The Sword - July 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Veteran Talent Index Explores State of Veteran Employment,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Orion International Announces Military Partnership with David Weekley Homes,
Meet Our Candidates,
National Distinguished Candidate Conference,
New Rules for Federal Contractors Hiring Veterans,
According to Our Clients,
Refer a Colleague to Hire Military Talent,
Connect with Orion

Join Orion as We Raise $100K+ for Veterans in 2014

Join Orion as we raise $100K for Veterans in 2014 through the Veteran Low to High Challenge - directly supporting Burned and Wounded Personnel and their Families, Children of Fallen Service Members, and Transitioning Combat Veterans. 

All donations are tax-deductible and will benefit our partner Charitable Veterans Organizations - Operation Military Embrace, Children of Fallen Patriots, and Warrior Hike. Learn more about our Partner Organizations.

The culminating event of the Veteran Low to High Challenge will occur in October, 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 which will span 7 days and 130+ miles. It is our goal to gain national recognition for our Partner Organizations and raise $100K+ by undertaking and completing the Low to High Challenge.

Get Involved

  • Make a donation to the Veteran Low to High Challenge! All donations are tax-deductible, and we appreciate each and every contribution. To make your donation even more impactful, Orion will double your donation by matching, dollar-for-dollar, the first $14,505 (the height of Mt. Whitney!) raised in Individual Donations. Donate now
  •  Get your company involved! Corporate Sponsorship is an opportunity for your organization to receive high-visibility recognition within the military community while directly supporting our partner charitable organizations. We have several levels of Corporate Sponsorship available, to allow your company to contribute in a meaningful way to the Veteran Low to High Challenge, regardless of budget. Learn more about Corporate Sponsorship
  •  Participate in a 5K in your area. We are holding a 5K Race in support of the Veteran Low to High Challenge 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. All proceeds from these events will be donated to our partners. Learn more and register

Please contact us any questions and to learn more about contributing to the Veteran Low to High Challenge. We appreciate each and every donation, and thank you in advance for your support!

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 gapbetween 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.

Upcoming Hiring Conferences

Orion Military Hiring Conferences – Interview Junior Military Officers,
Noncommissioned Officers and Enlisted Technicians Recruited for your Hiring Needs

An Orion Hiring Conference is your chance to interview the best military job seekers, selected specifically for your open positions. You will be presented with prescreened, qualified and suitably matched veterans that are interested in your available opportunities. Click on the dates below to learn more about our upcoming hiring conferences. 

Northern NJ

Norfolk, VA (Midwest Technician positions)

Baltimore, MD DCC

September 8-9



Jacksonville, FL

Atlanta, GA

Raleigh, NC


Chicago, IL (Technician positions)

Chicago, IL DCC

Norfolk, VA (Midwest Technician positions)

Chicago, IL

July 14

July 21-22

August 25

September 15

South Central  

Houston, TX

Dallas, TX

August 11

September 22


San Diego, CA

Seattle, WA

San Diego, CA

Seattle, WA

July 14

Orion International Announces Military 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.

Meet Our Candidates


The battle for talent in the workplace can be fierce.  It doesn't have to be if you know where to look. Below is a preview of actual Orion International candidates and the valuable skills and experience they possess.

Experienced Operations Officer View Resume

Surface Warfare Officer; Naval Academy Graduate View Resume

Communications Planner / IT Manager; USNA Graduate View Resume

Former System Acquisition Officer with an MBA View Resume

Nuclear Electronics Technician View Resume

Facilities Maintenance Department Head View Resume

Maintenance Technician / Trainer / Operator, United States Navy | 2008 - 2014 View Resume

Nuclear Machinist Mate with a Bachelor's Degree in Nuclear Engineering View Resume

National Distinguished Candidate Conference

Mark your calendar for our upcoming National Distinguished Candidate Conference:

Baltimore, MD
September 8-9

Since 1991, our clients have told us that the most important factor in deciding to hire military through an agency is the Quality of Candidate. Our unique Distinguished Candidate Conferences are designed to recruit, assess, screen, and present the top military candidates for your hiring needs. In 2013, more than 170 client companies strategically hired Orion’s Military Officers through our Distinguished Candidate Conferences, with nearly 50% making multiple hires.

Orion’s Distinguished Candidates are carefully selected and represent the very top tier of Military Officers transitioning from Active Duty. They are seeking careers in growth roles including Leadership Development, Operations Management, Engineering, and Sales.

Our Junior Military Officer Candidates at these National Events:

  • Service Academy Graduates and graduates of the nation’s top universities.
  • Candidates with MBAs and other advanced degrees; and those with PMPs, PEs, and other professional certifications.
  • Candidates who have consistently ranked well above their peers in their professional military evaluations.
  • Willing to relocate and geographically flexible.

Distinguished Candidate Conference Highlights:

  • These events will feature 30 minute Client Presentations in which you can present to the candidates you’ll be interviewing in advance. We recommend a C-level or VP Presenter for client presentations.
  • Enjoy an additional opportunity for socializing with the candidates and other Hiring Managers, at our President’s Reception following the Keynote Address on Monday evening.
  • Pre-screened, assessed, 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.

In addition, Orion’s Executive Leadership Team will be available throughout these events to meet and discuss your company’s talent planning and how our dedicated on-boarding programs, assessment tools, and other enterprise-scale service offerings may be able to support your organization in 2014 and beyond.

What do our clients have to say about the caliber of candidates at an Orion Distinguished Candidate Conference?

"Our experience at Orion's Distinguished Candidate Conference was a great success. The candidates were of the highest caliber and extremely well matched for our Leadership Development Program. This event enabled us to hire 5 outstanding JMOs very efficiently, saving weeks of time. I look forward to seeing the impact these new leaders will have on BP." - Program Manager, BP

Our Distinguished Candidate Conferences enable you to develop a strong pipeline of future leaders and foster strategic organizational growth.

Learn more about our Distinguished Candidate Conferences and discover for yourself the impact a Military Officer can have on your organization.

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.

According to Our Clients

“The Orion Account Executive that worked with us was courteous and accomodating. He did a really good job giving us the information we needed and meeting our needs.” - Colin Madden, Senior Technician, Lam Research

Refer a Colleague to Hire Military Talent

Is your company or that of a friend or colleague in need of military talent? For every referral you provide, you will be automatically entered into our monthly drawing for a $50 gift card. Even better, if your referral results in a placement, you will personally receive a $100 gift card as our way of saying thank you. As always, we will maintain your privacy and never share your information nor that of your referral.

Click here to refer a colleague to hire military talent now!

Connect with Orion

Did you know that there are several ways to connect with Orion and learn how veterans impact the civilian workforce?

• You can join our LinkedIn group for employers, Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet®. This group is a great way to show your support of veterans in the civilian workforce.

• Read our blog, Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet®. This blog covers everything from veterans in the news to general employer-employee relations. Check it out!

• You can follow Orion on Twitter (@hirevets) to receive updates about Orion, learn about upcoming hiring events, and find links to articles of interest.

• Orion is now on Google+! Follow us to keep up to date on all things Orion. 

Join Orion’s Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet group on LinkedIn

 Read Orion's Blog

Find us on Twitter

Follow @hirevets


 Follow us on Google+