What Should be Included in a Preboarding Programme?


A proper Preboarding process can have a big impact on whether the employee is fully prepared to start their new job, and ultimately how the employee will view the company. 

As a brand new employee it is normal to feel both excited and slightly nervous. That’s why a proper Preboarding process is such a good idea. With a Preboarding programme you and your employer are ensured that you are fully prepared to start your new job.

But what is Preboarding? And what does the Preboarding process entail?

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.

In other words, the Preboarding process consists of a series of steps and actions meant as preparation for the onboarding process. You can view it as a Pre onboarding. Hence, it is a preparation for your transition into your new job role.

Preboarding activities should provide you with all the relevant information you need as a new hire prior to your first day. Essentially, the main mission of Preboarding is to make you feel prepared for your first day at a new job. 

It is interesting to note that technically you are not already in your employment period when the Preboarding process takes place. However, this does not mean that employers should completely disregard it. Preboarding provides a window of opportunity for companies to keep the excitement resulting from having signed the contract alive until the moment of you actually starting the job.


Preboarding vs. Onboarding: What is the difference?


We work with the following definitions of Preboarding and onboarding:

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.

Onboarding means the process of integrating a new hire into a company, having a dual purpose. First and foremost, it ensures cultural and social integration and relationship-building. Secondly, it provides all the information and skills necessary for becoming a productive member of the team. Onboarding starts on your first day on the job.

Different Stages, Shared Objectives

Right off the bat, we can notice that Preboarding precedes onboarding temporally. We could conceptualise Preboarding as a preparatory phase. It sets up a framework which will allow you to fully reap the benefits of your onboarding phase. Preboarding could last a few days to a few weeks. It depends on how much time there is between the employee signing the contract to the first day of their new employment. Onboarding is a more complex and comprehensive process that can extend months into your employment.

Both Preboarding and onboarding will provide a new employee with all the necessary resources to become successful in your new role within the company. At introdus we strongly believe that both the pre- & onboarding phases are essential in regards to your new employee journey and your HR life cycle


What does the Preboarding programme entail?


A Preboarding process has some key strategic objectives that should be considered when drafting the Preboarding programme. Preboarding strategies include: 


Relationship Building: Build Lasting & Trustworthy Connections

The Preboarding process offers you a window of opportunity where you build the blueprint to your relationships with your new team, line manager and the overall organization. 

Ulf Hahnemann, former CHRO at A.P. Møller Mærsk, highlights that the essence of building  a company is the trust that allows employees to be themselves. When there is trust in the organization, employees display higher rates of job satisfaction.

Preboarding Programme Insights

When you have trust in the organisation, which makes you feel at home, you will perceive being appreciated and fitting in. This will lead to better ideas, enthusiasm and better problem-solving.

—Ulf Hahnemann, Former CHRO at A.P. Møller Mærsk.

Emotional Well-Being

We believe that the benefits of Preboarding extend to your emotional well-being, as it can help ease the worries and stress of starting a new job. 

Moreover, Preboarding helps you feel connected to the company and to your new team. As a matter of fact, when you feel like you belong, you are 50% less likely to quit, according to HubSpot.

This is the reason why employees choose to go through Preboarding activities, even though they do not receive a salary at that moment in time.



There is no such thing as being premature when it comes to building engagement with a new employee. Preboarding helps to lay a foundation for engagement. Moreover, it provides an element of familiarity that can make a new start feel less nerve-wracking.

Thus, Preboarding is more than just a handshake. Instead, it should focus on engagement, for example with the core values of your organization, while providing basic knowledge from which you can leverage your success in your new role. 

Preboarding Programme: 6 Best Practices


When companies are fully aware of the strategic objectives and benefits of structured and effective Preboarding, they can draft a Preboarding programme that will actually make a difference for the employee:


1. Reviewing the Job Role Description and Basics

It is a good idea for the Preboarding programme to contain information regarding the role description, an overview of the functional area and the organizational structure of the department and team. This will provide you with an idea of how you will fit into the team and department. 

Additionally, even if the employment contract already contains information regarding your role, the Preboarding programme can allocate additional space for further clarifications, to ensure that there is no misunderstanding of what the role actually entails. 

2. New Hire Forms

Administrative work is simply unavoidable when starting a new job. However, rather than submerging you with paperwork on your first day on the job, it is a lot more efficient to have everything ready during the Preboarding stage. The Preboarding programme should allocate time to filling up all necessary paperwork: tax forms, signing up for pension and insurance, codes of conduct, privacy notice and confidentiality agreement etc. 

3. Equipment Set-up

We know how important it is to have your equipment ready when starting a new job. Therefore a Preboarding programme should devote time to set up equipment: both hardware and software configurations should be completed prior to your first day on the job. 

We have devoted extended space on our blog-HR to the IT pre- & onboarding process, including also an IT Onboarding Checklist and tips for ensuring a smooth IT set-up process. 

4. Building Connections: Team Introductions

Having your team leader and future coworkers take the time to make for example a welcome video, can make you feel truly welcome to the organization. It can also provide opportunities for building meaningful connections in the future. 

The Preboarding programme can be enhanced by introducing a buddy system. The new hire buddy onboarding programme is designed as a fast lane towards cultural integration. 

5. Organisational Culture

Generally speaking, employees want to get an insight into their new employer’s organizational culture even before starting the new job. Our pre- & onboarding Survey 2021 revealed that 68% of the employees visited the company website and carried out research in order to prepare themselves before starting their job. 

Furthermore, when questioned about how important it was for the employees to receive information about their new workplace, 65.2% of employees qualified it as very important and 26.1% of them as important. Thus, 91.3% of all participants of the survey think that receiving information prior to the first day is required. 

This points to the fact that employees want to know all about the company culture, what it stands for and what it seeks to accomplish, its CSR and so on. Any well-designed Preboarding programme must account for this. 


5. First Day Practicalities

Lastly, it is preferable for the employee to have been informed about practicalities such as where to meet on the first day, if there is anything they should bring on the first day, lunch arrangements, transport and parking options etc. 

This will help to ease the new employees’ nerves prior to their first day. 


Benefits of Preboarding


A Preboarding plan for new hires can be extremely beneficial as it prepares them for their first day. It can help new hires to feel less anxious about starting at a new place, and help them to connect with their new colleagues even before their first official day at the organization. 

Simone Sonn, Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding at LEO Pharma, one of our clients, also highlights that: “the key to eliminating the anxiety of new hires is to give them a good start.” A good start involves a Preboarding process.

Judging from the newly published industry data, the necessity of implementing a Preboarding programme is becoming more and more clear. 83% of best-in-class companies start onboarding new hires prior to their first day at their new job. Additionally, nearly half of those companies (46%) indicate that their onboarding starts upon offer extension. Thus, it starts prior even to acceptance, according to research from Aberdeen Group.

The whole team at introdus, employee onboarding software, is devoted to crafting the best possible employee experiences and that start with an effective Preboarding process. We are lucky enough to have tens of thousands of employees use our product, which gives us an insight into what you actually want and need when starting a new job. 

This is why we are committed to learning and sharing the knowledge of what the employees expect, what actually works for them, and the gaps existing in current pre- & onboarding practices. 

Preboarding Moments of Power

What Should be Included in a Preboarding Programme?

We at introdus use the framework of “Moments of Power,” to illustrate the key moments where your excitement and enthusiasm attain peak levels throughout your employee lifecycle.

When applying this framework to the preboarding process, we have identified the 5 key moments of power. Those are moments when you feel the most engaged and excited for joining a new company. The first of these moments is, of course, signing the new contract.

We believe that a successful preboarding Programme is one that deliberately taps into those moments. This makes you feel engaged and connected to your new job right away. This is intimately linked to new hire talent retention. In fact, companies that use preboarding retain 81% of first-year hires.


Pre-onboarding Programme Template


In order to provide inspiration and an easily customisable model, we have drafted a pre-onboarding programme template, consisting of all the steps/ activities which we regard as essential for any employee starting a new job. You can find additional information regarding the new hire Preboarding checklist inside our blog post.  You can also find a downloadable Preboarding programme template by clicking on the link below:


Get the template

Implementing a Preboarding Programme for new employees is easier with the right employee onboarding software.


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