Vanderbilt University Senior Internal Communications Specialist in Nashville, Tennessee

Senior Internal Communications Specialist (Job Number: 1900048)


Located in Nashville, TN, and operating at a global crossroads of teaching and discovery, Vanderbilt University is a community of individuals who come to work each day with the simple aim of changing the world. It is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity — of culture, thinking, learning and leading — is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something that is bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday.

Vanderbilt University Human Resources is a dynamic and fast-paced organization, and the Sr. Communications Specialist is key to effectively delivering internal Human Resources (HR) communications and maintaining a robust online web presence to support the University’s faculty and staff.

The ideal candidate will partner with and facilitate between University Human Resources and University Communications to translate vision, goals and initiatives into tangible and measurable communications efforts. The position reports directly to the institution’s chief HR officer, with a close functional line to the executive director of University benefits.

This position serves as HR’s primarily internal communications and marketing expert. HR is responsible for a considerable portfolio of complex and dynamic information, including employee benefits, payroll, employee events, and policy/compliance matters; effective communications around such topics must be both technically correct and user-focused. The successful candidate will have extensive experience in technical writing and in conveying communications that are readily accessible, understandable, and visually appealing to a wide range of audiences.

We’re looking for a communications professional who will:

  • Serve as the ‘editor-in-chief’ of HR’s internalcontent across multiple communication channels.

  • Demonstrate a strong balance of ‘right-brain’and ‘left-brain’ communications skills, utilizing both technically precise andaesthetically effective approaches to convey important information to internalinstitutional users.

  • Demonstrate excellent writing, curation, and proofreadingskills, with the ability to ask insightful questions to ensure content accuracy.

  • Brainstorm and implement creative ways tocapture employees’ attention and enhance organizational engagement.

  • Be an intellectually curious self-starter, excitedabout "creating" in a fast-paced environment, with the ability tomanage multiple projects simultaneously and within deadlines.

  • Collaborate with, and draw on the expertise of,a team of domain specialists across HR and elsewhere in the University to connectthe right messages with the right audiences.

  • Manage multiple communications strategiesand projects with assigned roles (including serving as project lead).

  • Proficiently use software applications such as MSOffice, Adobe Creative Suite, content management systems, HTML, web editing, graphicdesign, emerging technologies and social media tools.

  • Demonstrate strong emotional intelligence and a balanceof wisdom and judgment.

  • Work independently with strategic direction fromleadership but minimal operational oversight.

  • Effectively engage with stakeholders at multiplelevels of the organization, from entry-level staff to senior executives.

  • Possess a working knowledge of new and emergingtechnologies and social media tools.

  • Use effective communications strategies to impactbehavior through innovative marketing techniques, engaging employees with information,processes, and programs critical to their success and satisfaction.

  • Have an affinity for creating clear writtencommunications to support internal programs, events or initiatives. Examples include web content and graphicdesign, multi-page program guides or overviews, newsletters, emails, infographics,banners, reports, employee-facing articles and letters, and more.

  • Adhere to university, division, and anyapplicable department brand and design guidelines.

Key Responsibilities and Expected Performance:

  • Partners with HR leaders and team members, and partnersfrom the University Communications team as appropriate to develop HR communicationsstrategies and tactics.

  • Draftcontent and manage internal communications output including benefits planguides; employee policies; webinars/videos/podcasts/blogs; newsletters,articles, letters, presentations; websites.

  • Enhance the usability and effectiveness ofinternal web resources through innovative, intuitive design and contentdevelopment.

  • Serve as a mentor and valued consultant to otherHR professionals, who may be content experts in their own fields of specialty,but less so in optimal communications strategies.

  • Effectively use multiple channels to communicateimportant messages.

  • Create and implement branding strategy for the HR functionand its various programs.

  • Manage day-to-day execution of proactivecommunications that support the human resources strategy and programs, forexample, benefits communications including annual open enrollment, etc.

  • Measureand present results of communication efforts.

  • Partner with University Communications and othercampus communication channels to aligncore messaging for organizational consistency in all aspects of communication.


  • 3+ years of experience working in corporatecommunications, public relations, advertising or related positions is required.

  • Bachelors in English, communications, ormarketing, or equivalent professional experience, is required.

  • Exceptional writing, editing, and proofing skillsare required; familiarity with AP style is strongly preferred

  • Project management experience/certification ispreferred.

  • Good working knowledge of graphic designprinciples and Adobe Creative Suite programs on PC (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator,Acrobat, etc.) is required. Expert knowledge is desirable.

  • Record of working with different media includingprint, online and social. Must provide work samples.

  • Ability to create and lead/executecommunications project plans.

  • –Good working knowledge of Microsoft Outlook,Word, PowerPoint and Excel is required. Prior experience developing, editing,and publishing effective web content.

  • Experience with analytics tools to determine communicationcampaign success (i.e., Google Analytics).

About Vanderbilt Benefits

In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU BenefitsOverview at .

About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 and located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. The university’s students and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt was recently ranked #2 for “best quality of life” and “great financial aid,” #5 for “best run colleges” and “beautiful campus,” and #6 for both being in a “college city that students love” and having “great campus/city relations.”

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 38000 - Human Resources: Office of Chief HR Officer

Job: External Affairs & Communications Professionals

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action