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Buyers Guide to Innovative Onboarding Technology

Buyers Guide to Innovative Onboarding Technology
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Onboarding is an essential part of HR and the employee life-cycle process. Today, more and more companies have recognized that onboarding software is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Therefore, having a positive new hire onboarding experience in place can make a massive impact on employee self-confidence and retention. 

Though the process of onboarding has always been to optimize new-hire engagement and increase time-to-productivity, the breadth of capabilities spans the entire employee life-cycle. Implementing the right technology and innovative onboarding platform can transform new hires into fully productive employees on day one, as well as continue to benefit both the individual, and the company throughout their tenure.  

There are considerable tasks (mentioned in this blog) that correspond with onboarding new hires that must be considered to maximize your onboarding software. This guide was designed to help you navigate through those difficult tasks and help determine the right onboarding tool for your organization.

Common Onboarding Problems

Effectively integrating new employees into your organization can be a burdensome task for both HR and managers alike. We’ve outlined a list of five common onboarding problems that can develop without having a strong onboarding process in place: 

Manual Paperwork

HR professionals understand firsthand the amount of work required to stay compliant via the traditional paper-based methods many companies still use.

Time Consumption 

Recent studies have shown that onboarding programs that last less than one month are damaging to overall retention rates. One month or less, just isn’t enough time for a new hire to complete tasks, get a good feel for the company’s culture or receive adequate job specific training.  

Unproductive New Hires 

Unproductive employees can change your entire organization’s productivity, efficiency and morale. 

Lack of Engagement 

Actively disengaged employees are more likely to steal, miss work and negatively influence their colleagues, which in turn can cost substantial amounts of money and time in both lost resources and productivity.  

Lack of Communication with Managers and Periodic Check-Ins

The primary focus of onboarding new employees is to get them up to speed quickly so they can begin adding value to the team. In addition to providing new employees with effective training tools and learning material, it is of utmost importance that they have full access to the support they need.  

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Broader Organization Issues

According to SHRM, nearly one-third of all new hires quit their jobs within the first six months of employment . Fortunately, this can be prevented with a strong onboarding program. In fact, new hires who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years. 

“A new research study points out that investing in your new hires from day one until they reach full productivity (8-12 months later) will significantly increase retention and maximize your employees’ lifetime value to the organization.  In fact, 86% of new hires decide how long they will stay with a company in the first six months, and up to 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment

As the adage goes, you only get one chance for a first impression. A negative onboarding experience has a high cost to your organization through low employee engagement and high turnover. Broader organizational issues such as these can have a significant impact on your company’s personnel retention, making the employee onboarding process incredibly important to organizational health.

“Studies have shown that positive employee engagement affects productivity by as much as 17% and profitability as much as 21%.”


Recent studies suggest that investing in your new hires from day one until they reach full productivity (8-12 months later) will significantly increase retention AND maximize your employee’s lifetime value to the organization.

Employee Engagement

According to AON Hewitt’s 2018 Global Employee Engagement Trends Report , 35% of employees are disengaged. Any mismatch between the candidate’s expectations, formed during recruitment and the reality of working at a company, can cause them to become disengaged and may significantly shorten their stay.  

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Effectiveness and productivity are two of the strongest selling points for any product. With employee onboarding, preparation and training takes time and effort for both the HR team and new hire. 

Lack of Time 

One of the biggest contributors to an ineffective onboarding program is the lack of resources and time.  Many managers and supervisors would often let employees learn on the job, rather than take the appropriate steps to provide suitable instruction.  

Things to Consider

A successful onboarding program helps new hires feel welcomed and a part of the team. They will also have a better understanding of how things are done and how their roles will contribute to the overall success of your business. The bottom line is if you don’t onboard them properly, your great new employees won’t stay. The following are some things to consider when implementing new onboarding technology.


When it comes to carrying out a realistic budget, having the right people on board with acceptable experience and the willingness to succeed in the initial implementation is extremely valuable. 


To maximize the ROI from onboarding software, a comprehensive implementation strategy must be created. This includes who’s available, when it will take place, how long it will take and who’s responsible for implementing.

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Out-of-the-box technology has evolved to become quite agile. Having an implementation consultant to work with you one-on-one will give you a better understanding of how the onboarding process works. He/she will have the training tools necessary to help guide you through the initial setup and beyond. A self-help center, where customers can troubleshoot issues on their own should also be available to further engage and simplify the process.

Ramp up time  

The introduction of HR software, specifically onboarding technology, will be used by all employees not just HR admins; therefore you’ll want to ensure that staff can focus on the transition and any training involved.   


HR professionals know firsthand the amount of work that is required to stay compliant via the established paper-based methods that many companies still use. Every company is different–the products they sell, the customers they help and the workflows they use are all unique. But, no matter what type of business, the U.S. government still requires verification of employment eligibility of each team member within the organization. If not, businesses could face hefty fines of up to $1,000 or more per occurrence. 

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How to Prepare for a Demo

So, you’re in the process of purchasing new onboarding software or switching out your existing onboarding software. Regardless of why you are looking into a new onboarding solution, the first step you will want to consider is to request a demo. (in most cases, they are free) 

We understand it can be stressful trying to research providers and set up meeting times. Here is what to expect during a demo as well as what questions you might be asked and what questions you should ask during the demo process:

What questions to expect and be prepared for:

  • What is your current onboarding process?

  • What is your timeline for making a decision?

  • What is your timeline for implementation?

  • What is your internal purchasing process?

  • Who else needs to be involved in the decision?

  • What is your average number of new hires a year?

  • How many locations do you have?

  • How many new hires do you do each year?

  • What integrations are you looking for/considering?  (HRIS, ATS, Payroll, etc.)

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What questions to ask:

  • How does your pricing structure work, including add-ons and implementation fees?
  • Can you tell me more about your company and its history?
  • Where can I research user feedback, customer reviews and testimonials?
  • What does your customer support model look like?
  • Is your software customizable and what integrations are available?
  • How do you ensure our data is secure? (IT will love SOC 2 and TRUSTe data security compliance).
  • Can I see a track record of changes made in the system (audit trail)?
  • How long does implementation take?
  • Once implemented, what kind of training is available? 

These are just a few of the topics that might be discussed during the demo process. You should be aware of other considerations and view points once you learn more about the solutions that are applicable to your business.

How to Get Buy-In from Stakeholders 

A human resource project (such as the implementation of onboarding software) may reside within the boundaries of company walls, but that doesn’t imply that its stakeholders are limited to the employees and managers most directly involved. A successful business owner must be knowledgeable of all the stakeholders in HR projects to evaluate the possible ramifications—both good and bad. External forces, like investors, often have a crucial role in identifying the success or failure of a change in policies. 

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Features and Benefits Checklist

As an HR professional, you’re familiar with the practice of onboarding. However, if your company has never made doing it well a top priority, you may not have a full understanding of its benefits. Here’s a list of features and benefits to look for when selecting onboarding software.

As an HR professional, you’re familiar with the practice of onboarding. However, if your company has never made doing it well a top priority, you may not have a full understanding of its benefits. Here’s a list of features and benefits to look for when selecting onboarding software.


In verifying employment eligibility, direct submissions to E-Verify and other compliance protocols that are automatically submitted can save you hours of work. Compliance is global with in-app International Custom Forms, as well as ready-made local and state forms including W-4 forms.

Forms with E-Signatures

Eliminate paper forms and make any form digital with drag-and-drop fields and uploaded PDFs. Employees can use their cursor or user name to sign any online form at any time and on any device.

Automated Workflows

Set-up your own workflows, adjust presets and add custom forms and fields to fit the way you do business. Automate those everyday repetitive tasks to mitigate risk of errors and improve employee communications across departments.

“Interim Healthcare SLC needed HR technology, and we’re pleased with the results we’ve gained from HR Cloud’s solutions for recruiting, onboarding, and employee engagement. Yet it’s an opportunity for all Interim franchises. It would be so great if each franchise owner could implement similar solutions to replace legacy systems that might not work as well as they should.”

Michael Hawkins Franchise Owner of Interim HealthCare SLC


An environment where all your favorite HR Tech can work together. In addition to onboarding, you can create a complete digital ecosystem that includes apps for employee engagement, recognition, business social networks and a company directory.


Maintain employee verification requirements, streamline the E-Verify process and electronically sign, store and audit I-9 forms.


Look for a cloud-based provider with a data center partner that dually encrypts PII, backs up employee (and other) files and protects against natural disasters with redundant servers located in geographically different locations.

Self-Service Portal

Create customized new hire portals inside with self-service software that includes your choice of personalized checklists and widgets, allowing you to add links to important websites and social sites, team handbook documents, instructional videos and more to each custom self-service portal design.

Mobile Friendly/App

Mobile apps make oversight easy with notifications, spotlight and intuitive dashboards that consolidate vital information in one convenient place. Ability to stay updated on important projects and never miss a deadline anywhere, anytime. (iOS and Android compatible) 

Employee mobile apps

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Next Steps

Congratulations! You are one step closer to implementing the last onboarding solution you will ever need. Here at HR Cloud, we continually strive to live up to our promise of “HR software made easy.” We believe that this Buyer’s Guide helps us deliver on that promise by further ensuring HR professionals have the best solutions to be successful. 

Choosing the Best Onboarding Partner

HR Cloud’s Onboard software delivers an onboarding experience for new employees that immerses them into company culture and drives them to productivity. It is equipped with a customized portal that includes messaging videos, content and documents. Onboard also helps you maintain compliance with employment verification requirements and helps you to avoid penalties with pre-built I-9 and W-4 forms. Customize your checklists, then let Onboard task automation and E-Verify integration take care of the rest.

When you invest in HR Cloud, you’re not just investing in the best Onboarding software on the market, but a complete digital ecosystem that includes communication, payroll, applicant recruiting and more through our growing list of custom configurations and possible integrations. 

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Why HR Cloud: Onboarding Solutions

HR Cloud is the industry leader in compliant, paperless onboarding that takes care of your entire team, all in one place.  Our comprehensive onboarding solution continues to redefine “best-in-class” technology.  Intelligent, intuitive and all inclusive, we’ve designed our flexible and fully customizable services to support today’s HR and engage the mobile, connected workforce to set the standard in onboarding processes.

Each company is different, therefore, each HR software solution is different. Get a demo of our solution to learn how HR Cloud features and configurations will give your team the strong support they need from the get-go.

Why Customers Love HR Cloud

Don’t just take our word for it.  See what some of our customers have said about HR Cloud. 

“Our hiring managers now have a reliable system that is easy to navigate. Our HR team can actively monitor the process, and assist if needed, but Onboard has helped them save so much valuable time and effort while increasing data accuracy. All of this has helped us improve compliance and gives us a powerful tool to achieve even more results in the future.”

Kaylee Collins | HR Analyst


“With Onboard, as soon as a new hire completes our detailed onboarding checklist, which includes federal, state, and industry forms, I am fully confident that I can put them in the field right away, without any compliance concerns.”

Michael Hawkins | Franchise Owner 


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Author Bio

This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.


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