A hiring freeze remains in place at many direct marketing companies with 30% reporting a freeze compared to 21% in March, according to a recent survey.
While most reported that freezes would be lifted in September or October, others indicated that such policies would remain in place through December.
“Clearly, the direct marketing industry is continuing to retrench and many employers are now telling us they don’t expect much of a turnaround until next year,” said Jerry Bernhart, president of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, Owatonna, MN, which conducted the survey.
When compared with March survey, the first survey conducted, the number of companies planning to add staff dropped about 20%. Among those respondents, 44% said they plan to add staff before the end of September, compared with 74% in March that said hiring would continue during the second quarter.
The additional headcount will be the result of newly created positions. Another 20% reported hiring replacements only, with the remainder adding staff through a combination of both.
For job seekers, survey results showed that the employment outlook is best for candidates in sales, business development and account management. Other positions mentioned most often by direct marketers who plan to hire include analysts, customer service managers, press operators, fulfillment specialists, database administrators, merchandisers and media buyers.
Bernhart said the number of direct marketing-related jobs on the major internet job posting sites is down 50% from a year ago.
“The encouraging news is that only 11% of the companies responding said they plan to reduce staff during the current third quarter, so hopefully the worst of the widespread layoffs is behind us,” said Bernhart.
The survey was conducted during the week of July 9th and was e-mailed to more than 500 direct marketing companies nationwide.