Learn why pre-boarding of new staff is more important than the on-boarding

  • Post published:28/09/2022
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Welcome onboardThe pre-boarding leading into on-boarding must start the day when you and the candidate sign the employment agreement. Don’t even think that you are home and dry. Believe me, you are only halfway.

The pre-boarding is what you do during the hiring process and before your new staff turns up at your company on the first working day.

It’s how you nurture your new employees during their respective notice periods at with current employers.

Best case you will wait 30 days or a salary payment term. Worst case and typical for management executives up to 60 and 90 days.

There is pre-boarding and there is on-boarding. I say this often, same same but different. It’s two different sets of activities. You must know of both. You must have a strategy for both.

Here is my reason for saying that pre-boarding is more important than on-boarding is simple.

If you do not pay attention to the month or months between signing the employment agreement and first working day, worst case the new employee will not turn up and you will never get to the on-boarding.

Ask these two questions at the interview

During pre-boarding, you should ask questions like why the candidate came to see you, what was the motivation for the candidate to come and meet you? It will give you valuable insight in the motivation.

Ask these two questions:

  • When we called you the first time about this job opportunity, what was it that got you interested in coming here today?
  • What interests you about this position?

How will the candidate handle a counteroffer?

Woman closed eyes black whiteToday’s corporate environment has made the counteroffer an important weapon in the war for talent.

In fact, the counteroffer has become part of many companies’ strategy to keep salary costs down until they absolutely have to pay their best talent.

The best way to prevent your candidate is pushed hard by the boss to accept a counteroffer of a higher salary or title is to ensure that the candidate’s boss does not make one.

It’s a difficult conversation but one you must have with the candidate throughout the hiring process.

The difficult conversation you must have

Difficult conversationCheck how the candidate will handle a counteroffer from their current employer and it will give you an important hint as you try to assess the risk of losing a successful candidate at the last minute.

Is the candidate serious about pursuing this opportunity? How will the candidate resign and handle a counteroffer? If the candidate insists, they will not accept a counteroffer, ask them to give you the reason why – in their words.

Two great questions to assess if a counteroffer may win:

  • We also have to talk about what happens if you are offered the job; and accept it. It means you will have to resign. How will you do that and what will you tell your boss?
  • What if they give you a counteroffer? Do you have any projects running that will delay your exit? Can you leave your boss and colleagues? What about the location?

How to nail the virtual onboarding process

There’s arguably never been a stranger time to bring on new employees. Companies are in the process of contending with remote work. This is a new frontier for almost everyone.

In the past, even the most remote-friendly operations have had some form of in-person training or orientation. So, there’s an element of trial and error to virtual onboarding, no matter the industry or nature of the position.

Read this helpful article from The Predictive Index (PI) on how to nail the virtual onboarding. Read here.

To learn more about how PI can help you with this, reach out to us. We represent The Predictive Index in Thailand and Asia.

You are only halfway when employment contract signed

Welcome to the companyThe pre-boarding that leads into on-boarding starts the day when you and the candidate sign the employment agreement.

Not and never ever on the first working day. That’s way too late and too risky.

Don’t even think that you are home and dry and that you can leave your new employee “alone” during their notice-to-resign period. Believe me, you are only halfway.

You need to fill the time from the signing of the contract to the first day of employment; in fact even weeks into the new job.

Here’s a list of pre-boarding activities:

  • Offer a show-up bonus. But include in the employment contract that the show-up bonus must be repaid if the candidate leaves within 12 months.
  • Include a preventive clause in the employment contract that cancelling the contract will result in a charge of two months’ salary.
  • Have frequent telephone calls with the person.
  • Invite for lunch or dinner with the new colleagues.
  • Ask the candidate to call you immediately after giving notice.
  • Set up their new email and give them access.
  • Print the new business cards and send them to the home address.
  • Include the person in your WhatsApp or Line group.

Be creative and you will have deserved the champagne when your candidate turns up on day one. Good luck.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.