Bernhart: DM Hiring Plans Reach Record High

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Direct marketing companies plan to hire more workers this fall than at any time since 2001, according to the latest DM employment survey by Bernhart Associates Executive Search LLC.


"The closely watched new hire index is up a full 10 percent compared with summer," said Jerry Bernhart, president of Bernhart Associates, Owatonna, MN, which conducts the quarterly survey. "It's the largest quarter-to-quarter increase we've seen in a year, and we're up 20 percent over last fall."


In the survey, 80 percent of companies responding planned to add to staff before the end of 2005, the highest level since the survey began in 2001.


"Database and analytics have been category leaders all year, and they still lead the way among the jobs that will be in highest demand during the fourth quarter, followed closely by sales and customer service," Bernhart said.


The proportion of companies reporting hiring freezes dropped to 9 percent, also a record low, while 6 percent planned to reduce headcount before the end of 2005, up from 2 percent in the summer.


Survey results are published in the Direct Marketing Association's Statistical Fact Book.


"On the recruitment side, our business is strong," Bernhart said. "Most of the calls we're getting are for low to midlevel positions, but we've also seen more start-up situations in the past three to six months requiring more experienced, senior-level talent."


The survey, in which 86 direct marketing companies participated, was e-mailed the first week of October. Companies interested in being added to the quarterly survey should send an e-mail to survey@bernhart.com with "Opt-in" in the subject line.


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