The Sword - October 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Join Orion as We Raise $100K for Veterans in 2014,
Local 5Ks in Support of the Veteran Low to High Challenge,
29 Questions Every Hiring Manager Should Ask Veterans,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Three Veteran Stereotypes Dispelled,
Meet Our Candidates,
National Distinguished Candidate Conference,
Alumni Update: Bill Tillotson,
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 this month, 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 have held 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; and Virginia Beach, VA; with our final 5K being in 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!

Local 5Ks in Support of the Veteran Low to High Challenge

We have held 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; and Virginia Beach, VA; with our final 5K being in San Diego, CA. All proceeds from these events will be donated to our partners. Learn more about our Partners.

Go The Extra Mile For The Vets 5K - Cincinnati, OH

(West Chester Township)

September 6, 2014

In Support of Wounded Warriors, Transitioning Combat Veterans, and Children of Fallen Military Service Members

The 5K run/walk was a huge success, with $13,498 projected for our partner Veteran non-profit organizations and 209 runners! The office is still receiving individual donations.

View Event Details Make a Donation


5K Warrior Run - North Austin, TX

(Lake Pflugerville)

September 13, 2014

In Support of Wounded Warriors, Transitioning Combat Veterans, and Children of Fallen Military Service Members

Even with bad weather and some surprise races the same weekend, the Austin office raised $3,583.62 for our non-profit Veteran organizations. 178 runners signed up for the race!

View Event Details Make a Donation


Patriot Challenge 5K - Show Your Colors - Cary, NC

September 20, 2014

In Support of Wounded Warriors, Transitioning Combat Veterans, and Children of Fallen Military Service Members

The Raleigh office pulled off a fantastic event with a lot of positive feedback from everyone involved! Many runners started that they would come back next year. The office raised $16,303 (with a goal of $10,000) for our partner non-profit Veteran organizations. 268 runners were in attendance.

View Event Details Make a Donation



                           Help Our Heroes 5K - Virginia Beach, VA

                                        September 20, 2014

                        In Support of Wounded Warriors, Transitioning       Combat Veterans, and Childen of Fallen Military Service Members

The Virginia Beach office raised $6,485 for our partner Veteran organizations! 117 runners attended the event.

                             View Event Details Make a Donation



                           Warrior Tribute 5K - San Diego, CA

                                       November 8, 2014

                    In Support of Wounded Warriors, Transitioning Combat Veterans, and Children of Fallen Military Service Members

A family friendly 5K at San Diego's NTC Park at Liberty Station! The Warrior Tribute 5K will feature a timed 5K run/walk for adults and kids alike and plenty of fun for the whole family.

               View Event Details Become a Sponsor Register to Run

29 Questions Every Hiring Manager Should Ask Veterans

Many managers have a standard set of interview questions they use when hiring a new team member. And while these tried-and-true questions certainly have a place in an interview, hiring managers may want to incorporate some additional questions when interviewing veterans. Veterans bring a unique skill set and set of experiences that may best be understood through questions that go beyond "Name three weaknesses." These questions will help managers glean how a veteran's military experience translates into civilian qualifications.

Below is a list of interview questions hiring managers interested in hiring veterans may want to add to their repertoire. These examples will help give you a solid idea of how a prospective employee's military experience pertains to the work for which you are hiring, even though you may not understand all the military nuances.  

  • Describe a time that you have:
    • failed
    • took a risk
    • handled conflict
    • led a team through a challenging situation
    • demonstrated creativity
    • took initiative
    • worked without a lot of direction
    • sold an idea to another individual
    • set a goal for yourself, and the steps you took to achieve it
    • experienced your greatest failure/made a mistake
    • experienced your greatest achievement?  
  • Who is your favorite leader and why? How did they handle conflict?  
  • Have you ever had a mentor? If so, what did he or she do for you?  
  • How would you characterize your leadership style?  
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with a poor performer.  
  • Describe a situation in life where your request or demand was rejected. How did it feel? What did you do?  
  • Describe an experience in which you felt you gained something because you persisted and saw it through to success.  
  • Define stress. How do you relieve stress?  
  • Define pressure. How do you relieve pressure? Is pressure different from stress?  
  • Do you prefer to work alone or with others? Why?  
  • Would you prefer to follow the rules or make the rules?  
  • What has been the toughest decision you ever had to make?  
  • What is the most difficult aspect of your military career?  
  • Why have you been successful in the past?
  • Under what conditions do you work best?  
  • What do you consider your most significant achievement?  
  • What is the most stressful situation you have encountered in your military career? How did you handle it?  
  • What are the two toughest decisions you have had to make? Which was the best/worst decision?                       
  • What is the most important thing you learned from your last job?  

Interview questions like these can help bridge the gap between civilian hiring manager and veteran and illustrate just how valuable an employee you have to gain. For more information on best practices, strategies, and techniques for hiring veterans, click here.

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

Providence, RI

Virginia Beach, VA

Philadelphia, PA


Atlanta, GA

Raleigh, NC


Chicago, IL DCC

Chicago, IL

Cincinnati, OH

October 27-28

November 3

December 8

South Central  

Houston, TX

Houston, TX

October 27

December 8


San Diego, CA DCC

Seattle, WA

San Diego, CA

Three Veteran Stereotypes Dispelled

The greater than 200,000 service members exiting the military each year represent a prime source of talent for many companies. However, even in this age of pro-veteran hiring initiatives like Joining Forces, there are still many stereotypes of veterans that persist, oftentimes impeding companies from leveraging this first-rate labor pool. These stereotypes must be debunked so that the civilian sector truly understands the benefits of hiring veterans.  

Stereotype #1: Veterans are less educated than their civilian peers. An article on AOL Jobs cites a 2012 survey by veterans advocacy group The Mission Continues and the production company Bad Robot, that says that only 19% of the public believed that veterans are more educated than their civilian counterparts.  However, the numbers reveal the truth. The same article points out that only 8% of veterans 25 and older didn't have a high school degree in 2009, compared to 15% of the population as a whole. And, as of 2009, veterans with bachelor’s degrees are within 2% of civilians at 26% and 28%, respectively.

Stereotype #2: Veterans have PTSD. While some veterans may come out of the service with this issue, they are in the minority and it does not mean it will affect their work. Many civilians deal with depression or anxiety, but that does not mean they can’t have jobs or do not perform well. Additionally, PTSD has gotten a bad rap with images of soldiers becoming violent, which is an extreme that is not the norm. In fact, a 2012 Washington Post article highlighted studies that found that the link between PTSD and violent behavior is weak.  

Stereotype #3: Veterans only know how to follow orders and have no transferable skills. This could not be further from the truth. Service members are given orders to follow; however, they often have to make real-time decisions when the stakes are high. Many veterans say that making corporate decisions is easy when compared to battlefield decisions that mean the lives of their fellow soldiers. In fact, a Society of Human Resource Management survey featured in a Fortune article, reveals that companies that go out of their way to recruit and hire veterans actually value their creative thinking and ability to solve unusual problems. Companies are also finding that they can find the most technologically savvy employees in veterans, thanks to their training and exposure to new technologies. Read more about veterans’ transferable skills here.

It is unfortunate that myths like these stop companies from hiring veterans. Again, the numbers illustrate the reality. The sixth edition of the Veteran Talent Index from Monster Worldwide, Inc. and stated that the surveyed employers feel 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 two motivators for hiring veterans as being that the veteran was the best qualified of the candidate pool (68%) and the veteran's prior work experience (59%).  

For hiring managers still reticent to hire military, the best strategy may be to hire a military recruiting firm that can guide them through the process and aid in their recruitment and onboarding efforts, resulting in productive and motivated employees. Learn more about Military Recruiting Services or click here to read about veterans from all branches of service who are making a positive impact at their civilian companies.

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.

Senior Electronic Warfare Officer Instructor / Program Manager View Resume

Nuclear Submarine Officer View Resume

Aviation Officer with two Master's Degrees; Naval Academy Graduate View Resume

Operations Officer / Apache Pilot View Resume

Electronics Technician View Resume

Nuclear Electrician's Mate View Resume

Submarine Machinist Mate View Resume

Nuclear Machinist Mate with a Bachelor's Degree View Resume

National Distinguished Candidate Conference

Mark your calendar for our upcoming National Distinguished Candidate Conferences:

San Diego, CA
October 13-14

Chicago, IL
October 27-28

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.

Alumni Update: Bill Tillotson

Orion recently caught up with Bill Tillotson, an Orion alumnus who began his career with JBS as a Maintenance Technician in March 2014. After serving 20 years in the Navy, he retired from the military and worked with Orion to find his career with JBS.

“I’m doing the same types of things here that I did in the Navy. They have Preventive Maintenance and Corrective Maintenance just like the Navy, and the cards have check points that tells us what to check on each piece of equipment we work on,” says Bill of his new career, “The only difference is that JBS allows ‘common sense,’ whereas the Navy walks you through each step of the process.”

“For the 20 years that I served, I worked on pumps, purifiers, and valves replacements. I also learned how to troubleshoot and make recommendations on repairs of the equipment I was responsible for. Being able to read blue prints and schematics from the Naval Technical Manuals also helped me in the civilian sector, as I now utilize this skill at JBS,” explains Bill.

Bill has come a long way since he joined the Navy with no mechanical knowledge. Since starting his career with JBS, Bill received a raise and is working on his second floor qualification. He is also taking Mechanical certification courses to get even more raises and better his chances of possibly moving up to Supervisor.

According to Bill, veterans fit the bill when it comes to the civilian sector's need for dedicated workers that are at their appointed place at the appointed time, have a great work ethic, and a military chain of command mentality. He says that veterans get the job done right the first time.

Bill wants civilian employers to understand that veterans are loyal, have a lot of integrity, and are never late. With the drawbacks in the military, Bill advises companies to take advantage of all the great people the military is losing: “If you’re looking for highly-skilled workers, hire a vet! We get the job done, no questions asked!”

To read Tillotson's profile and see more examples of veterans excelling in their civilian careers, please visit Transition Corner. And to learn more about hiring veterans, click here.

According to Our Clients

“I had great success with Orion at a previous company, so when the need to hire skilled maintenance technicians in a tight market, Orion was the obvious choice.  The entire staff at Orion ensured they knew what our needs were and matched us with the top candidates for those roles.  The hiring process was quick and easy for Richelieu Foods. Orion is the best, and I will always look to them first for military recruiting.” - Karen Letourneau, HR Manager, Richelieu Foods

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 us on Google+