A survey of advertising and marketing executives, conducted by staffing service The Creative Group, showed that 34% of respondents intend to add staff within the next year, while just 10% plan to cut staff.
The rest said they plan to keep staffing levels steady, The Creative Group said.
The greatest number - 52% - plan to increase staffing in web design or production. Creative or art direction came next, at 50%, followed by interactive and account services, both at 48%. Other areas in which ad and marketing execs expect to be hiring include brand/product management (35%), marketing research (32%), copywriting (26%), print design/production (25%), and PR (23%).
Media services brought up the rear, at 10%, MediaBuyerPlanner reports.
“The hiring of creative professionals often signals that a company is preparing for growth by increasing its investment in advertising and marketing initiatives,” said Megan Slabinski, executive director of The Creative Group. “Many firms are particularly interested in expanding their digital presence. This is an area in which a number of companies continued to invest even in the downturn, and as the economy improves, they will want to build their capabilities further.”
Slabinski cautioned, however, that advertising and marketing executives are taking a judicious approach to hiring. “Businesses often opt to bring in people on a project basis to avoid layoffs if the economy loses momentum,” she said. “Supplementing the core team with freelance professionals allows companies to more easily adjust staffing levels as conditions change.”
The survey comes as the rate of global ad spend decline has begun to slow. In the second quarter of 2009, global ad spending slid 5.8% in Q2 09, following a 7.9% decline in Q1, according to Nielsen.