Welcome! We’re happy to have you join our team. Voiceover for HR or, narration for human resources and onboarding training is a niche market in the eLearning world. In this case, niche does not mean small. An early adopter of eLearning, this genre of training covers all kinds of information – from new employee onboarding to benefit information, company policies and procedures, skills training, safety information, and more.
Before the pandemic, this was a growing market. Through Covid 19, employees worldwide shifted to work from home and suddenly teams were much more widespread geographically. Corporate communications from HR departments and especially onboarding videos and training programs were vitally important for keeping teams informed and up to date. As activities continue to open back up and vaccine counts get higher, some companies favor the move to online learning and will also keep elements of the “new normal”, with hybrid working arrangements or employees who continue to work remotely. The need for clear and regular communication won’t be going away when the virus does.
How Does Voice Over Fit into HR Communications?
In coordinating all the contrasting communication needs of the HR department, there is a natural fit for voice over here. Representing the voice of the company your voiceover artist sets the tone. So it is important the voice of your communications matches the company’s corporate culture. An older established financial institution is going to have a different sound than a new mobile financial bank. A software support team may be very colloquial, and an IT security company’s HR department may call for a future-oriented or a very matter-of-fact tone. Voice actors should be sure to clarify what tone the client desires and if possible do some listening to any public-facing audio and video in order to get an idea of how to best to represent them in your performance.
Onboarding Voiceover for HR
Joining a new company is exciting. But it can also be a bit overwhelming – there’s a lot of information that needs to be absorbed, new skills to learn, new procedures to follow. Voice over for onboarding videos and eLearning programs are often taking the place of face-to-face communications in these circumstances – especially with remote workers. The voice actor’s performance needs to calm, quell fears, set expectations, and invite interaction while keeping in mind that you’re dealing with a lot of emotions. I recently narrated a project for BonSecours Mercy Health HR department and a huge part of their corporate culture is tied into their mission and raison d’etre: catholic ministry. As you can imagine, vocally capturing that warmth, the conviction of purpose and heart that they embody as a health organization was very important.
Benefits and Insurance
Often a company’s benefits and insurance packages are what make them competitive as employers. Prospects and employees often give their loyalties longer to companies that they feel take care of them and have their health and well-being in mind. Narrating a benefits profile or walking employees through training on how to take advantage of what the company offers can be very impactful.
But these are sometimes difficult programs with lots of options and employees can get confused fast, so often the voice over needs to help make understanding them as easy as possible. When I narrated insurance package options for Microsoft employees, the voiceover tone was very relaxed, super conversational, real-person to real-person to help make comprehension easier.
Keeping your delivery engaging is key here because, let’s face it, health insurance options are as clear as mud in the best of times. Every fall we have annual enrolment and every fall it feels like they want us to try to learn how to build an airplane with only IKEA pictures and no written directions. Listening to all those options can either make eyes glaze over or send waves of relief and dare I say, even excitement? To achieve the latter, that voice over should connect with the listener, and keep them interested and attentive.
Safety Voiceover for HR
Another area where making sure the listener pays attention is crucial with safety training. This type of e-learning is abundant and important (it could even be life-saving, and that’s not hyperbolic or melodramatic). Warehouses, mining companies, construction outfits, hospitals, chemical plants, recycling plants, refineries, marine safety, military – there are soooo many places where safety videos and eLearning are used.
In every case, remember you are delivering information that the user must comprehend to keep themselves safe. Bored or distracted listeners who don’t understand the risks may become injured workers, and obviously, no one wants that to happen. Someone’s life may be at stake. The voice over delivery here takes that into account and should be concerned, clear, in the moment, and present without being monotone or tedious. Think favorite coach imparting wisdom rather than Peanuts teacher putting poor Peppermint Patty to sleep.
Communications within HR to HR
One special mention about human resources itself. This is typically a department full of caring people who are committed to helping others achieve success. They are part cheerleader, part guide, part confidante, and part counselor. They are both strong and vulnerable, cheerful and serious. Within human resources, there are regular opportunities for communications about, well, human resources. More specifically, hiring talented employees, promoting high achievers, and reviewing the cost of (bad) hires. Videos and e-learning address how to hire, promote, and even fire, managers from the first line to the c-suite. Videos can also be used to highlight opportunities from within to interested employees. And regularly, expectations and best practices for HR employees are common subjects for e-learning. In these cases, a voice over style with enthusiasm and inspiration reflects the goals of HR and keeps employees engaged and motivated.