I heard about this great HR job today on Twitter

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Human Resources Specialist Wanted

This is a real help wanted ad that I ran across this morning on Twitter. I was amazed both by how well it is written, and the opportunity it discusses.  Whoever did this is doing really great HR work.

The District of Columbia Public School system is looking  for someone to fill a Human Resources Specialist to work in their Labor Relations Unit.   I’ll let the language of the ad which is running in the Washington Post speak for itself.

Human Resources Specialist (Labor Relations)

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About Reform Efforts at the District of Columbia Public Schools

On June 12, 2007, Mayor Fenty assumed control over the District of Columbia Public Schools. As the Washington Post’s Editorial Board said, “There is a can-do quality in him that suggests the government can be reformed, that schools can be rebuilt and that institutions in this city can come together to improve people’s lives. He offers a vision of the City that challenges the best in people.”

As his first official act in his role as governing authority over the public school system, he appointed Michelle Rhee as Chancellor. Chancellor Rhee brings more than a decade of innovative education experience, dedicating her career to improving public education in urban communities. Most recently, she served as chief executive officer and president of The New Teacher Project. Chancellor Rhee inherits one of the largest and most challenged public school systems in the nation, which serves approximately 45,000 students. “There is a unique opportunity to effect significant systemic change in the District of Columbia to ensure that all children in this city get an excellent education,” said Chancellor Rhee at a press conference. “I believe this city and the school district have tremendous potential.”

Position Overview

The District of Columbia Public Schools is seeking a high-energy problem solver to work as a Human Resources Specialist in the Labor Relations Unit focusing on labor and employee relations in the DC Public Schools (DCPS) The Human Resources Specialist works within DCPS’ Office of Human Resources (OHR). OHR is charged with planning, designing, executing and evaluating merit system principles to attract, develop, manage and retain a high quality and diverse workforce. The incumbent reports directly to the Director of Labor Management and Employee Relations.


The Human Resource Specialists are on the front line of servicing and interacting with employees within DCPS on issues relating to equal employment and labor and employee relations. The incumbent performs both hands-on and strategic roles in providing human resources expertise in employee relations, contract administration and the administration of grievance and discipline procedures.

The duties include the following:

  • Provides advice and assistance in interpretation of provisions of the union contracts, rules and regulations covering such items as adverse and corrective action
  • Conducts research and provides answers to inquiries from employees and management
  • Identifies operational problems and recommends corrective action to the appropriate level of management
  • Maintains confidentiality of conversations, files, mail, facsimiles, folders and all other confidential documents
  • Serves as a liaison between the Director and internal and external departments and stakeholders to ensure that all matters are attended to in an efficient and timely manner
  • Keeps superiors informed by means of written and oral reports
  • Composes and prepares correspondence for review
  • Obtains relevant information concerning allegations, determines the correct forum and refers the complainant to the appropriate division or office
  • Assists in preparation for negotiations, investigations, mediations and arbitrations
  • Schedules meetings, interviews and grievances; coordinates with the Office of General Counsel as appropriate
  • Performs other related duties as assigned


The successful candidate is motivated by the mission to transform DCPS into the nation’s highest performing public school system. This position offers the successful candidate(s) the opportunity to have a profound and lasting impact on the continued growth and development of the human resources team.

Candidates should possess the following professional qualifications:

  • Written and verbal skills to communicate factual and procedural information
  • Technical knowledge and skill in and use of judgment in the application of human resources principles, practices and techniques, as they relate to labor and employee relations and equal opportunity
  • Broad knowledge of laws affecting DCPS programs such as other equal employment opportunity laws and collective bargaining law, including an understanding of the underlying principles related to their enforcement
  • Skill in fact finding, analysis, problem solving, writing and consulting to identify problems and recommend solutions within assigned organizational components
  • Conflict resolution techniques sufficient to interact in occasional highly charged emotional situations

Additional Desired Characteristics

  • Team orientation and willingness to contribute at all levels to ensure successful implementation;
  • An approach that involves being a self-motivated and proactive problem solver with the ability to work independently;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to manage a highly talented and dedicated workforce;
  • Demonstrated ability to problem solve efficiently and resolve organizational roadblocks;
  • Excellent writing, editing and communication skills; and
  • The love of a challenge and the committed work ethic of a champion.

Educational Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four year college and/or university with a degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, Finance, Economics or a related field.

How To Apply

Please email a current resume and cover letter citing vacancy announcement #09-OHR-056 to [email protected]

I find thisthe language used in this ad extraordinary for several reasons.

  1. It does a terrific job of setting forth strongly framed statements about the leadership and mission of the organization at the very beginning of the ad.    This is an excellent framing, since it will help to attract talent motivated by working on projects with big objectives in mind.  It should also help those who aren’t looking for a high energy, high pressure culture to opt out of applying.
  2. The ad uses Action words such as unique opportunity, effect significant systemic change, high-energy problem solver, and on the front line of servicing and interacting with employees in order to frame the challenge of the working environment and the significance of the  work to be done.  Most significant of all, it offers the selected candidate the chance to have a profound and lasting impact on the continued growth and development of the human resources team.
  3. They define the personality traits needed to be successful in addition to the experience-based qualifications:
  • Motivated by the Mission
  • Excellent conflict resolution skills in an intense conflict environment
  • Love of  a challenge
  • Dedicated work ethic of a Champion

Dudes, I think this is a brilliant recruiting.  It appears to be written with passion and candor.  It tells what game you need to bring, what the game is, and how they expect you to play.

From the ad alone, I’d work with these people, and think about this job.   Do you know anyone who fits?

I heard about this great HR gig today.…




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