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Director of Human Resources

Job ID: 5683

Updated: May 5, 2021

Location: New York, NY, 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 Director of Human Resources (DHR) is responsible for managing a high-performing HR team delivering superior service to Kirkland’s New York office. The New York office serves a population of over 1000 attorneys and staff in the areas of employee relations, staff talent acquisition, performance management, HR compliance, and benefits. The DHR works closely with and dotted line reports to the NY Senior Director of Administration.

The DHR will also partner with Firmwide HR teams, including Benefits, HR Operations, and Staff Training and Development, by providing feedback on initiatives, while working closely with the New York management team to ensure that programs are integrated successfully. In addition, the DHR will direct the U.S. staff talent acquisition function.

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

I.  Employee Relations

  • Work in partnership with Chief HR Officer, Office of General Counsel, and Firm leadership regarding complex and highly-sensitive employee relations matters.
  • Collaborate with management to address employee performance, including reviewing the content of performance evaluations and performance improvement plans to ensure they are both effective and legally compliant.
  • Investigate employee complaints or concerns, and liaise with outside counsel on employment matters.

II. Departmental Management

  • Mentor and develop the members of the New York HR team.
  • Prepare information for budget and monitor expenses.

III. Recruiting

  • Oversee, lead and advocate for Firmwide staff talent acquisition, a function consisting of the recruitment of staff roles across the Firm’s domestic offices.
  • Manage and develop the Staff Recruiting Supervisor, who in turn manages a team of recruitment professionals.
  • In collaboration with the Staff Recruiting Supervisor, develop recruiting strategies, create new, and maintain established recruitment partnerships to successfully fill positions quickly, staying attuned to recruitment nuances and needs in the various markets in which the Firm has offices.
  • Work with Staff Recruiting Supervisor to: analyze and assess recruitment metrics with the goal of increased efficiency, develop and deploy cross-office staff recruiting best practices, and leverage recruitment technology to ensure the best ROI.
  • Determine and approve offers of employment.

IV.  Compensation

  • Work with Compensation Department, department managers, and supervisory personnel in determining merit increases, market adjustments and promotional increases. 
  • Monitor internal equity and market conditions, staying abreast of New York market employment, compensation and policy trends.

    Qualifications & Requirements

    The Director of Human Resources must have a minimum of fifteen years’ experience in a Human Resources management position in law firm or professional services environment.  Ideal candidates will possess a broad Human Resources knowledge base and be extremely well versed with respect to New York State and Federal employment law.  Moreover, ideal candidates will possess a strong background in, and passion for, full cycle recruiting, and a working knowledge of benefits related law.  All qualified candidates should have a Bachelor’s Degree, PHR and/or SHRM-SCP certification is preferred.

    The Director of Human Resources must have extensive experience in employee relations and talent acquisition.  Qualified candidates must be able to demonstrate a history of successful Human Resources leadership in a large office environment.  The position requires the ability to ensure that the organization’s goals are met through recruiting, coaching, and retaining an outstanding team of managers, paralegals, practice assistants, and all other support staff.  The Director of Human Resources will also be responsible for ensuring that the New York office is compliant with all local and firm-wide Human Resources Polices. 


    • Proficient with HRIS software, preferably PeopleSoft (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.

    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.

    Talemetry Abbreviated Job Desc

    The Director of Human Resources (DHR) is responsible for managing a high-performing HR team delivering superior service to Kirkland’s New York office.