The Sword - February 2017

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Be Like Phillips 66: Here's How They Hire Veterans

Companies looking to position themselves as an Employer of Choice among transitioning service members may not know where to start. Just posting your jobs on a few veterans jobs sites, or saying that you want to hire veterans is not enough. Luckily, as the national interest in Veteran hiring continues to skyrocket, there are many companies who have robust Veteran hiring programs which illustrate best practices.

Phillips 66, an Orion Featured Employer, is one such company. Companies aspiring to be viewed as "Military Friendly" should study their Military Talent Program and leverage the same innovative techniques. Phillips 66 split from ConocoPhillips in 2012, and as a new company, was faced with the task of putting many new processes into place, including Veteran hiring.

In March 2015, Jonathan Rosenberg - Manager of Development, Talent Planning & Acquisition for Phillips 66, presented on this very topic at Orion's National Distinguished Candidate Conference in Houston, TX. Titled "Best Practices in Military Hiring," Rosenberg explained why he feels veterans are a good match for their company and, most importantly, how the company went about recruiting them.

Phillips 66's values of "Safety, Honor, and Commitment" tie in with the values of the military and made for a natural lead in to hiring veterans. Rosenberg also explains that hiring military has helped Phillips 66 bring a wide variety of people on board with a diversity of thought.

So what blueprint led to the success of the Phillips 66 program, as evidenced by the fact that 25% of hourly workforce hires in Phillips 66's Refining business are veterans? Here are five of the key elements of their military recruiting program.

1. Senior Leader Commitment and Internal Champions - Phillips 66's interest in hiring veterans came from the top down, with Executives in the company taking interest and encouraging the hiring of veterans. Phillips 66 also had champions working within their refineries following up the recruiting progress. Having Hiring Managers on board is often not enough to provide the needed momentum for a sustained military recruiting program.

2. Corporate Philanthropy - Phillips 66 supports many veterans groups including, being a Chairman's Circle member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes and sponsoring the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University. They list these affiliations on their website as tangible examples of their dedication.

3. Military Recruiting Firms - Phillips 66 partnered with Orion in order to scale up their veteran hiring and for the expertise a military recruiting firm brings to the process of matching veterans with civilian jobs while educating civilian companies on how to best implement a Military Talent Program.

4. Veteran-Friendly Careers websites - Both through Orion and on their website, Phillips 66 clearly communicates why they value veterans, spotlights successful veterans within the company and makes finding open positions that match a specific MOS/MOC easy. Job seekers can view videos welcoming veterans from an SVP and of veterans in action at Phillips 66. Veteran testimonials can be throughout the websites. Even though the testimonials may not be from a personal friend, hearing about the company from a fellow veteran lends credibility to the company's claim to value veterans and provides social proof, as well as illustrates how military skills may translate to the particular careers available. Learn more about how to make a veteran-friendly website here.

5. Phillips 66 Employee Veterans Group - This group provides a way for veterans within the company to network. But this element has also been key in hiring veterans. Veterans already at Phillips 66 help bridge the gap between military candidates and civilian hiring managers, by helping go over a resume and explain what it all means or being present for military hiring events. Rosenberg explains in his talk that this was perhaps one of the most important parts of their hiring strategy.

Phillips 66 has developed a great system for getting veterans in the door. They have made their available careers accessible and attractive to veterans through veteran-friendly branding and websites and have done so in a thoughtful way. Orion is proud to have worked with Phillips 66 to bring 130+ veterans on board. And while every company needs to create its own unique military recruiting program based on their needs and goals, Phillips 66's strategy is an excellent case study in what to do right.

Why Variable Workforce Staffing Works

Veterans are an outstanding source of proven and dependable talent for temporary, seasonal or project work, without adding to permanent headcount. Companies who utilize this talent through Variable Staffing also enjoy budget flexibility when paying recruiting fees is not an option, or when there's not a funded permanent position. They also maximize their return on investment on operational and technical talent, while lowering their risk and overhead cost. Variable Staffing allows companies to effectively staff a Variable Workforce, or evaluate candidates over a period of time before extending a permanent employment offer.

Variable Workforce Staffing is great fit for companies looking to fill positions like Equipment Operators, Production and Operations Supervisors, Roustabouts, Assembly Line Workers, Field Service Technicians and Engineers, Test and Manufacturing Technicians, as well as Quality and Project Engineers.

Military Veterans are uniquely qualified for these positions, as they possess mechanical aptitude and a wealth of intangibles, such as outstanding work ethic, self-discipline, eagerness to excel, and proven performance under the most difficult of circumstances. They are focused on safety, physically fit, and are accustomed to working long shifts and in adverse conditions.

When deciding to use Variable Workforce Staffing for temp-to-perm and contract recruiting needs, employers should consider look for companies that offer the following services:

  • Recruitment of top military talent
  • Background checks, drug testing and employment verification
  • Serve as the Employer of Record
  • EEO Compliance
  • Smooth and efficient payroll / benefits administration
  • Liability / Workers Compensation coverage
  • Legal & HR Compliance Assurance

Companies looking for a scalable staffing model that doesn't add to overhead but provides outstanding military talent should consider adding this type of staffing to their recruiting methods. Click here to learn more about how your company can benefit from Variable Workforce Staffing.

National Distinguished Candidate Conferences

National Distinguished Candidates

Mark your calendar for our upcoming National Distinguished Candidate Conferences:

March 6-7, 2017 in Dallas, TX 

May 1-2, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA

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 2016, nearly 175 client companies interviewed Orion's Military Officers at our Distinguished Candidate Conferences. 

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

Our 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

Military Job Seekers

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.


Portland, OR February 13, 2017

San Diego March 6, 2017

Seattle, WA March 24, 2017


Philadelphia, PA February 13, 2017

Virginia Beach, VA February 27, 2017

Providence, RI March 13, 2017

Norfolk, VA March 20, 2017

South Central

Houston, TX February 13, 2017 (Technician Event) 

Dallas, TX March 6, 2017 (Technician Event) 

Dallas, TX March 6-7, 2017 (Distinguished Candidate Conference) 


Jacksonville, FL February 21, 2017

Atlanta, GA March 28, 2017


Detroit, MI February 27, 2017

According to Our Clients

"I wanted to take a moment to thank Orion for all the help in filling the open positions I had. I have three Orion candidates that I personally hired, and was involved in hiring a few more for other positions. All are now in place and are excelling in their new positions. The structure and character that these guys have is a real plus and seems to rub off on the others around them. It makes me feel good that we are supporting the Military. I will make sure to contact Orion for any future employment needs. Thank you!" - PPO Manager, CBRE 

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.

Marine Corps Intelligence Officer View Resume

Navy Aviation Electronics Technician View Resume

Army Executive Officer View Resume

Marine Corps Avionics Technician View Resume

USMC Electronics Technician View Resume

Marine Corps Pilot Pursuing a Master's Degree 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?