Preboarding as a Staff Retention Tool

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Preboarding as a Staff Retention Tool

HR professionals understand that a lot goes into welcoming a new employee to the company. These days the hiring process itself is already quite lengthy and complicated and once it is completed comes the actual task of preparing your new hires to join the company. This is where the preboarding onboarding program begins.

Starting your new recruits off on the right foot is essential in ensuring new hire retention. With 20% of staff turnover occurring within the first 45 days, employers need to focus on hiring and retaining skilled labour, since replacing an employee costs 33% of their annual salary. [1]

Companies can help retain skilled employees more easily by offering care and support to ideal job candidates and utilizing a preboarding retention tool to augment their onboarding process for new hires.


Preboarding vs Onboarding?


‍Everyone has heard of onboarding. This has become an integral part of company culture and employee engagement strategies. Onboarding means the process of bringing a new employee into an organisation. It usually starts on the first day for new hires and involves orientations, going through the employee handbook, meetings with managers and team members, training for essential job duties, and HR documentation.

Although a solid onboarding process - that has been improved and streamlined by technology - can go a long way in helping employees get started, some new hires can still feel overwhelmed by the skills they're required to learn in the early days or weeks of a new job. At the same time, by going through all the onboarding on the employee's first day or first few days, companies are often taking time away from the work these recruits were hired to do so they can attend orientations, fill out paperwork, and other tasks that could have been done ahead of time.

Furthermore, employers are increasingly affected by the so-called “skills gap” [2] between the things job candidates know and the skills required for open positions. In many cases, a candidate may be an ideal apparent fit for a company, but lack a few critical skills that would make them successful in the role. This is not something that should be addressed just as a new hire begins their new job.
Employee preboarding is a way to address all of these issues. At a high level, preboarding focuses on offering additional support, and training to new hires after a job offer has been made and the candidate accepts, and before the employee's start date.

When done properly, the preboarding period can better prepare a new hire for his or her new role and ensure an easier employee onboarding process. Usually, paperwork like signing forms, providing all personal information, filling out tax forms, and more are done and filed during preboarding. At the same time, preboarding is when a new hire is given a better idea of what the job entails, how the company operates, company policies, the company's culture, working hours, benefits guide, and other HR particulars.
Through this preboarding process, new employees feel engaged, are better equipped for their first day, and ready to hit the ground running.

How Does a Preboarding Program help with New Hire Retention?

Studies have shown that companies with a good dedicated preboarding program ›in place are 11% more likely to retain first-year employees than those without. [3] There are two ways that preboarding can significantly improve staff retention, contribute to engagement, improve company culture, help new hires, and help create more productive employees:

1. Preboarding helps initiate a streamlined overarching onboarding process. Through preboarding, new hires are offered compliance and training materials after the job offer and before their first day. This gives them time to go over the material at their own pace instead of in a rush. Simultaneously, they are given ancillary resources to help them familiarise themselves with their new position. This allows them to feel confident before their first day on their new job and helps banish first-day jitters. It also helps alleviate the amount of work needed during employee onboarding.

2. Preboarding makes new hires feel more comfortable in their role, without being overwhelmed with meetings and training sessions in the initial days and weeks in their position. Because the hiring manager has given them more time to become familiar with their job and finish their pre-work requirements ahead of time, this leaves more time during employee onboarding for team introductions and forming connections with colleagues. This extra time to generate rapport with teammates will help new hires feel engaged as they adjust to their new jobs.

With good preboarding sets and a set hiring process process in place, companies are helping set up each new hire for success in the business and going that extra mile to welcome them to the team and ensure they have a good start with training. This will make a difference in retention, productivity, and even employee engagement. Studies show that employees who feel like they have found a good cultural fit and feel like they belong in an organisation, are more likely to stay longer with a company.


Technology Provides Preboarding Solutions to Bolster Any Companies Hiring Process

Technology offers unique and efficient ways to provide preboarding resources and training opportunities to new hires. Qualee, for example, offers employees a native mobile app, cloud-hosting documents such as a company handbook, forms, and other compliance paperwork which can be completed in online courses and before the first day. This allows a new hire to complete many administrative tasks remotely, without the need to meet with HR in person.

Furthermore, the Qualee platform allows for the hosting of explanatory documents and training videos to any job candidate lacking key skills for an open position. As new hires learn the skills offered, Qualee also allows them to securely message their HR recruiters or other managers for questions or clarifications and for the business to check in with the new hire on their job expectation and engagement.

Ultimately, effective preboarding tools will give a new hire the impression that a company willing to invest in their people before their first day and will continue to invest in them throughout the whole employee lifecycle. It shows empathy and care for new employees that they are likely to return with their loyalty.

Preboarding with Qualee can help improve your company's staff retention rates across the board. Start building relationships during the onboarding period with a focus on engagement. See what else Qualee can do for you by trying it for free today or contact us for more details!



[1] https://hrmasia.com/the-cost-of-employee-turnover/
[2] https://www.brookings.edu/research/understanding-the-skills-gap-and-what-employers-can-do-about-it/
[3] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/onboarding-key-retaining-engaging-talent.aspx
[4] The ideal new hire's onboarding tools

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