Bernhart Associates' Employment Q1 Survey Released: 2011 Starts Off Strong; Hiring to Rebound
Owatonna, MN, January 18, 2011—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 Bernhart Associates' Quarter 1 (Q1) survey:
• 52 percent of companies responding to the survey said they plan to add to staff in Q1, up from 41 percent last quarter (Q4).
• 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, compared with 8 percent in Q4.
• 63 percent of agencies responding to the survey plan to add staff, with none planning cutbacks and only one agency reporting a hiring freeze.
Survey results show 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.
"Business-to-business hiring plans outpaced business-to-consumer, and also reported fewer expected layoffs and hiring freezes," added Bernhart.
Bernhart said that while direct marketing staffing in the coming year may not reach the boom levels seen prior to 2008, he expects hiring to continue building momentum in 2011, noting the following key trends:
• Digital and direct marketers are revising upward their projections for 2011 as margins improve and demand picks up, creating the need for more headcount.