Top 10 Innovative Pre-boarding Strategies to Keep New Hires Engaged

By hrlineup | 04.07.2022

The onboarding process is a crucial stage in recruitment, and it can be easy or difficult depending on your pre-boarding strategies. As a hiring professional, you must prioritize pre-boarding programs to avoid early employee turnover rates. Do not wait until the start day to engage your new hire since you will likely get less turnout considering that the job market is competitive and every business is looking for the best talent. 

Note that pre-boarding is the period between employees signing their job offer and beginning their new roles. It is part of the employee onboarding process and takes a few weeks since most employers rarely pay attention to qualified candidates during this period. Surprisingly, the pre-boarding stage can damage your hiring efforts if you don’t engage the new hires. With a poor pre-boarding process, newly hired employees’ morale is lowered, thus making them consider other offers from your competitors. They will also consider your services unprofessional and negatively review your employer’s brand. 

That being said, the pre-onboarding activities should be lively and exciting to your prospective workers. For this reason, we list below the top 10 innovative pre-boarding strategies to keep new hires engaged before the start date.

How to Keep New Hires Engaged Before Start Date

1. Send Welcome Message To New Hires

The number one activity in your pre-boarding checklist should be how you welcome the new hires before their first day. Most companies used personalized welcome strategies, mostly sending personalized handwritten cards. However, with technological advancement and innovation, employers are making their new hires feel special by using automated pre-boarding strategies. You can use Dropbox, Salesforce, and Google to get gifts like mugs, notebooks, and other welcome kits.

In addition, you can integrate personalized strategies like sending gift packages and cards. Other employers prefer automated pre-onboarding engagement, like sending them a welcome email to express their anticipation of having them join their organization. If time allows, you can also record a welcoming video and start building a good employee-employer relationship.

2. Start Engaging Them Earlier

You should inform newly hired employees about the nature of their new workplace. Candidate engagement is a recruitment strategy, but it won’t hurt to redo it. Tell your prospects about the company’s culture, values, growth, and accomplishments. Communication is the best engagement strategy, and consider using videos and infographics to deliver this information. This is one of the best ways to show how interested you are in making them part of your organization and preparing for the onboarding stage.

3. Welcome And Answer Frequently Asked Questions

Answering the new employees’ questions is a crucial pre-joining engagement activity that makes your prospects feel valued. You should answer frequently asked questions before they start asking their questions. Make them feel at ease by sending a copy of the FAQs. With clarifications and open communication, you make your employees feel comfortable, thus reduce anxiety during this time.

Additionally, ensure you have a well-established, accessible and reliable company website where you can post some of the materials and answer new hires’ questions appropriately. This process will save you time during onboarding and paint a clear picture of what the new hires should expect working in the company.

4. Plan A Pre-Onboarding Meeting

You should be creative in your pre-onboarding strategies by not focusing too much on virtual engagements. Why not invite your new employees to one of the company’s meetings to gain insight into the company’s activities. This is also a way to introduce them to your business operations and existing workers, thus promoting socialization. 

Employers can also invite their newly hired workforce to company hangouts and lunch. This way, they get to know their new employer better, and vice versa. Plus, setting up pre-boarding meetings help clear any doubts regarding your business, making them leave having an excellent reputation about your company in mind. Is this not the best way to market your brand? Well, we thought so too. 

5. Get A Headstart On Admin Tasks

The new employees should join your company and find you organized and ready to orient them into their new roles. Therefore, you should find relevant information about their position that can prepare them for success ahead of time. This is where the talent management department comes in. They will send the new hires pre-boarding documents, including tax forms, to enable them to read and sign once they fully understand.

In preparing for onboarding, your managers and IT teams should ensure that the new hires complete signing up for different sections that require either manual or automated documentation.

6. Clarify The Onboarding Schedule

Prepare your new employees for what they should expect in the first week. Draft a schedule for their first week and email it to them. You can also send digital calendars for the basic activities that will run within that month.

  • Employee onboarding sessions
  • In-house training meetings
  • Planned lunches and hangouts
  • External training events

7. Evaluate Your Employee Value Proposition

Your new employees should give feedback on their candidate experience during recruitment to help you improve your hiring strategies. The new hires will also feel appreciated by your seeking their opinions before joining the organization. Note that analyzing new employees’ views is a quick way of conducting a candidates’ experience survey. Some organizations have a poor reputation due to overlooking new hires’ reviews and feedback. Take your new employees’ feedback seriously and adjust your strategy.

8. Organize a Teamwide Welcome

Any pre-boarding checklist should not lack this tip. Other stakeholders in the pre-boarding stage are the current employees; therefore, you should inform them before the onboarding process that new employees are coming. With this tip, your main goal is cultivating cohesion in the company.

Get your team ready for the grand welcome by mentioning or listing the names of the new hires and their roles. Let your team help you in suggesting the best way to welcome their colleagues since they will also feel valued and be open to accepting new addition. It will be more enjoyable when made a few days into the onboarding process. Keep your team eager to meet and welcome newbies!

9. Grant Access To Company’s Learning Platform

One of the pre-joining engagement activities is to allow new employees to access your company’s learning platform. The learning platform will reinforce the concept with your company’s values and culture. As a result, the new employees will know and evaluate the value of your organization’s services. 

Additionally, the platform will give them the statistics and trends of the business, enabling them to brainstorm how to improve productivity in their assigned roles. After all, you want your newly hired employees to come in guns blazing, and having them understand your business operations before beginning their tasks in an innovative pre-boarding strategy. 

10. Allow Them To Make Personalized Introduction

Encouraging your new employees to take control over their first impression and relate to others is very important. You can encourage them to make a few minutes introductory video and send it on the company’s website. This way, you get to save time spent on travelling and organizing one on one meetings. The best element about personalized video introductions is that you can view them at your own convenient time. 

In remote or hybrid employment cases, video introduction plays an excellent role in ensuring that the employees know each other and their superiors regardless of location. Therefore, employees are free to share their thoughts and valuable materials to enhance the company’s productivity.


A good pre-onboarding engagement will help you rate your employee value proposition and empowerment to create an outstanding workforce that embraces teamwork. The above pre-boarding strategies will boost employee retention and stay on top of the business chain. Remember, while applying these tips to engage and retain new hires, ensure your existing employees are also comfortable. After all, you want to be highly reputable in the job market. One of the best ways to remain relevant is through excellent working relationships with your workers, considering they are your first brand ambassadors.