Innovators and communicators dominate HR Awards shortlist



Virtually all those firms shortlisted for The Lawyer HR Awards have made redundancies, but we did not exclude them from consideration because of it. Quite the reverse: given the mass downsizing suffered by law firms, HR teams’ mettle was tested to the fullest extent, and the judges had to bear all this in mind as they ploughed through the submissions.

The recession certainly affected the profile of the entries. Inevitably, there were fewer recruitment initiatives than there were two years ago (the wonder was there were any at all). Most of the heavy-duty recruitment activity was in the graduate space.

The most oversubscribed categories were in diversity and corporate responsibility, both of which require engagement from employees and partners across the whole firm. All entrants in the diversity category had built solid foundations, but the question the judges asked of those that made the shortlist was: are these ­ventures sustainable?

In the corporate responsibility section, the approach was varied. Some entries were based on the range of activities undertaken.

Others focused on one particular initiative that had measurable benefits for the local ­community.

It is increasingly clear that training will be a key differentiator among firms in years to come, and those that can make it part of their brand are on to ­something.

The finalists in the ­training category are all there not because they have hit on something funky or new, but because they have solid, well-thought-out ­programmes that deliver ­tangible advantages to the business.

However, this is not just about HR teams; they need buy-in from management. Is HR strategy part of a clear vision for the firm? Is there innovation, communication and execution? The HR teams that demonstrated this have made the shortlist.

There are some standouts among them – but for the results, you’ll have to wait till the New Year.

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Shortlist: the lawyer HR Awards 2010

Best Graduate Trainee Recruitment Campaign

Browne Jacobson

Clarke Willmott

Linklaters

Lovells

2009 winner: Addleshaw Goddard

Best In-house HR Initiative

Barclays Capital

Deutsche Bank

Hanson

Standard Chartered

2009 winner: London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Best Recruitment Website

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Linklaters

Lovells

2009 winner: Allen & Overy

Most Innovative Recruitment Initiative

Berwin Leighton Paisner

Bird & Bird

CMS Cameron McKenna

Freshfields

2009 winner: Berwin Leighton Paisner

2009 highly commended: KingsLegal

Most Effective Diversity ­Programme

Addleshaw Goddard

Baker & McKenzie

Berwin Leighton Paisner

Eversheds

Herbert Smith

Pinsent Masons

2009 winner: Eversheds

2009 highly commended: ­Pinsent Masons

Innovation in Talent ­Management and Retention

Bird & Bird

Berwin Leighton

Paisner

Field Fisher

Waterhouse

Linklaters

Norton Rose

Pinsent Masons

2009 winner: Lovells

2009 highly commended: ­Linklaters

Most Effective Employee Benefits Scheme

Farrer & Co

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Linklaters

Trowers & Hamlins

2009 winner: Berwin Leighton Paisner

Best Corporate Responsibility Initiative

Allen & Overy

Bird & Bird

Eversheds

Lovells

Simmons & Simmons

SJ Berwin

2009 winner: Herbert Smith

2009 highly commended: Lovells

Most Effective Internal ­Communication

Addleshaw Goddard

Clarke Willmott

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Norton Rose

2009 winner: SJ Berwin

2009 highly commended: Blake Lapthorn, ­Clifford Chance

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Excellence in Training

Berwin Leighton Paisner

Hill Dickinson

Linklaters

Mills & Reeve

Ogier

Pinsent Masons

2009 winner: CMS Cameron McKenna

2009 highly commended: Berwin Leighton ­Paisner, ­Linklaters

HR Director of the Year

Martin Blackburn, Baker & McKenzie

Charlie Keeling, Field Fisher

Neil Middleton, Capsticks

Joanna Parker, Clarke Willmott

Lak Purewal, Norton Rose

Kay Willis, Lovells

2009 winner: Annette Sheridan, Mayer Brown

2009 highly commended: Jill King, ­Linklaters

HR Team of the Year

Clarke Willmott

Field Fisher Waterhouse

Linklaters

Norton Rose

Pinsent Masons

Taylor Wessing

2009 winner: SJ Berwin

Judges:

Husnara Begum, Lawyer2B

Duncan Brown, Institute of Employment Studies

Catherine Doig, RBS

Catrin Griffiths, The Lawyer

Brendan Kelly, Lloyds Banking

Mark Spivey, MSCI Barra

Debi O’Donovan, Employee Benefits

The awards will take place on 9 February 2010 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, ­London

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