SPARKE HELMORE has been recognised as an employer of choice at the recent Australian HR Awards 2008.
The firm — which was a joint winner of The Frontier Software Award for Employer of Choice (fewer than 1000 employees) with Teachers Credit Union — was acknowledged for its strong focus on leadership, people management and a reward system that encourages behaviours based on the firm’s values system.
“Professional partnerships frequently present somewhat unique situations, and confronting the complexities on a national law firm with 57 partners is a significant challenge that has been well met by Sparke Helmore’s HR team,” said Les Pickett, CEO of Pacific Rim Consulting and head judge for the award category.
“The annual HR strategic plan is an integral component of the overall strategic plan and the function enjoys active participation by the firm’s national managing partner.”
Pickett, who has held senior executive positions in general management, IT and HR management in a number of leading organisations, also said that there is a strong orientation on leadership and people management at the firm.
He made special note of a reward mechanism at the firm that helps drive behaviours based on a defined values system that is integrated into the Sparke Helmore people management program.
The awards, which were held on Thursday 30 October in Sydney, were organised by Human Resources magazine and sponsored by Aon Consulting.
Also recognised at the awards was Allens Arthur Robinson, which was highly commended in both The Full Circle Feedback Award for Employer of Choice (more than 1000 employees) category and The 2discover Award for Best Graduate Intake Program category.
Brett Wright — group executive of HR for St.George Bank and head judge of the large employer of choice category — said Allens Arthur Robinson showed a deep and growing understanding of its people, which translated into a broad and full suite of people strategies to help meet the various needs of different workforce segments.
“Its approach was holistic, with clear linkages between the people strategy and the business strategy, with strong support from senior leadership,” he said.
“Allens also showed a clear and crisp employee value proposition with an innovative translation of how this could be pitched to potential employees.”
Mallesons Stephen Jaques was also named as a finalist in The Full Circle Feedback Award for Employer of Choice (more than 1000 employees) category, as well as The Peak Health Management Award for Best Health and Wellbeing Strategy category.
Wright said Mallesons Stephen Jaques has actively pursued a broad development strategy, covering both partners and staff, focusing on current roles and career path planning. He also made note of a range of people-friendly policies that have been actively supported by executive leadership within the firm.
Queensland-based firm McInnes Wilson Lawyers was recognised as a finalist in The Turnaround HRM Award for Best HR Team category.