Human Resources Specialist

United States Probation Office

Job Reference #: Announcement No. 20-3

The United States Probation Office, Northern District of Iowa, is accepting applications for a Human Resources Specialist for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa or Sioux City, Iowa Office. The Human Resources Specialist performs and coordinates administrative, technical, and professional work related to human resources programs and training activities for the Probation Office.  This includes ensuring compliance with the appropriate guidelines, policies, and approved internal controls.

Representative Duties:

  • Research, develop, monitor, and update human resource policies, procedures, and standards per the Guide to Judiciary Policy, the Human Resources Manual (Vol. 12).  Provide guidance to managers and staff regarding human resources related procedures and practices. Make recommendations regarding human resource policies and matters affecting court unit administration and operations. 
  • Develop and maintain all recruitment related records, including position announcements, interview information, applicant demographic statistics, and recruitment files.  Determine and use best methods to source applicants. Make recommendations regarding staffing and hiring practices, such as interviewing techniques and recruitment. Process recruitment requests including preparing and posting notice of vacancies, reviewing and ranking applications, conducting initial interviews, and coordinating information for interview panels.
  • Develop, coordinate, and conduct new-hire orientation to include basic information pertaining to human resources such as payroll information, personnel policies and procedures, and benefit options. Develop and maintain a tracking system for training for both new and existing employees. Prepare, ensure the facilitation of, and/or conduct training in HR related areas such as benefits, employee performance, employee motivation, harassment, code of conduct, etc. 
  • Contribute to a learning organization by serving as a training liaison for the court unit, identifying staff training needs and assisting in ensuring that staff meet training requirements
  • Assist and advise new and existing employees on payroll and benefit related matters and ensure requested actions meet applicable policies and requirements.  Assist with organizing and conducting annual benefits open season fair and implement corresponding informational training and/or workshops. 
  • Process a variety of personnel and payroll actions such as appointments, promotions, separations, terminations, within-grade increases, and changes to employee benefits.  Monitor and ensure all staffing and payroll actions are processed in a timely and correct manner. 
  • Provide advice on organizational structure and classification standards and make recommendations to management on staffing and other human resource related areas. Conduct job analyses and make appropriate recommendations to the Chief Probation Officer. 
  • Advise managers of best practices related to employee performance, workplace misconduct, employee motivation, staff retention, fair employment practices, diversification, organizational structure, and internal controls. Develop and analyze a variety of reports based on historical and current data and hiring trends and make recommendations the Chief Probation Officer.  Maintain statistics for the annual Fair Employment Practices System and Telework reports. 
  • Serve as the official timekeeper for the court unit.  This includes monitoring and processing employees’ time and attendance related records and ensuring that transactions and records adhere to appropriate rules and regulations.  Monitor and assess functionality and compliance of the leave system. 
  • Assist with grievance and adverse action procedures as needed.
  • Develop, update, and coordinate the employee awards and recognition program to include organizing recommendations, tracking awards, facilitating award celebrations, etc. Remain current on guide allowances regarding the program and make recommended adjustments to the Chief.  Serve as a resource on varying types of methods to motivate employees. 
  • Manage and facilitate background checks and fingerprinting programs by verifying applicant employment, checking references, running criminal record checks, taking employee fingerprints, completing, processing, and filing necessary forms. Track, record, and report results. Develop and maintain record keeping systems.
  • Facilitate, serve, and assist in the court unit’s Wellness Program and make staff referrals to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), as necessary. 
  • Act as a consultant for health and safety at the workplace to include being a liaison for the worker’s compensation program. 
  • Develop and maintain the content for the human resources section of the court unit’s Intranet website.
  • Establish and maintain a wide variety of personnel related records, including individual personnel files and records, in accordance with the relevant record retention guidelines.
  • Perform other duties as assigned such as basic clerical tasks for executive management and/or officers; and/or tasks related to property, inventory, or disposal; and/or serving as back-up for other administrative functions.


  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States or be eligible to work in the United States.

Minimum Skills and Qualifications:

Two years of specialized experience, including at least one-year equivalent to work at the CL-25;


Completion of the requirements for a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and one of the following superior academic achievement requirements:

• An overall “B” grade point average equaling 2.90 or better of a possible 4.0;

• Standing in the upper third of the class;

• “3.5” average or better in the major field of study, such as business or public administration, human resources management, industrial relations, or psychology;

• Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma XI, or one of the National Honorary Scholastic Societies meeting the minimum requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies, other than Freshman Honor Societies; Or completion of one academic year (18 semester or 27 quarter hours) of graduate study in an accredited university in business or public administration, political science, criminal justice, law or, other field closely related to the subject matter of the position. 

Specialized Experience:

Progressively responsible experience that is in, or closely related to, the work of the position that has provided the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.

For example: Human Resources Specialist: progressively responsible experience in at least one but preferably two or more functional areas of human resources management and administration (classification, staffing, training, employee relations, etc.) that provided knowledge of the rules, regulations, terminology, etc. of the area of human resources administration.

Preferred Skills/Knowledge/Abilities: 

  • Extensive knowledge of procedures and practices as they related to human resources management and personnel processing for all staff. Broad knowledge of recruitment, retention, staffing, classification, compensation, benefits, performance management, and adverse actions. 
  • Basic understanding of current laws as they apply to human resources concepts.
  • Knowledge of staffing trends, current human resources issues, and career development theories. 
  • Skill in developing and presenting training programs. 
  • Certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR).
  • Previous/current affiliation with a human resources association.
  • Knowledge of court operations, function, and organizational structure of units supported. 


  • CL27 ($51,208 - $83,210) with eventual possible promotion potential up to a CL28 without further competition. 
  • Starting salaries depend on qualifications, education, and experience.


Applicants are advised that false statements or omission of information on any application materials or the inability to meet the aforementioned conditions may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after being employed.

The applicant selected for this position will be required to submit to and successfully complete a full background investigation which includes fingerprinting, criminal record checks, and a credit check. Every five years thereafter, he/she will be subject to an updated background investigation, similar to the initial one. The Human Resources Specialist position is a highly sensitive position within the federal judiciary.  The selectee will therefore be hired provisionally pending a successful completion of the background investigation. Unsatisfactory results may result in termination of employment.

All court employees, including U.S. Probation Officers, are in the excepted service and are required to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees which is provided to each employee. 

Judiciary employees serve under excepted appointment (not civil service) and are “at will” employees. These benefits include participation in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System which contributes to the Social Security Retirement Program, Federal Employees’ Health Benefits, Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance, Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401 K plan with employer matching contributions), paid holidays and annual/sick leave accrual. This position is subject to mandatory electronic funds transfer for payment of net pay.

The court provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please notify Human Resources at Applicants may view the district’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Employment Dispute Resolution (EDR) Plan on our website at

All court employees are required to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees which is available at


To be assured consideration for this position, all required documents must be included in your application.  

  1. Letter of application that describes your interest in pursuing this position and how your experience relates to the stated duties, responsibilities of the position;
  2. Completion of the AO78-Federal Judicial Branch Application of Employment; the application may be accessed at
  3. Resume with references (including phone numbers);
  4. Copies (Unofficial) of college transcript, including grade point average; and
  5. Copies of two most recent performance based evaluations.

Please note:

The Court is not authorized to reimburse candidates for travel in connection with an interview or to pay relocation expenses to the successful candidate.

Only applicants who are interviewed in person will receive a written response regarding their application.

The U.S. Probation Office reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement or to withdrawal the announcement without written notice to the applicants.  More than one position could be hired from this posting.  If a subsequent vacancy of the same position becomes available within a reasonable time of the original announcement, the U.S. Probation Office may elect to select a candidate from the original qualified applicant pool. 


The United States Courts is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

Application Instructions:

Documents must be emailed in one single PDF format by clicking apply now.

Applicants: Reference Vacancy No. 20-3 in the email subject line

Closing Date: ­­9/25/2020 or until filled. This means an application can be received after the closing date and be fully considered. An application can be received up to the time that the position is filled.

Applying for:

Human Resources Specialist

United States Probation Office

(.DOC, .DOCX, .PDF, .RTF, .TXT, .ODT, .PAGES, .WPS up to 2MB)

Job ID: 71633

Posted 18 days ago

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