Pre-boarding Plan for new hires

5 minutes read

Every manager or HR has at least one story about a new hire that fell through at the last minute. The story typically goes like: an offer was extended, the candidate enthusiastically accepted and then abruptly quit before their first day. The bad news usually comes in the form of an email where you learn that either the candidate is accepting another offer or staying at their current job.

There are many reasons this happens but the long lapse in communication between a candidate accepting the job and their start date doesn’t help. New hires often have weeks, or even months, to seek out a better offer or second guess their decision to work for your company.

But, it need not be this way. You can establish a connection with the new candidates during their notice period. You can accomplish this by pre-boarding your new hires - welcoming/preparing/connecting with your new hires before their first day of employment.

Sounds interesting? Before we dig into this deeper let us begin by understanding the difference between pre-boarding and onboarding


Pre-boarding Versus Onboarding

Simply put, pre-boarding is engaging with a new hire between the time they accept your offer and their first day.

It’s a fairly new concept that often gets confused with the traditional on-boarding process most of us have experienced when starting a new job. However, there are a couple of distinct differences:

  • Pre-board starts and is completed before an employee’s first day. On-boarding starts on the employee’s first day

  • In addition to common on-boarding exercises, pre-boarding can include informal interactions between the company and the new hire.

Let us now see what a pre-boarding checklist looks like:


Pre-boarding go-to checklist

The famous line, “Party doesn’t start till I walk in” doesn’t really work for onboarding new hires. You need to set your new hire up for success long before they enter the building. Start with these essentials:


A month before the start date

Say Congrats

While hiring a new employee might be routine for you, odds are your new employee doesn’t accept a job offer every day. Be sure to properly congratulate and celebrate your new employee’s acceptance. Encourage the candidate’s head recruiter, hiring manager, and new teammates to reach out via email or your company app to welcome the new employees to the team.

Finish the Documentation

Have your new hires fill out important documents like NDA, invention agreements and tax forms, etc in your company app. Also, make sure that all the new hires understand their role and their responsibilities in the role clearly. Send them a detailed document describing their day-to-day responsibilities.

Involve Current Employees

Have your current employees connect with their new teammates and congratulate them via email/app. Also, share the new hire’s LinkedIn profile and encourage your employees to connect with them. They can even have an introductory call—particularly if some teammates didn’t meet the new hire during the interview process.

Send Them Your Swag

Show your work culture to your new employees. Send them the pictures of your annual events, team parties, fun activities, team trips and many more. Also, if possible share some inspirational stories of your employees who have done a great job in the past and made an impact in your organization.

Introduce Training

In the pre-boarding phase itself, you can share publicly available information (nothing that is confidential to your company) with your new hires which will help them to start learning before the formal training. The content you can share includes:

  • Market information

  • Compliances and regulations of the industry

  • Competitor information

  • Role of their department

  • And, how their role impacts the bigger business picture of your company etc.,

Make sure that you deliver appropriate information based on the role and experience of the candidate. For example, a fresher needs to know about the market first whereas an experienced seller might need to know the best practices that you follow to close deals.

Check-in regularly

Regularly check-in on your new hires via email/phone call/chat through the app and ask them if they need any further information about anything related to the company or their role. Make sure you address all their concerns and answer all their questions patiently. Also, offer them help regarding filling out important documents. Connect them to an HR person who can help them get all the crucial information they need to fill in the form.


A week before the start date

  • Provide new hires with a detailed schedule of their first day (including directions to the office, the names of the people they’ll be meeting, and what they should plan to do for lunch).

  • Share employee code of conduct and employee benefits

  • Have the manager of their department record a video welcoming the new hires and send it to them.

  • This will make them feel already a part of the company rather than being an outsider until the first day.

  • Allow new hires to request their preferred desk/computer/equipment setup

  • Share contact information for HR staff or employees who can address their questions before their start date.


A day before the start date

Inform all employees of the new hire’s upcoming arrival (send out a company email or Slack message), and encourage everyone to welcome them.

Follow this onboarding plan and give your new hires a happy beginning! This makes them enter your office all energized and excited on their first day.

Published on Mon Oct 14 2019

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