THE REAL ESTATE market in the mainland has continued to grow at a fast rate this year despite the government's moves to curb excess demand.
Beijing officials have increased initial down payments for apartments that are more than 90 square metres and also reduced the amount of land available to developers. They have even considered keeping a close eye on foreign property investors.
This has not stopped foreign or local companies from trying to take a slice of the mainland's fast-growing real estate market. Many overseas firms have either acquired a stake in a local firm or grown their share of the market.
Hong Kong real estate company, Hang Lung Properties, is looking to expand beyond its base in Shanghai and wants to build 10 projects in 10 cities across the mainland in the next three years to four years. To achieve its goal, the company needs staff for project, leasing, financial and administration work.
The firm will recruit about 100 people from Hong Kong and the mainland during the next seven months for its projects in Shanghai, Tianjin and Shenyang. It wants up to 22 senior project staff from Hong Kong this year for its Tianjin and Shenyang projects.
Hang Lung executive director Terry Ng Sze-yuen said the company was looking for managers and senior managers with architectural and mechanical engineering backgrounds to build large-scale, luxurious commercial establishments in Tianjin and Shenyang.
It also needs leasing and back-office staff for its well-established Shanghai properties.
Applicants for project staff positions should have relevant academic and professional qualifications and sufficient on-site and project management experience.
Mr Ng said candidates should be self-motivated and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Project staff should ideally also possess good organisational and time-management skills.
Leasing staff and back-office staff should be innovative, self-motivated and service oriented. They should also have excellent communication and negotiation skills with relevant experience and qualifications.
Mr Ng said the company offered a training sponsorship scheme, excellent employee benefits and a competitive reward system to successful applicants. The chosen candidates would get many career advancement opportunities in the mainland as the company was looking to increase its influence in one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
'However, Hang Lung will only employ people with the ability to take up those challenges,' Mr Ng said.
Mr Ng said the company's biggest problem was a shortage of suitable employees.
'It's always difficult to find decent staff who have integrity, loyalty and the authority to lead,' he said.
Mr Ng said the firm offered good salary and training opportunities to attract recruits. It also hoped to add young people to the team by providing a training programme for university graduates who had less than two years of work experience.
Since 2002, Hang Lung has been running a manager training programme for degree holders with good marks to ensure it always has staff with the right qualities, experience and qualifications.
From this year, the firm will start sending five trainees on a six-month training programme to Shanghai. The interns will spend time in different departments and get assignments in which they will need to research the local market.
Mr Ng said the company wanted workers who had experience in Hong Kong and the mainland and were able to work anywhere.
Trainees could work at one of the company's two commercial properties in Shanghai: the Tianjin Hang Lung Plaza, which is under construction, and the Shenyang Hang Lung Plaza. They could also find work in one of the eight other properties that would be set up across the mainland in the next three years to four years.
'Many of them will eventually be posted in parts of China, so it's important they know the market,' Mr Ng said.
The property developer knows the mainland market well, especially Shanghai where it has been operating since 1992 and has two high-end commercial properties - Plaza 66 and Grand Gateway.
The company feels it has sufficiently established itself in Shanghai and wants to invest US$25 billion in 10 properties on the mainland by 2008.
Mr Ng said the company would continue to focus on commercial property, which was very difficult and expensive to acquire as the market developed.
'We can get residential [property] today or tomorrow but it is very difficult to get big blocks of commercial property if it is left too long,' he said.
According to Mr Ng, the future for the mainland is bright and the market will accelerate much faster than the Hong Kong market, which is close to saturation.
'In a range of one to 100, the China property market is about 80, so it is easy to increase business on the mainland,' he said.
Mr Ng said there had never been a better time to join Hang Lung, which was one of the stronger players in the mainland market.
ON THE LIST
Project managers for Tianjin and Shenyang, leasing managers and back-office staff for Shanghai needed
About a 100 experienced staff to be hired in the next seven months
Staff to get continuous training
Management trainees to get extensive Shanghai experience