Staff member at laptop

Daniel Hendry, HR Coordinator

My job takes in many aspects of the employee experience here at Baker McKenzie. I’m involved in the recruitment process from issuing offers to ensuring the onboarding and induction process is seamless.

I consider myself a ‘people person’ which, I suppose, is why I’ve found a natural fit in the people team but I started my career with Baker McKenzie as a Facilities Assistant.

I was in this role for six years and had the opportunity to specialise in Health and Safety and gain qualifications in IOSH, NEBOSH and Train the Trainer.

When people hear “Health and Safety” they probably think about people telling them off for not using a covered coffee cup at their desk! But there’s actually a real focus on the health and wellbeing of employees and that blends into the world of ‘human resources’ quite naturally.

I enjoy working closely with people and making a positive difference with our CSR mission, so I was delighted to move into the HR team nearly a year ago.

Working in the people team, especially as someone involved in onboarding new teammates, has been interesting in this new hybrid-remote working world. So much of settling into a new workplace is about connecting with your colleagues on a personal level but I’m happy to say that we didn’t pause in recruiting and onboarding throughout the pandemic and those colleagues are still here – so we must be doing something right!

I have felt the benefit of being able to work from home too. The flexibility and ability to do school runs, more time with my family and time for me too have been brilliant.

Dedicating time to my own physical and mental well-being is very important to me. I enjoy cycling, running and going on regular walks which help me feel energised and happier in everything I do.

My day usually starts when I wake at about 7.15 am. I rarely need to set an alarm as I have a six and five-year-old at home!

The mornings are always busy but my wife and I usually have time for a quick coffee before our working day begins. My days are varied, but I usually try and schedule any calls I have on my working-from-home days where possible. This gives me more opportunities for conversations and collaborative work on my office days.

I’m happy working from home but I do love our office - the views, the 10-minute walk into the City Centre and being able to go somewhere different for lunch each week.

The ability to connect more closely with colleagues and exchange ideas in the office has been really impactful too and has helped drive forward a number of projects I am working on.

I’ve been with Baker McKenzie for over seven years and this is in large part due to having friendly and supportive teammates. I feel able to be myself at work and in turn able to perform to the best of my ability each day.

I became a parent shortly after joining Baker McKenzie and it is never easy navigating that transition while focusing on your career. However, the most important thing is knowing that your employer and your friends at work support you.

It’s part of the reason I became part of our Parent and Carers Committee which supports working parents and teammates with caring responsibilities. A lot of what we do is just providing a welcoming environment to connect with other parents and share our experience of striking that balance (and a few tips on the best days out locally!).

I’m happy to say we’re a pretty happy bunch – Baker McKenzie is the most parent-friendly place any of us has ever worked. We’re privileged to work somewhere that does allow for that little bit of extra flex on important dates like birthdays, first days at school and the like.

And the Firm is still moving forward on making things better for working parents. We’ve just introduced a new enhanced paternity leave package which is really progressive for Belfast and for our industry.

New dads can now take up to 12 weeks at full pay following the birth of their child or the beginning of an adoption placement. Those additional ten weeks on top of the statutory two weeks can be taken straight away or in a block at any time in that first year.

It’s so important in giving men more time to bond with their new arrival and allowing families to plan that vital first year in a way that works best for them, emotionally and financially. We have a few soon-to-be dads in the building who are preparing for their time as full-time parents and the Parent and Carers Committee are chipping in with advice and support where we can!
It’s great to work somewhere that respects the life we all have outside of work and to be actively involved in hopefully improving the experience of work for my teammates.