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Senior Human Resources Manager

Job ID: 7416

Updated: Nov 16, 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 alternative asset management; restructurings; high-stakes commercial and intellectual property litigation; 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 3,500 lawyers) operating from 20 offices across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, we are one of the largest law firms in the world and a top financial performer.

Essential Job Functions

The Senior Human Resources Manager will act in a Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) role and develop a trusted and strategic partnership with the Finance and Paralegal departments’ leadership and business services professionals to support their goals and business needs. Through collaboration with local Human Resources teams, Recruiting Business Advisors (RBA), HR Centers of Expertise (COE), and the Finance and Paralegal departments, the HRBP will act as a coach and consultant on operational and strategic HR matters and provide a solution-focused assessment of ongoing challenges and opportunities in alignment with department and Firm priorities.

The Senior Manager will demonstrate business acumen to support development and change management efforts within the Finance and Paralegal departments, while establishing and implementing best practices.

The Senior Manager will report directly to a member of the HR leadership team with accountability to the Finance and Paralegal departments’ Senior Staff members.

Essential Functions: (This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented and changed as necessary.)

Talent Acquisition & Management

  • Provide support in headcount planning and annual recruitment strategy by collaborating with the RBAs, Compensation BPs, and Finance and Paralegal department Senior Staff members.
  • Partner with the RBAs on recruiting needs to drive fair, strategic, and timely recruitment processes and review compensation and offer details.
  • Partner with Integration, Development & Retention (IDR) COE to ensure an onboarding process that offers a seamless experience for both the new hire and the hiring/team lead.
  • Support new hires’ integration into the team and collaborate with their supervisor on the 30/60/90-day onboarding process.
  • Drive employee engagement, upskilling, and promotion in support of overall retention and succession planning.

Talent Development

  • Partner with Finance and Paralegal department leaders and the IDR COE to identify and execute training and development opportunities for employees.

Performance Management

  • Provide training to employees and supervisors around annual staff performance review process and goal setting.
  • Coach and train supervisors on effectively delivering performance review feedback.
  • Partner with Finance and Paralegal department supervisors on talent development plans, identify potential promotional opportunities, and ensure consistency in evaluation of employees.
  • Consult with Finance and Paralegal department leads to create and deliver performance warnings and performance improvement plans.


  • Collaborate with the Compensation COE and Finance and Paralegal department Senior Staff members to support internal equity, ensure competitive salary ranges, anticipate potential compensation discussions, and review annual salary and bonus planning.
  • Partner with the Compensation COE to offer suggestions around market adjustments, off-cycle compensation adjustments, and special hiring arrangements.


  • Conduct staff exit interviews and gather data to analyze trends that may influence best practices and other process improvements.
  • Partner with Finance and Paralegal department Senior Staff, local HR, and Employee Relations COE to manage the separation process, including documentation, approvals, exit paperwork, and logistics.

Employee Relations

  • Address issues or concerns and partner with Employee Relations COE to ensure alignment with Firm standards and best practices for Employee Relations matters, policy interpretation and guidance, and investigations.
  • Lead employee investigations and collaborate with local HR team on next steps.

Employee Resources

  • Collaborate with the Firm’s Benefits COE to maintain current working knowledge of Firm’s offerings including leaves of absence, wellbeing, parenting support, and other resources, as well as state-specific guidelines to provide support to managers and employees.

Other Functions: (This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented and changed as necessary.)

  • Gather and analyze metrics to identify trends and recommend strategies aligning with business objectives and decision making.
  • Develop and/or lead change management efforts across all phases of projects and initiatives to drive the Firm’s culture of continuous improvement.
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by management.

Qualifications & Requirements

Education, Work Experience, Skills:

  • Minimum of eight (8) years of proven strategic HR experience, preferably with a professional services organization.
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience required.
  • Experience with HR disciplines including employee relations, performance management, recruiting and onboarding, employee retention and turnover, analyzing HR metrics, and policy interpretation and guidance.
  • Ability to work cross-functionally in an organization and inspire trust and confidence at all levels.
  • Previous experience working with senior leaders in a professional service environment.
  • Excellent verbal and oral communication and problem-solving skills.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify training needs and development opportunities.
  • Proven change management skills.


  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and PeopleSoft

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-Hybrid #LI-KP1