What Is Pre-Boarding And Why Should You Have It?

Feb 01, 2023
What Is Pre-Boarding And Why Should You Have It?
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As an HR or recruiting manager, you are likely familiar with the onboarding process for new hires. But have you ever heard of preboarding? Preboarding is a relatively new concept in the hiring process, but it is quickly gaining popularity as more and more companies realize its benefits.

Preboarding is the process of engaging new hires before their first day on the job. It can include activities such as paperwork, orientation, and training. By starting the onboarding process before the new hire's first day, companies can improve the overall onboarding experience, increase retention and engagement, and reduce time-to-productivity for new hires.

The importance of preboarding in the hiring process cannot be overstated. In today's competitive job market, companies are looking for ways to differentiate themselves and attract top talent. A strong pre-boarding program is an effective way to do just that. By making a great first impression and setting new hires up for success, you can increase the likelihood of retention and reduce turnover.

In this blog post, we will delve into the details of preboarding, including what it is, the benefits, and how to implement a pre-boarding program. By the end of this post, you will have a clear understanding of why preboarding is important and how you can use it to improve your hiring process.

What is Preboarding?

Preboarding is a set of activities and processes that occur before a new employee's first day on the job. These activities are designed to make the transition to a new job as smooth as possible for the new hire, and to ensure that they're ready to hit the ground running on their first day.

There are several different components that can be included in a preboarding program. Some common elements include paperwork and compliance requirements, orientation, and training. 

For example, you may want to provide new hires with electronic versions of key documents such as the employee handbook, so they can review them before their first day. 

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You may also want to have new hires complete any necessary paperwork, such as tax forms or background check consent forms, prior to their first day so that there's less to be done on their actual first day.

In terms of orientation, you might choose to provide virtual tours of the office or introduce the new hire to their team via video conferencing. This will help the new hire feel more comfortable and familiar with their new surroundings before their first day. 

And for employee training, you might want to provide online courses or modules for the new hire to complete prior to their first day, so that they're already familiar with key processes and procedures.

You can even call them for a ‘half-day work visit’, to help them experience in real-time what their everyday life would look like in your company.

By providing these key components in a preboarding program, the new hire can better understand the company culture, procedures, and policies, and that will give them an idea of what to expect and they will be able to familiarize themselves with the company before they actually step foot in the office. 

It makes the transition smoother and less overwhelming for the new hire and is sure to retain them for years ahead.  

Reasons Why You Need Employee Preboarding?

As an HR, you understand the importance of hiring the right people for your organization. You also know how crucial it is to retain those new hires and ensure they become productive members of your team as quickly as possible. This is where preboarding comes in.

“As soon as we saw HR Cloud’s Onboard demo, we knew this was the perfect solution for us. We loved that it was extremely simple and powerful out of the box, but that we could customize it with advanced capabilities to make it work in our company setting.”

Elisa Garn Vice President, HR and Talent Christopherson Business Travel

One of the main benefits of preboarding is that it improves the onboarding experience for new hires.

By starting the onboarding process before the new hire's first day, you're able to give them a head start on learning about the company, its culture, and the expectations for their role. This can help them feel more prepared and excited to start working with your organization.

Another major benefit of preboarding is that it can increase the retention and engagement of new hires. By starting the onboarding process early, you're able to establish a relationship with the new hire before they even start working with you. This can help them feel more connected to the organization and invested in their role.

Preboarding also helps to reduce the time-to-productivity for new hires. By getting the new hire started on training and paperwork before their first day, they'll be able to hit the ground running and be productive more quickly. This can save your organization time and resources in the long run.

Finally, preboarding can enhance the communication and relationship-building between new hires and the company. By reaching out to new hires before their first day, you're able to establish open lines of communication and address any concerns or questions they may have. This can help build trust and mutual understanding, which are essential for a successful working relationship.

It's clear to see that preboarding can bring significant benefits to your organization and its new hires. Implement a preboarding program to improve the onboarding experience, increase retention and engagement, reduce time-to-productivity, and enhance communication and relationship building. 

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Step-by-Step Guide: How to Implement Employee Preboarding Program 

As an HR and recruiting manager, you want to ensure that your new hires have the best possible onboarding experience. One way to achieve this is through implementing a preboarding program. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Step 1: Determine the Goals and Objectives of your Preboarding Program

Before you begin to implement a preboarding program, determine the goals and objectives of the program. Some common goals of preboarding include:

  • Improving the onboarding experience for new hires

  • Increasing retention and engagement of new hires

  • Reducing time-to-productivity for new hires

  • Enhancing communication and relationship building between new hires and the company

Once you have determined your goals, you can then use them to guide the development of your preboarding program.

Step 2: Identify the Key Components of your Preboarding Program

Once you have determined your goals and objectives, you can then begin to identify the key components of your preboarding program. Common components of preboarding include:

  • Paperwork: This includes any legal documents or forms that need to be completed before the first day of work.

  • Orientation: This includes any information that new hires need to know about the company and its culture before they start.

  • Training: This includes any necessary job-specific training that new hires need to complete before they start.

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Step 3: Develop a Plan for Communicating and Executing the Preboarding Program

Once you have identified the key components of your preboarding program, you'll need to develop a plan for communicating and executing the program. This plan should include the following elements:

  • Communication: Determine how you will communicate the preboarding program to new hires, and establish a schedule for when this communication will take place.

  • Execution: Determine who will be responsible for executing the different components of the preboarding program, and establish a schedule for when these components will take place.

Step 4: Assess and Evaluate the Success of your Preboarding Program

After you've implemented your preboarding program, assess and evaluate its success. This includes gathering feedback from new hires on their preboarding experience, as well as looking at metrics such as retention and time-to-productivity.

Follow the steps above to develop a preboarding program that meets the needs of your organization and helps to ensure a smooth and successful onboarding experience for your new hires. Keep in mind that it's important to continuously evaluate the success of the program and make necessary improvements as time progresses.

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6 Tips for a Successful Employee Preboarding, According to Industry Leaders

Here are some effective tips to make your first or next preboarding program successful:

  • Communicate Expectations Early and Often

“Set clear expectations for the new hire well before the start date. Send a welcome email right after the job offer is accepted, send an onboarding schedule and information packet, and schedule preboarding calls or meetings to discuss expectations, and company culture, and answer any questions the new hire might have. By doing that, you can help ensure that the new hire is prepared and excited to start their new role”, says Tom Miller, Director of Marketing at Fitness Volt.

  • Start Building Relationships Early

“Preboarding is an opportunity to start building relationships between the new hire and their future colleagues. Assign a buddy or mentor to the new hire, encourage current employees to reach out and introduce themselves, and set up social events or team-building activities before the start date. You’ll create a sense of belonging and help the new hire feel comfortable and integrated into the team”, says Raine Gui, Director of Model Chic.

  • Streamline Paperwork and Forms

“Completing paperwork and forms can be a tedious process, but it's an important part of preboarding. Make sure all necessary paperwork and forms are sent out early, allow for electronic signatures and submissions, and provide clear instructions and assistance for completing forms”, says Mike Owens, Digital Marketing & Growth Director at HostingRevelations.


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  • Provide Training and Resources

“New hires need to be well-informed about the company's products, services, and history. Provide access to online learning portals or training materials, and organize a training schedule or orientations. This will help new hires to be productive and efficient, it also ensures that the new hire understands the company's vision and goals”, says Gene Fitzgerald, Head of Marketing at BOS.

  • Measure and Improve Your Preboarding Program

“Continuous improvement is important for any process. Survey new hires to get feedback on their preboarding experience, take note of any common issues that come up during preboarding and continuously look for ways to improve the process and make it more effective. Doing so, you’ll ensure your program remains effective and responsive to the changing needs of your organization”, says Miriam Domer, Content Marketer at Legal Finders

  • Make Preboarding a Team Effort

“Preboarding should be a team effort. Assign a dedicated team or point person to handle preboarding, encourage open communication and collaboration among team members, and educate managers and employees about the importance of preboarding and how they can be involved”, says Sean Stevens, Director of Immerse Education.

Conclusion: Ready to Introduce Your Employee Preboarding Program? 

By now, you should have a good understanding of what preboarding is and why it's important for your organization.

As an HR or recruiting manager, you know that the hiring process doesn't end once a candidate accepts the job offer.

Preboarding is a critical step that can set new hires up for success and improve the overall onboarding experience for both the employee and the company.

Implementing a preboarding program can help with:

  • Reducing the time it takes for new hires to become productive

  • Improving retention and engagement of new hires

  • Building stronger relationships between new hires and the company from the start

Keep in mind that preboarding is not a one-size-fits-all solution — but with a little planning, you can tailor it to meet the specific needs of your organization.

Take the time to determine your program's goals and objectives, identify the key components, develop a plan for communicating and executing the program, and regularly assess and evaluate its success.

Need further help? Get in touch. HRCloud’s team is here to help. 

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Author Bio

Kruti Shah is a content writer and marketer at The Marketing Drama. She loves to write about insights on current trends in Technology, Business, and Marketing. In her free time, she loves baking and watching Netflix. You can connect with her on Linkedin.



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