Video Tips

Digital Onboarding Checklist: Cracking the Code to Remote & In-Person Engagement

Eliza Talvola


We all love a free bagel and round-table icebreaker game, but now that many businesses have gone hybrid, there has to be another way to onboard and engage your employees. According to a study by the Wynhurst Group, when employees go through a structured onboarding process, they are 58% more likely to stay with the organization for three years. Now, thanks to digital onboarding tools, onboarding programs are more scalable and engaging than ever.

Remote onboarding isn’t just for remote employees – it’s for any employee or customer who needs a seamless and engaging introduction to your company. So with this onboarding checklist in hand, we’ll show you how and when to use video to create the best onboarding experience possible.

The benefits of a digital onboarding process

Perhaps the most important goal of your onboarding process is making a good first impression for your new hires. There’s no way a wall of text or sky-high stack of forms will embody the best aspects of your business.

With digital onboarding, everything's online, engaging, and oh-so-easy.

So, if you're still stuck in the paper-and-pen era or just looking to spruce up your current onboarding process, it might be time to go digital. Trust us, your HR team will thank you, your new hires will thank you, and your bottom line will thank you.

Benefits for the HR team

Digital onboarding can make your job (or at least one component of your job) way easier. With a digital onboarding plan, you can deliver a consistent and streamlined process so you can cut back on paperwork and focus on getting them through the door.

A study revealed that participants retained only 25% of written or spoken information, but almost 80% of visual information after three hours. After three days, they were shown to have retained a shrinking 10-20% of written or spoken information but still 65% of information learned visually. With tools like video tutorials, shared drive accounts, and training modules, you can share all the most important information in a way that will make it memorable.

These digital channels can also connect employees from the top of the C-suite down through any department and geographic region. As your team of happy employees grows and evolves, you don’t need to bring on another people operations manager, you can just scale up your digital onboarding program to reach everyone.

Benefits for the employees

You won’t be the only one benefitting from a revamped onboarding program! About 65% of people actually prefer to learn through visual content like videos and trainings. A well-executed digital onboarding process shows your commitment to new employees’ success. And happy employees lead to more engaged, dedicated, and long-term employees.

Digital onboarding makes for better first impressions by involving and engaging the employees through videos and interactive experiences. From the moment your new hires press play, they’ll get to truly experience your company culture. With one video, you can showcase your brand, values, missions, and goals in action and inspire them to do their best work.

Your employees will also appreciate how little time it takes to get up to speed. By reducing the time it takes to get integrated into the company, think hours instead of day-long onboarding sessions, you can positively impact retention and productivity.

Now that your new hires are in the door, you can spend less time preparing them to do the work and empower them to get started.

Digital onboarding checklist: What to include in your onboarding program

Modern work demands a flexible approach. Hybrid onboarding seamlessly blends remote learning modules like videos, FAQs, and tutorials with in-person interactions such as meetings and events to get the most out of your program. Before you get started, take a look at this game plan to make sure you hit all the right points. Then grab the tools listed below and follow our checklist step by step.

  • Develop a framework outlining key learning objectives across all formats.
  • Make sure you maintain a consistent visual style and voice throughout the onboarding journey.
  • Regularly emphasize core values and company culture in both digital and in-person interactions.
  • Once done, track key metrics such as time-to-productivity, employee engagement, and retention rates to refine your program and continuously improve the onboarding experience.

Before we dig into what you need to share with new hires, let’s talk about how you’ll share it. For a smooth digital or hybrid onboarding process, make sure you secure these vital tools:

  • Digital doc signing tools: A simple digital document signing tool will make your life a lot easier. They eliminate the wait for physical documents, allowing new hires to sign anywhere, anytime. You probably have a tool like this on-hand already but if not, DocuSign and Honeybook are tried and true favorites.
  • Cloud storage/intranet: This is another must-have tool for businesses so it’s likely already in place in your business. When crafting your onboarding program, make sure that both your team and the new hires can access this info whenever they need it. A Google Drive folder will do, or even better, you can create your own simple intranet that’s easy to navigate.
  • Video maker: And last but not least, a video maker like Animoto will make everything stick together. What makes Animoto an ideal video maker for HR and people ops teams is the variety of templates paired with user-friendly customization tools. Just find a free template, drag and drop in your content, add your brand, and share seamlessly.

So, with these tools on deck, let’s dive into your personalize digital onboarding checklist!

1. employee handbook (free template)

Forget bulky handbooks! For remote and hybrid teams, fostering a strong culture and clear communication is essential. But who wants to sift through a 50-page document? Enter digital employee handbooks! With professional and helpful videos, you can craft a handbook that’s easy to follow and more importantly, engaging.

Here’s a free google doc template to start crafting your digital handbook. In each section, you’ll find video templates and tips to make your handbook come to life.


This is a great starting point for your onboarding process! Use the handbook as your guide, then add the videos and section below to ensure that every employee receives a consistent and empowering experience during their first days onboard.

2. Welcome message

Now it’s time to extend a warm and genuine welcome message to your new hires, and what can make them feel more welcome than a message from the CEO?

Just record a video with your CEO, people operations manager, or departmental lead once, and every employee will feel appreciated and seen from day one.

This video includes a voice-over recording from the new hire’s manager, but you can take it one step further by recording a message via webcam!

3. explainers

Next up is a broad category called explainer videos. They do exactly what you’d think! Explainer videos can be made to explain any number of things including company policies, product features, DEI initiatives, and so much more. These videos are great to keep in your back pocket whenever you come up against a complicated topic that could use an in-depth explanation.

This explainer serves as an overview of the onboarding process and lets new hires know exactly what to expect within their first 30 days!

4. Mission statement

Mission statement videos go beyond simply relaying information – they infuse your company's purpose and passion into the experience. With video clips, photos, testimonials, and more, these videos make new hires feel like they're joining something bigger than themself. A well-crafted video clarifies company values and fosters a sense of belonging and purpose, leading to increased employee loyalty and retention.

These versatile videos can be repurposed for social media or recruitment efforts, maximizing the value you get from your content creation. Here’s a powerful example of a company mission video that can be shared on the company’s hiring page, in the onboarding process, and even on social media.

5. interactive training sessions

Digital onboarding experiences can sometimes feel like a one-way street. But nothing will make your new hires tune out faster than overwhelming them with information. Interactive training sessions can keep trainees engaged with your content. These sessions allow them to participate, ask questions, and solidify their understanding through activities. This not only boosts knowledge retention but also fosters a more positive learning environment. S

Interactive trainings also allow for more personalized learning. New hires can explore topics at their own pace and focus on areas needing more attention. This flexibility caters to different learning styles and ensures everyone gets the most out of the program.

There are lots of ways to make your training videos more engaging, interactive, and memorable. Here is a comprehensive eight-step guide plus eight templates to get you started.

6. FAQs and technical how-tos

With all this new information, your trainees will need opportunities to dig in deeper. That’s where FAQs come in! FAQ videos and guides can easily provide answers and guidance at their convenience, reducing the burden on onboarding specialists and allowing them to focus on more complex topics.

They can easily be updated and expanded as new questions come in, too! Just use this template to make a FAQ video or host a live Q&A session.

When words alone won’t cut it, technical how-to videos visually guide new hires through specific tasks and features. This format is more engaging than text instructions and eliminates room for misinterpretation. With screen and webcam recordings, learners can watch and follow along without asking for asynchronous assistance from your team.

Make remote onboarding more engaging with Animoto

Crafting a digital onboarding experience can feel overwhelming. But Animoto can help you create engaging videos that transform your process and engage your employees like never before!

Animoto makes it easy:

  • Video templates: Find pre-made templates for welcome messages, explainer videos, and more.
  • Simple customization: Drag and drop your content, add your brand, and share!
  • User-friendly interface: No video editing experience required.

Animoto empowers you to create impactful videos that will engage your new hires and set them up for success. Sign up for free today to revolutionize your process and make a great first impression!