Serves as the states technical expert advisor and consultant to key management on the full range of staffing options for a variety of professional, administrative, technical, and trades and labor occupations. Provides guidance and advisory services to operating managers in analyzing and proposing solutions to personnel management problems. Has frequent contact with state officials to explain merit principles and the various staffing methods, with emphasis on special interest programs such as Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), employment of the physically handicapped, Stay-in-School, Cooperative Work-Study, Upward Mobility, Worker-Trainee Opportunity, etc. Is relied on by operating officials to provide comprehensive guidance and advice in such areas as recruitment sources for top qualified employees, availability of needed skills, qualification requirements, retention standings, and other staffing functions. Seeks candidates from a variety of sources, conducts interviews and evaluates qualifications and eligibility for positions being filled. Ensures selecting official has a reasonable number of well-qualified candidates from which to choose. Initiates correspondence and/or contacts concerning recruitment and placement of applicants with Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Department of Defense (DoD), National Guard Bureau (NGB), other Federal agencies, high schools, colleges and universities. Researches and prepares replies to Congressional inquires relating to employment. Analyzes and evaluates the states current technician staffing situation including turnover, vacancies, and current recruiting strategies to identify and forecast staffing problems. Researches and develops solutions and strategies to recruitment and retention problems that integrate a variety of flexibilities. Provides technical assistance to managers in developing justifications for requesting the use of special salary rate, recruitment bonuses, retention allowances or other authorities. Develops Merit Placement Plan and ensures compliance with federal laws (i.e., The Technician Act), NGB Regulations, and local labor agreements. Maintains a tracking system to evaluate the Merit Placement Plan. Initiates and develops changes, which will improve the procedures and make the plan more acceptable to both management and employees. Administers merit promotion plan; provides guidance and assistance to supervisors and/or designated subject-matter experts in the development of job analysis and ranking criteria; prepares announcements and receives applications; determines nature of action and legal authority under which action is to be processed; ensures time-in-grade requirements are met when required; establishes and certifies accuracy of rates of pay for all placement actions in accordance with federal law, OPM and NGB regulations, and Comptroller General decisions. Reviews records to check for dual employment and/or dual compensation. Ensures required selection documentation and information is correct including military compatibility. Checks medical certificates and reports from references; checks security requirements; initiates select/non-select letters, etc. Counsels and registers employees in the DoD Priority Placement Program (PPP) and/or OPM Interagency Placement Assistance Program (ICTAP) as appropriate. Defends recruitment and placement actions taken in accordance with policies, regulations, and procedures in the event of recruitment or placement grievances. Develops, recommends, maintains, and applies state policy for use of such pay setting tools as highest previous rate and recruitment and retention tools. Sets rates of pay for GS and FWS appointments, transfers, promotions, changes to lower grade, and changes between GS and FWS pay systems. In concert with the state classification specialist, determines need for and processes supervisory differential pay. Serves as the state senior specialist and consultant on military technician compatibility issues and delegated personnel authorities (e.g. pay flexibilities). Provides guidance to supervisors, managers and military commanders on assignment of technicians to compatible military assignments. Ensures dual status technicians maintain the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)/Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) commensurate with the technician position held and are militarily assigned to the unit in which they are employed. Ensures employees in non-compatible status obtain the proper AFSC/MOS and/or correct military assignment. Assists supervisors and managers in achieving compatibility. Initiates or recommends approval of appropriate waivers as required.