South China Morning Post – Article 7 – Probation Periods

For our most recent South China Morning Post advice column we gave readers some pointers on how best to handle the probation period once they had started a new position.

Please click the following link to open a PDF of the article:

SCMP Article 7 – Probation Periods


South China Morning Post – Article 6 – Handling Notice Periods

Our sixth article for the South China Morning Post gives readers advice on how to handle the awkward time between serving notice and starting a new job.

To see the article please click the link below to open up a PDF:

SCMP Article 6 – Notice Periods

South China Morning Post – Article 5 – Post Offer Pointers

Our fifth article for the South China Morning Post covered advice for how to handle jobs offers.

Please click the link below to open a PDF of the article:

SCMP Article 5 – Post Offer Pointers

South China Morning Post – Article 4 – Get A Good Pay Day

We are continuing to provide career advice in articles for the South China Morning Post each week – our 4th article covered how to handle the tricky art of negotiating a salary.

Please click the link below to open a PDF of the article:

SCMP Article 4 – Get A Good Pay Day

South China Morning Post – Article 3 – Interview Follow Up

Our third South China Morning Post career article looks at how best to follow up following an interview. Article 4 will be published tomorrow (Saturday) so remember to grab your copy!

Please click the link to see the PDF:

SCMP Article 3 – Interview Follow Up

Stats Series 1: Avoiding the Counter Offer Trap

We are starting a series of blog posts entitled the “Stats Series” (“Stats” standing for “Statistics”). As a recruitment business we have access to a lot of recruitment data which gives us the ability to see trends and predict the outcomes in certain scenarios. As part of this series we will be sharing some of these stats with our readers to highlight how they affect certain situations.

Disclaimer: Please note that these stats are very basic level stats which include things such as interview numbers, how many offers we get and the number of starters etc. No personal info is used or shared in these stats.

This week we will look at Counter Offers and the stats surrounding these.

What is a counter offer?

A counter offer is when an employee resigns from their existing company to take up a new offer of employment elsewhere and their existing employer offers them better contractual terms to stay.

We have taken a look back over the last couple of years of counter offer data and were surprised by what the data revealed.

  • In the last 2 years we have had 21 instances of candidates receiving counter offers either for offers we have had for them or offers they have received elsewhere.
  • Of those 21 candidates, 10 candidates rejected the counter offers and moved positions successfully.
  • That leaves 11 candidates who decided to take a counter offer.

Now this is where things get interesting…

  • Of those 11 candidates, 9 came back to us within 3-6 months to express their regret at taking a counter offer.
  • Of these 9 we were able to only reintroduce 4 candidates successfully to the companies that they were originally offered with.
  • The reasons stated by these 9 candidates for why they regretted their decisions included:
    • The company made it very difficult for them once they knew they had intended to leave.
    • The company hired new staff in a clear attempt to replace them.
    • The reasons they had originally wanted to leave did not change with an uplift in salary/title – the problems were still there.
    • Two of the candidates found themselves being relocated to undesirable locations.
  • The 5 other candidate reintroductions were not accepted by the companies that offered them originally for the following two main reasons:
    • The company had subsequently refilled the positions.
    • The company now felt the candidate was unreliable and they were therefore no longer interested.
  • All 5 of those candidates found it incredibly difficult to find a new opportunity following their decision to actually leave their current employer. This was simply because they had already explored most of the job opportunities during their original search and not enough time had passed to allow for them to be reconsidered by companies.

These stats highlight something that we, as recruiters, all know – counter offers do not work for the overwhelming majority of candidates. In a competitive candidate market place it is so much easier for a company to counter offer a member of staff than for them to try and find someone new. But ultimately the relationship between employer and employee is usually irreparably damaged by this point.

We wrote a detailed article on Counter Offers in 2 parts (Part 1 here and Part 2 here) previously.

We will be continuing this stat series in the coming months to highlight other situations faced by clients and candidates and what we can learn from these numbers.

Monthly Update: January 2013

Poll Result

This month we had a really strong response to our poll which asked about what influences you to take a job when taking money/package out of the equation. The results can be seen below:

The most popular response (20%) was based on whether the company had a high staff turnover or not. Close behind (17% and 16%) were based on a company’s reputation in both the press and their general perceived level of prestige in the markets. We were not too surprised to see that the opinion of friends was also deemed important (14%) followed by whether the company had a good reputation with regards to how they treated staff. Overall the most important factors seem to revolve around whether the firm treats their staff well and keeps them and whether they have a good reputation generally in the market.

The answer relating to the opinion of friends is something worth mentioning – we often find candidates turn down options, often before even an interview has taken place, based on what a friend has said about a company – whilst it is extremely important to get the opinion of others before making a final decision on taking a job we would definitely urge caution about deciding on an opportunity BEFORE any interview has even taken place. This is becoming a major reason for some candidates not getting options to consider – the more open minded candidates in the market are the ones who are willing to speak to and meet with companies and who ultimately base their decision on a written offer that they have received. At this point the decision is in the candidate’s hands and they can still elect to turn down the opportunity if they choose but at least they are in a position of power when it comes to being able to negotiate. We would say to all candidates that whilst a number of factors should be taken into consideration when deciding on a particularly company, the best way to assess things fully is to get in front of that company, meet them for interview and see what they have to say and what they can offer. Combining this process with the opinion of others and by considering the company’s overall market reputation puts you in the strongest position to make the right decision about your next move.

What’s Hot

Following the Christmas holidays and in the run up to Chinese New Year we have been inundated with new positions from clients. This is traditionally a slightly unusual time of year with a lot of companies rushing to meet deadlines before the big holiday in China but this year has been slightly different – sentiment in China seems to be improving and clients seem very keen to get people on board early in 2013.

With design and architecture our needs have included new requirements for architects in Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai with practices who have signed new project contracts in early 2013. Candidates with strong design ability and experience with BIM software seem to be in high demand. In Hong Kong, the focus remains with interior design candidates who have a strong mix of hotel and/or corporate experience. More and more companies are looking for staff with in this space and there don’t seem to be enough candidates to fulfill these needs!

Within our Project Management sector our developer clients are ramping up their hiring for 2013 with an increase in the usual requirements for candidates. Namely strong experience in China with a willingness to be stationed on projects in a variety of cities. We have also had an increase in their requests for Hong Kong candidates to be based in Hong Kong who have experience on local projects and who understand how to work with government submissions. We genuinely have a variety of opportunities for good experienced project managers so please do get in touch if you are thinking about your next move.

With sales, marketing and leasing we have received a number of new mandates for candidates both in Hong Kong and China. In China we have a need for strong experienced candidates with good luxury retail brand experience on the leasing side. A top tier developer is also keen to employ a variety of business management and even HR people to their business in Southern China. In Hong Kong, we have a continuing need for good leasing candidates from Assistant to Senior level to work with some very prestigious developers. We have built some extensive relationships with some very desirable firms who are working very closely with us on their needs. Please contact us for information on leasing, marketing or sales positions in Hong Kong or China with some top tier developers.

Most Urgent Requirements

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

  • Project Managers – Hong Kong based on Hong Kong luxury residential projects
  • Senior Interior Designers – hotel experience needed for an award winning firm in Hong Kong
  • Architects – Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai – firms expanding due to new project wins
  • Interior Project and Design Managers – China and Hong Kong options within top tier developers. We have filled a number of these but still need more
  • Leasing Officers and Assistant Leasing Managers – one of Hong Kong’s most desirable developers is now hiring
  • Leasing Officers and Senior Leasing Officers – Retail experience candidates for a developer in Hong Kong – continuing need with lots of openings
  • Senior Project Managers – China – delivery experts needed for a number of projects in China
  • Architectural Assistants – Shanghai (and Singapore) – a leading architecture practice in the region looking for the future stars
  • Interior Designers and Senior Interior Designers – Hong Kong based positions with a hospitality design specialist
  • Senior Architects – Beijing – small office of an international award winning design firm looking to grow
  • HR Manager – Southern China – top tier international developer

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 inquire about a position please send an email and your CV to

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