Senior HR Consultant, Labor & Union Relations
Job Posted: 9 November 2021
Company: Vanderbilt University
Closing Date: 31 December, 2021
Location: Nashville, TN

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About Us

Vanderbilt University is a community collectively striving to succeed through immersive learning, integrated research, and collaborative discovery. We encourage diverse perspectives and recognize that our differences, and our respect for alternative views and voices, is our greatest source of strength. We wed education and inspiration to challenge young, diverse minds to address society’s greatest challenges. The Human Resources Department supports employees across the university to make this mission possible. Our team values a “One Vanderbilt” approach, as part of a wide-ranging yet wholly united community comprised of ten distinct schools and colleges, specialized divisions and departments.

About the Role

As the Senior HR Consultant, Employee and Labor Relations, you will join the Vanderbilt community located in Nashville, TN, a world-class city on the rise, with cosmopolitan flair, and small-town appeal. This role reports to the Sr Director, HR Consulting, Employee and Labor Relations and will work with a team of Senior HR Consultants. As a strategic partner, your role serves as the primary point of contact to employees and leaders for all HR related matters and to support, influence and strengthen Vanderbilt’s culture of inclusive excellence and innovation. This role supports employees governed by a collective bargaining agreement between the university and the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). This can range from performance management to workforce planning; employee relations to policy interpretation and application. You as the ideal candidate will learn the “businesses” of the school and department that you support. You will assist them with their strategic goals from a human capital perspective. In addition to the everyday business partner work, you will sit on committees and project groups both internally and externally to HR. Not every day is a day spent in the office as Vanderbilt strives to promote a healthy work/life balance and believes in a hybrid approach to work allowing for both in person and remote options.

About You

Our ideal candidate is well versed in HR and employee and labor relations and is connected to Vanderbilt and its mission. You develop authentic rapport with the Vanderbilt community, can work independently, and you have the savvy know-how to navigate unexpected situations with confidence. You are a team player, ongoing learner and not afraid to step into and handle difficult and complicated situations. You are seen as an expert in your field and will use this knowledge to support the university in attracting, developing, retaining, rewarding and engaging a diverse talent to meet the goals and needs of the schools and departments you support as well as the university overall. You work collaboratively and are successful at coordinating efforts with other areas of HR (Total Rewards, Talent, Employee Learning and Engagement, Strategic Initiatives) to provide additional resources to the departments you support. You are seen as a leader and mentor in the HR department.


Employee and Labor Relations: Supports the leaders and union members that are governed by our collective bargaining unit. Provides guidance on contract interpretation and works closely with our union representatives and stewards to ensure appropriate application of the contract. Sits as a member of the bargaining unit during contract negotiations. Supports management in the grievance procedures.

Strategic/Business Partnership: Strategically partners with key stakeholders to support the operational and people objective of the university and the schools/departments. Works closely with department leadership to align HR strategy to department business objectives and best practices, while understanding financial impact of recommendation. Provides guidance and input on business unit restructures, workforce planning and succession planning. Partners with school/department leadership and employees to improve work relationships, build morale and increase productivity and retention. Consults with leaders to strategically advise on workforce planning and to identify HR capabilities to achieve operational goals. Analyzes university and schools’/departments’ metrics to identify trends to develop impactful solutions and innovative strategies and make recommendations. Support staff in career development and opportunities.

Employee Relations: Functions as the primary HR contact for schools’/departments’ human resources needs. Maintains in-depth knowledge of legal requirements related to day-to-day management of employees, reducing legal risks and ensuring regulatory compliance. Partners with the legal department as needed/required. Drafts and delivers HR policy and procedures. Advises leaders and employees on policies, procedures and practices. Coaches and guides leaders on employee discipline and performance issues. Advises leaders and employees on employee relations matters. Support leaders and staff with the performance management process.


  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in a related field is required and a Master’s degree is preferred.
  • Previous Experience: A minimum of ten years of related experience in serving in a human resources role is required along with experience interpreting employment law. Previous experience in a union environment is preferred.
  • Business Acumen: Ability to acquire a thorough understanding of the university’s hierarchy, jobs, qualification, compensation practices and the administrative practices related to those factors.
  • Organizational Skills: Excellent at managing multiple tasks, proven capabilities to meet deadlines and strong organizational skills.
  • Technical Skills: Proficient knowledge of Microsoft Office, including basic data manipulation in excel.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

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

Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.

About Us

Vanderbilt is a community of talented and diverse staff & faculty!

At Vanderbilt University, our work - regardless of title or role - is in service to an important and noble mission in which every member of our community serves in advancing knowledge and transforming lives on a daily basis. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, on a 330+ acre campus and arboretum dating back to 1873, Vanderbilt is proud to have been named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” as well as a top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area by Forbes for several years running. We welcome those who are interested in learning and growing professionally with an employer that strives to create, foster and sustain opportunities as an employer of choice through:

Working and growing together as a community of communities... we are One Vanderbilt.

Providing a work environment where every staff and faculty member can be their authentic and best self, while providing the resources and opportunities to learn and grow.

Encouraging development, collaboration, and partnership both internally and externally while fostering the value that every member of the Vanderbilt community can lead and grow regardless of title or position.

We understand you have a choice when choosing where to work and pursue a career. We understand you are unique and have a story. We want to hear it. We encourage you to apply today so that you might become a part of our story.


Vanderbilt University has made the safety of our students, faculty and staff, and our surrounding communities a top priority. As part of that commitment, the University recently announced that students, faculty, and staff, are required to be vaccinated against COVID. As a prospective and/or a new employee at Vanderbilt, you will be required to comply with the University’s vaccination protocol. Effective, August 1, 2021, proof of full vaccination or an approved accommodation will be required before the start of employment in order to work at Vanderbilt University.

Accommodations for medical and religious exemptions can be requested with the Equal, Opportunity and Access Office