Wednesday, September 10, 2014

29 Questions Every Hiring Manager Should Ask Veterans

Many managers have a standard set of interview questions they use when hiring a new team member. And while these tried-and-true questions certainly have a place in an interview, hiring managers may want to incorporate some additional questions when interviewing veterans. Veterans bring a unique skill set and set of experiences that may best be understood through questions that go beyond "Name three weaknesses." These questions will help managers glean how a veteran's military experience translates into civilian qualifications.

Below is a list of interview questions hiring managers interested in hiring veterans may want to add to their repertoire. These examples will help give you a solid idea of how a prospective employee's military experience pertains to the work for which you are hiring, even though you may not understand all the military nuances.
  • Describe a time that you have:
    • Failed
    • took a risk
    • handled conflict
    • led a team through a challenging situation
    • demonstrated creativity
    • took initiative
    • worked without a lot of direction
    • sold an idea to another individual
    • set a goal for yourself, and the steps you took to achieve it
    • experienced your greatest failure/made a mistake
    • experienced your greatest achievement?
  • Who is your favorite leader and why? How did they handle conflict?
  • Have you ever had a mentor? If so, what did he or she do for you?
  • How would you characterize your leadership style?
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with a poor performer.
  • Describe a situation in life where your request or demand was rejected. How did it feel? What did you do?
  • Describe an experience in which you felt you gained something because you persisted and saw it through to success.
  • Define stress. How do you relieve stress?
  • Define pressure. How do you relieve pressure? Is pressure different from stress?
  • Do you prefer to work alone or with others? Why?
  • Would you prefer to follow the rules or make the rules?
  • What has been the toughest decision you ever had to make?
  • What is the most difficult aspect of your military career?
  • Why have you been successful in the past?
  • Under what conditions do you work best?
  • What do you consider your most significant achievement?
  • What is the most stressful situation you have encountered in your military career? How did you handle it?
  • What are the two toughest decisions you have had to make? Which was the best/worst decision?                      
  • What is the most important thing you learned from your last job?
Interview questions like these can help bridge the gap between civilian hiring manager and veteran and illustrate just how valuable an employee you have to gain. For more information on best practices, strategies, and techniques for hiring veterans, click here. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

EMCOR Group Partners with Orion International to Bring Careers to Veterans

EMCOR Group, a leader in mechanical and electrical construction, industrial and energy infrastructure, and building services, has partnered with Orion International, the nation’s largest military career placement firm, to offer jobs to Military Officers and Technicians in its search for great talent.

EMCOR is a Fortune 500 company with over 28,000 skilled employees, who have made the company, in the eyes of leading business publications, among the “World’s Most Admired” and the “Best Managed.” EMCOR represents a rare combination of broad reach with local execution, combining the strength of an industry leader with the knowledge and care of 170+ locations.

EMCOR has a strong commitment to the men and women that protect our country and it recognizes the value of leadership and technical skills military candidates have to offer. EMCOR has a long history of Veteran employees, including current President and CEO Tony Guzzi, a West Point graduate and Army Officer.

Orion’s has 23 years of experience in helping organizations like EMCOR to attract, hire, develop and retain top quality Military Talent. Whether your company needs to quickly ramp up hiring for project based needs, are looking for a company-wide coordinated Military Talent strategy, or are seeking to fill just a few positions with the right Veterans, Orion has the solution. Learn more about Orion's Military Recruiting Services.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

GI Jobs Article on Operations Management Features Orion Alumnus at Polaris

A June 2014 article in GI Jobs by Sarah Hodon focuses on Operations Manager careers and why they are such an excellent transition for veterans. Careers in Operations Management span all industries and ensure that the company "keep[s] their businesses running, with the right people doing the right jobs with the right equipment while delivering their products or services on time and at the right price."

Polaris, maker of off-road vehicles, including ATVs, motorcycles, and snowmobiles, is among the companies leveraging veteran talent among their ranks. “Our operations managers can support any piece of the company. Right now were filling a lot of these positions in our international groups, corporate procurement, sales and service, and the manufacturing side, where theyre focusing on things like lean," explains Amy Fossum, Staffing Manager at Polaris. She goes on to tell Hodon that Polaris hires veterans because they know how to lead, how to plan and conduct training, and they're adventurous.

The article points out that not only does this career field offer great advancement opportunities and responsibility, but also excellent pay making it a great option for veterans. Hodon cites stating that the average pay for operations managers in the U.S. is $80,339, and the top pay potential is well over $100,000.

In addition to exploring what this career entails, the article also profiles veterans from various companies, including Orion alumnus Harrison Drapo, supervisor at Polaris. Drapo was hired by Polaris through Orion in November 2013. An Army Captain with five years of service, he describes his typical day as "mak[ing] sure the employees are happy, productive and keeping everything on track."

Dalton Pierce, Director of Operations for Polaris’ Roseau, MN, manufacturing facility, explains that while military experience might help to set a veteran apart from other candidates or get the job, veterans should expect a learning curve. “Veterans are going to be looking at starting out behind their peers from an age group standpoint because theyve spent the last three to four years defending their country, while their peers spent three to four years learning manufacturing,” Pierce states, “But in my experience, vets quickly outpace the typical college graduate."

Careers in Operations Management a great match for veterans and offer great advancement, salary, and a diversity of responsibilities that make them attractive to veterans. To read about the success other veterans in this field are experiencing, read Hodon's article. And to learn how your company can hire military talent for operations positions,  please click here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Whirlpool Corporation Partners with Orion International to Hire Veterans

Whirlpool Corporation has partnered with Orion International, the world’s largest military recruiting firm, to utilize their Military Talent Program (MTP) to be its provider of military recruiting, training, employment brand marketing, and retention services.

Recognizing the benefit of hiring veterans, Whirlpool Corporation launched the Whirlpool Veterans Association (WVA) in 2011, a group welcoming all Whirlpool employees interested in recognizing and supporting their veteran colleagues. The group supports community events, advocates veteran recruiting, provides on-boarding support for veterans and their families, and even hosts social events.

The Association has five chapters nationwide, with three more Whirlpool locations in the process of forming chapters. Through this Association, Whirlpool selects employees who had served in the military to represent the company at hiring fairs to collect resumes of Veterans.

With the help of Orion International, Whirlpool is able to more successfully reach former military professionals. Working alongside the WVA, Orion International reviews resumes, interviews applicants to understand their background and experience, and advises Veterans on how to create resumes that are civilian-friendly to hiring managers.

Since the partnership, Orion International has held six on-site and virtual training sessions for hiring managers at Whirlpool to help them identify and match military training to Whirlpool job openings and fit the corporation’s culture with the culture of the branches of service. Kimberly Fry, Whirlpool’s Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, says this training is significantly helpful, as “unless someone sits down with them for a couple hours,” hiring managers tend to have difficulty identifying these similarities.

"Because of the WVA initiative and partnership with Orion International, Whirlpool is steadily adding Veterans to its executive ranks," said Robert Lemyre, Vice President of Purchasing and Global Operations at Whirlpool. Since the inception of the WVA, the corporation has hired seven Veterans in executive roles, with a goal of adding 22 Veterans as professionals this year with the help of their continued partnership with Orion International.

Orion’s has 23 years of experience in  helping organizations to attract, hire, develop and retain top quality Military Talent. Whether your company needs to quickly ramp up hiring for project based needs, are looking for a company-wide coordinated Military Talent strategy, or are seeking to fill just a few positions with the right Veterans, Orion has the solution. Learn more about Orion's Military Recruiting Services.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Three Veteran Stereotypes Dispelled

The greater than 200,000 service members exiting the military each year represent a prime source of talent for many companies. However, even in this age of pro-veteran hiring initiatives like Joining Forces, there are still many stereotypes of veterans that persist, oftentimes impeding companies from leveraging this first-rate labor pool. These stereotypes must be debunked so that the civilian sector truly understands the benefits of hiring veterans.

Stereotype #1: Veterans are less educated than their civilian peers. An article on AOL Jobs cites a 2012 survey by veterans advocacy group The Mission Continues and the production company Bad Robot, that says that only 19% of the public believed that veterans are more educated than their civilian counterparts.  However, the numbers reveal the truth. The same article points out that only 8% of veterans 25 and older didn't have a high school degree in 2009, compared to 15% of the population as a whole. And, as of 2009, veterans with bachelor’s degrees are within 2% of civilians at 26% and 28%, respectively.

Stereotype #2: Veterans have PTSD. While some veterans may come out of the service with this issue, they are in the minority and it does not mean it will affect their work. Many civilians deal with depression or anxiety, but that does not mean they can’t have jobs or do not perform well. Additionally, PTSD has gotten a bad rap with images of soldiers becoming violent, which is an extreme that is not the norm. In fact, a 2012 Washington Post article highlighted studies that found that the link between PTSD and violent behavior is weak.

Stereotype #3: Veterans only know how to follow orders and have no transferable skills. This could not be further from the truth. Service members are given orders to follow; however, they often have to make real-time decisions when the stakes are high. Many veterans say that making corporate decisions is easy when compared to battlefield decisions that mean the lives of their fellow soldiers. In fact, a Society of Human Resource Management survey featured in a Fortune article, reveals that companies that go out of their way to recruit and hire veterans actually value their creative thinking and ability to solve unusual problems. Companies are also finding that they can find the most technologically savvy employees in veterans, thanks to their training and exposure to new technologies. Read more about veterans’ transferable skills here.

It is unfortunate that myths like these stop companies from hiring veterans. Again, the numbers illustrate the reality. The sixth edition of the Veteran Talent Index from Monster Worldwide, Inc. and stated that the surveyed employers feel that veterans perform as well or better than non-veterans in terms of career advancement, job retention, and job turnover. They also give their top two motivators for hiring veterans as being that the veteran was the best qualified of the candidate pool (68%) and the veteran's prior work experience (59%).

For hiring managers still reticent to hire military, the best strategy may be to hire a military recruiting firm that can guide them through the process and aid in their recruitment and onboarding efforts, resulting in productive and motivated employees. Learn more about Military Recruiting Services or click here to read about veterans from all branches of service who are making a positive impact at their civilian companies.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Orion Account Executive Alex Jigger Interviewed on San Diego Radio Station

Orion Account Executive Alex Jigger was interviewed in June on local San Diego radio station 1170AM KCBQ as part of their Military Mondays segment on how Orion International can be a resource for transitioning military and for companies that wish to hire veterans.

Jigger, a former Marine Corps Officer, started off the program recounting his own transition from military to civilian life. Recognizing the need for help finding the right opportunities, Jigger researched different recruiters and reached out to Orion International for help finding positions that would match with his skillset and experience.

Impressed with the transition help that Orion had to offer, including interview preparation, resume building, and more, Jigger expressed an interest in coming on board to join the Orion team as an Account Executive at their San Diego office.

This offered him the chance to be an advocate for transitioning military by working directly with companies to help find them the perfect veteran candidate for positions they are trying to fill.
In this role, Jigger likens himself as a “match-maker” of sorts, helping to pair “veterans who want great jobs but don’t know the industry” with “companies who want to hire veterans but don’t know the skillsets of the [military] industry.”

During the segment, Jigger offered some advice to those getting out of the military and looking for a civilian career to “develop yourself as a product; you are marketing yourself for a role,” he advised.  “All of your experiences from high school to the day that you sit in that interview chair have prepared you for the role that you are going to be taking on.”

Jigger wrapped up his interview by stressing that Orion International can help and act as a go-between to translate skills, both for former military and for companies looking to hire veterans.

Find out more about hiring transitioning military and veterans, or request information about hiring military talent through Orion International.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Children of Fallen Patriots Scholarship Recipient Jacob Healy Speaks at Orion International Hiring Conference

Jacob Healy, a scholarship recipient and now Programs Analyst for the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, spoke at Orion's Hiring Conference in Jacksonville, FL on July 14 about the loss of his father during a special operations mission and the opportunities that organizations like the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation have given him, which provides college scholarships and long-term educational counseling to children of those who have lost their lives in military service.

Jacob is the Gold Star son of Senior Chief Navy SEAL Daniel Richard Healy, who died on June 28, 2005 when his helicopter was shot down during a rescue attempt in the Kunar Province of the Hindu Kush Mountains. Eleven Navy SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers were lost that day, making it the largest loss of special operations personnel since WWII. Only Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class SEAL Marcus Luttrell would survive. Known as Operation Red Wings, the story has since been told in the book and film Lone Survivor.

He recounted his father’s 13 years of SEAL service, which took him all over the U.S. and to many places overseas, from training in Virginia with SEAL Team 10 to studying Russian at the Defense Language Institute in California and time in Russia.

Jacob went on to speak about how losing his father meant losing his hero, with all of the support, encouragement, and ambition that his father gave gone with his death. With his loss, the biggest trial that Jacob faced was discovering his identity.

Jacob credited the grace and support of organizations like the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation for giving him a hope for the future. With their support, he has been able to graduate with a BA in Architecture from the University of San Diego and now has been able to help and serve other Gold Star families as a Programs Analyst of the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. He concluded his speech with excitement about making a difference in the lives of others through the foundation.

Jacob will be accompanying the Orion team on the final event of the Veteran Low to High Challenge, hiking from the lowest point in Death Valley to the summit of Mount Whitney, which will take place over 7 days and cover 130+ miles.

If you or your company would like to help others like Jacob, please consider a donation sponsorship, which will support the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation and our other partner Veteran organizations, Operation Military Embrace and Warrior Hike. To make your donation even more impactful, Orion will double your donation by matching, dollar-for-dollar, the first $14,505 (symbolic for matching the elevation of Mount Whitney).

It is our goal to raise $100K+ for our partner Veterans Organizations through the Veteran Low to High Challenge and through 5K Run / Walk Races in each of the cities in which we have an Orion office – Austin, TX; Cincinnati, OH; Raleigh, NC; Virginia Beach, VA; and San Diego, CA.

Learn more about the Veteran Low to High Challenge at