Top 5 employee onboarding software picks for frontline workers

Discover the leading employee onboarding software solutions tailored specifically for deskless workers, simplifying the onboarding process and optimizing training to ensure a smooth integration and success in their roles.

Inês Pinto

Top 5 employee onboarding software picks for frontline workers

Table of contents

What is frontline employee onboarding software?

💡 Frontline Employee Onboarding Software

Frontline employee onboarding software is designed to streamline and automate the onboarding process for frontline workers like retail associates, restaurant servers, manufacturing operators, field technicians, and other non-desk roles. 

The main purpose of frontline onboarding software is to provide a centralized digital platform for managing the entire new hire experience. This includes application, preboarding, training, document signing, and ongoing learning.

Key features to look for in frontline onboarding solutions include:

  • Mobile optimization: Allow frontline workers to complete onboarding tasks from any device.
  • Automated workflows: Set up conditional logic, reminders, and notifications to guide new hires through required steps.
  • Training delivery: Deliver training content through videos, documents, quizzes. Plus, track progress.
  • Collaboration: Enable communication between new hires, trainers, and managers within the platform.
  • Analytics: Gain visibility into onboarding metrics like time-to-productivity and identify bottlenecks.
  • Integration: Connect with HRIS, payroll, and scheduling systems to share data.


Why is frontline employee onboarding software important?

Frontline workers make up a significant portion of the workforce across many industries. Any business that relies heavily on customer-facing, frontline employees can benefit greatly from implementing dedicated onboarding software. 

Retail, food service, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, warehousing, and transportation are some examples of frontline-driven sectors. Within these industries, onboarding software enables hiring managers to efficiently train new hires at scale. It also empowers employees to learn at their own pace through self-service portals.

Specific use cases where onboarding software delivers value include:

  • High-turnover positions
  • Seasonal hiring spikes
  • Roles with extensive compliance training
  • Companies with multiple locations

The software centralizes onboarding processes while still allowing customization for different sites, jobs, regions, etc. 

Cloud-based solutions are highly scalable, offering both small businesses and large enterprises configurable options to match their needs. These systems can handle organizations with 100+ new hires per month just as well as those with fewer than 10. Pricing tiers and modular feature sets provide flexibility for any organization size or structure.

Benefits of using digital tools for onboarding frontline workers

benefits of onboarding software for frontline workers

Increased efficiency

By implementing onboarding software, manual processes can be automated, leading to a significant reduction in time and effort required to onboard frontline employees. This translates into a streamlined onboarding experience that enables new hires to become productive members of the team more quickly.

Improved experience

Providing an engaging and mobile-friendly onboarding experience is crucial in today's digital age. Onboarding software allows organizations to create interactive and multimedia-rich content that keeps employees engaged throughout the onboarding journey. This not only enhances their understanding of company policies and procedures but also instills a sense of excitement and belonging from day one.


Standardizing the onboarding process across different locations is essential for maintaining consistency in training and information provided to frontline employees. With onboarding software, organizations can ensure that all employees receive the same level of training and access to relevant resources, regardless of their geographical location. This promotes a cohesive and unified company culture, aligning employees across the board.

Reduced costs

Implementing onboarding software can lead to significant cost savings for organizations. Traditional onboarding processes often involve printing and shipping materials, and storing physical documents. By transitioning to a digital onboarding system, these expenses can be greatly reduced or eliminated altogether, resulting in substantial savings for the organization.

Better data

Onboarding software provides organizations with valuable analytics and insights into the onboarding process. By tracking employee progress and engagement, organizations can identify areas where the onboarding experience can be improved and make data-driven decisions to optimize the onboarding program. This data-driven approach allows for continuous improvement and refinement of the onboarding process, ensuring that employees receive the support they need to succeed.

Higher retention

Setting new hires up for success from day one is essential for employee retention. Onboarding software enables organizations to provide comprehensive training, resources, and support to new employees, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their roles. By ensuring a smooth and positive onboarding experience, organizations can increase employee satisfaction, engagement, and ultimately, retention rates.

Top features of frontline employee onboarding software

Onboarding frontline employees in an effective way is crucial to establishing a foundation for success. Frontline employee onboarding software has emerged as a valuable tool for businesses looking to streamline and automate the onboarding process for new hires in customer-facing or frontline roles.

These innovative solutions offer a range of features designed to simplify the onboarding experience for employees and enhance operational efficiency for HR teams. Let’s explore the top features of frontline employee onboarding software and their impact on the onboarding process.

⚙️ Streamlined onboarding process and automation

  • Checklists: One of the standout features of frontline employee onboarding software is its ability to streamline the onboarding process through step-by-step checklists that guide new hires through all required steps. This ensures that crucial tasks are not overlooked and that each new employee receives consistent and comprehensive onboarding.

  • Phased onboarding: Automated scheduling of onboarding tasks and reminders further enhances this efficiency, ensuring that critical deadlines are met and reducing the administrative burden on HR teams.

  • Digital forms: Digital forms and electronic signature capture capabilities offered by these platforms simplify paperwork processing, reducing the need for manual documentation and streamlining the collection of essential information.

  • Integration with HR systems: This enables seamless data transfer and eliminates the need for redundant data entry.
  • Account management: Automatic account provisioning and access management ensure that new hires have the necessary access to systems and resources from day one.

🚪 Employee services and self-service portals

Frontline employee onboarding software typically includes self-service portals that empower new hires to access essential resources and information independently. These portals may include FAQ knowledge bases for commonly asked questions, providing quick and convenient answers to common queries. Some solutions also incorporate chatbots or virtual assistants to provide real-time support, enhancing the overall onboarding experience.

These platforms also offer access to company policies, handbooks, and other important resources, empowering new hires with the knowledge they need to succeed in their roles. Furthermore, providing access to personal data, payroll information, schedules, and time-off requests through these portals promotes self-sufficiency and lays the groundwork for ongoing employee engagement.

🗣️ Communication and collaboration tools

Effective communication and collaboration are essential during the onboarding process, and frontline employee onboarding software addresses this need through a range of features:

  • Messaging platforms enable new hires to connect with colleagues and mentors, fostering a sense of belonging and facilitating the exchange of information.

  • Discussion forums are often included, providing new employees with opportunities to engage with their peers, share experiences, and seek guidance when needed.

  • Document sharing and cloud storage capabilities are also integral to these platforms, ensuring that onboarding materials and resources are readily accessible to new hires.

  • Feedback options and employee engagement pulse surveys facilitate ongoing communication and enable organizations to gather valuable insights that inform their onboarding strategies.

  • Access to subject matter experts and mentors within the organization is another valuable feature, providing new employees with access to the guidance and support they need to thrive in their roles.


How onboarding software boosts frontline worker productivity

Frontline worker productivity is essential for the success of any organization. Onboarding software can significantly enhance productivity by providing centralized access to training materials, mobile-friendly interfaces, and integration with existing tools.

✔️ Centralized access to training materials and resources

A key benefit of onboarding software is the ability to consolidate training content and resources in one easily accessible place. This eliminates the need for frontline workers to search across multiple systems and platforms to find the information they need. The software acts as a training content repository, with different modules, documents, videos, and other materials organized logically. 

Workers can log in and quickly browse or search for the specific training content they need:

  • New hires have an easy way to ramp up through structured learning paths. 
  • Experienced employees can refresh their skills or cross-train into new areas. 
  • Managers can track training completion and compliance.

Centralized training libraries save time compared to piecing together materials from different sources.

✔️ Mobile-friendly interfaces and applications

Mobile accessibility is key for frontline worker productivity.

Since frontline employees often work remotely or on-site, mobile-friendly access ensures they can learn on the go. Onboarding platforms focused on frontline workers are designed responsively for phones and tablets. The interface automatically adapts for smaller screens with intuitive navigation.

Mobile apps also often allow access completely offline in areas with limited connectivity. Workers can download training content and materials to their device so they are accessible anywhere. Features like bookmarks and highlights make mobile learning engaging. Alerts and notifications keep workers informed of new content.

✔️ Integration with existing productivity tools

Onboarding software should integrate seamlessly with the other systems frontline employees use daily. This creates a more streamlined experience rather than constant app switching. For example:

  • Integrating with task management apps lets workers access training as a to-do item alongside their other work.
  • Integrating with knowledge management tools allows seamless access to knowledge bases with onboarding content.

API integration potential also allows custom connections with proprietary apps and systems. The focus should be enabling productivity through integration.

Considerations for choosing onboarding software for a frontline workforce

When evaluating employee onboarding software for frontline workers, there are a few key factors to consider:

considerations for choosing onboarding software for deskless workers

🛫 Deployment options

One of the first decisions is whether to go with a cloud-based or on-premises solution. Cloud-based onboarding software is hosted externally and accessed via the web. This option is convenient since it doesn't require any local IT infrastructure. However, some companies prefer keeping data on-premises for security reasons. On-prem solutions may also allow for more customization.

💳 Licensing models 

SaaS onboarding platforms usually charge per user per month. There are often pricing tiers based on features and number of users. With on-prem software, there are typically large upfront costs and ongoing maintenance fees. Some vendors offer hybrid models with a mix of subscription and perpetual licensing. It's important to analyze the total cost of ownership for each option.

👷 Customization

While SaaS onboarding tools offer some configuration options, on-prem solutions allow for more in-depth customization. The ability to tailor workflows, branding, integrations, and reporting is essential for many large enterprises. Vendors that enable easy tweaks without heavy coding are ideal.

🔗 Integration capabilities

Examine how well a platform integrates with your HRIS, LMS, payroll system, and other back-end infrastructure. Modern APIs make it easier to connect various applications. This ensures data flows smoothly across the employee lifecycle. Prioritize onboarding software with robust integration capabilities.

By evaluating deployment, licensing, customization, and integration factors, you can select onboarding technology aligned to your organization's specific needs and environment. Focus on long-term flexibility and scalability when making your choice.

How to implement onboarding software successfully for frontline employees

Implementing new frontline onboarding software takes careful planning and execution to ensure a smooth transition and drive user adoption. Here are some key considerations:

1. Change management and user adoption

It's essential to gain executive buy-in and involve frontline workers in the software selection and implementation process so that they understand the purpose of the change and feel ownership and engagement with the new software.

Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Get executive buy-in and communicate the reasons for change across the organization. This helps to create a sense of purpose and support for the change.

  • Involve frontline workers and managers in the software selection and implementation process. Ask for their input and feedback to ensure the chosen software meets their needs and addresses any pain points they may have.

  • Provide extensive training on how to use the new onboarding software. Offer a combination of in-person, virtual, and self-paced training options to cater to different learning preferences. Highlight the benefits of the software, such as easier access to resources and mobile compatibility, to motivate user adoption.

  • Maintain an open dialogue with frontline employees and managers to gather feedback and address any concerns or challenges that may arise. This demonstrates that their voices are heard and valued, fostering a sense of ownership and engagement with the new software.

  • Consider phasing the software rollout if necessary, starting with a volunteer pilot group. This allows for testing and optimization before scaling up to the entire organization.


2. Data migration and integration

A successful onboarding software implementation requires seamless integration with existing HR systems and data repositories, and it's essential to plan the data migration carefully to ensure accuracy and completeness of the data.

Here’s how you can get started:

  • Assess existing HR systems and data repositories that need to integrate with the onboarding software. Determine the scope of data migration and plan for the extraction, transformation, and loading of legacy data into the new system.

  • Validate the migrated data before the go-live date to ensure accuracy and completeness. Have a backup plan in place in case any issues arise during the migration process.

  • Build APIs and connections to other critical platforms such as payroll and scheduling systems. This enables seamless data flow between different systems and ensures a unified and efficient onboarding process.

  • Consider implementing single sign-on (SSO) functionality to streamline access across integrated systems. This reduces the need for multiple logins and improves user experience.

3. Measure ROI and success

Measuring the success of the onboarding software implementation will ultimately help you determine if the software is delivering the intended benefits and provides you insight into areas for improvement.

Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Define key metrics to measure the success of the onboarding software implementation. These metrics may include time-to-productivity, new hire retention rates, and completion rates of training modules.

  • Conduct surveys and focus groups to gather feedback from frontline employees and managers. This qualitative feedback can provide valuable insights into the user experience and help identify areas for improvement.

  • Track usage data and adoption rates within the onboarding software. This quantitative data allows for monitoring the level of engagement and identifies any potential bottlenecks or areas where additional support may be needed.

  • Compare metrics and data before and after the implementation to quantify the improvements brought about by the new onboarding software. Relate these metrics to important business KPIs, such as customer satisfaction scores or employee productivity.

  • Continuously refine the onboarding process based on data insights and feedback received. Use these insights to make iterative improvements and ensure that the onboarding software continues to meet the evolving needs of frontline workers and the organization as a whole.

Top frontline onboarding software providers

There are a number of leading software vendors offering onboarding solutions tailored for frontline workers. Here's an overview of some of the top options:

1. Oneteam

Oneteam offers tools for automating onboarding processes, such as phased onboarding, document management, and communication channels that facilitate collaboration among team members. Oneteam also provides customizable training modules and ensures compliance with regulations through its comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities.

2. Sapling

Sapling is a great solution for handling the onboarding and offboarding of employees at scale. With its Smart Assignment feature, setting up processes and workflows becomes effortless, making it ideal for handling large numbers of frontline employees. Sapling offers customizable options and seamless integration with Slack, making communication and collaboration more efficient.

3. Gusto

Gusto is an HR management tool that offers a range of features for hiring and employee onboarding. It provides full-service payroll, benefits management, insights, and reporting, making it a comprehensive solution for managing frontline workers.

4. Zavvy

Zavvy provides onboarding software solutions with features like schedule management and time clocking, making it easier to handle the onboarding process effectively. It also offers operations overview and task management features at an additional cost.

5. Paycor

Paycor stands out as one of the best overall onboarding software providers for small businesses, offering comprehensive features for employee onboarding. Its platform helps streamline the onboarding process, ensuring a positive experience for frontline employees.

6. Workday

Workday is an excellent choice for enterprises focused on employee growth. It provides tools for incorporating development plans and employee growth opportunities into the onboarding process.

7. BambooHR

BambooHR offers customization options, allowing businesses to tailor the onboarding process to suit the specific needs of frontline workers. With BambooHR, companies can create personalized onboarding experiences that engage and empower frontline employees.

8. Rippling

Rippling is a global onboarding solution that simplifies the onboarding of frontline workers across different locations. It offers centralized control and administration over the onboarding process, making it easier for businesses with multiple frontline teams.

9. Zenefits

Zenefits provides a comprehensive onboarding solution that includes features like employee self-service, benefits management, compliance tracking, and more. With Zenefits, companies can automate onboarding tasks and ensure a seamless experience for frontline employees.

The top vendors provide digital, automated onboarding solutions with compliance management, though pricing and customization options vary. Looking at user reviews can help determine the right fit for your organization's specific needs and frontline workforce.

The future of frontline employee onboarding

The future of frontline employee onboarding looks bright, with emerging technologies set to transform and enhance the onboarding experience for these critical workers.

Here are some of the key developments on the horizon:

🧑‍💻 Emerging technologies and their potential impact

Virtual reality: VR can provide immersive, lifelike training simulations for frontline workers, preparing them for real-world situations in a risk-free environment. This is especially valuable for training dangerous or complex tasks.

Augmented reality: AR overlays digital information onto the physical environment. For onboarding, AR can provide annotated instructions and guides to assist frontline workers with equipment use, processes, etc. 

Artificial intelligence: AI can customize and optimize onboarding to each learner's strengths and weaknesses. As frontline roles evolve, AI can also identify skills gaps and recommend personalized training.

Digital assistants: Chatbots and voice assistants can serve as always-available support for frontline workers to ask questions during onboarding and beyond. They provide quick access to information.

Wearables: Smart glasses, watches, and other wearables enable on-the-job reference materials, communications, and performance tracking during onboarding. This data can optimize training during the onboarding process.

🧑‍🏭 The ever-evolving needs of frontline workers

As the nature of frontline work continues to evolve, it's essential for onboarding programs to adapt to the new and emerging needs of frontline workers.

The following key areas represent the evolving needs of frontline workers that onboarding programs must address to ensure the successful integration and ongoing development of employees in these roles:

Training for new technologies

With the increasing integration of automation, robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) in frontline operations, onboarding programs need to incorporate training modules that familiarize employees with these new technologies. Providing hands-on experience and guidance on working with such technologies is crucial for enabling frontline workers to adapt to the changing technological landscape.

Developing digital literacy and tech skills

Onboarding programs should prioritize the development of digital literacy and tech skills among frontline workers. This could include training on using digital tools, navigating user interfaces, and understanding data analytics relevant to their roles.

Enabling collaboration and knowledge sharing

Frontline workers often operate in team-based environments, making it essential for onboarding programs to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing. Providing training on effective communication, teamwork, and the use of collaborative platforms can help frontline workers excel in their roles.

Supporting wellness and work-life balance

Onboarding programs should emphasize the importance of employee wellness and work-life balance, especially for those in frontline roles. This could involve educating employees on stress management techniques, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, and offering resources for mental wellness.

Building empathy, creativity, problem-solving

Onboarding programs need to focus on developing soft skills such as empathy, creativity, and problem-solving abilities among frontline workers. These skills are crucial for providing excellent customer service, adapting to unexpected situations, and fostering a positive work environment.

🔁 Best practices for continuous improvement

Continuous improvement is vital for ensuring that onboarding programs for frontline workers remain effective and relevant.

Here are some best practices to follow in order to continuously enhance the onboarding process:

best practices for continuous improvement

Frequent feedback

Regularly gather feedback from frontline workers on their onboarding experience. This feedback can provide valuable insights into areas that need improvement, as well as highlight successful aspects of the onboarding program that can be expanded upon.

Track skill development and performance metrics

Implement a system for tracking skills and performance metrics among frontline workers. This allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your onboarding program and identify areas that require further development or additional support.

Regularly update training content

As technologies and job requirements evolve, it's crucial to keep training content up to date. Regularly review and update training materials to ensure that they align with current industry trends, technologies, and best practices.

Leverage data and analytics

Utilize data and analytics to identify gaps in the onboarding process. Analyze metrics such as retention rates, employee engagement, and performance indicators to pinpoint areas that need improvement and to make data-driven decisions for program enhancements.

Collaborate with managers

Work closely with frontline managers to understand the specific needs and challenges faced by employees. By collaborating with managers, organizations can align the onboarding program with the expectations of frontline supervisors and ensure that new hires receive the necessary support from their team leads.

Test new technologies and methods

Stay up to date with emerging technologies and innovative onboarding methods. Experiment with new tools, software, or delivery methods to enhance the onboarding experience. Piloting new technologies and methods can provide valuable insights into their potential effectiveness and allow for continuous improvement of the onboarding process.

Share best practices

Foster a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration across different locations. Encourage frontline managers and employees to share best practices, success stories, and lessons learned from their onboarding experiences. This facilitates continuous learning and allows for the replication of successful practices.

💡 Key takeaways

Onboarding software designed specifically for frontline workers has the potential to revolutionize and modernize the employee experience for this critical workforce.

With the sheer volume of frontline employees at many organizations, automating and digitizing onboarding through dedicated software can lead to immense time and cost savings. It also empowers employees with self-service options and resources readily available at their fingertips. For companies struggling with frontline turnover and engagement, onboarding software can directly address these pain points.

The options and vendors profiled here are just a sampling of the solutions available for transforming frontline onboarding. Each organization should carefully evaluate their unique needs, workflows, and constraints before selecting a platform. But the ROI from improved frontline worker productivity and satisfaction makes onboarding software an investment well worth considering.  

For leaders managing frontline workforces, now is the time to envision a modern digital experience for your employees. By implementing onboarding software focused on frontline roles, you can build a more engaged, empowered and successful frontline workforce.

Inês Pinto

Inês Pinto

Inês is the Head of Content at Oneteam. She mainly writes about employee experience and other HR topics. Fun fact about Inês: she is originally from Portugal, grew up in Canada and the US, and now lives in the Netherlands with her husband and 3 daughters!

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