Role Purpose

To deliver the in-market operations of the Firm's People function for the Johannesburg office, which enables the office to attract, develop, and retain top talent, both fee earners and business professionals. To deliver the recruitment, compliance and governance and HR administration requirements of the People portfolio.

Main Responsibilities

Main Outcome 1: Talent Management

  • Work closely with the wider Johannesburg office leadership team, Director of Talent Management - EMEA, Specialist Functions and Global End-to-End Services to deliver a compelling Talent Management strategy in the office, consistent with local market demands and practice group needs
  • Implement the Firm's response to its employee surveys in Johannesburg, working closely with the Director of Talent Management - EMEA to enhance employee engagement and continue to strengthen the People strategies in the office
  • Represent high standards and values for the People function in Johannesburg and embody shared values of collaboration and exceptional client service to all internal clients across the Firm
  • Partner with our specialist People functions (Learning & Leadership, Careers, Performance and Rewards, Diversity and Inclusion, Recruitment & Mobility) to ensure the office's internal and external talent strategies align with the requirements of the business 
  • Work closely with the Recruitment function to ensure seamless transition post-offer acceptance
  • Manage and oversee relationships with external vendors 
  • Support a positive and inclusive environment in the Johannesburg office, consistent with the Firm's values and policies
  • Identify opportunities to improve performance and potential capability of people within the office, working closely with the Director of Talent Management - EMEA, enabling employees to deliver to the best of their abilities and work towards the next steps in their careers
  • Support organisational change and improvement across human resources, performance management and compensation, workforce planning, career development and succession planning together with the Talent Management business partner network in the Firm
  • Serve as a confidential resource for employees regarding sensitive issues and work with internal and external employment counsel to resolve complex human resources/talent management issues and sensitive employee relations issues, including reviewing all business professional and timekeeper termination decisions in advance of notification. When necessary , involve the Director of Talent Management - EMEA
  • Manage global development and promotion processes in Johannesburg by working closely with the Director of Talent Management - EMEA, to ensure that all processes are implemented locally
  • Other duties as assigned to develop and drive Johannesburg and EMEA strategy
  • Contribute actively to the EMEA+ Talent Community: participate with impact to the weekly Talent Team calls; getting involved in regional Talent projects and initiatives; act as an ambassador of the Global Firm.

Main Outcome 2: Employee Relations

  • Work closely with partners and line managers, providing them with expert guidance, coaching and support on the full range of HR activities in order to ensure a consistent and fair approach to people management throughout the office
  • Keep up to date with legal developments and advises management on compliance and risk factors
  • Provide advice and guidance on individual employee relations cases, ensuring that these are well-managed and meet the requirements of best practice and employment legislation
  • Manage the Employee Forums ensuring consultation and communication practices are routinely adopted to enable management to make effective decisions and successfully implement proposals  

Main Outcome 3: Compensations and Benefits

  • Gathers and analyses market data through participation in surveys to measure the competitiveness of the office’s compensation and benefits package, and make recommendations as appropriate
  • Manages the annual salary review and bonus process

Main Outcome 4: People Management

  • Design deliverables and targets through analysis of the business operational plans 
  • Compile the Performance Management documentation in collaboration with the staff member in terms of:
    • Job Profile requirements
    • Key Performance Areas
    • Personal Development Plans
  • Support performance planning session, track and monitor performance in accordance with performance contracts 
  • Support performance reviews in accordance with policies and procedures and identifying corrective actions where necessary 
  • Provide coaching and feedback to employees on how to improve and sustain their performance
  • Conduct disciplinary actions as per the company’s policy and procedure where necessary

Main Outcome 5: Departmental Management

  • Lead the department in such a manner as to foster innovation and technological excellence.
  • Demonstrate behaviour aligned to the company values
  • Equitable distribution of responsibilities and accountabilities and plan appropriate human capacity and full utilisation for projects under management
  • Minimise staff turnover 
  • Develop and manage the departmental budget
  • Adhere to financial guidelines and thus ensure proper control over costs
  • Pursue divisional targets and manage the financial health and stability of division

About The Team


The Firm’s People function has responsibility for recruiting, supporting and developing all of the Firm’s people, including our Partners, Lawyers and Professional & Business Services, working closely with the Firm’s leadership to design and deliver the Firm’s people strategy, building on the Firm’s core commitments to collaboration, excellence and inclusivity. The function includes:

  • Talent Management
  • Recruitment & Mobility
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Leadership & Learning
  • Careers & Performance
  • Partner Services
  • Total Rewards

This role will report to the Director of Talent Management, EMEA.

The direct report of this role is the HR Coordinator.

The key relationships of this role are with the following:

  • Johannesburg Office Leadership 
  • Director of Talent Management EMEA
  • EMEA+ Talent Management and Recruitment Leads
  • Leaders in People Expert functions with responsibility for EMEA
  • Global End-to-End Services

About The Candidate

Technical skills, qualifications and experience

  • BCom HR Management or equivalent
  • Post graduate degree is preferred 
  • Material experience as an HR professional in a law firm
  • An experienced HR professional who is familiar with labour law in South Africa and has experience designing and implementing HR strategy, principles, procedures and processes
  • Strong client service ethos
  • Strong delivery focus
  • A can-do attitude
  • A flexible approach and adapting of role to meet current and future business needs
  • Strategic thinker
  • Ability to work well both as a member of a large international talent team and also autonomously 
  • Commercial understanding and ability to translate business goals into HR priorities
  • Influencing skills to establish senior level credibility
  • Strong client relationships skills; able to manage the diversity of multiple leader relationships and serve their needs without compromising service levels
  • Ability to build rapport at all levels
  • Ability to develop solutions to a wide range of highly complex problems, requiring creativity and innovation
  • Strong diagnosis and analysis skills and ability to exercise good judgment
  • Strong delivery focus

Personal qualities

These personal qualities represent the shared characteristics of high performers across Baker McKenzie, regardless of job level and location.

Know how

  • Keeps across key developments in all relevant areas and demonstrates the ability to develop substantive authority in relation to the Firm's specialist fields
  • Demonstrates the ability to identify the real issue, and to anticipate requirements and potential consequences; distils a range of possibilities by thinking in a considered, prudent manner
  • Able to move through a variety of tasks requiring different approaches, knowledge, and expertise, with agility of mind and capacity for analysis and synthesis


  • Driven by a strong personal sense of integrity and upholds exemplary quality standards
  • Prepares thoroughly, takes responsibility, uses initiative and is self reliant to ensure work progresses to the fullest extent possible
  • Hardworking and diligent with a keen understanding of client demands
  • Demonstrates composure when dealing with difficult situations

Personal Impact

  • Creates a positive impression at all times; develops relationships through collaboration and reciprocity
  • Negotiates to achieve outcomes that are mutually satisfactory; shows good judgement on when to stand strong and when to compromise
  • Invests in, nurtures and builds a network of productive relationships


  • Respectful to others, regardless of their position, and earns the respect of others by being transparent
  • Has care and concern for others and a genuine interest in others as people
  • Treats delicate or confidential issues with grace and discretion.

Why Join Us?

Baker McKenzie is a truly global law firm. Founded in 1949, we advise many of the world's most dynamic and successful business organisations through our 13,200 people in 78 offices in 46 countries. Yet big does not mean impersonal. We work hard to ensure that everyone knows their role and has the support they need to perform it to the highest standard. Our culture encourages this - how we work, think and behave in a collaborative and fulfilling way.

Baker McKenzie helps clients overcome the challenges of competing in the global economy. We solve complex legal problems across borders and practice areas. Our unique culture, developed over 65 years, enables our people to understand local markets and navigate multiple jurisdictions, working together as trusted colleagues and friends to instill confidence in our clients. This is an exciting time to join us as we invest in and further develop our Professional & Business Services organization, providing rewarding and challenging career opportunities in all of our world-class business functions.

We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion for all. Our unique international culture is reflected in the drawing together of a worldwide family of individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds in all of our offices. We encourage the best people -- regardless of race, religion or belief if any, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or age -- to fulfil their professional aspirations with us.

To Apply

Please click on the Apply icon to start the online application process for this role.

For more information about this position or to discuss any adjustments you may require during the process please contact in confidence, Nontobeko Phale, Recruitment Manager, on +27 119114366 or


Please note Baker McKenzie does not accept unsolicited CVs.

Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

As the first truly global law firm, diversity and inclusion are foundational to our culture and strategic vision. We are a Firm of individuals from across the globe with different backgrounds, ideas, and points of view who collegially work together to solve complex problems and design practical solutions for our clients. Our multiple perspectives come from many sources, including the diverse ethnicity, culture, gender, nationality, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, parental status, education, social background and life experience of our people.

Our global strategy is focused on our people, our culture, our clients and the communities where we operate. In 2019 we enacted ambitious new targets related to gender, racial and ethnic diversity at the Firm. These targets are viewed as a floor, not a ceiling, to advancing underrepresented groups, and they are backed by a variety of strategic initiatives aimed at achieving our goals. Our strategic vision is supported in London by six active employee led networks which champion diversity, lead on a number of internal campaigns and deliver a range of activity to celebrate differences in identity, inclusion, and key dates throughout the year including: LGBT+ History Month, International Women's Day, International Trans Day of Visibility, Mental Health Awareness Week, Pride, Black History Month, Social Mobility Week, International Day of Disabled Persons and many more!