Direct marketers are expecting to make little change in their hiring plans this quarter, according to a survey from by Bernhart Associates Executive Search, Owatonna, MN.
Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they plan to add staff in the coming quarter, unchanged from the fall. A total of 30% said they currently now have a hiring freeze in effect and most said they were unsure when it would be lifted. Nine percent stated that they will be reducing staff and another 6% said they might.
“Any hope that the direct marketing labor market might start staging a turnaround this winter is apparently not in the cards,” said president Jerry Bernhart. “About one-third of the companies responding still have hiring freezes and only about half plan to add to staff. Those two key indicators haven’t improved for the last year and a half.”
He noted that the near-term outlook is best for account managers, sales representatives and analysts, the three job functions that survey results show will be in greatest demand.
“There is one encouraging trend,” Bernhart said. “Among the companies planning to add to staff, new hires will outnumber replacements three to one.”
Bernhard polled 392 direct marketing companies by e-mail earlier this week.