3 Free Employee Onboarding Software Solutions for Small Businesses


69% of employees with a compelling onboarding experience want to stay on with their organizations for the next three years, says a study by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). This, among other reasons, is why employers are doubling down on their employee onboarding efforts. However, for small businesses looking to smartly route their investments, this could be a challenge. Here are our free employee onboarding software recommendations for this segment. 

The criticality of employee onboardingOpens a new window has been well-documented. Studies found that 69% of employeesOpens a new window who experience a superior onboarding process will stay with an organization for over three years. This is why there is greater interest in implementing employee onboarding software and analytics to gain insights into how onboarding affects engagement and retention. Last year, Microsoft conducted a rigorous analytics experimentOpens a new window comprising 3,000 new hires. As a result, they identified how the onboarding process could help: 

  • Build solid internal networks 
  • Extend employee tenure 
  • Optimize intra-team collaboration 

But what about organizations without the resources of big players like Microsoft? Providing a useful digital employee onboardingOpens a new window experienceOpens a new window title=”Opens a new window” target=”_blank” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”> is as important for startups and small businesses. At these small-scale organizations, each employee’s contribution, their experience, and engagement with the workplace, and their decision to stay with or leave the organization makes a world of difference. However, powerful employee onboarding softwareOpens a new window could be out of reach – especially at the early stages of the growth curve. 

We have compiled a list of free new employee onboardingOpens a new window platforms that could help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) optimize onboarding with fewer cost constraints.

Learn More: 5 Free HRIS Alternatives for SMBsOpens a new window

Three Free Employee Onboarding Software Tools That You Should Consider 

For SMBs, free software can fulfill some basic onboarding functions while offering the benefits of improved engagement and retention, until they are ready to invest in advanced solutions. Keeping this in mind, here are our recommendations.   

1. Boardon – A simple, easy-to-use tool with a keen employee focus 

Boardon Opens a new window is a pureplay employee onboarding software option that allows you to create your own onboarding content. This can include interactive quizzes, informative articles, and YouTube videos. Once all the content is in place, add your candidate’s details and send an invite. The recruit can view a detailed timeline with scheduled activities and events as well as a consolidated introduction plan. 

Boardon is free for one admin member working with one recruit at a time. Other caveats include a cap of five invites a month, as well as only 10 MB of storage. However, when used intelligently, this employee onboarding software can be a sustainable solution for your HR tech stack, especially if you’re onboarding 20 candidates a year, or less. 

Boardon is a web-based tool where you must create your account and get assigned an employer-specific domain. 

2. Freshteam – Your gateway to growth and scalability 

Freshteam is an employee onboarding software by HR tech leader, Freshworks. However, unlike most vendors, they don’t limit small businesses to a free trial. Freshteam “Sprout” Opens a new window – the free version of this employee onboarding software – is an excellent choice for small businesses.

You can deploy the free version for as long as you want, with a few limitations on usage. You can publish up to three job posts, leverage applicant tracking systems (ATS) functionalities, and auto-schedule interviews. However, you will have to rely on their FAQ page for self-service, and next-gen features such as resume parsing aren’t included. 

It’s backed a reputed HR tech organization, ATS is built right in, and you can even manage referrals, organizational chart integrations, and employee profile creation for recruits. 

Like Boardon, Freshteam is a web-based system requiring you to create a company profile that can be accessed via the cloud. 

3. Sentrifugo – A lifetime partner on your HR journey 

SentrifugoOpens a new window is an open-source HRMS platform with onboarding as one of its essential features. It is not a web-based solution. You are allowed lifetime access to the platform on-premise after you install and set up the software. 

So, what can Sentrifugo do? The answer is, nearly everything. Apart from onboarding, it also offers support for basic HR tasks such as appraisals, leaves management, and even background checks. Additionally, there’s an analytics module to help you stay informed on KPI performance without heavy investments. 

If you’re looking to stay with a free or open-source employee onboarding software for a while, Sentrifugo is the platform for you. It’s likely to meet all your needs in the near term, as well as in the foreseeable future. Note that Sentirfugo is purely a desktop platform. It does not offer mobile support. 

Learn More:

Top 8 Best Practices for Employee Cross-TrainingOpens a new window

Closing Thoughts: Have You Considered Using G-Suite for Employee Onboarding? 

For any SMB, it can be challenging to strike that perfect balance between cost optimization and software capabilities. Employee onboarding is no different — this feature is generally bundled with more expansive HR tech packages which you may not entirely require. So, if the free employee onboarding tools listed here don’t work for you, take a look at how G-Suite can help: 

  • Create welcome event calendars 
  • Define onboarding templates and checklists 
  • Convert cross-departmental approvals into a paperless format
  • Design training modules for new recruits 

Also Read: 

10 Employee Onboarding Checklist Items You Can’t Afford to MissOpens a new window

For small businesses with ready access to G-Suite, using it for employee onboarding Opens a new window can be a smart and cost-efficient alternative. 

Today, with so many tools and software solutions at your disposal, all it takes to offer your applicants/new employees something different – is the ability to play around, combine, and intelligently layer an HR tech stack – and create an experience that’s compelling, efficient, and memorable. 

Which employee onboarding software would you recommend for growth-focused small businesses? Tell us on FacebookOpens a new window , LinkedInOpens a new window , or TwitterOpens a new window . We are always listening!