Say hello to Softstart, and welcome your newcomers differently

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It’s 9 a.m. Monday morning and you’re starting a new job. You’re both excited and nervous, especially given the remote context of it all. You’ve been handed a laptop and documents galore to read about the company – the tedious kind, let’s be honest. You’ve been told that you’ll be meeting with your manager sometime during the week. And that’s that: consider your onboarding journey complete. ✅ Or at least that’s what we’ve come to expect.

With our last one Softstart, we’re here to take your onboarding experience to the next level, by making it more human and engaging.

In the business world, it is often said that the first three months are vital when integrating new talent; 33% of new hires leave their jobs during the first six months, some even during the first week! Those initial days essentially seal the deal for newcomers: decisions regarding whether to stay with the company or to seek greener pastures are made then.  Moreover, new employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years. That’s where Softstart comes in.

A successful onboarding experience can be proclaimed the day the new hire refers to the company as “we” and not “you.” It’s definitely subtle, but it makes such a difference, and that’s what we’re after with Softstart.

Simon De Baene,
CEO and co-founder of GSoft

A soft start

For the bulk of HR departments, the onboarding process consists merely of handing over a laptop and tools, giving a tour of the office, and facilitating introductions with management. As far as managers go, they’re not always equipped with the best resources or methods to onboard each new profile into their team. That’s when the lightbulb went off: day one is where it all begins, and it’s precisely then that we should be putting our best foot forward to welcome our new hires into the company. Which involves doing things like:

  • Putting them in touch with immediate colleagues, but also with key players from other teams, with a common profile;
  • Providing them with access to useful resources should they need them;
  • Sharing the company’s values and offering tips on how to navigate the organization;
  • Communicating expectations in a clear manner.

Softstart allows organizations to stand out from the rest by transforming an inherently administrative process into a structured, human experience that has a direct impact on employee engagement and retention.

Guillaume Chalifoux,
Acquisition Director, GSoft

How does it all work?

We’ve put together more than 100 templates that managers can use to prepare for the arrival of their newcomers. Calmly. In just a few clicks. It’s easy and it’s fast ⤵️

Softstart lets you map out a clear onboarding journey for newcomers and ensure that their experience navigating the company goes as smoothly as possible. As a manager, you’ll also save yourself a ton of time, as the onboarding material can be reused for future arrivals.

Lucie Le Cren-Boussuard
Manager, Software Development, GSoft

As for the employee side of the tool, it’s kind of like being greeted by a massive buffet of activities: social, learning, company culture, safety, etc. Each activity (often in video format) is ready to be consumed and was assigned by their manager.

The welcome message gets bonus points, if you ask me. I was expecting a generic introduction, and not at all a personal greeting from two of the company’s co-founders (Simon and Guillaume) and Martin (among others!). It’s simple, but it adds a lot of value.

Cédric Breton Daigle
New employee – Technical Support Representative, GSoft

The backstory

A Robert Half study conducted last spring revealed that 36% of employees would prefer to work remotely. In other words, today’s companies will have to welcome and onboard 1/3 of their new hires in a remote fashion. But how does one go about transmitting a sense of belonging through a screen?

We’ve been asking ourselves that very question since 2019. Then the pandemic happened, and the phone started ringing. A transition that we thought would take place 10 years from now, was right on our doorstep!

We’ve spoken to more than a hundred organizations across the globe to familiarize ourselves with various stakeholders of an onboarding process. Thanks to Officevibe, we were well equipped to analyze loads of data about the experiences of managers and employees alike. We researched how organizations go about onboarding new members, employee retention during the first months, their realities and challenges, but also how managers and employees feel about the whole process.


“76% of HR managers believe that their onboarding process is on point. But when you ask employees the same question, a whopping 85% feel that it could be improved upon drastically. The disconnect is huge, and we’re trying to bridge that gap with Softstart”, explains Guillaume Chalifoux.

We then quickly formulated some hypotheses, tested them and finally came up with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). This was all done as part of a team, of course.

Building good products: a team effort

At the Innovation Lab, our mission is to build new tools for the future of work. We explore new opportunities, identify problems, but also anticipate those that have yet to happen. We’re kind of like the explorers of yore, who set out to discover new continents, took the risk, disembarked on the islands, not really knowing what to expect. We’re comfortable navigating the unknown even though, admittedly, it does take quite a bit of resilience. At the Lab, we’re a small team, we don’t keep secrets from one another, everyone is in the loop and has a say. ⤵️ There’s a better way to work.


More to come? Absolutely

At GSoft, we’re not ones to rest on our laurels, and making Softstart the best product for the job was always our main priority. In addition to creating a novel way to onboard new talent into a company, we’d also like to be present during each key stage of the employee journey: from discovering a new role, to transitioning to another, to being welcomed back from leave, for example. We believe that each employee journey should be a human adventure.

After the success of ShareGate and Officevibe, we couldn’t be prouder to welcome this latest addition to our family of products. But we’re not about to stop there.