Direct marketing hiring heats up

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Owatonna, Minn.—More than two-thirds of direct marketing companies plan to add staff in the first quarter, according to the quarterly employment survey released Tuesday by Bernhart Associates Executive Search, a direct marketing search company.

Seventy percent of companies surveyed said they plan to increase headcounts this quarter, compared with 60% in the final quarter of 2004. In addition, the survey found new hires will outnumber replacements by six to one.

Five percent of respondents said they plan to reduce staff in the first quarter, and 8% said they still have a hiring freeze in effect. "Right after 9/11 the hiring freeze number was nearly 40%," said Jerry Bernhart, president of the search firm.

Bernhart said that companies hiring employees indicated they will be looking for talent throughout the ranks, from junior level positions to chief marketing officers.

—Carol Krol

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