Cambodia Investment Review

EuroCham: Harnessing Talent in Cambodia’s Modern Business Landscape

EuroCham: Harnessing Talent in Cambodia’s Modern Business Landscape

Vijian Paramasivam

As Cambodia’s business landscape continues to evolve, triggered by rapid technological progress and disruptive models, human resources (HR) and recruitment processes face new obstacles.

Hiring experts are now blending a variety of strategies, such as utilizing cutting-edge technology, employer branding, implementing employee referral programs, and enhancing the onboarding process to discover suitable candidates. The “Breakfast Talk on Hiring Smart: Effective Techniques for Hiring Top Talent” organized by Eurocham Cambodia spotlighted the urgent necessity to shift from traditional hiring methods towards innovative ones.

EuroCham Cambodia Breakfast Talk on Hiring Smart at Raffles Hotel Phnom Penh on 26 July 2023.

Phoung Leakena, the Human Resources Manager at Bun & Associates, underscored the importance of employer branding in the recruitment strategy. In an era where talent is scarce, a strong employer brand can offer a competitive edge. Leakena explained, “A survey has shown that 75 percent of job seekers will consider the company’s reputation before deciding to apply for a job.” This statistic emphasizes the critical role of cultivating a strong market reputation in attracting prospective employees.

François Schnoebelen, the director of the Ecole d’Hotellerie et de Tourisme Paul Dubrule, agreed with Leakena’s viewpoint. He highlighted that in places like Cambodia, where skilled workers are hard to find, good branding is crucial. Schnoebelen stated, “With good branding, you have a better impact when you approach talents.”

Well-structured succession plan for retaining existing staff

In addition to employer branding, Schnoebelen emphasized the necessity for a well-structured succession plan for retaining existing staff. By identifying internal talents capable of filling vacancies and leading within the organization, companies can maintain staff retention and reduce the costs associated with recruiting.

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Succession planning, according to Schnoebelen, is a key tool in reducing staff turnover, which can often prove expensive for organizations. “By identifying who can take over the (vacant) role and lead within the company, we can maintain staff retention and reduce recruiting that can be expensive,” Schnoebelen explained.

EuroCham Cambodia Breakfast Talk on Hiring Smart at Raffles Hotel Phnom Penh on 26 July 2023.

Furthermore, Schnoebelen asserted that a company’s investment in staff retention strategies allows them to keep their high-performing employees, thus supporting long-term business growth. He suggested that “Internal mobility is a good way to maintain motivation among the staff. Existing staff knows the company’s culture well compared to an outsider. And this is very motivating for them.”

To stay competitive in the evolving hiring landscape, Schnoebelen advocates for embracing agile recruitment methods. These strategies are not only faster but also more efficient in creating a talent pool, especially in technical fields. He mentioned, “There are times you can’t find the person with the exact profile a company needs. You need to be agile. You got to mix and match their key competencies and move their roles within the company.”

Managers to exhibit professionalism and well-honed soft skills

Employee referral programs also play a pivotal role in the modern recruitment process. According to Schnoebelen, such programs help reduce the time-consuming process of hunting for potential candidates. By offering small perks like cash bonuses to staff for referrals, companies can leverage their insider knowledge about the company’s culture and work environment to recruit suitable candidates.

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On the other hand, Keo Oudom, Talent and Technology director at Dynamic Pharma Group, emphasized the need for hiring managers to exhibit professionalism and well-honed soft skills during the recruitment process. He suggested that hiring managers “should be clear on the job scope and the responsibilities of the new staff. They should have a clear KPI roadmap.”

The post-Covid era has seen a shift in job seekers’ priorities, observed Leakena. They are now prioritizing better work environments, training opportunities, and flexible working hours, besides high salaries.

EuroCham Cambodia Breakfast Talk on Hiring Smart at Raffles Hotel Phnom Penh on 26 July 2023.

Chheav Nararth, EuroCham HR Chairman, reiterated that hiring top talents in Cambodia is an arduous, time-consuming process requiring considerable efforts. He asserted that “Companies hiring top talents must find ways to distinguish themselves from their competitors. This includes providing competitive salaries and benefits, investing in training and development, and creating positive work environments.”

The path to assembling a talented workforce in today’s changing business environment necessitates a shift to innovative recruitment techniques. It includes strengthening employer branding, implementing effective staff retention and referral strategies, and promoting a company culture that aligns with employees’ evolving expectations.

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