Human Resources Specialist

Open Date: Sep 7, 2023
Close Date: Dec 31, 2023
Position Type: Permanent Full-Time
Job Vacancy #: PDS 2023-50
Location: 633 Indiana Avenue NW Washington, DC 20004

About The Job

PDS Overview:

PDS Overview: The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is a federally funded, independent organization governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees.  PDS provides legal representation for indigent individuals who are charged with criminal offenses in the District of Columbia and face a loss of liberty.  PDS has approximately 278 employees, most of whom work at the main office at 633 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.  PDS’s staff consists of approximately 100 attorneys and approximately 135 social workers, investigators, administrative, and technical staff. District of Columbia residency is not a requirement for employment. PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and all employees are entitled to participate in certain federal benefits plans: health and life insurance, federal retirement, and Thrift Savings Plan. Transferring employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement purposes.  Employment at the Public Defender Service is at-will and is considered excepted service.

Division Overview:

To support PDS’s holistic approach to public defense, the Office of Human Resources provides services throughout PDS in terms of talent acquisition, position classification, compensation and benefits administration, employee relations, organizational and employee development, payroll, HR information management, and regulatory compliance--- all for the purpose of inspiring excellence in people so the organization is successful in its mission. As a strategic partner with PDS’s leadership, the Office of Human Resources develops and delivers innovative human resource programs and services designed to support the mission of PDS. Our efforts are focused on the organization’s most valuable asset, its employees. We succeed by earning the satisfaction of our employees, the respect and trust of those who govern us, support us and collaborate with us. Additionally, you will be involved in resolving highly complex, controversial, and challenging issues, and to work with multi-year plans, new cutting-edge technologies, and issues that impact human resources services delivery throughout PDS.  Please note that this position has been altered to (mostly) telework status. 

Major Duties:

The incumbents assist the Director of Human Resources in performing the day-to-day responsibilities associated with human resources operations. Duties of the position include, but are not limited to: 
1. Serves as a consultant to management officials providing advisory services regarding the appropriate use and limitations of personnel measurement devices, survey techniques and other assessment tools to gather data for use in organizational planning, development and full utilization of staff, and/or development of measures of employee morale, productivity, or similar matters. Participates in studies and analyses for the assessment and resolution of substantive operating and/or policy issues. 
2. Plans, develops, and implements organization-wide strategies and measurement techniques. Employs organization development techniques and HR technical expertise to identify and enhance organizational, managerial, and employee level drivers that lead to improved organizational performance. Facilitates the implementation of human capital initiatives using change management techniques. Provides management advisory services in coaching, counseling, and recognizing top performers. Establishes and manage relationships and facilitate collaborative efforts across functional boundaries to resolve complex organizational issues. Presents performance management as a beneficial tool to help managers and supervisors manage and improve individual and organizational performance. 
3. Works with other HR staff and use the Federal Payroll and Personnel System (FPPS), Interior Business Center QuickTime payroll system, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), and the Workforce Transformation Tracking System (WTTS). 
4. Develops and implements an agencywide competency management strategy. Collaborates with key stakeholders of the agency in order to incorporate competency modeling in PDS. Identifies job competencies at multiple levels for various jobs. 
5. Provides guidance on the PDS position classification program. Works with and advises management officials and human resources specialists on establishing new positions and on revising existing positions. As necessary, conducts desk audits. Evaluates positions against established standards and guides to determine the appropriate classification for each position reviewed. Provides information, advice, and assistance to managers and supervisors on all aspects of the position classification system. 
6. Serves as an agency resource on issues involving the PDS pay system. Consults with managers supervisors and HR specialists on a wide range of compensation issues including current and previous pay setting practices. Interprets and applies pay rules and regulations. Resolves or recommends resolution to pay setting discrepancies. 
7. Provides human resources advisory services throughout PDS. Utilizes web-based personnel, timekeeping, and data retrieval systems to identify, document, and process required actions utilizing a combination of the Federal Personnel Payroll System (FPPS) the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) and/or PDS pay plans, policies and practices to: 
8. Identifies and tracks anticipated personnel actions, such as promotions, within-grade increases, actions with not-to-exceed dates, etc. Prompts required supervisory approvals and requests or initiates action to ensure timely processing for appropriate effective dates. 
9. Receives and researches questions from supervisors and employees concerning aspects of human resources programs and processes. Responds with thorough explanations citing regulations, operating directives, or past practices that provide PDS employees with additional information. When research reveals errors in the record, recommends or initiates necessary corrective action. 
10. Utilizes and assists in the administration of the organization's electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) System. 
11. Assists the Director of Human Resources in handling employee relations cases. Provides management and supervisor consultation and operational guidance on issues related to employee relations matters. 

Required Qualifications:

Qualification Requirements: 
You must demonstrate in your resume that you have at least one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the Federal service or equivalent and it must include: 

Experience interpreting and applying human resources laws, regulations, principles, practices, policies, methods and techniques associated with strategic human capital management and competency modeling.

Specialized experience, knowledge of and skill in applying federal laws, regulations, and practices governing federal position classification.

Demonstrated ability to develop professional working relationships with individuals and organizations throughout the agency and with other relevant organizations. Demonstrated ability to communicate successfully verbally and in writing.

Experience in adding, removing and modifying access users in the FPPS, OBIEE, QuickTime, and WTTS information systems.

Demonstrated ability to provide advice and counsel concerning all aspects of assigned human resources programs and operations to executives, managers, and employees.  

Demonstrated ability to develop professional working relationships with individuals and organizations throughout the agency and with other relevant organizations. Demonstrated ability to communicate successfully verbally and in writing.

Preferred Qualifications:

Highly Desirable Qualifications:  Additionally, the following achievements and/or experiences are deemed highly desirable and strongly preferred:

1. Graduate, post-graduate or professional degree in human resources, business administration, management, or similar field from an accredited educational institution.  
2. At least two years of specialized experience with complex federal laws that pertain to the practice of human resources in the areas of classifications. 
3. At least two years of specialized experience administering federal employee benefits. 
4. At least three years of specialized experience addressing and working with equal employment opportunity.
5. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
6. High level of organization and attention to detail. 

Application Evaluation:

Your application package includes your résumé and required supporting documents. Please ensure your résumé includes detailed information to support your qualifications for this position; failure to provide sufficient evidence in your résumé may result in a rejection of your application package.

Rating: Your application package will be rated and ranked among other applicants based on your experience, education, training, and awards relevant to the duties of this position. Your rating can be lowered if your application package is not supported by the requested documents.

Referral: If you are among the top qualified candidates, your application package will be referred to a hiring manager for consideration, at which time you may be invited to participate in a selection interview. 

Interview Structure:  Those who are selected for interviews will be required to interview in person.

Number of vacancies:


Pay Series:

PDS-0201-12/13/14 (GS-0201-12/13/14)

Note:  Applicants who have applied to the previous announcement PDS-2023-40 and 28 need not to reapply.

Note: This is an open continuous announcement which allows applicants to apply up to the closing  
          date of the announcement, 11/30/2023. This announcement will establish an inventory of 
          applicants. Contingent upon funding and space requirements, one or more vacancies may be 
          filled as they come available.


Salary Range: $94,199 - $172,075


PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and employees are entitled to participate in federal benefits plans, federal retirement systems, and the workers compensation program. Transferring federal employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement (if applicable) purposes. Benefits include:

Federal Employees Retirement Systems (retirement annuity)
Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401K program) 
Federal Employees Health Benefits (health insurance)
Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (life insurance)
Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program
Flexible Spending Accounts (for health care and dependent care)
Long Term Care
Transportation Subsidy
Employee Assistance Program
Federal Occupational Health (access to health clinic and services)

                        PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and an E-Verify Participating Agency

Who May Apply:

US Citizens or persons authorized to work in the United States.

How to Apply:

How to apply: You must provide a complete application package which includes: (1) a cover letter and resume; (2) official college transcripts (if available); otherwise, (3) a copy of your most recent SF 50 Notice of Personnel Action (if available) with personally identifiable information redacted; (4) current performance appraisal, if available, and (5) a list of three references that include name, address, telephone number, and a statement of how each reference is able to evaluate your skills to HR Specialist Brigette Carrington, Office of Human Resources, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Job Announcement PDS#2023-50, 633 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004 as MS Word or PDF document attachments to the following email address: [email protected] .The vacancy announcement # and title of the vacancy MUST APPEAR on the subject line of the email. Applicants with private and Federal HR Experience are strongly encouraged to apply.

All application materials become property of PDS and will not be returned. For questions or concerns regarding this vacancy announcement, please contact HR Specialist Brigette Carrington at (202) 824-2237 or via the email address listed above.


The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is a federally funded, independent organization; governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees, PDS provides legal representation to individuals facing a loss of freedom in the local criminal, delinquency, and mental health systems in the District of Columbia. PDS’s approximately 275 attorneys, social workers, investigative specialists, administrative, and technical staff collaborate with each other to advance the PDS mission. PDS’s main office is located at 633 3rd Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001. District of Columbia residency is not a requirement for employment. PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and all employees are entitled to participate in the federal health and life insurance plans, the federal retirement plans (FERS, FERS-RAE, FERS-FRAE, CSRS, CSRS-Offset), and the Thrift Savings Plan. Transferring employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement purposes. Employment at PDS is neither federal nor District of Columbia government employment, and all employees are at-will.

PDS is an E-Verify participating agency. Please see the Right to Work Poster and the E-Verify Participation Poster for more information.


PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and E-Verify Participant.