Onboarding and effective onboarding strategies are often discussed in HR circles. No one doubts the importance of onboarding; equally important is pre-boarding but this topic does not receive the attention it should so we’re going to shine a little light of this lesser known but incredibly vital part of an overall recruitment strategy.
Employee pre-boarding begins once an offer has been accepted by the new hire and lasts up to the first day of employment. On the surface it may appear that there’s no need of a strategy at this point, the candidate has accepted the offer and will show up for work on the predetermined start date upon which the new hire will be properly on-boarded and live and work happily ever after.
The period of time between acceptance of offer and the first day is critical in a number of ways.
Pre-boarding is a fantastic opportunity for the employer to develop an informal relationship with the new hire and they begin to see the culture of the company first hand. If the new hire hears nothing from the new employer they may begin to second-guess their decision to join that particular company and may go so far as to renege on the agreement. It isn’t difficult to see how this could happen; it’s very likely that the new hire has multiple interviews scheduled and perhaps other offers on the table as well, armed with a secured offer they may take it to their current employer to see what the company will do to keep them or to the other opportunities to do the same. Welcoming and engaging the new hire right from the start and lessens the chance that they will doubt themselves and renege and take another offer. Loyalty and trust will grow and your new hire will look forward to their first day on the new job.
There are some onboarding activities that can take place during the pre-boarding period making the first day for the new hire a little less taxing and mundane.
Here are a few things that you can do in the pre-boarding period:
- Create and send them their new email address
- Handle the tax forms
- Send the employee handbook
Pre-boarding activities may also include some of the following:
- Invite the new hire to schedule time for a tour in advance of their first day
- Schedule a lunch or a video call with the new hire and the team
- Invite them to the next company event if it happens to take place in the pre-boarding period
The ultimate goal of the pre-boarding activities is to reinforce to the new hire that they made a great decision accepting your offer and the company is excited to receive them. Showcasing the company culture and beginning to nurture the new hire dramatically increases successful on-boarding and long-term job satisfaction.