Q&A with HR Tech Influencer Elvis Ha


Elvis Ha
Director of Product Management
Cornerstone OnDemand


In acquiring and implementing new technologies, what’s the one or two most common mistakes HR organizations make?

Any time you add a brand new element to an organization, it requires alignment on shared and measurable goals, and out of all your goals, there should be one goal to rule them all. In product management, we commonly refer to this as a North Star Metric. Leaders must ask themselves what they are trying to improve and outline how they will measure that within a certain timeframe. The pursuit of a North Star Metric provides accountability across all those involved on an initiative. Two potential North Star Metrics you could choose are Productivity and Engagement; choose one to rule over the other in every strategic decision you make, and figure out how to measure it. If your team can’t agree on one, can’t measure it, or forget to drive all decisions in pursuit of it, then your results are going to be less impactful than they could be.

Are there certain strategies that are more effective than others when it comes to getting your workforce to use new HR technologies being put in place?

HR organizations should approach the adoption of technology similar to how one would host a great party. Make sure you prep and plan for a magical experience, so that when your guests start to arrive, they are welcomed warmly and provide them with compelling and relevant content so they immediately get why they’re there. Just like a party, no one wants to be the first person to arrive, so this is really important for them to feel like they’ve already arrived to a happening party. With dozens of technologies at an employee’s disposal, we should be creating captivating and useful programs that are worth the time investment. And in terms of implementation strategies, interoperability allows new technologies to be successful, especially in the workplace. Rather than taking on the challenge of inviting people to an unfamiliar party, consider bringing your valuable new technology to where the party already is happening!

How is HR technology changing the way people work?

We’ve made great strides in creating better work environments and people-first talent strategies, and have empowered HR leaders with data and tools to give them a voice at the table. Now, it’s all about the harmonious alignment between what the organization needs and what the employee desires, which is evolving in an increasingly dynamic world. As adaptability becomes more valued than ever, throughout their careers employees want to continuously check in on where they stand, how they’re progressively realizing their career aspirations, and what their options are. Across the board, technology in the HR space provides leaders and employees with the definition of success within the specific context of the organization. That’s something that you can’t typically get from Google, YouTube or Wikipedia, and something that HR is best-suited to provide, but only in partnership with business leaders and employees. Everyone is beginning to understand that realizing your talent’s career goals by proactively adopting new technologies is not only good for your people, but will make a lasting impact on the business’s culture and bottom line.