Employee Onboarding Video: A Simple Guide

Dragos
Dragos
Founder, robot with feelings. From planet Aiur.

Learn the benefits, types, and best practices for using video during the process of onboarding new employees.

📚 Table of contents

Employee onboarding videos are a great way to kick off the onboarding process and make your new hire feel more connected to the team.

Nowadays, with so many people working remotely, you need that human touch when welcoming new team members. Otherwise, the whole onboarding process will be just staring at their screen and reading instructions, which doesn’t sound fun.

If you’re still on the fence about creating these videos or just want to know more about the process, keep reading!

We’ll explain what you get out of onboarding videos and what types there are, as well as give you a couple of tips to make yours stand out.

Reasons to Use Video for Employee Onboarding

Investing in an onboarding video can be somewhat costly. As a prudent business owner, right now you’re probably wondering if making an onboarding video is worth your company’s resources.

If that’s the case, you should know that as many as 69% of people think videos improve the onboarding process.

That’s our answer in a nutshell. But to understand how exactly onboarding can be improved with a video, let’s take a closer look at all the benefits you stand to gain, at a glance:

Source: Archbee.io

As you can see, onboarding videos can improve information retention and culture immersion. They can also be easily repurposed to benefit employees who have already graduated onboarding.

Let’s examine each benefit in more detail.

Improved Information Retention

The age-old rule of storytelling is to show and not tell. This rule can also be applied to business, especially when training someone for their job, which is precisely where onboarding videos come in handy.

Chances are, you won’t be able to hold all necessary training and orientation sessions face-to-face, and video helps you work around that.

Instead of letting your new hire sit and stare at words for 8 hours a day with no hope of absorbing all the information, show them this data in a fun way and make an excellent, long-lasting first impression.

You might not be convinced yet, but here’s a fun fact: viewers remember 95% of the data shown in a video. Want to know how much information people retain from reading? A measly 10%.

Source: Archbee.io

In other words, your new hires would need to read a text ninetimes to remember as much information as someone does after their first watch. This massive 85% difference in data acquisition alone should be enough to steer you towards video-making, all on its own.

After all, your goal is to do quality onboarding, which means taking enough time to give your hire everything they need to become more independent in their work. If you can do that andsave time, why not?

Faster Immersion of New Hires Into the Company Culture

Using videos in your onboarding can help make the new employee feel like a part of the team sooner, especially if they relate to your company’s values.

You’re the one in charge of the video content, which means you can promote your company culture and emphasize what is truly important to you. Your video can focus on the goals all employees share, the bond they all create with one another, or how much they learn by working for you.

Here are some examples of what the animation company Pixar finds crucial!

Source: Fearless Culture

One of their values is “everybody should be able to talk to anybody,” which shows they don’t take themselves too seriously and don’t care about titles.

Just think about everything you can show off through this media.

You can show them what working for your company is really like, boast about your past successes and introduce your whole team, their quirks and unique personalities, in just a few minutes, making the new employee feel right at home from day one.

Through these videos, your hire will learn what working at your company actually feels like, beyond the mechanics of their job, which means they’ll form ties with their colleagues faster than ever.

Opportunities to Repurpose Video Content

The best thing about using onboarding videos is that you can keep using them throughout the employee’s journey at your company and reuse them for onboarding or even pre-boarding other employees.

Here’s an example of a video that gives some insight into the team at Eventbrite. Notice how it can be used as a welcome video and a source of motivation for candidates to apply for open positions!

If you put time and effort into creating quality videos with a specific purpose, you’ll be able to reuse them throughout the employee’s employment.

For example, think of embedding videos in your knowledge library, which we at Archbee make possible. This is what a checklist for welcoming new employees looks like when it’s made using our documentation software:

Source: Archbee.io

The video is embedded so the person can play it without going to YouTube or another streaming service. This functionality helps you incorporate as many videos into your knowledge base as you want.

Other than onboarding, the videos can help you with knowledge transfer between teams, especially when they are working on projects together.

Moreover, you can also use them for refresher training for seasoned workers. If you’re a company that invests in a social media presence, you can post videos that don’t contain confidential information.

Types of Onboarding Videos You Can Make

Now that you’re officially on the onboarding video hype-train, you need to know more about the different types of videos you and your team can create together.

The good news is that you can create more than one video for various purposes or incorporate elements of several types of videos into one, multi-purpose piece of media. This decision is entirely up to you since you know what works best for your business!

Welcome to the Team Video

The first video you need to think of is the welcome to the team video, the one you will send to your employee first and let them get a feel of the company and what it means to work for you.

What’s great about this type of video is that you can send it even before your employee walks into the office, meaning that you’re giving them a preview of what’s ahead.

Shopee, a Singapore company, published a video that shows the new employee what life is like in their HQ office.

This refreshing video gives the necessary information while keeping the watcher entertained.

You can do something similar in your video. Start with introducing the team in a fun or formal way, give a quick office tour, and explain who the new employee can contact or where they will sit. It’s details like this that make a person feel welcome.

Company Policy Videos

According to PlayPlay, a company policy video should capture the company’s spirit.

Therefore, when you think about making a video explaining your policy, don’t stick to strictly formal things and forget to explain what your company cares about. After all, your policies reflect what you stand for as a company and provide an opportunity for recruits to identify with your organization.

Company policy should be something your entire team believes in and is happy to promote, a goal you’re all working towards together as one, regardless of titles and experience.

The computer software giant Adobe published a welcome video. In it, employees of different backgrounds say they are Adobe. Then, company higher-ups explain what Adobe is and what it is striving to achieve.

The video is short and to the point, giving the impression that all of these different people care deeply about the company and its role in the digital world. Isn’t that the message you want to put out there, too?

Orientation Videos

Orientation videos are a bit more practical, but this doesn’t mean you can’t make them fun or engaging.

In this type of video, you will go more in-depth about a particular aspect of the onboarding process or the position your employee holds. After watching the video, the new hire should understand what you expect.

In this fun sketch video, Manatee County explains what the new employee’s first day will look like. More precisely, they show the new hire where to park and how to get to the HR office, who will take it from there.

On top of that, the video explains the dress code for this particular job and what to bring along on your first workday. If you were the county’s new hire, wouldn’t this video ease your mind just a little bit?

That’s precisely what you should strive to do with your video.

Company Culture Video

A company culture video focuses on what your company stands for and promotes. This is what makes people identify with your company faster and motivates them to stay.

In fact, companies with a strong culture are 3.4x more likely to retain employees than those with a weak one, so it’s essential to promote it from the start.

What better way to do that than to immerse someone in your company culture with their welcome video?

Here’s an example from the software company Atlassian.

Atlassian’s video is warm and upbeat. The first couple of seconds let the viewer know that the company is all about bringing people together. Because of this, they have an open-plan office with communal and social areas.

The video also shows the reality of working during the pandemic, like joining meetings from your bedroom or dining room, not hearing the other person well over a call, or having your pet walk into the frame and steal everyone’s attention (and hearts).

Your company’s culture is everywhere around you when you’re at work. Try to capture and share it with your new recruits with this type of video.

Tips for Shooting Onboarding Videos

Okay, so now that we know why onboarding videos are vital for your company and the different types you can use to get your message across, it’s time to get down to business.

If you’ve decided to create a video of your own, don’t click off just yet! First, let us give you some tips that will bring your directing skills to the next level.

Start With a Script

When making an onboarding video, always work with a script!

Don’t wing it or improvise, as your video might end up being disjointed and contain too much information for a person to retain. Doing this will confuse the audience and do the opposite of what you are going for during onboarding.

So, write a script and include only what’s relevant for the message you’re trying to convey.

For example, suppose you want to do a video like the one by Manatee County. In that case, you should focus more on practical information and less on offering glimpses into the employee’s daily operations, like the Atlassian video.

Source: Archbee.io

Start by creating bullet points for each video you will be making. When you have the pointers, you’ll be able to tell whether you’ve already covered a certain topic in this or a previous video. Don’t repeat yourself too often to avoid boring your new hires.

Keep Them Short

Your onboarding videos are there to introduce your new employee to the company, its culture, employees, or the job they will be doing.

Nobody wants to sit through a 40-minute video on why your company is the best. Instead, find a way to convey a couple of the main points in a 2-3 minute video. Studies show that an average person’s engagement levels decline after the 2-minute mark.

Source: Archbee.io

Therefore, keep your videos short and sweet, but make sure you get your points across. The best way to keep your video short is to stick to your script and cut out all the beating around the bush.

You can produce shorter videos even if you have to cover a more complex theme. In that case, simply break the topic into smaller segments.

For example, instead of creating a long video about the software you use, make shorter videos on each tool you want the employee to master. Employees can always go back to these videos when they need a refresher.

Prepare Your Setup

Before starting filming, make sure that you’ve prepared all the equipment and details.

You should know what you will say and shoot for the video, which locations you will use, and how. With this in mind, it will be easier to prepare for filming, get the equipment like camera and mics ready, and know when you can use which space.

Remember the Shopee video?

The company used aerial shots to show the building from the outside, then followed the employee to different locations, such as the gym, break and meeting rooms, the cafeteria, and the office.

Source: Archbee.io

So, before filming, think of everything you will need to include in these shots. Some videos use additional footage or materials to add to what is being said or shown on screen, so decide if that’s needed for your videos as well. If so, you need to source quality images, too.

Add Subtitles

Your onboarding videos should have subtitles for easier accessibility.

Yes, in perfect conditions, your new hire will listen to the video at full volume.

But, what happens if they can’t turn the sound on, don’t understand what the people in the video are saying, or are hard of hearing? Your videos become unusable at that point, and all your effort goes to waste.

If you think only a handful of people have these requirements, think again. Research shows that 80% of people watch videos with sound off.

Source: Archbee.io

In other words, people simply prefer videos with subtitles, which means you should get on the trend and add subtitles in case someone needs them, for whatever reason that may be.

Many companies repurpose their onboarding videos and post them on social media to attract new employees or customers.

Chances are, these customers will be scrolling through their social media feed with the sound turned off. Therefore, your subtitles will help you bring your message across without the sound.

Conclusion

Onboarding videos are a powerful tool you can use to immerse your new hires into the company culture from the very start and show your business in a good light.

Through these videos, you can emphasize the things your company finds essential and the way it treats employees.

You’ll awaken a sense of belonging and identify with the overall goal and company culture if you get this part right. On top of that, the videos will inform the audience of different aspects of company life.

Isn’t that what onboarding is all about?