HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job Posting 17-65
Opening date: September 14, 2017
Closing date: November 30, 2017

TITLE:Human Resources Specialist IS-201, Grade 11; $66,317.00 - $86,208.00 Annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund Temporary Not to Exceed 14 Months
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: All qualified candidates.

First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening date.


1. Recruit and place Federal and trust fund employees and open positions at all levels (up to grade 15) including administrative, technical scientific, wage board, etc. This process entails evaluation of the position description and grade levels as submitted by supervisor in accordance with USOPM classification standards and guidelines set forth by EEO/AA. Positions are posted internally and listed with appropriate media. Recruiting efforts are to be carried out via mail outs, telephone contacts and personal visits to potential candidate sources, e. g. universities, career fairs, etc. In conjunction with the hiring supervisor, the incumbent determines selective factors for positions and rates candidates. Will make efforts to increase recruitment sources for special programs.

2. Classify a variety position descriptions at all levels( as a result of new positions, re-evalaution of existing positions, for promotions, etc. ) in accordance with US OPM position classification standards. Perform desk audits of positions as required or upon special request. 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.

3. Calculate severance payment for SAO employees (both Trust Fund and Federal) who are affected by Staff Reductions. Must be familiar with appropriate rules, regulations and procedures as outlined in the Smithsonian Institution Staff Handbooks and in the Federal Personnel Manual. Is responsible for advising managers and supervisors regarding severance and staff reduction policies, including notification deadlines, appeal rights, benefits after staff reduction, etc. Must be cognizant of rules regarding unemployment compensation in states where employees are located. Counsels employees who have been affected by staff reductions including outlining benefits, monitoring severance payments, assisting and resume preparation and outplacement referrals whenever possible. 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.

4. Assists supervisors in 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. Takes part in meetings between supervisors and subordinates to assist in the resolution of problems. 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.

5. Serves as a resource to employees at all levels, including managers and supervisors, on the interpretation of SI/SAO policy. Provides a broad range of counseling to SAO employees regarding SI/SAO policies, practices and procedures.

6. Process requests for visas for foreign national employees, visitors, and fellows by applying appropriate guidelines and procedures in completing and submitting the necessary documentation to the appropriate agency for approval.

7. Serves on various management, EEO or other special committees as required.

8. Prepares as requested by the Director of Human Resources, members of top SI/SAO management, other SAO managers or supervisors are on own initiative.

9. Performs other duties as assigned.


Applicants must possess a minimum of one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 9 level in the normal line of progress for this occupation, which should demonstrate knowledge of the laws pertaining to entry of foreign specialists on permanent resident and temporary visas; intermediate knowledge of Federal position classification, and techniques for developing position descriptions; intermediate knowledge of Federal staffing regulations and procedures, private sector recruiting techniques, and the use of special recruiting strategies for hard-to- fill positions; knowledge of the principles, practices and regulations governing employee relations, benefits, and training.


Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree

or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree

or LL.M., if related

or a combination of education and experience

For qualification standards please check

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: USAJOBS

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

Visit our SAO website.


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