Onboarding software, or employee onboarding systems describe HR software designed to deliver an engaging experience for new hires, so they connect with their new organisation and colleagues from the moment they’re offered the job. Onboarding systems are also designed to automate and streamline many of the more time-consuming HR administrative tasks that come with bringing new employees into an organisation.

Illustration of the Cezanne HR onboarding portal

Modern comprehensive HR systems, like Cezanne HR, offer these onboarding capabilities as part of their HR software suite. Easy to set up, accessible 24/7 from PC, tablet or mobile, the software keeps track of and manages employee records efficiently, even before day one.

These are the key features your onboarding software (or onboarding module within an HR system) should have.

Welcome Portals

Employers should engage with new joiners from the moment they’re hired; employee welcome portals are a common feature of onboarding software because they do just that. Acting as an information hub, the onboarding portal enables easy communication with the new employee and offers a platform with all the details they need to know before they begin (start date, office location, directions, key contact details, etc).

Since visual content is one of the most powerful ways to engage with people, the option to add photos and embed videos to a portal is essential, whether that’s a quick welcome message from the company’s CEO, a video showing your company’s culture (staff interviews, office days out, etc.) or highlighting your brand’s values and goals.

Your portal should make it easy to link to documents or include content that covers other essential information, such as what to anticipate on the first day, or even weeks. Nobody wants to be in the dark about what to expect from their new job, so welcome portals are an effective way to put employees at ease before and after they start.

Task Management

Not all onboarding responsibilities fall solely on HR. Duties are often spread over different departments:

  • Has IT set up the new starter’s laptop and email?
  • Has payroll been organised yet?
  • Has their line manager arranged inductions and check-in meetings?

Without onboarding software, especially when onboarding staff remotely, it’s difficult for HR to know who’s done what, and what needs chasing up. Onboarding solutions with a task manager and checklists prompt actions from you, your colleagues and your new starters by using notifications, meaning that important processes don’t get forgotten. What’s more, you get a useful overview of what has and hasn’t been completed yet, so you can be confident that everyone knows what they need to do, and you can chase up if important activities have not been carried out.


If you do choose a standalone onboarding solution, it has to go hand in hand with your core HRIS. Your new joiner will, very shortly, become a fully-fledged employee, so any of the information you collect through your new joiner portal should flow straight into your HR system. Team profiles held in your HR system should automatically appear to new joiners and your onboarding system needs to make use of the reporting relationships you have in your core HR system to allocate tasks and send out notifications. Having an onboarding system that can easily integrate with your existing HR data is a real time saver.

Interested in finding out more about the Cezanne HR employee and lifecycle module? Watch this video or contact one of our consultants for a demo today.

Read our ‘Psychology of Onboarding’ report to learn more about effective employee onboarding.

Sue Lingard author image

Sue Lingard

Sue studied Personnel Management at the London School of Economics before taking on management roles in the travel, recruitment and finally HR software industry. She's particularly interested in how technologies enable HR teams - and the people they support - to work better together.