Recruiting in Cambodia (with rocket launchers)

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A few months ago, I started my first job as a recruiter in Cambodia.  I’ve read hundreds of recruitment posts over the past couple of months, and they all hammer home that being proactive, connecting with people in your industry and building your personal brand are key to being a successful recruiter. So, I thought I’d take the first step by writing a blog to see if I receive any reactions.

I’m not one of those people that ‘fell’ into recruitment, as the story normally goes, but rather I have been wanting to experience working in a recruitment agency since I began university in 2013. Due to the fact that I was studying a degree at the time, the standard answer from recruitment agencies was that they couldn’t hire anyone on a part-time basis. This makes sense in hindsight, but still, I’ve been wanting to write this post for a few years now.

So, two days after I completed my final university exam in June this year, I decided to skip the expensive graduation ceremony and hop on a plane to ‘The Wild East’, where I began my job search in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Everything seemed to go according to plan when I arrived, and after a few weeks of riding tuk tuk’s to the different recruitment offices around the city, I began working at Saint Blanquat & A.

It’s been an interesting few months so far, and riding my bike to work through the chaotic peak hour traffic in the morning wakes me up more quickly than any coffee ever could! As you would expect, the days are always hot & humid, and therefore the work dress code is more relaxed. However, I still find myself constantly sweating, which isn’t a lot of fun, but I tell myself it’s okay because at least I don’t have to wear socks to work.

It’s a very culturally diverse work environment with colleagues from Cambodia, India and France, and I hear more French and Khmer on any given day than I do English. It’s also not uncommon for candidates to enter the office and start speaking to me in French, which always makes for an interesting, one-sided conversation!

I’m happy that it took relocating to a new country to have my first experience working at a recruitment agency. I’ve faced more challenges here than if I’d stayed in Australia, and it’s definitely opened up my mind to the different opportunities around the world.

I sometimes spend the 90 minute lunch break (that’s right, 90 minutes…) exploring the famous markets nearby, whilst the smarter locals are sleeping through the tremendous heat. Except for the tuk tuk drivers, who are constantly asking me if I want to go and shoot a rocket launcher… it’s happened more times than you’d think… and they’re not joking.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of ‘Recruiting In Cambodia’. I’m sure I’ll have some more exciting recruitment tidbits to share with you…