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May 2024 Eye on Privacy Shows Strong Contractor Hiring & High FT Burnout

TRU Staffing Partners June 11, 2024 at 3:47 PM
eye on privacy recap may 2024 part 1

May’s episode of Eye on Privacy opened with Jared Coseglia, founder and CEO of TRU Staffing Partners, welcoming webinar participants of every area of the data privacy industry. He noted that each monthly session covers the newest job market trends, details the state of the data privacy employment ecosystem, and provides the latest stats on the areas shown on the slide below.


Every month, the webinar features a guest host—this month, TRU welcomed Ron De Jesus, the Field Chief Privacy officer at Transcend, a privacy and governance platform. Coseglia thanked De Jesus for joining, asked him to introduce himself and discuss some exciting news his company has had.

De Jesus: As Field CPO at Transcend, my MO is to engage with the privacy community. So I have had a lot of incredible discussions with my peers over the last couple of weeks. I’m excited to unpack some of the insights I have learned from these discussions.

Coseglia: Let’s get into the numbers and what happened in privacy in May. Every month, we update everyone with the current trends we are seeing:


So in Trend 1 shown above, there is a stark reality of how the industry has changed. In 2022, we saw 44,000 jobs posted for privacy professionals. In 2023, that number dropped to about 19,000. Of course, 2022 was the time of the Great Resignation and many people were moving and changing jobs. Things settled down last year amid fears of recession. TRU believes we are on trend to match last year’s number, but we also see an uptick in privacy in terms of the volume of open jobs as well as salaries.

De Jesus: That 2024 figure makes a lot of sense to me. I’m starting to see a huge uptick in A.I. governance roles, so that could be a factor in that number mirroring the 2023 number. Many of the privacy roles are starting to evolve into A.I. governance roles in general.

Coseglia: Ron, do you think those roles are being filled by organizations going to the outside to recruit in or are people being promoted or re-aligned internally?

De Jesus: I think it depends on the maturity of the C-level or executive teams in terms of their understanding of what we do as privacy compliance professionals. If they are attuned to what we do daily, they might be looking at good internal candidates. However, if they are just looking at the buzzword of AI, they might be looking externally first, which I think is a missed opportunity for sure.

Coseglia: TRU’s perspective is that there is some hiring from within happening now, which is good. As one seat gets vacated and someone gets elevated, it creates an opportunity for someone else to move into that open role. We are starting to see that trickle-down effect happen now.

This leads us to TRU Trend 2: CPOs only spending 55-75% of their time being CPOs. What we have found is that they are spending 10-20% doing their own recruiting and another 15-20% dealing with A.I., which may not have anything to do with privacy or the program. Are you seeing CPOs pulled in different directions and working on things that no longer fit their job descriptions?

De Jesus: Yes, the point around recruitment definitely resonates with the folks I meet. Privacy is such a niche role. It’s hard to relate privacy goals to other teams, so CPOs take that on themselves to find these special kinds of talent. I also see us broadening our scope within A.I. as well as other compliance areas that are emerging, such as security. We are pulled in various directions, but we are well-suited to address every compliance function.

Coseglia: Trend 3 shows a crazy split in terms of job offers in 2024. TRU recruiters have seen less than 40% of the roles be full-time direct hires, while contract work is well over 60%. I think this is indicative of people not being able to get the headcount and budget approvals they need to hire full-time people.

This then leads us to Trend 4, which is one of the most staggering statistics we have seen as it relates to the conversion of contractors. More than 42% of our contractors dating back from January 2023 to present have been offered direct hire roles after completing their contract assignments – and 95% of them accepted those roles. That is astronomical. This shows privacy hiring mangers are using contract-to-hire roles to get the buy-in to hire full-time pros.

De Jesus: To me, it’s not surprising. When you find good privacy talent, you do not want to let them go. The pool of candidates in the privacy community is smaller compared to other industries so when you find a contractor who demonstrates robust knowledge, you hold on to them any way you can.

Coseglia: Trend 5: 228 is the number of days in 2023 that it took for contractors in privacy to convert to full-time roles. It is the same for 2024 so far. It was about 150 days in 2022. This means employers are taking their time to evaluate candidates’ fit. It tells hiring managers that this is the amount of time they have to decide whether to hire a person full-time or risk losing that talent to a different full-time role.

Trend 6 is burnout – the number one motivator for people to change jobs this year. TRU recruiters have spoken to hundreds of privacy pros in 2024 and right now, they are burned out. Firms are understaffed and overworked. All the trends point to that.

Trend 7 shows that when hiring mangers do select candidates, they usually have less experience and therefore are less expensive than seasoned privacy pros.

De Jesus: Yes, the concept of a one-person privacy show is no longer acceptable to us. I definitely understand why burnout is such a huge factor to those wanting different roles. 

Use the Latest Industry Data to Plan Your Next Move

If you are looking for a new role in data privacy, ask TRU Staffing Partners to find you a top-notch contract role to explore. Contracting is an excellent way to work for an organization you respect, have a high likelihood of working remotely, get excellent benefits from TRU, and potentially receive a full-time offer down the road.

For hiring managers, bringing contract workers in helps alleviate burnout of full-time staff, helps get the work done, meets compliance goals, and lets you view candidates’ performance before making a hiring decision. Everyone wins. Contact TRU Staffing Partners today to get started.


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