A quick LinkedIn search of Pearl Hoang and you’ll see that since 2007, her job titles always had the words ‘human’ or ‘people’ in them — an indication of her passion toward human resources and the responsibilities that come with it.
In this episode of Vietnam Innovators, Dreamplex’s CEO Daan van Rossum joins us in a discussion with Creatory’s former Head of People Operation Pearl Hoang and how a “people’s perspective” drives innovation. Even if she’s already left Creatory, Pearl remains proud to be associated with her former company.
After getting her degree in Advertising, Pearl took a job in customer care for two and a half years. Until an HR opportunity came knocking on her doors, which according to her was the universe's way of telling her where she should be. She felt an instant connection to the role and worked hard on investing time and energy to gain more understanding of this new field she’s found. And eventually, she realized what her passion truly is — to engage with people and support their growth.
Doing what she can with enthusiasm, a friend of hers got her into an assessment program to explain why she’s so drawn to HR. The results showed that one of her desires is to interact with people and from there it was explained how when others experience growth, happiness and success, Pearls feels the same. After she understood that part of her, she never left the HR world again.
As Daan put it, Pearl has found her ikigai — a reason for being, her purpose, that thing that brings her joy and inspiration to get up every single day.
To many, HR is about managing the employees, making sure their salary is released on time, work permits are processed, taxes are filed, but to Pearl, it’s more than that. It’s a partnership, you walk with the employees as they develop their career paths. It’s building goals together, not just for the company but for each individual.
Innovation opportunities in HR
While the majority of Vietnam is under movement restrictions and most of us have been working from home for months now, knowing your company cares for you and is actually doing something to express that ‘care’ is key to a lasting work relationship. With the pandemic that forced us to stay home, companies needed to adapt to change and quickly come up with innovative solutions.
The webinars and virtual activities, no matter how big or small, to keep everyone engaged and connected make the employees feel their company cares for them and would want them to continue to grow and develop despite not being able to see each other. This includes town hall meetings or weekly team gatherings. Even the simple joy of sending vegetables when major cities in the country went into lockdown. Those care packages mean something, it’s a way to say “Hey, I still care about you!”
Daan went on saying “innovation is doing something better every single day” and it’s not just about the big things, it’s mostly the little things that matter most. Pearl believes the same and according to her, there’s a lot of innovation opportunities in HR because, at the end of the day, you’re working with people and in this time of uncertainties, the HR team must quickly adapt and adjust to deliver and fulfill their role as a people-people.
Culture should be authentic
For young companies, the common practice is to copy the big guy’s culture and apply it to their own. It’s usually, “We want to be like that” when seeing what others are doing really well. However, culture should come from within and should be authentic.
When asked how she creates a good culture and how to sustain it, Pearl shared that from the beginning, companies must clearly understand not just what they do but also why they do it. It should come from the people running the company by asking themselves, “Who am I as a leader?”
As soon as they get their purpose, their message, and what kind of solution they can solve for the client, they have to deliver it through the kind of culture they have — what they believe in and let that belief come through.
After all, it’s so easy to say “We believe in this…” but when tough times come, “you’ll see what the company really is about…their priorities, decision making and values.” That’s how you see the culture. It’s not tangible but you can feel it.