Latest Employment Report a Reason to Smile
Today I bring you the latest quarterly employment survey from Bernhart Associates. I find it very encouraging, and hope you will too. A rebound in hiring in the direct and cross-channel retail industries spells good news for all of us — and the economy in general. Here's the press release circulated this week by Bernhart Associates outlining the survey's findings:
Digital and direct marketers are planning a surge in hiring this winter with agencies leading the way, according to Bernhart Associates’ Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report for the first quarter of 2011.
“I expected a bounce, but nothing like this, which is very encouraging,” said Jerry Bernhart, principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, which conducts the
quarterly employment survey. “This is the most positive quarterly improvement we’ve ever seen in the 11-year history of our quarterly survey.”
The following are key findings from the survey:
- 52 percent of companies responding to the survey said they plan to add staff in Q1, up from 41 percent last quarter;
- 16 percent of respondents currently have a hiring freeze, down sharply from 35 percent in Q4;
- the percentage of companies planning layoffs in Q1 dropped to 4 percent vs. 8 percent last quarter; and
- 63 percent of agencies responding to the survey said they plan to add staff, with none planning cutbacks and only one reporting a hiring freeze.
Survey results reveal that marketing hiring budgets are still being pinched on the client side, which are lagging the agencies and service providers in planned hiring. But Bernhart notes that nearly one out of every two marketers still will have positions to fill in the current quarter.
“B-to-B hiring plans outpaced B-to-C, and also reported fewer expected layoffs and hiring freezes,” added Bernhart.
While direct marketing may not reach the boom levels seen prior to 2008, Bernhart expects hiring to continue building momentum in 2011, noting the following key
- Digital and direct marketers are revising upward their projections for 2011 as margins improve and demand picks up, creating the need for more headcount.
- The number of online digital and direct marketing-related job listings has been up sharply in the past couple months.
- Bernhart Associates has seen a “dramatic” decline in the number of resumes from recently laid-off digital and direct marketers.
Bernhart further noted that he's fielding more calls from companies asking about executive searches, adding, "you don't see that happening unless job recovery is taking hold."
Among those companies planning to add staff, Bernhart said digital and direct marketing openings will be across the board and at all levels. “Usually we see a couple of job categories stand out, but this time it’s very broad-based with marketing, analytics and sales topping the list, along with a strong showing among IT-related positions.”
Bernhart Associates’ Q1 hiring survey was emailed on Jan. 5 and again on Jan. 12 to more than 11,000 senior executives, hiring managers, human resource officials and other key participants in online and offline direct marketing. A total of 399 organizations responded to the widely followed employment trends survey.
According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), commercial and nonprofit marketers spent $149.3 billion on direct marketing last year, which accounted for 54.3 percent of all ad expenditures in the U.S. Measured against total U.S. sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $1.783 trillion in incremental sales. The DMA further reported that in 2009 there were 1.4 million direct marketing employees in the U.S. Their collective sales efforts directly supported 8.4 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.9 million American jobs.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.