Nearly two-thirds of direct marketers surveyed foresee making new hires during first-quarter 2004, up from 51% in fourth-quarter 2003, according to a survey by Bernhart Associates Executive Search.
The quarterly direct marketing employment survey also discovered that 20% of all direct marketing companies still have hiring freezes, a dip from previous levels. And the hiring process has gotten easier: Employers are eliminating cumbersome approval processes before adding employees. “The new jobs index, the one we follow most closely, is up 13% over last quarter representing the biggest quarter-to-quarter increase since the survey began three years ago,” said Jerry Bernhart, president of Owatonna, MN-based Bernhart Associates in a statement. “Plans to add staff are broad-based across all major job categories.”
“We’re also seeing a significant pick-up in recruiting activity from entry level up to senior management,” said Bernhart. “Calls are coming in from both users and suppliers. Boards of Directors are giving executives the green light to add headcount so they can hit more aggressive revenue targets for 2004.”
And those individuals seeking employment reported receiving multiple offers. Only one indicator, the number of companies planning further layoffs, showed a more negative trend increasing to 12% from 9% last quarter. Bernhart attributed that to seasonal layoffs.
A total of 194 direct marketing companies took part in the latest quarterly survey, which was emailed the week of Jan. 11.