With the development of the Macau luxury goods industry, attracting and retaining the right staff has become a priority. The enclave is widely known as an entertainment and gaming centre, and it is undergoing a development stage in the luxury goods business. With a high supply of jobs in the sector and low supply of talent, recruitment has remained one of the greatest human resources challenges. Vicky Wong Wai-yan, founder and managing consultant of EPC Consulting, said: 'There is a serious shortage of well-qualified and experienced retail talent. 'The talent pool is [not adequate] for the retail luxury goods market on many levels, whether it is language abilities, education levels, fashion sense, product knowledge, customer service mentality, technical and management skills, or personalities,' Ms Wong said. Philippe Nesjoua, managing director of Esprit de Luxe, a French retail company that sells high-end products ranging from perfumes and cosmetics to home decoration and accessories, said Macau did not have much experience with the luxury business, which explained why there was a lack of candidates with the right qualifications or mindset for the available jobs. Both Ms Wong and Mr Nesjoua said that apart from recruiting from other cities such as Hong Kong, luxury goods businesses in Macau could try to overcome the problem by training the available local talent. 'Employees must be trained with a sense of customer service,' Mr Nesjoua said. Ms Wong added: 'With an open mind, one can create a helpful and resourceful workforce where you can patiently learn to grow and train your staff.' Mr Nesjoua said that stability was important in the luxury goods business. 'VIPs hate frequent changes of staff, therefore employee retention is essential,' he said. Another issue was that companies in Macau had very little security, said Ms Wong. While it takes 14 days for a company to fire an employee, it takes only seven days for an employee to resign. Companies also have to tackle the multiple issues of a protective market with strict labour and talent import regulations. Ms Wong suggested five tools to retain staff: create a sense of belonging and loyalty among staff; work on company branding; offer remuneration; a healthy work-life balance; and good training. In spite of the challenges, Mr Nesjoua said he saw much expansion in store for Macau. 'The city will see a rise of interest from various countries around the world, where multilingual, multicultural, customer-orientated staff will be highly sought after,' he said. Ms Wong was also optimistic about the city's prospects. 'With solid collaboration between the government and its people, Macau is moving on very well. In five years, the talent market will definitely be much healthier,' she said.