Senior HR Specialist (Employee Relations)

McLean, Virginia
Sep 18, 2021
Sep 23, 2021
Human Resources
Full Time


As the Senior Human Resources Specialist, you will be responsible for in HR policy development, Employee Relations and Performance Management, providing Agency-wide human capital advice and services to senior staff, supervisors, managers, and employees covering such functions as performance, conduct, discipline, and adverse actions based on knowledge of Federal laws, rules, and regulations. This position is located in the Human Resources Division of the Office of Agency Services in McLean, VA.
Learn more about this agency


Policy Management
  • Oversees the updating and creation of policies, implementing procedures, guidelines, and processes for all HR functional areas.
  • Develops, modifies, evaluates, and monitors execution of human resources (HR) policies. Requires extensive coordination and collaboration with subject-matter experts to ensure all HR policies are up-to-date and are properly routed through the routing system. Responsible for ensuring all timelines and requirements are met.
  • Conduct policy analysis and research on HR policy related topics under the direction of the Associate HR Director.
Performance Management and Recognition
  • Provides advisory services on performance management and the function of the performance evaluation program.
  • Leads the Performance Management Program and achieves proficiency in the performance management appraisal system to provide one on one consultations to supervisors to address performance management issues.
  • Provide advice and guidance to supervisors related to all phases of the performance management process to include performance-based actions.
Employee Relations
  • Advises managers and supervisors about appropriate disciplinary or other corrective techniques in response to a range of conduct and performance problems; explains rules and procedures to employees and helps them understand their rights and obligations.
  • Conducts extensive analysis to identify obscure or underlying causes of misconduct or poor performance.
  • Serves as expert writer in the preparation of disciplinary, adverse, and performance-based actions, including cases that are of a significantly complex and/or unprecedented nature. In partnership with the Office of General Counsel provides input on drafting correspondence on behalf of the agency for settlement agreements.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • One-year probationary period, unless previously served.
  • Suitability for Federal employment, as determined by a background investigation.
  • Submission of a financial disclosure report may be required.
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service.


You may qualify at the VH-40 (GS-14) band level if you have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the VH-39 (GS-13) band level in the Federal service (obtained in either the private or public sector). Specialized experience is experience that has equipped you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the following:

Applying and interpreting human resources rules, regulations, and laws to provide consultative services on performance management, policy management and implementation, and complex employee relations matters (i.e. employee complaints, performance, discipline or conduct issues, and adverse actions).

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

You must meet all qualification requirements and submit all required supporting documentation by the closing date of this announcement. If you are found to be among the most highly qualified candidates you will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview.

Time-In-Grade Requirements: Current and former Federal employees (including VEOA eligibles) must have served one-year (52 weeks) at the next lower grade in the Federal service to meet time-in-grade restrictions per 5 CFR 300, Subpart F, by the closing date of the announcement.


Education may not be substituted for experience at the VH-40 (GS-14) band level.

Additional information

Only experience and education obtained by the closing date of this announcement will be considered.
  • All FCA employees are subject to the conflict of interest laws and Standards of Ethical Conduct imposed upon all employees of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and may be required to file a Financial Disclosure Report.
  • FCA's supplemental ethics regulations restrict certain FCA employees concerning their direct or indirect interests in, or connections with, Farm Credit System institutions. These rules also require all employees to obtain approval for outside employment or business activities. Please contact the HR Division for additional information on these rules.
  • FCA uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees.
  • This announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies if openings in the same series and grade occur.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your resume serves as the basis for the determination of your qualifications and should highlight relevant work experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to this position. Your resume must include the following information:
  • Paid and non-paid work experience including your position title, start and end dates (month/year) of employment, average number of hours worked per week and salary;
  • Position series and grade for Federal positions;
  • Indication of the knowledge, skills and education you have that are pertinent to this position;
  • Specific duties you have performed as a regular part of your job with indications of the level of responsibility and complexity of work;
  • Names and contact information for your current and/or previous supervisor(s).

You must provide the information specified above in your resume to be considered for this position. Your resume must include enough detail to permit a valid determination that you meet eligibility and specialized experience requirements for each grade for which you are applying. Take a look at this online video for ideas on how to communicate your qualifications . If review of your resume and your responses to the self-assessment questions demonstrate that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience, a score will be manually determined that reflects your documented experience. This may result in a lower score which may eliminate you from consideration for this position.

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs) and other characteristics relevant to the duties of this position:
  • Customer Service
  • Employee Relations
  • Influencing/Negotiating
  • Legal, Government and Jurisprudence
  • Oral Communication
  • Performance Management
  • Writing

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) candidates must be rated "Well Qualified" (score of 85 or higher) for the position to receive priority consideration.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process

Required Documents

You must provide a complete Application Package through USAJOBS that includes your resume, responses to the Applicant Questionnaire and supporting documentation:
  • Current Resume: All applicants must submit a current resume. See the Qualifications and Evaluation section of the announcement for details on the information required. You can use USAJOBS resume builder or upload your own resume. Need help? Get some tips from this online video on Federal resume-writing .
  • SF-50: Current Federal employees must submit a copy of a recent SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action. Your most recent Promotion, Within Rate Increase (WRI/WGI), or Appointment/Conversion SF-50 or Notification of Personnel Action (if applying as a current or former Federal Employee) showing you are/were in the competitive service and the highest grade or promotion potential held. A cash award SF-50 should not be provided.
  • CTAP/ICTAP applicants only: If you are claiming priority consideration under CTAP or ICTAP, you must submit a) A copy of your RIF Separation Notice or Certification of Expected Separation or other documentation indicating that you are a surplus employee; b) Evidence of full performance level of current position; c) A copy of your most recent performance appraisal; and d) A copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.
  • Veterans' Preference eligibles: If you are claiming veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your Certificate of Release of Discharge From Active Duty, DD-214 (Member Copy 2 or 4), or other official documentation from a Branch of the Armed Forces or the Department of Veteran's Affairs showing dates of service and type of discharge. If you are currently on active duty, you must provide an official statement of service from your command/unit which states the date you entered active duty, expected discharge type and date, and campaign medals you have received OR other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions. If the appropriate information is not submitted to confirm your discharge status, dates of service, etc., you will not receive credit for the claimed active duty military service.
  • 10-point Preference Eligible Veterans: If you are claiming Veterans' Preference based upon a Compensable Disability, Widow or Spouse Entitlement, or as a Purple Heart recipient, you must submit your DD-214 (Member Copy 2 or 4) AND documentation to support your status, e.g., Department of Veterans Affairs letter dated 1991 or later, marriage license, death certificate, etc. If you do not submit appropriate or adequate information to confirm your eligibility you may not receive the credit claimed.

  • Failure to submit any of the above mentioned required documents may result in loss of consideration due to an incomplete application package. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents have been submitted.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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