Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Orion International: January 1991 - January 2016 - Celebrating 25 Years of Success

Founded by five former JMOs in 1991, Orion celebrates its silver anniversary this year. Two of our original founders, Bill Laughlin, and Randy Nelson, continue to serve on Orion’s Board of Directors today. The guiding principle of the five founders was, first and foremost, teamwork. The partners succeeded as a team due to their cooperation, sharing of ideas, and financial decisions, which benefited the group rather than the individual. The three foundations for the new venture were Clients, Candidates, and the Team. Twenty-five years after its inception, these principles and foundations have helped Orion find careers for more than 36,000 veterans.

Orion opened its doors on January 7, 1991, with headquarters in Raleigh, NC; and offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In its first year in business, Orion found careers for 95 transitioning Officers within 25 companies, including Target, Pfizer, Schering-Plough, DHL, ABB Power, Alcoa, GE Energy, and Ingersoll-Rand. Positions were primarily in Pharmaceutical Sales, Distribution, and Retail Management.

Orion’s very first placement was Jon Fulton, a USNA Graduate and five-year Navy Nuclear Officer.  Fulton turned to Orion after a disappointing experience with another recruiting firm. Fulton says “After talking with my recruiter, Bill Laughlin, I felt like he knew who I was, what I was capable of doing, and had my best interests in mind as he sought to place me with the right position and company.” The company and position were certainly the right fit, as Fulton will celebrate his 25th anniversary with Alcoa in April of this year!

After three years in business, Orion became the first military recruiting firm to find careers for Enlisted Technicians and Non-Commissioned Officers. After seeing success in placing Officers, the team decided to try finding careers for NCOs, and tested the idea with several well-established clients. This proved very successful, and Orion is the undisputed leader in Enlisted Technician and NCO placement today.

In 2010, Orion again expanded our offerings to Veterans and demonstrated an industry-leading mindset by becoming the first Military Talent Firm to work with non-technical Combat Arms service members. Since then, Orion has matched nearly 2000 Combat Arms veterans with civilian careers. Orion’s 25th anniversary also marks the company’s fourth year of partnership with the White House Joining Forces Program. Highlights of this partnership include Orion alumni being asked to speak at Joining Forces events with First Lady Michelle Obama, media coverage, as well as multiple features on the White House blog.

In the last several years, Orion has pioneered several new offerings for clients. From our Military Talent Programs, to the Distinguished Candidate Conference, and Temp-to-Perm Staffing, we continue to demonstrate Innovation and Excellence at every turn by leveraging the  far-reaching networks they’ve spent 25 years developing. Orion’s top clients today include industry leaders like Siemens, Whirlpool, SpaceX, Honda, Phillips 66, Honeywell, and Wrigley.

It seems fitting that Orion was named after one of the most prominent constellations in the sky. Twenty-five years after five former JMOs decided to make a difference in the military recruiting world, Orion has grown into the nation's leading Military Talent firm. As we celebrate this important anniversary, our mission at Orion holds steady:

To strengthen American Business with Best-in-Class Military Talent, through the relentless pursuit of excellence and unwavering commitment to our Nation's Military Professionals.

Learn more about Orion's services for companies interesting in hiring veterans here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Orion International Announces Acquisition of Novotus

Orion ICS, LLC (Orion International), the nation's largest military talent acquisition firm, announced Monday that it has acquired Novotus, a leading provider of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Recruiting Services.

"Orion has spent 25 years establishing ourselves as the market leader in Military Recruiting. With the acquisition of Novotus, we unite the nation's top Military Talent Firm with a top, award-winning RPO firm," said Mike Starich, Chief Executive Officer of Orion. "This powerful combination will enable each company to leverage the strengths of the other, and provide greater impact and opportunity for both our customers and candidates."

Following the acquisition, Novotus will be led by President Cory Kruse. "We are very excited to leverage Orion's sales engine to fuel our growth, offer a legitimate and highly potent military talent offering to our customers, and to offer end-market diversity and scale to Orion's growth."

Founded in 2002, Novotus is an established full service recruiting organization and leader in RPO. Based in Austin, TX, Novotus was recognized as the number one ranked Mid-Market RPO Provider by HRO Today in 2014, and member of the Baker's Dozen in the Enterprise category in 2015.

"Orion International is the largest military talent firm in the country combining forces with one of the leading RPO firms," explained Elliot Clark, CEO of SharedXpertise Media LLC, publisher of HRO Today Magazine. He continued, "It will be a unique and valuable offering for companies seeking RPO with a tried and true military talent component."

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why You Should Consider Letting Employees Work from Home

Working from home, once considered somewhat of a fad that conjured images of employees in pajamas occasionally checking emails, is not going anywhere. An article in the Huffington Post, “Proof That Working From Home Is Here To Stay: Even Yahoo Still Does It”, points out that even Yahoo, which famously brought its remote workers back into the office, has softened its stance with some employees working from home occasionally. In fact, the article points out that 67% percent of employees were allowed occasional remote work in 2014, up from 50 percent in 2008, the study found.

If the steady increase in companies allowing for the “carpet commute” of remote workers isn’t enough to make managers consider such a strategy, a recent article by Cynthia Johnson on gives 20 great reasons they should. Below are eight of Johnson’s most persuasive reasons:
  1. Remote workers waste less time commuting, which is a huge morale booster and time saver.
  2. They’ll be more productive, with one study finding that employees who work from home are 13% more productive compared with their in-office counterparts.
  3. You won’t have to pay for office space or office supplies.
  4. You can hire the best, no matter where they live.
  5. You don’t have to go all or nothing by letting people work from home a day a week or on specific occasions.
  6. It will increase employee loyalty.
  7. Employees will take fewer sick days. Working with a cold is doable if you’re in the comfort of your own home, and no one is sharing germs.
  8. Employees will work longer on a day-to-day basis because they don’t have to factor in commuting, etc. 
Ultimately, employing remote workers depends on the type of business you have and can even be personality-specific where some employees are ideal for it and others are not. The increased productivity, employee satisfaction, and ability to hire throughout the nation makes allowing employees to work from home an attractive option.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Not sure where to start with Military Hiring?

Hiring veterans is a smart move and companies like Siemens, Honeywell, SpaceX, and Honda are growing the number of veterans in their ranks, while increasing their bottom lines with Military Talent Programs. If you are a non-military Hiring Manager or HR professional seeking to hire military for the first time, it can be a challenge deciding where to begin. 

Your military recruiting methods need to be targeted and appropriate. Here are a few tips when hiring Veterans to make the process as smooth and productive as possible:    

1. Understand Basic Military Culture: Educate yourself about the military. Understand military candidates and their unique experiences and training.  It’s hard to know if a veteran will fit into your company unless you understand the mindset of a Veteran and the value that he or she will bring to your company. 

2. Learn More About Military Candidates: When posting positions within your company, review the required skills and consider using language that aligns well with military skill sets. Understand distinctions and describe the military roles that translate well for your job openings. Help translate their military experience to civilian job requirements. 

3. Understand Military Language: If you don’t understand how to translate military experience, you may lose qualified veteran candidates. Job descriptions are one of the main ways that candidates decide if they are a fit for the job, but candidates need to understand them. If you’re interested in attracting veterans, you can even incorporate specific keywords that will coincide with their military occupations. It is important to cross-reference your job descriptions with veteran skills. 

4. Ask Veterans the Right Questions: Veterans bring a unique skill set and set of experiences that is best understood through questions that go beyond the standard, "Name three weaknesses and strengths." The right questions will help you gain valuable insight into how a veteran's military experience translates into civilian qualifications.

Need some help with putting these steps into practice?

Thousands of companies have turned to Orion International over the past 25 years for this type of support, many of whom have developed an Orion Military Talent Program™. These programs address all phases of the process, from sourcing, candidate attraction and recruiting through on-boarding, integration, and retention.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Veteran Spotlight: Burt Welch

Companies working with military recruiting firms to hire veterans are familiar with what these veterans have to offer and the many ways, like Military Talent Programs, Mini-Conferences®, and Hiring Conferences, that they can go about hiring them. What they may not be so familiar with is the actual experience of veteran job seekers. The Candidate Experience, as we have written about before, is very important to the hiring process. Read on to learn about the experience of one Orion alumnus.

Burt Welch’s civilian job search began in April 2015 in preparation for his transition from the military in October. A former Army Military Police Captain, Burt felt prepared for a civilian career. “The service provides almost anyone across any mission set with an excellent background to succeed in various fields within the civilian sector. The leadership & decision making skills are difficult to hone or replicate in a similar manner, with the possible exception of competitive athletics or civilian services (Police, Fire, EMS),” explains Burt.

When it came time to enlist a recruiting firm to help with his search, Burt followed the advice of a friend and connected with Orion. At Orion, Burt found his recruiting team to be dedicated, empathetic and eager to help him make a clean transition. “I honestly could not have felt any better about the transition,” recalls Burt.

Burt interviewed with employers through Orion on the phone, one-on-one sessions, as well as at an Orion Hiring Conference. Through this process, Burt was matched with CalAtlantic Homes as a Construction Manager. “The logistical/operational parallels are easily translated. Given the sheer amount of moving pieces, the experience in utilizing existing systems to the best of their ability is fantastic,” says Burt of the parallels between his new career and old one, “Knowing how to engage others appropriately for maximum output is equally, if not more important; and it's something you can't put a price tag on as someone who is making that leadership transition.”

The partnership between Orion and Burt worked well for Burt, as he was put directly in front of employers looking for people with skills just like his. “Without their help, finding as desirable of a position, in such a great location would have been difficult if not impossible,” explains Burt.

He continues, “My deepest thanks to each of the staff at Orion who work extremely hard to offer these services to their fellow service members. It's a taxing, daunting, and even scary thought to make such a leap, but Orion helps with compassion and a high level of acumen.”

Orion is proud to have been able to help match a veteran like Burt with a company like CalAtlantic. Burt's transition and skills translation to what is seemingly an unrelated civilian field speak highly of the ability of veterans to get the job done! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year, New Hires – Top 5 Reasons to Hire Veterans in 2016

Here’s to the New Year and all of the New Hires you’ll be bringing onboard in 2016! Are you looking for hard-working, motivated, employees? Try Hiring a Military Veteran. Veterans are disciplined team players and leaders whose military training and experiences will positively impact any employer’s business.

Top 5 Reasons to Hire Veterans in the New Year

1. Accelerated Learning Curve: Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they will enter your workforce with immediately identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real world situations.

2. Leadership: Veterans are given high levels of responsibility early on in their career. 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 understand the dynamics of leadership within both hierarchical and peer structures.

3. Teamwork: Military duties involve a blend of individual and group productivity. Veterans have learned to work side by side with individuals regardless of race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion and economic status as well as mental, physical and attitudinal capabilities. They have the sensitivity and experience to successfully cooperate with many different types of individuals.

4. Respect for Procedures and Authority: 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.

5.  Integrity: Veterans know what it means to get their hands dirty and 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 within the workplace. (Courtesy of Dept of Labor,HireVetsFirst Initiative)

Learn More

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

SpaceX: Exploring the Final Frontier

Monday marked a historic event when SpaceX successfully landed the Falcon 9 Rocket after launching satellites into orbit. The New York Times reports a launch commentator exclaiming “The Falcon has landed,” to cheers and applause. This marked the third attempt to land the rocket.

How does an innovative company power this accomplishment and their dream to put humans on Mars?  Through the more than 3,000 men and women working in their facilities engineering, building, and launching these rockets. More than 300 of those employees are veterans, and SpaceX continues to turn to veterans for top talent for Operations, Engineering and Skilled Technician roles through a Military Talent Program through Orion International.

And while many employers may not equate veterans with out-of-the-box,
innovative thinking, they’d be wrong. SpaceX is successfully leveraging veterans’ ability to manage a project, be it building or launching the rocket, through to completion, in mission critical situations demanding endurance, stamina and flexibility.  SpaceX understands that veterans have developed the capacity to know how to accomplish priorities on time, in spite of tremendous stress.

The technological-savvy veterans at SpaceX come from all branches of service and enjoy their careers. Nicholas Lindsay, Test Engineering at SpaceX and a Navy veteran, explains “I now work in the Aerospace Engineering industry, more specifically Aerospace Test Engineering. I was hired as a Test Engineer and have been given continually increasing levels of responsibility including two promotions within my first two years with the company. I am now a Test Engineering Manager and responsible for all test related activities for the Dragon Spacecraft and its systems.

While my military background was not directly applicable to my new role as a Test Engineer, it did build the basic foundations that have ensured my success. Overall, I feel that I am better prepared to handle difficult decisions and stressful situations than many civilians in similar positions. My military experience gave me a wide variety of hands-on skills, as well as an appreciation for hard work and dedication to the overall mission. These abilities help me each and every day. Working on a multidisciplinary team towards a common goal requires the same communication and collaboration skills that I learned while on active duty.”

Travis Guthrie, a former Nuclear Machinist Mate who is now a Friction Stir Weld Supervisor at SpaceX, is featured in the September issue of GI Jobs in an article titled "Better Off for Having Served", as well as in a Senior Enlisted Profile. In the cover story, Guthrie is highlighted as a great example of how veterans are able to successfully transition thanks to their service.

Congratulations to SpaceX as they come one step closer to developing the technologies to make human life on Mars possible. We’re happy to see veterans playing a role in this historic feat.
Want to learn more about how veterans can help take your company to the next level? Click here to visit Orion International and read more about Military Talent Programs and how you can start one today.