Head of HR

Term: 2 Year Fixed Term Contract, 4-5 days per week
Department: Human Resources
Location: London
Reports to: HR Director

The Firm

Fieldfisher is a European law firm with market leading practices in many of the world's most dynamic sectors. We are an exciting, forward-thinking organisation with a particular focus on technology, finance & financial services, energy & natural resources, life sciences and media.

Our growing European network of offices supports an international client base alongside our Silicon Valley and China colleagues. We also work in a number of other jurisdictions through dedicated country teams.
Among our clients we count social media sites and high street coffee chains as well as pharmaceutical, life sciences and medical devices companies, energy suppliers, banks and technology leaders.

Clients choose to work with us because we deliver commercial, pragmatic and innovative solutions through our exceptional legal expertise and experience, on time and on budget.

Our network has more than 1000 people working across 20 offices providing highly commercial advice based on an in-depth understanding of our clients' needs.

We operate across our offices in Amsterdam, Beijing, Belfast, Birmingham, Bologna, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Manchester, Munich, Milan, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Turin, Venice and Silicon Valley.

In 2017, Fieldfisher was named Law Firm of the Year in Western Germany at the Juve Awards, and Law firm of the Year at the British Legal Awards. 2018 saw Fieldfisher named Law Firm of the year at the Legal Business Awards 2018.

Fieldfisher's Condor Alternative Legal Solutions won the award for ‘New Business and Service Delivery Models’ at the FT Innovative Lawyers Europe Awards 2017.  Fieldfisher also won Personal Injury Team of the Year at the Solicitors Journal Awards 2017.

The Team

The HR department is responsible for the provision of a full range of HR services to the Firm including recruitment and resourcing, talent management, compensation and benefits, performance management, employee relations, staff welfare, compliance and maintenance of personnel records.

The Head of HR works as part of a management team alongside the Head of Inclusion & Diversity, the Head of Recruitment, The Head of Learning & Development  and the Head of Organisational Development, but also acts as a de-facto deputy to the HR Director to whom the management team all report.

As Head of Human Resources, you will lead the team that operates as the operational interface between HR and the Firm's business units, both professional fee earning practices and business services departments, across our UK offices.  Your role will be to provide managerial leadership to your team and strategic & thought leadership to the partnership, ensuring that best-practice approaches to human resources development and management are embedded throughout the Firm.

Key competencies for the role include:

•    Strong leadership -  you will have experience of leading a team of other HR professionals;
•    Strategic thinking – you will have experience of bringing ideas to the table and shaping  programmes and policies in response to overarching strategic plans;
•    Strong stakeholder management – you will have experience of working with and advising partners and department heads within a professional services environment, leading them through complex HR issues;
•    Analysis & attention to detail – you will have experience in analysing and assessing data and turning that into practical reporting for senior management of the Firm.

The role is based in our London office with occasional travel to our Manchester, Birmingham and Belfast offices. Standard working hours in London are 9.30am to 5.30pm, however the HR team operate a flexible working policy. The role holder could work full time or 4 days per week.
Previous experience of working in a professional services partnership is essential, preferably in a law firm.


Team Management & Development

•    Daily management of a small team of experienced HR Business Partners;
•    A focus on the mentoring and professional development of the skills and competencies of the HR Business Partners;
•    Assisting the HR Director in the development of a succession plan.

Stakeholder Relationship Management

•    Pro-actively develop effective working relationships with key stakeholders, in particular the partnership and business services department heads, influencing and challenging where necessary.
•    Lead the team in the development and delivery of business unit people plans to support Group and HR strategies.

Employee Relations

•    Provide commercial solutions to the most complex HR issues, managing risk and financial exposure.
•    Work in partnership with the business leadership to manage the most complex employee relations issues, including; performance, disciplinary and grievance issues, sickness absence, redundancies and flexible working requests.
•    Coach, support and challenge line managers in the application of HR policies and practices.

Talent Management

•    Lead the team in the identification of key retention strategies, stretch objectives and formal development plans for high potential/key talent.
•    Assisting the Head of Recruitment when required on key initiatives regarding lateral hiring.

Performance Management

•    Lead the team in their work with key stakeholders to drive a high performance culture, setting challenging objectives and proactively identifying performance management issues.
•    Lead the team in their coaching of line managers to draft and implement cogent individual performance improvement plans aimed at improving contribution and minimising the need to enter formal capability processes.
•    Lead the team on business unit appraisal moderation and feed into firm-wide moderation to achieve fairness and consistency in addition to an appropriate distribution of performance ratings.

Project Management

•    Take the lead and work in partnership with the HR Business Partners to ensure co-ordination in project/policy development.

Key Skills & Experience

•    Generalist HR experience, ideally gained within the legal or alternatively professional services partnership
•    Excellent senior stakeholder management skills
•    Strong oral and written communication skills
•    Strong team management skills including the development and mentoring of experienced individuals
•    An awareness of, and commitment to complying with, our Equality and Diversity Policy and procedures
•    Commitment to deliver first-rate, pro-active and appropriate HR strategy & support for the Firm
•    Excellent proven project and time management skills
•    A positive and resilient disposition as well as being a strong team player.

Fieldfisher recruitment processes are handled by our in house recruitment team. If you are an agency enquiring about partnering with us on recruitment, please direct your correspondence solely to the recruitment team and please do not submit speculative applications under any circumstances.

Fieldfisher aims to ensure equality of opportunity and we are actively working towards improving the diversity of our staff.  All applications will only be considered on merit and the applicant's suitability to meet the requirements of the role.

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