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National Science Foundation

HR Operations


The Client’s Need

Since contract inception in 2015, AG has prided itself on the services we have provided to our NSF client. Our methodology includes utilizing simple performance metrics to track, ensure accuracy, and monitor our service delivery. NSF faced recruitment and staffing challenges and through other agencies’ recommendation, was referred to AG to provide its Human Resources Management Office with broad-based HR operations services including staffing, position classification, compensation and benefits, HR processing, employee and labor relations, EEO and Executive Services. In addition, the team has supported NSF with special ad-hoc consulting support in business process review and assessment.

Our Approach

  • Federal Human Resources Operations: During 2015, AG’s first quarter supporting the National Science Foundation, our team of talented Specialist and Assistants processed over 7,200 personnel actions to include processing Within-Grade-Increases, Promotions, Conversions, Retirement, Determinations, and conducted many Pay Setting activities.  To date, for the NSF, our team has processed upward of over 32,000 personnel actions in totality. We not only met our NSF prescribed performance metrics, we exceeded them in almost every area, trending in the 97th

  • Staffing & Classification: Our seasoned Senior and Junior Human Resources Specialist have reviewed over 20,000 applicants for Competitive, Excepted, and Administratively Determined positions. We have certified Veteran’s Preferences to safeguard Delegated Examining Unit and Merit Promotion hiring; ensuring preferences took precedence where applicable.  Our team employed the use of the Office of Personnel Management’s Special Appointing Authorities to warrant those who made Certification Lists. The AG Team also supported the NSF with processing all hiring actions, supporting on boarding activities and New Employee Orientations.

  • Employee Compensation and Benefits: As a result of AG’s proven performance record with NSF, AG was recently contracted to support the Compensation and Benefits Branch. The AG team provides support in the development of Work Life Balance initiatives to include educational series, marketing of employee related programs, mindful meditation series, and exercise programs.  Our team monitors and tracks attendance of special programs and provides analysis of participation trends. Most recently our team has participated in the logistics planning of the Child Care Subsidy program, OPM’s integration of COVID-19 planning, and supporting the Employee Assistance Program.

  • Employee and Labor Relations: AvantGarde also supports two additional distinct work streams for the NSF; Employee and Labor Relations. To further support the agency, AG aided with data-driven decision support, services in workforce planning, and facilitating various strategic human capital related initiatives. The team analyzes programs, processes, and policies that directly impact the workforce. We have supported Union Representation Communication Strategies, mediation and grievance meetings, and processed corresponding personnel actions including incentive awards, time-off awards and disciplinary actions.

  • Ad-Hoc Reporting: The AG Team has assisted NSF with ad-hoc projects and reporting to include workforce and workload analysis, employee engagement activities and business process reengineering. In January 2020, AvantGarde delivered a comprehensive Study for the Office of Human Resource Management. Our team assessed the current operational state, processes, and protocols to help mitigate staffing gaps.  In a 45-day period, we engaged to seek ways to further improve efficiency and to ensure consistent, quality outcomes relative to the Hiring Process. Our deliverables included a high-level staffing Process Map and At-A-Glance documentation that has since improved the hiring process.  Additionally, our team of seasoned Consultants also provided sound assessment and recommendations to advance the NSF Hiring Process.  Our recommendation model has been instituted in various ways throughout the Staffing and Classification Branch.

The Result

With over 5 years of support from AG, NSF continues to value AG’s support of their Human Resources Operations. As a result of AG’s dependable and effective onsite support, NSF maintains a strong talent acquisition program and offers its robust work-life balance and employee wellness programs supporting this organization inclusion in the listing of Best Places to Work in Government. 

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