How to supercharge your onboarding process with video

With the surge of remote and hybrid work models, video has become more than just a tool of convenience — it’s a foundational piece of communication for forward-thinking brands.

Video onboarding is a creative and effective solution for giving employees everything they need to ramp up quickly, without distance becoming a hurdle. Here’s why it works so well:

Why video onboarding for HR?

In today’s workforce, a positive onboarding experience is critical. Video is a key piece to this puzzle.

Did you know the average US employer spends $4,000 and 24 days hiring a new worker? After expending so many resources finding a new employee, the last thing you want is for that employee to walk out the door shortly after they are hired.

Employee churn takes its toll — on hiring budgets, productivity, and morale. And companies with poorly executed onboarding run a greater risk of this churn. According to Glassdoor, great employee onboarding improves employee retention by up to 82 percent.

Creating a positive onboarding experience is critical. In today’s workforce, video is a key piece to this puzzle.

With the surge of remote and hybrid work models, video has become more than just a tool of convenience — it’s a foundational piece of communication for forward-thinking brands.

Video onboarding is a creative and effective solution for giving employees everything they need to ramp up quickly, without distance becoming a hurdle. Here’s why it works so well:

Assimilate faster

Our brains are wired to remember visual content. Studies show that the average viewer retains 95% of a message when they watch it on video, as opposed to just 10% when they read it on the page.

Today, the speed at which a business moves determines its success. When it comes to remote onboarding, it’s essential that you get your newest staff members acquainted with their roles and your company as soon as possible.

Video onboarding does just that.

It accelerates the learning curve for new staff by providing on-demand content that quickly and effectively teaches them the essentials about how your company operates and how they can best contribute to its success.

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Provide a better employee onboarding experience

Onboarding can make or break an employee experience. In fact, a recent report by G2 shows that 29% of HR professionals see onboarding as the biggest challenge they face when trying to improve employee engagement.

A poorly designed onboarding has lasting effects. Bamboo HR found that 1 in 25 employees will leave their positions because of poor onboarding practices.

Video can elevate your onboarding process, especially when used as a solution for face-to-face training for newcomers. And, because onboarding videos can be hosted on-demand in a content library, employees can watch them over and over again when they need to refer back.

Video also helps employees stay engaged throughout the entire process. A lofty task, but a worthy one. According to Gallup, engaged employees produce better business outcomes — across industry, company size and nationality, in good economic times and bad.

Fine-tune the recruiting process

Recruiting is hard. A resume gives you a sense of a recruit’s qualifications and list of accomplishments, but it doesn’t tell you who that person is or whether or not they’re a good fit for your company.

One way to tackle this is by requiring candidates to create a video recording as part of the recruiting process.

Create a list of specific questions (or borrow from our list below) that extend beyond the scope of their resume to include things like personal interests, hobbies and goals. Anything that will give you a better sense about who they are and why they’d make a good fit.

Bridge the gap with new employees

Joining a new organization presents knowledge and culture learning curves for new employees. Video helps shorten both. 85% of employees say they are most motivated when management offers regular updates on critical company developments and news, and yet, 74% of employees feel they are missing out on this information.

Through regular video calls with team members (think mentors, managers and team meetings), new staff will gain more experience and learn how to navigate your organization’s unique cultural dynamic while feeling connected.

Set your team members up for success from day one

Streamline the onboarding process with a video that tells employees what they need to accomplish first. A short video helps employees understand the steps they must take to successfully onboard in their new role and gives them the resources for doing so.

Measure employee engagement during the onboarding process

When employees are engaged, they are more likely to invest in what they do, which ultimately leads to a higher quality of work. But it’s a challenge to measure employee engagement across traditional channels such as email. Even if you know an email was opened, it’s hard to know what content was read and retained.

With Biteable’s built-in video analytics, it’s easy to track how many team members are watching onboarding videos all the way to the end and which employee locations have the best engagement rates.

Everything you need to build the best onboarding videos

Build your onboarding video library with these six main messages.

Whether you are welcoming employees on their first day, introducing them to the culture, or helping them integrate with company tech, there are plenty of ways to make the onboarding experience easier for new team members. Try out these ideas as you build your own onboarding video library.

A personalized welcome message

While your new remote employee will meet their team soon enough through tools like Zoom calls and Slack messages, creating a welcome video is still an essential part of your video onboarding program.

A personalized welcome message sets an inviting tone from day one, and it can make a big impact in terms of building an emotional connection early on. This short video can feature a message from the company’s CEO, an HR representative, a manager, or members of the new employee’s team.

Suggested guidelines:

  • Length: 2 minutes or less
  • Use this template:

Include the following:

  • A short clip (15-20 seconds) of a passionate leader welcoming the new team member to the organization
  • A picture of the new employee’s team, or headshots of each individual team member
  • A personalized welcome message, specific to the employee’s roles and responsibilities
  • Resources for getting acquainted with the larger organization, (e.g., this is your manager, this is our Slack channel).

Vision and mission

It’s important that each new hire knows and understands your businesses’ vision and mission, as well as how they fit into it. Compared to just reading a text version of mission and vision statements, video does a better job of eliciting an emotional response and creating employee buy-in.

Creating a video with a message from the CEO or other members of your leadership team is a great way to do this.

Suggested guidelines:

  • Length: 2 minutes or less
  • Use this template:

Include the following:

  • Vision and mission statements
  • A short clip (20-30 seconds) of the CEO or another passionate member of your leadership team explaining the importance of the company’s vision and mission
  • How the company’s work aligns with these goals
  • Resources for learning more

Introduce the team

Understanding a company’s structure is essential for new employees to communicate effectively. The focus of each team introduction video might vary depending on what department or team your new hire belongs to. But regardless, it’s important to include a brief overview of everyone from the CEO to the HR manager.

Suggested guidelines:

  • Length: 2 minutes or less
  • Use this template:

Include the following:

  • Pictures or video of the new employee’s team or department
  • A short description of what the team does and any upcoming goals
  • A brief description of where the team sits in the organization
  • Introduction to the company’s leadership, managers of other teams, and any other essential employees your new hire will interact with
  • Fun facts about existing team members
  • Unique team resources (e.g., Slack channel, intranet page)

Help them set up their technology

Setting up new technology can be challenging, especially in a remote position. Help new team members get to work faster by creating a short, informative video that guides them through systems setup, IT policies, and resources for commonly asked questions.

Suggested guidelines:

  • Length: 2 minutes or less
  • Use this template:

Include the following:

  • How to get started
  • Resources for one-on-one support
  • Common tools team members need to access
  • How to access the company intranet or tech-support resources
  • IT policy information such as cybersecurity best practices or how to report phishing
  • Next steps after the team member successfully sets up their technology

Show off your company culture

Company culture has a huge impact on employee happiness, but it’s challenging to make people feel involved, especially in a distributed workforce. Creating videos that focus on fun and personal interests, instead of work, humanizes your business and helps employees feel more connected to each other and the company.

Suggested guidelines:

  • Length: 2 minutes or less
  • Use this template:

Include the following:

  • Use voiceovers or, even better, testimonials from passionate employees and leaders
  • Footage of company spaces (if you work in the office)
  • Show off a great day-in-the-life featuring unique spaces and activities
  • A sense of humor, where it fits

Introduce new employees

Here at Biteable, it’s tradition to task new team members with creating a short video about themselves and posting it in the company’s Slack channel by the end of their first week.

Why? For starters, it’s a fun departure from the administrative tasks and mountains of paperwork involved with acclimating to a new job.

But even more importantly, it introduces new employees to their colleagues in a personalized way without the pressure of scheduling multiple introductory meetings. Sharing personal notes on favorite foods or recent travel helps build relationships and gives employees something to bond over.

Suggested guidelines:

  • Length: 2 minutes or less
  • Use this template:

Include the following:

  • One fun fact about you
  • Where do you live?
  • Where have you worked previously?
  • What is your job?
  • Anything else you’d like the team to know about working with you?
  • What made you want to join our organization?

Tips for creating your onboarding videos

Making onboarding videos is easier than you think, if you follow a few simple best practices.

An effective onboarding experience is about more than communicating corporate HR policies or explaining how to perform day-to-day job functions.

By including a variety of orientation, training, and culture videos, you can help ensure new employees have the tools they need to succeed, are inspired and motivated, and have a strong connection to their new company and team.

  1. Organize your onboarding video series based on what you want to say and when. Before you get started, make some quick notes detailing the three most important topics you need to convey in each video. This will help you stay on track as you build content and keep each video consistent with its unique message.
  2. Start from the top. Don’t just dive straight into the details. Start with high-level topics — who we are, what we do, who are our customers. After all of this, you can dive into the specifics of team members and job functions.
  3. Be authentic. Follow the cultural norms of your company. Don’t puff up the perks of your workplace for the sake of production. If you work in an office, highlight the benefits of the workspace or where teams go for a cup of coffee or quick snack break. If you’re in a distributed or remote workforce, share how you connect different departments and keep them engaged online.
  4. Strike a balance between off-the-cuff and scripted videos. Employees value transparency and authenticity, which should be reflected in your script. Make your content concise, conversational, and professional. Use video as a way to start the conversation, instead of talking one-way to audience members.
  5. Make videos engaging and interesting. Sure, sometimes the content you need to cover is a bit dry. But if you can find ways to make it more engaging, employees are more likely to enjoy the process and retain the information.
  6. Add relevant visuals to improve the viewer experience. Include images and uploaded video where it contributes to the story you’re trying to tell. For example, including a short snippet of the CEO or another leader providing a quick welcome to a new team member feels more personalized and engaging than generic welcome paperwork or slides.
  7. Separate long onboarding videos into individual segments. There’s already a lot to take in during the first few weeks of a new job. Watching a 30+ minute onboarding video filled to the brim with critical details is a sure way to burn out your audience.
  8. Keep your videos short. Don’t bore your employees to tears from day one! Really long videos can be a bit daunting, and people are less likely to watch them all the way through. If you can, stick to just one topic for each video, and break up longer presentations into part 1, 2, 3 etc.
  9. Include a call-to-action. The conversation doesn’t stop once the video is over. Include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your video, instructing the viewer to take a specific action like visiting a webpage or completing a form. This gives the new team member clear instructions as to what you’d like them to accomplish after watching the video.
  10. Offer opportunities for further learning. Learning doesn’t stop when the onboarding process is completed. Videos are a great way to provide additional opportunities for your employees to learn and improve. If your organization offers additional resources, take a moment to highlight those.

More resources for making onboarding videos

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