What makes a great induction video?

In theory, induction videos are a perfect way to introduce new employees to a company, its values and its workings. In reality, far too many induction videos reveal their parent company to be cringe-inducing, boring or trying too hard. They really can be quite difficult to sit through, but that’s often because they’re difficult to…

Induction videos are a perfect way to introduce new employees to a company, its values and its workings.

In theory, induction videos are a perfect way to introduce new employees to a company, its values and its workings. In reality, far too many induction videos reveal their parent company to be cringe-inducing, boring or trying too hard. They really can be quite difficult to sit through, but that’s often because they’re difficult to get right.

Luckily, here at TellyJuice, we get all sorts of corporate videos right and induction videos are no exception. Here we look at just what it takes to make a great induction video.

Know your audience

There is nothing more important than knowing your audience when you make any video, induction or otherwise. With an induction video, it is best to target each department or job role individually. That way you can include details about the whole company, but no employee will have to watch anything they don’t need to know.

Alternatively you could make sure your video is broad enough to apply to every employee. This induction video from St George’s Hospital doesn’t quite strike the balance, but it gets close.

Though the video is slick and stylish and provides a sense of orientation, it seems unlikely that even half of the information would be relevant to one individual employee. Research has shown that it is important for companies to encourage employee individuality from day one. Making sure the video is directly applicable to an individual will make a good start.

Involve your company but keep it professional

In the next video,

Co-owners Warwick and Ian are Enterprise’s answer to Ant & Dec and the rest of the video’s speakers are Enterprise employees. This is a nice way to introduce them to new workers, but it would be better to meet them in real life. Because no matter how skilled these people are at recruiting, they are not particularly good at delivering lines. Talking to camera (and reading an autocue in their case is far more difficult than you may realise, which is why Ant & Dec have so many television awards and Warwick and Ian don’t. A graphic with a name and job title would have been beneficial too.

St George’s induction video does a better job of introducing employees by using text overlay graphics to relay information while the real life staff do what they do best. Which is smile and look at the camera, apparently. A much more natural and achievable on-camera performance.

Explain enough, but not too much

Induction and orientation videos are a great medium for informing viewers about their new job. But some things are better said in a manual or a training session. Not to knock Warwick & Ian again, but Enterprise’s video spends a lot of time getting bogged down in the details. Induction videos should be brief and broad.

Rather than teach new workers how to do their jobs, induction videos can quickly tell them about the company ethos and brand image. This orientation video from McDonald’s does this well.

It quickly outlines the McDonald’s story, elevating founder Ray Kroc to near-Saint Paul status as a man with a “vision.” It also effectively conveys just how desperate McDonald’s is to be seen as a healthy restaurant, even though this view is both unpopular and false. At times it seems the video is attempting to persuade new recruits not to regret their career choice. Again, a fine representation of the McDonald’s brand.

The risk here is that the video could become too much about the company and not enough about the employee, so make sure you don’t forget your audience.

Don’t try too hard to be ‘cool’

If you follow these guidelines so far you should have a half decent induction video. But there is one area where many companies get it wrong. Whether they are recruiting young people or hoping recruits see their managers as ‘trendy’ and ‘hip’, some businesses try to come off as ‘cool’ in their videos, with mixed results.

These ‘cool’ videos are the ones that cause the most suffering. There is no better example than the following video from HMV:

In this video, HMV redub an episode of The Simpsons to make Troy McClure talk viewers through the company’s core values. The video then cuts to clips from different popular movies and TV shows, again overdubbed with actors relaying HMV’s core values.

On paper, this actually sounds quite clever and they certainly win points for making an effort, but it’s the execution that is off. Not to mention the shocking breech of copyright by using so many blockbuster films for HMV’s commercial gain.

It is difficult to make a great induction video, you need a fine balance of information, personality, company core values and entertainment. Here at TellyJuice, though, we’re sure we can pull it off.

Posted by on Tuesday 01 November, 2016

Filed under Internal Communications