In this blog we’ll take a look at what pre-boarding is, how it can impact employers hiring strategy, and 6 tips to creating a memorable pre-boarding experience.
BACKOUTS! How to avoid that sinking feeling…
We all know that feeling of satisfaction / elation / pure relief (delete as appropriate) when your candidate accepts their offer and agrees to join your business. It is the exact opposite when that same candidate calls you during their notice period to let you know that they’ve changed their mind and won’t be starting after all. For satisfaction, elation and relief read frustration, disappointment and despair.
But before turning your fire on the candidate it is worth considering why this happens and how it can be prevented.
A lot going on..
Tech candidates are in demand and as such it is likely that they are involved in multiple recruitment processes even after they’ve accepted a position with you. Then factor in their current employer’s reaction when they hand in their resignation, perhaps with the offer of a promotion or more money, and it becomes clear that they are under a lot of pressure during this period and that your job is far from done. This is where pre-boarding comes in.
What is pre-boarding?
Pre-boarding is the process of making use of the time between when a candidate signs an offer letter and when they begin their first day at your company. A process that makes sure your new employee feels like part of the team from the moment they accept their offer will go a long way to minimising the risk of them changing their mind.
Finding the right candidate for your company can be a long and arduous process. Don’t count on luck to make sure your new hire doesn’t walk out on an accepted offer. Put a little bit of extra effort into implementing a pre-boarding process so your hire will be excited and prepared to start when their first day rolls around.
So, what does a good pre-boarding process look like?
Don’t forget to say “Congratulations!”
There should be very little time between deciding to offer someone a job and making the offer. Ideally, you would relay the offer to your successful candidate verbally and follow up with a full contract of employment straight away. Be sure to convey your excitement that they’ve selected you as their future employer, wish your heartfelt congratulations and ask them how they plan to celebrate!
Get admin out of the way
There are few things more disheartening than bouncing into work on your first day and being told to read the employer handbook and fill out your bank details on a new starter form. Set up your new employees email, send them any documentation or training guides they can read and complete in their own time. It means on day one they can get their teeth into the interesting stuff and contribute quicker.
Get them excited
Ongoing communication during this period is a must. Talent acquisition should take the lead, but don’t forget to pave the way with and involve the team. Share background on their new colleague and information on the role they have been recruited to. Encourage at least one face-to-face meeting with their line manager and potentially a lunch or post-work drink with the team, so they feel a part of things and welcome ahead of their start date. If that’s not possible encourage them to reach out on LinkedIn to say hello and welcome them.
Minimise first day anxiety
The first day in any new role is a mix of excitement and anxiety. You should provide your new teammate with all of the information they require to remove any doubt and walk confidently in on their first day. For example, you could write to them setting out clear guidelines which could include information on;
- Dress code
- Expected time of arrival
- Specific address
- Name of the person they need to report to
- Anything they might need to bring with them
You could also send them a photograph of their new workstation, complete with a welcome pack.
Send some swag!
Everyone loves the excitement of a parcel arriving in the post and getting a greetings card, a welcome gift or some company merchandise can be a welcome change from the mandatory forms they need to fill out. Branded company swag (t-shirts, hoodies, etc) will promote your brand identity and hopefully fill your new employee with pride and excitement that this is now part of their identity too.
Transition to Onboarding
There is no doubt that pre-boarding has a positive emotional and financial impact, but it also reduces the burden placed on onboarding. By providing a strong sense of belonging and identity even before they take their seat on day one you are much more likely to have an engaged employee and improve retention. You’ll also avoid any more of those dreaded backouts!