Employee onboarding

Preboarding - how to use its potential?

Adrian Witkowski
Preboarding - how to use its potential?

It worked! Recruitment has ended, and the candidate has changed his status to "employee". “We have another great person on board,” thinks the HR team. However, when the recruitment dust settles and the champagne corks stop popping, a deafening silence usually falls between the new hire and the company, which lasts until the new hire's first day. Various things can happen during this time. It also happens that a new employee resigns from the job he/she just got and never shows up at the office. Can this be avoided? Yes! This is, among other things, what the employee preboarding program is for.

Let's start with a short quiz.

When do you think the onboarding process of a new hire begins?

  1. during day one
  2. when shaking hands with the candidate after a positively completed recruitment process
  3. after officially signing a contract with a new hire

If your choice was A or C, we have two news for you: good and bad. The latter is that your organization is most likely not using the great potential of effective preboarding process. Still- and that's the good news. More on what you can do with this knowledge in a moment. In the meantime, also know that you are not alone. The lack of preboarding activities is still a reality for most organizations. According to Talentech data, as many as 64% of new hires do not have any employee experience connected with preboarding in a new job.

What exactly is preboarding?

The employee preboarding process is the earliest phase of the onboarding process.

It's that strange time between I'm-not-a-candidate anymore and I'm-not-yet-an-employee, the period between the end of recruitment and the first day at a job. It can last from a few days to even several months and is an ideal opportunity to build relationships, loyalty and positive employee experience between the employer and the new employee.

At this stage, you can successfully introduce the future employee to company's culture, principles and values and initially familiarize him/her with the specifics of the position and possible development paths. Preboarding stage is also a great time to deal with many tedious compliance issues.

Dead silence and wasted potential

Unfortunately, employers rarely take advantage of the benefits of an effective preboarding program. And so, after hiring processes, there is often a period of complete silence. It's half the trouble when it only lasts a few days. However, if the new employees have a longer notice period ahead of them in their current job, and after loud congratulations, the new employer does not contact him/her for several days, the situation becomes more and more tense. The phone is silent, the e-mail inbox is empty, and the future new employee is becoming more and more worried. Are you sure they hired me? What awaits me there? How should I prepare for the first day?

Pre-onboarding - jak wykorzystać jego potencjał? | Blog Gamfi

What problems of the transition period does preboarding address?

Stress and uncertainty

Emotionally, the employee's start date at a new job is a bit like the first day at school - on the one hand, they create excitement and desire to meet future colleagues, and on the other, uncertainty whether I will be able to fit in this group. The closer to the first day, the greater the stress associated with the new employee. According to a LinkedIn study, as many as 80% of specialists feel nervous before starting a new job. Contact from a future hiring manager, buddy or simply the HR team can have great power to neutralize these negative emotions.

Doubts about the decision made

28% of professionals resign from a job offer after accepting it. The reasons vary. It often happens that after the initial euphoria associated with a new employee accepting the job offer doubts arise. Is this really the job I was looking for? Do I really like the negotiated terms? Will I even be able to cope there? Leaving a new hire alone with these thoughts can end up backfiring on his or her decision.

Temptation from a former or other employer

Let's say that your new employee is to appear in the company only after the end of the 2-month notice period with his current employer. If you don't build any relationship with him or her during this long period, you risk that... someone else will beat you to it.

Feeling overwhelmed during your first days at work

That is, a common scenario in which the period before start date is a great calm before a (huge) storm. Preboarding time not used in this way results in a multitude of activities during the first day of work of a newly employed person. The data is not collected, the contract is not ready, access and equipment are not granted, the company e-mail box is not configured. There is chaos. The manager and HR employees work hard to organize the new hire workplace, and in the so-called in the meantime, they are bombarding him or her with a lot of company handbook and materials that must be read immediately. Stress and stimulus overload guaranteed.

Result? 65% of surveyed employers experienced a situation in which new employers did not show up on the first day at work. And once employees show up at the office on Day One, 22% of them leave within the first 45 days of work. LinkedIn Talent Solutions specialists calculated that such new hire turnover costs the employer three times the salary of the lost employee.

That is why the role of preboarding in the entire onboarding processes cannot be overestimated! If well managed, it minimizes the risk of losing an employee even before the day comes.

At the beginning, but not at the margin. The place of preboarding in the implementation process

To properly understand the place and role of the preboarding process in the entire employee onboarding process, you must first realize what a cross-sectional and multi-faceted phenomenon onboarding process itself is.

It is worth paying attention to its cross-process nature. What does it mean? Onboarding is a process that covers many functions of the organization and involves many different roles. Company-wide implementation led by HR is just a part of it. The aim of the entire project is to bring the new hire to full productivity, i.e. to a situation in which he or she will be able to perform 80-100% of the tasks assigned to the position without external support.

Broadly speaking, the overarching onboarding process can be divided into the following phases:

  1. Administrative tasks and preboarding
  2. Theoretical implementation (introduction to company culture, e-learning, basic and implementation training)
  3. Practical implementation (setting goals, job tasks)

From this perspective, preboarding becomes not only an extremely important link in the entire onboarding process, but also a phase in which the paths of various onboarding people and areas of the organization intersect. From HR and Human Resources to the IT department to the team itself managed by a specific manager. From compliance processes to implementation into the company culture to building initial relationships with other employees.

What processes are included in preboarding?

  • completing the data
  • signing a contract
  • sending an employee for preliminary tests
  • granting access
  • ordering/delivering equipment
  • order/delivery of work clothes
  • introduction to the manager and/or buddy
  • developing an implementation plan
  • implementation into the company culture

Who is involved?

  • staff
  • IT
  • manager
  • HR
  • Buddy

What goals should preboarding meet?

Initial introduction to the company culture

During the hiring process, the employee receives a lot of information about the company. Pre boarding is the perfect time for further introduction to company processes, principles and values. Regular communication and readiness to answer every question allows you to get to know the employer better, understand their method of operation and business model. The new hire e-mail box should contain materials presenting the history, mission and most important plans of the company, as well as a catalog of products or services currently on offer. In turn, the database of customers and business partners will allow you to quickly find out about the most important relationships regarding the company. By providing this knowledge, you make new hires engaged, strengthen loyalty and gradually introduce the new hire to new responsibilities.

Deepening knowledge about the employee's position and role in the company

Precise formulation of the employee's tasks and role in the company structures is a key element of preboarding. Many of these issues are raised during the hiring process, and the information provided at the next stage should expand knowledge in a manner consistent with previous declarations. In this way, the company strengthens its credibility. It's a good idea to talk to your immediate superior. The aim should be to deepen the employee's knowledge about his or her position. A thorough understanding of new responsibilities will allow the new employees to use their full potential faster.

Preparation of the workstation and work tools

This part seems obvious, but when it is omitted, it increases the employee's sense of disorientation and discourages them from staying with the company for a long time. A new team member should know in advance what time to come to work on the first day, where to park the car or leave the bike, who to report to and exactly where his or her workstation is located. Providing equipment (computer, telephone), entry card and access to e-mails and other tools needed at work - there is time for all this during the preboarding process. If a new hire starts his or her employee journey by wandering between the IT department, HR or reception, it will be more difficult for him/her to focus on getting used to his duties.

Preparation of necessary documentation

This part largely shaped by current labor law regulations. It requires sending new hires for a medical examination, organizing occupational health and safety training for them or reporting themto the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS). It is not only about completing official procedures, but also about familiarizing new hires with the company's internal documents: regulations, instructional materials, dress code (if used), descriptions of procedures or a list of online applications used at work.

Building employee engagement and excitement

A very important element. It allows you to feel a bond with the team and belonging to the organization at a fairly early stage. We have a lot of scope here, in fact we are only limited by our creativity. In some companies, it is customary to send flowers, a basket of sweets or welcome kits to a new employee. Some organizations encourage employees to contact the new hires, e.g. via LinkedIn, or even record employee introduction video. Any way to maintain communication and, consequently, enthusiasm for the new job will work to the benefit of the company- and of course the new hires themselves.

Equalization of experiences during the recruitment period and the work itself

Low employee retention often results from the dissonance they experience during the first days and weeks in a new job. During the recruitment period, they are seduced by a carefully thought-out employer strategy branding , and then they are first confronted with deafening silence, and then thrown into a situation that differs from the one previously presented. This could be summed up with the famous formula "the product does not match the description". No wonder that according to the Hudson Report " Employee Experience in Poland" (2017) 55% of new hires feel less satisfied with their actual work compared to the expectations they had during the recruitment process. Preboarding program creates the opportunity to gradually introduce the candidate to the realities of work. It is a kind of bridge between the recruitment experience and that of real work in the company.

Thanks to integration with ATS systems, including : with eRecruiter , implementation process in the Gamfi application Onboarding starts automatically when the candidate's status changes to "employed".

How to design good new hires preboarding?

As part of our cooperation with clients, we have developed a lot of good practices that work perfectly during the preboarding period. Anyway! We based many features of the Gamfi application on them Onboarding , which is why we know perfectly well that they work. So let's get down to specifics!

What can you do now to start enjoying the benefits of preboarding?

  • Send the new hire a welcome message from their assigned manager and/or buddy. Make the first, valuable contact!
  • Provide a newly hired person with a dedicated part of the implementation tool in place in your organization.
  • Successively send the new hires small portions of information about their position and the company itself. This is a mechanism known as microlearning.
  • Ask the employee to complete questionnaires, sign consents and applications - use an electronic signature for this.
  • Send the new hires for preliminary tests.
  • Give the employee the opportunity to choose work equipment.
  • Prepare an onboarding plan - involve the manager and buddy.
  • Equip your manager with a ready-made list of onboarding tasks.

Preboarding may seem like a mysterious spell with a very complicated procedure behind it. We hope that we have solved the mystery. As for complexity - there is no question of it, as long as you use the support of appropriate tools and proven operating models. We will be happy to equip your company with both! Test the Gamfi app!

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