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Ensure the best first experience for employees by incorporating HR Cloud technologies

13 Feb 2023

A resignation after the interview and before the start of a new employment relationship is unfortunately not an exception.

As mentioned in our previous blog article, the optimal employee-centric Onboarding journey consists of three phases: pre-boarding, acclimation, belonging, and performance excellence. In this article, we take a closer look at the pre-boarding phase. This phase is particularly crucial since many companies experience potential employees terminating their employment contracts even before they officially start. This first phase of the employee-centric Onboarding journey begins after a successful recruitment process and the signing of the employment contract by future employees. The goal of this phase is the administrative empowerment of future employees, giving them a first impression of the corporate culture and offering the first social touchpoints. To achieve this pre-boarding goal, Onboarding activities take place within our four defined Onboarding experience layers. They are considered in more detail below:

Admin and technological layer

This layer is the main focus in pre-boarding. To ensure an optimal employee experience in Onboarding, the idea of a single source of truth is essential. In line with this, the Onboarding journey starts with timely access to the central Onboarding portal.

In the portal, future employees select the complete, desired technical equipment and fill out the relevant documents directly in the portal. For example, a pre-Onboarding task can be to upload a profile picture, which must be done by future employees. To support future employees in this regard, reminders are sent from the Onboarding portal. Independent status tracking is also offered.

Additionally, a checklist with the next upcoming Onboarding steps provides future employees with a constant overview of all the activities required until joining the company. Systems like ServiceNow, for example, provide a comprehensive Onboarding checklist for different personas (e.g., for the employee, hiring manager, HR, and IT) that guides them through the completion of Onboarding (see illustration 1).

Before starting a new job, only relevant updates on team projects and the overall team strategy are shared with future employees – via personal touchpoints or more formally through the Onboarding portal. In this way, employees are given the opportunity to start the job with all relevant, content-related information. To get even more support from HR Cloud technologies in pre-Onboarding and to create added value in the Onboarding experience, training courses can also be provided in advance. For example, this is offered by the HR Cloud provider, Workday. However, organizations should avoid overloading employees with job-specific induction activities before the official start.

Organizational and cultural layer

If we consider the organizational and/ cultural aspects of the Onboarding journey, it is necessary to provide future employees with relevant information in the onboarding portal before their start date. This includes information about the first day at the new employer: where and when is the new employee expected? How will the first day(s) be structured? Similarly, FAQs are a useful addition. However, this also means information about the company itself, such as company values and the organizational structure, should be provided to shape the pre-boarding on an emotional and informative level. The scope of information should be based on the principle of “as little as possible, as much as necessary.”

Communication with personal contacts, such as a buddy or the employee’s own manager, should also be easily accessible to future employees via the Onboarding portal. Of course, first contact should be made by the buddy and the manager.

Social and network layer

As briefly touched on, relevant contacts are directly involved in the pre-boarding of new employees. Buddies and managers act as the first personal contact with new employees immediately after the contract is signed. This is important to ensure regular and reliable communication until the official start. Invitations to team events and for a coffee in the office are also optimal ways to get to know new colleagues before the official start and to round off the employee’s experience in pre-boarding.

Our next Blog #3 takes a closer look at the second phase of the employee-centric Onboarding journey – the acclimation phase.

Our authors

Dr. Sandra Duesing

Vice President in Workforce & Organization and the Global Head of Reinventing HR | Capgemini Invent
As Capability Lead Workforce & Organization at Capgemini Invent with a dedicated focus on Experience Excellence in HR & HR IT, I am passionate to re-imagine work & unlock underlying human potential to drive digital transformation journeys for business and society successfully.

Svenja Stegemann

Senior Consultant in Workforce & Organization | Capgemini Invent

Anne Geiter

Consultant in Workforce & Organization | Capgemini Invent