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What is preboarding?

Discover how a well-structured preboarding process can aid in integrating your new hires successfully. This definition in our HR Terms library offers practical advice, best practices and scenarios when to include it in your HR work - an asset to any company wishing to improve new employee experience.

Keith MacKenzie
Keith MacKenzie

Passionate about human resources, employment, and business management, and an expert at sharing that expertise.

So, what is preboarding? Preboarding is a proactive employee onboarding process that takes place before a new hire’s first day of work. It’s the steps taken before the actual onboarding process begins, and usually involves the logistical and bureaucratic aspects of bringing a new employee into the company such as, for instance, HR paperwork, insurance, tax forms, and the like. Other parts of preboarding include introductions, welcomes, IT setup, and more.

With a focus on providing valuable insights and practical advice, this article will break down what preboarding is, when it occurs, best practices, and when to include it in your HR work – all within a concise 600-word limit.

When does preboarding occur?

Preboarding starts right after a successful job offer is accepted by the candidate, continuing until their first day at work. This interactive phase acts as a bridge between recruitment and actual onboarding, enhancing employee engagement and preparing new hires for their roles.

Best practices for preboarding

Implementing effective preboarding practices engages new hires from the start, laying a foundation for a positive work experience. Here are some best practices you can apply to your preboarding process:

Send a welcome message

A simple yet crucial step, sending a welcoming email or personalized video can make new hires feel appreciated and excited to join your organization.

Provide company information

Offer comprehensive company information, including values, culture, and mission statement, to help familiarize the new hires with the organization. This can be done through an employee handbook, a series of videos, or easy-to-digest infographics.

Begin paperwork early

Send essential documentation like contracts, tax forms, and policy acknowledgments in advance. Utilizing e-signature services or onboarding software can speed up the process and simplify record-keeping.

Introduce new hires to the team

Connecting new employees to their colleagues before they start can foster a sense of belonging. Organize a virtual meet-and-greet or encourage team members to send greeting emails to set a positive tone.

Assign a mentor

Pairing new hires with dedicated mentors can further facilitate their integration into the team and provide them with valuable support from day one.

Outline expectations and goals

Clearly explain job responsibilities, expectations, and initial goals to help new hires feel more prepared. Provide details on their work schedule, reporting structure, and key performance indicators.

Facilitate IT setup

Coordinate with your IT department to set up necessary tools, access, and equipment ahead of time, ensuring a smooth start on their first day.

Offer training materials

Provide access to relevant training resources like videos, articles, or e-learning courses, fostering professional growth from the beginning.

Including preboarding in your HR work

Incorporating preboarding into your HR strategy is essential, regardless of company size or industry. It enables new hires to hit the ground running and feel genuinely welcomed, thus reducing turnover rates and increasing overall job satisfaction. Consider adopting preboarding in your HR work in the following scenarios:

  • New hires: Preboarding is vital for every new employee, regardless of their position or experience level.
  • Internal transfers: When an employee is transitioning to a new department or role within the company, preboarding can ease the shift.
  • Reboarding: Preboarding practices can be adapted for employees returning from an extended leave of absence or rejoining after a temporary departure.
  • Seasonal or temporary hires: Even short-term hires can benefit from preboarding, improving overall productivity and engagement.

Ultimately, a well-planned and effective preboarding process is a valuable addition to your HR work and lays the foundation for new hire success. By following the best practices outlined above, you can create a tailored preboarding experience that benefits both your employees and your organization.

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