Magazine article Talent Development

How to Direct Great Onboarding Videos: Keep These Tips in Mind When Creating Videos for New Hires

Magazine article Talent Development

How to Direct Great Onboarding Videos: Keep These Tips in Mind When Creating Videos for New Hires

Article excerpt

Video is ubiquitous these days, but many organizations don't realize what a powerful tool it can be for getting employees behind your company message when they first join the team. They simply see it as a way to share information--whether it's year-end results, technical training, or other key facts.


Sometimes you do just need to get the facts out, but you're missing a huge opportunity to connect with your people if you only see video as an outlet for information. This is especially the case for talent development professionals who handle their companies' onboarding programs. When used to its fullest potential, video has incredible power to stir people to action. And action is exactly what talent development needs to enhance business.

In other words, you don't want your message to stop when the video ends. You want it to keep going, living on in your people so they can drive change. Through video, employees (and prospective employees) can get to know team members throughout the world, learn about their benefits packages, experience company culture, and see how the organization has empowered its people to do great things outside the office.

Now, while video is full of potential, simply firing up the company camera and starting to record is not enough to create an effective onboarding experience. If you want viewers to act on your message, your video needs to spark a human connection. Don't worry, though. Anyone can do this with some thoughtful preparation.

Get personal

A call-to-action video can't be effective unless it's human. To move viewers, you must get personal, and the best way to do that is by having someone tell a story. And every story needs a storyteller. It doesn't matter who speaks on camera--the CEO, an HR leader, a rising-star assistant--but someone must. Viewers won't feel a connection if they don't see a person behind the company logo.

Take a video I worked on with professional services company KPMG as an example. In only three minutes, the video related stories from several employees about working there. We filmed each person telling the camera about their experience with the company, and then gathered footage of them going through their days. In one part of the video, viewers heard a woman's voice saying, "I'm a very passionate person, and I'm a very driven person" while we showed her exercising outside. This was an easy way to express that although the organization expected excellent results, it also valued its employees' life outside of work.


After watching this video, viewers could construct a narrative in their minds about the company's expectations that was much clearer than the one a list of bullet points would have painted.

Give everyone a voice

When you're developing videos to influence frontline employees, give them a voice in the message. As much as people do want to hear from leaders, there's something to be said for having someone your audience can see as a peer telling the real story about your company.

One example of an organization that does this well is the chemical company BASF. When it prepared a video to showcase how its comprehensive benefits package affects the personal lives of its employees, the creators realized that having the CEO or HR director talk about what the company had to offer would do a good job of explaining the benefits, but the information would have stopped there. …

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