Finding staff is a problem but the calibre of interviewees on recruitment day was encouraging In a speech made earlier this year, chairman of the Macau Association of Banks Ye Yixin said human resources was one of the biggest challenges facing Macau's banking industry. The talent shortage has forced China Construction Bank (Asia) to resort to new and creative measures to attract employees. The bank held an open recruitment day last month at its main branch in Macau, and the results were positive. Vice-president and head of human resources Grace Lee Shuk-ha said more than 40 applicants attended the open day within four hours, and one-third of them were invited for a second interview. 'We advertised and let people know we were open for them to walk in and attend an interview on the spot,' Ms Lee said. 'The proportion of people that were qualified was pretty good for a small market like Macau.' Ms Lee said the most difficult positions to fill would be frontline sales jobs, and intense competition for service staff meant it was extremely difficult to find 'the right kind of people'. The bank has referral agencies in Zhuhai and Hong Kong with the aim of identifying talented people. Ms Lee said the recruitment day was a new idea for the banking sector in Macau. She said the aim was to try and tempt those people who were 'not quite ready to search for jobs'. 'It was really good that some of the applicants, who are working in banks now, are looking for another job,' she said. 'Others are not, and may come from service industries and sales.' Ms Lee said the bank's Macau expansion provided an ideal opportunity for people to get in at the ground level and advance quickly. 'Our rapid expansion is providing an excellent avenue with ample opportunities for people to pursue their career goals.' The bank has also implemented a series of training programmes to groom staff. 'Talent shortage is not just restricted to Macau. It is similar in Hong Kong as you can do frontline jobs in so many different industries,' Ms Lee said. 'The difficulty is not due to the role itself, but just that there are so many similar jobs available in the market.' She said Macau's banking sector had grown in importance with the enclave's intensive development and would continue to grow, offering new products and services. 'There is only one local bank in Macau, which is Delta Asia Bank. Other banks are mostly subsidiaries of foreign, mainland or Hong Kong-based banks.' China Construction Bank (Macau) became a wholly owned subsidiary of China Construction Bank (Asia) in January last year following a merger. Established as Bank of Canton in 1936, the bank was renamed Security Pacific Asian Bank (Macau) in 1991 and Bank of America (Macau) in 1994.