10 tips for an engaging preboarding process

Aug 2, 2022 | Development

Virtual recruitment in a post pandemic world is challenging. Melissa Kose, Emerging Talent Manager at BA offers 10 tips for an engaging preboarding process.  

Preboarding is the period of time between offer and onboarding. In the current post Covid-19 market, many are still exploring alternative employment options and this is typically a time when candidates may renege offers.

The preboarding process is crucial to help candidates understand and engage with your company culture in order to feel part of your vision from the start. 

It also helps to set expectations of the programmes/role, and ensure the right fit for the candidates, ultimately avoiding last minute dropouts.

Top 10 tips for preboarding

1. Little touches go a long way! You don’t need a big budget to introduce a preboarding journey. Why not send a personalised welcome email to all new joiners, rather than automated system emails?

2. Build confidence for day one. Enable space for your candidates to gel as a group. Setting up a ‘meet and greet’ videocall for candidates is a great ice breaker. Create an open environment for them to ask any questions playing on their mind.

3. Be consistent. The time span from offer, to start date can be several months. We’ve found organising a meet up every six to eight weeks is a good balance of touching base without it being too much. Sometimes a 15-minute group call is all that’s needed to answer any questions!

4. Learn from each interaction. Keep developing your preboarding process. We take note of FAQs from our new graduates and apprentices, from questions on re-locating, to the referencing process or the role. This is really useful for the next cycle of candidate preboarding.

5. Showcase your best assets. If you work in an exciting industry, show it off! We invite all new emerging talent starters into the workplace for an ‘in-touch day’ one to two months before they are due to start. They meet face-to-face and feel the buzz of the industry that drives our colleagues each day.

One of our best assets is our aircraft. We arrange an aircraft visit in our engineering hangar where candidates can take photos onboard and get up and personal to the planes.

6. Invest in an onboarding portal. For those that do have a budget, this is a great way for candidates to dip in and out of engagement when it’s convenient for them. Depending on the functionality, it could enable candidates to chat online with colleagues in the business or complete e-learning modules to introduce them to the company culture.

7. Get them involved. Consider providing opportunities for new starters to “get involved” with voluntary business activity. This could be feedback workshops on how they found the recruitment process, or brainstorming ideas for fundraising challenges. Candidates have a real sense of purpose by making a personal contribution the business.

8. Create a supportive culture from the start. Identify a handful of colleagues who will be involved in the new starters programme. Introduce them throughout the pre-boarding process perhaps as placement managers or buddies.

9. Make their experience special. Purchasing a small token to make their experience more special always goes down a treat! This could be a paid lunch on their first day, or an item of branded merchandise.

10. Lastly, have fun! Above all, Preboarding should be informal and relaxed, as it is optional (not mandatory) for candidates to get involved. 

Read more insight and data on onboarding and preboarding.

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