Thank goodness the hiring freeze is over. Baat Gwaa celebrated over the weekend with a few girlfriends that we are finally getting out of the straitjacket of 'more work, less pay'. More than half of the companies in Hong Kong are expected to increase headcount this year due to rising confidence. Most of Baat Gwaa's friends will be pleased to know that their industries will benefit. The banking and financial services sectors are the most buoyant, with 74 per cent expecting to hire more staff. Other growing industries include legal, media/public relations/advertising, consumer companies, and the manufacturing and industrial sector. The demand for financial information technology specialists is also rising. This is a change from last year when 54 per cent of businesses froze headcount, and there were redundancies in one-fifth of them. Now, bosses realise that staffing levels are unsustainable. Up to 45 per cent plan to increase salaries. A human resources buddy tells Baat Gwaa it's time to change jobs and, because the cards are stacked in our favour, we can take our time. She quips: 'Like the popular Chinese saying - the more habitat changes there are, the fatter the fish.'