7 Must-Know Strategies for Pre-boarding New Hires like a Pro

Strategies for pre-boarding new hiresThe first few months of employment are crucial – we get that! Well, what if I told you that it’s not the first few months you should be worried about.

Don’t get me wrong – those months are important, but you really need to think about the days BEFORE your new hire is welcomed to the team.

Yes, that’s right, folks. You need to start onboarding before your new hire has even arrived.

Please put your hands together for your new best friend: Pre-boarding.

Like with most things, preparation is the key to a successful onboarding experience. Pre-boarding is your prep time that helps you gather everything you need before your new hire’s first day. It empowers you to set a good impression and helps your new hire understand what they can expect throughout the whole onboarding (and employment process).

Long story short – if your pre-boarding is disorganized, you’re already off to a bad start and increasing the already staggering chance that this new hire will leave before their first three months of employment. I’m going to help ensure that doesn’t happen in this Process Street article.

Taking a look at the advantages of a pre-boarding new hires process

Employee turnover costs an average of 100% and 300% of a new hire’s salary. Well, what if I told you you can prevent this from happening by preparing your new candidates from the second they accept your offer – long before they begin their onboarding journey.

Creating and successfully executing a pre-boarding process can do exactly that. This pre-boarding is the process your company has in place from when a recruit accepts your offer up to their start date.

The focus of pre-boarding your new hires is to prepare them for their role in your company while also keeping them engaged before their start date. How your company decides to welcome their new hires depends on your budget and existing culture. No matter these factors, you should always prioritize having a pre-boarding plan.

Why? It helps you achieve benefits that would otherwise be out of reach with only an onboarding process in place.

1st day experience is improved

“I arrived at the office and no one remembered I was due to start that day”

“None of the information HR gave me was correct. I didn’t even know when to show up on my first day.”

“My office letter was made out to someone by a different name.”

Disastrous first days are far too frequent events. I know it, you know it, and you’ve probably experienced a few in your time – I know I have.

Well, these aren’t just bad experiences. They also lead to new hires quitting before their seat is warm. At least 4% of hires quit after their first day because of these exact experiences.

A structured and well-executed pre-boarding plan can make your new hire’s first day at work good. Important tasks are highlighted and all necessary paperwork is completed before they’ve even entered the office.

They aren’t signing forms or traveling through insane amounts of red tape. Rather, the pre-boarding process is catered to encourage relationship-building among managers and colleagues. It’s no secret that people feel involved when they’re part of something bigger. That’s the recipe for offering a killer first day.

Offers a more organized process

There’s nothing worse than searching through tons of paperwork looking for that one form you swear you saw yesterday. Having a dedicated pre-boarding hub helps you outline the tasks you need to complete before the new hire’s first day.

This might include filling out forms, introducing yourself to the new hire, giving them the appropriate instructions for their first day, and informing team members of their start date. Before you know it, you’re already building rapport with your new hire and solidifying their commitment to your company before they even begin work.

New hire is more productive from the start

I’ve already shown you that a decent pre-boarding process sets the tone for the entire onboarding experience, but it’s more than just a good first impression you’re giving your new hires.

Since they get the admin work before their first day, they can sink their teeth into the real work from the beginning. In-house training and other job-related work can be streamlined.

At Process Street, our new hires are added to Slack channels before their first day so they can get a feel for what’s going on. Our People Team is in contact with the new employees from the moment they accept to even after their first day to ensure everything runs smoothly.

We also have a pre-boarding workflow for our new employees that automatically sends them all the required paperwork in advance. By the time it’s their first day, the paperwork has already been approved and they can get to doing what they were hired for and building relationships with their co-workers.The foundation of pre-boarding new hires

The seven wonders of the pre-boarding world

Preparing your new hire for their role before they embark on their onboarding journey enhances employee retention. Yes, I might make it sound easy but breaking down the process can help you create the best pre-boarding experience.

Please let me guide you through the seven magnificent wonders of the world – well, pre-boarding world – that can help you keep your new hires engaged.

Create a process

The first step to implementing any process is to create it. You want to construct a pre-boarding process that highlights everything you expect to be done before your new hire arrives. From here, you can see what tasks are recurring.

This helps you identify what you can automate to ensure you’re spending your time doing things that you really need to do – and getting those magical automation robots to do the rest. Process Street is exactly the place where you can do this.

You can plan how you want this process to perform with Pages and then implement this plan into workflows. Any other information you might need during the pre-boarding process – employee handbook, reading list, your favorite coffee shop’s menu, anything – can be stored in Pages alongside your workflows for easy access. Process automations can then be linked with recurring tasks to help save time.

Announce their arrival

Once you’ve structured your pre-boarding process, you want to include a specific task to inform your existing employees about welcoming the new hire. There’s nothing worse than starting your first day without anyone welcoming you – or knowing that you’re coming.

Letting your existing employees know about your new hire’s start date helps everyone prepare for their arrival. It enhances transparency, communication, and ensures you’re organized for the new hire’s arrival.

If you’re using Slack as your company communication platform, Process Street can integrate with it. From here, you can write a message within your pre-boarding workflow informing your employees about this new hire’s arrival.

Get personal with it

Handing out generic onboarding materials isn’t very engaging. Wouldn’t you feel a lot more welcome if your onboarding process was personalized for you? Personalization is exactly what you need to get your new hires excited about their role in your company.

The first step to offering this is by considering the individual needs of your new hires. Then, you can begin designing a pre-boarding and onboarding process that caters to these needs.

Variables in Process Street are information specific to your workflow run that you can enter into form fields. Of course, sharing pieces of variable information (like your new hire’s name, start date, job title, department, and previous work experience) can take time to gather and share. That isn’t the case with a process management tool – like Process Street – where you can take whatever variable information you need, put it into an email widget or send it off into Slack messages.

Whenever we welcome a new hire to Process Street, the announcement is made in our general Slack channel. This gives us the opportunity to give them a warm welcome.

Why stop at personalized information and onboarding materials? Start building rapport with lunch during the new hire’s first day. Add a task to schedule it and you’re set! Maybe lunch isn’t practical, but everyone always has time for a coffee. That works even with remote teams.

Virtual coffee ‘breaks’ are all the rave – and for good reason. I can speak from personal experience. We recently welcomed a new writer to our content team. To get to know him, our remote team held a Zoom meeting where we played Two Truths and a Lie as a team icebreaker to get to know the new hire.

Ask for their opinion on your hiring process

I like my opinion to be heard. Maybe it’s because I like the sound of my own voice, but most of the time it’s because when I can express my thoughts, it makes me feel valued, understood, and cared for. This is a pretty standard feeling that I think we all share.

A new hire that feels valued helps reduce churn and strengthens their relationship with their employer. Getting your new hire to share their opinion on your hiring process does exactly that.

But wait! It also gives you valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your hiring process, allowing you to improve it. Before the new hire has even started working, they’ve offered significant contributions to your company and feel valued while doing so.

Help with the admin

It’s no secret that a new hire has to go through a mountain of bureaucracy. They have to sign copious amounts of paperwork, get familiar with company software, and set up their workspace. But it doesn’t have to be so tedious. When you offer your new hires some help, you’re letting them know that you care and want to be supportive.

One way you can do this is by setting up a company email account. By doing that, it’s ready for them before their first day has even started. Offering some extra help also empowers them to get right into work faster, which is a win for you.

Getting these tasks out of the way before their first day loops the new hire into current company communications. It also lets them familiarize themselves with any tech before it’s essential for them to use it and they can handle any glitches or access problems.

Using an Automation like DocuSign – which you can incorporate straight into your Process Street workflow – also cuts down on the amount of paperwork to deal with. Who doesn’t love being able to sign multiple documents with one click?

Another great tip is encouraging managers to invite your new hire to upcoming meetings once this inbox is live. When I started my role at Process Street, I was shaking in my boots.

That all came to an end after logging on to my new company email for the first time. I had invites to all the meetings I needed to attend, a copy of the employee handbook, and links to other onboarding resources I might need. As a result, I felt far more prepared for what to expect.

Taking the same steps is bound to put your new hires at ease.

Offer clear guidance

It’s reported that approximately 50% of workers fear that they’ll be late on their first day. But being late isn’t the only anxiety new hires have.

Not offering guidance only feeds these anxieties, but you can nip it in the bud by sending clear guidelines for their first day. Setting up transparency and communication channels can help alleviate these stresses.

Checking in with your new hires is invaluable. You could have an HR person or direct manager send a more personal email alongside all the work-related emails. Maybe asking how the paperwork is coming along and if they have any questions.

Special considerations for international hires

The talent pool is massive, and you might find that international applicants are a better match for the role. Having a remote team makes managing international hires way easier.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do so in an in-office environment, especially when you’ve an efficient pre-boarding program in place. International workers are likely to need additional support and information from you. Hence, you should be ready to address their needs and answer their questions.

A proactive approach is always the right way to go. Put yourself out there and see how you can make their relocation easier. Allied found that 41.5% of international workers are given 30 days or less to relocate. I don’t know about you, but I would be a ball of stress.

You already know that these international workers are valuable assets to your company. You don’t want to watch them slip through the cracks because of a bad pre-boarding experience. So, be there to answer their questions and assist them in any way you can.Click here to get our New Hire Onboarding Process Template!

You only have one first impression – make it a good one!

It’s stressful for most employees starting a new role. They have a new environment to get familiar with, meeting new people, and so on. Studies have even shown that it’s more stressful to change your line of work than it is to foreclose on a loan or change your residence.Pre-boarding new hires for lower cost per employeeUnderstanding this can help you construct a pre-boarding process to combat such stress. Aberdeen Strategy & Research found that companies pre-boarding new hires are 1.6 times more likely to have a lower cost per new hire than those that don’t.

So, not only do you give a good first impression to your new hire. You help them feel more relaxed, boosting your new hire’s loyalty, engagement, and productivity towards your company; overall, reducing hiring costs.

Pre-boarding workflow templates for new hires

The benefits of pre-boarding new hires can’t be overlooked. It can be difficult to create a pre-boarding process for new hires that meets their needs. Then you’re also met with the daunting task of integrating this pre-boarding process with your existing onboarding template.

Don’t worry! We’ve got a library full of these processes to help you pre-boarding your new hires. Here are a few to get you started:

Approval tasks ensure that all paperwork is completed accordingly. Task assignments help co-workers and managers aware of their responsibility in the process. Then, you have the transparency of a centralized pre-boarding hub in Process Street, which holds everyone accountable.

Process Street streamlines the process so your attention is on your new hire!

The overall goal of a pre-boarding process is to outline all the tasks you need to successfully welcome your new hire.

These tasks can be streamlined with a process management tool, like Process Street. By automating these repetitive tasks, you have more time to build rapport with your new employee immediately.

Process Street helps you get all your ducks in a roll so that pre-boarding your new hire is an organized, supportive, and overall a good experience for both you and them.

Have you experienced any pre-boarding nightmares? How did this affect your attitude towards your new role? Let us know in the comments!

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Grace Donaldson

Grace is a content writer with a thirst for knowledge and coffee. You'll find her reading in a small café or singing at a rundown jazz bar when she's not overconsuming coffee or compartmentalizing her thoughts into a blog post.

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