Overall, companies desire candidates with proven track records of success, especially within particular market verticals. Gone are the days when companies were interested in generalists, says Bernhart.
While hiring managers do not ask for a degree in direct marketing, Bernhart sees it as a competitive advantage, as long as the candidate has direct marketing experience with proven success to go with it.
A new trend on the survey, he adds, is a pick-up in the need for junior-level staff.
These poll results, paired with Bernhart's client assignments, suggest to him that companies are hiring new and more junior staff to solve problems and handle projects; there's not much emphasis on building staff levels to facilitate training and retention.
The move away from training is a shortsighted action in Bernhart's opinion. "Companies that weave training into their organization will retain employees longer and get greater productivity gains," he asserts.
Another dangerous trend, he points out, is the lack of mentoring taking place in companies and the industry. Good companies that are focused on growth assign mentors to every high-potential employee, Bernhart says.