Monthly Update: July 2011

Market News

Hong Kong was the world’s 3rd largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment in 2010 with an influx of US$69 billion, up 32% on the previous year. However US$76 billion in investment also flowed out making it slightly unclear as to how much of the investment actually remained in Hong Kong.

'Hong Kong' photo (c) 2005, Herry Lawford - license:

Shanghai this month announced plans to develop 7 new satellite cities. As part of China’s 5 year plan the hope is to encourage development of suburban areas rather than focusing simply on downtown development. This should in turn provide a balanced rural and urban development system.

Shui On Land also announced an expansion of it’s “Xiantiandi” brand in Shanghai with the opening of a new district close to Shanghai’s second airport and high speed railway station at Hongqiao. It is hoped that it will mirror the successes of the other Xiantiandi area which it opened 9 years ago and has seen significant increases in it’s rental yields over recent years.

'' photo (c) 2010, The Fool's Age of Wandering - license:

Another month, another record. This time it is the Qingdao Bridge which opened to become the world’s longest sea bridge at 41.5km. Linking to districts in Qingdao, journeys times have been cut by 40 minutes and it is hoped that this will relieve congestion and encourage trade in the area.

Poll Result

This month we asked people to tell us where they would prefer to be based when working on a project. The results can be seen below:

We were not too surprised to see that most respondents, some 59% of you would prefer to be based in a head office location with only regular travel to a project site. Just over 1/3 of you would be happy to be stationed on a project site whilst hardly anyone didn’t want to visit/be stationed at all. We find these result quite interesting and in line with the requests we get from candidates. A willingness to be stationed on a project is the fundamental requirement for a lot of our clients and with so many candidates only wishing to travel to sites it isn’t surprising that demand is extremely high for those who will relocate. The need for staff to be located on sites, often in 2nd or 3rd tier cities in China, is unappealing to a lot of candidates. However it is worth noting that companies, in particular developers, are increasingly offering very strong remuneration packages and regular trips home to those that will make the commitment. We have found that those of our candidates who have been flexible and based themselves in slightly unusual locations have had extremely successful experiences and it has also allowed them to move up the career ladder quickly in comparison to their non-stationing peers.

The response this month was great as always and we’re keen to keep getting your views. There will be another poll to vote on in August so remember to check back soon and we’ll announce things on Twitter/LinkedIn.

What’s Hot

We have had an extremely busy July continuing on with lots of requirements from developers ramping up growth within their teams in mainland China.

Architectural project managers (and those with engineering backgrounds) are still needed for projects in China. Those willing to be stationed are particularly sought after and we’re finding candidates increasingly have a number of options to consider now if they are open to relocation. Senior project leaders are the most sought after candidates – people with solid experience managing and delivering large projects who are also capable of leading a mid/large team.

Mandarin speaking architects remain in high demand with design firms in Hong Kong and China. A push for really strong design talent, particularly those with some big name practices on their CVs is apparent. Work seems to be continuing to flow in for architects and designers and most firms seem to have needs at some level. It is increasingly difficult for international candidates to secure options, particularly if they do not have any China experience or speak the languages. A lot of firms are probably quite well resourced with international candidates so the focus is very much on native Chinese candidates either in China or returning to the region. A range of opportunities exist for candidates in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing and we are keen to speak to design candidates who wish to work on some fantastic projects in China.

Most Urgent Requirements

We have outlined below the urgent vacancies we have had through from clients over the last month.

  • Senior Project Managers – Hong Kong and China – multiple needs from Top Tier Developers
  • Senior Interior Designer – Shanghai – fantastic international retail/mixed used architecture practice
  • Senior Quantity Surveyor – Hong Kong – top developer
  • Architectural Assistants – Shanghai – international design practice
  • Design Director – Shanghai – Lead the studio in a top architectural firm
  • Project Director – China – 2 or 3 positions for a Top Developer to be based on landmark schemes in China
  • Urban Planners – Hong Kong and Shanghai – multiple roles within a growing award winning design firm. Bilingual candidates only
  • Urban Designers – Hong Kong and China – award winning international practice
  • Senior Architects – China – Mandarin speakers needed for a variety of top design names

We also have many, many more roles posted on our website and these are only an overview of our top positions at this time. Please check back regularly. The easiest way to stay up to date with our latest positions is to follow us on Twitter.

Please visit our website for more information on the above roles and our other vacancies:

If you wish to enquire about a position please send an email and your CV to

Follow us on Twitter here: Please also subscribe to our blog by filling in the email subscription form on the right to stay up to date with our latest posts, updates and information.


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