HUMAN RESOURCESHiring activity was relatively slower in the first half of the year, with employees holding off switching jobs as they waited for their bonus payouts and salary reviews. Although most companies had aggressive revenue targets, they were cautious in terms of hiring, and focused more on up-skilling existing employees’ capabilities and productivity in the form of training and development. Hiring levels picked up from March onwards, especially after bonuses were paid out. We also saw more financial services organisations outsourcing part of their HR operations to external companies or to lower cost countries. Areas which were typically outsourced included payroll, recruitment and staff mobility assistance.