I’m Your New Hire, Teach Me, Train Me, Don’t Just Leave Me: Pre-Boarding
I mentioned last week on Instagram that the on-boarding or orientation that we have all experienced in the past doesn’t need to be the way of the future, nor should it be. We need to update the, “this is the way we’ve always done orientation” to “what are people looking for when they come to work for us”.
Pre-boarding comes in as the first step of the on-boarding process. Pre-boarding starts when your candidate accepts the offer and ends when they walk through the door on the first day. Most of the time, this is a period of non-communication. They’ve accepted the offer, you’ve told them where to go and when to go there, now we go to the next thing on our giant to-do lists. WRONG! We can’t do that anymore, it’s not what people are expecting or want.
How do I pre-board my new employee?
There are a lot of different things that you can do when you are pre-boarding your candidate, and it depends on your company culture and what you want the employee to know before they start. I think that one of the most important things is communication. Usually, you will have a candidate start 2-4 weeks from offer (maybe sooner, depending on the situation).
During that time, you should be in contact with your candidate. If there is a background check process that you go through, you should be informing them of this and what they need to complete in the process. I always recommend sending out benefits, time off and any company perks information that you have during this time. I have found that it sets your new employee up to have a more informed discussion when they have had time to review and people will ask more questions during on-boarding, which is always better than just reading something on your first day, right?! Finally, something easy that can be done, is to send out the confirmation and schedule for the first day. This email can include the confirmed date and time, a breakdown of the schedule, what they need to bring, and logistics (parking, entrance, etc.). This can take some of the surprise out of the first day, which can also alleviate some of the nervousness for your new employee! A great tool to use for this confirmation email comes from the LinkedIn On-boarding Toolkit.
What else can I do besides communicate?
There is a company I work for that does something I love. Once a candidate accepts and signs the offer letter, they mail the soon-to-be new employee a care package. This package includes some of their favorite company swag and a note saying how excited they are for this new person to be joining their team. Can you imagine how excited that candidate is to receive a box of sweet merch from their new employer, their new employees always come in excited and thank the hiring manager for the gift.
Another option that I have seen, sending out some of the mundane paperwork ahead of time for completion (an example would be tax and benefit forms). You could invite your new hire to company events that are going on, or you can set up a lunch with the new team.
The long and the short of it, is that you need to tie in your pre-boarding to what is important to your culture and shows the applicant that you are psyched that they are joining your team.