Fewer direct marketing companies plan to add employees in the third quarter, due largely to stock market woes that have shaken their faith in the economy, according to a survey released yesterday by executive search firm Bernhart Associates.
Of the 313 companies that responded to the survey, 49 percent said they planned to add staff in third-quarter 2002, down from 68 percent in the second quarter and up 5 percentage points from the same period last year. Another 9 percent said they planned to reduce staff in the third quarter, up from 4 percent in the second quarter.
Among those who planned to add staff in the third quarter, the number who were hiring replacements was about equal to those who planned to make new hires, according the survey.
However, only 26 percent of those surveyed said a hiring freeze was in effect, compared with 38 percent at the start of the year. Most of those who said they had hiring freezes offered no target date for the freeze to end, according to the survey.
Declining stocks, corporate accounting scandals and low consumer confidence contributed to the expected hiring decline, the study said.
In a separate poll of 500 direct marketing professionals seeking jobs, respondents took an average of 3.6 months to find a new job, Bernhart Associates said.