The Sword - December 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Orion International Exceeds $100K Fundraising Goal for Veteran Partner Organizations,
VetAdvisor Releases Veterans Job Retention Survey,
Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet® for Veterans,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Office Holiday Party Planning Tips,
Meet Our Candidates,
National Distinguished Candidate Conference,
Alumni Update: Denise Greenfield,
According to Our Clients,
Refer a Colleague to Hire Military Talent,
Happy Holidays!,
Connect With Orion

Orion International Exceeds $100K Fundraising Goal for Veteran Partner Organizations

Orion International’s Veteran Low to High Challenge is coming to a close, with $111,263 raised through individual and corporate donations for our partner Veteran Organizations – Operation Military Embrace, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, and Warrior Hike.

In addition to the funds donated by Individual and Corporate Donors, we held a 5K Run / Walk Race 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. In total, these 5Ks raised over $60K, with almost 1,000 runners participating!

Through the generosity of the donations, we were able to present a check of $25K to the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation at their annual gala, hosted in Riverside, CT last month. Read more about the gala’s events here.

From left: Orion team members Jay Diller, Molly Moore, Kayla Burns, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation scholarship recipient Jacob Centeno Healy, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation Executive Director John Coogan, Orion team members Meredith Guenther, Todd Phillips

The culminating event of the Veteran Low to High Challenge occurred in October, when a team of Orion Employees, Veterans, Partners, and Corporate Sponsors hiked from the lowest point in Death Valley to the summit of Mount Whitney. Read the full week’s events of the hike here.

Orion International is proud to be able to give back to organizations that make a real difference in the lives of military members. We would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all our sponsors who made the Veteran Low to High Challenge possible. Your contributions have made a difference for Veterans and their families.

VetAdvisor Releases Veterans Job Retention Survey Results

In October, VetAdvisor announced the results of its Veterans Job Retention Survey, a collection of data to reveal the state of veteran retention in the civilian workforce. The results hope to help employers build a better plan for veteran retention in the private sector.

The survey, conducted of nearly 1,500 veterans from December 2013 through February 2014, explored how veterans find their initial post-military jobs and the reasons why they choose to leave them for new jobs. Highlights from the findings included:

Over 14 percent of those who participated in the survey indicated that they were working in their first civilian job. Of those who left their first job, nearly half of those respondents left in their first year, with two-thirds leaving within two years.

Veterans indicated that the biggest obstacle for obtaining meaningful employment post military was finding careers that matched past military training and experience.

Overwhelmingly, nine out of ten of those who participated in the survey linked the opportunity to use their skills and abilities as the most important characteristic of civilian employment, and identified these qualities as most significant in retention within a civilian position. Other aspects, including career development, benefits, work environment, and employee/employer relationships were also indicated as significant retention issues.

Regardless of the number of jobs held, there was a correlation between the position and how long the position was held within the veteran’s preferred career field.

With these findings, VetAdvisor suggested a method of action for employers to increase veteran employee retention, which included providing education on military skills and their translation to the civilian workforce for recruiters and HR professionals in the private sector, developing veteran programs within companies to help veterans develop a career path outside of the military, and creating programs that will help match veterans to open positions more accurately.

A vital step in a military hiring program is to help veterans feel comfortable with their new careers.  Called the “candidate experience,” what a candidate experiences as they progress through the hiring process is directly related to their satisfaction and longevity as an employee. This period begins with their initial interest in a position up through the onboarding process.

There are many ways to maximize the candidate experience for veterans, including educating yourself on the military backgrounds of potential candidates, maintaining healthy communication, and creating the right environment. Read more about how to create an onboarding process and work environment that appeals to veterans here.

To help civilian employers find, hire, and, most importantly, retain top military talent, Orion has created customized Military Talent Programs, which focus on delivering consistent quality and quantity of candidates, at a lower cost per hire, while incorporating Brand Marketing, Training, and Consulting, to ensure the best possible results.

Orion is the only company to offer a full-cycle Strategic Military Program that address all phases of the process, from candidate attraction and recruiting, through on-boarding, integration, and retention. If you would like to learn more about how you can create a Military Talent Program for your company, click here.

In addition, Orion’s Hiring Conferences allow for a chance to interview with the best military job seekers, qualified and suitably matched veterans that are interested in your available opportunities. Orion provides insight on the transitioning military candidates, and offers advice on the most effective hiring strategy. Orion holds multiple Hiring Conferences a month, with locations throughout the country. Learn more about an Orion Hiring Conference.

With these tools, Orion can help make hiring veterans easier for your company.

“The Baltimore Distinguished Candidate Conference we attended was very beneficial and had an excellent format. The candidates were excellent, and we were able to complete many interviews in a short period of time. The format was also conducive to getting to know potential candidates better than in a traditional setting,” explains John Bates, Human Resources Manager at Remington Arms.

To learn more about Orion’s services, 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

Norfolk, VA (Midwest Technician Event)

Philadelphia, PA


Atlanta, GA

Raleigh, NC


Norfolk, VA (Midwest Technician Event)

Chicago, IL

Indianapolis, IN

January 19

January 19

South Central  

Houston, TX

January 19


Seattle, WA

San Diego, CA

Seattle, WA

Office Holiday Party Planning Tips

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about planning and preparing for holiday parties. These events are a good way for your employees to relax and enjoy each other’s company outside of the workday, and also for them to let off some steam before their own personal holiday engagements begin.

Sometimes it can be difficult planning a holiday function that all employees will enjoy, especially as the workplace becomes more diverse. Below are some tips in helping make your company’s party pleasant for all.

Keep the décor non-specific. Try not to alienate your employees with one specific holiday decoration. Keep in mind that many of your employees may celebrate the holidays differently. Instead of the traditional red and green, decorate with winter themed motifs, such as snowmen or snowflakes.

Make the food appealing to everyone. Keep in mind your employees’ food restrictions or special diets, and offer food options that can suit all, from the carnivore to the vegetarian. Not only will your employees appreciate your thoughtfulness, but you will have variety of different food choices for everyone.

Offer alcohol – but don’t make it a priority. Many of your employees will be expecting some alcohol to help create a more festive mood, but don’t draw emphasis with drinking alcohol to having a good time. This may lead your employees to drink a little too liberally, or those who don’t drink to feel estranged from the festivities.

Keep gifts gender neutral and age neutral. If you plan on having a gift exchange game, be sure to make the gifts appropriate for the whole office. Gift cards to places such as grocery stores, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, or gas stations would make a good gift that everyone would enjoy.

Be clear on the invite. If your company can allow, letting your employees bring a guest is a great way to create a more relaxed atmosphere and also offer some diversity to the party. However, if guests (or children) are not invited, be sure your employees are aware, and make it very distinct on the invite.

Most importantly, the holidays are a time for you and your employees to come together and celebrate in a fun, stress-free environment outside of work. Keep the mood light and entertaining, and enjoy the holiday season.

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.

Company Commander; USMA Graduate View Resume

Personnel and Logistics Operations Manager View Resume

Combat Engineer with a Master's Degree View Resume

Training Officer; Naval Academy Graduate with a Master's Degree View Resume

Nuclear Electrician's Mate View Resume

Electronics Technician View Resume

Aerospace Propulsion Craftsman View Resume

Nuclear Chief Macinist's Mate View Resume

National Distinguished Candidate Conference

Mark your calendar for our upcoming National Distinguished Candidate Conferences:

Houston, TX
March 2-3, 2015

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 2014, nearly 100 client companies strategically hired Orion’s Military Officers through our Distinguished Candidate Conferences, with over 40% 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: Denise Greenfield

From sunny Tampa, FL, to chilly Northern Norway to the deserts of the Middle East, Denise Greenfield has served her country in a variety of places as a Marine Corps Signals Intelligence Officer. Denise also has a varied educational background, with a degree from Virginia Tech in International Studies, a Master’s Degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Systems Engineering, and, most recently, a PhD in English Literature from the University of Southampton.
When it came time for Denise to transition out of the Marine Corps, she contacted Orion International and was happy to learn that they were holding their first Pittsburgh, PA, hiring conference (Denise’s preferred city) in a few months. At the conference, she interviewed with PNC. Soon after, she found herself at PNC headquarters, where she spent three hours interviewing with five different individuals. She was offered a job about a week later. “All in all, it was an exceptionally smooth process,” recalls Denise.
Denise is a Training Project Manager at PNC in the Leadership Institute and finds it very rewarding to have an impact on leadership development programs across the organization. She is part of a team that develops and improves the tools and resources that help leaders in the organization tap into the many ways they can enhance their skills, increase their knowledge, and, ultimately, shape their future.
“There is a very tactical element to the work I do on a daily basis, but there is also a strategic component in that we support the business needs and strategies of all segments of the bank through performance improvement and training intervention,” explains Denise, “As a member of the Leadership Institute, I get the benefit of interacting with all areas of the bank on major projects and initiatives that impact a single line of business or in many cases, multiple/major business segment(s) within that line of business. It is very rewarding to see how our relationship with corporate training partners ensures that an overarching strategy, philosophy and values are continually being met.”
Denise’s background in the Marine Corps prepared her more than she thought it would for her new career. “I am part of a high-performing team, just as I was throughout my Marine Corps career, and the skills I developed in the military allowed me to jump right into a new career and hit the ground running,” Denise says.  She goes on to tell us that the research and analytical skills she gained in the intelligence field have proven very useful, just as have more general, but extremely important, leadership skills.
Denise explains that PNC is a fantastic company that values its veteran employees: “It’s been really nice to be a part of an organization that recognizes talent, values diversity, promotes inclusivity, and understands the importance of having a good work-life balance.” Most recently, PNC won the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the US Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserves.
The bank also has a robust and very active Military Employee Business Resource Group (MEBRG) that works with deploying service members and their families. It also assists military members to successfully transition to the workforce by offering mentoring and onboarding services while encouraging employees to refer veterans for employment at PNC.
Denise is also enjoying working in a city where there is always a lot going on. “The building in which I work is close to the sporting venues so it’s easy to catch a hockey, baseball, and/or football game every once in a while!” she says.
We asked Denise what advice she has for hiring managers looking to recruit veterans. “I would (strongly) argue that military veterans possess a variety of valuable skills for which companies are actively searching: project management, leadership, complex problem solving, mission focus, accountability, discipline, teamwork, and performance in high-stress environments, to name but a few. These skills translate extremely well to fill the needs of Corporate America,” contends Denise.
Thank you, Denise, for sharing your transition experience, describing your career, and giving such great advice! Congratulations on your career. We are excited to see yet another veteran carving out a great civilian career and influencing change at her company.
Want to know more about how you can utilize Orion’s services to recruit talented veterans, click here. And don’t forget to check out our other Veteran Spotlights for even more inspiration.

According to Our Clients

“The level of candidates at the Baltimore DCC was spectacular, and the event was very well organized. We are very happy to say we are hiring Orion candidates already!” - Kristi Strang, Executive Assistant, TSSi

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!

Happy Holidays!

 Orion International would like to wish you and yours a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!

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. In addition, we have recently launched the Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet® for Veterans subgroup for all Veteran members who are interested in networking and learning about career opportunities.

• 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  and Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet for Veterans groups on LinkedIn

 Read Orion's Blog

Find us on Twitter



 Follow us on Google+