Job seekers looking for work in the direct marketing sector should have an easier time in 2005 compared to recent years, at least according to survey results released by Owatonna, MN-based direct marketing recruitment firm Bernhart Associates Executive Search. The survey reports that 70% of 144 direct marketing companies say they plan to increase headcount in the first quarter of 2005, up from 60% last quarter.
Bernhart Associates president Jerry Bernhart said in a release that this marks one of the strongest starts he’s seen for a new year in 16 years of recruiting in direct marketing. “We’ve been receiving a steady stream of calls and e-mails from employers as companies gear up for 2005,” he said. Among companies responding to the survey e-mailed to them the first week in January, only 5% projected that they will be cutting staff while the percentage of companies reporting a hiring freeze also declined from 2004, falling to 8%. Right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the hiring freeze was nearly 40%, Bernhart said.
Bernhart predicted that companies will be looking for a wider variety of skill levels compared with past surveys. What’s more, companies are expected to do more than just fill vacancies—they will be adding new positions to the payrolls this year. According to the survey, new hires will outnumber replacements by six to one, a statistic that has shown “sharp improvement” in recent quarters, Bernhart said.