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Eye on ESI Details a Month-Long Wild Ride for ESI Industry

TRU Staffing Partners June 17, 2024 at 8:30 AM
June 2024 Eye on ESI

This month’s Eye on ESI webinar, featuring TRU Staffing Partners’ Founder and CEO Jared Coseglia and ACEDS President Mike Quartararo, showcased the latest trends and happenings in the ESI job market. Coseglia began the discussion by reminding the attendees that many of the stats shared in today’s meeting were based on information found in TRU’s 2024 eDiscovery Jobs Report.


Coseglia: We have some new trends for the month of May. Just so you know, May was a very milestone-driven month, and the milestones were very unusual and often contradictory. We’ll unpack those trends to show how we’ve arrived at a unique place in the year for the ESI market.


Bullet 1: Last month, TRU recruiters saw the highest number of declined offers of any month this year. This happened for two reasons: first, people are getting multiple offers now at the point of hire. There is a high demand for the same types of candidates within a certain salary range, the number of active job seekers has diminished, and hiring managers are fighting over the same candidates. And in multiple offer situations, several employers are being declined. Second, we’re seeing candidates decline new roles and deciding not to leave their current jobs, which is also unusual. These people are either taking counteroffers (and this is a trend we haven’t seen in 18 months) or are just deciding to leave the market.

I’m talking about this because if you are considering a job move and have been passive about it, now is good time to activate your job search – particularly if you are in the middle range of the market (project managers, analysts, etc.). Employers are looking for you.

Bullet 2: In the month of May, TRU also saw the largest number of inbound resumes we’ve seen in the last 12 months. People are looking for new opportunities, but they are being picky about the roles they will consider.

Bullet 3: Last month, TRU also had the lowest number of first-round interviews. It signals that employers are taking more time to perform searches – they are slowing the process. This is a dangerous trend because the talent pool is smaller for the roles they are trying to fill, and hiring managers risk losing the candidates while they drag out the process.

Eye on ESI June 2024 [pngs]

In the slide above, you can see how dramatic these trends are, where the speed of hire has changed drastically over the last month and a half. Many of the executive positions available months ago are still open, many of the project management jobs particularly at law firms are still open, and those are the things that are drawing this timeline higher. ESI sales hiring has sharply accelerated with vendors making speedy choices. I predict we will see ESI vendors spending more on salespeople over the next few months. They are trying to get great talent in the door to invigorate sales in Q4 and Q1 2025. Also contract hiring is still happening rapidly to fill gaps.

Eye on ESI June 2024 [pngs2] 

On this next slide, we break it down further: 65% of TRU customers hire both full-time and contract employees, which I think is compelling.


TRU did a trailing report of how long jobs are taking to fill by organization type, going back 90 days. It’s fascinating, especially when we start taking the median averages of these by month. Vendors are filling roles far faster because most of their roles are fully remote. The volume of candidates they have to explore, and the interest of available candidates, is extreme. Therefore, vendors have more flexibility around volume and price. Law firms have open roles dating back months and they are really struggling to get people into an office.

Bullet 4: We’re not seeing a lot of compromise right now. It is a very polarized marketplace in eDiscovery right now. Job seekers are holding very firm to what they are looking for and what they are willing to compromise on, which is very little, namely going into an office on a regular basis and wanting more money. That’s why candidates are walking away from offers. Employers are also holding the line in terms of what they want as well – more time in an office and paying within a certain range. It’s a game of chicken.


On the slide above, you’ll see that candidates have gradually stopped accepting the first offer they received. They are more likely now to accept a second offer.

Bullet 5: Motivations! The motivations for both active and passive job seekers to enter the market are fueled by four things: organizations being understaffed, workers feeling underpaid, feeling undervalued, or workers are bored with their current roles. It’s interesting because most of them are negative instead of opportunistic. In past years, people moved toward a positive change instead of running away from whatever they currently had. This trend happened as a result of burnout being a primary motivation for change

The highlighted salary range areas are the roles most in demand right now. Most of the hottest roles were right in the middle of the marketplace. Most of the sales professionals that TRU has placed lately are either astronomically high rainmakers or at the bottom of the salary range.


Slide8-4Bullet 6: Reasons candidates are passing on offered roles is because of the in-office requirements. Most of the full-time, direct hire roles now available are at law firms, who have upped their technology in-house and want to capitalize on it. Most of these jobs require two or more days in an office – that’s not what candidates with the experience want and are turning them down. Candidates are being very choosy about which roles they will or won’t accept. If you are currently fully remote, and a prospective employer isn’t willing to pay a premium to get you to come into an office, you likely won’t accept that job. People aren’t going to give up that huge flexibility so easily.


Bullet 7: There is a slow move toward a candidate’s market as the large number of open roles occur, a smaller pool of candidates are willing to interview for these roles. To fill them, employers may need to start offering more incentives (like increasing salaries) to get candidates interested

In closing, I want to make sure everyone knows about the eDiscovery resume clinic TRU is offering on June 20. We’ve never done anything like this workshop. There are so many tips and secrets we can share specifically about crafting resumes for eDiscovery pros. We’ll give you insights into what hiring managers are looking for in ESI PM resumes and how you can leverage your experience to your advantage. The secrets we will share will save you a lot of time and energy.


In the meantime, please reach out to TRU Staffing Partners for help getting started on a new role in ESI. Many opportunities are available for both full-time and contract work.


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