Survey suggests softening DM job market
“All of our hiring indicators are turning more negative,” said Jerry Bernhart, president of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, in a statement. “This weakness comes as no surprise given the recent news of layoffs and the current overall economic climate.”
The e-mail survey was sent the week of January 7. A total of 79 companies responded.
According to the survey, 12% of direct marketers indicate they are planning layoffs during the first quarter of 2008, up from 9% in the last quarter. The biggest increase came in the percentage of companies that have imposed a hiring freeze for the first quarter, which increased from 9% to 13%. Most companies said they were unsure if the freezes would be lifted by spring, Bernhart said.
In addition, 58% of the companies responding said they plan to add staff during the first quarter, which is down 2% from the previous survey in October.
The survey also reflects a shift in the degree of difficulty companies are having attracting qualified talent, something which has been cited as a significant problem for the industry until recently. According to the survey, 19% of the companies said they were having a “very difficult” time attracting qualified talent. The remainder indicated it was only “somewhat difficult” or “not difficult at all.”
“The pendulum is beginning to shift from a candidate-driven job market to more of an employer-driven market,” Bernhart said.