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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Need An Energy Boost? Try These Five Simple Tricks

At one point or another, we’ve all fallen victim to that “2:30 feeling” – it’s the mid-afternoon, you’re sleepy, just had lunch, and the last thing you want to do is start to work on that major project.

While there are plenty of things you can do to keep your energy level high all the time, including exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and eating the correct foods, there are some simple tricks to help quickly boost your energy when you are starting to lag at work.

Try one of the following:

This is especially important if you spend most of your time behind a desk, which you most likely do – in an analysis of job industry trends over the past fifty years, 8 in 10 Americans spend most of their time at a desk. Getting up for a few minutes and stretching your muscles is a great way to get your blood flowing and to help get those kinks out your back in the process. If time allows, consider taking a quick walk to clear your mind and decrease tension.

Clean up.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and having a hard time concentrating, try cleaning up your work surface, which can help restore some sense of control and calm over your environment. Having your desk area neat and tidy will help give you energy and clear your mind to be able to tackle the rest of the day.

Go outside in the sunlight.
One of the main reasons people feel tired is because they spent most of their time inside. When you feel yourself start to fade, take a break and go outside, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. The sunlight will not only help restore your mind but will also improve your mood.

Listen to your favorite upbeat song.
Music that you like and respond to positively will have an instant effect on your mood, giving you that extra surge of energy.

Drink a cup of tea.
When you start to lag, instead of reaching for a cup of coffee, try a cup of tea for that energy boost. Tea will help reduce stress and keep you more hydrated than coffee, keeping your body hydrated and your energy levels up.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

New Rules for Federal Contractors Hiring Veterans

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs published new rules requiring federal contractors to adopt benchmarks for hiring certain groups of veterans in September 2013, which went into effect on March 24, 2014. These rules were updated in an effort to combat the jobless rate among certain veterans.

The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, an act prohibiting contractors and their subcontractors from discriminating against protected veterans when hiring, is directly affected by these updated rules. Some of the updates include:
  • Hiring benchmarks: The new regulations require that contractors establish annual hiring benchmarks for protected veterans. Contractors must use one of two methods to establish their benchmarks. Contractors may choose to establish a benchmark equal to the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force or establish their own benchmarks using certain data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Veterans’ Employment and Training Service/Employment and Training Administration (VETS/ETA) that is also published by OFCCP, as well other factors that reflect the contractor’s unique hiring circumstances.
  • Data collection: The new regulations require that contractors document and update annually several quantitative comparisons for the number of veterans who apply for jobs and the number of veterans they hire. The data must be maintained for three years to be used to spot trends.
  • Invitation to Self-Identify: The new regulations require that contractors invite applicants to self-identify as protected veterans at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process.
  • Job Listings: The new regulations clarify that when listing their job openings, contractors must provide that information in a manner and format permitted by the appropriate State or local job service, so that it can access and use the information to make the job listings available to job seekers.

The new veteran benchmark rule applies to companies with at least $100,000 in federal contracts. If contractors don’t meet those benchmarks or show that they are taking steps to do so, they could face penalties or have their contracts revoked.

"In a competitive job market, employers need access to the best possible employees," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez in a Department of Labor new release. "These rules make it easier for employers to tap into a large, diverse pool of qualified candidates."

Click here to learn more about these updates.