by Matt Squirrell


Employee onboarding is the process of welcoming and integrating new people into your business and their role within that space. However, achieving success in onboarding is not something that takes place on a new employee’s first day.

Talent in the job market is scarce! Getting someone to accept the job offer may bring some comfort BUT the job’s not done yet! If you want to make sure the newbie will turn up on their first day, I suggest you do all you can to keep them warm until then! Too many employers neglect to engage new starters after acceptance of the offer and are greatly surprised when they email/call to say they’ve accepted a better offer from another employer or decided to stay put thanks to a counter-offer. But if done right onboarding can be a great tool for both hiring and retaining staff.

The secret to great onboarding is to provide the human touch in making people feel welcome and integrated into your company’s culture BEFORE they even begin and beyond. We call this ‘Pre-Boarding’, and it consists of 3 main steps:

1) Send an email to your new employee

This step has 2 purposes: It keeps them engaged and excited about joining your business. It provides all the information they will need as to what they can expect on their first day. 

A welcome email should include:

  • A warm welcome
  • Starting day information (date, time, location & who to ask for)Documents to bring (for example; passport, driving licence, bank account details, etc.)
  • Dress code
  • Contact details (in case they have any questions before their start date).

You can also attach documents/links to:

  • HR paperwork
  • Employee handbook
  • Information about the company, its employees and company culture.
  • Any marketing material such as a company video.

2) Send an email to your existing employees to notify and prepare them to welcome the new recruit. This should include:

  • Job title & department
  • New employees’ start date and location
  • A bit of new employees’ background (experience, background etc.)
  • Time and date of welcome coffee or lunch (where your existing employees can meet and greet).

3) Prepare for the new employee’s arrival. Knowing that all will be ready and waiting for them with minimal interruptions is not only a weight off your mind but makes the process repeatable for further growth. There will be many things that need taking care off:

  • Ensure office furniture is there (such as; desk, chair, cabinets, etc.)
  • Order a new employee’s IT equipment (such as; laptop, monitor, mouse, keyboard, phone, headset etc.)
  • Install the needed software on the new employee’s computer
  • Create a new employee’s email account and all other necessary accounts
  • Add a new employee to the relevant calendar, mailing lists, chat groups etc.
  • Prepare relevant HR documents
  • Ensure an office key or ID card is available
  • Prepare a welcome package (branded stationery, mobile etc)
  • Arrange a welcome event be that coffee, lunch or after-work drinks (location, food and drinks, ice-breaker games, etc.)
  • Arrange for new employee’s parking (if needed).

Once this is done your preboarding is complete. Keep the email conversation/phone contact going with your new employee to let them know what to expect and before you know it; it’ll be day one (I’ll cover that another time).