Direct Marketing Hiring Plans Soften

July 17, 2007

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Direct marketers expect fewer new hires this summer compared with spring, according to the latest employment survey by Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC.

“There was also a small increase in the percentage of companies planning staff cutbacks,” said Jerry Bernhart, president of Bernhart Associates. “Overall, the numbers show a slight softening in the employment outlook for direct marketers this quarter.”

According to the Bernhart study:

  • Some 61% survey respondents said they will be adding to staff during the current third quarter, compared with 66% who had said so last quarter.
  • 28% are forecasting no change.
  • 7% plan to reduce headcount, up from 3% last quarter.
  • The remaining 4% said they were unsure about their hiring plans.

“We also asked about the ease or difficulty companies are having finding qualified candidates,” said Bernhart. “Survey results showed 26% are having a ‘very difficult’ time, unchanged from the second quarter.”

Bernhart added that the supply-demand pendulum has shifted decisively to the candidate’s side of the fence: “Nearly all of the respondents said they are having some degree of difficulty finding qualified candidates.”

Customer service was listed as the position that will be in strongest demand this summer, followed closely by direct marketing managers and sales support, Bernhart said.

A total of 112 companies responded to the survey, which was emailed to a random sample the week of July 8.

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