Job Posting 17-64
Opening date: September 1, 2017
Closing date: September 15, 2017
TITLE:Supervisory Human Resources Specialist GS-201, Grade14; $111,695.00 - $145,205.00 Annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Federal Temporary Not to Exceed 14 Months
DIVISION: - HR
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Current and former Federal employees with permanent status or reinstatement eligibility
within the local commuting area. Individuals who are eligible for a special appointing authority may also apply; such
as applicants with a disability, former Peace Corps volunteers, certain military spouses, veterans seeking a
VRA/VEOA appointment, or veterans who have been separated from armed forces under honorable conditions after 3
years or more of continuous active service.
This is the position of Supervisory Human Resources Specialist, Human Resources Department of the Smithsonian
Astrophysical Observatory. The purpose of the position is to provide advisory and consultative services to the
SAO community throughout the diverse spectrum of human resources functions, and to serve as Acting Director,
Human Resources Department in the absence of the Director. The incumbent plans, organizes and independently
carries out a wide variety of responsibilities in areas such as recruitment and placement, position management and
classification, management-employee relations, human resources information systems, performance management,
human capital management, benefits administration, visa processing, and other special programs.
1. As Acting Director, Human Resources, the incumbent is delegated, through Director SAO and Director,
HR, full authority and responsibility for planning, organizing, administering and evaluating a total program
of human resource management encompassing both the Federal and Smithsonian Trust Fund systems for
all SAO locations (Cambridge, MA; Hilo, HI; Amado, AZ).
2. Monitors and evaluates HR programs to ensure compliance with applicable laws, rules, or government-
wide regulations and are compatible with SAO’s mission and strategic goals.
3. Applying an expert knowledge of recruitment and placement principles and concepts, recruits and places
Federal and Trust Fund employees in all grade and provides guidance and assistance to
managers/supervisors on recruitment and placement programs. Responsible for a variety of recruiting
efforts through a number of outlets, to increase recruitment sources for special programs, and seek out the
most effective media outlets. Participates in pre- and post-RIF planning and actions for Trust and Federal
4. Provides expert position management and classification support to assigned organizations. Develops and
evaluates position descriptions for all position actions, including a significant amount of highly complex
positions. Completes classification and position management surveys as needed, to implement
reorganizations, apply new standards or complete other position or organization changes.
5. Provides expert advice and assistance to managers/supervisors on handling performance problems, adverse
actions, referrals to Employee Assistance Programs, promotions, merit increases, quality and within-grade
increases, cash awards, full utilization of present personnel, writing performance appraisal plans, etc.
Responds to difficult situations in correcting work deficiencies, poor performance, and leave abuse.
Informs managers/supervisors of regulatory and other requirements in effecting dispute resolutions,
disciplinary actions, removals, suspensions, and grievances and assists in the development of required
correspondence/documents. Provides advice regarding the administration of formal rating plans, as well as
assistance in resolving complaints concerning performance ratings. Takes part in meetings between
managers/supervisors and subordinates to assist in the resolution of problems.
6. Keeps abreast of new developments and regulatory guidance from SI, OPM, and other sources in all areas
of Human Resources management. Provides expert advice on policy, directives, and guidelines on a full
range of matters relevant to assigned functions.
7. Petitions for visas (both immigrant and non-immigrant) for aliens whom SAO wishes to hire on either a
temporary or permanent basis. This includes H-l, J-1, O-1, TN-1, and permanent resident petitions, as well
as all derivatives. Must maintain an excellent working relationship with SI's Office of International Affairs,
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, Department of Labor, Department of State, and the United
States Information Agency (USIA). Responsible for annual renewal of visas for foreign national
employees/visitors already on board.
8. Serves as a personnel expert on various Management, EEO, HRIS, or other special committees as required.
Prepares a variety of reports as requested by the Director of Human Resources, members of top SI/SAO
management, other SAO managers or supervisors, or on own initiative. As required, conducts various
studies and evaluation activities of program areas. Prepares and presents results, and recommends
corrective actions based on findings. Follows up, to assure completion of required actions.
9. Performs supervisory functions with respect to assigned staff. Assigns work to subordinates based on
individual capabilities of staff members. Conducts formal and informal performance appraisals with direct
reports. Provides advice, counsel, and instruction to employees on technical and administrative matters. Is
responsible for the spectrum of personnel actions for staff which included selection and recommendation
for promotion, reassignment, training and development, etc. Hears and whenever possible resolves
grievances or other problems in the group referring to the Director those of a major or SAO-wide nature.
Effects disciplinary measures when necessary
To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
One (1) year of Specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level in the
Federal service. Specialized experience equips the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to
perform successfully the duties of the position and that is typically in or related to the work of the position such as
Mastery of and skill in applying a wide range of advance HR principles, concepts and practices; Ability to perform
a key role in rendering expert advice and in policy interpretation; mastery of, and skill in applying Federal position
classification rules and regulations; skills in applying Federal staffing regulation and procedures and recruiting
techniques; sill in applying both government and private sector employee relations laws, regulations;
comprehensive knowledge of immigration law.
For qualification standards please check https://archive.opm.gov/qualifications/Standards/IORs/gs0200/0201.htm
APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. For complete
information about this position and the online application procedures, please visit:
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.
Visit our SAO website.