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.
The Talent Management (TM) Business Partner, Chicago will work collaboratively with attorneys, management, and business professionals in the Chicago office to deliver value added service, aligned with strategic direction, vision and values of the office and Firm.
The TM Business Partner will also serve as a consultant to management on human resource-related issues; act as an employee champion and change agent; assess and anticipate HR-related needs; communicate needs proactively with our Human Resources team and business management and develop integrated solutions; maintain an effective level of business knowledge about the Chicago office and Firm, its strategic plans, its culture and its competition.
This is a highly collaborate role, which requires close liaison with the Director of Talent Management, United States, and other office-based TM Business Partners in North America (NA). This is an essential role on a team of TM professionals providing unified, high-quality business partnering support to office management, practice group leaders, and functional business professional leaders. It is a hands-on position that requires proactive and reliable business partnering advice and service.
  • Operate as a Business Partner for the Chicago office to understand the strategic needs in relation to the people; liaise and coordinate with our People functions (Leadership & Learning, Careers & Performance, Recruitment & Mobility, Diversity & Inclusion) to jointly deliver best-in-class solutions that deliver against the requirements of North America 
  • Consult with supervisors/managers to provide day-to-day performance management guidance or human resource advice (e.g., coaching, counselling, career development, disciplinary actions)
  • Analyse trends and metrics in partnership with the NA Human Resource team to develop solutions, programs and policies
  • Planning and management: partner with management and employees to improve work relationships, build morale, increase productivity, retention, workforce planning and succession planning, identify training needs and individual executive coaching needs, and liaise with appropriate People function to make recommendations)
  • Recruitment: determine needs, evaluate staffing options, liaise with Recruitment team during planning and offer process, coordinate on-boarding/induction)
  • Mobility:  liaise with Global Mobility Advisory Group on mobility issues and serve as local point of contact for incoming and outgoing mobility
  • Manage and resolves complex employee relations issues, conducts effective, thorough and objective investigations 
  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of legal requirements and related to day-to-day management of employees, reducing legal risks and ensuring regulatory compliance; partner with the legal department as needed/required 
  • Provide human resource policy guidance and interpretation
  • Develop contract terms for new hires, promotions and transfers
  • Participate in evaluation and monitoring of training programs to ensure success; follow up to ensure training objectives are met
  • Process employee terminations to comply with Firm guidelines, including conducting departure meetings
  • Manage partner departures ensuring compliance with Firm standards
  • Drive and provide leadership for office meetings and committees; partner meetings, associate committee, diversity and women's committees, and administrative management meetings
  • Performance Management: manage business professionals performance management processes, e.g., annual evaluation and promotion processes, evaluate performance results with supervisors/managers
  • Collaborate with Talent Management Practice Group Business Partners and practice group leadership to administer attorney performance and compensation management and deliver attorney development initiatives
  • Career Development: consult as needed on lawyer and business professional programs in partnership with NA Leadership and Learning team; provide individual career development coaching recommendations as needed
  • Organizational Development e.g., follow-up on BakerYou within the office, consistent with overall NA approach; focus on improving engagement
  • Integration: serve as key liaison to support and facilitate integration of attorneys and business professionals
  • Partner with the People and NA leadership teams to help develop optimal People strategy, infrastructure and resources for NA
  • Other duties as assigned


Experience Required

  • Bachelor’s degree focusing on Human Resources, Industrial Psychology, Organizational Development, Management, or other related areas; professional human resources certification highly desired
  • Extensive experience in HR/Talent Management, preferably in a professional services firm environment
  • Strong knowledge of HR functional disciplines (employee relations, staffing, compensation, organizational development, training, and employee development)
  • Knowledge of local office employment laws
  • Experience working across multiple locations and jurisdictions
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; fluent written and spoken English is required
  • Demonstrated ability to solve problems and drive results with a sense of urgency in setting strategies and executing against the objectives
  • Proven ability to influence, interact and consult with senior leaders, strong collaboration skills and effective stakeholder management
  • Strong coaching, counselling, business acumen, and overall communication skills
  • High level of discretion, diplomacy and a commitment to maintaining the highest level of confidentiality