You have to admit the signs are looking good this year. I have personally only just got back to the office, but I came back to a very upbeat recruitment team working on a large number of new roles and an incredible amount of temp work that has come in over the last two weeks.

Our Wellington office has gone from flatlining before Christmas to new positions being called in on a daily basis - they too are now finally busy.

From the very start of January we have had large volumes of candidates looking for a change of roles, returning from overseas (predominantly the UK) or still seeking opportunities running on from last year. The candidate market is an interesting mix.

As we post a number of new positions we are still getting many applicants who want to have a total change in career. However our clients are even more specific and when recruiting they want that "perfect" candidate. A good percentage of candidates are going through the interview process and getting multiple offers.

This leads to old games of playing one potential employer off against the other or against their current employer. I have even heard of instances where candidates accept permanent roles and then later call back and saying they have found a better opportunity or worse, not turning up on their first day! These disappointing scenarios are generally driven by money.

Frustration is certainly setting in. Some candidates have a very blasé attitude when being shown very good opportunities; if it's not the perfect salary, location or is just slightly outside of their own wish list, they will wait for something else to come along. Many candidates, having made it through the phone screening process, which consultants perform rigorously, don't even show up for interview. What kind of people do we have out there now looking for work?

There is no consideration given to how much time is put into the screening and interview process by recruitment consultants. When registering with an agency, the majority of us take a great deal of time to get to know candidates and get a really good idea of what job will work for them. Are we already regrettably seeing signs of old where the candidate feels they hold the cards? The industry has seen this before.

We have also seen a significant increase in exceptionally well skilled candidates returning from the UK and Canada, the kind of numbers coming through have not been seen for years. The candidates are often New Zealanders returning from long stints away or a shortened OE or in fact there are many people moving to New Zealand having never been here before because they have heard positive things about the job market and the prospects available. They have had enough of the employment market abroad and the winter has also driven them home.

So far, the clients we have spoken with are keen to get into the year positively. They are either recruiting now or about to recruit in the near future. Temps or contractors are filling the gaps until the details of permanent positions are finalised. Temporary candidates who have been in long term assignments are now seeing the market change and when offered their temp role permanently, which is inevitable in most cases, are now thinking twice or not committing as they too want to see what else is available.

There hasn't been much movement on salaries, budgets are still tight. There is an expectation that agencies have large volumes of A+ candidates to choose from which sadly is not the case. In fact, the last time I remember having the ability to select applicants from a long list of equally qualified candidates for a short list was in the late nineties.

We have not yet identified a particular industry sector that is driving the recruitment market first for new staff, at this stage it has been spread around. I expect to notice trends emerging in the next couple of months.

The overall sentiment in the market place is positive. Because of this I would envisage most of us in the Recruitment industry will grow in numbers again this year. We are all in for a better year.

* Kate Ross is the managing director of Kinetic Recruitment