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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Veterans Led Federal Hiring in 2013

While Federal hiring has declined nearly 50 percent over the last four years, Veteran employment in Federal agencies has seen an increase, a July 9th Partnership for Public Service report states.

About 77,000 new employees were hired in fiscal year 2013, with Veterans comprising 45 percent, a 10 percent increase from Veteran hiring in 2008. Currently, Veterans make up 32 percent of the federal workforce.

This increase coincides with the Veterans Employment Initiative, signed by President Obama on November 9, 2009 to help men and women who have served in the military find employment in the federal government, with emphasis placed on aligning the talents of transitioning military and Veterans to key positions that they are well suited and qualified.

With the new initiative, it’s no surprise that Veteran hiring has seen a significant increase during the last five years, as the Departments of Defense, Labor, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and other Federal agencies have made it a priority to help transitioning military and Veterans find a career in a government agency with tools such as, a website devoted to providing information on Federal employment to Veterans and transitioning military.

With an increase in Veteran hiring awareness coupled with key government initiatives like the Veterans Employment Initiative and Joining Forces, it is likely that the number of veterans hired in Federal agencies and the private sector will continue to steadily rise.

In March, the Department of Labor reported the jobless rate for all Veterans at 6.6 percent, a bit lower than the jobless rate for the population as a whole. Yet, the unemployment rate for Veterans remains disturbingly high, sitting around 9 percent, noticeably higher than for non-Veterans in the same demographic group.

Regardless, the growing trend of hiring Veterans in federal agencies is an important step in the right direction to raise the employment rate and lower the jobless rate for all Veterans.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

10 Reasons Your Company Should Be Hiring Military Veterans

At this point, you are probably aware that hiring a veteran comes with a host of benefits. But what exactly are they? Recently, published an article on the benefits of hiring a veteran, as outlined by retired Marine sergeant and hiring manager Jon Davis, who provided ten reasons employers should hire military veterans.

Read on to discover the top ten benefits of hiring a veteran:

Veterans come from a previous culture built for mission accomplishment in mind.

“Few cultures have been engineered like the one military veterans have been a part of and even fewer…focuses entirely on mission achievement, cooperation, and personal development. The fact is that there is no culture in the world that shapes people in the way the military does,” Davis explains.

Veterans have ingrained leadership talents.

The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation and inspiration. Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results, even in the most trying circumstances. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.

Veterans take their responsibilities seriously.

“Military people get responsibility because when they were very young there were serious consequences to the decisions they made,” Davis explains. Additionally, Veterans have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. They can grasp their place within an organizational framework, becoming responsible for subordinates' actions to higher supervisory levels. They know how policies and procedures enable an organization to exist.

Intuition is a skill, and the military teaches it.

“What many people think is that leaders are born. Not in the military. The fact is that many people in the military are faced with making life and death decisions in the blink of an eye,” Davis notes.

The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation and inspiration. Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results, even in the most trying circumstances. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.

Military personnel will openly tell you when something is wrong.

Because of their inquisitive and honest mentality, military personnel are not afraid to approach a higher authority with a problem or question, ensuring that every project that they are assigned to is up to the highest standards.

Veterans will get the job done.

“Military people know what it means to have something that needs to be done. They have a sense of urgency and have seen the world through a big picture type mentality,” explains Davis.

Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources. They have developed the capacity to know how to accomplish priorities on time, in spite of tremendous stress. They know the critical importance of staying with a task until it is done right.

When given the necessary support, veterans are extremely capable.

Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they can enter your workforce with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real world situations. This background can enhance your organization's productivity.

Veterans are independent.

In addition to dealing positively with the typical issues of personal maturity, veterans have frequently triumphed over great adversity. They likely have proven their mettle in mission critical situations demanding endurance, stamina and flexibility. They may have overcome personal disabilities through strengths and determination. (Courtesy of Dept of Labor, HireVetsFirst Initiative)

Military personnel know the meaning of hard work.

Veterans know what it means to do "an honest day's work.” Prospective employers can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including security clearances. This integrity translates into qualities of sincerity and trustworthiness, which is reflected in the quality of their work.

The government pays for veteran education.

The government provides assistance to veterans who wish to pursue higher education. By hiring a veteran, you can rest in the knowledge that you have hired an employee who can constantly improve both themselves and your company through continuing education initiatives.

Additionally, military job seekers possess experience unmatched by their peers, have demonstrated their performance in stressful situations, and are graduates from the nation’s military academies, top colleges and universities, and technical schools.

With over 220,000 veterans transitioning from service each year, the military represents a continually renewing source of talent from which to hire, comprised of approximately 35% diversity candidates.

Orion candidates represent the highest quality of job seekers available. We screen and select our candidates from the top 10% of Junior Military Officers, Noncommissioned Officers, and Technicians leaving the Armed Services, and we have a constantly replenishing database of approximately 30,000 candidates ready to work within the next 90 days. Our Recruiters perform a multi-tiered screening process, verify our candidates’ backgrounds, and check their references, all prior to presenting them
to our clients.

Learn more about the benefits of hiring veterans, and Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet® today!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Five Ways to Manage Remote Workers

With the increase of technological advances that allow for employees to plug into their work files and email as long as they have an internet connection, the office environment is changing. In fact, working remotely is becoming increasingly popular, with 3.3 million employees working from home or out of the office, about 2.6% of the US workforce.

Oftentimes circumstances require that a few of your employees need to work from home, whether it be they are unable to physically come into the office, or other responsibilities require them to be close to home.

The question remains of how to manage those who aren’t in the office. Dan Ingram, Vice President of Marketing at Enkata, touts that “the problem is that many companies…manage telecommuters exactly the same as they would manage people in the office. This doesn’t work,” he explains.

Below are five ways to managing remote workers or potential telecommuters that will lead to success for both your employee and for you.

Understand the employee. Most managers see an employee in the office and assume that the work is being accomplished, without thinking of how the work is actually completed. Consider how much of an employee’s tasks are being accomplished independently or with the help of fellow coworkers, how often they must meet in person for assignments, and how they conduct the sharing of information. This will give you an idea of whether or not the person is equipped to work remotely.

Don’t worry about them not working. While the stereotypical idea of a remote worker is one of lounging on the couch in their pajamas, think again. According to a recent Gallup poll of the State of the American Workplace, remote workers record an average of four more hours a week than those who work in an office. Additionally, Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom found that remote workers did 13 percent more work than those in the office.

Know what makes the employee tick. Don’t allow for an employee with a sociable and outgoing personality to work outside the office, or you will soon have an unhappy employee. Additionally, don’t allow an employee who is easily distracted the freedom to work without the daily interaction of a manager.

Consider them for promotions. Don’t write off an employee who telecommutes as not worthy of a promotion. In a recent poll by Gallup, remote employees are more engaged with their work and company than those who work in the office.

Set up metrics to measure progress. While it’s easy to see progress and results from an employee who is in the office, it may be harder to view accomplishments of remote employees. Set up a form of measurement so that you can easily monitor deadlines and target goals.

Allowing your employees to work remotely does not have to be an insurmountable issue. Keep in mind that these very different work environments call for a different way of managing, and watch your remote workers excel in their job performance.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Join Orion as We Raise $100K+ for Veterans

Join Orion as We Raise $100K+ for Veterans in 2014 through the Veteran Low to High Challenge!

The donations raised will benefit our partner Veteran organizations, which include Operation Military Embrace, Children of Fallen Patriots, and Warrior Hike.
Learn more about our partner organizations and how they benefit Veterans and their families.

The culminating event of the Veteran Low to High Challenge will occur in October 2014, when our team of Orion employees, Veterans, partners, and corporate sponsors will hike from the lowest point in Death Valley to the summit of Mount Whitney – a trek spanning 7 days, 130+ miles, and 14,778 feet change in altitude.

Get Involved
Help us reach our goal to raise $100,000 for Veterans as we embark on the Low to High Challenge -we offer several ways for you to get involved in the Challenge, either as an Individual or through Corporate Sponsorship.

Corporate Sponsorship
  • Orion is offering a variety of incentives and benefits for donating to our partner organizations, and invites your organization to receive high-visibility recognition within the military community while supporting our partner charitable organizations.
  •  All donations are tax-deductible and we greatly appreciate each and every contribution.
    And to make your donation go even further, Orion will match your donation, dollar-for-dollar, for the first $14,505 (symbolic for matching the elevation of Mount Whitney) raised in individual contributions! Donate Now
  • Participate in a 5K in your area. We will be holding 5Ks in Austin, Cincinnati, Raleigh, San Diego, and Virginia Beach throughout the fall of 2014. Learn more about our upcoming 5K races.
Learn more about the Veteran Low to High Challenge at

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Veteran Talent Index Explores State of Veteran Employment

The recently released sixth edition of the Veteran Talent Index from Monster Worldwide, Inc. and once again delves into the state of veteran employment and finds that although there is progress, there is also a gap between what veterans are seeking in civilian employers, and how many companies are branding themselves to these veterans. 

Established in fall 2011, the semi-annual report states that it provides “quantifiable metric of employment conditions for the transitioning service member.” According to the authors, the latest report from May shows progress in unemployment rates and steady levels of veteran career confidence and employer support.

Employers surveyed for the report stated 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 three motivators for hiring veterans as being that the veteran was best qualified of the candidate pool (68%), the veteran’s prior work experience (59%), and the company wanted to show its support of veterans (41%).

Unfortunately, however, the Index reveals that more than half of surveyed employers (55%) do not participate in a veteran-specific recruiting initiative that would allow them to take advantage of the reasons to hire veterans listed above. That said, 69%, the highest response to date, say their company has a stated commitment to hiring veterans.

The importance of a veteran-specific recruiting initiative is evident in the fact that 85% of surveyed veterans seek companies that are supportive of veterans, 80% prefer companies that already have veterans who work there, 79% like to see a veteran-friendly website, and 75% consider it to be important that a company belongs to a national veteran recruiting initiative.

For those employers that do have some sort of veteran retention program in place, they report that the best programs are ones that emphasize mentoring, career paths and communication. Additionally, employers noted the need to be aware, respectful, and supportive of veterans’ military backgrounds.

One possible reason that so many employers aren’t creating veteran-specific recruiting programs is that accessing, recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and retaining this talent is not simple. In order for such programs to be successful, they must be full-cycle. Measurable goals and objectives must be set and an understanding of military talent cultivated. And, once a program is created, a focused marketing and brand management campaign should be implemented to attract qualified veterans. Finally, there should be a thorough on-boarding process to develop and retain the newly-hired veterans. To learn more about how your company can create a Military Talent Program in partnership with Orion, click here.

The Index was released shortly after the National Veteran Employment Summit, presented by Monster and on April 29 and 30, 2014. The Summit consisted of human resources professionals, hiring managers, and veteran service organizations who came together to discuss best practices when hiring veterans. Orion was represented at the Summit by David Coe, Vice President of Strategic Programs, who spoke on the panel discussion focused on “I Want to Hire Veterans…How Do I Find Them? How Do I Keep Them?”. 

Ultimately, the Summit concluded that there are five things both veteran job seekers and employers can do to continue the progress that is evident in these Indices. They include 1) working as a community, 2) learning from the most effective veteran initiatives and organizations, 3) taking advantage of the growing number of veteran tools and programs available, 4) communicating that your organization is a veteran-friendly employer and 5) building a veterans affinity group and mentorship programs.

Keynote speaker Army Staff Sergeant and Medal of Honor recipient Sal Giunta, best summed up the importance of recognizing and employment veteran talent when he stated, “Failure is not an option.”

Click here to read the full Veteran Talent Index.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Orion International Announces Military Hiring Partnership with David Weekley Homes

Orion International, the nation's only provider of best-in-class Military Talent Programs, announced that David Weekley Homes, the largest privately-held builder in America, has chosen Orion’s Military Talent Program (MTP) to be its provider of military recruiting, training, employment brand marketing, and retention services.

“We see the benefit of hiring transitioning military personnel for their outstanding skills and leadership capabilities,” said Robert Hefner, vice president of Human Resources for David Weekley Homes.  “With the growth in our company, we have a need for these veterans’ expertise, and believe that Orion gives us the resources and knowledge to do this in the best way possible.”

David Weekley Homes, founded in 1976, is headquartered in Houston and operates in 18 cities across the United States. David Weekley Homes was the first builder in the United States to be awarded the Triple Crown of American Home Building, an honor which includes “America’s Best Builder,” “National Housing Quality Award” and two-time recipient of “National Builder of the Year.” Weekley has also appeared eight times on FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list. Since inception, David Weekley Homes has closed more than 75,000 homes. 

Mike Starich, President of Orion, commented, “David Weekley Homes recognized the value Orion brings with MTP and its integrated approach to hiring, developing and retaining transitioning Military.  Orion is proud to work with David Weekley Homes.”

Orion has been in business for 23 years, which allow 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. Click here to learn more about Orion's Military Recruiting Services.