Consultancy: Out of work? Hold tight

A survey by executive search firm Smith Hanley Associates shows shows that over the past three months, there has been a slow but steady improvement in the job market for direct marketers. What’s more, in comparison to an average 27.5% pay increase among those who switched jobs in 2000, direct marketing executives making similar moves in 2001 nabbed an average increase of 11.8%.

“Direct marketers had an incredible window of opportunity to move into fast-paced, but sometimes risky, Internet and consulting businesses,” Linda Burtch, Smith Hanley’s senior managing partner, Midwest practice, said in a statement. “Many took advantage of the opportunity and saw substantial base compensation increases in addition to incentives such as cash sign on bonuses and equity positions. In exchange they were often expected to make personal sacrifices in order to work intense hours and travel nonstop. With the business cycle slowdown in 2001, many of these professionals now have a firsthand understanding of the risk.”

This year, “many of these formerly highly paid professionals are still seeking employment,” according to the Smith Hanley statement. And “companies are hesitant to bring these executives in at a lower salary, even though the candidates have become very flexible on the salary range they find acceptable. The trend has been that as soon as the job market picks up, these candidates will realize their market value has increased and they will pursue higher paying opportunities.”