How to Use Video Training to Accelerate the Employee Onboarding Process

Learn how to make your onboarding processes more efficient by implementing tried and tested video strategies

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Last updated by Cliff Coelho on September 21, 2023

This strategy is for companies who are looking to increase profits without having to create new products or launch new marketing campaigns. Instead, they can reduce costs of their recruitment and onboarding processes.

In fact, it’s exactly what Microsoft experienced when they decided to use video training instead of classroom training. They managed to reduce new-hire costs from $320 per person to just $17.

I’m about to show you how you can accelerate staff productivity while decreasing costs by simply making your onboarding process more efficient. And I’ll show you how to do it with video.

Why video?

  • Highest levels of engagement. Study shows that 75% employees are more likely to watch a video. 
  • High information recall rates. It is proven that viewers retain 95% of the information when they watch a video, compared to 10% when reading written material.
  • Most people are visual learners. Research has found that 65% of the population need to see information to retain it better.

What’s wrong with the current way of onboarding new staff

  • Most companies don’t have a defined onboarding process to help new staff hit the ground running
  • Material is unengaging, so no one is paying attention
  • Content is not updated, so mistakes creep in

As a consequence, companies face:

  • Low output per staff member (aka low productivity)
  • High churn rate as staff is unengaged
  • Delays in delivering projects
  • High employment costs

Here is what the employee onboarding costs look like, according to the HR Industry Benchmark Survey from Australia and New Zealand among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs):

  • new-hires cost more than existing employees (starting from  $19,000/person).
  • HR spends 8 hours/week on average to onboard new employees.
  • 23% of SMBs believe recruitment and induction take up too much time relative to the value they deliver.

If you have a constant need to hire highly technical people, you might face lower productivity and project delays due to ineffective onboardings. Not to mention that costs might be going through the roof as you onboard staff on an ongoing basis.


At this rate, even a 1% increase in productivity can mean a huge improvement to your bottom line. Not to mention that 69% of employees might stay with an employer longer due to effective onboarding.

But first, let me tell you what are the benefits to improve your new employee onboarding process with this video training strategy:

So, how do you make video onboarding play to your advantage? Read on to discover my three-step strategy. 

The 3-Steps To Reduce Downtime by Using Video in the Onboarding Process

There are three major steps you can take to reduce downtime by using video in the onboarding process:

Step 1: Identify a set of core onboarding training activities for each employee

Step 2: Maximize your outdated content with engaging videos

Step 3: Track and measure your progress

Below is a breakdown of how every part of this strategy works. 

Once you follow through with these steps, you will notice visible results: an increase in productivity of new hires, effectiveness, staff downtime decrease, and cost reduction.

Step 1: ​​Identify a Set of Core Onboarding Training Activities For Every New Employee

What would you like your employees to learn on their first day, or the first month, or three months?  The ideal approach is to set some training activities for new employees, outline your onboarding goals, set some milestones, and craft a plan. 

By doing so, you will know exactly what you’re doing at every step of the way. Additionally, a plan will also help you track where each new hire is located in their onboarding journey. Moreover, you can approximate when they’re fully trained to work at full capacity. 

For this to happen, divide your onboarding process into time blocks:

  • The first week 

The first days are about welcoming your new hire, introducing them to the team, and teaching them how to access and use company technology. 

Furthermore, at this point you also explain the most essential processes in your company and provide your new employees with an in-depth description of the job attributions.

More specifically, you introduce them to:

  • Company mission
  • Core values
  • Organizational culture
  • Team orienteering
  • Essential rules 
  • Knowledge hand-off
  • Goals for the new employee
  • The first 30 days

During the first month, your new hire is familiarising themselves with the new work environment. However, to speed up the process and increase efficiency, you’ll need to train them in role-specific tasks. For example:

  • Introduce departments
  • Outline company rules and policies
  • Provide industry training
  • Share tips and tricks to succeed
  • 90 days in

23% of new hires turnover before their first anniversary. So make sure that your new-hires know that the company has yet to offer a great deal of knowledge and development. 

  • Provide opportunities to master new technologies. For example, new programs that will help them automate some of the processes their job requires.
  • Offer training to develop new soft skills, like time management, conflict management, and efficient communication.

With the overview of the plan done, it’s time to get to the how you do it part.


Step 2: Maximize Your Outdated Text Training Material With Engaging Videos

  • Create engaging videos

Research shows that 69% of people say they feel that companies should use more video in their onboarding process.


  • Create engaging videos

Research shows that 69% of people say they feel that companies should use more video in their onboarding process.

As mentioned before, you don’t need to redo your whole onboarding material. You can just upgrade it into a more engaging and effective one by creating videos based on the information you already have. 

So, how do you create engaging videos?

  • Use animated, live-person videos or a combination of both.
  • Add features that highlight or reinforce vital points.
  • Add closed captions, subtitles, or other typography to add more clarity to your materials (include the name of the person appearing on the screen, or interact with the employee in the front of the screen).
  • Offer concise and clear information. Don’t overflow your new hire with unnecessary details.
  • Organise your educational videos so that your new hire can follow a “timeline.”  As an example, take a look at Udemy E-learning courses. They break down their videos into blocks, so that users can track where they’re at and how much of the course they have left . 


But more than that, the user can always come back to a video to rewatch it whenever they wish to freshen up their knowledge. 

By doing so with your onboarding videos, you encourage your new hires to take up individual learning and development.

To make your onboarding video training even more accessible and less time-consuming, upload everything in a cloud-based file-sharing system, such as:

Use these 5 types of employee onboarding video training.

1 .The “Welcome Onboard” video

Research shows that 88% of employees consider that their employer did a poor job in the onboarding process. So make sure to create the best welcoming video that comprises all the information your new hire needs to start their journey.

In a short 5-minute video, you can walk your new hire through the company culture, meet the CEO, see how the workplace functions and guide them through their next steps. 

Not only do you get to tick off all those things, but you also save time by giving the rest of your employees or your HR department room to work on the more important tasks. All this while your new hire is learning independently about your company.  

This type of video also enables everyone to get the same experience. Thus, have a collective opinion about how the organization works.  

Take, for example, the onboarding of new interns at Google. With a 6-minute video, they essentially explain why it is so amazing to work there. They show the Google campus with people walking their dogs, playing volleyball, and at the same time making sure to zero in on the employee’s freedom to explore and innovate. 

As a result, new employees get to have first-hand experience with the atmosphere at Google. Moreover, they get a better understanding of what it means to work there.

2. “Introducing the team or department” video

Also called “team tour” videos, their purpose is to provide a walkthrough of the new employee’s team. 

These virtual team tours promote team assimilation. Moreover, they are a win-win for the new hire when it comes to learning the names and responsibilities of other team members. It saves them the embarrassment of having to ask twice. 

Let’s take a look at the legendary shoe company — Zappos.  During their onboarding process, they use a video where they introduce the key members of the company and interview them about their personal experiences. They use captions to provide the name and job position of each speaking employee.

By adopting a similar approach to Zappos, you help new employees adjust even more quickly.

3. The “Rule of the Road” Video

A study revealed that 73 % of the new employees want to receive a detailed overview of company policies in the first week.

As such, this type of video will help you respond to this need by  quickly providing an overview of the essential rules and policies.

Instead of spending two hours or more on reading company policies, your HR specialist can outline a complex policy and encapsulate it into an engaging video.  In 5 minutes, it will introduce your new-hires to the essential rules and policies, leaving more room to concentrate on priority tasks, ask questions, and follow up clarifications to make sure everyone is on the same page.

But more than that, your new employee can come back and refresh their memory if needed.

Take for example the new employee presentation from Dunkin’ Doughnuts. In a 3-minute video, they explain the most essential rules a new employee should know after filling the new position.

4. The  “Industry Tips and Tricks” Video

What can a new employee wish more than for some tips & tricks to succeed at their new job? 

This type of video is especially useful to provide insights into the aspects that can be learned with experience only.

For example, Grubhub, a food delivery company that constantly hires new drivers, created a 5-minute video where they help out their new employees with practical tips and tricks. Additionally, they highlight certain situations a new hire might stumble upon, and explain how to further proceed. 

Not only is this efficient and proactive, but it also saves the new employee a lot of time otherwise spent on making mistakes and learning from them.

5. The Skill Training Video

Research shows that 76% of employees consider that video training is one of the top factors contributing to effective onboarding.

To strengthen the idea, another research found out that 83% of employees prefer to watch a video to learn how to do a new task. With all arrows pointing towards learning new skills with video training — why not take advantage of this in your onboarding process as well?

It enables you to:

  • Speed up the onboarding process
  • Break down complicated information
  • Ensure better retention
  • Benefit of ten-fold return when an employee starts working at their full capacity
  • Make your employee feel valued

Step 3: Track and measure your progress

  • Create an Onboarding Video Checklist. 

An onboarding checklist will assist you in tracking the progress of your new employees during the onboarding process. And, we all know, there is no better feeling than crossing things off your to-do list. 

But what is this onboarding checklist about?

Well, it includes tasks like:

  1. Sending the welcoming video
  2. Providing a short presentation with essential rules and policies
  3. Giving an overview of the benefits 
  4. Presenting goals and expectations
  5. Making a team tour
  6. Showing how to use the company technology
  7. Tips and tricks to succeed
  • Use platforms like Wistia to measure your progress.

By using platforms that generate reports, you can follow the learning process of each new employee and extract statistics that show you how many times and how long your onboarding videos have been watched. Moreover, you can measure their impact.

 – Wistia 

This is a video hosting platform designed specifically for businesses, providing insightful data and helping you see measurable results from your videos with the help of engagement graphs and heatmaps.

Unlike YouTube that structures its content in a way to drive traffic to its platform and dilute your videos with ads, Wistia focuses solely on hosting your material.

The best part is that Wistia analytics are visual and enable you to see how impactful your training videos have been, in detail.  

Let’s take a closer look at these tools and how you can use them.

  • Heatmaps

These are quite visual and can be analyzed with the help of colour coding. Heatmaps concentrate on a single individual and provide the following data: 

– How many times your video has been watched

– How many times it was replayed 

– Where your videos had a rewind or skip

Use this information to see what parts of your onboarding video are engaging and resonate with your employees.

  • Engagement graphs 

Wistia graphs provide an overview of how your whole audience is playing your video content. Visually, these graphs are divided into two colour sections:

  1. The blue section shows the engagement of your audience. From the moment they were most engaged to the moment when they stopped paying attention.
  2. The orange section provides data on how many times your video was played.

Specifically, you can extract the following data from the engagement graphs:

– Total plays

– Play Rate

– Interaction

– Actions taken

  • A summary

Finally, you can generate a summary with more detailed information on how your new employees engage with your onboarding material.

These reports can help you decide what type of video works best, which one has less engagement, and how people interact with your video training. 

Based on that feedback, you can adjust your strategy and offer even more valuable content to your employees. 

The whole idea is to have an overview of what is happening with your onboarding process.

Want to Increase Onboarding Efficiency by Using Engaging Videos?


If you don’t have the time, expertise, or desire to do all of the above by yourself, we can help you. 

By transforming your existing material into engaging video, we can help you reduce onboarding costs, increase productivity, and reduce your staff downtime. 

Our approach is simple. First, we start by identifying the best video strategy for your business. Next, we turn your existing onboarding material into engaging content. Finally, we make sure you’re 100% satisfied with the finished videos. 

What you’ll need:

  1. A desire to onboard and train your new employees effectively.
  2. A willingness to invest your time and money in video training. 
  3. A long-term mindset

If this is you, book a free 45-minute session with us. If we know we can help, we’ll build with a custom video strategy based around your business goals.

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