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How to develop a strong virtual preboarding process

Strong onboarding doesn't just start from your hire's first day.

According to SmarterMedium, it should cover everything from their offer acceptance, through to their first 90 days, with one of the most crucial times in this process being the period between offer acceptance and their first day at work. This falls in to the domain of ‘preboarding’ – a subset of onboarding which is often overlooked. 

Preboarding involves making your new team member feel welcome and at ease. When starting a new job, it is human nature to question your decision to change jobs. Preboarding is an essential part of candidate nurturing. It can be as simple as staying in contact with them before their first day and answering any questions they may have, to sending an email to everyone in the company announcing their arrival. It can also involve emailing through any relevant employee paperwork so they can complete these formalities in their own time. This means they can spend their first day learning what is expected of them and working towards delivering value.

Here are our tips for designing an effective virtual preboarding process:

1. Prepare for them

Preparation is key! It not only communicates that you are on top of things as a company, but it also highlights to your new employee that you have put in time and effort to prepare for their commencement. You want to ensure they feel welcome and prepared for their first day. As their first day will be completed remotely, it is important that they have the right tools and resources available to them. To prepare for this, you should order laptops and other hardware they will need well ahead of their start date. Courier them a laptop, mouse and keyboard so that they can get started. Be prepared and they will feel valued and at ease.

2. Ensure they are set up

In this same vein, it’s important that all other tools and systems are set up to facilitate their remote work. This means ensuring that your new hire is provided with a log in, email address, access to your company’s VM, etc. These are the basics. You should also provide them with the contact details of all the people they will be working with, and virtually introduce them to their new team.

3. Help your new remote employees complete HR paperwork

Having your new employee sign employment contracts and other legal documents can be time-consuming, if they need to print, scan and email all copies or send them via mail. Consider using an e-signature tool, like HelloSign or DocuSign, so they can add their signatures digitally and share contracts in a secure way.

4. Surprise and delight

Without physically being in the office, it’s much more difficult to convey your company’s culture and establish that human connection with your new-starters. This is why you should make the effort to incorporate a human-touch, even in this digitally-driven work sphere. A great example of how you can go about this is through surveying your new hire to learn of some of their favourite things. For example, you can ask them what their favourite snack is, what their favourite song is, etc. You can then take this information to develop a welcome package that will delight them. For example, you can have their favourite snack sent to their door on their first day, as well as their favourite song emailed to them. Favourite food, why not arrange for a lunchtime delivery?

If you would like to learn more about designing a strong preboarding and onboarding process for your new hires, check out our Guide to Virtual Onboarding. 

At Talent, we’re experts in tech & digital recruitment. If you are looking for new talent to join your team, get in touch with us today.