Early Careers HR Team - HR Specialist (12 month contract)

Allen & Overy LLP
London (Central), London (Greater)
Closing date
17 Mar 2023
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Job Details

Job description

We are currently recruiting for an HR Specialist to join our Early Careers HR Team in the London office on a 12 month contract.  This role will work with the team to provide a high level of both HR operational support and HR advice to trainee solicitors, future trainees, solicitor apprentices and trainers. The Early Careers HR Team sits within the global HR function.

Role and responsibilities

Trainee Secondment Process:

  • Managing the trainee secondment process (where trainees have an opportunity to apply for international and client secondments). Responsibilities include: resource planning, analysing and monitoring trainee busyness levels, delivering a secondment briefing to trainees, advertising secondments, reviewing applications, managing the secondment allocation process and liaising with Global Mobility and the wider business to facilitate a successful process.   
  • Overseeing the trainee client secondment on-boarding process.
  • Managing any incoming trainee secondments (and the associated induction process, for example).  

Seat Plan:

  • Manage the London trainee seat plan. Responsibilities include: analysing trainee seat preferences and preparing the seat plan, ensuring that trainees meet the necessary Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and firm, requirements throughout their training contract.
  • Liaising with the business - including trainee supervising partners - regarding allocations, to ensure a smooth seat rotation every six months.
  • Arrange training for any new trainers, in each rotation.

Performance Development:

  • Co-ordinate the performance review process: involves the communication of key deadlines to trainees and trainers, monitoring completion of performance reviews and analysing performance rating allocations across the trainee population.
  • Co-ordinate, organise and lead the trainee moderation process for each seat, in line with policy.
  • Work with trainers to identify individuals who may benefit from further support and mentoring.
  • Provide training to first seat trainees on the performance review process at A&O.
  • Provide training to new trainers on the role of a trainer and best practice.

Sickness Absence:

  • Responsibility for managing and/or supporting the HR Manager with sickness absence matters - responsibilities include: (i) the proactive management of trainee sickness absence; (ii) conducting return to work or absence review meetings; and (iii) making Occupational Health referrals (where applicable).

Future Trainees & Trainee induction:

  • Plan and work with the Early Careers HR Assistant and Senior Assistant to co-ordinate trainee inductions.
  • Proactively manage and support future and current trainees with reasonable adjustments to be made during their training contract.
  • Oversee the co-ordination of various events for future trainees/current trainees, including those taking place: (i) while future trainees are at law school; and (ii) when trainees are in the business (including in relation to seat planning, for example).


  • Oversee the SRA admissions process to ensure that all trainees are admitted on time.
  • Assist with exit interviews with trainees who are leaving the firm at the end of their training contract.


  • Work with the training team to ensure that all trainees, undertaking an England & Wales training contract globally, complete the required Professional Skills Course modules prior to qualification.
  • Deliver presentations and training on key processes including the trainee secondment process, seat planning and trainer training.
  • Advising trainees and trainers on best practice, policies and procedures.
  • Providing confidential guidance to trainees.  
  • Providing HR operational service to trainees and trainers.
  • Answering ad-hoc internal/external HR queries.
  • Providing guidance to the Early Careers HR Assistant and Senior Assistant in Belfast.
  • Liaising with a range of internal and external contacts e.g. Training Principal, Global Mobility team, international and London HR teams, trainers, Supervising Partners, the SRA (where applicable).
  • Assisting the HR Manager with ad-hoc projects and tasks.
  • Ensure that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, together with Mental Health & Wellbeing, are imbedded into the teams working practices and trainees are involved in shaping trainee related initiatives.  

Key requirements

  • Proven HR experience in a professional services organisation with experience of working with a graduate population, ideally within the legal sector
  • Graduate calibre, ideally CIPD qualified or similar certification
  • Can demonstrate strong relationship building and influencing skills
  • Some experience of presenting to large groups and running events
  • Good knowledge of current employment law particularly in relation to performance management and absence management
  • Ability to be flexible and work across a wide range of client groups
  • Excellent attention to detail, prioritisation and organisational skills
  • Excellent communication (verbal and written) and interpersonal skills
  • Proven ability to combine excellent technical knowledge with sound commercial judgement and to influence decisions
  • Resilient; able to understand that credibility has to be earned in this environment and may take time
  • Collaborative team player with the ability to work in a fast paced, intellectually rigorous environment
  • Ability to work with diplomacy and tenacity and able to take the lead to conclude decisions
  • Demonstrates a positive, pro-active attitude and proven ability to work well under pressure


Should you require additional support at any stage of the recruitment process due to a disability or a health condition, please do not hesitate to contact a member of Allen & Overy’s recruitment team who will work with you to provide any reasonable adjustments as required.

We are an equal opportunities recruiter and do not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or any other protected characteristic

At Allen & Overy, we recognise that our people are our most valuable asset, which is reflected in the wide range of benefits that are available to our employees. Some of these benefits include: our occupational pension scheme, group income protection cover, private medical insurance, mental health resources and free apps, health and wellbeing services encompassing an onsite gym, wellbeing centre and GP service, emergency back-up care support, parental and special leave, holiday entitlement increasing with length of service, holiday trading, season ticket loans and online discounts and lifestyle management services.

Allen & Overy recognises the value of flexible working and embraces hybrid working, allowing our people to work from home up to 40% of their working time. We do however remain committed to working together in person for the remaining 60% of time so that we can learn, grow and succeed together. If you would like additional flexibility we will of course consider this in line with business needs.

Additional information - External

Allen & Overy is a leading global law firm operating in over thirty countries. We work on some of the most challenging and important deals and have built a reputation for delivering exceptional legal solutions that help our clients grow, innovate and thrive. The legal industry is changing, and we're committed to leading that change, putting our people first, embracing new ways of thinking and integrating technology into our everyday work. Our business teams work hand-in-hand with our lawyers, Consultants and other specialist teams, and are ambitious, driven and leaders in their field.

With us, you will constantly be learning and growing. We invest in you by offering exceptional professional and personal development – providing training, mentoring and practical support. We offer rewarding careers that are built around your strengths and designed to ensure you can achieve your personal and professional goals, recognising that those may look different for everyone.

We have a powerful commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We’re determined to play our part in advancing a workplace where progress is made by harnessing our differences – whatever defines you, we ask you to bring your whole self to work.

What truly defines a career at Allen & Overy? We recruit the best and ask for the best of you. We provide challenge, support and a place for you to belong. And together we excel, working on meaningful projects of global significance.


With over 5,600 people in over 40 offices, Allen & Overy is a business doing work of global significance.

Our success is built on the work of talented and motivated people who thrive in a supportive and collaborative environment, dedicated to delivering an exceptional standard of work for our clients. We’re ambitious and forward-thinking, committed to growing our business and meeting the future head-on. We’re not afraid of change, and we believe in challenging the status quo.

What we do goes beyond delivering an outstanding service. We lead the market by creating new solutions for our clients’ most complex legal and business challenges, helping them grow, innovate and thrive. By thinking creatively and entrepreneurially, we challenge expectations, push boundaries and build for the future. We draw on a world-leading network of expertise and a unique platform – such as our Advanced Delivery services and our network of Peerpoint consultants, to set the highest standards for our industry.

Global coverage in today’s market does not simply mean having offices in important cities around the world. For us, it means combining our global resources and sector expertise to work on matters that cross international boundaries with our culturally and geographically diverse teams. For you, it means that wherever you work, you’ll find a culture of inclusion and support – feeling confident to bring your whole self to work every single day. We have developed a culture in which difference is positively valued, and our people are free to be themselves.  At A&O, you're not only valued for what you do, but for who you are. 

We are in every sense one global team; supportive and collaborative, but also ambitious and driven.  Our capacity to combine these qualities and provide a setting in which our people can thrive is what makes us different.

Find Us
+44 (0) 20 3088 0000
One Bishops Square
E1 6AD
United Kingdom
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