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How to Create a Preboarding Checklist for New Hires

Even if you don’t have a documented process in place, all new hires go through some form of preboarding. However, by creating a preboarding checklist you can take charge of this pre-employment period to better prepare your newest team members.

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What is preboarding?

Preboarding or pre-onboarding describes the period between accepting a job offer and starting a new job (onboarding). You can use this time to your advantage by communicating with your new hires to prepare them for their first day. It can also help set the tone for what your company is all about.

Why pre-onboarding is important

Your human resources department is responsible for several tasks, from hiring to managing relationships with your current employees. If it doesn’t already handle pre-onboarding, consider explaining the benefits to them. These include:

  • Eases new hire’s concerns: Jobseekers may have applied, or even interviewed, with multiple companies. An efficient and comprehensive pre-onboarding process can help create a positive experience with your company to help them feel like they made the right choice.
  • Familiarizes them with your brand: The early introduction helps your organization feel more familiar by the time new employees start. They get an idea of what you’re all about and how they fit into that.
  • Generates excitement: Hearing from their new employer can get new hires excited about the team they’re joining.
  • Eases the transition: During preboarding, you can get things ready for their first day, which can make the transition smoother. New team members can start meaningful activities without waiting for you to handle administrative tasks.
  • Reduces turnover: A positive start can help retain your new employees more effectively. Preboarding can help them feel like a part of the team faster and create an excellent employee experience.

Preboarding checklist for new hires

Your pre-onboarding process is unique to your company and the position. Customizing a preboarding checklist for new hires helps you keep the tasks organized while ensuring you include everything important to your organization. The following items can be helpful for your preboarding process.

1. Send them a welcome message

Strong communication is an important part of the pre-onboarding period. The first onboarding conversation helps engage your new team members before they walk through the door (or log on to their computer if your team is remote) on their first day. Send an email to tell them how excited you are for them to join the team. You might also include key details and dates, such as their start date and any tasks they need to do before that time.

2. Deliver a welcome package

To make a bigger impression, send a welcome kit to your newest staff member. You can tuck the welcome letter inside along with company swag, snacks, office decor, a gift card for office decorations and other fun items to get them excited.

3. Provide relevant documentation

Your new employee orientation and onboarding processes throw a lot of information at new staff members. Give them a head start by emailing them relevant documents now. They can browse the information to prepare themselves before they start. A copy of the schedule for the first day can help ease some of their new-employee jitters.Sending the employee handbook can also help them become familiar with your policies and procedures. Consider any other documentation which might include job-specific info that would be helpful for new employees.

4. Complete admin work

Hiring an employee comes with lots of administrative work, including new hire paperwork and setting up all necessary accounts. Some admin work, such as filling out tax documents, falls on the new employee. Other tasks, such as setting up a company login and an email account, are things your hiring team handles. You might create a sub-checklist for these administrative tasks based on your hiring process to ensure you cover everything.

5. Assign a mentor

Assign a mentor to each new hire during the preboarding process. This allows them to start connecting with other employees before they start. Even if you don’t have a formal mentor program, you can assign an experienced team member as a point person for the new hire so they have someone to contact if they have questions.

6. Announce the hire

Letting your current team know about the newest member helps generate excitement around the office. It prepares them to be more welcoming when they see the new hire in the halls or during video calls. You might invite the new employee to write an introduction you share as part of the announcement.

7. Organize a meet-and-greet or tour

Starting a new job often comes with a few nerves. Inviting your new hires to the office before their first day can help alleviate some of those feelings. Keep the event casual and low-pressure. It could be something as simple as an office tour or a team meet-and-greetwith snacks.

8. Prepare a space for the new hire

Employees can get started faster on day one if you have a workstation ready to go. Have yourIT department set up the necessary equipment and logins for various software programs. Make sure the new hire has a clean space with all the basic tools they’ll need. Not only does this help them get started faster, but it also makes them feel welcome and gives them a little space of their own where they can feel comfortable.

9. Create a schedule for the first week

The employee onboarding process includes several components that start on the first day of employment. By creating a detailed schedule for the first week, you can get that process started quickly and ensure you cover the most important tasks first. Be specific and detailed with the activities for the first week. You can also create a more general timeline for the rest of the onboarding process with key milestones along the way.

10. Set up all materials for day one

Gather all the materials you’ll need for the first day. This could include training materials, tools they’ll use for the job and benefits information. By having those items ready to go, you make the best use of time when your new team member starts.

Best practices for preboarding

Having a preboarding checklist for new hires helps you stay organized, but several other factors and best practices can help. Keep these things in mind as you’re preboarding your new employees.

  • Express the company’s culture: Preboarding helps new employees form their opinions about the organization. By showing your personality, along with the company culture and values, you help the latest team members feel invested.
  • Keep communications upbeat: Setting a positive, welcoming tone in all communications during this time helps ease worries and generate excitement.
  • Make it easy to contact you: Questions often come up as people prepare for new jobs. Offering clear communication methods and contact information can make new hires feel comfortable and helps enable them to get clarification before they start work.
  • Automate processes: Using software programs to automate things like completing tax paperwork and sending out welcome information can streamline preboarding. This can be especially helpful if you only have a few days to prepare.

FAQs about preboarding

What’s the difference between preboarding and onboarding?

New employees are in the preboarding phase as soon as they accept the job offer. It’s the period leading up to the starting day and helps to engage new hires. Onboarding starts on day one and lasts through the introductory period when the new staff member is learning the job. The onboarding period typically lasts at least 90 days but sometimes longer.

How long should preboarding last?

Preboarding is typically short, but the specific length can vary. Since it encompasses the period between a job offer and the start day, it could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It depends on when the new hire accepts the offer and when they actually start working.

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