Staff - Administrative & Professional Staff Opportunities

Washington, DC - Staff - Human Resources Manager

Office: Washington, DC
Department: Human Resources
Reports to: Director of Human Resources (U.S.)
Status: Exempt
Schedule: Core Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and additional extended hours as needed on a frequent basis

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General Summary:   

Under the general direction and supervision of the Director of Human Resources (U.S.), the Human Resources Manager is responsible for the day-to-day HR operations of the Washington, DC office and the delivery of HR business partner services to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and IT management team.  The Human Resources Manager is responsible for helping ensure the highest caliber business services staff is in place to support the firm’s lawyers; oversees local office compliance and collaboration on firmwide projects, goals, policies and procedures; and contributes to cost-effective management.  Guided by the HR department’s objectives and priorities, the Human Resources Manager successfully resolves employee relations issues and provides support and guidance to assigned managers. The Human Resources Manager may also participate on assigned firm-wide HR projects and initiatives.

The Human Resources Manager is expected to serve as a positive role model and mentor for business services personnel, and to perform all responsibilities with a commitment to providing superior service to the firm’s lawyers, efficient and effective departmental operations, and an atmosphere of teamwork and continuous improvement.  Above all, the Human Resources Manager must fulfill the needs of the office in a manner which is consistent with the Firm’s Core Values.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities (Duties are performed throughout every work day, as necessary):

Employee Relations:

  • Manage all levels of employee relations for assigned office and department(s), collaborating closely with the assigned chief, managers, and Firm HR.
  • Develop practices and strategies to ensure employee relations services are widely communicated and perceived as easily accessible; establish and maintain strong relationships with employees and managers.
  • Investigate and resolve issues, collaborate with managers, and bring to appropriate resolution; document effectively and ensure legal ramifications are effectively addressed.
  • As needed, broker and coordinate involvement with Local HR Managers to successfully resolve IT employee relations issues outside of the Washington, DC office.
  • Serve as available “employee advocate” to attorneys and employees within the Washington, DC office, and advise or escalate pertinent issues with the department’s HR Business Partner as needed.
  • Provide professional guidance and interpretation on workplace questions and issues that may require high sensitivity; strategically address business needs, policies, accommodation, confidentiality, etc.
  • Interpret personnel policies for managers and employees and ensure application is consistent with firm-wide practice; interpret ADA, FMLA, and other federal, state, and local statutory employment regulations and provide guidance on their application in the workplace.
  • Consult with the Firm’s Chief Human Resources Officer and Director of Human Resources (U.S.), and provide guidance locally regarding employee relations issues, progressive discipline actions, employment terminations, and conduct and document disciplinary and termination meetings.
  • In consultation with Firm HR Manager, ensure compliance with Washington, DC laws and regulations, and update HR related policies on the portal as necessary.

Manager Support and Coaching:

  • Serve as HR Business Partner to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the IT management team, providing HR assistance with employee relations, recruiting, compensation, performance evaluation, and professional development.
  • Take proactive steps to ensure the strongest and most engaged workforce possible, including mentoring staff, communicating effectively with lawyers and department management, and developing creative solutions to provide excellent service to the firm’s lawyers.
  • Provide guidance to managers on application of employee policies and procedures; assist in resolving complex policy issues that may involve research, setting precedent, multiple departments, etc.
  • Provide strategic guidance to managers in preparation of performance evaluations and employee meetings; coach managers on appropriate language and effective communication of performance expectations.
  • Assist managers in setting staff performance goals to support employee professional development and growth.  Offer professional expertise on best practices in performance development, motivation, skills enhancement, workplace communications, etc.
  • Guide managers in effectively managing performance improvement; review counseling history, assist in preparing counseling or conference reports, and coach managers on delivery and follow through with employees.

Staff Recruiting and Orientation:

  • Assist with business services recruiting efforts for the Washington, DC office and assigned department(s), working closely with the Director of Talent Management and Staff Recruiting Coordinator to ensure consistent practices and legal compliance.
  • Assist managers in creating and updating position descriptions and inputting requisition forms into the applicant tracking system for open positions.
  • Participate in interviews for open Washington, DC business services positions.
  • Work closely with the Human Resources Director (U.S.), Staff Recruiting Coordinator and hiring managers to develop competitive and fair offers.  If needed, assist with offer letters, communication with candidates, background checks and other hiring-related processes.
  • Assist with coordination and delivery of staff onboarding and integration for new hires following standard firm procedures.

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Act as liaison with firm benefits personnel to administer the firm’s benefits plans and programs for office personnel, including general oversight of the firm’s annual open enrollment process for full participation and timeliness.
  • Work with Benefits Directors to ensure accurate, up-to-date understanding on various benefits plans.
  • Provide information to employees and escalate issues to firm Benefits team as necessary.
  • Assist with FMLA and short-term disability leave management for office business services employees with support from the Human Resources Specialist, coordinating with the firm’s vendor (UNUM) and the Wellness and Leave Programs Administrator on all aspects of the process, including leave eligibility and calculations, medical certifications, data entry, correspondence, and transition to long-term disability, as necessary.
  • Oversee submission of workers’ compensation claims for the Washington, DC office, in consultation with Firm HR personnel.
  • In consultation with Human Resources Director (U.S.), assist in maintaining appropriate salary structure for positions within assigned department(s).

Change Management and HR Projects:

  • Anticipate human resources needs for assigned department(s) and the Washington, DC office, and develop/implement viable plans to ensure optimum client service.
  • Collaborate with management and personnel to deploy responsive change management strategies.
  • Provide human resources perspective on office operations initiatives and programs.  Draft responsive communications for general and specific audiences.
  • Assist the Director of Talent Management with program design, oversight and implementation of department initiatives, including introduction of new programs, policies, training initiatives, etc.
  • Support and oversee annual business services evaluation process, ensuring that deadlines are met, debriefing meetings are held, and signed evaluations are filed.

HR Professional Development and Expertise:

  • Remain current in industry trends in Human Resources and the legal profession.
  • Ensure expertise in technology relevant to the position; strive for proactive use of the most current technology to further internal customer service, and efficiency.
  • Participate in the implementation of major, complex projects that increase the value of Human Resources services to staff employees and the firm.

HR Systems/Applications:

  • Review, approve and sign all Lawson and other firm forms, including new hire forms, change forms, and termination forms, and oversee daily entry on a timely basis into the Lawson HRIS, including review on a regular basis of data entry by HR department personnel.
  • Work in Lawson HRIS and prepare requested reports as needed.
  • Perform semi-monthly payroll validation in the firm’s web-based validation site, reviewing all pay output to input as submitted to Firm Payroll.
  • Oversee on-line time and attendance system to ensure the timely and accurate submission of timecards, review negative leave reports, and counsel personnel in a timely fashion as leave and attendance issues arise.

Other Essential Duties (Duties are performed periodically, as necessary):

  • Manage staff within the Washington, DC HR department, and oversee all responsibilities assigned to such staff.
  • Review, sign or otherwise approve HR correspondence, HR department bills for payment, and prepare, review and monitor annual HR budget.
  • Oversee the firm’s exit procedures for departing personnel, including conducting exit interviews and ensuring compliance with all firm and office procedures.
  • Actively participate in bi-weekly firm-wide HR conference calls.
  • Plan and oversee annual Years of Service Awards event, annual Administrative Professionals Day, and other events in consultation with the Office Administrator.

Essential Knowledge, Skills and Competencies:

  • Ability to read, write and speak English
  • Demonstrated strong HR acumen; substantive experience and knowledge with traditional HR functional areas, including employee relations, recruiting, benefits and compensation administration, and training and development
  • Career history in HR that demonstrates high integrity, progressively complex responsibilities and leadership skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Ability to establish and build credibility as a knowledgeable and trusted HR advisor and function as a strong role model within the office
  • Unfailing commitment to confidentiality and discretion; impeccable judgment and common sense
  • Knowledge and experience in administering ADA, FMLA, and other federal, state, and local statutory employment regulations
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including strong oral and written communication skills and the ability to communicate potentially difficult, detailed and complex information to others with tact and finesse
  • Strong organizational skills and unfailing attention to detail.  Ability to manage multiple priorities and adjust to changing priorities in a professional manner
  • Willingness and ability to assume new tasks and responsibilities
  • Previous experience desired in Leadership Training and Development
  • Ability to work well under pressure, facilitate solutions, and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work extended hours to fulfill time sensitive responsibilities
  • Thorough knowledge of MS Office, including Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Commitment to maintaining confidentiality of client and office information, and adhering to the Firm’s Core Values

Educational Qualifications/Job Experience Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree required; an advanced degree and/or professional HR certification helpful
  • Minimum of 7 years of Human Resources management level experience
  • Previous HR experience in a large corporation, law firm or other professional services environment; prior law firm experience strongly preferred

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP participates in E-Verify for purposes of verifying employment eligibility