Employee Engagement

How to build a smooth digital preboarding

A good preboarding helps the new employee to gain a basic understanding of the business, drastically shortening the starting distance. Preboarding is an investment that pays off quickly.

How to build a smooth digital preboarding

Employee onboarding is a phenomenon that has been with us for a while. Businesses spend both money and resources to create a positive experience for new employees. But in recent years, a prequel has emerged: preboarding.

Preboarding is the period from which the employee signs the contract to the first day of employment. During this time, new employees are often curious about their new workplace and willing to learn about the context they will eventually become a part of. Sometimes the preboarding phase can last for well over three months. That is a long time for a highly touted prospect, and it is not uncommon that doubts arise.

Having a preboarding process is key to combat these doubts.

Get inspired by the sales department

A rigorous follow-up procedure is a natural part of the day for those who work in sales. So why not apply similar tactics when you are recruiting? Sales reps are constantly following up with customers to provide useful information that further highlights the feeling that they have made the right decision. This erases questions and doubts that the customer might have had. Treat your new employees in the same way: follow up, offer information, and show that you are available for them, instead of being quiet until the start date.

Another argument for establishing a preboarding process is spelled: productivity.

It often takes several months before a new employee reaches full productivity. A good preboarding helps the new employee to gain a basic understanding of the business, their new role, and the company culture. This will shorten the starting distance drastically. Preboarding is an investment that pays off quickly.

Embrace a user-first approach

It is important to build the preboarding from an employee perspective. What does the new hire want to know? Take the opportunity to introduce colleagues and share information about company policies. This will provide the new employee with a better picture of what the workplace looks like. Do not forget to inform about other practical details like what the first day will look like and how to pick up the company phone.

What can an employee preboarding process look like? We have decided to split it into five different steps:

  1. Before signing the contract
  2. After signing the contract
  3. Four weeks before the start date
  4. One week before the start date
  5. One day before the start date

Let us dive in and explain what type of tasks, information, and actions each step consists of and how an HR system can facilitate the process.

Before signing the contract

  • Send a secure link to the candidate’s private email with information about the company and a brief greeting.
  • The candidate can enter their personal information for the employment contract. This avoids sending personal data via email, which is important from a GDPR standpoint.
  • A contract is generated and sent digitally to the manager and the candidate for signing.

After signing the contract

  • Extend a warm welcome to the company with a greeting from the team.
  • Introduce the company, give a brief overview of the organization and its culture.
  • Include information about practical details such as office hours, flexibility, and dress code.
  • Send a gift to the new employee’s address, such as a box of chocolate or flowers.

Four weeks before the start date

  • Use the HR system and reach out and check in on the new employee. How is he/she feeling? Is there anything he/she wonders about?
  • Allow the new employee to choose his/her computer and phone.

One week before the start date

  • Give the new employee a call and see if any additional questions have popped up.
  • Follow-up on the previous step to make sure everything is under control.

One day before the start date

  • Use your HR system to generate an email that summarizes everything there is to know before the first day.
  • Attach the schedule for the first week.
  • Make sure to provide the address and door code, so they know where to go.

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