October 8, 2010, 11:07 AM

More direct marketers plan to hire during Q4

41% of companies say they plan to add staff, up from 39% during Q3.

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The percentage of direct marketing companies planning to add staff is slowly increasing, according to a new employment report.

41% of direct marketing firms say they plan to add staff during the fourth quarter, up from 39% during the third quarter. Among companies planning to hire, positions in marketing and I.T. are in the most demand, according to Bernhart Associates Executive Search, which produced the Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report.

“The index that measures new hiring plans is crawling back up, so we are definitely moving in the right direction,” says Jerry Bernhart, a principal at the company. The survey findings represent the responses of 369 online and offline direct marketing companies polled in late September and early October.

Bernhart says that while it appears hiring is on a slow upswing, many digital and direct marketers still face economic challenges. The survey reveals that 8% of companies are planning layoffs this quarter, up from 6% during the third quarter, and 35% have a hiring freeze in place, up from 23% during the third quarter. Bernhart explains the hiring freeze jump by saying many companies have already completed their 2010 hiring and that the survey does not make seasonal adjustments.

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