Human Resources Specialist

Position Type: Permanent Full Time
Job Vacancy #: PDS 2023-#05
Location: 633 Indiana Ave NW Washington, D.C. 20004

About The Job

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 200 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 100 social workers, investigators, administrative, and technical staff. 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.

The Human Resources Specialist position is located in the Office of Human Resources. Please note that this position is telework eligible.

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.

Major Duties:

The incumbent assists 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:

Utilizes an onboarding and/or automated web-based application systems (e.g. CareerBuilder, Workforce Transformation Tracking System/Entry on Duty System (WTTS), Federal Personnel and Payroll System (FPPS), Oracle Business Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), etc.) to post vacancy announcements, perform qualifications review, rank applicants, develop selection criteria, process personnel actions, assure appropriate documents and forms are completed prior to entrance on duty and to produce and maintain other HR data, records, and reports.

Assists managers and employees with information and interpretation of PDS’s benefits administration, compensation, wage administration, staffing, verification of employment, position management procedures, practices, policies and guidelines;

Serves as an organization resource on issues involving the PDS pay system. Consults with managers and supervisors 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.

Counsels management officials, employees, and beneficiaries on federal program coverage, options, variance in coverage, advantages and disadvantages of various options. Interprets and explains federal retirement and insurance laws and regulations.

Provides individual retirement counseling and performs calculations. Provides information on federal retirement options, eligibility requirements, health and life insurance implications, the impact of prior government or military service, divorce and remarriage, the role of Social Security, and the implications of retirement savings plans.

As necessary, assists supervisors and employees from assigned organizations with the provisions of the workers’ compensation program.

Counsels management officials, and employees on payroll matters to include, but not limited to resolution of timekeeping discrepancies involving the corrections of timesheets, providing general and specific guidance for timekeeping and the usage of the QuickTime payroll system.

Performing leave audits for staff to be used for maternity leave usage projections, leave without pay and leave of absences and to resolve related QuickTime Time and Attendance and/or Payroll Issues;

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 personnel actions to ensure timely processing for appropriate effective dates.

Requests or initiates personnel actions documenting appointments of new employees in assigned organizations and ensures each is properly recorded.

Receives and researches questions from supervisors and employees concerning aspects of human resources programs and processes.

Reconciles employee records based on periodic reviews or findings from external audits. Reviews actions affecting employee status, particularly pay, to identify discrepancies. Highlights errors found and recommends or initiates corrective action.

Utilizes and assists in the administration of the organization’s electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) System.

Recommends input for PDS human resources policies and operating procedures. Conducts research. Drafts human resources polices and operating procedures at the direction of the Director of Human Resources.

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.

Assists with administering the PDS position classification program. Works with and advises management officials 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.

Acts as a strategic partner to apply analytical, qualitative, or quantitative techniques in order to recommend creative, innovative and integrated solutions to resolve complex human capital matters. Conducts data analysis and reporting requirements.

Performs comprehensive data analysis to include, but not limited to workforce planning, leave projections, and trend analysis.

Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

For the AD-9 (GS-9):
You must have at least one of the following qualifications:
Master's degree in Human Resources, Business, Management, or equivalent
1 year experience as a HR Specialist, or performing HR equivalent duties in Talent Acquisition, Position Classification, HR data analysis and Employee Relations as outlined in the Major Duties of this announcement
a combination of experience and education that meets the requirements for this grade level.

For the AD-11 (GS-11):

You must have completed a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, or three (3) full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree, or an LL.M., if related; OR have at least one (1) year of specialized experience to at least the GS-09 level in the Federal Service (or equivalent); OR a combination of graduate level education and experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirements for this position. See Major Duties and Responsibilities for examples of qualifying experience required for this position.

For the AD-12 (GS-12):
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 administering counseling, guidance, and execution of complex matters outlined in this announcement. See Major Duties and Responsibilities for examples of qualifying experience required for this position.

For applicants with disabilities, this organization provides reasonable accommodations which will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, proof of full vaccination against the COVID-19 virus is a condition of employment with the exception of those who apply for and receive a reasonable accommodation based on their health (disability) or sincerely held religious belief as reasons for not being vaccinated. To request a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or interview process, please contact Katie Lee, Lead HR Specialist at (202) 824-2739.


Preferred Qualifications:

Highly Desirable Qualifications:

Additionally, the following knowledge, skills, and abilities and/or experiences are deemed highly desirable and strongly preferred:
Comprehensive knowledge of and skill in applying a wide range of human resources concepts, principles, laws, regulations, and practices to include staffing, and talent acquisition.
Comprehensive knowledge of and skill in applying federal laws, regulations, and practices governing federal benefits to include: retirement, health and life insurance, and other benefits entitlements; federal position classification; federal position management; federal personnel action processing; federal pay setting & compensation matters; and federal records keeping.
Comprehensive knowledge of and skill in on-boarding and off-boarding processes.
Demonstrated ability to provide advice and counsel concerning all aspects of assigned human resources programs and operations including employee relations counseling, performance management, disciplinary actions, EEO workplace issues, etc. to executives, managers, and employees.
Demonstrated ability to utilize the Federal Personnel and Payroll System (FPPS), the Workforce Transformation Tracking System/Entry on Duty System (WTTS); the QuickTime payroll system; and/or Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE).
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.
Strong business acumen;

Notes on Educational Requirements

NOTE: If qualifying solely on Education requirement listed for the Grade 9, please note that the education must be from an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website:  All education claimed by applicants will be verified by PDS.

Special Instructions For Foreign Education: Applicants who are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit: 


Application Evaluation:

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. Applicants with Federal HR experience will be given extra consideration.


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.

Number of vacancies:


Pay Series:

AD-0201-9/11/12/13 (GS-0201-9/11/12/13) 


Salary Range: $64,957 - $145,617


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 Insurance

Transportation Subsidy Employee Assistance Program

Federal Occupational Health (access to health clinic and services)

Who May Apply:

U.S. Citizens or those authorized to work in the U.S. PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and an E-Verify Participating Agency

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, they must be provided within 30 days if selected if applying under educational requirement for the Grade 9; (3) a copy of your most recent SF 50 Notice of Personnel Action (if available) with personally identifiable information redacted; and (3) 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 Katie Lee, Lead HR Specialist, Office of Human Resources, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Job Announcement PDS#2023-05, 633 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004; via fax to (202) 824-2741; or 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. 

All application materials become property of PDS and will not be returned. For questions or concerns regarding this vacancy announcement, please contact Katie Lee, Lead HR Specialist, at (202) 824-2739 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 235 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 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 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.