Head of Human Resources (APAC)


Permanent - Full Time



Job Role

Human Resources

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Job title: Head of Human Resources (APAC)

Reports to: Global Chief People Officer (based in New York) and Assistant HR Director for EU/APAC (based in London), with a dotted reporting line to the Executive Director (APAC) (based in Singapore)

Location: Singapore

Regional Responsibility: Asia

What are we looking for?
This is an opportunity to lead the Human Resources function in the Asia offices of a growing and dynamic international law firm. Reporting to the Global Chief People Officer based in the New York office with a dotted reporting line to the Executive Director (APAC). The APAC Head of HR will work closely and on a daily basis with the Office Managing Directors in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo offices and the APAC Regional Divisional Leaders on "best in class" human resources services for all the employees in the region. This person will be a member of the global HR management team that is responsible for creating, delivering and driving the "People" agenda of the firm. This team is a global cross functional and cross regional team. It is a dynamic role as the firm has had significant growth and cultural change over the last couple of years.

Areas of focus and responsibilities
Executive function
▪ He/She will be a member of the senior global HR team and will be the point person in the APAC region for senior leadership which includes the Office Managing Directors, Regional Divisional Leaders, Divisional DCEOs, and Divisional Operating Officers. He/She will have the diplomatic skills to manage by persuasion and influence, and will act as a point of escalation for both partners and fee-earners and support/secretarial staff as may be required.
▪ Together with the Head of Finance, Head of Risk and Compliance and Head of Marketing will provide a leadership role for the different APAC offices. In particular, provide leadership support and act as a sounding board for all other support staff managers in order to deliver high level services to our offices in Asia.

▪ Works with the global senior HR leadership team to develop the global HR strategy, we a particular focus on the priorities for the APAC region.
▪ The APAC Head of HR will take responsibility for all aspects of the Human Resources function including policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, training and development, recruitment, and employee relations.
▪ Will be the senior level advisor on HR issues to Executive Management Team, Divisional CEOs, Regional Divisional Leaders, and all levels of employees throughout the region.
▪ Supervise a team including 6 in Singapore, 2 in HK and 1 in Tokyo who are responsible to for support staff and associate recruitment, on-boarding, benefits administration, staff assignments, employee relations issues, performance management and organising training events.
▪ Consult with global management team to oversee recruitment needs, secretarial ratios, employee relations, communications and salary benchmarking.
▪ Together with the APAC Head of Finance, oversee the business planning process for Asia. Plan and maintain annual HR budget; manage expenditures and report on budget variances.
▪ Working with the Head of Reward, oversee compensation and bonus programmes for associates and staff; propose recommendations for annual salary adjustments and bonuses in conjunction with performance and global budgetary constraints.
▪ Oversee the management of the annual performance reviews of all associates and support staff, including collecting feedback, summarising annual reviews and conducting review meetings with associates and practice group leaders.
▪ Consult and work with global Head of Learning & Development to create relevant training programmes to
enhance professional development at all levels, including the implementation of management, client
service and diversity training.
▪ Work with the Talent Acquisition Manager in APAC on lateral partner hiring and act as an "ambassador"
for the firm in those recruitment efforts. When appropriate actively promote good relationships with
recruitment intermediaries.
▪ Work with the senior HRM in London responsible for global partnership services.
▪ Maintain high level of visibility throughout the firm and handle employee complaints/issues in a timely,
equitable, and constructive manner; promote open door policy.
▪ Monitor short-term and long-term secondments of associates to other offices in Europe, and US, including
involvement in the selection process, obtaining necessary work permits, and handling relocation.
▪ Maintain current knowledge of employment laws and regulations and ensure legal compliance of the
relevant law societies.
▪ Recommend and revise HR policies and procedures; and ensure the Employee Handbook is up to date.
▪ Travel to other offices as required.
▪ Participate in APAC Regional Partner Meetings and Presentations as required.
▪ Become an active member and participant of the various Corporate Sustainability efforts of the firm which
is part of the "Withers Tree". This includes efforts around diversity and inclusion, charities, environment,
communication and engagement, pro bono and well- being.

Additional skills, knowledge and competencies
▪ A highly collaborative individual with strong communication skills who will build confidence, trust and
respect amongst partners and managers.
▪ A proven leader with the ability to think strategically, challenge the status quo and drive change. Able to
establish credibility and gain buy-in to new initiatives.
▪ Able to understand the firm's commercial drivers.
▪ Excellent attention to detail together with a methodical and organised approach.
▪ Inquisitive and enthusiastic and willing to work with lawyers and support staff at all levels and in differing
jurisdictions. Able to handle queries efficiently with diplomacy and tact, gaining confidence of partners and
▪ Able to manage workload effectively and move projects forward, using appropriate resources.
▪ Strong commercial aptitude.
▪ Solutions focused, proven initiative, pro-active approach and independent thought. Knowledge of legal
regulatory and legislative requirements for law firms, and an understanding of risk in the legal services
environment, would therefore be beneficial.

The Essentials
▪ Graduate or equivalent calibre.
▪ Professional HR and/or management qualification would be an advantage.
▪ Highly PC literate particularly with good Excel and database management experience.
▪ Be proactive in the identification of risks and identifying solutions to mitigate them.
▪ Although based in Singapore, you will be willing to travel to the firm's other offices in Asia as necessary and
to make occasional trips to London.
▪ Someone who is comfortable working in a culturally diverse organization
▪ High levels of flexibility to adjust for time zones considerations
▪ A good sense of humor and who enjoys being part of a team
▪ Someone who is not afraid to provide new ideas and suggestions, someone who thinks outside of the box

About Withersworldwide
Withersworldwide has been acting for successful individuals, families and institutions for 125 years. We advise
clients on the full range of their business, personal and philanthropic legal needs, both at home and abroad. With
offices in the key financial centres of Europe, Asia-Pacific, the United States and the Caribbean, we provide coverage
and services that other law firms focussed on the needs of the individual cannot. We have represented 66% of the
Top 100 in The Sunday Times Rich List, 25% of the Forbes 400 List, 35% of the Hong Kong Forbes Rich List and 35% of
Forbes Asia's Richest Families list.

Information for Recruitment Agencies
Withersworldwide endeavours to recruit and fill vacancies directly. However, when we do need to engage with
agencies, Withersworldwide operates a preferred supplier list and will not be accepting unsolicited applications from
non-PSL agencies for this role.

Equal Opportunities Employment Statement
It is the policy of Withers Worldwide and KhattarWong to provide equal opportunities for all employees in relation
to recruitment, training and promotion. Decisions in these areas will be made only by reference to the requirements
of the job and shall not be influenced by any consideration of ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation or

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