The Federal Human Resources (HR) community is made up of a cadre of human resource professionals who have knowledge of, and experience with, a wide range of HR concepts, practices, laws, regulations, and policies. They provide comprehensive technical and advisory services on various human resource management functions and practices. Furthermore, human resource professionals must also be able to apply analytical and problem-solving skills to identify, evaluate, and recommend to management appropriate HR interventions to resolve complex HR problems and issues.
The Human Resource Management (HRM) occupation series (GS-0201
) represent the HR specialist who typically has a breadth of knowledge about various human resources issues. The HRM occupational series has eight distinct career paths which allow you to move from one to another. The 8 possible paths are:
Human Resources Specialist (Classification)
is required to have knowledge of the full range of position classification and position management principles, laws, regulations, concepts, practices, and techniques. Classification professionals determine the appropriate pay system, occupational grouping, title and grade of positions, and advise management on position organization design.
Human Resources Specialist (Compensation)
is required to have knowledge of the full range of pay, premium pay, and leave administration laws, regulations, principles, and practices. Compensation Specialist is required to have knowledge of the full range of pay administration policies, principles, and practices under title 5, United States Code, and other statutes and legal authorities as applicable. Compensation professionals analyze, interpret, develop, and/or implement laws, regulations, policies, and/or guidance on pay and/or leave administration. Compensation professionals advise management on the use of compensation flexibilities to help recruit, manage, and retain employees.
Human Resources Specialist (Employee Benefits)
is required to have knowledge of laws, regulations, policies, and precedents of Federal employee retirement, group life insurance, health benefits, and Thrift Savings Plan programs. Employee Benefits Specialist is required to have knowledge of standardized principles, practices, and procedures of injury compensation, and standardized fact-finding and research techniques. Employee Benefits professionals provide guidance and consultation to agencies, current and former employees, annuitants, survivors, and eligible family members regarding retirement, insurance, health benefits, and injury compensation.
Human Resources Specialist (Recruitment and Placement)
is required to have knowledge of laws, Executive orders, regulations, policies, concepts, and various HR policies, practices, procedures, and management controls of the recruitment and placement functions at a regionalized operations center. Recruitment and Placement Specialist is required to have knowledge of HR staffing and recruitment principles, concepts, laws, regulations, techniques, and guidelines. Recruitment and Placement professionals recruit, examine, select and place employees. Recruitment and Placement professionals advise management in identifying, attracting, and retaining a high-quality and diverse workforce that is capable of accomplishing the organization’s mission.
Human Resources Specialist (Human Resource Development)
is required to have knowledge of HRD learning laws, Executive orders, regulations, policies, theories, principles, and methods, as well as the relationship between agency strategic plans and goals with employee development programs. HR Development professionals plan, develop, administer, and/or evaluate learning and development programs designed to enhance employees’ competencies and skills and provide for employee career development in the organization.
Human Resources Specialist (Performance Management/Employee Relations/Labor Relations)
is required to have knowledge of:
Human Resources Specialist (Information Systems)
- Performance management principles, laws, regulations, practices, laws, and regulations, as well as deductive reasoning. Performance Management professionals assist managers and supervisors in establishing, maintaining, and monitoring effective performance management programs to plan, monitor, develop, rate, and reward employee performance.
- Employee relations principles, practices, laws, and regulations. Employee Relations professionals provide advice and assistance to employees and managers on such issues as discipline, misconduct, performance problems, and dispute resolution. Employee Relations professionals research applicable laws, policy, and agency precedent and apply fact-finding techniques to gather clear-cut information and/or evidence specific to the cases.
- The full range of labor relations laws, regulations, theories, principles, methods, and techniques sufficient to conduct systematic studies to develop management interests and respond to union interests at the bargaining table. Labor Relations professionals consult with labor organizations, agency managers and labor relations officials in the development of human resource policy and on Government rules, regulations and binding directives affecting conditions of employment. Labor Relations professionals represent management in unfair labor practice and representation hearings before the Federal Labor Relations Authority and in impasse proceedings before the Federal Services Impasses Panel.
is required to have knowledge of a wide variety of HR concepts, principles, laws, regulations, and practices and the interrelationships of various HR specialties as they relate to system processes/functions/capabilities and the infrastructure supporting the HR information system(s); and information technology concepts, practices, and procedures. Information Systems Specialist is required to have knowledge of local HR information system(s) and the HR transaction system. Information Systems professionals develop, deliver, manage, and maintain HR information systems using human resources management knowledge, rather than information technology.
Human Resources Specialist (Military)
is required to have knowledge of practices and procedures involved in reviewing, analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing officer/enlisted billet authorizations and assignments. Military Specialist is required to have knowledge of concepts, practices, and techniques relating to a variety of complex analytical HR military personnel functions. Military professionals provide support that affects Soldiers’ overall welfare and well being, while assisting leaders with keeping Soldiers Combat ready and effective. Military professionals assist staff members on all matters concerning human resource support for all assigned and attached personnel.
In addition, Human Resource Specialists at the Full Performance level (GS-12 and up) can choose additional career paths including:
Human Resources Specialist (Executive Resources)
is required to have knowledge of laws, regulations, principles, and practices related to staffing, recruitment, compensation, executive development, position management, and performance management related to the Senior Executive Service (SES), SL/ST, and political appointees.
Human Resources Specialist (Policy)
is required have knowledge of how to develop effective human resource management policies and strategies to ensure the agency is able to recruit, select, develop, train, and manage a high-quality, productive workforce in accordance with merit system principles. Policy specialists are required to have knowledge of the laws, regulations, principles, and practices of typically more than one technical area.
To get more information on each career path, click here
Refer to the Human Resource Management Competency Model
to learn what competencies are required for a Federal human resource professional by grade level. Moreover, human resource professionals perform different roles within their technical area across Federal agencies. To explore the Role of HR Professional, click here
If you are a human resource professional and want to obtain a quick assessment of where your experience and knowledge place you in relation to the new HR roles (Strategic, Advisor, and Technical), take the HR Self Assessment