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Mainland manoeuvres

Published on Friday, 14 Jan 2011
Hang Lung’s Palace 66 in Shanghai is part of a group boasting 50 years’ experience in building and managing a diversified portfolio of properties.
Photo: Jonathan Wong

From building design and engineering works, to property management, Hong Kong's real estate players who have ventured into the mainland are scouting for top-notch talent.

"The real estate business demands exceptional knowledge and managerial capital accumulated over long years, [which] is crucial when developers enter the mainland," says Velencia Lee, Hang Lung Properties' assistant director for corporate affairs. She notes that construction expertise, design creativity and good operations management are also essential qualities for success.

Hang Lung's construction footprint extends from Hong Kong to Shanghai, and second- and third-tier cities such as Shenyang, Jinan, Tianjin, Wuxi and Dalian. As urbanisation grows, Hang Lung plans to complete at least one new world-class commercial property every year for the next five years under the company's "66" brand.

Lee says at various stages of mainland projects, staff members are offered the opportunity to transfer between Hong Kong and mainland offices. Mainland employees are also given the chance to work on Hong Kong projects. She adds that staff secondment not only helps with the transfer of knowledge and experience, it ensures the "Hang Lung" business model and the quest for quality can be sustained.

Hang Lung Properties is the real estate arm of Hang Lung Group, boasting a wealth of 50 years' experience in building and managing a diversified portfolio of properties.

The company looks for young people who are keen to learn and be a part of the business," Lee says. "Our goal is to attract, nurture and retain the best talent who have a vision for the development of the real estate industry."

She says Hang Lung's management trainee programme is a good example of how the company recruits and grooms young people with the necessary passion and knowledge. The programme includes job rotation, working with executives, support through a mentor and buddy system, structured training and development, presentation skills training and participation in a project that forms part of the graduation process.

Participants in the 22-month programme also complete a posting to Hang Lung's mainland offices for up to six months.

"The opportunity to work on the mainland is a positive draw for attracting talent," Lee says.

Part of Hang Lung's intranet allows employees to exchange information about living and working on the mainland.

Lee says the company has a pool of professionals that it can draw on for its future needs. At the same time, the developer is aware it needs to recruit new employees and invest resources in training.

"We have to ensure we keep strengthening our team to carry Hang Lung's business strategies forward," Lee says. "We also need to ensure they have the cultural diversity, leadership and communication skills to facilitate our expanding footprint on the mainland."

She says the company has set challenging standards that require high-calibre professionals. Hang Lung's vision includes acquiring large development sites in prime areas of the most vibrant mainland cities. There is a commitment to employ only the top architectural firms to achieve the highest design quality, and plans to develop the best world-class properties incorporating the latest sustainable features. To achieve the last goal, Hang Lung has created more career opportunities by expanding its environmental project team, comprising staff representatives from different levels and responsible for implementing environmentally friendly measures.  

The Hang Lung Way

  • Management trainee programme includes job rotation
  • Trainees are also expected to work with executives
  • They will get support through a mentor and buddy system
  • Structured training and development will be provided
  • The presentation skills of the trainees will be honed
  • Project participation forms part of the graduation process


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