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Direct marketing hiring pace softens

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Owatonna, Minn.—Direct marketers expect fewer new hires this summer compared with the spring, according to Bernhart Associates Executive Search in its quarterly direct marketing employment survey. In addition, the percentage of companies planning layoffs increased slightly.

Sixty-one percent of the respondents said they will be adding to staff during the current third quarter compared with 66% in the same quarter last year, while 28% are forecasting no change. Seven percent plan to reduce their head counts, compared with 2% in the third quarter of last year.

The remainder said they were unsure about hiring plans.

Jerry Bernhart, president of Bernhart Associates, said the numbers show a slight softening in the employment outlook for direct marketers this quarter and are consistent with what he is seeing in his business.

“There’s not as much activity as there was a year ago,” he said.

Bernhart said customer service was listed as the position that will be in strongest demand this summer, followed closely by direct marketing managers and sales support. A total of 112 companies responded to the survey, which was e-mailed the week of July 8.

—Carol Krol

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