If you’re like most HR departments, you probably don’t have the monetary bandwidth to add tons of tools to your HR tech stack. Each new tool creates a line item on your budget, and it’s not easy to get a new tool approved by your executive team. Before you dive into the journey of finding an onboarding software that will help you manage the first few weeks of an employee’s lifecycle, you’re probably wondering, “how much does onboarding software cost?”
What Is Onboarding Software?
Onboarding software is a type of technology that helps you connect with your employees on everything they need to start working with your company.
Some onboarding companies are relatively form-focused. These companies help you collect the most important (and legally required) information from your employees before (or soon after) they start working for your company.
Other onboarding solutions might include other additional services to help you as an HR administrator, but these other solutions and services are typically additions to their base onboarding forms platform.
Employee onboarding software helps your organization because we’ve all dealt with that new hire that fell through the cracks. Maybe they forgot to turn in paperwork on time, or they made a small mistake on a form. Missing paperwork can cause bottlenecks in your organization, and it can be a legal nightmare. We all know that starting a new job can be stressful, but forms like the I-9 have deadlines and need to be collected on time.
Onboarding software makes it easy for you to scale your onboarding process without worrying about losing track of new hires. With onboarding software, you don’t have to worry about being bombarded with five finished HR packets on the deadline because you can take onboarding paperwork in a piecemeal fashion (without checking off clunky to-do lists!)
5 Factors That Can Go Into Onboarding Software Cost
Now that you know the benefits of investing in onboarding software, you might be wondering about the factors that go into onboarding software costs. You may have seen large differences in onboarding costs, and advocating for an increasing HR budget is never easy. Let’s chat about what typically goes into digital onboarding software costs so that so you can make an informed decision.
1. Number Of Employee Onboards Per Year Vs. Per Employee Per Month
One of the easiest metrics for onboarding software companies to use is the number of employee onboards per year. Typically employee onboarding companies have insight into these metrics from a data perspective, so pulling these numbers is the easiest way to bill clients.
Where you might see some variance in this metric is what counts as an onboard. At WorkBright, employees count as onboards when they fill out three or more forms within a calendar year. Depending on your onboarding software provider, this might be more or less lenient. You’ll want to get crystal clear on what counts as an onboard when chatting with companies.
Another pricing plan that you might see is Per Employee Per Month or PEPM. As you grow your HR database, you might find that models like PEPM can get expensive. Onboarding software is a great way to store your employee data so that you can avoid printing onboarding packets, so you’ll probably want to keep your employees in your onboarding system. The PEPM model means that you pay for employees even if they aren’t actively working on onboarding paperwork.
2. Forms In Your Onboarding Packet
Depending on your industry, the forms in your onboarding packet might increase. Your paperwork’s complexity and the different positions within your organization might also significantly increase your onboarding account documents. Don’t fret!
Many onboarding software companies (like WorkBright) think you should be able to have unlimited forms in your account. We can even help you organize your forms into groups, making it easier to get your employees’ necessary data.
3. Number Of Admins And Administrative Structure
Administrators can help you manage the extensive onboarding process, especially at organizations with hundreds or thousands of onboards per year. While you might be in charge of getting all employees into the system and setting up the right paperwork, managers might need access to onboarding materials.
Here’s where many onboarding software provider costs might vary. You’ll find that most onboarding software providers have put some thought into creating custom permissions.
At WorkBright, we believe that you should be able to add an unlimited number of admins to your account. If you need a bit more control over what your administrators can see, we have a paid user permissions feature that will let you ensure that administrators only have access to what matters to them. Our unlimited administrator experience works fine for many companies, but if you need some additional protection, our user permissions feature can help!
4. Self-Service Vs. Working With A Customer Success Manager
Handling the transition to remote onboarding isn’t easy. Recreating all of your forms digitally while learning a new system can be daunting. Who has time for it? Some organizations use a self-service model to handle the transition. Self-service means that they provide the software, but it’s your job to load all the information/forms and train your employees to use the software.
Self-service models can create a ton of bottlenecks in your organization and make it difficult for you to get your employee onboarding software set up. Do you currently have the energy to take on this project by yourself?
At WorkBright, you are matched with one of our outstanding Customer Success Managers. They will work with you to understand your needs and create a process that will make employee onboarding a breeze at your company. Instead of leading the charge on switching to onboarding software by yourself, you’ll have a dependable ally to help create a smooth transition for your organization. You still need to be active and answering your emails during this time, but the heavy lifting of setting up the account won’t fall on you.
5. Additional Products You Might Decide To Purchase
Most onboarding companies have additional products and offerings you might decide to purchase along the way. As software companies grow, they engineer more products that align with customer needs.
Larger products that require a ton of engineering lift typically come with a price tag. These upgrades are generally optional and allow you to create a smoother experience for your onboarding workflow.
Over the years at WorkBright, we have added functionality like our automated E-Verify technology and our Remote I-9 software. These are add-ons to our onboarding software’s base cost, but they create a stellar experience for our customers.
How Much Should You Budget For Onboarding Software?
When deciding how much to budget for onboarding software, it’s important to understand that onboarding software deserves its own line item on your HR budget.
Many HR software companies offer their brand of onboarding software, but it might be an add-on to things you don’t want or need.
When we worked with Toole’s Garage, they were using a competitor’s system. They were ultimately attracted to WorkBright based on our stellar onboarding experience. All-in-one solutions have become extremely popular, but often you end up with solutions that are a jack of all trades but a master of none.
It comes down to addressing the exact needs that your company is struggling with. You should look for products that address your needs, and hopefully, those individual products play together (or you can make them play together nicely through something like an API.)
Here are some overall truths you can expect when budgeting for onboarding software:
- You’ll pay more money if you onboard more employees, but that doesn’t mean the cost per employee is more.
- Most companies have other offerings, and if you purchase those, you can typically bundle and reduce your costs.
If you’d like a peek into how we handle pricing at WorkBright, check out our pricing page. We pride ourselves on being very transparent about how we price our products. From there, you can request a demo, and one of our sales representatives will be in touch to set up some time to chat.
How could you benefit from a systematic approach to onboarding? What would that do for your turnover rates and how you attract and retain employees?
Onboarding Software Cost Frequently Asked Questions
Onboarding software can cost your organization a healthy sum of money. Before we leave today, we wanted to make sure that your most frequently asked questions were answered so you can make an informed decision about employee onboarding software.
Can You Onboard Digitally Without Investing In Software?
After seeing what goes into onboarding software costs, you might want to know about onboarding digitally without investing in software. While this is possible with many workarounds, it’s not safe for you or your employee’s information. Employees trust HR professionals with a lot of data about them, like their Social Security Numbers and pictures of their passports. As HR professionals, we need to be good stewards of the data our employees give to us.
There are solutions to onboarding digitally without software, but software gives you a ton of peace of mind. Tools like WorkBright allow you to store information the right way and stop data from getting into the wrong hands. For more information about this, we encourage you to check out our security page.
How Much Can You Save With Onboarding Software?
It’s true! You can save money with onboarding software. Consider the time and effort it takes to get paperwork from a new hire. Time spent:
- Putting together the paperwork packet.
- Sending paperwork out to new hires.
- Following up with new hires to ensure they get paperwork back on time.
- Checking off endless onboarding to-do lists to ensure you have what you need.
- Storing documents correctly so they can be recalled later if needed.
These tasks add up to hours that your employees will be spending to get one employee in your system.
The average onboard with WorkBright costs far less, and we help you:
- Pull packets together in a few clicks.
- Send packets to new hires in a few minutes.
- Follow up with new hires automatically.
- Keep up with your onboarding paperwork to-do list and keep you up to date with what’s outstanding.
- Store documents (and their iterations) in the cloud so you can recall them later if you need them.
How Do I Evaluate Onboarding Software Programs For My Organization?
There are numerous onboarding software programs on the market. Evaluating which one is right for you can be a challenge.
First, you’ll want to do your research to find programs worth looking into. Figure out what you need from an onboarding system, and seek out software that provides that.
Then, you’ll likely want to request a demo to learn more about each program and get your questions answered. You might hop on several demos with the companies you are considering.
Eventually, you’ll need to weigh the pros, cons, and costs of the platforms you consider and make a final decision. From there, you can work on final negotiations with that provider and sign your contract!
Use Our Onboarding Software Comparison Sheet
Are you struggling to compare onboarding software options at your company? Use our onboarding software comparison sheet. With this sheet, you can download copies to your computer for each onboarding company you are considering. We share some categories we think you should track, but we also have a few open spaces for you to customize your search. As you fill out this sheet for each company, you will uncover the picture of what platform works best for your company.
Click the image to be taken the PDF, or click here to download it.
What Do Renewal Prices Look Like For Onboarding Software?
Renewal prices for onboarding software can vary from company to company. If your number of onboards or employees has gone up (and hopefully they have), you might expect a price increase based on onboarding more employees.
Take a look at any discounts or deals you get for your first year of service. Ensure that all of these potential increases are discussed and that you can reference them in your contract later. Be sure to note any one-time discounts you get for your records.
Am I Locked Into A Particular Company Forever? Can I Move My Onboarding Experience Later?
Last but not least, are you locked into a particular software company forever? Picking can be excruciating, and what happens if you don’t like your choice? Well, there shouldn’t be any fear! One of the great things about onboarding software is that you should be able to take your data and find a new solution if needed.
Whether you are currently with a company that doesn’t seem like a fit or you want to invest in onboarding software (but you’re afraid of being stuck), there is nothing to fear. Pick the best software you can, ask questions about the process of switching providers later on, and don’t let those fears hold you back. It’s time to create a stellar onboarding process for your staff members!