Pre-boarding, it’s the time between a new employee accepting an offer and their first day. As businesses, we all look to make sure that we deliver great onboarding experiences, but we can often overlook that bit of time between someone signing their contract and starting with us in post. And yet, as Robert Half research suggests, as many as 28% of candidates will renege on a job offer. Worse, if you don’t engage with a candidate prior to them starting with you, 65% of employers report that these hires don’t show up on their first day. It’s a competitive market, and to ensure your recruitment efforts don’t go to waste, you need to be thinking about the employee experience even before they step through the door.

So, what can you do? Here’s the Realise strategy:

Personalised Welcome – Bring on the Swag

Imagine if your new employer got to know you. Like, actually got to know you. At Realise, we ask our new hires about some of their likes and dislikes (the things that make them unique!) so we can give them a personalised welcome when they join us. Love Vimto? We’ll have the fridge stocked. Sweet tooth? The pastries will be waiting for you. Louis Capaldi fan? You can guarantee he’ll be on our playlist. While these little touches don’t cost a lot, they make a huge difference to how valued your new team member will feel and stoke their excitement about joining you.

If, like us, you also have a cupboard full of merch, this is a great time to send out your welcome gifts. Think hats, pads, pens, water bottles – getting your swag out and into their hands will make sure they feel part of the team.

Groups & Channels

If you can, it’s always worth getting your new hire set up on all the channels they’ll need prior to their first day. Not only will it mean they can get stuck in from day one (and keep your IT department happy) but it will help embed them into the team and organisation. Like us, you might also have a company WhatsApp group or a way you communicate less formally. Get them added and send a few friendly GIFs – nothing like a GIF to break the ice!

Induction Pack and FAQ’s

Questions, questions, questions… we all have so many questions on our first day in a new job. Where do I park? What’s the dress code? And importantly, what’s expected of me in my first week? You can alleviate some of this nervousness by sending out a friendly induction pack that provides an itinerary for the first few days, as well as answering some FAQs. Moving jobs is stressful, and anything we can do to ease the pressure will always be gratefully received.

Let’s Hangout

How often do your team hangout? Something as simple as coffee/breakfast/lunch with the gang can be really settling for your new teammate. Get something in the diary and invite them along, it’ll make their first day a lot less daunting.

And finally…Keep Talking

Keep the conversation going throughout the pre-boarding period. Little check-ins here and there will keep them engaged and hype up the excitement for joining your team.