09/21/2022 to 10/04/2022
$72,686 – $116,012 per year
Pay scale & grade
Department of State Posts – Overseas and Domestic, United States
Occasional travel – Foreign Service Specialists generally spend the majority of their careers assigned to our overseas missions. At times, they may serve at posts unaccompanied by family members, and/or in hardship conditions.
Relocation expenses reimbursed
Yes—After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., a Foreign Service Specialist is usually assigned to two overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States.
Permanent – Permanent after tenure granted by a Foreign Service Specialist (FSS) Tenure Board.
Job family (Series)
0201 Human Resources Management
The U.S. Department of State is developing a rank-ordered list of eligible hires for a limited number of Foreign Service Human Resources Officers (HRO) positions based on the needs of the Department. Learn more about the Department of State and a career in the Foreign Service at https://careers.state.gov.
There is more to joining the Foreign Service than just salary. Refer to the Benefits section for more information on total compensation.
This job is open to
U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.
Clarification from the agency
Must be a U.S. citizen. Potential applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure they meet all requirements and understand a Foreign Service career. Applications for this position are only accepted once per year from the date they are submitted. If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied your suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs).
Some of the specific duties and responsibilities of HROs for both U.S. Direct Hires (USDH) and Locally Employed (LE) staff include, but are not limited to:
Locally Employed Staff (LE Staff) Human Resource Issues
Talent Management: Oversees the lifecycle of Locally Employed Staff (LE Staff) employment from recruitment, security and medical clearances, onboarding, benefits, compensation, training, discipline, performance, to separation.
Performance Management: Oversees the LE Staff performance evaluation process. Provides counseling on career development and interpersonal skills. Directly manages disciplinary actions.
Employee Relations and Recognition: Manages the interagency mission awards program, supervises and directs LE HR office staff.
Policies and Procedures: Reviews position descriptions to ensure fair position classification, ensures updates are made to the LE Staff Handbook, monitors changes to local labor laws and advises management on legal matters including disciplinary and grievance actions.
U.S. Direct-Hire Human Resource Issues
Talent Management: As Post Training Officer, approves training requests, develops mentoring programs, training programs, and administers intern, fellows, and seasonal hire programs. Oversees the hiring and performance process for Eligible Family Members.
Performance Management: Manages the annual evaluation report process, counsels and advises USDH staff on career development grievances, and employee relations.
Employee Relations and Recognition: Develops orientation programs, post language programs, manages the awards program, prepares required reports.
Policies, Procedures, and Salary and Benefit Administration: Provides and interprets federal benefits information, work/life programs, assignment information, and diplomatic immunities and accreditation. Manages the annual Foreign Service bidding cycle.
Contribution to Mission Development: Manages HR contracts, protects information from unauthorized disclosure, prepares HR budget, contributes to emergency management, manages furloughs, develops expertise on a variety of HR applications, analyzes and improves HR effectiveness, and manages customer service.
Management of the HR Office: Manages HR contracts, protects information from unauthorized disclosure, prepares HR budget, contributes to emergency management, manages furloughs, implements and maintains various HR applications, analyzes and improves HR effectiveness, and manages customer service.
Other HR Responsibilities When Assigned to Washington DC: Serves in HRO leadership roles, including on the Board of Examiners, training other HROs at the Foreign Service Institute, processing travel orders, or serving as a Career Development Officer and Subject Matter Expert, among other opportunities.
Conditions of Employment
Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.**
Be at least 20 years old to apply; at least 21 years old to be appointed.
Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***
Foreign Service Human Resources Officers (HROs) serve at many of the Department of State posts throughout the world, in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, and Regional Centers in Charleston, South Carolina, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Frankfurt, Germany.
HROs are responsible for the U.S. Direct Hire (USDH) and, overseas, Locally Employed (LE) staff Human Resources (HR) programs for the Department of State and participating U.S. government (USG) agencies. Responsibilities include managing a range of HR functions including:
Recruitment and staffing;
Performance management, appraisal, and training and development;
Salary and benefits administration;
Employment policies and procedures;
Workforce planning and position classification.
An HRO must adhere to the highest standards of integrity, dependability, attention to detail, teamwork, and cooperation while accepting the need to travel, to live overseas, and when necessary, to live away from family.
Specialized Experience is work in the field of Human Resources management, which demonstrates that the applicant has acquired, and is able to apply, a combination of specific knowledge, skills, and abilities appropriate to a FS HRO position.
To qualify as Specialized Experience, the duties must be at least 60% as a Human Resources professional with responsibilities for work force planning and policy development.
Applicants must demonstrate that their job-related experience has been at progressively increasing levels of performance and responsibility through such indicators as promotions, raises, increases in duties and responsibilities, and organizational and employee impact.
Examples of Specialized Experience include, but are not limited to:
Recruitment and staffing – recruitment, qualifications examination and placement of professional and/or support staff personnel;
Staff training and development;
Performance management and appraisal – an organization’s employee performance management and employee evaluation program;
Salary and benefits administration – wage and benefits surveys and analysis, and administration of employee benefits programs such as health benefits, life insurance, and retirement systems;
Employee policies and procedures;
Labor relations and laws – U.S. and local laws including EEO;
Position classification; and
Supervision of HR staff.
In addition to meeting the requirements above, applicants must possess excellent interpersonal and communications skills and a strong customer service orientation.
Experience as a Human Resources professional in a multicultural, diverse, or international environment, and applicants with certification(s) from professional human resources societies, associations, or organizations are preferred.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA)
General Human Resources Knowledge: Recruitment, training techniques, candidate assessment, organizational design and position management, change management techniques, information security methods, employee evaluation procedures, awards procedures, compensation management principles, benefit programs, grievance and disciplinary procedures, engagement and quality of work life, management issues with remote work, career development, leadership principles, supervision principles, mentoring techniques, performance metrics, equal employment opportunity law and sources of bias, information resources, legal terminology, cross-cultural communication, computer functions, and internet functions.
Skills: Written communication, oral communication, active listening, interpersonal interactions, building relationships, customer service, resolving conflict, working with others of diverse backgrounds, managing laterally and upward, leadership, training, personnel evaluating and interviewing, running meetings, teamwork, critical thinking, creative problem solving, decision making, organizing, planning, project management, time management, computer technology, operating HR communication networks, data analysis, professional social interaction, counseling and giving constructive feedback, managing intense emotional situations, presentations and public speaking, being adaptable and resilient, and self-development.
Other Requirements: Continuous learning, cross-cultural awareness, cross-cultural interest, tolerance for working overseas, tolerance of travel, tolerance of varying work environments, worldwide availability, tolerance of living away from family, attention to detail, dependability, accountability, integrity, and willing to perform other duties.
Foreign Service Specialists must demonstrate and maintain a high standard of English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and brevity).
At the time of application, applicants must possess the following:
Bachelor’s degree or higher, and a minimum of three years of specialized experience in the last 10 years.
You must submit a copy of your university transcript(s) with your application. If you do not submit this documentation to demonstrate your educational achievements, your candidacy will not be continued. Diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts.
Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application, however, your transcript must be complete (no missing pages), and must include your name, the school’s name, and the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and your candidacy will not continue.
Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order to be counted towards your qualifications.
Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted. If documentation from an accredited organization is not provided, your candidacy will not continue.
For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.
U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov
U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.
**The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit: https://fam.state.gov/.
***For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the selection process, please visit: http://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/are-veterans-given-hiring-preference-
No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.
A Foreign Service Specialist separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be a Foreign Service Specialist in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code or to be a Foreign Service Generalist.
Executive Branch agencies are barred by §5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by §5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.
It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.
The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov, within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
You may preview questions for this vacancy.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is complete before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in the application not being considered further.
Résumé from USAJobs Résumé Builder, the only résumé format accepted for this Vacancy Announcement.
Complete online application, including the required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest narratives.
All required supporting documentation, including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement.
Veteran’s Preference documentation for applicants aged 60 to 65. If claiming a 5 pt. Veteran’s Preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or Certification of service at the time of your application. If claiming a 10 pt. Veteran’s Preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214 or Certification of service at the time of your application. A Certification must be from the armed forces certifying the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions within 120 days after the Certification is submitted by the applicant and should include military service dates, date of expected discharge or release, and character of service and disability rating, if applicable.
Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest
These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming a Foreign Service Specialist. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters). You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as a Foreign Service Specialist is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to all of the items in the Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.
Substantive Knowledge: Describe your specialized knowledge, skills, and experience in the HR management profession that are applicable to performing the work described in this vacancy announcement. Maximum length of 2000 characters. Answer to this question is required.
Intellectual Skills: Describe an example of when you used your analytic, critical thinking, and problem solving skills to improve an HR management process. Maximum length of 2000 characters. Answer to this question is required.
Interpersonal Skills: Describe how you have used your interpersonal skills in a specific situation to resolve a difficult problem in working with other people to achieve a goal. Maximum length of 2000 characters. Answer to this question is required.
Communication Skills: Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills, including foreign language skills if appropriate, to further an aim or achieve a goal in an HR context. Maximum length of 2000 characters. Answer to this question is required.
Management Skills: Describe an HR project you managed or helped to manage and how you planned and organized, set priorities and allocated time and resources to achieve the project’s goals. Maximum length of 2000 characters. Answer to this question is required.
Leadership Skills: Describe a situation that best illustrates your leadership skills, including the supervision and performance management of subordinate staff. Maximum length of 2000 characters. Answer to this question is required
Statement of Interest
Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:
Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
Relevant work experience, including any unique strengths not previously mentioned, such as special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, certifications, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position,
Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in the United States.
Maximum length of 2000 characters. Answer to this question is required.
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.
How to Apply
Submit your application early, not waiting for the deadline, as application packages must be complete, submitted, and received by the closing date/time to be considered. There are no exceptions.
From this Vacancy Announcement, click on “Apply.” Go to the USAJobs Log In screen and log into your USAJobs account or follow the link and instructions to create an account.
Follow the USAJobs Application Process and submit your required USAJobs federal resume online.
USAJobs will transfer you to the State Department online application site, Monster Government Service (MGS). Follow the instructions and answer the online questions. Your Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest responses must be completed in the online application. You may save your work and edit your application on USAJobs at any time prior to the deadline.
Upload your required documentation.
After attaching all required supporting documentation, answering all required application questions, and completing the application steps, review your entire application packet, including any links or attachments.
Confirm and submit your application package.
The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are submitted and the application is complete before the closing deadline. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in your application not being considered further. There are no exceptions.
Submit your application early and verify that your documents are attached. You may make changes as often as needed, up until the closing date of the announcement.
If you are having technical difficulties with the application process, please contact the Monster Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing MGSHelp@monster.com. The Monster Help Desk is available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.
For more information on the Foreign Service Specialist hiring processes, please visit our FAQs at http://careers.state.gov/faqs. If you have any questions regarding Foreign Service careers, please visit our Careers site and post your question(s) on the appropriate Forum in the Connect section: http://careers.state.gov/connect/forums.
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