This series, “Unintended and Unexpected Consequences from COVID-19 on the U.S. Job Market,” is written by the founder and CEO of TRU Staffing Partners, a global leader in cybersecurity, e-discovery, and privacy placement and career management. Drawing from twenty plus years of experience representing talent and opportunities in global markets and having survived and thrived during and after past economic crises in 2001 and again in 2008–2009, Coseglia aims to help business owners, hiring managers, and both passive and active jobseekers to anticipate moments of change that are likely to occur as a result of the current impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had and will continue to have on job markets across the world. This series will examine how U.S. employment practices, policies, patterns, and people’s behavior may change in the coming months. Each chapter of this series will delve into a specific observation or trend starting with this week’s focus: PPP Ends, Unemployment Rises

Chapter 2: PPP Ends, Unemployment Rises

In the next two to six weeks, the qualifying period of forgivable expenditure of PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans will end. Small businesses can keep all of the funds, but the forgivable portion will be clearly calculated and the rest considered a loan that must be repaid within two years of receipt at a 1% interest rate. This seemed like a good deal and a great rate, a brilliant idea to hold over Americans and allow employers to retain their talent while business returned to normal in the late summer months. Unfortunately, as the forgiveness period of the loan expires, nothing has changed fundamentally on the demand side to bolster consumer buying power or business reacceleration for most small businesses in the U.S. Yes, almost all U.S. states are reopening in some capacity in the last two weeks of May, but behaviors have not dramatically changed to ensure business owner confidence that there is enough new or returning business to warrant employing the same roster of people as they have employed prior to COVID and throughout the forgivable loan period of the PPP. Mark Cuban said it best this week: “The only thing that will save businesses is consumer demand. No amount of loans to businesses will save them or jobs if their customers aren't buying.”

As a result, Americans should expect rolling furloughs, redundancies, RIFs, layoffs, and terminations over the months of June and July. As the PPP runs out, with no extension in sight, so will small business owners’ ability to maintain pre-COVID human capital scale. Unemployment in the U.S. is currently at 14.7% (as of the end of April), the highest since the Great Depression. Over the next two months, if greater leniency or forgiveness extension on loans or granting of additional forgivable loans is not provided by the federal government and the SBA, it is possible that unemployment could skyrocket to 25% to 35% before the end of August. Our government has a choice--they could extend forgiveness on existing loans, create new ones, or pay the unemployment on the incoming fallout from the end of the PPP. Regardless of which way they go, the U.S. government is still going to foot the bill for American workers.

So, how does this affect the e-discovery, privacy, and cybersecurity job markets? While these industries are not immune to the inevitable slowdown in the U.S. economy (forget notions of “recession-proof” – this is not like any recession ever seen in modern times), there may be less need for law firms and vendors to disrupt the existing services they are providing. The pulse on the market in those verticals is that business is steady but with many now at maximum talent capacity for servicing existing business in these areas. Layoffs may not spread like the wildfire to be expected in more dramatically affected industries like retail, entertainment, and restaurants, but as small businesses in ESI, privacy consulting/tech, and cybersecurity emerge from the period of forgivable loan redemption, rest assured they are looking at their talent infrastructure and making strategic business decisions as to the necessity of jobs and individuals within their org chart.

Now is the time as an employee to be an overachiever. In the next few weeks, some people may go on hold. Some jobs may go on hold. Some people may never come back. Some jobs may never come back. The next few months will force small business owners to rethink their strategies for the years ahead while there is still cash in the bank and a need to make human capital adjustments in the new post-COVID market.

Event calendar
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Recent News & Events

TRU and Electronic Discovery Resource Model (EDRM) will team up for a new master class that provides an update on the state of the data privacy, e-discovery, and cybersecurity job markets today as they adapt to the ongoing pandemic while keeping up with the ever-evolving legal tech landscape. TRU founder and CEO Jared Coseglia will join EDRM’s Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad to break down where the hiring is now and where it will be later in Q4 and into Q1 2021, how legal tech pros can leverage certification and training to stay at the forefront of the industry in response to new questions about data management and protection, and what the larger trends that will define the following year will be.

Wednesday, 04 November 2020, 13:00

Jared Coseglia with present “State of the Legal Technology Job Market 2020,” which will deliver a statistically rich overview on where the litigation support and e-discovery job market is today, what hiring managers need to know about candidates’ motivations, and what job seekers need to know about the desires and habits of employers. This panel will cover what adjustments law firms, corporations, service providers, consulting firms, and government entities are making as a result of the pandemic, specifically dynamic increases to contract staffing modalities and virtual WFH employment. Coseglia will also detail the intersection of litigation tools and talent with data privacy and security and expose the job market trends in those verticals which will define much of corporate hiring for the rest of 2020 and 2021. This session will add value to any hiring manager’s process and give job seekers unique advantage in understanding the current staffing climate in our industry.

Friday, 02 October 2020, 09:00
TRU Tips

ESI sales hiring managers want as close as they can get to a proven success in an individual contributor.

TOP 3 Ways To Position Yourself As A Proven Success On A Sales Interview
  • Be open about your relationships from the first interview; reputation is everything in legal tech sales.
  • Be transparent with your potential new employer about your compensation and commission history and expectations.
  • Know your numbers. Average deal size, sales cycle, and revenue numbers should be things you can quickly share with your interviewer.
Wednesday, 23 September 2020, 11:49