The HR Communications Manager will develop and implement communication strategies for key HR initiatives and programs for internal and external stakeholders. (S)he will ensure the clarity and distribution of messaging through relevant communication vehicles while strengthening and increasing the community’s knowledge and understanding of Human Resources’ mission, initiatives, goals, projects, and policies in advance of need and/or implementation.
The Communications Manager will develop the overall strategy and branding for Human Resources, and then implement this through the development of messaging, collateral and assets. (S)he will be responsible for HR-wide communications and the HR website to be user-centric and grounded in the employee experience. S(he) will be the primary liaison to the central communications lead and to marketing and branding, ensuring consistency, quality, and innovation.
The Communications Manager relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and counsel HR leaders on effective communication approaches and tools. S(he) will be accountable for preparing and publishing reports, presentations, correspondence, proposals, plan documents and other written materials, utilizing various forms of communication channels, tools and social media.
- Work with leadership to understand business priorities and develop communications plans that are strategic, executable and measurable. Researches, develops, and executes large and/or complex internal communications messaging and plans. Work cross-functionally to build and execute a plan to raise awareness and buy-in into HR’s strategic initiatives, programs and/or changes. Engages and partners with Office of EVP Director of Communications as necessary to garner support for, align messaging to and/or ensure acceptance of targeted HR communications in advance of distribution.
- Coordinate all communication activities for the department including but not limited to: planning, coordinating, preparing and directing internal communication activities; recommending optimum methods for communicating information to various University audiences, setting standards for content, distribution and timeliness of information; establishing production schedules, resolving publication problems; and organizing material(s), plan layouts, final proof reviews, and/or approves or makes changes as necessary.
Content Development and Editing
- Develop internal and external communications (across a variety of mediums) and presentations to relevant stakeholders ensuring consistency of style, voice and branding. Manage and coordinate with other HR staff members, and approved external freelancers, the creation of articles, reports, editorials, reviews, and other material. Read, evaluate, and edit material submitted for publication consideration. Verify facts and clarify information. Prepare special brochures, news or public relations releases, and similar materials. Assist in selecting and preparing material for internal and external publication in print and electronic media. Prepare a variety of reports, presentations and/or speeches on behalf of VP/Chief Human Resource Officer and other key HR leaders as assigned.
- Responsible for development, implementation, maintenance and accuracy of the HR website. Oversee the development of web content and work with each HR division representative on restructuring and editing content for the HR website. Coordinate with University Relations and/or Global Marketing on changes to the look, feel and content of the HR website. Ensure that the website meets the business needs of the organization and represents the best practices for web communications.
- Coordinate the preparation of HR publications and develops processes and other mechanisms for the creation and publication of various HR-based reports including the HR annual report, electronic HR magazine, newsletters, metrics, dashboards and other periodic reports. Ensure that all publications follow editorial policies and standards.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
- Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's degree in journalism, communication or related field preferred.
- Five or more years’ communications experience required, preferably within an HR environment, with proven ability of handling internal communications; demonstrated collaboration skills; experience in strategic communications planning and management of major projects or issues
- Demonstrated innovative skills in developing creative materials for communicating complex content areas.
- Demonstrated leadership skills to lead work groups and teams.
- Exceptional writing and editing skills, as evidenced by past experience and writing samples.
- Strong verbal communications skills, as well as excellent presentation skills.
- Excellent project management, problem-solving skills and the ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks successfully.
- Must be able to complete writing assignments quickly and efficiently.
- Experience creating and managing a range of communications media including print, online, multimedia and face-to-face.
- Experience utilizing measurement tools such as surveys and focus groups, analyzing results for report-outs, and drawing appropriate conclusions.
- Ability to craft effective messaging for both external and internal audiences, as necessary.
- Able to see the broad picture, understanding the role of communications.
- Attention to detail and accuracy a must.
- Communicate strategically to achieve specific objectives (e.g., considers optimal "messaging" and timing of communication. Uses varied vehicles and opportunities to promote dialogue and develop shared understanding and consensus. Maintain continuous, open and consistent with others. Checks own understanding through paraphrasing and asking questions.
Customer and Personal Service
- Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment (and working with employees at all levels of the organization), meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Critical and Analytical Thinking
- Use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. Ability to review and dissect information and can apply basic compensation analytic concepts and calculations.
Creativity and Innovative Design
- Approach assignments with creativity and an eye for innovative design options.
Judgment and Decision Making
- Consider the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Personnel and Human Resources
- Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training and development, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiations, and human resource information systems.
- Possess working knowledge of the use of technology to streamline processes with a specific emphasis on the Microsoft Office suite of products.
- Demonstrated audio/video ability and experience required.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities.