TRU Trends: It’s Never Too Early to Plan Your Next E-Discovery Career Move

Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS)

February’s Eye on ESI webinar proved that the ediscovery job industry is ready to spring to life. My cohost ACEDS President Michael and I presented the exciting marketplace stats recently to a lively audience of ediscovery pros eager to know where the jobs were. Spoiler alert: The jobs are almost everywhere, especially if you are in sales or at an entry-level point in your career.

Our recent visit to LegalWeek 2024 showed that for the first time in 15 or 20 years it’s no longer just an ediscovery conference; it covers all sorts of new technologies like A.I. and cloud tech. And as law firm and vendor management teams devote significant portions of work time to investigating, researching, and developing these technologies, it’s clear they will need to shift their workloads downstream to get the client work done – then they will need to hire to even out the workloads.

LegalWeek 2024 Takeaways

Also, I predict that with A.I. becoming such a time commitment for the legal industry, we will see a renaissance of providers (service and software) over the next three to five years begin to rise.I think A.I. will have a big impact on the legal community sooner than later.

Hiring Is Happening Now!

While January was quiet, hiring exploded in February, and we predict it will continue to surge into March. TRU currently has as many openings at law firms as we do at service providers.The biggest reason is they are now in-sourcing technology like cloud tech that allows them to scale in ways that they haven’t done before. We’re seeing a bigger demand for law firms wanting workers with RelativityOne processing, people who can come in and just do one piece of the puzzle as the organization scales. ESI sales demand is at an all-time high as well. All my customers are looking for good sales professionals. So, it’s really not about what’s available. The problem is that the demand is really high, and the available supply is pretty low. If you have ESI sales experience or have strong Relativity skills to bring to market, get in touch with TRU now. If you want contract work, the world is your oyster: the job market is 50/50, with the number of contract jobs equal to the number of full-time jobs. The market right now offers all types of work and is open to both full-time and contract workers. The next graphic shows the Top 5 contractor skills we get requests for, with Relativity Administration and RelativelyOne being the top skills.

Top 5 Most Desired Contractor Skills

Speed of Hire, Remote vs. In-Office and Salaries

Mike and I also discussed the stats we cover every month. The most remarkable is the surging speed of hire within ediscovery:

Speed of Hire for ESI

What we’ve seen happen over the last year or so is a stabilization toward a new normal, which is what you see circled in red above. For executives at a law firm, it’s about a 90-day hiring process from the time we send a resume to when verbal offers are accepted. It’s an 80-day cycle for a sales rep, 40 days for mid-market (PMs, analysts, etc.), 10 days for contractors. Here’s what’s important: If you wait longer than these circled timeframes, chances are your candidate is going to get another offer, and you won’t be the first offer they receive.

Our research shows that currently, most candidates (65%) are accepting first offers. This is a really important stat to track. In 2022, if an employer extended an offer, and it was the first offer a candidate received, there was only a 45% likelihood they would take it, because they got multiple offers and they waited to choose which one was best. However, last year if you were the first offer a candidate received, you had an 80% likelihood they would take it. We’ve never seen a ratio that high. It is because if you move quickly and deliberately in what feels like a down economy, job seekers will take the opportunity before it evaporates. Beginning in the last quarter of 2023, that number dropped to 65%. That tells us more jobs are available. Jobseekers that are in highest demand are now getting multiple offers. So our guidance to all hiring managers is: be fast and be first. Your likelihood of getting a yes increases significantly.

RemoteHybrid vs In-Office

TRU recruiters are also seeing some new trends in remote versus in-office work. Currently, 38% of the 92% shown at the far right of the chart above are fully remote jobs. Most firms and vendors are offering three or fewer days in the office, which is now the new normal. We anticipate that we’ll see more people going back into the office, but 90% are going to be hybrid at three days or fewer. If you’re looking for employees to come in four days or more, your job search could take another 90 days.

US Service Provider ESI Salary Averages

Salaries haven’t changed much in February, but we expect some changes soon now that hiring has picked up. There’s just so much in the pipeline. We’re seeing people make offers and we think that will continue to gain momentum into March. 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.

Definitive ESI Jobs Report

At LegalWeek, we released our 2024 eDiscovery Jobs Report. It’s based on people accepting jobs and what they actually got paid. It discusses what employers are really offering, not what they’re advertising, and not what people are getting in terms of raises. This data is at the point of hire, but it covers so much more. Within its pages, you’ll get the latest industry research, expert insights and learn how to navigate the changing job marketplace.

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Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS)

Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) on:

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