BERNHART ASSOCIATES’ EMPLOYMENT Q1 SURVEY RELEASED: 2011 STARTS OFF STRONG; DIRECT MARKETING HIRING TO REBOUND


Layoffs, Hiring Freezes Hit Multi-Year Lows
Owatonna, MN, January 18, 2011—Digital and direct marketers are planning a surge in hiring this winter with agencies leading the way, according to Bernhart Associates’ Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report for the first quarter of 2011.

“I expected a bounce, but nothing like this, which is very encouraging,” said Jerry Bernhart, leading direct marketing recruiter and Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, which conducts the quarterly employment survey.  “This is the most positive quarterly improvement we’ve ever seen in the 11-year history of our quarterly survey.”

The following are key findings from Bernhart Associates’ Quarter 1 (Q1) survey:

• Fifty-two percent (52%) of companies responding to the survey said they plan to add to staff in Q1, up from 41% last quarter (Q4).

• Sixteen percent (16%) of respondents currently have a hiring freeze, down sharply from 35% in Q4.

• The percentage of companies planning layoffs in Q1 dropped to 4%, compared with 8% in Q4.

• Sixty-three percent (63%) of agencies responding to the survey plan to add staff, with none planning cutbacks and only one agency reporting a hiring freeze.

Survey results show that marketing hiring budgets are still being pinched on the client side, which are lagging the agencies and service providers in planned hiring.  But Bernhart notes that nearly one out of every two marketers still will have positions to fill in the current quarter.

“Business-to-business hiring plans outpaced business-to-consumer, and also reported fewer expected layoffs and hiring freezes,” added Bernhart.

Bernhart said that while direct marketing staffing this year may not reach the boom levels seen prior to 2008, he expects hiring to continue building momentum in 2011, noting the following key trends:

• Digital and direct marketers are revising upward their projections for 2011 as margins improve and demand picks up, creating the need for more staffing.

• The number of online digital and direct marketing-related job listings has been up sharply in the past couple months.

• Bernhart said he has seen a “dramatic” decline in the number of resumes from recently laid-off digital and direct marketers.

• Bernhart further noted that he is fielding more calls from companies asking about executive searches, adding, “you don’t see that happen unless job recovery is taking hold.”

Among those companies planning to add staff, Bernhart said digital and direct marketing openings will be across the board and at all levels.  “Usually we see a couple of job categories stand out, but this time it’s very broad-based with marketing, analytics, and sales topping the list, along with a strong showing among IT-related positions.”

Bernhart Associates’ Q1 hiring survey was emailed on January 5 and 12 to more than 11,000 senior executives, hiring managers, human resource officials, and other key participants in online and offline direct marketing.  A total of 399 organizations responded to the widely followed employment-trends survey.

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), in 2009, marketers—commercial and nonprofit—spent $149.3 billion on direct marketing, which accounted for 54.3% of all ad expenditures in the United States.  Measured against total U.S. sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $1.783 trillion in incremental sales.  DMA further reported that, in 2009, there were 1.4 million direct marketing employees in the U.S.  Their collective sales efforts directly supported 8.4 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.9 million American 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 Employment Report should send an email to survey@bernhart.com with “Opt-In” in the subject line, or they can sign up directly on the front page of the Bernhart Associates’ website.

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Download this Press Release as a PDF.

Please direct executive search inquires to jerry@bernhart.com 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
speasker.  Founded in 1991, Bernhart Associates 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 industry news media.  Jerry
has written dozens of articles for the leading online and offline multichannel marketing
publications.

The Bernhart Associates’ Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Survey,
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 Silverman and Affiliates, Naperville, IL, contributes research and
analysis for the Bernhart Associates’ Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing
Employment Report.  Bernie can be reached at bernie@bsilverman.com.

Guest Post: Digital and Direct Marketing Hiring Plans Show Strong Rebound


Note from Jim.  Good news about direct and digital marketing hiring from Jerry Bernhart below…

What recession?

Digital and direct marketers are planning a major ramp-up in hiring this winter, according to Bernhart Associates’ latest Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report.

“All of our major indicators are showing significant improvement,” said Jerry Bernhart, Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC. “As far as hiring goes, digital and direct marketers are back on a growth trajectory.”

Bernhart stated that the record number of responses received for quarter one (Q1)-544 in total-now rivals other private employment surveys conducted for major occupational segments of the US economy.

Here are the key findings from the Q1 survey:

·46% of the respondents said they will add to staff during the first quarter of 2010, rebounding from 30% last quarter. The biggest hiring surge will be among suppliers, while marketers plan the least amount of new hiring.

·Companies reporting Q1 hiring freezes plunged to 26%, compared with 45% in Q4.

·The percentage of companies planning layoffs in Q1 dropped slightly to 7%. Not one agency or supplier who responded to the survey said it expected further layoffs.

·Among employers who imposed pay cuts last year, 37% said they plan to either partially or fully reinstate those reductions in 2010. Only 20% said pay cuts will remain in effect for this year, and 43% said they are unsure when salaries will be restored to previous levels.

Bernhart said that, while Q1 survey results clearly indicate that digital and direct marketing is outpacing the overall US economy in terms of recovering lost jobs, marketers continue to feel the economic strain.

“About half of the client-side marketers who participated in our first-quarter survey said they still have a hiring freeze. Hiring on the supplier side, by contrast, is on a fast track with more than 60% telling us they plan to add to head count this quarter. We haven’t seen numbers in that range for more than two years.”

On the agency side, Bernhart said 37% of survey respondents plan to add to headcount this quarter.

Bernhart said results showed that business-to-consumer (B-to-C) marketers are stepping up hiring plans slightly more than their business-to-business (B-to-B) counterparts as B-to-C recovers from deeper job cuts last year.

“Among B-to-C marketers, 50% said they’ll have positions to fill compared with 46% for B-to-B, and more B-to-B’ers still have hiring freezes compared with B-to-C,” Bernhart added. “B-to-B jobs were less impacted by the recession, so B-to-C hiring is now staging a sharper rebound.”

As to what specific positions will be in greatest demand during the current quarter, Bernhart said analytics dominated the list, both online and offline. Second on the list was Internet marketing, which was followed by sales, creative, technology, and campaign management.

“We’re seeing some newer job categories emerge,” Bernhart added. “A couple of companies will be looking for senior-level social media strategists and online video experts.”

Participants also weighed in on the challenges they face finding, compensating, and keeping their best digital and direct marketing talent. Comments and observations were received from more than 200 hiring managers at all levels across the digital and direct marketing employment spectrum, including marketers, agencies, and service providers.

Here is a summary of comments received:

On Hiring:

·Quality of applicants: Many are unemployed. The quality and skill level tends to be low with digital, healthcare, and mobile. The good ones are hunkering down where they are. Some employers said they’re challenged trying to match candidate skills with organizational needs.

·Uncertainty: Many employers are waiting for a consistent flow of new business before pulling the trigger on new hires.

·Creativity and execution: This remains a difficult combination to find.

·Temporary hires: Mixed results-some found high- quality temps, others did not.

·Rising cost of benefits: This is posing challenges for smaller digital and direct marketing employers to add to headcount.

·Multichannel skills: Demand is strong, and growing, for digital and direct marketing talent who understand DM in a cross-channel environment, knowing how consumers interact with content, and building relevant, meaningful relationships with them.

·Younger hires: Respondents reported seeing a lack of strategic insight, a lack of solid direct response testing and analysis, and seeing a sense of entitlement.

·Financial savvy: Respondents want marketers who understand how decisions impact the overall business.

·Training: Companies expect employees to work smarter and advance their knowledge, but there seemingly is a lack of industry training by competent, experienced subject matter experts to help them do that.

On Retention:

·What works: Keeping the company transparent, providing an atmosphere of collaboration, encouraging innovation, rewarding success, investing in current technology, and making the work place fun. Also, solidifying relationships with top performers, paying them top dollar, and challenging them.

·Turn-over concerns: Many companies said they are currently evaluating talent to identify and keep top performers. Employers are concerned that they will face much higher churn as the economy recovers and good talent bolts.

Bernhart Associates’ first-quarter survey was emailed to more than 9,700 senior executives and hiring managers, human resource officials, and other key participants in online and offline direct marketing during the first two weeks of January 2010.

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 DMA 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 survey@bernhart.com with “Opt-In” in the subject line, or they can sign up directly on the Bernhart Associates’ website.

NEWS: Jerry Bernhart Executive Recruiter to Moderate Popular Tweetchat Jobs Forum


Multichannel marketing recruiter Jerry Bernhart has announced that he will be hosting a second Tweetchat on DM Jobs soon after the New Year

The online session allows participants, through the popular social media network Twitter, to exchange job leads, ask questions, share ideas and get advice on all things related to digital and direct marketing hiring and employment.

“We’ve decided to host another session in response to a large number of requests we’ve received since our fist session last August, ” said Jerry Bernhart, Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, in a statement. “There are still many unemployed direct marketers out there who could use all the help they can get.”

For those unfamiliar with Tweetchat, Bernhart describes it as “texting on steroids,” allowing an unlimited number of participants in a confidential forum to exchange informational tweets with one another almost instantaneously on a common topic. Bernhart said this session, like the first, will be open to any and all areas related to hiring and employment in digital and direct marketing, including job leads, resume preparation, interviewing tips, salaries, job offers, finding candidates, counteroffers, job descriptions and sources of hire. It also allows Tweetchatters to share links just like they would with one another on Twitter.

“This is also an excellent opportunity for employers to advertise open positions, ” said Bernhart. “There will be a ready audience of motivated and experienced job hopefuls, and if they’re not the right candidates they might know someone who is.”

The Bernhart Tweetchat will take place Sunday, January 10, at 8 pm Eastern time. All that is needed to participate is a Twitter account. To join the session, go toTweetchat.com, sign in with your Twitter username and password, enter DMCareers in the “enter hashtag to follow” box, then click on “Go” which will take you to the DMCareers chat room.

Visit the Bernhart Executive Recruiters website at www.bernhart.com

BERNHART SURVEY: Digital & direct marketing employment outlook shows improvement for 4th quarter 2009


BERNHART SURVEY: DIGITAL AND DIRECT MARKETING EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK SHOWS IMPROVEMENT FOR FOURTH QUARTER

30% Plan to Hire in Q4 While 45% Plan to Freeze Hiring

Owatonna, MN, October 13, 2009 –With the drumbeat of layoffs diminishing only faintly, the latest Bernhart Associates Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report shows digital and direct marketers are poised in the current fourth quarter (Q4) to add to payrolls for the third consecutive quarter.

“Clearly, it remains a difficult job market in the digital and direct marketing industry, but the overall trend is definitely moving in an encouraging, positive direction,” said Jerry Bernhart, Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, a leading digital and direct marketing recruiter who has been issuing quarterly direct marketing employment reports since 2001.

With 352 companies responding to a survey that was in the field from September 28 through October 12, here are the key findings: Continue reading

Bernhart Survey Reveals New Data On Direct Marketing Unemployment


Note from Jim. Here is a grim look at the realities of employment in the direct marketing industry – From a survey done by Bernhart Associates.  In a nutshell, what this survey doesn’t state is simple…. If you are employed in this economy, do everything you can to stay employed.  Work harder, longer, smarter, get “win’s” on the board and in general make your self indispensable!

Furthermore, do everything you can to build your network of contacts in case you should find yourself unemployed.  Remember, building your personal rolodex is just as important as being exceptional at your job!

Bernhart Survey Reveals New Data On Direct Marketing Unemployment

If you’re a recently unemployed direct marketer, you’ll be interested in a new study that shows for the first time how long other jobless DM’ers have been looking for work and how direct marketing compares with the latest national figures on unemployment.

The innovative survey was conducted by Jerry Bernhart of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, a leading direct marketing executive recruiter who also issues widely followed quarterly employment updates.

“We wanted to get a sense for how long unemployed direct marketers have been looking for a job, and we also wanted to break that down by levels of compensation to determine how various salary levels compare,” said Bernhart. “Finally, we wanted to compare unemployment duration in direct marketing with the overall U.S. economy.” Continue reading

5 Pointers for Out-of-Work Direct Marketers (or ones who just want to hedge their bets)


Note from Jim: Originally published in All About ROI Magazine (formerly Catalog Success) Filling my virtual shoes this week while I’m on vacation is Jerry Bernhart, president of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, and author of the Direct Marketing Employment Outlook Survey.

For those of you actively looking for employment, let me offer a few things you can do to help you get that extra edge. This may not all be new to you, but these key points are worth repeating.

1. Make sure your resume screams, “I can add value!” I still see way too many resumes that are long on titles and descriptions, but short on specific accomplishments and achievements. That always amazes me. Metrics are an integral part of the direct marketing process, yet many marketers’ resumes often neglect to include what really matters most — quantifiable results. If you don’t brag on your resume, no one else is going to do it for you.

Be very specific, quantify where possible and use some choice action verbs to describe what you achieved. Companies have already taken steps to slash costs, so think more about what you’ve done to contribute to revenue growth, such as acquiring and keeping new customers; new products; new market segments; how you’ve helped improve recency, frequency and monetary value; and so on. Don’t forget to make your resume keyword-friendly. Use terms that are specific to your job or career objectives, and use them often. Continue reading

Press release helping direct marketing job seekers – Bernhart Associates Launches New Twitter Group for Direct Marketing Job Seekers


PRESS RELEASE, For Immediate Release July 27, 2009

Contact: Jerry Bernhart 507-451-4270 Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC

Bernhart Associates Launches New Twitter Group for Direct Marketing Job Seekers

Owatonna, MN, July 27, 2009- Direct marketing job seekers will soon have a new on-line tool to help with their job search.

Veteran direct marketing recruiter Jerry Bernhart will be moderating a new first-of-its-kind chat session on Twitter focusing specifically on all aspects of jobs and hiring in direct marketing.

“There are online communities for just about every subject you can imagine,” said Jerry Bernhart, owner of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, who is also well known in direct marketing for his quarterly employment reports. “This is a natural extension of the use of social media to help those who are looking for their next career opportunity in direct marketing, including ecommerce and emarketing.”

Bernhart said the new forum will use Tweetchat, allowing messages to be posted and read by participants in a matter of seconds. “It’s kind of like texting but a whole lot faster and easier,” said Bernhart. “It also allows quick and easy sharing of links.”

“It will be an opportunity to ask questions, share ideas and get advice on
lots of topics, including job leads, resume preparation, interviewing tips, salaries, finding candidates, job offers, counteroffers, job descriptions, sources of hire, anything topic at all related to hiring and jobs at all levels in online or offline direct marketing,” said Bernhart.

Participants can choose their level of participation, jumping in and out of the discussion whenever there’s something of interest being discussed or to share their own expertise and experiences.

Employers are also invited to put up tweets on positions they are looking to fill.

The first direct marketing careers Tweetchat event will take place Sunday, August 2nd, at 8 pm Eastern time. Subsequent Tweetchats will be announced on the website of Bernhart Associates and through announcements on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

To participate, go to Tweetchat.com, sign-in with your Twitter account, and enter #DMCareers in the “Hashtag to follow” box. Bernhart explains that once you’re in the group there is no need to use the hashtag again because Tweetchat automatically applies it to each message, saving you the bother of typing it in each time you want to post. Bernhart adds that if you want to monitor the discussion but you won’t be home at the time, no worries. Tweetchat works on your mobile phone, too.

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