Capitola, CA, February 26, 2009 — The latest “Trends in HR Marketing” study finds that most HR suppliers spent their 2008 marketing and PR dollars on expanded social networking, Web 2.0 tactics, e-mail campaigns and press outreach—and more of the same is expected in 2009.

The report was released today by HRmarketer.com, the top marketing and online visibility firm specializing in human resources. Survey data—collected during the fourth quarter of 2008—reveals significant growth in the use of podcasting, blogging, webinars, and social network technologies such as LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with HR and employee benefits professionals.

Direct e-mail marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising and self-published original content were cited as the four most popular tactics to generate sales leads.

HR verticals were widely represented, with most respondents coming from talent management, training, recruiting & staffing and consulting. Employee benefit and screening & assessment suppliers are also represented. Nearly half the survey participants were at a director level or higher, with 23 percent at the CEO or owner level. Vice presidents, managers, analysts and specialist rounded out the mix.

The report also tracks the waning confidence and optimism of those suppliers. For instance, a majority of suppliers were “Somewhat Optimistic” about the overall health of the HR marketplace heading into 2009, down from nearly 60 percent in last year’s survey.

For most of the marketing and PR activities surveyed, a majority of suppliers intend to keep their budgets the same in 2009. Nearly one third of suppliers said they will decrease their budgets; however, that number has likely increased due to increased economic concerns.

“In this slow economy the gut instinct is to slash the marketing budget, which is a huge mistake,” said Kevin Grossman, president of HRmarketer.com. “Sales cycles are lengthening in nearly every industry and product category, which is why it’s important to start those cycles now. No company can just kick-start a sales funnel when good times return and expect to keep up with their competitors who continued to market through the downturn.”