Things continue to look up for direct marketing professionals, according to the latest quarterly employment survey conducted by Owatonna, MN-based Bernhart Associates Executive Search.
“Things have looked so good lately, it’s almost like it was in the mid-1990s,” says Jerry Bernhart, president of Bernhart Associates. “Ever since the second quarter of 2004 the employment numbers have been on the rise, and the number of companies cutting staff has continued to decline.” Bernhart says that of the 156 companies that responded to the survey, only two (1.3%) planned cutbacks—the lowest percentage since Bernhart launched the survey in the fourth quarter of 2001.
Other pivotal numbers indicate that 72% of the respondents plan to add to staff this coming quarter, up from 70% for the first quarter of the year. Then again, 11% reported that they plan to freeze hiring in the coming three months, compared to just 7% last quarter. The highest recorded numbers for companies implementing a hiring freeze was 30% in Q1 2003.
“On the executive search side, employers are looking for talent in all major job categories, with a particular focus on sales,” Bernhart says. “It’s not quite as crazy as the late 1990s, when people were basically looking for bodies to fill open positions, but companies are creating new openings at a rapid rate.”
Companies interested in being added to the quarterly survey should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Opt-in” in the subject line.