Cornerstone OnDemand Sharpens Focus on Content

Gen Z Screens

Cornerstone OnDemand is spending a lot of time talking about content and taking steps to help employers better communicate with their younger employees.

During this week’s third-quarter earnings call, company executives said a continued emphasis on content and data will set the company apart from its competitors and ensure continued growth.

CEO Adam Miller said the “immense volume of data” the company’s collected in recent years provides it with the intelligence necessary to develop a winning content strategy, enable better personalization and create more effective machine learning tools.

Cornerstone OnDemand executives say continued emphasis on content and data will set the company apart from its competitors and ensure continued growth. @CornerstoneInc #HR #HRTech Share on X

“This massive dataset provides us with the insights to optimize our content strategy and enables both personalization and effective machine learning,” he said. “The output is an ability to serve the right content to the right employee at the right time, driving employee engagement, reducing turnover and improving productivity.”

In particular, he said, Cornerstone Originals will strengthen Content Anytime subscriptions with material that addresses a growing set of topics, many of which are focused on younger workers. “We have figured out how to make unique content in a repeatable and scalable way that engages learners and leads to better retention of the subject matter,” Miller said.

The day after the call, Cornerstone Studios launched a series of microlearning courses intended to guide members of Generation Z as they establish themselves in the working world.

Cornerstone’s ‘DNA’

Called Digital Native Advancement (or “DNA”), the series’ topics are tied to professional skill development and address issues such as the etiquette of texting managers, increasing professional clout on social media and preparing for one-to-one sessions with supervisors.

Cornerstone said 47 percent of Gen Z prefers to learn through apps or games. So, DNA’s are designed for mobile viewing and delivered through videos that run for two minutes or less. 

The series includes 27 courses that can be delivered all at once or over the course of a 12-month program. They’re available as part of Cornerstone’s Content Anytime Professional Skills subscription offering.

Miller said the company is “particularly excited” about DNA and how is addresses the needs expressed by many clients who want to help younger workers succeed in business roles. “Gen Z has grown up with multiple screens and with social networks all around them, but hasn’t yet been taught the norms and interpersonal skills that happen in the workplace,” he observed. “The whole series is designed to be binge-watched on a mobile phone and the early feedback we’re getting from our clients has been very positive.”

During the third quarter, Cornerstone reported revenue of $145 million, and 8.2 percent increase from the previous year’s period. Subscription revenue was $134.7 million, up about 15.7 percent from 2018. Operating income was $3.7 million, yielding a margin of 2.6 percent. That compares with $1.6 million and 1.2 percent margin last year.

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