company and its numerous policies 
  • Introduce new employees to key members of the team
  • Make sure to invite new hires to work outings and team-building activities 
  • Provide comprehensive training about work culture and ethics 

It is also important to note that onboarding software allows business owners to create an extensive resource library with relevant documentation about their corporate culture. 

The different aspects that make up a company culture, including: beliefs, values, assumptions, attitudes, behaviours, and metrics.


4. Connection

As corny as the “power of friendship” trope is on TV, there’s a lot of truth behind it. Developing meaningful connections and gaining a sense of belonging is essential in creating a fulfilling working environment for employees. Check out some of these statistics that truly show the impact of having sincere relationships at work: 

  • Employees are ten times more likely to remain in a position for friendships rather than for a pay rise.
  • 77% of employees who said they were satisfied with their job cited relationships with colleagues as a contributing factor. 
  • 57% of workers claimed that having solid friendships made their role more enjoyable. 
  • According to 69% of employees, friendships at work improve mental health. 

As Julia Manuel, a renowned HR recruiter, summarizes: 

We spend the bulk of our life, it seems, sometimes, with our ‘work family,’ and though it may be somewhat strained at intervals, you have to have a few good friends to joke around with and align yourself with. It helps you enjoy your work more.

It is, therefore, vital for brands to strive to create a sense of community amongst their workforce to increase overall employee engagement. To do this, employers should encourage new hires to attend social events and team-building exercises to become involved in the organization’s culture from day one. These events should be varied and interesting, not falling for the trap of ‘after-work drinks’ as many seem to do. 

Think about booking event days, escape rooms, or nice meals to give everyone a chance to get to know each other, work together, and share some time away from their desks.

With more and more businesses opting to utilize remote work options, developing an effective community is becoming increasingly difficult. However, online tools are a fantastic means for team members to communicate and build connections that are otherwise impossible due to extreme distance. 

An infographic that shows the importance of having friends at work, highlighting how friendship makes 95% of employees happier.


5. Check-in

Congratulations, your new hire has been in the role for a few weeks and has not caused any significant catastrophes. Everything has gone according to plan. Your hard work is over, and you can finally relax in the warm glow of another onboarding process well done. 

Right? Wrong!

The initial few weeks of onboarding are only the beginning; it can take between one to two years for a new employee to reach ‘full productivity.’ It’s incredibly important that hiring managers and employers continuously check in throughout their employee’s lifecycle to:

  • Monitor productivity and performance
  • Address concerns or challenges
  • Assess overall well-being and mental health
  • Obtain and provide feedback 
  • Gauge how successful the transition to the role has been

Numerous online tools can provide accessible communication channels that allow managers to constantly remain in contact with their staff and perform check-ins regularly, regardless of hectic schedules and distance. 

An infographic that details why check-ins are important.


The top 3 strategic onboarding tools 

So, now we’ve looked at what makes up an excellent onboarding experience, we can now go into more detail about how to make it all run smoothly. 

We’ve compiled a list of the 3 greatest onboarding tools to provide the warmest welcome possible to your new employees, and make their career development an absolute breeze right from the get-go. 

1. Employment Hero

Employment Hero is UK based HR software, boasting  an extensive client list of over 200,000 businesses, including high-profile names such as Investa, Stedmans, and Tasty Fresh. It also has won countless accolades, some of which you can see below: 

A screenshot of the different accolades and awards that Employment Hero has received.

But why do so many brands turn to Employee Hero for their onboarding process? We have one word for you: paperless. 

A visual with an image of paperwork with a big red 'X' over it and a computer screen displaying digital onboarding with a big green tick over it.


Their paperless onboarding system is genuinely revolutionary; every aspect of the time-consuming process is completely digitized. This makes it incredibly straightforward to onboard an employee, and means you’re not left rifling through cabinets or bags to try and find a mislaid document. 

The first step is to fill out a form with the relevant information about the new hire, including: 

  • Personal details 
  • Payment information
  • Terms of employment 
  • Work location
An onboarding form that the employer must fill out about a new employee.

The next stage is to click the ‘send invite to employee’ button, which will send an email to the relevant address, providing access to the Employee Hero account. 

The screen which asks you to invite the employee to the platform.

After receiving an initial welcome email, the new employee will be required to fill out an onboarding form, which asks for the following details: 

  • Personal details: Address, date of birth, and gender.
  • Emergency contact: Contact name, relationship, and mobile number. 
  • Bank details: Account name, account number, and sort code. 
  • Tax: National insurance number, student loan, P45, and tax statement.
  • Work eligibility: Passport details, right-to-work documentation, and DBS if necessary.  
The tax and national insurance section of tje onboarding form sent to an employee.

From here, business owners can monitor the progress of their employees’  onboarding processes from an intuitive and simplistic dashboard. 

The userface that allows you to monitor the progress of your onboarding procedure.

Now that everything is underway, you are able to send your employee a multitude of important HR documents whenever you need to, including: 

  • Contract change
  • Return to work
  • Confirmation of promotion
  • Extension of the probationary process
  • Confirmation of resignation
  • Employee contract
  • Job description 

These come with fully customizable templates that allow you to have complete control over the particulars of each document. 

A customizable template of an employee contract.

When any file is sent to your employee, they will receive a notification in the form of an email asking them to ‘click here to view and sign your document.’ 

An email received by an employee notifying them about a new document that requires a signature.

Another fantastic feature of this tool is the ability to create an ‘onboarding checklist’ where you can assign tasks to different team members and set a time frame in which it should be completed. 

The screen that allows you to add a task to an onboarding checklist.

As an added bonus, this brilliant tool provides users with a comprehensive resource library, featuring guides such as:

  • The Ultimate Guide to Onboarding & Induction 
  • Employer’s Guide to Reduce Staff Turnover
  • A Manager’s Guide to Training Employees 
  • A Guide to Inclusive Soft Skills Training 
The extensive resource library avaliable to users featuring countless guides and playbooks.

Employment Hero has a complex payment plan, which we’ll break down for you in the below table. 

PlanHR Payroll 
Essentials$0 per employee/per month£1 per employee/per month
Standard$3 per employee/per month£1 per employee/per month
Premium$5 per employee/per month£1.50 per employee/per month
Platinum Speak to salesSpeak to sales

You can also use the calculator that will allow business owners to calculate the final fee by inputting the following information:

  • Number of employees
  • Required HR plan
  • Required payroll plan
  • Desired optional extras
A screenshot of the calculator that figures out the final fee of your bundle.

2. Walkable

The first few months are undeniably overwhelming for a new starter, with what feels like hundreds of new procedures, software, and equipment to get to grips with. 

Employees can easily feel lost, isolated, and even burnt out quickly during their first year of work. Thankfully there is a simple and effective solution to this onboarding headache. 

The homepage of Walkable that states that you can 'easily embed video walkthrough on the web'.

Walkable is the ultimate onboarding tool that allows users to seamlessly and efficiently provide new hires with embedded video walkthroughs that make learning new skills an absolute breeze.

Business owners can create a new video for each task they want the employee to complete, resulting in an in-depth searchable video library full of remarkable and informative content. 

An example of an embedded Walkable video.

To create a video, click the ‘New Walkable’ button and enter the main objective of this tutorial in the text box. 

A screenshot that allows users to enter the 'main objective' of the Walkable.

You will then be transported to the editing interface that allows you to create individual tasks. Simply enter the following details:

  • Name of your task
  • Link to the video
  • Create a message for the task
The screen which alllows users to insert a body message and video for the Walkable.

Once you have created your completed Walkable, you are able to embed the video anywhere across the web by copying the code into your website’s HTML. As a top tip, we recommend placing the code just before the closing body tag.

An example of a code that can be embedded into anywhere on the web.

What is more, you are able to customize the Walkable player from the ‘settings’ section in your account to align with your brand. 

The customization screen that allows you to change the play button to match your branding.

This fantastic app offers two affordable pricing plans perfect for every circumstance, which are: 

  • Startup: Includes up to 2,500 users and unlimited Walkables for the low price of $19 per month 
  • Pay as you go: Start with the base plan, then top up with pay-as-you-go for $0.002 per play 
The pricing plan of Walkable that allows users to pay an initial 'startup' price and top up with 'pay as you go'.

Want to try this game-changing app now? Head over to the Walkable website to claim a free 60-day trial to explore the many incredible features. 

3. Trainual 

Trainual is a fantastic human resources tool that allows users to create countless documents to help enroll employees into their new job. 

An example of the Trainual user interface.

To create a Trainual, click on either the ‘company,’ ‘policies,’ or ‘processes’ tabs to start an entirely new topic, or select from a wide selection of customizable templates. Check out the table below, where we have outlined some available templates in each section. There’s a lot to choose from, so you’re sure to find the perfect fit for whatever you have in mind!

CompanyOverview of your business and what it does.The tech we useBrand standardsCompany glossaryIndustry overviewCompany messaging Candidate screening Product & services FAQ
PoliciesA collection of your company’s most important policies.Our office Work-from-homeWork-life balance Sexual harassmentWorking hours, paid time off, and vacationEmployment benefits, initiatives, and perksDress code
ProcessesA selection of thorough how-to guides and processes. New employee onboarding processSales playbookClient love: best practicesNew customer onboarding Employee resignation Company emergency action plan Hiring process checklist Content creation standards

In the ‘people’ section, users are able to create a multitude of helpful documents for new and current employees, including:

  • A directory of all team members, including information about their roles and relevant contact details
  • An organizational flow chart that details the hierarchy and structure of the company
  • An overview of the many different roles within the company and an easy-to-use interface to assign tasks 
An example of the organizational flowchart showing how every team member relates to one another.

You can easily monitor the completion rate of Trainuals by heading to the ‘report’ tab. Here, you are able to look at the completion scores for either individual users or the overall subject.

The screen that allows users to monitor the average completion rate of Trainuals by user or topic.

Trainual also can integrate with a multitude of different apps to improve and optimize the user experience, including: 

  • Google SSO
  • Namely
  • TriNet
  • Square Payroll
  • Insperity 
  • Paycom
  • Workday
  • ADP Workforce
A screenshot of the many different avaliable integrations including, Loom, Slack, Quickbooks, Justworks, and Zenefits.

Trainual is available in two different pricing plans, which can be viewed in the table below.

Pricing planMonthlyYearly
Premium $149$1392

Streamline your onboarding now

And there you have it! There are tons of incredible onboarding tools available across the web, and we wholeheartedly recommend taking the time to research the one that suits your business the best. 

Gather your HR team and discuss with them the following topics:

  • Their needs and wants
  • Current issues and concerns
  • Thoughts about how to streamline the onboarding process 
  • Their satisfaction with current procedures

Once this preliminary discussion has occurred, go ahead and test out a multitude of tools using free trials to evaluate their suitability for your onboarding needs. Remember to constantly keep in mind the five Cs when examining each platform to discover the ideal onboarding platform. If you want to make everyone’s lives easier when it comes to taking on new hires, onboarding tools are the way to go. 

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