Learning & Development, Recruiting

Is Preboarding the New Onboarding?

According to one expert, first impressions of your organization begin before a new hire comes on board, which means it’s time to rethink your onboarding process.

onboarding
Source: Graf Vishenka / Shutterstock

Erwin van der Vlist, Founder and CEO of Speakap, refers to preboarding as “the new onboarding.” It’s an effort geared primarily toward the Millennial and Gen Z populations, he says.

With Millennials dominating today’s workplaces, it’s important for organizations to connect with them in meaningful ways. For Millennials, that means “fostering a sense of purpose and fulfillment early on through platforms they find familiar,” Van Der Viist says. He offers four strategies for doing that.

Begin Relevant Engagement Immediately

Waiting until employees’ first days on the job is too long. They’re likely giving a lot of thought to the important decision they just made to join your company—perhaps even having second thoughts.

Reaching out to them to support the smart decision they just made, and demonstrate the value they will find working with the company and their new team members, can help engage them before they’re formally on the payroll.

Tap into Their Need for Connection with Digital Communications Tools

The youngest members of your workforce grew up with technology and are very comfortable with it. Their smartphones are with them almost 24/7 and are the prime vehicles they use to get messages from friends and family and stay up to date on news and events.

Employers need to keep this in mind and make sure they move beyond traditional e-mail communications to offer other digital channels and platforms Millennials and Gen Z feel most comfortable with.

Encourage Sharing to Forge Early Relationships

“Digital channels can ease new employees into the work community,” Van Der Viist says. He encourages companies to make online and social introductions through these channels as a precursor to the actual introductions that will come later.

This also provides an opportunity to introduce new employees to whatever enterprise social networks the company uses and gives them the opportunity to explore them a bit before starting the new job.

Integrate Company Tools and Training to Ease the Transition

As digital channels, apps, and tools proliferate in the workplace, all of the sign-ons, passwords, and processes can become a bit overwhelming—especially in light of everything else a new employee needs to learn. A single sign-on can simplify this process, creating more efficiency for all.

What kinds of preboarding activities might you institute to help you connect with and engage your new employees sooner in the employment process?