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HR Associate Director - Business Staff Integration, Retention & Development

Job ID: 6984

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Human Resources


About Kirkland & Ellis

At Kirkland & Ellis, we are united in our ambition and drive to move forward. We share core values that help us achieve excellence: collaboration, talent empowerment, service, inclusion, respect and gratitude. Our people are our greatest asset, and we invest in the brightest talent and encourage a diversity of perspectives and strengths to create dynamic teams that operate at the pinnacle of their field. Our talented professionals show up every day knowing they will engage in meaningful work, continuous learning and professional development.
As one of the world’s leading law firms, we serve a broad range of clients with market-leading practices in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions; investment fund formation and management; restructurings; high-stakes litigation and trials; and government, regulatory and internal investigations. We handle the most complicated and sophisticated legal matters because we don’t just meet industry standards, we create them. We bring innovation and entrepreneurialism to every engagement and, as a result, have long-standing client relationships with leading global corporations and financial sponsors. With 6,500 employees (including 3,000+ lawyers) operating from 18 offices across the United States, Europe and Asia, we are one of the largest law firms in the world and a top financial performer.

Essential Job Functions

The Firmwide Associate Director of Integration, Retention & Development is a member of the Firmwide HR leadership team and provides strategic and tactical leadership to ensure that HR processes effectively support the Firm’s strategy and are aligned to the Firm’s Administrative Business Support strategic pillars.

Reporting to the Chief Human Resources Officer, the Associate Director of Integration, Retention & Development is responsible for ensuring consistent delivery of HR processes at each aspect of the employee life cycle and partnering with local HR and Senior Directors of Administration to develop best practices that can be utilized across the Firm.

This role is charged with implementing processes and protocols that support the Firm as an Elite Talent Magnet and will identify opportunities to align our talent to a One Firm mindset through our onboarding, integration, and development programs. The individual in this position proactively works closely with HR Business Partners to identify development needs within departments and partners closely with leaders on the Learning & Development team on the creation and design of programming to meet those needs.


  • Stay current with market-leading best practices for onboarding and employee engagement and work closely with HR Business Partners (HRBPs) to create an onboarding experience that incorporates aspects specific to each department
  • Develop a roadmap for a change management strategy to ensure new onboarding processes are integrated at a pace befitting a high performing organization
  • Partner with Talent Acquisition on any related enhancements to the onboarding and orientation process, ensuring consistency with branding, presentation, delivery, and related swag
  • Analyze trends and identify opportunities for continual improvement through firmwide review of New Hire Survey results; develop system to capture best practices gleaned from newly hired business support staff
  • Collaborate with HR Operations and the IT department to ensure IT components and technology are effectively implemented, integrated, and deployed for a seamless user experience

Integration & Retention Strategy

  • Connect with department leaders, Global Service Leads and HRBPs to lead assessment of integration efforts and opportunities to leverage existing processes and identify best practices to implement broadly. This includes evaluating the 30/60/90 interview design, staff mentorship program, and Glassdoor employee engagement campaigns
  • Partner closely with DEI to ensure DEI efforts are incorporated into each stage of the staff employee life cycle
  • Partner with Learning & Development to create curated Learning and Development paths for Business Support Teams
  • Partner closely with the Employee Relations function to analyze exit survey data to identify retention trends

Learning & Development

  • Metrics Identify data from employment life cycle that will inform the training designed by L&D
    • Work with HRBPs to identify trends from performance reviews and other employee data to inform the creation and design of staff training and development programming
    • Collaborate with Performance Management & Data Analytics function to develop a system to regularly capture employee data throughout the year
  • Learning & Development Collaboration - Collaborate with L&D to create a Business Support Staff development framework that brings together new employees across the Firm when they join and at key inflection points in their careers
    • Leverage the Firm’s LMS for learning paths, data analysis, and maximizing our existing investments in learning content (such as LinkedIn Learning)
    • Develop and facilitate new supervisor and manager training
    • Balance a buy vs. build approach and articulate a business case for either option
    • Identify internal and external training needs, and partner closely with L&D to develop programming initiatives. This includes the annual Kirkland Leadership Conference and possible KLC Alumni programming
    • Work with the Performance Management & Data Analytics and L&D functions to review the competency framework and anchors training expectations to each level while aligning to the Firm’s values and administrative pillars
  • Talent Plan - Partner with HRBPs and department leaders to identify training, development, and team-building activities that will support each department’s Talent Plan
  • Work closely with the CHRO and outside consultant to develop a Career Advisory and coaching framework for Business Support teams.
  • Strategic Pillars - work closely with the CHRO, the Communications function, and L&D to consider the creation of strategic pillar training for all business support teams
  • Collaborate with the Performance Management & Data Analytics function to develop a training on goal setting that is incorporated into the review process and throughout the year
  • Work with HR Leadership Team to develop cross-department committees and activities that will provide HR team members opportunities to work with colleagues and leaders across the Firm
  • Lead Firmwide and various department training sessions as appropriate
  • Other related duties as assigned

Qualifications & Requirements

Education, Work Experience, Skills

  • A Bachelor’s degree is required. PHR or SHRM-CP certification is preferred.
  • The ideal candidate will have a minimum of ten (10) years human resources experience, including involvement with employee onboarding, employee engagement, and talent integration or development.
  • A minimum of three (3) years of people management experience. Ability to work cross-functionally in an organization and inspire trust and confidence at all levels.
  • Familiarity with the employee life cycle. Proven success developing processes, policies or programs centered around delivering a seamless, positive employee experience.
  • This role requires excellent judgment and a high level of attention to detail, is proactive, takes initiative, and has an innovative mindset. Collaboration and client service skills are essential.


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

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. #LI-AT1