The Many Benefits of Preboarding Employees

Sarah Sipek

There’s no disputing the amount of effort that goes into recruiting and hiring a new employee. But even after your perfect candidate signs on the dotted line, your work still isn’t done. On the contrary, your responsibility to create a quality candidate experience that is seamless and frustration-free for new hires remains the same. And the stakes are even higher.

According to CareerBuilder’s 2017 Candidate Experience Study, as many as 75 percent of candidates say that their candidate experience and onboarding experience with a company is the first part of their broader employee experience with that company. Translation: Candidates begin evaluating your company from the moment they open an application—and they don’t stop critiquing you just because they’ve been offered a job. 

During preboarding—the period of time between when a candidate accepts a position and their first day on the job—new hires are particularly concerned with how their new employer communicates with them. Yet, 40 percent of candidates say they’ve experienced a lack of communication between when they have accepted the job and their first day of work.

In order to avoid this setback and turn the candidate into an engaged employee, you need to provide ongoing communication, something the majority of employers don’t do. According to CareerBuilder, only 47 percent of employers say they have a formal process in place for communication and interactions between the time of hire and the start date.

For those of you who still need convincing, consider the following benefits of developing a preboarding strategy to increase communication with your new hires:

It makes new hires feel welcome. Even though you are confident you made the right choice, new hires often feel anxious as they await their start date. Not hearing anything from their employer only compounds those fears. Giving a warm welcome via email ahead of time makes new hires feel included—which makes them more likely to stay. It also gives you the opportunity to introduce them to your company culture. Asking team members to reach out as well will help new hires build important relationships and settle into their new role faster.

It lets you set expectations. Providing additional information about the role ahead of time is a great way to ensure new hires start off on the right foot. The more they learn about their role and how their responsibilities ladder up to the larger goals of the company, the more driven and engaged they will be on the job. Setting clear expectations from the start also helps prevent confusion down the road.

It saves time and money. Many companies choose to invest in a technology solution to help with their preboarding strategy. Those products often offer automation features that allow new hires to complete paperwork and other administrative tasks before the first day, often through a personalized online dashboard. This can help free up manager time and help employers avoid the costly consequences of incorrectly completed paperwork.

It makes your company smarter. Many of today’s solutions allow you to track onboarding tasks in real-time. This gives you the ability to generate reports, verify form completion and collect new hire data, all of which will help you better understand your employees’ needs so you can better meet them.

Don’t stop there! Check out more ways in which having the right human capital management technology can help you create great candidate experience.

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