Job Seekers Target Siem Reap’s New Hotel

More than 2,000 job seekers are scrambling for 250 highly-coveted staff positions at Siem Reap’s new five-star hotel, the Sofitel Royal Angkor.

About 1,500 applicants appear­ed for job interviews in Siem Reap on Tuesday and Wednes­day. Hundreds of additional candidates started lining up Thurs­day outside the Royal Phnom Penh Hotel for a recruitment push scheduled to end today.

“We are very happy and lucky to see lots of people applying for our hotel,” said Jorgen Christen­sen, Sofitel Royal Angkor’s marketing director who himself just joined the hotel a month ago. He wouldn’t disclose the salaries being offer­ed, but said they are competitive with similar properties. One baker said he accepted a job for $150 a month.

The $20 million property, the second five-star hotel in Siem Reap, is scheduled to open on Oct 1. The French company Accor is managing the hotel for Thai Nakorn Patana Co of Bang­kok, which also owns the Royal Phnom Penh Hotel.

While foreign investors often criticize the lack of human resour­ces in Cambodia, Christen­sen said that is not a problem for the new hotel.

“We have a positive impression of the applicants,” Christensen said, citing many candidates show good command of the English language and a willingness to learn new skills. Half of the applicants already have experience in tourism or service-related jobs, he added. About 130 positions in the food and beverage division, kitchen and housekeeping already had been filled by Thursday afternoon.

Newly hired staff said they believed their jobs would be a boost to their careers.

“I’m positively happy with a new job,” said a baker who has worked at Grand Hotel d’Ang­kor, the other five-star hotel in Siem Reap, for three years. He said the applicant lines were too long in Siem Reap, so he came down by boat to interview in Phnom Penh. He said his salary would go up from $100 to $150 a month.

According to management, the hotel will start training staff in August. The three-story, French colonial style building has 176 rooms, three restaurants and a swimming pool. It is less than 1 km away from rival d’Angkor on the way to the Angkor temples.

“This is another positive development in the tourism industry,” said Tourism Minister Veng Sereyvuth. “Competition would make the industry healthier.”

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