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New Construction Jobs in Hong Kong

New construction jobs in Hong Kong
The Maxim Recruitment office in Hong Kong is up & running & we are already finding engineering, construction and quantity surveying jobs for Hong Kong locals and UK & international expats.
In a recent survey of employers in Hong Kong it was identified that almost 75% of companies will be recruiting new staff during 2010, and with this very positive outlook continuing thereafter. The jobs survey related to the employment market in Hong Kong generally and was not specific to the construction industry in particular, but it does demonstrate that the predictions that Hong Kong is becoming the next construction industry boom location are now really starting to happen.

What Levels of staff are to be hired?
Among respondents who indicated an intention to hire staff in the coming three months, 74% said they would hire entry-level staff, 55% intended to hire middle management staff and 15% were setting about the hire of senior staff. Only 4% indicated a need to hire top management staff.  This is an interesting overview, and one that the British construction expat, (in particular those looking to relocate to Hong Kong or the Far East from the Middle East) should consider – most of the jobs available will be for Hong Kong nationals, followed then by expats with worthwhile experience to offer.  Few of the construction jobs in Hong Kong will be for the top end senior people who don’t have a ‘hands on’ involvement in the day to day.  This high level data matches our experience of the Hong Kong construction jobs market; for example we have a number of live Quantity Surveyor/QS & Senior Quantity Surveyor/Senior QS jobs, but only a few urgent Commercial Manager positions. For the latest Hong Kong vacancies visit www.maximrecruitment.co.uk/jobsearch.aspx?Region=Hong+Kong

Pack the suitcase & get your construction job in Hong Kong when you arrive?
Not exactly. Work visas are now much more difficult to get than in years gone by, and we wouldn’t advise this tactic that was so successful for so many in Dubai in 2007/8 and in Hong Kong in the 1990s; get a good construction recruitment agency on your case, do your homework on the cost of living etc, & see how things develop before making plans; as of now it is still early days in the Hong Kong construction boom.

Who are the people who will get a construction job interview in Hong Kong Q3 2010?
Firstly, we can tell from this survey (& our experience in construction recruitment since 2003) who won’t:
1. The commonest reasons for not being invited for a job interview were because job applicants’ work experience was unrelated to the job position available.
2. The next most common reason was the candidate being under-qualified (42%)
3. Then it was their education being unrelated to job position (27%).
(Perhaps all the flack that the best construction recruitment agencies get for not putting forward unsuitable applicants to clients anyway has some basis in fact!...)
In summary here, having civil engineering, infrastructure, rail, tunnelling or piling experience in construction on major projects for an engineering or project management consultant or a major civil engineering contractor will mean your experience is what the construction industry needs in Hong Kong currently. The best UK expats with sensible salary expectations will be interviewed alongside the best bilingual English & Cantonese speaking Hong Kong locals and the best candidate will be selected for the job.  More detail on this in future blog postings by Maxim Recruitment.

So having a great QS/Commercial Manager/Engineer/Project Manager/Estimator CV and
experience in civils/infrastructure/rail/tunnelling & a bit of previous Hong Kong construction experience = Hong Kong job offer?
Unfortunately not according to Maxim’s view of the market or this employment survey.  75% of employers ranked working attitude as the most important element for staff, followed by communication skill (62%) and sense of responsibilities (60%). If you are more interested in asking what the salary and package is before you have convinced the interviewer that you are a committed and hardworking professional, with a genuine expertise in your field, you may well be put to the back of the queue. In Hong Kong it is clear that people work hard and take pride in what they do.  The principle of doing the job properly may come as a shock to those expats who became lazy during the boom in the Middle East in 2008/2009 and came to believe that they were worth the inflated tax free salaries they got for a time.

Hong Kong construction boom = booming salaries and packages right?
The market is definitely moving upwards, and this will only increase as competition for talent increases during 2010 onwards, but there is always the tax in Hong Kong to consider (c16% for a typical construction industry salary). There is also the high cost of accommodation to bear in mind, and of course remember that many jobs are now on ‘local’ packages rather than ‘expat’ packages. Note also that one of the most popular reasons identified in the employment survey for resignation from jobs was “Dissatisfaction with current salary & fringe benefits”. If the UK and Middle East had enough jobs currently for people dare to feel dissatisfied and put their heads above the parapet, I’m sure these locations would be in a position to rival that figure!....
However with the actual staff turnover rate in the Hong Kong jobs market found to be a minute 4.7%, and an amazing 29% of companies reporting they have had no staff leaving their company at all in the past three months, I think that this figure can be put in perspective pretty easily.  If you remain unsure about the desirability of Hong Kong Check out also the location poll we are running on both my Linked in age & the Maxim Recruitment Linked In Company Profile Page; at the current time Hong Kong is by far the most popular location to reside in. http://polls.linkedin.com/p/90035/natsu

Summary
Hong Kong has once again started to become a live and growing construction market, and this is great news for construction job seekers indigenous to Hong Kong as well as great news for both British construction professionals based in a slow UK construction market or those wanting a change from Dubai, the UAE or the Middle East.  If you are a high calibre professional working in construction and have a good CV, reasonable salary expectations and a genuine desire to live in Hong Kong and work on great projects in a world leading location, dust off your CV & send it to a matching job on our website or submit it speculatively to www.maximrecruitment.co.uk/submitcv.aspx

It is preferred that  applications and expressions of interest relating to working in Hong Kong are made via our website.  All applications will be automatically acknowledged, and shortlisted candidates will be either contacted for interview once reviewed & shortlisted, or as and when suitable jobs come available.

Employment survey conducted by Jobsdb Hong Kong & used with permission. Comments on this blog article and suggestions for future articles are very welcome by email to hk@maximrecruitment.co.uk

 

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