Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Guest Post: Employee Engagement Begins Before Day One

Jimmy Taylor
Today on the blog, we present you with a post by Jimmy Taylor, SPHR and Co-Founder of Orion's sister company Novotus, on the importance of employee engagement, beginning with onboarding. This post was originally published on the Novotus blog.

A couple of months into a new year and we are already faced with new victories, new challenges, new resignations and new employees hired. According to CareerBuilder 1 out of 5 employees will make a job move in 2016. projects it even higher, expecting 33% of your workforce to move on.

The cost of turnover is a significant hit to your bottom line. When a line employee leaves a company, the total cost of turnover is 25% to 50% of their annual compensation. It is even more for skilled employees and managers. When employees leave in the first 18 months of employment it is almost always due to a failure to attach to the new organization. Much of the burden for that attachment centers around their connection to their immediate manager. For the most part that old adage is still true, employees join companies and they leave managers.

The onboarding process is a key area where you may find some gaps and find room to improve the connection new employees feel when they join. Anthony Sork, Managing Director, and his team at SHCbond have heavily researched employee attachment to new organizations, and they have found the first 120 days are the critical period in determining if your new hire becomes a long term, productive employee.

“Attachment is influenced most significantly by what is called the ‘primary career relationship’, which is the oneup manager” said Sork in a recent conversation with Novotus. “If you have high attachment, you have a low risk of attrition, and you end up with a high level of discretionary effort and performance from that individual going forward.” Failing to engage new employees during this critical early period means they are more likely to be ’tempted out of your business’,” said Sork. “When you actually have a look at the patterns of attrition and people exiting over the first 18 months of employment… overwhelmingly, it’s the employee choosing to leave, not the employer choosing to exit the person who has joined.”

Let’s look at the first 90 days of employment and some ideas that may help. In fact, let’s walk through a few weeks through the eyes of “Nick Newhire”. We will look at some of the things he experiences in his first few weeks on the new job that improve the odds he will be engaged and successful in his new role with Your Company, Inc.

The two weeks prior to starting were tough for Nick. He had solid reasons to change jobs and saw a lot of opportunities to grow and develop when he interviewed with you. He was excited to get the offer and couldn’t wait to get going. But by the end of the first week of his notice period he was having second thoughts. After all, his previous manager, who he didn’t even think noticed his work, suddenly was full of compliments. In fact, he told Nick the company had big plans for him, they just hadn’t had the time to talk with him about it. But if Nick would reconsider and stay he was sure it would be great for Nick’s career. This place certainly felt comfortable and suddenly Nick was having second thoughts about going into a new place. Maybe he should reconsider and stick around.

Fortunately for Nick he received a phone call from his new boss with Your Company Inc on Friday of that week. The call didn’t last long, but it was just what Nick needed to hear. He told Nick they were excited to have him coming, and what to expect on his first day on the job. He also said the HR Department had sent him a few forms that he needed to fill out and bring in on his first day on the job. Nick felt much better and remembered the excitement he felt when he interviewed and was hired with Your Company, Inc. When his current manager asked him one more time to reconsider leaving Nick thanked him but told him he was committed to moving on.

Nick’s first day couldn’t have gone better. When he arrived at the office the receptionist knew his name and said she remembered his from the interview and was glad to have him join the company. Within minutes one of his new team members from his department was there to greet him as well. His new co-worker said he would be giving him a quick tour while his new boss finished up a staff meeting. The tour gave Nick a chance to see the work area where he would be spending his time, along with the restrooms and break area and a few other places in the new office. Along the way Nick met most of the team he would be working with. At the end of the tour Nick was impressed when they got to his new work station. His computer was set up and there was a welcome box waiting for him with some company goodies and his new business cards. There was even a printed agenda of what the first day schedule would include. Wow, Nick remembered in his last role it took three weeks before he could get any cards, and he didn’t even have a computer to work off of for several days. Nick thought to himself, this company really seems on top of the details.

Before his co-worker left he told Nick that he would be his “buddy” for the first month or so of Nick’s employment just to help Nick get adjusted. He left Nick with a chance to get set up in his new workspace and told him his manager would be over in just a few minutes to get his first day kicked off.

The first two weeks went just as his new manager had laid out for him on that first morning. During the second week he had a great discussion with his manager. His manager wanted some feedback around how the job was going so far. He also talked to Nick about the expectations he had for Nick’s performance and the level of engagement Your Company expected from its’ employees. Nick had never considered the role he needed to play in his own engagement, but it made sense. He looked forward to meeting the company’s expectations and liked the challenge.

At the end of the first 90 days of employment Nick took a survey designed to help measure how well Nick was attaching to the new job and company. Within a few days Nick’s manager took some time to review the results with him and discuss how both sides could improve the engagement Nick had with his new job.

By the end of those first few weeks Nick was more engaged and committed to performing well than he had ever been in any role. Your Company was his home, and he looked forward to a long, successful career with the company.

Successful onboarding that helps increase the attachment and engagement your new employee shows on the job isn’t rocket science. It is also not accidental. It is the natural result of an intentional, well thought out process to help a new employee transition in, clearly communicate what is expected in the new role, and help set them up for success!

Click here to learn more about Novotus and the Recruitment Process Outsourcing services they provide.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Veteran Spotlight - Richard McCulley

Orion recently matched Richard McCulley with Siemens Building Technologies Division, as a Systems Specialist in the San Francisco Bay Area.  McCulley joined Siemens in March 2016, and is the 2000th veteran hired by the company since signing on to the White House’s Joining Forces initiative in 2011. In his current role, McCulley is responsible for configuring building automation systems for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) technology.  

With a family history of military service, McCulley served eight years in the military: four in the Navy as a damage controlman, and four years as a signal support systems specialist with the Army.  During his time in the Navy, McCulley served aboard the Aircraft Carrier John C. Stennis, including a nine-month western pacific tour aboard the ship.  He transferred into the Army where he became a signal support systems specialist and was deployed to Iraq in 2009-2010.

After completing his military service in 2012, McCulley used his GI Bill benefits to attend technical school as an HVAC technician, and graduated from WyoTech in Sacramento in the fall of 2013.  He was hired by a data center as an electrical apprentice in March 2014; and sought Orion’s assistance in finding a career earlier this year.  

Although McCulley was initially concerned that he did not meet all the technical requirements for the job, Siemens appreciated his military experience and apprentice background, and is currently providing on-the-job training to make up for any skills gaps. McCulley spends times with the different teams with which he will interface, and shadows a senior team member who serves as a mentor and provides hands-on training.  McCulley will begin an accelerated building automation specialist training program this summer, which involves a series of weeklong classes with field work between each class.  It will take approximately four months to complete the program.  After that, he will participate in ongoing courses tailored to specific work environments.

Orion is so proud of McCulley and the positive impact that he is already having in his role at Siemens, as we commit to making the best match between each and every job seeker and company with whom we work. To learn more about how your company can recruit talented veteran candidates for your open positions, please click here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How Military Relocation Works When Hiring Transitioning Veterans

One of the many cost benefits of hiring veterans is that typically, companies don’t have to pay for relocation for a newly hired transitioning veteran. Each branch of the military pays the final relocation costs for its service members, resulting in several thousand dollars in cost savings per hire.
Most veterans enjoy relocation assistance at government expense within 180 days of separation for their final move. This relocation assistance depends on discharge and includes time and geographic limits. Below are the guidelines for what service members receive:
- Involuntary separation, honorable discharge: They may be moved anywhere within the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii) or their home of record outside the U.S. within one year of their separation date.

- Voluntary separation, honorable discharge: They may be moved to their home of record or the place they were called to active duty (or an equal or lesser distance) within 180 days of their separation date.

- General discharge (under honorable conditions): They may be moved to their home of record or the place they were called to active duty (or an equal or lesser distance) within 180 days of their separation.
The military will also pay for the veteran to put their belongings into storage for up to a full year at no cost, which is especially useful if a training program is required in a different location than where the candidate will ultimately work.
Hiring a veteran makes sense on many levels, and military relocation is just one of the cost benefits companies realize by recruiting veterans. Click here to read about more potential savings.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Key to Success at an Orion Hiring Conference

Orion’s Hiring Conferences are designed to recruit, assess, screen, and present the top military candidates for your hiring needs. We understand that people are the most important part of your organization. Where else can you find candidates with leadership ability and real-world military experience? At our Conferences, you’ll have the opportunity to interview up to 10 candidates in a day. Most clients fill between 1-5 positions within 21 days of a hiring conference.

By recruiting early and directly from the source, Orion can offer our clients access to a continuous pipeline of quality candidates not yet available to the rest of corporate America. Your Account Executive will provide you with key insight into the candidates you’ll be interviewing. We prescreen the candidates ahead of time to ensure a match with the culture, skills, location, and availability required.

How will you make the most out of your attendance at an Orion Hiring Conference? Check out a few pointers for a successful conference:

Know Your Audience

When talking to your interviewees, emphasize incentives such as the company's benefits packages and opportunities for advancement. Understand the experience and leadership skills former military personnel bring to the table and note the key characteristics or qualifications you’re seeking for your position.

Understand The Positions You Are Trying To Fill

Be sure to relay all information to your Account Executives concerning the qualifications of the candidates you’d like to place in your company. Understand your open positions, especially the hard-to-fill niche positions. Keep an open mind; you may interview a great candidate for a certain position and realize he or she is a perfect fit for a different position.

Follow Up After The Interviews

Orion is here to help with following up, but create a follow-up plan with candidates that you are interested in. Make it easy for the candidates to follow up with you. Bring business cards, and explain the company’s hiring procedures and second interview process.

If a candidate expresses interest after the conference, respond promptly and tell them what next steps you want them to take. For example, you may arrange a second interview or meeting with the human resource department.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

6 Ways to Make Your Careers Website Veteran Friendly

A generic Careers website doesn't speak to veterans, since many are coming straight out of the military. In fact, veterans come from a unique situation with a variety of skill sets and expectations. If you are actively recruiting veterans, it is important to include the following on your careers website to let veteran candidates know you mean business:

1. If your company has been recognized for veteran hiring or is participating in a specific initiative, you should include any press or awards.

2. Veteran Spotlights are a great way of illustrating the success other veterans can expect at your company. It is a good idea to offer a variety of spotlights to cover different branches, MOS, and ranks.

3. Clearly state your company’s military-friendly HR policies.

4. Consider creating a career translator or having a veteran on the team help translate some of your job openings into language that may attract veterans.

5. Define any possible training programs, as veterans are used to this from the military.

6. Highlight any Veteran Affinity Groups or Veteran Mentorship Programs your company has available.

Including these six things on your Veterans Careers website can truly make an impact on the first impression a potential veteran employee has of your company. Not only does it tell them that you respect their service, but it also delivers the message that you are actively recruiting them because you understand their incredible worth in the civilian sector.

Want to see an example of a great military careers website in action? Check out Whirlpool’s site here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

5 States Offering Tax Credits for Hiring Veterans

The recent extension through 2019 of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program (WOTC), namely the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Credits, offer a great incentive to hiring veterans. But these federal tax credits aren’t the only way to take advantage of the cost benefits of hiring veterans. Many states throughout the US also offer veteran tax credits that can be used in conjunction with federal tax credits.  Below is a list of five states which offer such a tax credit:

1. Alabama: Heroes for Hire Income Tax Credit – This credit provides a $1,000 tax credit for job creation to employers who hire recently deployed, and now discharged, unemployed veterans. The credit also creates up to $2,000 nonrefundable income tax credit to recently deployed, and now discharged, unemployed veterans who hold at least 50 percent ownership interest in a start-up business.

2. Alaska: Veteran Tax Credit – This credit provides $3,000 for a disabled veteran and $2,000 for a veteran who is not disabled. The veteran must have been unemployed for more than four weeks and have been discharged or released from military service less than 10 years before the date employment begins for a veteran who is disabled; or less than two years before the date employment begins for a veteran who is not disabled. The veteran must also be employed in the state for 1,560 hours or more during 12 consecutive months immediately following the date the veteran is first employed.

3. Connecticut: Job Expansion Tax Credit - Connecticut businesses can be eligible for tax credits of $900 per month for each new full-time job created for a veteran employee who, at the time of hiring by the taxpayer, is a member of, was honorably discharged from or released under honorable conditions from active service in the armed forces.

4. West Virginia: Military Incentive Credit – Employers in West Virginia can receive 30% of the first $5,000 of compensation paid to a veteran. If the veteran was a member of the reserve or WV National Guard, the credit equals 25 percent of the first $5,000 of compensation. The credit equals the percentage of disability suffered by the veteran, multiplied by the first $5,000 of compensation.

5. Wisconsin: Veteran Employment Credit - This credit is available to businesses who have hired certain disabled veterans. For  each  qualifying  veteran  hired  for  a  full- time  job,  the  credit  is  $4,000  in  the  taxable  year  in  which  the  veteran  is  hired and $2,000 in each of the next three taxable years. For  each  qualifying  veteran  hired  for  a  part-time  job,  the  credit  is  up  to  $2,000  in  the  taxable  year  in  which  the  veteran  is  hired  and  up  to  $1,000  in  each  of  the  next  three  taxable years.

These are just a few of the states offering these great tax incentives. Click here to view a full list to see if your state has tax credits that you could be taking advantage of by hiring a veteran today.  

PLEASE NOTE: Orion ICS, LLC, its affiliates and its employees are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice to any taxpayer. This content is for general information purposes only, and is not intended or written to be used without the advice of the taxpayer's independent tax advisor. Thank you for reading about tax credits for hiring veterans.                             

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Joining Forces Celebrates Five Years of Helping Veterans

On December 12, 2011, Orion International proudly announced its participation in Joining Forces, the White House initiative led by President and Mrs. Obama, and Vice President and Dr. Biden. Five years later Joining Forces is still going strong, with the First Lady and Dr. Biden celebrating the anniversary by announcing the program’s latest milestones on May 5 at The White House. During the last five years more than 1.2 million veterans and spouses have been hired or trained, and more than 110,000 new hiring commitments and nearly 60,000 new training commitments.

Among the 40 companies that have committed to hiring veterans under the initiative is Siemens, an Orion Featured employer. Over the last 20 years, Orion has placed nearly 1500 veterans into rewarding careers at Siemens. Today, the Orion-Siemens program continues to grow and expand as we help to support their pledge to hire 200-500 veterans or military spouses over the next five years.

As part of our ongoing commitment to Joining Forces, Orion will continue to provide consultative training programs to educate companies on creating and implementing a Military Recruiting Strategy, increasing their ability to hire and retain Veterans. We are also facilitating the direct participation of our client companies wishing to pledge their support to the initiative.

Click here to learn more about how you can get involved in Joining Forces through Orion.