TRU Trends_Blog (2)

TRU Trends: Increase in Law Firm Hiring, Fewer Fully Remote Jobs

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In April, the national jobs reports showed robust growth and it’s great to know that the ediscovery industry is keeping pace with the country’s averages. This month’s Eye on ESI, hosted by ACEDS President Mike Quartararo and myself, offered a deep dive into the latest on industry trends and offered practical tips on job search and professional development issues. All of the trends pointed to what’s motivating job seekers to go to market and what types of roles employers in ESI are looking to fill.

We began the session by telling the attendees that many of the stats discussed during the session could be reviewed in TRU’s 2024 eDiscovery Jobs Report.

Mike and I then discussed the stats and metrics that formed the list of this month’s TRU Trends. Notable on the list below is that ESI sales openings are at a one-year, all-time high. Vendors continue to place a priority on high-performing salespeople and have been hiring earnestly in the past three months. Another trend that surprised the webinar audience was that law firm job openings exceeded vendor openings in Q1 for the first time in several years.

We also commented on the growing need for RelativityOne skills for new hires – with ESI employers now hiring those with that software experience at a fast clip. More law firms and vendors are moving to RelOne and the need for experienced pros is high.

TRU Trends

Moving on to the motivations for ESI job seekers, we discussed that while working remotely is still the number one reason ediscovery pros enter the job market, employee burnout is surging forward and likely will overtake the first spot very soon. Burnout is a driving motivator for job seekers right now and is equal to wanting remote work. It is not just a result of more hours and more work but a conglomeration of many other factors. Job seekers tell TRU that it’s often about a lack of resources, lack of leadership, a lack of adequate technology, or overall disorganization. Hiring will need to increase to relieve the burnout pressure cooker. Another motivation new to the list is an increased interest in gaining more firsthand experience with RelativityOne.

Motivations for ESI Job Seekers

The speed of hire has been fluctuating over the past few months. While February showed quick movement, March slowed down. Now in Q2, only contract and sales roles are speeding up while other full-time midmarket roles are taking a few days longer but have not changed dramatically.

Speed of Hire for ESI

Contract roles continue to be very popular in all areas. As the chart below shows, they are now equal in quantity to full-time opportunities. Contractors are being hired to do open project work all across the industry. These include project managers, data processors, legal, and RelativityOne work. Employers may need an ediscovery project manager for a week, or they don’t want to do reporting at the end of the year, or the candidate doesn’t want to work full time. Contractors bill what they bill, and the employer can project how much profit can be made with that individual. TRU is seeing more people want to go into the gig economy – it’s about the flexibility they get. As the chart below shows, a great way to get a full-time role, if you want one, is to be a contractor, excel at your work, and then convert to full-time. The check the fit before you commit method works for both the contractor and the employer who each reap benefits from this type of work arrangement. Ediscovery hiring managers are pros when it comes to using contractors efficiently, and the job market shows a surge in this hiring modality.

Contract vs Direct Hire for ESI

It’s important to note that the number of fully remote jobs is dropping month over month with most roles now being hybrid with three or fewer days in the office. The chart below currently shows no roles placed by TRU recruiters have required being full-time in the office.

Remote_Hybrid vs In-Office

A popular stat we track covers the top five skills employers want from TRU contractors. Data shows an interesting swing toward Relativity and RelOne expertise, with administrator skills being a top request.  Tech skills, in general, are always in high demand, as well as project and case management. The more experience an ESI pro has in these areas, the more in-demand they become and naturally, they earn more money.

Top 5 Most Desired Contractor Skills

Salaries haven’t changed much since March, but we expect some changes soon now that hiring has picked up. We’re seeing people make offers and we think that will continue to gain momentum throughout Q2. Right now, job seekers with less experience are in hot demand and are making bigger increases when they change jobs. If you’re an ediscovery job seeker, and you’ve got less than six years’ experience, now is the time for you to make a move. There are lots of jobs out there for you and you’ll get between a 20% and 32% increase in salary.

US Law Firm ESI Salary Averages by Region
US Service Provider ESI Salary Averages

TRU is dedicated to tracking all the trends and statistics within ESI because we know job seekers and hiring managers want to keep their fingers on the pulse of this ever-changing industry. For job seekers, the key is to choose the right role at the time. And for hiring managers, it’s all about managing budgets and workloads while avoiding burnout. Reach out to TRU Staffing Partners to let us help you make the right choices.

Jared Coseglia on Email
Jared Coseglia
Founder and CEO at TRU Staffing Partners
Jared Michael Coseglia is the founder and CEO of TRU Staffing Partners, a staffing company representing talent and opportunities in the data privacy, e-discovery, and cybersecurity verticals since 2010. Coseglia has successfully placed over 3000 professionals in full-time and temporary positions at the Fortune 1000, Am Law 200, and throughout the global consultancy, service and software provider community. His ability to identify, deliver, mentor, and help retain talent has given him the privilege of quickly becoming the globally recognized “go-to” individual for hiring managers and job seekers in need of staffing solutions or career guidance and management in legal technology and data protection.

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