One third of all companies are reporting hiring freezes, up from 26% last quarter, according to a study of hiring practices in the direct marketing industry.
Furthermore, the number of firms anticipating staff reductions rose from 9% to 11%, according to Bernhart Associates Executive Search, which coordinated the research.
The news isn’t all bad: Within this quarter 55% of all respondents are looking to hire, up from 49% in last quarter — and those are new positions, not just jobs that have been vacated.
Some companies are simultaneously releasing employees while trying to fill other positions. While reorganization and consolidation can and have resulted in downsizing, DM firms still have a need to fill certain types of jobs.
While the survey did not ask specific questions about the most active employment sectors, Jerry Bernhart, the search firm’s founder, said that based on his own interaction with the industry human resource managers were actively seeking sales and analytic functions employees, as well as production and technicians.
In contrast, many of the positions being cut have been in marketing, Bernhart said.
The study is based on 368 direct marketing users, agencies and technology and service providers that responded to a survey e-mailed during the week of Oct. 7.