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Direct marketers scale back hiring

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Owatonna, Minn.—The direct marketing employment outlook has worsened as employers plan further cutbacks in hiring this summer, according to Bernhart Associates Executive Search’s latest quarterly hiring survey, released Monday.

Forty-seven percent of company respondents said they plan to add to staff during the third quarter, a decline of 7% from the second quarter and the first reading below 50% since 2002.

“This represents the sixth quarter in a row in which employers have told us they plan to fill fewer jobs,” said Jerry Bernhart, president of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, in a statement. “However, we’re not seeing widespread layoffs like we did during the last downturn, and employers are still filling critical positions while letting other roles that have become vacant stay vacant.”

Planned layoffs and hiring freezes remain flat, with 12% of respondents planning staff cutbacks and 20% imposing a hiring freeze.

The survey was e-mailed during the first two weeks of July and attracted responses from 132 direct marketing agencies and service providers.

—Carol Krol

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