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Why Video is Your Most Powerful Onboarding Asset

Isidora Markovic
Isidora Markovic

If a picture speaks a thousand words, a 1 minute video speaks 60,000.

Why use video as a content format at all? 

Effective onboarding is onboarding that speeds up a new hire’s time to productivity. Strong onboarding has shown to speed up a new hire’s time to productivity by 60%.

At eduMe, we think of productive hires as hires that have been successfully empowered by having access to the knowledge they need, when they need it. But it needs to go beyond accessibility to make your workforce successful as a whole - the knowledge must be delivered in an engaging and motivating way.

Video as a content format helps facilitate quicker time to productivity because it's the most engaging format we can consume. 

Our affinity for video as humans is no better exemplified by the fact that video is the most popular type of content consumed online. It makes up 80% of all internet traffic.  

And the best learning is learning content that mimics the way people are increasingly spending their leisure time - i.e. on smartphones, consuming information in bite-sized parcels. (We refer to this strategy as making your team members’ 9-5 resemble their 5-9, in terms of the same seamless technological experience). Employee Onboarding Checklist Template

The pros of using video for onboarding 

Knowledge retention 

Most importantly for the purpose of learning, information that is presented to us through the medium of video is more retainable. 

Our brains are wired to process video content more quickly. We understand visual information in 250 milliseconds and our visual system activates over 50% of our brains.

Since watching a video makes use of both visual and auditory parts of your brain, new team members watching an onboarding video are 95% more likely to retain the information in it, vs. only 10% retained when they read the same information.

This means that they will be able to make use of the knowledge you’ve provided, quicker.


Not only is video optimal for promoting knowledge retention, it is extremely cost-effective. You can wave goodbye the travel costs incurred by conventional onboarding methods. Video enables you to train anyone, anywhere and at any time.

Once the initial resources have been input into the making of a video (and they don’t have to be costly - making onboarding videos can be as simple as purchasing a cheap, smartphone tripod from Amazon and using your own phone) that video exists forevermore, to use whenever it's needed, saving you a huge amount of time in the long-term.

Microsoft managed to cut their training costs through use of video from $320 per hour per participant, down to just $17 per person. That’s $303 per person saved in total.

Similarly, IBM saved $579 million in the first 2 years after they rolled out their video learning program. 


As mentioned - once a video is created it is sitting on standby, ready to be used ad infinitum.

This is where video onboarding avoids the shortcomings of face-to-face onboarding. It doesn’t rely on a new hire being in a certain place, at a certain time, where they hear (and likely forget) a tidbit of information once.

A video, and the knowledge contained within, can be accessed at 10pm at night by a new hire in L.A. or at 3pm by a new hire 5000 miles away in Tokyo. The video can be watched wherever that employee is - be that at home, in a coffee shop, or in an office. 

It can also be viewed as many times as is needed. Before a new hire begins the job (known as 'preboarding'), on their first day, or even three months into the role. In other words - videos work so well because they are available on-demand

On-demand learning is effective because it allows team members to learn at a pace that is ideal for them. One of the presumptions of conventional onboarding practices is that everyone learns at the same speed. 

But in a study carried out by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it was found that “learners with control of study-time allocation significantly outperformed subjects with no control”.


Onboarding is a pivotal moment in the employee life cycle - it’s make or break. 20% of new hires leave a job for a new opportunity within 45 days on account of bad onboarding. Inconsistent onboarding provides a poor experience as it means no two hires are trained to the same level. 

Through leveraging video as a medium, you ensure consistency in the information you are sending out. It’s the same knowledge, delivered in the same tone and to the same standard. Every time.

Often when talking about onboarding we focus on the new hire’s experience. But it’s not just the new hire that is overwhelmed - those responsible for a new hire’s onboarding are often equally as inundated.

By relying on the consistency of video in onboarding, you minimise the chance for “human error” - i.e. someone missing out a vital piece of information that slips their mind, on account of the hectic nature of a first day, for everyone involved. 

If you'd like to see how you can use eduMe's mobile-first platform to deliver the perfect onboarding training to your employees, freelancers or clients, start a free trial or book in a personal demo.

We’ve also created a handy video-making guide to get you started, available here.