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.