Employee Transitions: Preboarding, Onboarding, Reboarding, Offboarding

Managing various employee transitions is often challenging. However, when companies get it right, it can dramatically impact the long-term success of your workforce, as well as the organization as a whole.

By examining each of the key employee transitions, companies can create strategic plans designed to bolster results. Here’s a look at each of the major employee transitions – preboarding, onboarding, reboarding, and offboarding – along with insights to ensure your organization gets it right.


Preboarding occurs during the period between a candidate accepting a job offer and starting in the position on their first day. While some consider this part of the broader onboarding process, treating it as a separate event makes it easier to manage.

During preboarding, you want to provide employees with an initial welcome package, including details like copies of employee handbooks and any paperwork you’d like completed in advance. This helps reduce the amount of reading and document completion that can otherwise make their first days tedious.

Additionally, you can add informal meet-and-greets with their manager and colleagues. By doing so, you’re creating opportunities to bond, which can ease the employee’s transition.


Onboarding begins when the employee arrives on their first day. How long it lasts may depend on the employer’s needs and the nature of the position. However, it’s wise to consider this ongoing until the new hire has all of the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve full productivity.

In many cases, comprehensive onboarding is multi-faceted. Along with gatherings designed to relay information and in-person meet-and-greets with key personnel, consider using a buddy program to give the new hire a clear point of contact for questions. Additionally, have a training schedule that the incoming employee can follow, as well as an outline of how their responsibilities will grow in the coming weeks and a list of any associated expectations.


With reboarding, the goal is to reacclimate employees after a long absence. Essentially, it’s designed to refamiliarize them with workplace policies and procedures, help them rebuild critical relationships, and slowly ramp them back up until they reach full productivity.

In many cases, you’ll want to create a drip-style schedule for reintroducing information, ensuring they aren’t overwhelmed. Additionally, it’s wise for managers to meet with the employee to go over position-related goals and expectations, as well as outline a plan for their reintegration into the workplace.


Offboarding occurs once it’s known that an employee is leaving the organization. A key component is a formal plan for transitioning responsibilities to others, ensuring that everything can happen at an appropriate pace and that nothing falls through the cracks.

Scheduling an exit interview is also wise, as that allows your organization to gather necessary details. However, for employees that are voluntarily leaving and in good standing, coordinating good-bye activities like farewell parties or gestures like thank you cards is also wise, ensuring the company makes a positive final impression.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, managing employee transitions can be challenging, but it’s also doable. If you combine the insights above with the right HR tech, you can handle the process strategically, leading to better results.

At Essium, we help leading staffing firms effectively manage their workforces, including the various transitions that occur. Our technology is designed with the recruitment industry in mind, ensuring efficiency and comprehensiveness. Schedule a consultation call with us today!