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Employee preboarding

Top 12 Preboarding Best Practices to Keep New Hires Engaged From Day 1

The talent pool has gone global today, and the competition in talent acquisition is fierce. An offer letter acceptance does not confirm a long-term association anymore! So, what should organizations do to prevent talented new hires from dropping out before or after onboarding – focus on effective preboarding!

Read through this blog to gain insights into the best practices of employee preboarding and why you need to implement them.

Preboarding – The missing link

preboarding best practices

Preboarding refers to the period between a candidate accepting the job offer and their first day. It aims to engage the new hires and make them feel welcomed as soon as they agree to work in the company.

An effective employee preboarding streamlines the onboarding process and makes it smooth for both HRs and new hires. It eases up the first-day jitters of new hires and enables organizations to portray themselves as positive employer. HRs also feel empowered to complete several administrative tasks and prepare for the arrival of new employees. 

According to an SHRM report, companies that do not focus on preboarding experience are likelier to see more hires quitting the company during the first six months of work. So, it is always best to follow the employee preboarding best practices to boost the efficiency of the onboarding process and ensure employee satisfaction and ultimately improve retention.

What are the best practices for preboarding new hires?

employee preboarding best practices

Start from the day they accept the offer letter

It is natural for new employees to experience stress, doubt, and discomfort on their first day at work. HRs can manage this situation by starting the preboarding process as soon as the new hires accept the job offer. The HR team must ensure that all necessary tools, resources, and company merchandise are in place and ready to be delivered at the appropriate time. If you conducted a bulk recruitment session, preparing all the necessary documentation in advance will help you remain on top of your tasks and carry out the process seamlessly. 

Ship their equipment before they start

The remote and hybrid work model has become the norm post-pandemic. Almost all the companies now issue laptops and other necessary equipment to employees for office set-up at home. That is why it becomes crucial that all the work-related stuff reaches new hires before they start working. 

Your HR team can coordinate with the equipment shipping and logistics team to follow the standard processes and avoid delays. This way, your employees have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the system, and day one does not look chaotic.

Send out the welcome swag

Another fantastic way to eliminate new hires’ anxiety buds is to send them company swag they can wear or use. Such a small and thoughtful gesture will help break the awkwardness on the first day and make them feel at home. 

A set of company swag excites new hires and encourages them to look forward to working with the company.

It helps you establish your brand as a workforce-oriented employer. Plan a budget and try to create a good mix of items. Before settling on the manufacturer of the company swag, evaluate different vendors and see which one fits your requirements. 

Here are some ideas you can explore: 

  • A soft shirt
  • A notebook and pens
  • A coffee cup or mug
  • A motivational book 

Assign them a welcome buddy

One of the primary reasons for a new employee’s disengagement is the lack of work relations. To prevent that and make the new hire feel more comfortable on their first day, consider assigning them a welcome buddy. 

The best way is to assign someone who is neither on the new hire’s team nor holds a managerial position above them. A welcome buddy should be someone who can befriend and acquaint them with the culture and mode of operation in a non-intimidating manner. The welcome buddy should regularly check in on their assigned new hire to know how they are doing in the new work environment and what interests them apart from work.

The welcome buddies should connect with the new hires to elucidate the time frames of check-ins. It will help you set clear expectations for new employees.

Have an established workflow

Your new hires do not know much about the processes at the workplace. So, to keep the day one schedule smooth, it is crucial to establish a workflow for the new employees. 

If you do not want your new employees to get bored or feel overwhelmed on their first day, help them by asking their new manager to map out their first week in as much detail as possible beforehand. Tell them to assign small and manageable tasks. 

You can take it up a notch by adding notes to the meeting invites to convey the intent to new hires clearly: This should include:

  • Who is the person they are meeting with
  • The agenda of the meeting
  • Some good questions they could ask to guide the conversation 

It will help you maintain the workflow and keep your new hires engaged. 

Complete administrative tasks

New hires look forward to starting their first day at work with a lot of excitement and motivation. However, if they have to spend their first day drowning in NDAs and other paperwork, they might not even feel pumped up for other activities.

To quickly get down to business on day 1, it is a good idea to get the bureaucratic tasks out of the way in the preboarding process. You can consider sending the necessary tax forms, NDAs, and invention agreements after the candidate signs the offer letter. Most companies send digital offer letters and employment agreements to the remote and hybrid workforce.

This approach sorts out the paperwork early on and is one of the most helpful employee preboarding best practices. Using Leena AI’s automated onboarding solution, you can create a seamless workflow for completing the documentation of all the new hires.

Send regular updates about the company, culture, and policies

The employee preboarding process should portray your company and work culture in a positive light. Do not wait for the first day to share resources that showcase vision and mission, work culture, and company policies. Instead, send them at the earliest stage of preboarding. It will give new hires a fair idea of what to expect while working with your company and allow them to align their work with the goals and policies. 

Answer questions before they have to ask 

The period between accepting the offer letter and the date of joining gives new hires jitters about their workplace. So, making relevant information available to them at their fingertips can help the new hires eliminate job ambiguity and miscommunications.

Leena AI’s knowledge management system automatically generates FAQs from your long policy documents and makes information available to the new hires via a virtual assistant.

If you want to share the FAQs manually, here are some of the questions you can include:

  • What are the working hours?
  • What are the parking spot arrangements?
  • Does the office have a canteen?
  • Where to find the necessary resources?
  • Who are in charge of addressing grievances?

A welcome email cannot contain everything. So, sending your new hires a list of such FAQs will help them acclimate to the company quicker. 

Alternatively, you can opt for Leena AI to set up informational and detailed FAQs that would automatically be conveyed to the new hires, saving time and boosting efficiency at each stage of their journey.  It also helps build transparency and trust with the new hires.

Introduce the manager and the team

For uninterrupted productivity, it is paramount to facilitate a bond between new hires, managers, and their team members in the preboarding process. When you have finalized the new hires, inform your team about them. Schedule separate meetings for the new employees with their managers and the teams. It will give new hires the time to know about the people they will work with, fostering better collaboration and trust. 

Make the process virtual

In a world of remote work, you must also turn your preboarding process virtual. It will save your HR department from dealing with mountains of paperwork, make the training process smoother and more accessible, and make the process far more efficient than the traditional approach. It is convenient for the remote workforce because they can participate in all the preboarding activities without commuting to the site. 

With Leena AI’s AI-driven onboarding solution, you can preboard and onboard employees from anywhere, irrespective of the location. Its multilingual capabilities empower HRs to hire talent globally and stay connected with them via their preferred language and communication channels.

Once the new hires join, Leena AI’s virtual assistant takes regular feedback from them via pulse surveys and gives real-time insights to the HRs about their onboarding experience. In a nutshell, Leena AI’s onboarding solution helps organizations plug the gap between hiring and onboarding.

Personalize the preboarding process

The one-size-fits-all approach does not work for every new hire. It is essential to personalize your employee preboarding process. With Leena AI’s onboarding solution, you can tailor their preboarding and onboarding experiences. From personalizing content basis their roles and designation to managing policies applicable to them, you can do it all.

Invest in a best-in-class preboarding software tool 

Like onboarding, the preboarding process also involves a lot of repetitive tasks. Consider investing in top-notch employee preboarding software to save time and boost efficiency. Leena AI’s virtual assistant automates all the tasks, from releasing offer letters to completing documentation, initiating background verifications, and assigning onboarding buddies; it frees up HRs to interact with new hires and focus on strategic business-related tasks.

Ace your preboarding process with a preboarding checklist

Strategizing an effective onboarding plan is not an easy feat. So, investing resources and energy into creating a preboarding plan is essential. Here are some points to keep in mind while mapping out preboarding checklist. 

  • Submit onboarding documents – Get the documents in order and signed. It includes:
    • Offer letter
    • Tax forms
    • Employment agreement
    • Payroll information sheet
    • NDAs 
    • Summary of benefits
    • Employee handbook
  • Welcome email – After a candidate accepts the job offer, have the direct managers reach out with a welcome email. 
  • Learning checklist – Inform them about the learning modules before they start. 
  • Onboarding kit – Send an onboarding kit to make your new hires feel that you appreciate their time and effort in the application and recruitment process. 
  • Videos – Film a typical day in a particular job role and what your new hires can expect to be doing daily.
  • Day 1 checklist – Prepare a list of tasks you expect your employees to do on their first day.

Streamline your preboarding process with Leena AI

preboarding best practices

Using robust automation software is vital to make the preboarding process efficient. The automation process helps organizations streamline workflows and create an environment where new employees can bring their core skills to the table. With Leena AI’s powerful onboarding solution, you can streamline your onboarding process and achieve higher efficiency.

The AI-driven virtual assistant automatically sends new hires valuable resources, addresses all their queries, helps them raise tickets, gathers feedback via pulse surveys, and ensures faster assimilation in the organization. Leena AI’s cutting-edge software revolutionizes your preboarding process from employee helpdesk to automatic documentation tracking. If you want to see how it works, book a demo today!


Preboarding may sound like an exaggerated initiative, but it has tremendous value in conducting a smooth onboarding process. Employee expectations have evolved with time. Inculcating employee preboarding best practices will significantly and positively impact your organization as an employer.

The digital onboarding solution is the best way to plan an error-free, efficient, quick preboarding process and a productive first day for your new hires. Leena AI’s intuitive solution will help you plan an excellent preboarding experience for your new hires, ensuring continuous productivity from day 1.


 How to keep new hires engaged before they start working?

The best way to engage your new hires is by making them feel included, keeping them in the loop via the updates, and allowing them to build a rapport with their colleagues in the preboarding process. 

What is the difference between preboarding and onboarding?

The primary difference between preboarding and onboarding is that the former starts as soon as a candidate signs the offer letter, while the latter includes the process starting on day 1 of joining the job. 

Why is preboarding important?

Preboarding is vital because it lets you prepare for the upcoming onboarding process, gives new hires more space to acclimate, and ensures hassle-free and smooth onboarding. 

What happens during the preboarding process?

During the preboarding process, organizations have an opportunity to keep new hires engaged and excited about their new workplace. HRs send new hires company swag and share information about the company, its vision, mission, and future roadmap. Employees can also ask questions about their job profile and company via AI-driven preboarding software. Ultimately, it helps new hires acclimate to the new work environment faster and better.

What are the benefits of the preboarding process?

Benefits of the preboarding process include:

  • Making new hires’ first-day tasks more manageable
  • Seamless onboarding process for both HRs and new hires
  • Faster assimilation of new hires into the organization
  • Better understanding and alignment with business objectives
  • Enhanced productivity in the long run

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