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New hire preonboarding

Preonboarding is all the advanced work that is required when hiring a new employee, including tax paperwork, introductions, and your Day 1 plan. With preonboarding, you've done the work in advance so that before go-time, you're confident, calm, and collected, and not scrambling.

Here's everything you need to replicate a smooth new employee onboarding every time someone joins the team.

>Download the onboarding checklist template to get Preonboarding all the way to Day 90.

New hire preonboarding checklist


Warm welcome congratulatory email

A congratulatory email to the teammate, to be sent soon (if not immediately) after the offer is accepted and confirmed. This needn't contain logistics or next steps, and is merely a chance to share excitement about the teammate joining. This is best sent by the Hiring Manager, though People Ops can certainly weigh in on the communication.

"What to Expect" logistics email

A communication outlining for the incoming teammate everything they can expect in their first few days. Include the following:

  • Start date and time

  • Any known, synchronous, scheduling needs in the first week

  • Hardware logistics

  • What documentation or information to have handy on their first day

  • When to expect an invitation to join company emails, systems, logins, etc.

  • Dress code if applicable

  • Location if applicable

  • Appropriate contact for questions between now and start

If you need additional information from the new teammate (mailing address, etc.), this is a great time to ask!

Communications to direct team

A communication to the widest slice of your company as is appropriate (given size, organization, culture, etc.), sharing excitement for the incoming teammate, and alerting team to their start.

Night before/Friday before reminders

A reminder email that goes out the business day before the new employee's start date, reminding them of what physical items may be needed on their first day, and of start time and expectations.

Three yellow balloons with black smiley faces.

Operational Logistics

1. Arrange for hardware. Whether in-office or remote, ensure that your new teammate's computer and/or accessories are on order, en route, or prepared for their start.

2. Pre-enter HRIS, payroll, benefits information. To whatever extent you can front-load your People systems (HRIS, benefits platforms, perks platforms, payroll, etc.), enter information as appropriate.

3. Coordinate physical goods. Arrange for any physical in-office needs of your new employee (desk and hardware, parking space, storage space, welcome gift, security badge, etc.) or coordinate for the sending and receipt of physical items sent in tandem with a remote start (welcome swag, stickers.).

4. Establish admin accounts. Establish the new teammate's accounts for their email, calendar, etc., and to whatever extend is appropriate or available, pre-load inboxes or calendars with needed information or scheduling.

5. Customize onboarding materials. Customize any worksheets, workflows, schedules, templates, communications, etc., you'll provide the new employee over their first few days.

6. Confirm calandar fidelity. Ensure that all necessary scheduling is confirmed for all involved in onboarding events (trainings, welcome meetings or calls, check-ins, etc.).

7. Invite new teammate systems and logins as appropriate. Send invites to the administrative, People, or communications platforms for which it is secure and appropriate to invite prior to start (including pre-loading logins to the email inbox for when the teammate arrives).

Enablement and Support

Provide initial meeting/first 1:1 suggested topics

Offer the new teammate's manager an outline of suggested topics to discuss in an initial 1:1 including:

  • Needs the teammate has

  • What they're excited about

  • Introductions they need help making

Review week 1 timeline expectations with the manager

Ensure the teammate's manager knows how much the new teammate's time and attention will be consumed by onboarding and welcome activities. Clarify any question about the process that managers may have, and offer support and suggestions for the manager to positively impact the welcome.

Let's not forget about post-onboarding

  1. Hold a new hire focus group and reflection so you can get feedback into the process.

  2. Incorporate that feedback to address gaps and continue improving the employee experience.

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