B2B Cambodia attended a press event hosted by QHR Solutions, who launched operations in Cambodia earlier in 2020. We had a chance to speak to Victor La, Country Director of QHR Solutions, to find out more about their human resources and talent platform which is aimed at assisting businesses to develop talent management ecosystems in Cambodia.
QHR Solutions Cambodia
QHR Solutions offers an integrated HR management system targeted at a range of business from small business operations, corporate enterprises, and every size of a company in between. In February of 2020, they opened their operations in Phnom Penh as QHR Solutions, to assist Cambodian companies to overcome technological and talent management challenges.
The cloud-based integrated end-to-end HRM platform offers payroll, leave claims, attendance, talent management, learning & development, and recruitment to provide “a powerful yet cost-effective HR solution for a developing economy like Cambodia.”
Victor La addressed a group of diverse Cambodian media at the Topaz Restaurant in Phnom Penh with the topic for the event “Managing the Most Valuable Asset of the Company – The Human Resource”. As an experienced business executive with experience in Canada, Australia, and South East Asia to China, Victor has for the first time set up operations in Cambodia. He does have ties to the Kingdom, however, as his father is Cambodian.
“I like getting people excited about what the future holds for us in the workplace. By building the proper ecosystem, you can use technology to enable rapid change, engage your workforce and empower your staff. Cambodia is in a very unique position to take advantage of its dynamic young workforce. It can utilise the latest technology to accelerate the development of its economy at a scale that will be envied by many. We cannot afford to delay this process any longer, at an average age of 24 years old, the workforce is ready to learn, malleable and eager to embrace technology.”
In addition to the platform and the benefits Victor believes QHR Solutions can bring to companies in Cambodia, he also discussed the future of human resources and the workforce potential in the Kingdom as well as making the most of Intelligent e-Recruitment.
Talent Management in Cambodia
Victor started by explaining what human resource is and what talent management or human capital management are. “The workforce today wants to be developed, in both hard and soft skills. In Cambodia, I have interviewed young Cambodian people and found that with young graduates who have entered the workforce, although money is a big motivator, they want to be engaged and have the motivation to come to work.”
He also identified that different talent has different needs “some people gravitate to a solo work environment and others are better suited to a group environment and you won’t know that just from an interview. This is where we have technology and data that can help with this and accelerate the development and growth of young workers.
You can always teach hard skills but you need people in the right role with the right attitude to excel at what they are doing. We have technology that can predict your talent and work attitude up to 98% accuracy.”
Limitations of human resources in Cambodia?
Victor was asked if he felt the young Cambodian workforce had limitations? “We think there are some limitations in terms of the skillset in the Cambodian workforce but we want to help create an ecosystem of developing this large young talent pool to reach international and ASEAN standards. We think by having systems such as our platform, which works in companies of all sizes, from 3 staff to 5000, you can grow and manage the staff efficiently.”
He also added that “its important to have continuous tracing and trackable courses on a digital platform, which we offer. You can see the areas and courses in which staff are excelling and react and develop to them properly.
With a young workforce like in Cambodia, you really have about 5 years to cultivate the talent before there are more obstacles. This is when you can find amazing talent and build up a talent pool.”
QHR Solutions has spoken to numerous Cambodian based CEOs and Directors since February this year. The range of industries varied from tourism to hospitality, construction and finance.
“In the tourism and hospitality industry, there is a big turnover and its often a manual HR process – which they could not replicate in scale. With our platform, they can create content such as videos to onboard new staff which saves time and make it customised to their business. IP (Intelectual Property) can be shared with all the staff in a company through courses and they can decide how they want to implement processes, and these can be graded.
Offline training is common in Cambodia but this can cost money and time, and they are not sure about the information retention. This is where we feel there is a strong area for us to have an impact.”
Victor also provided examples in the construction industry. “Especially with COVID-19, we feel users could use our integrated app and use facial recognition to check-in and out so the business has real-time data on attendance tracking. This could be crucial for payroll and especially when you have a number of sites. Also for compliance, this is crucial as the systems are integrated and automated which is what the Cambodian government is pushing for. So things like NSSF can be integrated into the system too”.
He added “We feel the solutions can be applied across many industries such as with banks (creating digital ecosystems) with implementing payroll, NSSF, sick days or holidays – so this helps streamline the company. This also applies for people working from home or from multiple locations which tighten up budgets and efficiency. So we need to localise our platform and make sure it’s impactful.”
Going digital in Cambodia
In moving into Cambodia as a new market, Victor feels the approach to digital is important.
“Engagement is important and we try to localise as much as possible. When embracing new technology and feature sets there need to be benefits for the users. If the feature sets make your life easier the adoption rates will be higher. The seamless digital ecosystem is important for this.
That’s why everything is integrated but where we add value is when you can develop skills and career path ambitions and invest in their (staff) future so there is more buy-in. The gamification aspect of learning on our platform creates healthy competition between coworkers and allows managers to see what they are learning.
HR is about culture and building the people and that creates engagement. We want something more robust and dynamic which allows people to grow. If you don’t develop the people, the company won’t be successful.”
This is true for startups too and Victor said that as they need to scale, they need the talent to build the right ecosystem and culture.
Talent retention vs Finding talent
QHR Solutions believes there are two prongs to the talent retention, versus finding talent question.
“At this first stage, we don’t have recruitment in Cambodia. In Singapore we do but we have not yet localised it here. That is also why there is the learning ability on the platform.
Companies want to develop their own people. Every year 160,000 young Cambodians enter the workforce – how do you find the right talent for your company? All the CVs look the same and how do you recruit properly? We have a solution based on data and AI learning which can do this. We have something called Smart Recruitment which will help companies identify the right talent. We will implement this technology to identify 48 different work attitudes and motivation in people.
This means if I am looking for a salesperson, what would the key identifiers be? And I can map this out and from a pool of candidates, so we can find the top ones. This is 98% accurate. We will implement this in Cambodia later in 2020. Right now, we can impact better by helping companies operate more efficiently and develop talent.”
Victor mentioned that Canva, a unicorn company has used the Smart Recruitment tool.
How time-sensitive is the platform from QHR Solutions?
QHR Solutions is committed to providing as much coaching and resources as is needed to companies in Cambodia. “The system is robust and flexible enough to do with it as you need. How much a company uses it and how basic or complex it is, is up to the company and its HR policy” says Victor.
They do offer free training and support 24/7 and in local languages. Victor added that they chose Cambodia as the HQ for operations for the region and that even if they expand they want to make an impact here in Cambodia.
“We bring all of the best practises from Singapore to Cambodia, as Singapore is ranked as the number one best practise place for digital in the region, but as with anything we don’t want to overwhelm the market, we want to grow it incrementally and bring more features in.”
Biggest HR challenges in Cambodia?
Cambodia as a fast developing SEA nation has its own set of challenges in talent and human resources. “Every company realises it needs to digitalise and there are so many choices, especially with COVID-19, so it’s a scary territory and we try to make it as value-added and modular as possible” added Victor.
“When we launched in Cambodia, we wanted to democratise it, so we want to make it as valuable and cost-efficient as possible to implement. So $1 per person for example. If it’s a large corporation with thousands of people we will need to accommodate price-wise. Larger companies want to sign multi-year deals so we will give them discounts.
Also depending on the company, we also want to make an impact. We currently work with a hospital for example where we offer our platform quite cheaply. So if its a company doing social-good (like schools) we would want to help them. So building this community and ecosystem is important for us, so the technology can be used across the board in Cambodia.”