HR hiring across the region has picked up tremendously since the start of 2010, says Matthew Chapman, Managing Director of The Chapman Consulting Group. Singapore and Hong Kong are reporting the most growth, in HR hiring, but Japan, Indonesia, China and India are also very strong. "We really noticed a big spike after the beginning of 2010, and this has intensified month on month in most industries sectors and countries across the region", says Chapman.

We expected things to stabilise in quarter two, but in reality demand just seems to be strengthening, particularly in the busy financial services sector. "All industry sectors are hiring, but the financial services sector has seen significant churn so there are many roles needing to be filled and added".

Chapman feels that many companies have cut into the bone during the recent downturn. "HR functions in many companies were cut to a very lean level, which meant where there was attrition or high growth targets, the existing HR team hasn't been able to cope. With the increased optimism building in some world economies, many companies have felt confident to add headcount".

Despite the improved economic sentiment, Chapman says that HR salaries aren't necessarily rising and companies are continuing to be conservative in offering at-market rates when hiring. "Companies aren't getting carried away with offering big sign-ons or significant increments, like in 2006 or 2007. We are seeing on average five to ten per cent increments. HR practitioners shifting jobs are shifting for reasons other than money, we feel, and these reasons primarily hinge around needing greater career runway, more job challenges and higher quality teams.”