The 10 best features of onboarding software

The most recent trend to hit the HR industry is onboarding software. There are many vendors in the wide world of SaaS technology that offer onboarding software, but don’t encompass the true requirements of digital onboarding. 

Consider this your checklist. Listed below are the 10 best features of onboarding software that your vendor MUST HAVE. 

Ladies and gentlemen, do not compromise on any of the below. The greatest feature of all isn’t the individual features, it’s the combination of the features integrating seamlessly with one another to achieve ultimate compliance, optimise efficiencies and create beautiful candidate experiences. 


Enough of me rambling about my undying love for onboarding software, let’s dive in.  


Feature #1: Native Digital Signing Framework

This is incredibly important, and a major factor in the decision to switch from manual processes to onboarding software! Poor candidate experience is tied to printing, signing, scanning, and sending back a stack of onboarding papers – which is exactly the opposite of being able to digitally sign onboarding documents. 

WARNING: This is where you need to be cautious!! 

Modern onboarding software will empower you, the HR professional, and your candidates to digitally sign on any device, at any time. This removes time delays by simplifying onboarding and adopting a mobile-first approach. 

However, many vendors DONT have this capability…meaning the documents will need to be printed, signed, and scanned. This is exactly the process you want to avoid! 


Feature #2: Mobile-first & Branded Self-onboarding Portal 

We live in a world where everyone is constantly on the go- we try to fit in 48 hours of work and activities into a single day! It’s important your company’s process acknowledges the value of time.  

Your onboarding platform must be built mobile-first and accessible by the HR professionals, and candidates, on ANY device. Tablets, laptops, phones, you name it. This feature is non-negotiable. 

In being mobile-enabled, new hires can complete their onboarding pack at any time! They can complete their onboarding documents on their phone on the train, waiting for a friend at a cafe, etc. They aren’t confined to being on their laptop at home, which is invaluable from their perspective.

It also elevates your employer branding! “Wow, this company is so tech-savvy and operates super efficiently” – a direct quote from your future employee.

The onboarding portal is branded to reflect your company – also elevating your employer branding as throughout the entire duration of the onboarding process the branding has remained consistent and becomes super familiar. 

This feature leverages strong branding and customization capabilities to elevate your employer branding and creates beautiful candidate experiences from the start to finish. 

Feature #3: Induction and Training Videos

Is it just me, or is it so 21st century to talk to someone before you actually see them and put a personality to a name? 

Whilst creating your onboarding packs, you can create standard training or induction videos, and store them on your platform for future use! This makes ALL the difference to candidates. Humans connect with other humans, and this function of onboarding software enables your new hire to feel valued, and included in the team….before their start date. 

If you’re creating an induction video, you may want to give them a tour of the office and a brief introduction to the team they’ll be joining.

If it’s a training video, maybe you’ll walk through hygiene protocols in your operations, or processes specific to your company. 

Nonetheless, whatever the video contains, it’ll differentiate your company to every other company the new employee has previously worked for. 


Feature #4: Custom-built Compliance Process

Compliance is fiddly and time-consuming. From the internal regulations, requirements, and procedures, to the external regulations, requirements, and procedures…. HR professionals have a damn tough gig! 

Onboarding software relieves the burden, stress, and work from the hands of HR professionals. Modern SaaS technology and powerful automation bullet-proofs your processes by ensuring no candidate ever skips a stage in your custom-built compliance process. 

Within your onboarding platform, you can action natively built:

  • Psychometric talent assessments 
  • Reference checks
  • National Police checks 

The combination of candidate segmentation and automation results in a candidate automatically moving from one stage to the next, ensuring they never miss a pre-employment check.

AND, all the completed probity checks are stored in the candidate’s profile for quick reference and future retrieval. 

This feature of onboarding software guarantees your company abides to compliance regulations by eliminating the potential for errors, whilst simultaneously reducing the time-to-hire and increasing your ROI.

Feature #5: Auto-generated E-forms and Contracts

Modern and end-to-end onboarding software encompasses a seamless data flow. What does this mean?

It means the data entered in requisition, recruitment, and offer approval auto-populates your e-forms and documents. 

Seamless data flow also has the power to auto-generate contracts based on the approved information (salary, position, start date, etc) that has already been entered and stored to the platform. 

Therefore, eliminating the need for HR professionals to spend hours reviewing the existing information and creating contracts and onboarding documents from scratch! 

This feature also eliminates potential data inaccuracies and optimises efficiencies. All the HR professional needs to do is skim the information for a few minutes, and let the software do the rest! 

No need to ‘insert logo here’ and ‘data here’, let the custom set automation and custom-built branding do their thaang. 


Feature #6: Customisable and Branded E-forms

This one is a no-brainer. 

Before I dive into the importance of this feature, I want to make a clear distinction.

E-forms are completely online and digital (ie; they can be completed online without any need to print). Many vendors will claim they have a complex e-form system which will really simply be archaic PDFs that require more manual labour, which is a big no-no. 

The e-forms you send in your onboarding pack are an extension of your company. The wording, the branding, the simplicity to complete… all of this represents your organisation! Therefore, make sure you appropriately reflect your ideal brand image.

Within your onboarding software, you must be able to custom create e-forms… not only in terms of what questions are asked and what fields are included, but more importantly the presentation of the e-forms! 

The appropriate branding, logo, colors, font, and so on. In order to improve your employer branding, this needs to be consistent across EVERY piece of coms, and e-form your new employee receives. All of which can be custom created and controlled within your onboarding platform. 

ALSO, something worth noting, in order to ensure consistency, you can save e-forms as templates! Create as many templates as you like, and quickly select them in the future. Who doesn’t love life made simple?   

Feature #7: Automated SMS/Emails

Consider this, once a new hire is onboarded- when is the next time you usually speak to them? Their starting date? 

Many contracts require 2-4 weeks notice period before an employee can leave their current position to begin a position at a new company. During this time, if you don’t contact your new hire, the initial excitement and motivation will decrease until it is replaced with anxiousness and doubt. UM, hellooo, this is detrimental! 

It is, however, understandable. HR professionals are busy wearing so many hats and completing other tasks that once a new employee is onboarded, that task is considered complete. And with such a busy plate, it’s easy to forget to message them – even if you really want to! This is where automated SMS/Emails are CRUCIAL.

Schedule personalised and branded coms within your onboarding software that may say something like:

“Hi Sarah, we’re looking forward to you starting your new position next week! We’ve got everything organised and ready for you. Get in touch if you have any questions.” 

Schedule a message like this, and then turn off from it completely. This message system is two-way, so if they respond, you’ll know and be able to have a conversation with them!

Little things like this can sometimes be overlooked, which is where onboarding software adds immense value. Keep your new hires engaged, reassure them of their decision, and create excitement to ensure they’re motivated and productive from their start date! 


Feature #8: Automated Stakeholder Notifications 

Once a new employee has been onboarded, the appropriate stakeholders are automatically notified of their start date, and continuously reminded leading up to the employee’s arrival. The reminders are custom set according to the preferences of the HR professional. The user sets the reminders and leaves the automation to do the hard work. 

The result? 

Procurement, Provision, IT, buddies, and managers are all on the same page and completely prepared for the arrival of the new starter. When the new employee arrives, they are appropriately welcomed and equipped to begin adding value on the very first day. 


Feature #9: Countdown Timer

This is a bit of a fun one, but also very important. 

Many organisations experience high candidate drop-off rates during the onboarding process. This can usually be accounted for by the lengthiness of the company’s onboarding process. During the time it takes to onboard a new hire, they’ve received an offer from another company with a quicker and better onboarding experience. Therefore, the original organisation loses the new hire.

This is where this feature comes into play!

Whilst your onboarding software amplified the positive candidate experience, the HR professional can also add a personal countdown timer to each onboarding pack. This may be 10 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, whatever the preference of the organisation is! This creates urgency and ensures the candidate is swiftly onboarded. Plus, the onboarding pack can be completed on any device, at any time (see feature #1) which means it’s super easy for new hires to complete in just a few minutes! 

This feature must be provided by your vendor as it reduces candidate drop-off and time delay (music to our ears).  


Feature #10: Payroll Integration 

ESSENTIAL. ESSENTIAL. ESSENTIAL. Did I mention essential? 

Time spent manually inputting new employees’ data is heavily misspent. Between the actual manual labour, and double-checking for data inaccuracies, this is an incredibly time-consuming process. If you regularly hire new employees, the backlog of paperwork can result in many mishaps, the most common being employees not being paid on time!

Data integration between your onboarding software and Payroll system is essential. I know I’ve said it many times but it’s so important ill say it again. The onboarding pack completed by the employee is automatically pushed into the Payroll system in ONE CLICK. 

The data is 1000% correct because it was entered by the employee themself, and the time admin usually spends on inputting data can be dedicated to other tasks. This creates a seamless, and end-to-end onboarding process where data flows freely. Therefore, ensure this is a capability of the vendor you chose to invest in!  

There you have it- the 10 best features of onboarding software that together create a powerhouse. 

If any of the above is confusing, please reach out! Alternatively, create a never-expiring free plan and test all the above features yourself. 


Until next time folks!