This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Human Resources Specialist (Information Systems)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Food Safety and Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:HRO-CE-2013-0001

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$50,275.00 to $112,704.00 / Per Year


Wednesday, January 02, 2013 to Friday, January 04, 2013




Full time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Minneapolis, MN, USView Map


All qualified U.S. Citizens. This position is concurrently announced as HRO-MP-2013-0003 under Merit Promotion. Current Federal employees can apply to both announcements, but should be sure to apply to the Merit Promotion announcement HRO-MP-2013-0003 in order to avoid losing consideration, since different referral criteria apply to each announcement type. This position has specific specialized experience requirements. Please see the qualifications and evaluations section for details.


The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is a public health regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Our mission is to protect consumers by ensuring that the commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products moving in interstate commerce or exported to other countries is safe, wholesome and correctly labeled and packaged.  FSIS offers transit subsidies and flexible schedules in some locations.

JOIN A GREAT FSIS TEAM!! This position may be eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements.  This position is covered by the Public Health Human Resources (PHHRS) Demonstration Project. Effective July 19, 2009, FSIS began operating under the PHHRS, a Pay Banding and Pay for Performance Demonstration Project, in which non- bargaining unit positions will be classified by career path, occupational series, and pay bands rather than the traditional General Schedule (GS) grades in the Federal Service. The AP-3/4 pay band is equivalent to the GS-9/11 (AP-3); GS-12/13 (AP-4) levels. PHHRS will offer flexibility to offer exceptional candidates higher salaries than most other Federal agencies. Additionally, employees will be eligible to receive an annual pay increase based upon performance. For more information on PHHRS, including information on its pay tables and how it will benefit employees, please visit: Why PHHRS? How does it benefit employees?


  • This position may require travel.
  • Check your status throughout the hiring process @
  • The full performance level of this position is AP-4.
  • Relocation expenses are not presently authorized.
  • FSIS utilizes E-VERIFY to verify identity and employment eligibility.
  • This is a public trust position requiring a background investigation.


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The position is located in the Food Safety and Inspection Service's Human Resources Operations (HRO), Office of Management, Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer. HRO provides human resources services to approximately 10,500 employees nation-wide.  As a Human Resources Specialist (Information Systems), you will provide overall direction and expertise related to all facets of human resources information systems to include maintenance and support for existing systems; in-depth analysis and testing of new or prototype systems; and implementation of new

systems. You will facilitate improvements in HR effectiveness through the development of analytical programs to support business process management and improvement strategies. In addition, you will be responsible for integrating HR information systems with other systems throughout the Agency and the Department. You will report to the Section Chief, Management and Human Resources Support Section.


More specifically, here is what you will be assigned to do: 

Analyze and evaluate various HR programs and activities and recommend a wide range of innovations to improve business process efficiency, effectiveness and productivity through the use of automation. Review and test software, plan and oversee system implementation activities.

Design web applications and participate in the design and development of dynamic and static web interfaces using available technology such as HTML, Visual Basic, JAVA, VB Script, Cold Fusion, etc. Troubleshoot and resolve technical problems. Serve as project manager to implement testing phase, train users, gather data, obtain feedback, evaluate information and represent HR’s interests.

Monitor IT equipment, software and data communications assigned to HR offices and users. Identify issues, as well as the need for upgrades. Coordinate with Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to obtain troubleshooting, repair, configuration, installation, and replacement services.

Responsible for preparing a variety of reports, statistics, and analytical analyses for representatives at the highest levels of FSIS and the Department.  Serve as an advisor to HR managers on major HR information management initiatives and a wide variety of information systems issues. Perform in-depth research, including cost-benefit analysis, on the effect of automating manual HR

systems. Conduct pilot testing of systems to assess whether systems will increase the quality of HR services.




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Specific specialized experience is required in order to meet the basic qualifications for this position; this experience must be clearly indicated in your resume.  Specialized Experience- Applicants must demonstrate 52 weeks of specialized experience as described below, at the next lower level (AO or AP-2 or GS-7). OR applicants may qualify based on the completion of 2 full years of progressively higher level related graduate education or a masters or equivalent graduate degree from an accredited college or university AND have at least one year time-in-grade or band at the next lower level. OR the completion of 3 full years of progressively higher level related graduate education or a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited college or university. Specialized experience - AP-4, GS-12/13 equivalent:  Applicants must demonstrate 52 weeks of specialized experience as described below, at the next lower level (AP-3 or GS-11). Education may not be substituted for experience at the AP-4 band.  For this position, Specialized Experience is defined as: Comprehensive experience working with automated HR systems and in developing business practices that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of HR business procedures and processes.  A working knowledge of concepts, laws, rules, regulations, principles and practices related to human resources and payroll data to be able to research, interpret, develop and advocate policies, programs, and initiatives that affect HR data.  In addition, you must have experience managing projects that require the interaction and coordination with others in a variety of functional areas. You must have experience providing IT instruction and training to managers, co-workers, and employees.

Your application and resume must provide detail that fully supports that you meet the specialized experience requirements in order to meet the basic requirements for this position. Applicants must meet the specialized experience requirements within 30 days after the closing date of this announcement.


Major competencies required for this position include: accountability, technical competence, problem-solving, attention to detail, customer service, written communication, oral communication, reasoning, and self-management.

Education is not required for this position, however, you may cite it in your resume.

All supporting documents in the "How to Apply" section must be submitted by 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on the closing date of the announcement.  Current FSIS employees do not need to submit an SF-50.

Multiple selections may be made from this announcement. Relocation expenses are not presently authorized.  Employment may be subject to a satisfactory completion of a background investigation.


Applicants are evaluated in accordance with Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. All applicants are rated on the extent and quality of experience, education, and training relevant to the duties of the position. An automated ranking system, based on the on-line application process is used. Before a certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume is reviewed carefully by an HR Specialist to assure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met, (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions, (c) the resume addresses experience and education relevant to this position, and (d) copies of any required documents are submitted. Your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the applicant assessment questions. High self-assessment in the applicant questions that is not supported by information in your resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status and subsequent referral to the selecting official. If you are found to be one of the top quality candidates or are eligible for special hiring authorities and will be referred to the selecting official for job consideration, you may be asked to develop a written response to narrative/essay type questions in the second round of the application process. If this applies to you, you will be contacted by an agency representative. Please keep your records updated with your current email address. The automated system will place applicants in categories based on their responses to the on-line job related assessment questions, which are based on the duties and competencies required of the position. These categories are qualified, well qualified, and best qualified. Best qualified is the top category. Veterans who meet qualification requirements and have adjudicated veterans preference will be placed at the top of the category they fall into based on their answers to the assessment questions; this could be one of several categories, however, non-veterans cannot be selected over veterans that are in the same category. Only candidates in the top category are referred to the selecting official, unless categories are merged. Adjudicated veterans are those who meet the requirements for preference and submit legible documentation by the closing date of the announcement. A member 4 copy of the DD-214 must be submitted, or a letter from the Veterans Administration specifying eligibility as a disabled veteran, and in either case, documents must specify an honorable discharge. For disabled veterans, the SF-15 is requested; in the absence of an SF-15, the VA letter specifying eligibility for preference and an honorable discharge is sufficient, assuming all requirements for preference are met.

To preview questions please click here.


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The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. For an overview of all the benefits programs please click this link.


Other Information 1. Multiple selections may be made from this vacancy announcement. 2. Entitlement to the payment of relocation expenses will be determined in accordance with the provisions outlined in FSIS Directive 3820.2. 3. In addition to a background investigation, a financial disclosure statement may be required. FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES ALL EMPLOYERS TO VERIFY THE IDENTITY AND EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY OF ALL PERSONS HIRED TO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES. FSIS utilizes E-Verify to verify identity and employment eligibility by providing to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) information from each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. E-Verify cannot be used to pre-screen job applicants or to re-verify current employees and may not limit or influence the choice of documents presented for use on the Form I-9. If you have concern that there has been a violation of the E-Verify program or you feel you have been discriminated during the verification process based on your national origin or citizenship status, contact the Office of Special Counsel at 1-800-255-7688 (TDD: 1-800-237-2515). For more information on E-Verify you may contact DHS at 1-888-464-4218. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720- 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. This Agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by- case basis.

We are a qualifying employer of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. For more information on the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program, please visit the Department of Education's website


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Please read the entire announcement carefully and take note of any education, qualification, rating factors, and job-related questions or specific duties that are listed. 

Are you new to the Government application process? Are you a Current or Former Federal Employee with questions? An applicant who is eligible to apply under a Special Hiring Authority? We want to make certain all of you have an opportunity to be considered so please review the following link in order to make sure you have submitted your application properly! USAJobs Info Center.

Go to Create a resume in the USAJOBS site. Follow the online instructions. Extensive help is available online from the USAJOBS site. Our application system is integrated with USAJOBS.

Completed applications include:

1.  Answers to all core questions (completed when registering online in USAJOBS and as part of the initial application process). 

2. Answers to all vacancy-specific questions (Completed for each job)

3. Your online resume. Resumes are entered into USAJOBS. Resumes can be copied and pasted into the personal information area of your application from other word processing documents at any time prior to the closing date. Your resume must include the number of hours that you worked per week, the start date (MM/YY) and end date (MM/YY) of the position(s) you held, job title, name of employer, and a description of the duties that you performed for all positions listed in your resume. This information is needed in order to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. 

4.  Any supplemental documents needed. 

Applicants who do not respond to the online vacancy questions and who do not submit supporting resumes will be rated ineligible.  If applying on-line poses a hardship, please contact our office well before the closing date for alternative methods.


Current employees of the Food Safety and Inspection service do not need to submit educational transcripts, SF-50, or copies of their performance appraisal. Non-FSIS federal employees and reinstatement eligibles must provide a copy of their most recent SF-50 in addition to copies of their transcripts. To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, displaced Federal employees must be rated at 85 or above on the rating criteria for this position. For those instances where the best qualified lists include applicants with scores less than 85, the well-qualified score becomes the lowest score on the best qualified list. CTAP and ICTAP eligible's must submit a copy of your most recent performance appraisal (at least "fully successful" or equivalent) and one of the following as proof of eligibility for the special selection priority: a separation notice; a "Notice of Personnel Action" (SF-50) noting current position (or position at separation), grade level, and duty location or equivalent that documents separation; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; an OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; OR a Military Department or National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456. Click here: for more information. If you claim eligibility for consideration via a variety of non-competitive special hiring authorities, supporting documentation should be provided before the closing date of this announcement. Veteran preference eligible's or veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after at least three consecutive years of active duty military service may also be considered. A DD-214 that includes beginning and ending dates of service and character of discharge (Member Copy 4) must be submitted to verify eligibility. Click here: for more information. Future Military Retirees WHO ARE CURRENTLY ON TERMINAL LEAVE: You are required to submit a copy of your retirement DD-214 or a copy of your retirement letter AND a copy of your terminal leave request. Future Military Separatees WHO ARE CURRENTLY ON TERMINAL LEAVE: You are required to submit a copy of your most recent DD-214 and/or a copy of your most recent active duty orders AND a copy of your terminal leave request (if applicable). Click here: for more information.

Uploading/Faxing Supporting Documentation: The next step of the application process is to upload or fax all the required supporting documentation specified in the Required documents section of this vacancy announcement. You do not need to have all of your supporting documentation submitted in order to continue with the online portion of the application process. Please carefully follow the instructions below to ensure your supporting documents are properly uploaded/faxed and received. All required documents must be received by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement. ***Not all of the document types listed will pertain to you; only submit documents needed to complete your application package. For example, the Schedule A Certification document must only be submitted by individuals applying based on eligibility for appointment due to a disability. The SF-50 is a form current and former Federal employees submit to document their Federal employment status. TO UPLOAD DOCUMENTS, FOLLOW THIS LINK:Upload Information. If you are unable to upload your documents, you may still fax your documents. FAX INSTRUCTIONS: 1. If you have previously faxed supporting documentation the status of those documents will indicate Received. There is no need to resubmit documents which show a status of received unless you are submitting an updated copy. (If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the human resources office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing, a previous submission, you must fax both the old document and the new document for them both to be accessible to HR.) 2. You must use a separate cover sheet for each category of supporting documentation (i.e., transcripts, SF-50, DD-214). Choose the document cover sheet(s) you would like to print by selecting the appropriate check boxes in the Selected Documents column. 3. Click the [Print Cover Sheets] button. A window will pop-up containing the fax cover sheet(s) you selected. Print the cover sheet(s). NOTE: You must be connected to a printer in order to print the cover sheets. Additionally, you must allow pop-ups. 4. Once you have reviewed the list of documents and printed any required fax cover sheets click on [Done]. You will be moved forward in the application process. 5. Before faxing your document(s), take care to ensure the document is legible and all information is complete and signed, if necessary. Fax only documents which are clear and legible. Original documents with light or faded print and/or dark or patterned backgrounds will not be legible upon receipt. Illegible faxed documents cannot be used for qualification or verification purposes. 6. Place the corresponding cover sheet on top of the document and fax the cover sheet and document together to the fax number specified on the cover sheet. NOTE: If you are faxing documents from more than one category of supporting documentation, you must submit them with the appropriate cover sheet. EACH DOCUMENT TYPE MUST BE FAXED SEPARATELY under its corresponding cover sheet. DO NOT FAX ALL DOCUMENTS TYPES UNDER ONE COVER SHEET. (i.e., Transcripts are one type of document; fax all pages of your transcript and other education-related documents under the transcript cover sheet; the SF-50 is another document type, if you are faxing more than one SF-50, fax them all under the SF-50 cover sheet.) 7. Be sure to save these cover sheets in the event you need to re-fax your supporting documents. Each fax transmission includes a unique identification number and bar code, which ensures your document is processed correctly. 8. You will receive an e-mail confirming the fax has been successfully received by Human Resources. You should retain your e-mail confirmation and confirmation of your fax transmittal report as proof of submission. Your application will be considered incomplete and YOU WILL BE FOUND INELIGIBLE if you fail to submit the required documentation as specified under the required documents section by 11:59 Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.


Keith McFarlin
Phone: 612-659-7042
Fax: 612-370-2377
TDD: 800-877-8339
Agency Information:
100 N 6th St, suite 420C
Minneapolis, MN
Fax: 612-370-2377


You may check your status on USAJOBS. Because of the on-line status update capability, candidates are not normally notified of the outcome of their application through other means unless they are selected for the position. Applications are reviewed after the announcement closing date and the best qualified candidates are referred to the selecting official.

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