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Associate Director Human Resources

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Job ID: 6818

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Location: Houston, TX, United States

Category: Human Resources


About Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a preeminent, full-service law firm with offices around the world and a staff as diverse as the practice areas we support. Our clients range from Fortune 100 companies to medium and small corporations, financial institutions, and private equity firms.  Known for our commitment to excellence, Kirkland strives to provide superior service to our clients as well as our fellow employees. From Information Technology to Human Resources, Paralegal Services to Business Development, Kirkland offers non-attorney professionals challenging careers in a variety of functional areas. Whether starting or growing your career, Kirkland can offer a performance-driven culture filled with bright and innovative teams of co-workers.

Essential Job Functions

The Associate Director of HR will provide both overall strategic HR leadership and hands on day-to-day support to the Firm’s Texas offices. This position requires excellent business partnering, change management, and organizational development skills. The successful candidate will have a strong understanding of practical and applicable organization processes and structures, combined with Human Resources expertise. 

The Associate Director of HR must have extensive experience in employee relations, recruiting, and compensation administration. The individual must have a track record of successful Human Resources leadership in a large to mid-size firm or professional services company and experience managing staff in multiple locations. The individual in this role needs to ensure that the organization’s goals are met through recruiting, coaching, and retaining an outstanding team of managers, paralegals, practice assistants, and support staff.  This position is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Firm’s Human Resources polices.

The Associate Director of HR works within established policies and firmwide parameters to promote, deploy, and communicate standards of professional development, compensation parity and ensure compliance within the law.

This position will report directly to the Chief Human Resources Officer with a dotted line to the TX Senior Director of Administration and HU and DA Senior Office Managers.

KEY COMPETENCIES & ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS (This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented and changed as necessary.)

Strong business acumen

  • Using extensive resources to stay up to date in the law firm industry with a deep understanding of the context in which our firm operates and how work is done within business units.
  • Collaborating with HR functional leaders to develop HR business solutions.
  • Maintaining knowledge of legal requirements and government reporting requirements and regulations affecting human resources and proactively ensure business practices are in compliance.


  • Applying an agile thought process, anticipating and flexing to the changing needs and priorities of the business unit, changing course when necessary.

Relationship management

  • Building relationships and coordinate effectively among a wide range of stakeholders and collaborators working across offices, departments, and staff levels to partner and influence.
  • Having strong relationships with business unit leaders and with HR functional leaders counterparts.
  • Working closely with the leadership and managers in each office to develop a state-wide recruiting/staffing strategy for key positions, delivering qualified candidates on time and in the most cost-effective way.

Strategic consulting

  • Partnering with stakeholders proactively developing solutions to challenges and influencing business decisions while meeting employee needs across the employee experience life cycle with strong deductive reasoning skills.
  • Driving performance management, proactively manage problem areas and key issues.

Excellent judgment

  • Acting proactively and solving problems in a client-centric way handling, analyzing, interpreting and communicating effectively and responsibly to drive business outcomes.
  • Managing and developing Human Resources staff in the Houston, Dallas and Austin offices, leading with empathy, fostering creativity, and motivating to achieve results.

Qualifications & Requirements

Education, Work Experience, Skills

  • A Bachelor’s degree. PHR or SHRM-CP certification is preferred.
  • The ideal candidate will have a minimum of ten (10) years human resources experience including a minimum of five (5) years of employee management experience within a professional services environment.
  • Must possess deep knowledge of Federal and local employment laws.
  • Strong familiarity with employee relations, as well as knowledge of legal requirements and government reporting requirements and regulations affecting human resources.
  • Ability to effectively manage and develop HR staff.
  • Demonstrated strategic ability and analytical skill, with a proven ability to use analytics to drive decision making.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with an ability to inspire trust and confidence at all levels. Proven success working cross-functionally in an organization. Must have strong communication skills, both verbally and written word.
  • Demonstrated leadership talent, with the ability to motivate all levels of employees through excellent judgment, professional competence, credibility, flexibility, and personal integrity.


  • PeopleSoft, preferably version 9.2
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite


  • This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in Kirkland & Ellis LLP.  To complete an application and submit your resume, please click "Apply Now."

Equal Employment Opportunity

All employment decisions, including the recruiting, hiring, placement, training availability, promotion, compensation, evaluation, disciplinary actions, and termination of employment (if necessary) are made without regard to the employee’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy or childbirth, personal appearance, family responsibilities, sexual orientation or preference, gender identity, political affiliation, source of income, place of residence, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military veteran status, unfavorable discharge from military service, physical or mental disability, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Closing Statement

The job postings and recruiting mailbox are for candidates only. If you are a recruiter, search firm or employment agency, and do not have a signed contract with Kirkland & Ellis LLP ("K&E") and have not been asked specifically to submit candidates, you will not be compensated in any way for your referral of a candidate even if K&E hires the candidate. Direct contact with K&E employees in an attempt to present candidates is inappropriate and will be a factor in determining any future professional relationship with the Firm.