DM Industry Showing Signs of Recovery, Job Survey Says

Share this content:
More than two-thirds of direct marketing companies plan to add staff by the end of June, just one of several positive signs in a survey released yesterday by Bernhart Associates.

Of the 129 DM companies responding to the e-mail survey, 68 percent plan to add staff in the second quarter. One-quarter of those said the hires will be replacements only, while the rest will combine replacements and new hires. The survey also found that most new hiring will occur in non-catalog mail and database.

Job categories most in demand included account management, technical, database management and analysis.

"We also noticed a sharp jump in demand for marketing positions and clerical help," said Jerry Bernhart, president, Bernhart Associates, Owatonna, MN, a direct marketing executive search firm.

The percentage of companies with hiring freezes has declined for the first time since spring 2001, he said.

"This is our fifth quarterly survey so we now have year-to-year comparisons," he said. "Last spring we saw the beginning of a steady rise in the percentage of companies announcing hiring freezes. That peaked at 38 percent in the winter survey but now some of those hiring freezes are being lifted."

Another positive sign is that only three of the 129 companies plan to reduce staff in the next three months, down from 11 percent last fall.

"There has also been a slight pickup in inquiries for executive search, indicating that confidence levels are slowly coming back, with pharmaceuticals and financial services leading the way," Bernhart said. "Clearly, the numbers show that the worst is behind us, barring any unexpected economic shocks. But the recovery is brittle, and the waters are still murky."

For example, 30 percent of the companies still have a hiring freeze.

"Many said they expect hiring freezes to remain in effect until business conditions begin to significantly improve, and many don't expect that to happen for another three to four months," he said.

Bernhart also said that for the first time since the mid-1980s, there has been an overall decrease in the total salary for top performers. Most of the decrease is based on reductions in performance bonuses for the most senior positions.

"By my estimates, total compensation for V.P.-level candidates is, on average, down about 20 percent so far this year compared with 2001," he said. "Salaries for mid-level positions have, for the most part, remained flat compared with a year ago."

New participants that want to be included in the summer 2002 survey should send an e-mail to and put "Opt-In" in the subject line.


Next Article in Data/Analytics

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above