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How to Pre-Board a New College Grad

Written by  Hiba Haider

Do you remember your first job out of college? You walked into the office sporting a spiffy suit and tie combo to express the perfect balance of ‘seriousness’ and ‘personality.’ The college degree you had recently earned gave you a steadfast confidence and belief that you could change the world. Expectations were high. You were ready to roll up your sleeves and get involved. But instead, you found yourself drowning in HR paperwork and training videos. Remember the disappointment?

An employee’s first few weeks are crucial not only for setting the tone, but also for building excitement and team spirit. In fact, a successful employee onboarding program can begin as soon an offer letter is signed. At GoodHire we have crafted a “Pre-Boarding Program” to help jumpstart the conversation you can have with your future employees. The Pre-Boarding Program consists of four main stages: Cover the Basics, Support Transition, Give Introductions, and MaintainEngagement.

1. Cover the Basics.

Covering the basics entails identifying and finishing any logistical work within the office before your new hires arrive. This includes setting up their workspace and organizing all necessary paperwork in advance. For example, if you are planning on running a background check on your new hires, you can use tools like GoodHire to obtain digital consent ahead of time. By preemptively taking care of these tasks such as these ahead of time, you can ensure a smoother transition when the new hire starts. Additionally, with many of the preparations already taken care of, you can devote your full attention supporting new hires when they arrive and take care of last minute emergencies that may arise.

As long as you’re in contact, there’s no need to wait until the new hire’s start date to give them basic information. Go ahead and send new hires important dates and documents they may need for the upcoming onboarding process. If your new hire is a fresh college grad, this will likely to be his or her first job and first time interacting with an employer. Set the bar high by providing the ultimate HR experience.

2. Support Transition.

For all college-aged new hires, joining a company isn’t merely a transition into a new job; it is often a transition into a new phase in life. College grads often relocate for their new job, find housing, and learn how to navigate a new city. Supporting a transition well may entail allowing them to take the time to enjoy their graduation and a summer vacation so that they don’t feel rushed and stressed. Providing ample time gives them breathing room, time to say goodbye, and a chance prepare for what’s to come.

At GoodHire, we’ve found that giving the summer off after graduation is a great way to encourage students to take the time they need to attend to any personal matters so they are focused, ready, and excited to work on their first day. If giving the summer off is more than your company can afford, consider other ways you can assist these new grads such as providing a relocation bonus or other tutorials and informational resources.

3. Make Introductions.

Prior to your new hires’ start date, make sure to introduce key employees and coworkers along with the company culture and values. At this point, you are no longer selling the company, but rather presenting important facts and ideas about the company in more detail. This is also a time to set the tone and attitude of the workplace.

Creative ways to make introductions include sending a swag box crafted by future managers, having everyone on the team send a congratulations email, setting up a Google hangout with all new hires who are starting at the same time, or hosting a dinner the night before they start.

4. Maintain Engagement.

As an employer, it is important to maintain communication between the time your new hire commits to your company and their first day at the office. Touch base frequently and show that you value them as team members by creating bi-weekly or monthly email updates. Consider adding new hires to the company-wide newsletter or inviting them to company happy hours and events. College grads may receive different job offers even after they’ve committed to joining your organization. By maintaining engagement through these small gestures, you can ensure that your new hires remain loyal to you.

We hope that the guiding philosophies of our onboarding program will inspire you to design your own successful pre-boarding program.

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