Recently Punit Bhatia, CEO of Fit4Privacy, featured Jared Coseglia, founder and CEO of TRU Staffing Partners on his Fit4Privacy podcast. The two had a wide-ranging discussion focused on topics relating to TRU’s recently published 2022 Data Privacy Jobs Report. Part two of their conversation covered how hiring managers can attract the best talent during their interview processes.
Challenges data privacy hiring managers face
Bhatia started this portion of the podcast discussing the journey of getting a data privacy job in today’s market. He asked Coseglia what challenges hiring managers faced in a post-pandemic world. “I know that three to five years ago, the challenges were around the lack of people in the job market, and a general lack of industry knowledge from those in the job market,” Bhatia said. “Nowadays, it seems to be more about finding the right people to fit the right job. What do you see as the challenges?”
Coseglia replied that he thought the greatest challenge that hiring managers are having right now is articulating the uniqueness and the value proposition of their program to potential job seekers. “TRU’s Jobs Report goes into that issue and how to address it, said Coseglia. “The more challenging thing is verbalizing where they are in their maturity model in a simple and honest fashion and enticing people to work with them.” Coseglia went on to note that the onus is on the hiring manager to sell the candidate and that is big adjustment for many longtime leaders.
Normally, the expectation is that the job seeker is eagerly looking to work for an organization. Coseglia told Bhatia that “every job seeker who was in data privacy in 2021 had a minimum of two, but an average of three job offers, not including counteroffers at that inflection point when they changed jobs.”
It’s still a job seeker’s market, but it’s leveling
In Q1 of 2022, TRU recruiters saw salaries increase at an average of 30% on base, which was higher than the 22% average in 2021. Coseglia considers this the peak. Anything higher than a 30% increase in base compensation is unhealthy for the job market. People would have to raise prices and could potentially not be able to afford to add talent they need. “I would say directors and CPOs are still getting a good premium out there for changing jobs,” Coseglia said. “Perhaps not quite 30%, but still in the 20-23% range.”
The truth of the matter is that Coseglia sees fewer jobs for CPOs and directors of data privacy programs than there were six or eight months ago. However, TRU is seeing a massive amount of volume for program managers, program directors, privacy engineers, and privacy analysts in the upper to mid-tier with three to six years of experience. Also, there is also demand for junior-level privacy attorneys with up to four years of experience. For those roles, the volume is increasing exponentially.
Data privacy candidates want to make an impact
Bhatia asked what advice Coseglia has for hiring managers looking to convince candidates to choose their organization over another.
Coseglia said that the first thing that hiring managers should talk about is the impact opportunity that the data privacy professional is going to make in their new organization. “Stop trying to sell candidates, especially those hot mid-market candidates, on what the three-to five-year career plan looks like at your company,” Coseglia said. “They don’t care about tenure.”
Why don’t they care? Privacy professionals in that range are not staying in their jobs for that amount of time. Organizations are lucky to keep staff two to three years at the most now. And, if they are retaining them, they are likely expecting to move into an elevated position. If their current organization can’t provide that, another will.
Coseglia said that data privacy job candidates want to make an impact and know what they are doing the first 90 to 120 days in a role. “That’s the first way to structure your approach with candidates,” he said. “Talk about impact. That’s attraction.”
The second piece is differentiation, which always comes down to one thing: specificity. If organizations don’t have specificity in their job descriptions or in their immediate expectations of people, they won’t be able to differentiate their company from others. Candidates need to know what a firm has done that is unique – perhaps it is institutionalizing new technology or moving into new countries with new regulations. Whatever that something might be, hiring managers need to be very specific about that.
“Many of the job descriptions we help edit are what I would call catch-alls,” Coseglia said. “Hiring managers put everything they wish they could have into one document and that scares people away. Be very specific about what each candidate’s role is going to do.”
There can be a temptation to go generic on job descriptions in hopes of attracting more candidates. This usually backfires. Especially in a specialized industry like data privacy, a clearly articulated program vision coupled with detailed responsibility specificity is the name of the game. The best way to get specific is to create a job description that speaks directly to the privacy job seeker. To get exact questions and tips for crafting attractive job descriptions, download TRU’s 2022 Data Privacy Jobs Report today, or reach out to a TRU expert recruiter for advice.