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Marketers’ Employment Outlook Stable Layoffs/Hiring Freezes Are Down

Direct Marketing

Marketers’ Employment Outlook Stable Layoffs/Hiring Freezes Are Down, New Job Creation Levelling Off

After a big spike in first-quarter hiring, employers plan to hold firm on staffing this spring, according to Bernhart Associates’ Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Hiring Report for the second quarter of 2012. 

“The good news is that the downward trend continues in hiring freezes and staff cuts, and in some categories, layoffs are at an all time low,” said Jerry Bernhart, leading direct and digital marketing recruiter and principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, which conducts the widely tracked quarterly hiring survey.

“But we’re not seeing improvement in the rate of new job creation.  The same uncertainties that worry economists and financial markets apparently also worry digital and direct marketers.”

The following are key findings from Bernhart Associates’ quarter-two (Q2) survey:

  • 50% of companies responding to the survey said they plan to add to staff in the current quarter, down from 52% last quarter. One year ago, the index stood at 45%.
  • 13% of respondents currently have a hiring freeze, compared with 19% during the winter quarter.
  • The percentage of companies planning layoffs in Q2 dropped to 4%, compared with 6% last quarter.
  • Business-to-consumer marketers continued leading the way in planned new hiring at 54%.
  • Among business-to-business participants, 47% said they expect to add to staff in the spring quarter, down slightly from 48% last quarter.
  • Layoffs at agencies, services and marketers collectively have dipped to an all-time survey low of 3%.
When asked what positions will be in greatest need during the current quarter, employers listed analytic-related jobs on top, followed by marketing, web designers, sales, and account management.  

"This is the first time in the 12-year history of the survey that demand for web designers has reached the top five," said Bernhart. 

The second-quarter Bernhart report comes on the heels of a separate report released earlier this month by the online careers and recruiting firm Monster Worldwide, showing that its own employment index was unchanged from February.

Bernhart Associates’ Q2 hiring survey was emailed on April 3 to more than 14,000 senior executives, hiring managers, human resource officials, and other key participants in online and offline direct marketing.

A total of 384 organizations responded to the nationally followed hiring-trends survey, which is now in its twelfth year.

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), in 2011, marketers –commercial and nonprofit – spent $163 billion on direct marketing, which accounts for 52.1% of all ad expenditures in the US.

Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $1.96 trillion in incremental sales. In 2011, direct marketing accounted for 8.7% of total US gross domestic product. Also last year, there were 1.3 million direct marketing employees in the US. Their collective sales efforts directly supported 7.9 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.2 million US jobs. 

Results of past surveys can be found in the DMA’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 Hiring Report should send an email to with “Opt-In” in the subject line, or they can sign up directly on the front page of the digital and direct marketing recruiting firm’s website.
Owatonna, MN, April 17, 2012

You are welcome to Download this Press Release as a pdf.
Please direct executive search inquires to or call 507-451-4270.

About Bernhart Associates

Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, is owned by Jerry Bernhart, a leading and nationally recognized digital and direct marketing recruiter, writer, and speaker.  

Founded in 1991, Bernhart Associates today recruits for positions at all levels in Multichannel Direct Marketing, CRM, E-Commerce, Database Marketing, Business Development and Marketing Analytics.  

Respected as a leading authority on issues related to digital and direct marketing recruiting, Jerry is a frequent speaker at national marketing conferences and is often quoted by the digital and direct marketing news media. Jerry has written dozens of articles for leading online and offline multichannel marketing publications. 

The Bernhart Associates Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report, now in its eleventh year, has become the most widely followed employment report in digital and direct marketing and measures employers' hiring plans for the coming quarter. 

It is the only forward-looking employment survey of its kind in digital and direct marketing and unparalleled in size and scope. 

Bernard (Bernie) Silverman and Affiliates, Naperville, IL, contributes research and analysis for the Bernhart Associates Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report.  Bernie has held senior level positions with leading direct marketing research and analysis service providers for more than 30 years, and is an adjunct instructor of statistics in the MBA program at Benedictine University.

He can be reached at

Douglas Berger, a New York City speechwriter and corporate communications professional, provides P.R. assistance for Bernhart Associates.  He can be contacted at

To keep informed of our current career opportunities, be sure to follow me on Twitter.  Also, you are invited to send me a LinkedIn invitation.

Keep up on the latest digital and direct marketing hiring trends with our quarterly digital and direct marketing employment updates, the most widely followed and quoted hiring and employment reports in digital and direct marketing. A must for hiring managers or anyone who wants to keep updated on employment trends in digital and direct marketing. To participate, send an email to, and put "opt-in" in the subject line.

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