Employee Pre-onboarding: 5 Great Reasons to Implement the Process

Welcoming and practical at once, a good pre-onboarding plan helps shape a successful onboarding program. Here’s how to begin engaging new hires immediately.

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Helping select job candidates transition into productive, happy new employees should be a top priority for employers. After all, the hiring process is costly and time-consuming. Helping the new hire feel welcomed, valued, and well-trained in the basics is the natural next step.

The onboarding process integrates new hires into the workplace. It’s integral in helping them hit the ground running and feel confident in their decision to accept the position.

While many companies start employee onboarding on the new employee’s start date, others begin the process beforehand. This method is called pre-onboarding, and it’s gaining traction as a good business move. Here’s a look at what pre-onboarding means and 5 powerful benefits it provides the employer and new hire.

What is a pre-onboarding process?

Once the candidate accepts an offer letter, pre-onboarding can begin. Instead of waiting until the new hire’s joining date, the company gets a few necessary tasks underway in advance.

A.K.A. preboarding, the process also gives the new hire their first taste of the organizational culture and company policies. It may include receiving a welcome package, completing the necessary paperwork, and reading the employee handbook.

Biggest benefits of a pre-onboarding process

Making the pre-onboarding process part of the company’s onboarding program offers significant benefits to both employer and employee. Some of these are short-range advantages, while others positively impact the long-term. Here’s a look at 5 ways an effective pre-onboarding process benefits the total onboarding process.

Improves the new hire experience

Employers naturally want new hires to be excited and eager to be part of the team. Pre-onboarding helps achieve that by alleviating the typical first day jitters that can compromise day 1 of a new job. During pre-onboarding, the new hire can begin getting familiar with their new company, new manager, and new team members. In addition, they can begin embracing the company culture. These things make the employee’s journey smoother and less stressful from their first day.

Increases employee retention

A good first impression is priceless. When people join a new company, they want to feel like they made the right decision. An effective onboarding program makes this possible, and a pre-onboarding component makes it even more likely.

The sooner a new employee feels like they belong in a company, the happier and more motivated they’ll be. If it begins before their first day on the job, it gives them even more reason to feel good about their decision. An effective pre-onboarding process can dramatically increase employee engagement. It can keep them as excited about the role and company as they were when they first read the job description. This enthusiasm can carry into their careers, keeping them satisfied and not interested in leaving.

Decreases employee “ramp-up” time

If new hires can get the red-tape items out of the way, it helps them enjoy faster onboarding progress from their first official workday. Things like completing time-consuming paperwork and addressing questions and company-specific policies like dress code and vacation time can all be handled beforehand. This approach leaves time for productive training sessions sooner in the process.

Reduces operational overload

Bringing on new hires costs companies lots of money. A pre-onboarding checklist that covers simple tasks reduces operational overhead. If HR can find ways of automating administrative tasks that new hires can complete at their convenience, it’s a win-win. There may still be administrative and logistical tasks that require in-person attention. But those can wait for the new hire’s first day of work. Pre-onboarding, especially when using automation, can help cut hiring and onboarding costs significantly.

Increases first-day enthusiasm

Once the applicant accepts the job offer, it may be several weeks before their start date. Meanwhile, interest can wane and doubt can creep in. Onboarding processes that include pre-onboarding can mitigate the feeling of buyer’s remorse by engaging new team members immediately. In addition, most of the boring busywork and dreaded new hire paperwork can already be behind them when they start. So your new hire can look forward to a warm welcome and a more interesting and productive first day.

Implementing pre-onboarding shapes a better onboarding program. There are many measurable benefits to making pre-onboarding an important component of any formal onboarding process. For starters, enjoy lower employee turnover, more excited, enthusiastic new hires, and shorter ramp-up times for your efforts.

Start planning your entire onboarding process today with our complete guide for employee onboarding. For ongoing tips, tools, and other resources for HR and business management, visit Workest by Zenefits daily.

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