How to Effectively Pre-Board a New Employee

Blog / How to Effectively Pre-Board a New Employee

Employers, Don’t go Radio Silent Between Acceptance of the Offer and the First Day of Work!

The first few months of employment are the most critical for a new hire’s journey in your company. Don’t believe us? According to a LinkedIn study, a whopping 22% of turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment. 

Now if your heart isn’t already racing, there’s even more! Nearly 33% of new hires start searching for a new job within months of starting their careers. And employee turnover costs a company up to three times the former employee’s salary! Is your heart pounding now?

Take a deep breath. You can prevent this from happening to your organization. All it takes is preparing your candidates from the moment they accept their job offer and even before their onboarding starts. 

It’s called pre-boarding and you need to be doing it…like yesterday. 


Pre-Boarding is the process your company has in place from when the candidate accepts their offer up to their first actual day of work (which is generally 2 weeks to a month long). 

Why do you need to do this? The point is to prepare your new hire and help get them excited as their first day of work approaches. In other words, how you welcome your recruit hinges on your company’s culture and even creativity. But in order for it to be successful, you’ll need to have a pre-boarding protocol in place. 

Pre-Boarding Perks

Just like some airplane boarding passes give you perks even before the flight stars, like waiting in a swanky lobby or getting to board first, pre-boarding has a ton of benefits too. Let’s take a look at how it can help your organization succeed and put a lid on high turnover rates.

  1. It solidifies the employee’s commitment to your company by getting them excited and building a rapport with them. It also helps eliminate those first day jitters. 
  2. It provides an improved first day experience. Instead of signing forms, you can focus on what is really important–building relationships with colleagues and managers. Pro tip: encourage your new hires to complete and submit important documents before their first day so they can get to know their co-workers instead.
  3. By getting paperwork out of the way, your new hire can be more productive, faster! Instead of wasting time, your recruit can get straight down to business with training and other work-related jobs. 
  4. It improves your overall company culture: employees are happier with their first day and months of work, they are more loyal to the company and they get to know co-workers faster, creating better camaraderie!
  5. It helps reduce turnover rates. Because new recruits are happier with their initial experiences with the company, they are less likely to leave the company in those first three months or even first year of employment–which helps your company reduce recruitment costs!

Pre-Boarding Pro

Now that you’ve heard all the amazing benefits of pre-boarding, we bet you want to pre-board all your new employees like a pro! 

When creating your pre-boarding program, start by creating a checklist of all the things that can be done before day one. This will help ensure that as much is checked off so the new recruit can get straight down to brass tacks. 

Here are some things you may want to have in your pre-boarding process:

  • Provide forms to the new employee to fill out and submit before the first day of work (such as tax forms and other important employment documents)
  • Request new IT accounts for the new employee (like their work email address and other logins)
  • Provide the new recruit the company handbook (i.e. policies and procedures)
  • Create a welcome course and send it to the new employee to go over (this could be a handbook or even a video that provides an overview of the company and compliance training)
  • Set up the new employee’s workspace and equipment
  • Send out a welcome email to your new employee (this can have important information or even links to documents, a welcome video if you like!)
  • Send out a first day email to the new hire that provides tech tips, calendar invites, onboarding sessions and team building sessions. 
  • Announce the new hire to your current team of employees via email so they have a heads up and can welcome the new hire on day one with enthusiasm
  • Create an FAQ and share it prior to the first day of work. 
  • Assign the new teammate-to-be a “buddy” who can help answer their questions that weren’t answered by the FAQ. Having one designated person makes it more likely that if the candidate has questions, they’ll actually ask them, rather than holding back. 
  • Staying in touch before their first day, especially if the pre-boarding period is longer. You can send videos or just remind them that you are available if they have any questions.
  • Schedule and office tour for the new employee so they feel less intimidated on day one.
  • Some other creative ways that you can keep in touch and get to know the new employee before that first day include scheduling a team lunch with them or if your team is already social with post-work hangouts, invite the new recruit to come along prior to the first day. 

Now that you have some ideas for your own pre-boarding program, it’s time to get to work! Once you have your new program in place, you notice how much less stressful that first day is for your new employees. In the short term, you’ll also have more productive new hires and in the long-run, your employees will stick around for much longer. We don’t know about you, but we really like the sound of that!