TRU Trends: December 2021 | Association of Certified Electronic Discovery Specialists (ACEDS)

As the year draws to a close, a reflection on the ESI industry trends that have defined 2021 should shed light on what to expect from the eDiscovery job market in 2022.

Contractual talent

Since the onset of COVID-19, contract staffing has been the primary solution to workforce issues in the data privacy, e-discovery and cybersecurity ecosystem. According to the American Staffing Association, the average weekly number of temporary and contract workers employed by U.S. recruiting companies rose 15.2% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021 to reach 2.7 million.

The normalization and rapid increase in the growth of contract talent changed in the second quarter, from responding to uncertainty to a reflection of unpopular return-to-work mandates and immunization policies.

In 2021, TRU employed an almost equal number of contracted and directly recruited ESI project managers, analysts and forensic examiners. We expect the increased reliance on contract talent to continue indefinitely as many employers and employees find reasons to prefer the contract lifestyle.

We also expect a significant number of entrepreneurs to receive direct hire conversion offers throughout the first quarter of 2022, as was the case with vacation rentals in early 2021 securing conversion opportunities. .

Wage inflation

In 2021, the job market favored candidates. In 2022, that will not change.

In April 2021, TRU published “Why Now Is The Best Time In 20 Years To Make A Job Move In e-Discovery. “In May, TRU calculated an average 22% increase in base pay for ESI’s mid-market professionals who changed jobs in the first quarter. These numbers have remained relatively constant throughout the remainder of 2021. .

The demand for project managers and analysts even increased in the third and fourth quarters, and with so many positions open, once filled, there will undoubtedly be as many. Following jobs are opening up again. Why? No one is unemployed at ESI anymore, so when positions are filled, they are usually filled by salaried professionals who leave a new opening behind them.


The # 1 TRU trend predicted in January “Top 10 Legal Technology Labor Market PredictionsHas become prominent to the point of hyperbole: Speed ​​wins the war for talent.

The widespread adoption of virtual interviews has accelerated the recruitment process. As of November 2021, 100% of first round interviews scheduled through TRU were virtual, and 92% of all subsequent interviews (regardless of hire rank) were virtual. It no longer takes months to recruit – it takes days or weeks. For direct hire mid-market professionals, the time between the submission of the curriculum vitae and the acceptance of the offer is 8 working days. It’s only 72 hours for contractors in the same roles. Even for executives, including ESI sales professionals, the cycle is three to six weeks.

With Zoom, Teams and the like here to stay, and endlessly at the demand of prominent eDiscovery professionals, this is perhaps the biggest and most significant trend that continues into the New Year. .

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