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National Director, Human Resources

Reference #: ndhr_-_03-21-2022
Calgary , Montreal , Toronto , Ottawa , Vancouver
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Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), a leading, innovative and client-focused law firm in Canada, is seeking a National Director, Human Resources.

Purpose of the Role

Reporting to the Chief Talent Officer (“CTO”), the National Director, Human Resources provides leadership over the Firm’s Talent advisory services for Business Services professionals including career management, capacity management, performance management, compensation and rewards management, and talent management.

Success is delivering proactive value added advice, guidance and service to BLG Business Services colleagues to ensure that the Firm is optimizing the contribution of its most valuable assets; its people, and that the Firm is able to attract and retain top talent within the legal services sector in Canada. The National Director, Human Resources is responsible for helping BLG attain a market-leading reputation as an employer of choice by developing the most innovative and creative human capital solutions in the industry and equal to other leading professional service firms in Canada. The National Director, Human Resources is also accountable for the development, implementation and administration of comprehensive total rewards strategies (compensation, benefits, incentive programs, group retirement and perquisites) that align with BLG’s strategic objectives.

Key Responsibilities

The key responsibilities of this role are:

Human Resources

  • Develop an innovative, market-leading career framework for BLG Business Services members, and support and promote the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (“EDI”) vision and initiatives;
  • In partnership with the regional Directors of Human Resources, work closely with Business Services leaders to align capacity with the demand for business services and to develop a succession plan for their function, ensuring that underperforming team members are managed appropriately;
  • In partnership with the Chief Talent Officer, ensure that the Firm has the best in class performance management process including a thorough review of the competency framework for Business Services along with developing a culture of regular contemporaneous feedback to support the career development of Business Services members;
  • Lead the recruitment strategy of Business Services including alternative sources to external hiring, e.g. internal mobility, and where external hiring is required, ensure this is professionally performed including clarity of role expectations, clear benchmarking of compensation levels, and a determination of the recruitment strategy including channels to be used e.g. agencies, direct sourcing and digital media;
  • Utilize the most innovative assessment and selection methods including structured criteria and behavioural based interviewing to determine competency, cognitive and behavioural levels.  Ensure recruitment administration process results in a smooth offer and decline process;
  • Oversee Talent rewards and operations initiatives;
  • Work with Engagement and Employee Experience committee members on employee retention strategy;
  • Participate in various working committees and provide alignment to guide strategic decisions; and
  • Seek opportunities for continuous improvements to Human Resources programs and implement and/or adapt the appropriate changes or enhancements.

Talent Rewards

  • Effectively evaluate, design, propose, implement, and communicate compensation and benefits strategy, programs, policies, and initiatives that will enable BLG to attract, retain, and motivate top talent;
  • Scanning the external market to understand trends and innovative practices in Total Rewards;
  • Lead the administration of the annual compensation and benefits programs including salary increases, incentive plans and benefits enrollment; and
  • Participate in external market compensation surveys.

Retirement Program and Benefits

  • Oversee the group benefit plans for Firm Members;
  • Liaise with vendors for enhancements and contract renewals;
  • Administer the Retirement Savings Plan for all Firm members;
  • Participate as an active member of the Governance Committee;
  • Liaise with vendors to ensure the needs of Firm members are met; and
  • Develop and maintain a market leading wellness program nationally for all Firm members.

Payroll and Vendor Management

  • Communicate and work with vendors to ensure the needs of all Firm members are met; and
  • Liaise with vendor representatives for ongoing contract negotiations/renewals.


  • Oversee the annual compensation review process for Business Services members including the development of a common framework for rewards which includes a nationally cohesive bonus policy.

Talent Management

  • Create a national framework for identifying and managing top talent to ensure the highest potential Business Services members’ career expectations are being met, and they are experiencing professional development which allows their potential to be realized.

Professional Resources

  • In partnership with the National and Regional Directors of Professional Resources, ensure regionally coordinated HR support for the key talent management processes impacting BLG Professionals.


  • Develop and manage the national Human Resources budget.

Communication and Integration

  • Lead and regularly meet with the regional Directors of Human Resources to ensure consistency across the regions; and
  • Facilitate decision-making and resolution of issues across regional Human Resources teams.

Team Leadership

  • Encourage, monitor, and support the ongoing professional development and training of the Regional Directors of Human Resources to ensure required capabilities are developed; and
  • Ensure proper talent headcount and reporting structure within Business Services functions and help determine optimal resource allocation.

Experience Required

Academic Credentials

  • Degree in Human Resources / Administration and CHRL designation. 
  • 10+ Years of Relevant Experience
    A minimum of 10 years of experience in Human Resources management, preferably with experience in a large law firm or leading professional services firm.

Senior Leadership Advisory Experience

  • Experience counseling and working closely with senior partners and leadership personnel, providing advice within scope of responsibility across complex, multi-site businesses.

Team Leadership

  • Experience building, leading, and managing high-performing and collaborative teams of similar scale and complexity to those operating at BLG.

Critical Leadership Capabilities

Collaborating and Influencing

  • Establishes partnership with and builds support and trust with senior leaders and other key stakeholders;
  • Actively contributes to the evolution and execution of strategic business objectives and other management decisions, employing a highly collaborative and consultative style and clear, direct communication at all levels
  • Identifies and meets with key players and stakeholders to help them shape a consensus collectively and to engage in dialogue to reach a final conclusion together, compromising and persuading as necessary in order to achieve effective results;
  • Employs well-developed interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence to deal effectively with partners, stakeholders and other personnel at all levels.

Driving Results

  • Employs strong strategic and analytical thinking skills to identify and conceptualize opportunities to improve processes and implement best-practices solutions, systemically raising quality and productivity;
  • Applies strong project and time management skills within a solutions-oriented approach to manage competing priorities while leading individuals and teams to desired outcomes;
  • Exemplifies an entrepreneurial, “can-do” approach to identifying efficiencies and opportunistic sources of value;
  • Exemplifies the same degree of care and urgency demonstrated by BLG’s lawyers to clients.

Leading People

  • Motivates team members and colleagues during periods of change through the effective communication of objectives and new directions with a clear rationale and a sense of urgency and purpose;
  • Leverages direct reports and broader team capabilities to enable successful execution of administrative and project objectives; 
  • Establishes best practices to reinforce independent and open communication among team members.

Other Personal Characteristics

  • Bilingual in English and French is preferred;
  • Knowledge and experience with Workday functionality considered an asset;
  • Deep knowledge of Microsoft Office suite software (including Word, Excel and PowerPoint);
  • Strong organization, oral and written communication and presentation skills;
  • Willingness to travel to other BLG offices as required.

How to Apply

We thank all applicants for their interest in this position, however, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

At BLG only those BLG members who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine approved by Health Canada will be permitted to attend a BLG office or event.  “Fully vaccinated” means having received the full series (usually 2 doses) of a vaccine approved by Health Canada, with more than 14 days having passed since the second dose was administered. “Attending a BLG office” includes attending social or business gatherings organized by the Firm, with limits on the number of attendees in accordance with public health guidelines. With respect to client meetings, only fully vaccinated members of the Firm can meet in person with clients (others can attend virtually), unless prior authorization has been obtained from BLG and the client.  For any BLG member who is not fully vaccinated, and if the Firm requires your attendance in the office to perform your role, you must take a rapid antigen test conducted within the 24 hours prior to your coming to the office, and you must show proof of a negative test result. A new test is required for each day you are physically in the office.  Accommodations will be made for valid medical and religious reasons.  

Everyone at BLG is required to carry out the duties of their role while upholding the important principles of our respectful workplace policies, and treating everyone with respect, regardless of position. At BLG, valuing diversity and inclusion is key to a respectful workplace.

BLG is committed to building and fostering a workplace that is reflective of our communities, where all firm members feel included, valued, and heard.  We welcome applications from all qualified candidates but acknowledge the systemic and structural barriers that have, historically, marginalized and barred certain groups from accessing employment opportunities. As part of our commitment to removing barriers to employment, we strongly encourage applications from members of these historically marginalized groups including, but not limited to, Indigenous peoples, racialized individuals, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and women. Accommodations are available, upon request, in all aspects of the recruitment process.

*Please note that relatives of current BLG employees and partners are not eligible for consideration.