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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Latest Bernhart Hiring Survey: Hiring Indicators Weaken for Digital and Direct Marketin in Third Quarter

Owatonna, MN, July 13, 2010 — Weakening economic signals are having their effect on the employment outlook for digital and direct marketers in the third quarter (Q3), according to the latest quarterly employment report by Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC.

"The numbers have turned slightly lower for Q3, which is no surprise given growing uncertainties about the economic recovery," said Jerry Bernhart, Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, a nationally leading recruiting firm, which has been conducting quarterly hiring surveys in digital and direct marketing since 2001.

Here are the key findings from the Q3 survey:

• 39% of survey respondents said they will add to staff during the third quarter of 2010, down 4 points from Q2.
• 23% of respondents currently have a hiring freeze, representing a slight increase from 20% last quarter.
• The percentage of companies planning layoffs in Q3 grew to 6%, compared with 3% during the spring quarter.

Bernhart said survey data reflect a mood of continued caution.

"One-half of all respondents said their hiring plans won't be changing this summer, and most of the hiring will be replacements rather than newly created positions," said Bernhart. "I've also noticed an uptick in calls to our office from individuals who have recently been laid off."

But for some digital and direct marketing categories at certain levels, Bernhart said opportunities are out there.

"There's a huge demand for skilled analysts, and we're also seeing a solid comeback in lower-level online marketing-related positions, including SEM and SEO managers, affiliate and relationship managers, and email marketing managers," said Bernhart. He added that media buyers also appeared high on the list of positions expected to be in short-term demand.

Bernhart said the data also point to an upswing in the business-to-business segment. "B-to-B is planning more hires, less layoffs, and has fewer hiring freezes than B-to-C. Those same indices for agencies, suppliers, and marketers all showed little variation."

Bernhart Associates’ third-quarter survey was emailed to more than 11,500 senior executives and hiring managers, human resource officials, and other key participants in online and offline direct marketing. A total of 419 organizations responded to the widely followed employment-trends survey between June 29 and July 12.

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), in 2009, direct marketing advertising expenditures as a portion of total US advertising expenditures grew to 54.3%, and generated 8.3% of US gross domestic product. Also in 2009, there were 1.4 million direct marketing employees in the US. Their collective sales efforts directly supported 8.4 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.9 million US jobs.

Results of past surveys can be found in the Direct Marketing Association’s annual
Statistical Fact Book and on Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC’s website.

Companies interested in participating in the Bernhart Associates Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report should send an email to with “Opt-In” in the subject line, or they can sign up directly on the Bernhart Associates’ website.

About Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC

Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC is owned by Jerry Bernhart, a leading and nationally recognized digital and direct marketing recruiter, writer, and speaker focusing on senior-level Multichannel Direct Marketing, E-Marketing/E-Commerce, CRM, Database Marketing, Business Development and Quantitative Analysis positions. Jerry has been among the nation’s leading digital and direct marketing recruiters since 1991.

Viewed as a leading authority on issues related to digital and direct marketing recruiting and talent management, Jerry is a frequent speaker at national digital and direct marketing conferences and is often quoted in the marketing industry news media. Jerry has written dozens of articles for all leading online and offline direct marketing publications, and conducts a widely followed employment survey for
EM+C covering internet marketing and e-commerce.

The Bernhart Associates Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report, now in its tenth year, is unparalleled in size and scope and has become the most widely followed employment report in online and offline marketing.

Bernard (Bernie) Silverman and Affiliates of Naperville, IL, contributes research and analysis for the Bernhart Associates Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report. Bernie can be reached at

Douglas Berger Communications, New York City, provides communications services for the Bernhart Associates Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report. Doug is the former Director of Executive and Member Communications for the Direct Marketing Association. He can be contacted at

Communications Contact:
Doug Berger
Douglas Berger Communications

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