Nearly three out of four direct marketing companies plan to add to staff this winter, according to a quarterly employment survey conducted by Bernhart Associates Executive Search (Owatonna, MN). Among companies responding to the survey, 70% said they plan to increase headcount during the first quarter of 2005, up from 60% last quarter. Only 5% said they’ll be cutting staff, and the percentage of companies reporting a hiring freeze continued a steady decline, falling to 8%. “Right after 9/11, the hiring freeze number was nearly 40%”, said Jerry Bernhart, president of Bernhart Associates. “We’ve come along way in two years.” Bernhart also noted that this is one of the strongest starts to a new year he’s seen in 16 years of recruiting in direct marketing. The survey also shows that new hires will outnumber replacements by six to one. Bernhart said companies will be looking for a wider variety of talent compared with past surveys and employers are expressing a higher sense of urgency. “They’re going to need everything from laser operators to chief marketing officers,” according to Bernhart, who also noted that more junior level positions are opening up.
There were 144 direct marketing companies responding to the survey, which was e-mailed the first week of January. Results are published in the Direct Marketing Association’s Statistical Fact Book. More information on Bernhart Associates Executive Search is available at http://www.bernhart.com or by calling (507) 451-4270.