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The Sword - August 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011
Why Military Veterans Make Great Employees,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Managing People You Can't See,
Meet Our Candidates,
Why American Management Rules the World,
According to Our Clients,
Connect with Orion 
Why Military Veterans Make Great Employees

In his recent OpEd on titled “Why military veterans make great employees”, Rye Barcott, a former Marine Corps Officer, explores how the current employment rate for veterans, which is higher than the national average, is counterintuitive when considering veterans’ vast skills. He discusses this topic in the context of the recent Los Angeles area military job fair attended by Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on July 10.

Barcott points out the irony of the fact that while the military “equips most men and women with skills that translate well into private, public and nonprofit sector careers”, veterans are among the most unemployed. He explains that the military is an empowering place and illustrates this by describing what he calls the "strategic corporal." Strategic corporals are the lowest-ranking noncommissioned officers and are generally in their early 20s, yet they are often in positions of heavy leadership in command of small teams. These corporals have been equipped by the Marine Corps to make quick decisions in high-stakes situations. Because of this, Barcott points out that employers should realize that veterans are often far more effective in stressful situations than their civilian counterparts.

The question is begged, then, why the high unemployment rate? Barcott posits that it is because less than 1% of the population serves, and, therefore, few hiring managers truly understand a veteran’s value to their company. And while hiring veterans does have a goodwill aspect to it for the hiring company, Barcott reminds us that “hiring veterans is not a matter of charity. For those organizations looking to excel in the world, it is pure, enlightened self-interest.” In addition to building teams and getting results, service members have been called “force multipliers” by Colin Powell, and what better employee to have than one that brings these skills to your company.

Click here to read the OpEd.

Upcoming Hiring Conferences

Baltimore, MD

Fishkill, NY

Norfolk, VA

August 22

September 19

October 10



Atlanta, GA

Raleigh, NC

Atlanta, GA


 August 8

September 19

October 24


Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

August 29

October 17


South Central  

Houston, TX

Dallas, TX


August 15

October 10


San Diego, CA

Seattle, WA

San Diego, CA

August 22

September 19

October 10

Managing People You Can’t See

Employees who work remotely comprise an ever increasing percentage of the workforce. For this reason, it is important to acknowledge the challenges that come with managing this type of employee. Here are 8 tips for managing, and working with, remote teams.

1. Identify and Acknowledge Discomfort. No matter which management style you have, you are going to have some level of discomfort with managing people you can’t see. Figure out what your management style is and then identify what challenges you would face while managing someone remotely. Explore tactics and skills you can use to overcome those challenges.

2. Evaluate Remote Work Requests Objectively. Remote work requests should be handled much like any other work decision.  Use the following factors to evaluate each request.

 • Needs of business
 • Nature of position
 • Individual work style
 • Department restrictions/limitations
 • Individual performance

3. Say either “Yes and…’ or “No, and…” Always give a reason for your decision.  If you said no explain why you would not be comfortable with an employee working remotely. If you said yes, explain any concerns you might have and establish ground rules.

4. Agree Upon and Document Team Values. Create a team document that outlines a certain set of behaviors that everybody on the team agrees on. Review and update this document every 6 months.

5. Harness Technology. There are many technical resources out there that allow remote teams to work together. Discuss with your team their preference and decide on the best plan for your team.

6. Set Goals and Track Performance. Make sure you clearly communicate deadlines and projects. Everyone should know who is responsible for completing each part of the project.

7. Communicate Deliberately.  Body language can tell us so much during a conversation, and it can be more difficult to communicate clearly when we can’t see someone. Say only what is meant and leave no room for interpretation.

8. Build a Strong, Cohesive Team. Promoting teamwork will build a sense of community among remote teams.

Click here for original article.

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.


Engineer / Logistics Officer with MBA View Resume

Quality Assurance Inspector /  Work Center Supervisor View Resume

#1 Rated Platoon Officer with Masters Degree View Resume

Nuclear Mechanic View Resume

Operations Manager; USNA Graduate with MS in Mechanical Engineering View Resume

Experienced Industrial Electrician with BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology View Resume


Why American Management Rules the World

Over the past 10 years a team comprised of experts from Harvard Business School, London School of Economics, McKinsey & Company, and Stanford University, has systematically surveyed global management as related to organizational performance. The survey found that organizations with better management outperformed their competitors who were poorly managed.  They grow faster and survive longer.  More importantly, when it comes to overall management, American firms outperform all others, especially in the manufacturing, retail and healthcare sectors.

One of the reasons determined to comprise the “secret sauce of management success”, is the fact that U.S. firms are “ruthless at rapidly rewarding and promoting good employees and retraining or firing bad employees.” There are 3 main reasons for this trend.

1. With the tough levels of competition within the U.S., the markets generate the type of rapid management evolution which allows only the best-managed firms to survive.
2. America traditionally gets far more of its population into college than other nations.
3. The U.S. has more flexible labor markets, and it is easier to hire and fire employees than in other countries.

However, the U.S. should not be complacent, as other countries are just as good as or better than the U.S. in some of the other areas of management studied, including careful monitoring, lean production, and sensible targets. Germany’s manufacturing expertise has helped it weather the recent downturn and although Chinese management practices are well below U.S. standards, they showed the fastest improvement since 2006 of any country studied by the researchers.

The lesson of this study is not that firms should strive to be ‘more American’ but to consider implementing some of the practices which positively correlate to organizational performance.

Click here for original article.

According to Our Clients

“We needed to tap into the veteran job market to access their mechanical and electrical skills. Dave and Orion proved to be the fastest way to get connected with pre-qualified military talent. He helped us close and all candidates accepted our offers thanks to him.” Jeff Gill, Director of Talent Management, Valerus

Connect with Orion

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

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

• Secondly, 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.

• Finally, 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!

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