Employment Outlook

The good news: Hiring of ad professionals may soon pick up. The catch: Those hired will do the jobs of at least two other people, according to a poll of 250 ad and marketing execs conducted last month by Menlo Park, Calif., search firm The Creative Group. Forty-four percent of respondents said they will boost staffing in the next year. Of those, 47 percent said they will do so this quarter. “It’s a reaction to pent-up demand,” says Tracey Turner, The Creative Group executive director. “Over the past two years, staffing levels were slashed. Now, ad agencies and marketing companies, anticipating an upturn in the economy, need to address their bench strength.” Account managers will be most in demand, said 22 percent of respondents, while 14 percent said media buyers and planners are also coveted. “Media buyers who can double as media planners, or art directors who have some extra managerial skill, are likely to have the best chance of success,” Turner said.