THE CONVENTIONAL wisdom that one should not put all one's eggs in one basket applies to many businesses, including construction. Hong Kong-listed Chun Wo Building Construction is looking to further diversify into property development, but remains a player in civil engineering, building and foundation construction, electrical and mechanical installation and fitting-out works. Chun Wo has undertaken a park-and-ride development in the Choi Hung area, with works involving development, design and construction of a shopping complex with a gross floor area of about 40,000 square feet, a 245,000 sqft residential block, a multistorey car park comprising 504 public parking spaces, and a two-storey public transport interchange with access ramps over Clear Water Bay Road. According to Mike M.W. Chu, a director at Chun Wo, the firm has also ventured into China's property development market, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. The company is developing its property division, and as such is looking for qualified people to help expand the business. As some of the Hong Kong-based staff spend time in China as a result of the firm's presence there, the company needs more people in the SAR to keep up with the work here. 'As we do not have permanent staff in the mainland except the labourers, from time to time some of our staff need to travel to there,' Mr Chu said. Human resources manager Eva Y.L. Leung said the company was looking for a project manager, a general manager, a site engineer, and staff for supporting departments such as accounting and human resources. Property managers and property officers were also needed from time to time. This year the company added more than 200 permanent employees to its headcount, which stands at 1,400. Ms Leung said most newcomers were in the construction field, as this remained the major business of the company. For senior positions such as project manager and general manager for the property development division, Chun Wo seeks chartered surveyors with strong leadership skills and at least 10 years' all-round experience. Construction staff should have relevant academic qualifications and professional membership. Property officers must have at least five years' experience, but academic qualifications are not vital, the minimum requirement being Form Five. 'Attitude is more important. Property managers need to be proactive as they are stationed in the residential properties and face different people,' Ms Leung said. Property managers must have at least eight to 10 years' experience. Like many other construction firms, Chun Wo has its own graduate engineer training programme. Every year the company seeks the most competent people from a pool of engineering graduates. This year, the firm chose two candidates from a list of more than 300. The company started the scheme four years ago and has successfully recruited 33 engineers, 12 of whom have already graduated. Six trainees were chosen for a more rigorous four-year programme dubbed Elite. With a starting monthly salary of $13,000, they are expected to become project managers in about 10 years. In general, Chun Wo looked for employees who were flexible, responsive and open-minded because the construction playground continued to change rapidly, Mr Chu said. 'For instance, now even government bids require much more pre-call information than before. That means more work within the same period of time,' Mr Chu said. 'And because the company has diversified into different businesses, now our staff have to learn new things. So they must be open-minded and respond swiftly to changes.' Though diversification is a challenge, it is also beneficial to the employees. Because of the company's strategy to venture into different businesses, it has not retrenched any staff, even during the economic downturn. Job security aside, every employee receives a contribution towards training fees each year, and for some mandatory courses, the company pays the full fees. site Chun Wo is diversifying into property management and venturing into the China market. It seeks a project manager, general manager, site engineer, and staff for supporting departments such as accounting and human resources. It recruits property management staff from time to time. It requires experienced people who are flexible, responsive, proactive and open-minded. It strives to provide job security and training subsidies. It provides a graduate engineer programme for fresh graduates. It offers an entry salary of $13,000 for those who are selected for the Elite programme.