Monthly Update: March 2012

Market News

Another month and another opinion has come out regarding a potential property bubble in the markets. This time Hong Kong could be at risk according to the HK Monetary Authority CEO, Norman Chan Tak-lam. He feels that the low mortgage rates in the city mean that the real interest rates are hugely negative. That said he went on to say that strong demand in Hong Kong may lead to interest rates rising thus hopefully preventing a bubble. The thing to perhaps take from this is that we simply don’t know what will happen and that the markets out here are currently really hard to predict!

China’s rail ambitions are still suffering some difficulties. This month it was reported that the plans to link South East Asia to China’s growing high speed rail network were running into issues, this time related to regional political rivalries. Changing governments in the participating countries have decided to reduce China’s participation in some of the projects which could cost Chinese state firms billions of dollars. The uncertainty around the project means that the time-frame for project completion has now doubled to more than 6 years.

Last month in Hong Kong a new Chief Executive was elected who as part of his new role he will look into opening up the market in Hong Kong to more developers. Currently the market is dominated by 4 big developers: Sun Hung Kai, Cheung Kong, Sino Land and Henderson Land. It is hoped that land supply in the next 5 years will be increased and this will draw more newcomers into the market.

The slowdown in China has started to affect one of the biggest cities, Shenzhen. For the last 30 years the city has boomed from being a small fishing village to a metropolis of more than 10 million on the back of factory output and investment in the province. However in the first 2 months of 2012, profit from industrial enterprises has fallen by 3% from a year ago for the first time in a long time perhaps reflecting the downward pressure in growth as described by Premier Wen Jiabao in his government work report.

Poll Result

This month we asked you to tell us what percentage of employers you think understand how to motivate their staff – results below:

The results are pretty telling. Most of you think that only between 10-40% of employers understand how to motivate staff. Nobody thought more than 60% knew which is a startling view. We can only speculate as to the reasons behind this but from a recruitment perspective we find dissatisfaction with a current employer is an increasing reason people look to move jobs – when finding out more, we find a lot of candidates are demotivated and don’t think their companies can offer them the right incentives to succeed. Within the design industry, more and more candidates are telling us they feel they are part of a commercial money making office in Asia rather than a design studio focusing on design quality. As such, staff feel that often their leadership do not care about motivating them and just want to hit monetary targets. What are you views? We would be interested to hear more.

What’s Hot

March has been another busy month for us. We continue to receive new instructions in all sectors.

Within design we are finding ourselves inundated with senior interior design roles in Hong Kong and China. Hotel design experience is most in demand and we have at least 4 different companies looking for team leaders to help develop business for them. We are also looking at retail designers too and of course, strong corporate design staff are always in demand!

I think every month we have highlighted our need for strong Mandarin speaking architects and you’ll all be pleased to hear that things are no different this month! However, clients are increasingly looking for people with more than just the language ability (thankfully) and want to find people that can lead teams and develop business. We have an urgent need in Hong Kong for a Chinese speaking Project Director who can help develop business for a new team.

Within our developer clients we are still in need of Project Managers across all disciplines and with all clients. We have a mix of roles stationed in Hong Kong and China – the Hong Kong roles are in high demand with candidates and clients tend to know this therefore it can be tricky to be considered. People with really strong, proven delivery experience and a knowledge of Hong Kong building regulations will always be considered. Those happy to be stationed in China will have great project opportunities available to them along with extremely strong salary packages.

We are also developing a new area in our business within the Sales and Marketing sectors for property firms across Hong Kong and China. We have a specialist focusing purely in this space and we are currently looking for Senior Leasing Managers with strong retail experience in addition to a number of Marketing and Promotions staff. Keep an eye on our website for the latest vacancies in this area – it looks like we are going to get really busy here in the next month!

Most Urgent Requirements

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

  • Associate Director – Retail Interiors – Exciting Opportunity with one of the Best Firms to work for in Hong Kong
  • Mandarin Speaking Associate/Senior Associate Architects – Hong Kong – Award winning design firm
  • CAD/CAFM Specialist & Occupancy Planner – Beijing – client side role with Top Design Firm.
  • Senior Interior Designers – Hotels – we have needs with many top design firms – team leaders and top designers, all required!
  • Senior Project Manager – Beijing – top tier developer with a luxury hotel project
  • Senior Quantity Surveyor – Beijing – Work within Retail Investment Management with this Top Developer’s fund
  • E&M Project Manager – China – Another top tier developer in Hong Kong looking for a key person on a key project
  • Senior Leasing Manager – Hong Kong – Listed Property Developer looking for Retail Experienced people
  • Promotions Manager – Hong Kong – Listed Property Developer looking for strong PR & Promotions candidates
  • Workplace Team Leader – Hong Kong – a number of opportunities for top corporate interior designers who want to design rather than business develop!

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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