This blog has also been published in Dutch on

A company spends nearly an annual salary on every new hire. And once a company makes this investment, it takes 90 days to onboard this new employee. So, it’s worthwhile to make the onboarding process as efficient as possible. This process starts once the contract is signed, the so-called pre-boarding phase.

The cone of experience

It’s the question whether it is effective to overwhelm new hires with a bunch of paperwork once they sign their contract. According to ‘cone of experience’ people only remember 10 percent of what they read. If you want information to stick in their memory, it’s better to show and tell (for example in a video), as people remember 50 percent of what they see and hear.

Video captures vibe

In general, organizations are too focussed on the practical side of things: as long as a new hire is up and running in no time. New hires are less practical: they want to get to know the company culture, their colleagues and to get acquainted with their surroundings. Text is very two dimensional and often doesn’t give a full picture of the actual vibe in the office. Video onboarding does a better job in showing what it’s like to work in the office on a daily basis.

5 videos you need in your onboarding process

The more videos you create, the more of an archive you create for yourself. It is easy to use video again and again, and for people to rewatch them multiple times. Let’s look at five ways in which video fits perfectly into the onboarding process.

1. Preparing hires for their first day

It’s perfectly normal for new hires to have some first day jitters. However, it helps to take a bit of those nerves away, by preparing new hires for what’s to come. Think of videos that deal with some of the practical stuff: lunch time, copy room, setting up your desk.

Take this recruitment video example of Albert Heijn. People that are interested in a job, immediately get a tour through the store. You get a feel for the work space, you meet some colleagues and you get to know more about opportunities to grow within the company. With this knowledge new hires are already a whole lot more confident once they step inside the office.

2. Company culture video

New hires want to know all about the company culture. They want to know everything about the organization, its people and the office. For example, a nice explanimation about the history and the vision of the organization.

Company culture is more than that: it’s mainly about the people and how they interact with each other. Some offices have an office dog or do a bootcamp together. Take Zendesk. In a three minute video they show potential hires the entire office, the people in it and how they interact with each other.

3. Introducing new colleagues

New hires don’t just want to get to know the organization as a whole, but they are mainly curious about their direct colleagues. Think of short video testimonials in which current employees tell a little bit about themselves.

Video introductions work well for larger corporations, but they also help smaller companies to give an overview of employees. And these testimonials also work for the recruitment process.

4. Training videos

Video also lends itself well for training purposes. Everyone has their own pace when it comes to learning something new. Some people pick it up in no time, while others take a little longer to get the hang of it. In general, it helps to divide the learning process into smaller steps. With video, people can skip ahead or rewind whenever they want.

Using video for training purposes is very insightful for organizations. You can see who is watching the videos, when they are watching and how many times they are watching. You can make these analytics even more accurate by using interactive training videos. Interactive video makes it possible to start asking questions in-video to keep track of the learning curve and you can focus on specific clips in the training process.

5. Employee-generated content

Just as new hires are curious about their colleagues, it also works the other way around. So, it helps to let new faces put their best foot forward on camera.

For example, ask new hires to introduce themselves in a short video. Or let them have lunch with a colleague from another department and record this. And then share this with the rest of the organization. Of course, you should never force anyone to do this, but more and more people are used to recording their work and home life.

Let’s get to work!

The more employees get involved in the onboarding process, the easier it gets. New employees are especially invested in getting to know their peers and the company culture. And video works like a charm.

The five uses of video we mention above only give you a broad idea of what’s possible when it comes to onboarding. If you want to find out what works for your organization, it helps to experiment and just try out various video projects.