Video in Onboarding

Photograph of Jenefer Livings, Founder of Silk Helix Ltd
27 April 2021
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Bringing someone new into the business, whether through growth or replacement - it’s exciting times. A new start for someone and new ideas into the business. It brings opportunity, learning for both parties. Your new colleague wants to get to know the business and the people they’ll be working with, they want to know they’ve made the right decision and be excited about their career move. You want this person to feel part of the team, understand your culture and values but also bring something new.

The reality is often different - when you recruit someone new, it’s usually because you’re busy. The business growth requires another pair of hands or you’ve been covering a vacancy. You do what you need to recruit and then their first day comes around and you slot meetings around everything else. Great ideas about meeting the team, learning the culture and getting to know the product slowly tail off after a couple of weeks.

Those who have to deliver the information, tell this new starter about them, their role in the company etc are not always as invested as they should be. This is likely to be an interruption in their already busy schedule. If you’re growing fast and having to do this often, it becomes repetitive and the passion you’re supposed to be conveying gets lost.

This all assumes your new person actually starts, we often hear stories of people going through recruitment processes, accepting only to then later turn down the role. They may accept the role with you but have other opportunities still in the pipeline and especially if they’re on a long notice period, they may use this time to keep their options open and evaluate whether they’ve made the right decision. The biggest mistake many companies make with their new hires is to not keep in touch between job offer and start date.

Those that do stay in touch, often do it by sending company documents, the Employee Handbook, contract of employment to read and sign prior to starting. Useful documents, you absolutely should be sending them but not necessarily the most engaging.

Video is an ideal opportunity to drive up engagement, reduce the number of people who don’t start, save costs not only on wasted recruitment but also by improving efficiency and reducing repetitive meetings. So often improving efficiency and going digital reduces the human side, but in this case it will improve it.

Video is used by brands in marketing, it makes prospective customers feel like they know, like and trust a brand. It gives away personality and enables us to know people. It’s significantly more engaging than reading a document! Not only that, it can be used again and again. Think about what your new employee needs to know both before they start and after. Think about how engaging a welcome video would be to someone who has just accepted a job offer. This could introduce them to key people, organisation values and ways of working - reassure them they have made the right decision and make them want to take themselves off the market to other employers.

Yes, you can go too far - your new employee doesn’t want to be watching hours of corporate videos prior to starting their new job. This is about keeping them excited, not boring them. This is about personality and being human, thinking about what they want to know.

It’s also about sharing information consistently. Once they start, there may be further videos that ensure all new starters get the same information about procedures, ways of working and brand messages. You can create a suite of information that is engaging, consistent, efficient and can be referred back to. Who remembers everything they are told on their first day?

If this all sounds great but you’re wondering how? You’ve never filmed before and think it’s going to be expensive to set up? You’ll be shocked by just how cheap and easy it is. If you don’t want to spend any money, using video in onboarding can be as simple as finding someone with an iphone, filming it on the phone and using the Imovie app to edit. Either store the videos on a shared drive for people to view or upload to a youtube channel. If you don’t want the videos to be shared outside of your team, simply upload the video as “unlisted” and only share the link with those who need to see it. These are just the simplest of options, you could buy fancy cameras, lights, microphones, editing software etc and you may want to if you really want to make video part of your strategy, but getting started doesn’t need that complexity.

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