The Sword - October 2015

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Robert Nardelli Shares Veteran Hiring Advice

Robert Nardelli, Founder, Chairman & CEO at XLR-8, penned some very sage advice recently as part of LinkedIn's Pulse series #HowIHire. Having served as CEO of GE Transportation, GE Power Systems, The Home Depot, and Chrysler, Nardelli is well-positioned to offer advice on how to build a winning team. Titled Bring Your Inner Child to the Job Interview, Nardelli shares what he looks for in job candidates, which proves to be very useful insight for job seekers and hiring managers. As the title states, he looks for a childlike curiosity or for candidates that "exhibit passion and enthusiasm for work... folks who are willing to learn and grow both horizontally and vertically within the business."

In addition to his desire to hire eager, enthusiastic people to his team, he also looks for team leaders. And it's in veterans that he's found this latter quality. At GE, Nardelli championed initiatives like the Junior Military Officer (JMO) Leadership Program and continued with similar programs at The Home Depot and Chrysler.

"I turned to veterans, whose leadership skills on the battlefield translate quite well into the battles of the boardroom. Their passion and commitment to the job, their cultural sensitivities, and their ability to work as a team have never let me down," writes Nardelli.

And while some veterans may lack industry experience, Nardelli explains that he views their hiring as an investment as opposed to an expense. So, while hiring manager should see it as an investment, veteran job candidates should show that they're worth that investment!

Nardelli recalls that he, like many business leaders, started at the bottom, but arrived at his initial interviews with "energy and knowledge that demonstrated they were well prepared for the challenges ahead." Companies hiring veterans already know about their tangible skills, but shouldn't necessarily always hire for those skills alone when looking for future leaders. Nardelli's advice to seek open-minded and keen candidates can lead to a strong team that gets the job done.

Hiring veterans is a smart move, but one that must be done with the proper onboarding and guidance for non-military hiring managers. Thousands of companies have turned to Orion International over the past 24 years for just this type of support, many of whom have developed a Military Talent Program with Orion. These programs address all phases of the process, from sourcing, candidate attraction and recruiting, through on-boarding, integration, and retention. Companies like Siemens, Honeywell, SpaceX, and Honda are growing the number of veterans in their ranks while increasing their bottom line.

Learn more about what a Military Talent Program can do for your company

SmartCCM Think Tank on Veteran Hiring Explores Military Hiring Strategies

Steve Casey, Sr. Partner and Vice President, Strategic Programs at Orion International, recently participated in an innovative think tank hosted by SmartCCM designed to explore best practices in hiring veterans, particularly in the healthcare industry. SmartCCM is a chronic care management company that communicates with patients on behalf of their doctor between visits to provide more consistent and better quality care that improves patient outcomes. In an effort to be the leader in the U.S. in hiring hundreds of Veterans in a new niche in the healthcare industry, the company hosted the SmartCCM Think Tank on Veteran Hiring.

Held in July 2015 in Dallas, TX, the event brought together a variety of people from different veteran backgrounds and non-profit organizations. The event also hosted two Dallas Cowboy Super Bowl players for another perspective on transitions in life, etc. There were a number of company representatives, partner firms, entrepreneurs, etc., in the audience.

SmartCCM conducted the think tank to highlight the need to create a dedicated process to hire, train, and onboard veterans. The panel’s overall themes included the ideas that:

  • Veterans are excellent target for SCCM staff
  • Most veterans have extensive medical field training
  • Veterans will relate well to seniors (may have chronic conditions themselves)
  • Veterans will embrace the mission (a sense of duty, service to others)
  • Veterans are internally motivated
  • Veterans aspire to meet and exceed expectations


Additionally, the panel discussed retaining veterans once they are hired, a subject many companies neglect in developing a military hiring strategy. Their conclusions were that the most critical time is first three months, and that veterans need a path to grow and ultimately advance in the hierarchy. The company will be publishing the results of the panel to various sources.

SCCM is a great example of a company striving to develop the best military recruiting program they can by calling in the experts. Many companies that have not done their research may have no idea how veterans can relate to Corporate America or the real strengths they bring to organizations. This worthwhile event introduced veterans as the quality civilian employees they are, and Orion was proud to be a part of this innovative panel.

National Distinguished Candidate Conference

National Distinguished Candidates

Mark your calendar for our upcoming National Distinguished Candidate Conference:

October 26-27, 2015, in Chicago, IL

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 Conference is 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:

  • This event 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 the event 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 2015 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

The Distinguished Candidate Conference enables 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.

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.




South Central


According to Our Clients


"Orion International has been a continuous source of highly qualified candidates with strong backgrounds and interpersonal skills, and these candidates have really excelled in our organization overall." - Sean Whitehouse, Manager, Kurt Salmon Associates

Meet Our Candidates

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 Manager with a Masters Degree View Resume

Communications Officer; USMA Graduate View Resume

Senior LAN Network Administrator with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Systems View Resume

Nuclear Electronics Technician with Associate's Degree in Electronics Technology View Resume

Aviation Electrician View Resume

Information Systems Electronics Technician View Resume

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 hire, 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!

Connect with Orion

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