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.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Veteran Spotlight: Logan Ferkol

Hire a Hero sat down with Logan Ferkol, a former Avionics Technician, to discuss his new career. Orion recently matched Logan with IM Flash Technologies as an Ion Source Rebuild Technician. Logan couldn't be happier with his experience with IM Flash.

So far, the most rewarding part of his job is getting to work with cutting edge technology and being an integral part of the team that develops a new process to build semiconductors. His electrical background with the Navy’s technical schools has helped him understand how to rebuild electrical assemblies.

Logan’s experience troubleshooting aircraft has helped him solve problems in a high stress environment. For example, he played a key role in identifying a contamination issue at a major fabrication plant that was costing it over a million dollars in failing memory chips.

Logan feels that IM Flash beats out all other competitors with its benefits package and commitment to its employees. He appreciates that the company strives to be the best in its field while also maintaining its codes of conduct and high standards.

Orion is proud to have matched a veteran like Logan with a company like IM Flash Technologies.  To learn more about how your company can recruit talented veteran candidates for your open positions, please click here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Orion Proud to Participate in the Serving Our Soldiers 5k Fundraiser


Last Saturday, April 23rd, was sunny and warm, and it was a great day to raise money for our troops and veterans! That morning, employees of the Raleigh Orion office participated in a 5K race that was hosted by Serving Our Soldiers. The proceeds from the 5K went to purchasing and shipping care packages to three adopted platoons deployed in Afghanistan. They also went into a fund for a scholarship started this year that will provide financial assistance to a veteran who wishes to go back to school.


Founded by two teenagers, Serving Our Soldiers (SOS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing support for our troops and veterans. Its founders, Caroline and Clare, started the organization because they felt that Americans, particularly teenagers and young adults, don’t provide enough support for servicemen and women. SOS has held other fundraisers and events as well, such as thank-you card drives. For more information about SOS, visit its website or Facebook page.


The race was held at Ravenscroft School in northern Raleigh, NC and was open to all ages. The 5K was held on the school’s wooded cross-country course, and included string and tire obstacle sections. Volunteers from the ROTC program of nearby North Carolina State University were stationed throughout the course to guide participants along the correct path.


Orion thanks SOS and the volunteers from Ravenscoft School and NC State’s ROTC for making this a fun and rewarding event!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Why You Should Attend an Orion Distinguished Candidate Conference

Orion's National Distinguished Candidate Conferences (DCC) enable you to develop a strong pipeline of future leaders and bolster strategic organizational growth. Orion Distinguished Candidates represent the top tier of military talent transitioning from Active Duty. For each DCC, our recruiters work hard to make the best possible match for each candidate and client company attending.
On Monday, April 25th and Tuesday, April 26th, we’ll be holding our Distinguished Candidate Conference in Philadelphia, PA, with over 100 transitioning and former Military Officers interviewing at the event. These veterans include Service Academy graduates and candidates with bachelor’s degrees and a minimum GPA of 3.0 from top tier colleges and universities. Our DCC also features candidates with advanced degrees (such as MBAs), professional certifications (such as PMP and PE) and those who have been consistently ranked above their peers in Officer Evaluation Reports.
Nearly 40 companies will be interviewing, including Siemens, Unilever, Lutron, Clark Construction, PetSmart, Cintas, Stryker, Air Liquide, Otis Elevator, and Gemma Power Systems. These employers will be hiring for nationwide positions like Engineering Manager, Production Supervisor, Sales Engineer, Project Manager, Sales Manager, Plant Manager, Six Sigma Black Belt, Warehouse Manager, and Leadership Development Programs.
Our DCCs offer a unique format, designed to maximize a company’s chances of connecting with the right candidate. Here’s what you can expect:
  • 30 minute presentations for client companies to address candidates on the day prior to interviews.
  • An additional opportunity for socializing with the candidates and other hiring managers at our President's Reception.
  • Prescreened, qualified officer candidates suitably matched for your particular hiring needs.
  • A private and professional interview setting.
  • Personalized attention to ensure the best in customer service, including insight on the candidates and advice on the most effective hiring strategy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Why You Should be Recruiting Senior Military Officers


Many companies approach building a military talent program with a preference for Junior Military Officers. And, while JMOs are an excellent talent pool from which to recruit, Hire a Hero wants to remind hiring managers that they should be considering Senior Military Officers, as well.  We have helped many successful Senior Military Officers who are able to leverage their Leadership, Project Management, Maintenance Management, Technical Management, Logistics, and/or Business Development related experiences in the civilian work force.

Ben Metzler is one such veteran. A retired Major in the Army, Ben was matched with a Project Management career in fleet management through Orion. “Most of my career was in Operations, which translates really well to running projects in the civilian world. There are significant parallels between my experience as a BN Operations and Executive Officer and leadership positions to my new career as a Project Manager,” says Ben.

“The way the Army conducts day-to-day operations is very project based.  Preparing for live fire gunneries, individual, team, and battery/company/battalion gunneries, Table gunneries, field exercises, prep for deployment, etc., all fit the PMI description of projects.  I feel like I am better prepared to succeed in my new career than I would have been had I risen through the ranks of the civilian world," he explains.

There are many positions for which a Junior Military Officer may be better suited, but it is short-sighted to overlook the breadth of experience and potential that comes with a Senior Military Officer like Ben and dismiss them as either “over-qualified", or yet "not qualified" for executive level roles that are a closer lateral move from their military titles.

At Orion, we have seen Senior Military Officers successfully begin careers in a variety of industries and positions. Examples include Supply Chain Managers in the aerospace industry, Production Supervisors in the medical device industry, and Director of Inventory Management in power generation, to name a few. When management and director-level positions call for a seasoned leader, companies are well-served to consider Senior Military Officers.