Google the phrase “Pre-Boarding a new hire” and over 8 Million results appear in .66 seconds. Your top results are ads with On-Boarding check lists, software, and packets. So, what is pre-boarding?
Harver.com describes pre-boarding as “whatever process your company has up and running when the candidate accepts their job offer, right the way through to their first actual day working for you. The focus should be preparing your new hire and drumming up some excitement as their first day approaches.”
Nearly 33% of new hires look for a new job within their first six months on the job ~Harvard Business Review
To set the stage for new hire success, employers need to have a plan in place. The outline for successful pre-boarding can be summed up in 4 Key Steps: Announce, Connect, Communicate, and Prepare.
How to Pre-Board New Hires
How do you let your team, and the company, know that a new person has been hired?
If you wait until your new hire shows up for their first day to make an announcement, you’re missing an important part of the pre-boarding process. As soon as your new hire accepted the job, well in advance of their first day, you need to set the stage.
Send a group email with your new hires name, interesting personal information, and why you think they will be a valued addition to your team.
Does anyone in the company share their hometown or state, attend the same college, or engage in the same hobbies? Highlight those common connections in your email and be sure to Include your new hire on this announcement email and encourage the team to “reply all” and welcome the new hire.
Before your new hire physically or virtually shows up for their first day, you want them to have formed connections within your company.
A quick email from the leader of the company or business unit, a more in-depth email from their immediate leader, and an introduction to the point person in HR are good places to start. But new hires also need someone to lead them through the pre-boarding and onboarding process, a work buddy or mentor.
In fact, a recent study found that the retention rate for mentees was 72%. Non-participants experienced a rate of just 49%. But the benefits aren’t limited to mentees — mentors surveyed in that same study experienced a 69% retention rate. Employees who serve as mentors also report greater job satisfaction and greater career success. ~ Brandman University blog
Ask your tenured employees if they’re interested in being a “work buddy” to new hires and then pick the most compatible volunteer to team up with your new hire. Introduce them and encourage regular check-ins prior to the new hires first day.
Review with the tenured employee the items that your new hire needs to know prior to starting. Simple things like where you eat lunch, where to park, how employees dress, etc.
And if your office is now virtual, discuss best practices for working from home. During the past year, most people have learned valuable lessons on how to effectively work from home. Encourage the “work buddy”, along with others on the team, to share their insights.
81% of new hires want to receive details about their new role in the pre-boarding stage. ~Harver.com
60% of companies fail to set milestones or goals for new hires. ~Lessonly.com
Communication cannot be stressed enough during the pre-boarding process. Your new hire needs an overview of the pre-boarding and onboarding process along with times lines and expectations.
Send them any paperwork that can be completed prior to their first day and when it needs to be sent in. Schedule out their first week and communicate it to them prior to their first day. And set expectations. What does excellence look like during onboarding and their first 30/60/90 days? They need to know what is expected, and how to exceed those expectations.
4. Prepare for Arrival
Whether they're being set up at a desk in your downtown office or at their own kitchen table, you need to be prepared for your new hire’s arrival on their first day. In office, have their workspace set up along with the technology they need for their job. Pens, paper, post its, etc. should all be on their new desk, waiting for them when they arrive.
If they’re working from home, make sure their new computer is sent out in plenty of time, loaded with all the software they need, and who to go to if they have tech issues. Send out any supplies they will need to work from home that they might not have on hand. And consider sending out a “swag bag” with company branded apparel or merchandise. If they can sit in their first meeting using a company mug or water bottle, it makes them feel part of the team.
Use these pre-boarding best practices to create a strong plan for your new hires and set them on the road to success with your company!
If you're a CSS client, check out the pre-boarding course in our new IMPACT series for more tips on how to create an effective pre-boarding an onboarding program.