Monthly Update: October 2011

Market News

A number of large construction companies are forecasting the need for many new hires in the coming 5 years with the MTR in Hong Kong predicting that they will need to employ up to 17,000 alone for their five mega projects alone. However, many of these companies are concerned at the skill level of many of these new hires and are encouraging the relevant institutions to do all they can to up train their students to the correct levels.

'Bridge' photo (c) 2010, Max W - license:

Huaxi, a village in China of some 2000 registered inhabitants, was in the news this month as it put the finishing touches to a 328m super tower. Mixing hospitality, commercial and exhibition space, the centre also includes a 1 tonne solid gold ox in it’s 60th floor lobby!

Home prices in the suburbs of China’s main cities are declining as property developers lower their asking prices to increase their cash flows. The decrease has caused some outrage for early buyers who are now seeing property similar to that which they own now selling for up to 50% less in some instances. Analysts see the correction in prices continuing in the near term.

'Hong Kong and Kowloon' photo (c) 2008, Rachel So - license:

In Hong Kong, the market for premium office space may finally have peaked after topping the standings worldwide for the last 18 months. Rents are expected to fall next year as firms slow their expansion plans in the region. Right now though, vacancy rates remain the lowest in Asia at just 3.7% and are expected to stay that way for the next few months.

Poll Result

This month we asked our readers how they go about finding a new position. The results can be seen below:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most people said they looked for work online and through online advertising medium. In this highly connected world in which we live this is probably to be expected. As a comparison, only a small number (6%) said they responded to written adverts showing perhaps the decline in this area as more people use the internet to search for work, shop and manage their daily lives. An almost equal number of people (26% and 23%) said they often applied to companies regardless of whether they were advertising or used a recruitment consultant. It will be interesting to see if these numbers change if we conduct this poll again perhaps in a year, particular the percentage that use recruitment consultants. We were quite surprised at the relatively small percentage of people (10%) who used their own connections to find work – with networking in Asia being considered an extremely critical part of being successful in the region, we thought that more people would perhaps make use of their contacts to find themselves options.

Thank you again for voting and check back later this month for another poll.

What’s Hot

We have had a recent influx of new positions within the architectural firms in China. The needs remain generally the same with Mandarin language and China experience still rated as important if not essential. We have noticed some firms looking to fill some quite specific positions (e.g. CAD/BIM Managers) and also some firms starting to interview for New Year hires already (both January New Year and Chinese New Year). Quite a few of the design firms are waiting for tenders to come back and many envisage a need to increase headcount once they have received the green light on various schemes. In interior design, needs remain for strong commercial concept designers and mid-senior level hotel designers. Things on the urban design and planning side are a little quieter now that some firms have made some key appointments. However, as always, if there are strong candidates, most firms will generally take a look and meet people.

We also have many more requirements within our developer clients for good project management candidates. Ranging from less experienced PMs through to Project Directors, we have options with many top tier developers for roles in China. Candidates with architectural and design backgrounds are still in extremely high demand and we are working very closely with a couple of niche developers who have some very attractive and slightly different projects on offer. If you are looking for something a little different then we can probably help.

We continue to look for strong engineers and technical staff within our multidisciplinary/engineering clients. Those with M&E backgrounds are of particular interest. We also have a few positions for structural engineers within some smaller consultancies. On the fit out side, we still need some people for a couple of our contractor clients including project managers, engineers and even some health and safety candidates. Corporate office experience would be beneficial with these positions.

Most Urgent Requirements

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

  • Architects and Project Architects – China – landmark projects and the opportunity to work on the developer side with two of our biggest clients
  • Senior Architects – China – Mandarin speakers for a top international design practice
  • Senior Project Manager – Shanghai – International architecture firm with a publicized project
  • Mid Level Interior Designer – Hotels – Hong Kong – boutique hospitality design firm which has grown in recent months
  • Senior Architect – Abu Dhabi – something slightly different with a great international practice. Team leader needed!
  • BIM/CAD Manager (Revit) – Shanghai – a great opportunity to develop the CAD capability of a world renowned design practice
  • Urban Planners – Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen – multiple roles within a growing award winning design firm. Bilingual candidates only
  • Junior to Mid-Level Architect – Shanghai – to work with the small but growing China office of this acclaimed architecture company.
  • E&M Project Managers – China – top tier Hong Kong developer looking for top tier talent
  • Senior Project Managers – China – multiple roles in multiple locations for our many developer clients

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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