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Remote Onboarding – How to use video in the recruitment process

By: Lydia Bird

Onboarding can be a polarising moment in the life of a new staff member. The experience can be informative, interesting and empowering, or confusing and potentially tedious. With remote onboarding more essential than ever, we explore how video can ensure that employees are motivated and inspired as they complete their journey through the recruitment process. Organisations that do not fully prepare new starters can find that effectiveness is blunted, and in the worst-case new hires can fail to make it through the probationary period. This triggers a costly and time-intensive search for another replacement candidate.

One of the primary goals of the employee onboarding process is to help new hires acclimate to the social and professional expectations of their new work environment. As more companies choose to hire remote workers, as well as adapting to remote working as the new norm, they face the challenge of creating an onboarding process that accomplishes this goal for virtual employees.

Drive a positive on-boarding experience

There are a variety of reasons for a positive onboarding process, not least from a simple bottom line point of view. The average hire costs a considerable sum once recruitment fees, administration and internal time costs for multiple interviews are added up, and retaining good candidates is critical for business success. Preventing early turnover is vital to ensuring all that investment in a new hire is not immediately lost when they leave.

One study by Corning Glass Works found that employees who attended a structured orientation program were 69 percent more likely to stay with the company for three years. The effectiveness of a strong onboarding process is why many large, successful enterprises have highly sophisticated onboarding programmes. Indeed, “best-in-class” companies are 53 percent more likely to begin the onboarding process before day one, according to Aberdeen.

The next challenge in hiring remote workers is creating a sense of identity with the values of the enterprise. Ensuring compliance with expected standards and familiarity with internal workflows is also vital. While a relatively standard recruitment process can be followed right up to appointment, using video interviews via Zoom or similar apps, the onboarding process is the first time that a new hire experiences the full range of business values. This can be overwhelming when delivered in written form. Emailing the company handbook as a PDF should not be the full substance of the experience!

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Video is the key to remote onboarding

A key element of a powerful onboarding experience is video, as the format naturally lends itself to presentations from key members of the business, and is a highly effective method of conveying information. This is particularly important when delivering in-house training to remote workers. 

Many larger enterprises may already have a Learning Management System (LMS) in place, and while this is the best method to organise remote training at a high level, LMS can struggle with the large file sizes of video assets. Additionally, an LMS can potentially silo assets away, reducing their discoverability and reducing reuse.

Most in-person onboarding sessions would contain key presentations from board members or senior managers that might not be personally present on the day. These might include the MD or CEO’s last annual report summary, and a walkthrough of the business and general operations, especially for larger multinational operations. In many cases these assets may already exist in video format, or can be created with minimal overall expense to the business. Once created they can be reused and updated for new starters into the future.

Sharing is caring

The ability to easily share these assets with remote workers in a way that reinforces the brand is the key component. However, organisations that are ill-equipped to deal with video and remote working often resort to sending anonymous download links to enormous Powerpoint files. This immediately breaks any sense of connection with the business, and makes the content harder to assimilate.

It is here that a flexible Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution comes into its own. A DAM enables the seamless sharing of onboarding content, streamed via a branded portal that delivers a stronger feeling of connection to the business.

The challenge of training remote workers

Beyond the initial welcome content, training is one of the most essential parts of the onboarding process. This is especially true in highly-regulated industries that have strict codes of conduct and vital compliance processes to follow.

In today’s business environment, there is a vast body of important training to deliver. This ranges from internal IT matters such as dealing with customer data securely, spotting phishing attacks, maintaining business data security and password management through to practical training such as HSE and COSHH.

Indeed, even purely desk-based roles with little business or physical risk – such as data entry roles for example – might require training on physical workstation configuration. This could be to reduce RSI and other injuries stemming from poor posture, or even just the correct way to use key software or services, such as a corporate VPN. 

Don’t reinvent the wheel

While this might sound daunting, there is good news – many of these assets already exist. VPN providers will have ‘how to’ and ‘FAQ’ assets, usually with an example video walkthrough. While the HSE and other legislative bodies also have multiple assets to help businesses provide training.

Again, providing this body of information in a digestible and easily-viewed format is essential. This should be in-browser to minimise barriers, and streamable to ensure that low-bandwidth connections can access the assets. Most importantly, having a single, dedicated location to search for, find, share and engage with content – perhaps inside a branded portal – ensures that internal staff save time and effort by using already-available assets. Meanwhile, new remote starters have a consistent experience that they can refer back to if needed. This last element can be particularly critical for key training materials on compliance matters, for example.

A good-quality DAM, such as Imagen, ensures that all of this content can be made available in a browser-accessible format with detailed meta-tagging for future discoverability. Importantly, a DAM ensures that the correct access rights are associated with any third-party training content.

Get IT onboard first

Remote workers are most likely to need training from IT, as they’ll be accessing internal systems remotely, some of which will be customised or have specific configurations for each business. In these specific cases, IT support will need to record software demos, or use screen-share functions on video-conferencing apps like Zoom, to walk new staff through the process.

Software demos should ideally only be created for reusable use cases, where they will save considerable time and eliminate inconsistencies in training. It’s worth bearing in mind that complex processes or important compliance workflows may need to be ‘refreshed’ internally at regular intervals, so creating a long-term resource may be desirable anyway.

Ensuring that this important training content is correctly tagged in a DAM is vital, partly so that it is easily discoverable when needed, but also so that it can be easily updated when legislation changes.

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Consistent brand identity

We’ve touched on this several times already, but delivering a coherent sense of business identity is vital to the onboarding process – and here the details are important. Assets that are all consistently watermarked with the current company logo (as well as videos that close with a well-designed, branded outro) not only deliver their core content, but reinforce the business identity almost subconsciously.

Using these branded elements consistently in assets, across departments and in all aspects of on-boarding and training, will maintain that sense of connection. Also, where content is delivered through a web-based portal, it’s important to ensure this portal matches the brand identity of the business too.

Inconsistent branding may seem a small matter, until you notice the chaotic effect it creates in a potential partner or supplier, and wonder how far that inconsistent approach goes internally. A good quality DAM will ensure that brand guidelines are automatically applied to video and image assets, removing any confusion about which the latest logo version is, and removing the need to ask where the latest redesign assets are stored.

Don’t forget the welcome!

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, an onboarding process must make a new starter feel welcome. In the case of remote workers, they will need introductions to their team members, as well as pointers to key individuals they may need to know across the business.

Setting up formal and informal video chats, or using pre-recorded introductions or bios, is a great way to make some of those closer team introductions. And there may also be opportunities to introduce them to your organisation’s culture in a less formal way, through virtual events such as quizzes.

Across the broad spectrum of onboarding processes, video is an essential component to ensuring that new hires feel connected to the business and receive the right training and support. In the future workplace, this will only become more important. Ensuring that your remote onboarding process is set up to take full advantage of video is a smart move.

Secure, accessible all across your organisation, wherever you are in the world, and customisable to match your brand, Imagen is the ultimate platform for businesses using video to engage with their employees and customers. Learn how Imagen can transform your recruitment and remote onboarding process here:

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