Pre-Onboarding: Be Prepared & Engaged Ahead of Your Job Start

 

The process of joining a new organisation and starting a new employee lifecycle is a challenge to each and every employee. It starts with the building of excitement during the interview phase of the hiring process. Then, the job offer from the employer signals your successful recruitment. This is prompting you to look forward to the first day on the job. Pre-onboarding is the first line of action after having accepted the job offer.

In this article, we will discuss pre-onboarding, the role it plays for both yourself and your company. We will discuss how preboarding keeps you anticipating and eager at the beginning of your new employment. Moreover, we are including some preboarding best practices.

Pre-Onboarding Insights

Only 12% of the employees strongly agreed that their company had a Preboarding process to make them feel ready for day 1 at their new job.


—introdus, “Your Pre & Onboarding Buddy” eBook 2021.

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What is Preboarding?

 

At introdus, we work with the following definition of preboarding: Preboarding is the process running from the moment a new employee accepts and signs an employment contract through to the first day on the job. The key mission of Preboarding is getting you prepared and feeling ready for starting your new job.

 

When Does Employee Preboarding Take Place?

 

So the employee preboarding process covers the period of time between the moment right after signing the employment contract and the first day on the job, which is the debut of the onboarding process. Pre-onboarding could be conceptualised as a vital component of the new staff onboarding, as a preparatory process that can relieve some of the administrative work from the onboarding stage, as well as an excercise for early engagement.

In the course of the waiting period between signing the contract and starting your new job, there should be a channel of effective communication and engagement between you and the employer. Pre-onboarding is a process set-up by the employer to get you prepared for your job start.

And yet, according to our Pre & Onboarding survey 2021, only 20% of the employees received a concrete Preboarding plan for their new job. Thus, it is our mission to spread the word on the many benefits of preboarding.

As a new hire, when you start in a new workplace, you are driven and motivated to perform effectively. However, new joiners often experience a communication gap in the time period between signing the contract and the first day on the job. This can make you nurture the thought of being forgotten by the employer ahead of their job start.

Both the preboarding process and the onboarding process play fundamental roles in setting you up on the path of a successful work journey with your new employer.

With Preboarding, you have a system that sets the tone for the best employee onboarding experiences in a new company.  The pre-onboarding engagement offers you a sense of being important to your employer and that the company is looking forward to welcoming you.

Onboarding usually kicks off on your first day, and continues until you are fully confident and proactive in your new role.

If you are curious to read more about preboarding vs. onboarding, we have devoted an entire piece on it, and we highly recommend you to read it on our Blog HR.

 

What Does Preboarding Mean for New Employees?

 

We firmly believe that every new hire must undergo a preboarding process. This is the period of time where you begin to develop and strengthen your relationship with your new team, manager and the organisation.

During the pre-onboarding period, you are offered insight into the new company’s mission, vision and its culture.

The pre-onboarding process is what establishes a good or bad impression about your new company. Additionally, Pre-onboarding is what justifies whether you have made the right decision when accepting the job offer.

From an administrative point of view, preboarding aids in completing items off the new hire checklist, such as the relevant paperwork and meeting key people in the organisation.

 

What Does Preboarding Mean for the Company?

 

With the pre-onboarding process, your new employer has the opportunity to keep you interested in their mission before you even step into the office for the first time.

Additionally, considering the growing numbers of employees starting their jobs remotely, there is an added pressure on employers to ensure that you can feel connected and engaged with your new workplace even when being pre & onboarded remotely.

The process of hiring and getting you up to speed implies extensive resource expenditure (time and capital) on the part of your employer. The average cost per new hire is $4.425, and the average executive cost per hire is $14.936, according to SHRM. If we conceptualise each new hire as an investment a company makes, it makes sense that the primary goal of your company is to keep you with them for a considerable period time.

Engaging you from the very beginning through preboarding will ensure that your productive output will represent a positive return on investment and furthermore, you will indirectly assist the company in achieving low employee turnover.

 

Pre-Onboarding Insights

One of the biggest questions a new employee has is: ‘Did I make the right choice?’ It’s up to HR, the management or the company to provide an answer to this question during your Pre & Onboarding.


—Stefan Sjørslev, Pre & Onboarding Specialist at introdus.

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Pre-onboarding Process

 

You’re probably already familiarised with the concept and practice of onboarding, and wonder why exactly preboarding is needed.

 

Why Does Preboarding Matter?

 

Let us paint this picture for you. You’ve just landed a new job, you’re excited about it, but nothing else happens until your first day. You might feel stressed for the new start, disappointed that you never heard back from your employer with information that could make you feel more prepared for the job start. All might contribute to you both losing the excitement of starting a new job and already becoming disengaged with the organisation. This is exactly where pre-onboarding comes in.

The pre-onboarding process is designed to keep you engaged and connected with your new company ahead of day 1 in the office. In addition, it is an essential strategy that enhances your loyalty to the new company.

When you take up a new job offer, the prerogative is yours to weigh it up against other offers. According to octanner.com, 59% of employees said they would take up a similar role at a different company today if offered.

This is why we, at introdus, employee onboarding software, firmly believe that preboarding is not just a handshake and a welcome to the company. We are fortunate enough to have access to the experiences of over 50 000 employees that have used our platform. This helps us realise that it’s not just us that believe preboarding is important. You and your fellow employees agree that preboarding is a crucial stage in your employee life-cycle that can set you up for success on your new job.

The role of pre-onboarding in getting you prepared for job start cannot be overemphasised.

 

 

Additionally, preboarding can provide the blueprints to building meaningful social connections at your new workplace. For example, during pre-onboarding, the buddy onboarding programme could be set in motion. You will get the chance to meet someone prior to starting and know that there will be a friendly face waiting for you in the company reception on your first day.

According to Adam Hickman, Ph.D. & Senior Workplace Strategist for Gallup, “trust and team cohesion form more quickly when teammates go the extra mile and mentor their new members.” We know that building a good relationship is very important for you when you start a new job: it’s only natural that you would feel the need of belonging to your new place, and social connections ensure that. Pre-onboarding would have set this background for you to build on.

Pre-Onboarding Insights

Engaged employees are a scarce commodity. Preboarding can provide the blueprints to building meaningful social connections at your new workplace. This will lead to engagement.


—introdus, “How to Get Engaged Before Day 1 on the Job” eBook 2022.

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What Should Be Included in a Preboarding Programme?

Pre-Onboarding Checklist

 

The pre-onboarding checklist is a tool that your company could use to keep track of all the activities that get you ready to start work and that will instill the trust and loyalty you need to work for a new organisation.

Here are some pre-onboarding best practices: key components of a successful pre-onboarding programme:

1. Assignment of buddy: In a buddy, you have someone already a part of the company who is willing to answer any question you might have concerning the company. A buddy will put you through the company’s culture and activities to aid your confidence as you get integrated into the new organisation.

2. Introductory email: By using this, the company will properly welcome you, explain their work history, and share their contact details. This will make you feel like your presence is well acknowledged and viewed with anticipation.

3. Invite to a social event: This is another pre-onboarding best practice that offers you an opportunity to meet your future co-workers. Although it could be an invitation to a casual lunch, it enables you to be familiar with your prospective team members ahead of your first day. 

4. Sending the company handbook: In the company manual, you will read more about the company policies, roles, and responsibilities of each staff member, thus getting a better overview of the organisational structure of the company.

5. The first-day email: Here, you will receive an email containing key guidance concerning the induction day. Examples of information to be included are: dress code, when to arrive, what to bring, and the calendar invites to introductory meetings, onboarding sessions, and lunch.

6. Information about your job details: In this, your job description will be restated to you — also information about skill training expectations, mentorship and/or coaching. In the same vein, other practicalities will also be stated, such as working hours and vacation. 

7. Workstation set-up: This is the moment where your equipment will be ordered. You can express any specific needs for hardware and software tools and consult with fellow co-workers or supervisor.

8. An Introduction into the Corporate Culture

The hardest part of onboarding a new hire is making them fully understand and feel connected with corporate culture, according to Adam Hickman, Ph.D. and Senior Workplace Strategist for Gallup‘s workplace science.

Pre-onboarding is an opportunity to go through the ethos of your employer’s culture and get you accustomed to the core value system of the company. Of course that culture is something that you will get to live through every single day as an employee. But by being exposed to it during the pre-onboarding, you can have a better idea of what to expect. In a period of time when you might feel slightly stressed and nervous, some predictability might be just what you need.

According to Adam Hickman, “only 29% of new hires say they feel fully prepared and supported to excel in their new roles. This data point needs to increase, and that begins by defining culture from the very start of the attraction process for new hires.” Thus, companies need to boost their efforts into making you fully prepared to start work. They have an obligation to you as you are also preparing yourself for starting and have the right motivation and eagerness to contribute.

Pre & Onboarding Insights

Only 29% of new hires say they feel fully prepared and supported to excel in their new roles. This data point needs to increase, and that begins by defining Culture from the very start of the attraction process for new hires.


—Adam Hickman, Ph.D. & Senior Workplace Strategist for Gallup.

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Don’t Overlook Preboarding: Concluding Remarks

 

In conclusion, pre-onboarding provides you with a short window of opportunity to confirm that this new job opportunity and this new company are the right match for you. It is an exercise that provides you with excitement and connection, and at the same time, it will take care of the administrative aspects of onboarding, thus ensuring you are ready to jump in on Day 1.

The task of achieving a highly satisfactory new hire experience is quite heavy for employers, which is why effective employee onboarding software tools, such as introdus. The introdus platform provides all the structure and support that both you and your employer need in order to ensure a hitch-free Pre & Onboarding stage of your employee lifecycle.

introdus will aid you in building the connection with your employer and assist you in socialising confidently. This is the start of creating the right synergy with the future team members. Additionally, it will provide you with a structured preboarding journey that details the milestones of the process and an overview of all the actions to be performed.

Step into a successful Pre-Onboarding process with an effective Software Tool.

 

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