Occ. Code 2501612








New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




            Incumbents of positions in these classes supervise a staff of clerical employees in processing personnel transactions, employee benefit applications and claims; maintaining employee and position records; processing records and forms for new employees and orienting new employees.  Incumbents provide information to both employees and program managers on matters concerning the Civil Service Law and rules and regulations governing attendance and leave, appointments, promotions, salary entitlements, personnel policies and procedures and employee benefits.  Incumbents may also interview applicants for entrance level clerical employment.


            Positions in these classes are located in personnel offices of a number of State agencies and facilities.




            Positions of Head Clerk (Personnel) serve in a personnel office of a State agency, regional office or facility having approximately 1,500 or more full-time employees.  In addition to the size of the agency, office or facility properly classified positions in this class are typically responsible for all aspects of personnel transactions, maintenance of personnel records, interviewing applicants for entrance level clerical positions, orienting new employees, processing records and forms for new employees and providing advice and assistance to program managers and employees in matters regarding employee benefits and agency personnel policies.  Incumbents typically report to a personnel administrator having responsibility for matters other than those of this class.


            Positions of Principal Clerk (Personnel) typically serve in a personnel office of a State agency or facility having 500 or more full-time employees, or in smaller facilities such as Correctional institutions where there is no professional personnel administration staff.  In these cases, incumbents perform similar activities and tasks as a Head Clerk (Personnel) in a larger agency.  Positions of Principal Clerk (Personnel) may function as an assistant to a Head Clerk (Personnel) and be responsible for a major personnel transaction function in an agency, office or facility having more than 3,000 full-time employees.  Although positions in these classes supervise a subordinate clerical staff, the size of the staff is not a classification factor.  Positions in the Personnel Administrator series may be responsible for the personnel transactions of an agency or facility but they spend the majority of their time in administrative duties such as classification, recruitment, examinations, etc.


            Positions in the Administrative Aide class perform a variety of technical activities and tasks in support of classification, recruitment and employee relations activities of personnel administrators.  Administrative Aides are non-supervisory positions and are classified only in a fully functioning personnel office as characterized by the existence of a position of Director of Personnel.


            There are a number of Head and Principal clerical positions in the State service which are classified on the basis of specialized clerical work.  These positions require specialized knowledge and training in particular laws, regulations and procedures and are classified in series such as Employment Security Clerks and Payroll Clerks.  There are also Head and Principal clerical positions which are classified on the number of subordinate positions supervised.  These are classified in the Clerk or File Clerk series depending on the task performed.




Supervises a group of employees in processing the employee appointments, promotions, terminations or other personnel transactions.


־         Receives memoranda or oral requests to process a transaction from agency program managers or from other sources.


־         Checks the status of the line items to insure that the transaction requested can be effected legitimately.


־         May consult with appropriate personnel administrators in order to determine whether or not there is any prohibition to effecting the change.


־         Prepares or supervises the preparation of payroll transactions based on available item and employee status information.


־         Confers with personnel administration staff to inform them of significant changes.


Maintains and supervises the maintenance of a variety of personnel office records such as the personal history file, position control file, title folders, current subject file, health insurance application file, insurance claim file, correspondence file, classification file and examination file.


־         Determines the appropriate classification and coding to be used in establishing and/or maintaining the agency’s personnel files by identifying major subject categories and assigning file space to them.


־         Establishes a file system whereby files are stored, retrieved, referenced and purged.  This is done after receiving information from various personnel administrators concerning their needs for such a system.


־         Assigns the actual filing and searching for files to a subordinate entrance level clerical employee.


־         Evaluates the effectiveness of the file system by periodically reviewing the use made of it by the staff, difficulties in finding certain kinds of information and by spot-checking the accuracy of data in the files.


Conducts an orientation session for all new employees in the agency.


־         Instructs new employees in filling out employment forms, retirement forms, tax forms, etc.


־         Provides new employees with “agency manual” for new employees, informational booklets on insurance, retirement and other benefits and appropriate union contracts.


־         Answers questions concerning the completion of forms and on the basic benefits which employees receive.


־         Orally explains to new employees the mission and organization of the Department, the basis rules and regulations they will be expected to follow and then escorts employees to their work station, introducing them to their supervisor.


Provides employees and managers with information on and interpretations of the agency’s personnel procedures and policies, the personnel transaction process, attendance rules, employee evaluation programs, etc.


־         Receives oral and written requests for information concerning one of the above items.


־         Identifies the issue and obtains information concerning it by reading the policy, procedure, rule, regulation or law along with any interpretative background material available.


־         Provides the information or the interpretation required orally and in writing.


־         In those cases requiring an interpretation of a rule, law, etc., which may  be precedent setting, refers the matter to a personnel administrator for response.


Supervises the processing of all employee benefit claims.


־         Provides information to agency personnel regarding employee benefits as requested.


־         Assigns the preparing of forms and processing of claims to a subordinate.


־         Instructs the subordinate in the proper processing and recording of claims.


־         Personally discusses or corresponds with representatives of the insurance carriers, Employees Retirement System, Department of Civil Service, Employee Benefits Division, etc. to resolve problems in processing or paying claims or to receive information concerning benefits available to employees.


May supervise the audit of agency employee time cards to insure proper administration of the Attendance Rules, adherence to employee organization contracts and agency policy.


־         Assigns audit tasks to subordinate.


־         Trains subordinate in proper time card audit procedures and techniques.


־         Personally resolves issues where there are questions concerning appropriate leave credits and charges.


־         Answers employees’ questions concerning leave credits and charges.


May personally interview candidates for entry level keyboarding and clerical positions within the agency.


־         Receives requests from operating units to fill vacant positions.


־         Either requests or supervises the requesting of an appropriate eligible list.


־         Arranges interviews for candidates.


־         Interviews candidates by asking questions to determine the individual’s suitability for the vacant position.


־         After interviews, selects the applicant most appropriate for the position.  In many instances, the person selected will be interviewed by the prospective supervisor before a final decision is made.


־         Using variations of form letters, confirms offers of employment to the selected candidates and informs the others that they were not selected.




            Within the agency or facility, incumbents have frequent oral communication with program managers and employees, particularly new employees.  This communication generally involves the explanation of the laws, rules and regulations governing the appointment and termination process, employees benefits, the attendance rules and matters generally concerned with the processing of insurance claims.  In addition, incumbents conduct orientation session for new employees.


            The processing of personnel transactions involving both the Civil Service and Finance Laws requires frequent telephone communication with representatives of these two agencies in identifying the legal requirements in problem cases.  Within this framework, these positions advise their supervisor either orally or in writing on all difficult transactions and procedural problems.


            Incumbents may also interview candidates for clerical positions in the agency and facility.  This involves both written and oral communication in arranging an appropriate date and time for the interview; oral communication during the time of the interview to obtain sufficient information to make a judgment concerning the suitability of the candidates for employment; to provide the candidates with sufficient information upon which to judge their suitability for the position; and, finally, written communication in corresponding with the candidates concerning whether or not they are selected.




            Positions in these classes supervise a group of clerical employees in a personnel office by making specific assignments, reviewing subordinate activities on a daily basis and providing specific guidelines for performing assignments.


            Where they function as assistants to a Head Clerk (Personnel), Principal Clerks (Personnel) receive standing and special assignments and request advice and assistance in resolving difficult transactions requiring policy interpretation.  Their assignments are spot checked for adherence to procedures, rules, regulations and law.  Where positions in these classes are the highest level position in an agency responsible for personnel transactions, incumbents are supervised by an administrator whose scope of activity includes matters other than those of this class.  Supervision by the administrator involves the review of the objectives of a program in comparison to its accomplishments.  On specific assignments, the supervision involves providing specific guidelines and periodic review of work accomplished through either an audit or oral reporting system.




־         Working knowledge of the Civil Service Law and the rules and regulations governing the appointment, promotion and termination of employees.


־         Working knowledge of the personnel transactions procedures.


־         Working knowledge of interviewing techniques.


־         Working knowledge of the agency’s organization.


־         Working knowledge of the attendance rules and agency’s attendance policies governing employees.


־         Working knowledge of employee benefits as outlined in contracts governing employment, insurance brochures and publications and retirement brochures.


־         Working knowledge of the procedures governing insurance claims.


־         Working knowledge of the principles of supervision.


־         Basic knowledge of agency’s mission.


־         Ability to supervise a clerical staff.


־         Ability to communicate orally with agency employees in explaining laws, rules, regulations, employee benefits and procedures.


־         Ability to prepare written factual material.


־         Ability to prepare correspondence dealing with the employment process.


־         Ability to conduct an employment interview and select suitable employees.


־         Ability to comprehend written material such as the Civil Service laws, rules, regulations, employee contracts and employee benefits.




            Head Clerk (Personnel) -- One year of satisfactory permanent competitive service as a Principal Clerk (Personnel).


            Principal Clerk (Personnel) -- One year of satisfactory permanent competitive service in a clerical position allocated to Grade 7 or above.





Reviewed:  5/04




NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.