What is pre-boarding and can you expect future employees to engage with your company before they start?

We’ve all been there before, you’ve gone through an exhaustive recruitment phase, interviewed dozens of candidates and you finally reach the eureka moment where you pick your candidate. And depending on how fast your company is growing or losing employees, you will have to go through that process again soon.

After an intense recruitment process, it can almost feel unnatural to cut contact with your future employee for 30 days or more until they join your company or team. How to engage with your future employee during the period where they are finishing off other engagements became a hot topic in the eLearning industry in 2018. But the questions remains: Can you expect future employees to engage with your company before they start? And is it even a good idea?

Yes! It is a good idea to invest in your new relationship as early as possible, but there are a few things to be aware of. We have listed 5 things to consider before embarking on building your own pre-boarding program¹:

1. How do you prefer to maintain contact with your future employee before they start, and keep them as excited as you are about them joining your company? How many join at a given time? They will likely have questions closer to the start date, and being available is a good way to start building a relationship. You can standardize and still reduce time spent your on pre-boarding through a pre-boarding course.

2. Do you already have a learning management system (LMS)? You can build a very simple pre-boarding course, that contains information about their first days at work, contact person, buddy, company mission, vision and values etc. We have started encouraging our clients to use the Canopy platform to do just that.

3. Remember that your future employee still has responsibilities at their old job. Keep your pre-boarding content light, optional and focus on engagement and relationship building.

4. If several new employees are starting at the same time using an LMS with social media functionalities such as email, chat, and following one another allows the new hires to meet one another virtually and get to know one another in advance.

5. If you create a pre-boarding course, it is our experience that it is important to provide the future employees with access to their first day/ first week schedule outlining clear expectations and responsibilities.

Feel free to reach out to us for advice on how to put together your pre-boarding experience.

¹ Pre-boarding is a short, optional online program that recent hires can enroll in before they start working in your company.