Reinventing Professionals: There are jobs in the emerging legal gig economy
Ari Kaplan speaks with Jared Coseglia, the founder and CEO of TRU Staffing Partners, an e-discovery and cybersecurity staffing agency.
This Q&A has been condensed.
Ari Kaplan: Tell us about the genesis of TRU Staffing Partners.
Jared Coseglia: TRU Staffing Partners was born in 2010, and we started [the company] to give a white-glove kind of service to managing the careers of people in the e-discovery vertical. We acquired another staffing company, the Kennett Group, which became our cybersecurity staffing division and now we are truly a dual-disciplined e-discovery cybersecurity staffing and career management firm.
Ari Kaplan: What trends are you seeing in talent acquisition and management in e-discovery and cybersecurity?
Jared Coseglia: The trends right now in cybersecurity are what I experienced in e-discovery between early 2000 and 2004. That period was a very wild wild west time for e-discovery staffing, and we are seeing that happening right now in cybersecurity, with really high demand and really low supply of talent. Whether you are a threat analyst, someone in governance and compliance, a risk or IT auditor, or an incident responder, there are jobs out there for you. Quite frankly, a lot of e-discovery vendors are now moving into that vertical and developing practices in cybersecurity in order to compete with the very fractured vendor marketplace. The demand in e-discovery is not quite as high as the supply is right now, which has led to a drastic shift and a move toward contract staffing. We are talking contract project managers, analysts, programmers, data technicians, and forensic examiners. Many of our clients in all verticals have now taken advantage of having more supply than demand and can now pick and choose. The beauty of it is this gig economy that e-discovery has been moving toward aggressively in the last few years. It is something that the talent is embracing as well, and we find that over 43 percent of Americans are now working on contract, which is starting to affect the e-discovery marketplace. People are finding that it’s a very lucrative way to reinvent themselves and move their careers in a different direction to get exposure to lots of different projects and people, as opposed to being embedded with just one client.
Ari Kaplan: Does the e-discovery gig economy appeal to a certain generation?
Jared Coseglia: Yes and no. In some ways, it appeals to all generations, but for different reasons. For the millennial generation, they love this because they have a desire to sample lots of different things and try a lot of different bosses. On the flip side, you’re also seeing a lot of veterans in the e-discovery space, who hit somewhat of a concrete ceiling, where there is no management opportunity.
Ari Kaplan: What are the roles in e-discovery and cybersecurity that are in greatest demand?
Jared Coseglia: There is no doubt that there is a great demand in e-discovery for project managers. It’s dipped a little bit because we’ve seen so much massive consolidation on the vendor side. Second to that is sales staff. There is always a high demand and low supply of really skilled seasoned business development professionals. There is also still a demand for analysts that are less client-facing and more technology-facing professionals. If you are involved in cyber, some of the highest demand is for certifications like CISSP [Certified Information Systems Security Professional], CISM [Certified Information Security Manager], and CISA [Certified Information Systems Auditor].
Ari Kaplan: Your company has published its key recommendations over the past few years in its TRU Tips guides. Can you share a few of the highlights that members of the legal community can apply to their work and careers?
Jared Coseglia: Our TRU Tips books are actually a compendium of the Tip of the Week and Top Three that we include in our weekly Hot Jobs newsletter. They are chronological so you can follow the history of our advice to the industry and some of the trends. What’s most important specifically for e-discovery professionals is reinvention. You have to be willing to reinvent, and I use myself as an example. It was really scary saying: “Hey listen, we are going to buy this other company and make this pivot to really learn a whole new discipline of cybersecurity.” It was really scary. It took a lot of investment, time, and intellectual curiosity, but it’s the best decision I have ever made. I really have to encourage everyone out there to be ready and willing to reinvent themselves constantly.
Listen to the complete interview at Reinventing Professionals.
Ari Kaplan regularly interviews leaders in the legal industry and in the broader professional services community to share perspective, highlight transformative change and introduce new technology.