But as everyone remembers, boom can turn to bust and general prospects change almost overnight. So even as employers push ahead with hiring and good candidates once again find themselves fielding multiple job offers, every upbeat assessment or positive report comes with a word of caution attached.
For example, while Matthew Bennett, managing director for recruitment firm Robert Walters, confirms it has been "a good strong period" especially since March, he nevertheless sees no increase in the overall speed of the hiring process. This points to employers - and candidates - thinking long and hard about new appointments.
"That is not a bad thing," Bennett says. "They just want to make sure it is the right move. For candidates, that usually means moving to a secure role in a secure company. For employers, it means taking time over placements in case there is another dip into recession. Line managers are being reminded of the training and revenue [implications] of not making the correct hires."
That said, Bennett is seeing significant hiring activity across all industries and sectors. There is a particular demand for sales people in revenue-generating roles, marketing staff to differentiate a company's products or services, and finance and compliance experts. The spike in tourist arrivals and local consumer confidence is also continuing to boost the need for all types of hotel, catering, retail and customer service staff.
After some big increases in headcount last year, front-office banking appears to be one of a few areas where hiring has slowed, as employers pause to assess their return on investment.
These themes are borne out by data from the South China Morning Post and Classified Post's own analysis of job advertisements placed in Hong Kong's six main recruitment publications. It shows a total of 40,581 ads in this year's first quarter. That represents a 16.3 per cent jump from the 34,899 ads of last year's final quarter and a 21.4 per cent improvement on the 33,430 ads placed in the first three months of 2010. Directly reflecting the rebound in consumer spending, the two sectors creat