We are all familiar with onboarding, the process of setting up a new hire so they can settle in and get to work. But with low unemployment and the competition for top talent becoming fiercer than ever, employers are turning to pre-boarding to get and keep the new hire engaged – even before their start dates. While often more informal and even fun, more and more employers are now giving it serious thought.
Here are some steps you can take to successfully pre-board your next new hire so they stay engaged – and committed – even before they come in for their first day on the job:
- Hold their Employee Orientation early, followed by a one-on-one lunch or coffee so they can ask you questions in a more informal setting and before you are officially their ‘boss’.
- Match them up with a ‘buddy’ who can reach out to them by phone or email before their start date so they know they have a go-to person they’ve already ‘met’ for questions like where to find creamer in the break room, or tips for where to have lunch.
- Give them a head start. If their new job entails using specific software or tools, you can help those eager to hit the ground running by sending them links to tutorials or even training materials. If they are open to it (ask first), give them easy homework such as writing a brief bio, or a ‘wish list’ of projects that can help you plan their first weeks accordingly.
- Mail or Surprise them a welcome package that includes (nice) company goodies. If you don’t have branded items, consider a quick, personalized gift like a mug or a business card holder, and…
- Present them with a small batch of their business cards and give them early email access – then invite the team to write welcome notes that new hires can find when they log into their new work email account.
Last but most importantly:
- Stay in touch! Start right after they sign an offer letter, take a cue from top job applicants and send your newest hire a handwritten welcome note. Be in contact at least once a week between the offer and day one, and if you want to play it extra safe, mitigate chances of counteroffers with these tips. Staying top-of-mind will reinforce your mutual commitment and reinforces their feeling valued and their feeling that they have made the right decision in choosing to join your team.