A new quarterly employment survey shows that although more direct marketers are scaling back their hiring plans for the remainder of this year than they reported in past reports, more, too, are planning fewer layoffs while lifting hiring freezes. Of the 214 direct marketers surveyed in the report by Owatonna, MN-based Bernhart Associates Executive Search, 51% say they plan to add staff during the fourth quarter, down from 60% during the summer. On the other hand, most of the additions will be new positions rather than replacements.
The percentage of respondents with hiring freezes fell to 22%, which Bernhart says is the lowest total since its survey was launched in early 2001. In addition, 9% of the companies surveyed said they would be cutting staff during the fourth quarter, down from 11% last quarter.
“Rising productivity is suggesting that direct marketers, like other segments of the economy, are able to delay adding workers,” said Bernhart Associates president Jerry Bernhart in a statement. “Companies can book profits, keep hiring to a minimum, and survive on outsized productivity gains–at least for a little while longer. We could very well get into next spring without any significant pick up in hiring.”