By Stephanie Lucero, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Employment recruiters say business is heating up after a slow recessionary period that forced many employment firms to lay off employees.

“Well it’s definitely improving” says Keith Pearson, the President of Pearson Partners International.  “It could always be better.”

Pearson says his firm made a decision not to lay off any employees during the recession “at a great cost to profitability.”

Pearson Partners International recruits executives “from the director level to the boardroom in most industries” and Pearson says since last August business has been steadily increasing.  The company says last year executive job searches lasted nine to 12 months.  Now they say it takes four to six months.

“People are starting to get more confident, so people will leave jobs, creating attrition, creating opportunities and companies will gain confidence in making investments, growing and hiring people” says Pearson.

Shelley Nunley of Plano is hoping the uptick in job opportunities will help her find work.  Nunley started actively looking for a job in sales and marketing in 2009, after spending several years as a “stay-at-home” mother.

“It’s been very humbling, very humbling experience, but I know I’ll soar” says Nunley.  Nunley says was making six-figures before the recession and she believes that has not helped her in her search for employment.  “I’m walking in doors and I’m asking for managers and I’m saying, hey, I’m Shelley Nunley and this is what I do.  Can I give you my resume?”

Nunley says her boyfriend recently moved in with her to help with bills.   Her six-year-old daughter, Rachel, is in kindergarten and unaware of the financial concerns, except when she wants fast food after school.  Nunley says that’s when she has to tell her daughter she doesn’t have enough money to buy extra items that came easy in the past.

Pearson believes the job market is heating up and he’s now planning to hire new people to help with the work load.  “The growth we’re seeing is replacing people who were reduced or eliminated a few years ago but a lot of it is hiring different types of people” say Pearson.  He says news opportunities have been born out of the recession and the mortgage crisis.  Clients processing banking paperwork as part of foreclosures is one area that’s in need of more employees.