In This Issue:
Institute for Veteran and Military Families Publishes a Business Case for Hiring Veterans,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Memorial Day - Remembering our Fallen Heroes,
Meet Our Candidates,
Low-Cost Ways to Show Employees They're Appreciated,
National Distinguished Candidate Conference,
According to Our Clients,
Connect With Orion
Institute for Veteran and Military Families Publishes a Business Case for Hiring Veterans
Navy Captain Brad Cooper, Executive Director of Joining Forces, a national initiative to mobilize employment, educational, and wellness opportunities for military veterans and their families, recently blogged about a Syracuse University Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF) study that he refers to as “extraordinary”. Captain Cooper goes on to say that the study, entitled The Business Case for Hiring a Veteran: Beyond the Clichés, “confirmed what many of us already knew – hiring America’s veterans makes great sense and is a terrific investment for any company in America.”
The report goes far beyond just stating that veterans embody a certain list of values desirable to employers. Instead, it takes academic research that strongly links characteristics generally found in the veteran population to enhanced leadership and organizational performance. Below are the research-based characteristics that the IVMF concluded make veterans a very valuable asset to an organization:
• Veterans are entrepreneurial: The same attributes evident in successful innovators are generally characteristic of military service members and veterans. • Veterans assume high levels of trust: Military service experience brings about a strong inclination toward an inherent trust and faith in co-workers. • Veterans are adept at skills transfer across contexts/tasks: Military training often includes contingency and scenario-based instruction, so veterans develop an ability to transfer knowledge/skills between tasks and situations. • Veterans have [and leverage] advanced technical training: During their service, most veterans were exposed to more highly advanced technology and training in relation to their age group peers without military experience. • Veterans are comfortable/adept in discontinuous environments: Both contemporary business environments and the military environment can be dynamic and uncertain, and the ability to make decisions under these circumstances is a skill veterans have developed. • Veterans exhibit high-levels of resiliency: Adapting despite adversity is a hallmark of military behavior; and this ability is important in a variety of business environments where initial failure is likely, such as in product development, sales, and the high tech industry. • Veterans exhibit advanced team-building skills: Veterans must effectively integrate and contribute to a new or existing team by virtue of the demands of their military service. This team-building transfers directly to the civilian workplace where veterans are found to enable high-performing teams better than their civilian counterparts. • Veterans exhibit strong organization commitment: The IVMF study explains that “military experience engenders a strong linkage between the individual and the organization.” For a civilian employer, this link can reduce attrition and will be reflected in the end product. • Veterans have [and leverage] cross-cultural experiences: Veterans have had to operate across cultures and boundaries and in turn have learned to be more cross-cultural, which is a distinct advantage in a global workplace. • Veterans have experience/skill in diverse work-settings: Research indicates that our volunteer military represents a heterogeneous workforce with a variety of backgrounds, education, etc. This diversity lends itself to a natural acceptance of individual differences in workplaces.
This study comes at a time when the government is espousing employment through various programs, most significantly Joining Forces, and employers across the nation are recognizing the value of veterans and hiring them in record numbers. In fact, according to a CNNMoney article by Aaron Smith, the jobless rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is now 7.6%, down dramatically from the previous year’s percentage of 12.5% and less than the overall US unemployment rate of 8.3%. The results of the IMVF study above delve deeper into the multitude of reasons to hire veterans and go far beyond the generalities that, while true, do little to put veterans’ skills in their proper context.
While you’re enjoying those cookouts, trips to the beach, and relaxing with your family and friends, take the time to remember the history and significance of Memorial Day, observed this year on May 28. Formerly known as Decoration Day, the holiday originated after the Civil War to commemorate fallen Union soldiers. By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was extended to honor and remember all Americans who have died in all wars. Today, Memorial Day is a day for remembering those American men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
The first known observance of Memorial Day was in Charleston, SC on May 1, 1865. During the war, at least 257 Union soldiers were held as prisoners of war at the Charleston Race Course, where they died and were buried in unmarked graves. Freed slaves knew of the Union decreased, and together with teachers and missionaries, organized a May Day ceremony to honor those Union soldiers. It came to be called First Decoration Day, with nearly ten thousand people participating in the event.
The holiday did not garner much attention until General John A. Logan, commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization for Northern Civil War Veterans, issued a proclamation that Decoration Day should be observed nationwide. It was observed nationally for the first time on May 30, 1868, with Michigan the first state to declare Decoration Day a national holiday, and every state followed suit soon after.
The preferred name Memorial Day did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by law until 1967. Today, many people observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Another tradition is to fly the US flag at half-staff from dawn until noon, local time. A national moment of remembrance also takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. American flags are placed on grave sites by national cemeteries, and many towns and cities hold parades across the country, featuring a predominately military theme.
Take a moment this Memorial Day weekend holiday to commemorate those who valiantly and selflessly fought and died for this country.
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.
National Guard Captain with a Master's Degree View Resume
Experienced Retail Manager; Former #1 Rated Officer View Resume
Low-Cost Ways to Show Employees They're Appreciated
The biggest concern among most employers is retention -- but how can you and your company make that happen? FastCompany.com offers 20 affordable ways to show employees that they are valued, helping to maintain your organization's retention rate.
1. Flex time. Allow your employees a way to accommodate for personal matters, like doctor’s appointments. 2. Innovation days. Get your employees thinking creatively by setting aside a few days a year to address projects related to their workspace and the way they work. 3. Monthly commuter benefits. In cities where mass transit is used, offer tax-free transit programs, like TransitChek or Commuter Check, which also saves your company money in payroll taxes. 4. Fully stocked kitchen. Keep your employees hydrated and satisfied with free coffee, soda, and even snacks during work hours. 5. Wellness benefits. Employees can receive reimbursement for items related to fitness and well-being, including gym memberships, athletic equipment, etc. 6. Free lunch. Occasionally order in for your employees to encourage community and give them a break from packed lunches. 7. Canine colleagues. Invite some (house-trained) canine visitors to boost morale for the dog-lovers in your office. 8. Parental leave. The U.S. has one of the weakest paid family-leave benefits of any country. Set your company apart by making sure all employees are eligible for paid time off after a life event, such as the birth of a child. 9. No dress code. Create a relaxed work environment and leave the ties and business suits at home. 10. Summer hours. Allow employees to leave early on Fridays, giving them a head start on their weekend as well as the traffic. 11. Optional telecommuting. In our ever-expanding mobile and digitally connected world, it is becoming increasingly easier for employees to work from home successfully. Allow for employees to work either full or part-time from home. 12. Flexibility in paid time off. Allow employees to choose when to use their paid time off (vacation, sick or personal time) to meet the needs of their individual situations. 13. A culture of work/life balance. Create an environment where your employees know it really is okay to leave the office before 8:00 p.m. 14. Perks for part-time employees. Many companies forget about their part-time employees – provide them with perks and rewards and you will get full-time productivity. 15. Cultural extras. Reward your employees with gifts like concert or movie tickets, passes to sporting events, or even gift cards to restaurants to keep the workplace exciting. 16. Sabbaticals. Don’t forget those long-term employees – offer month-long sabbaticals after five or ten years of service. 17. Employee referral programs. Your best employees are usually hired through referrals. Offer a cash bonus to those who refer a potential employee who is hired. 18. Green initiatives. Offer preferred parking or subsidies for those employees who purchase and drive a hybrid vehicle. 19. Tuition forgiveness. For those hard-to-fill positions, offer to pay a percentage of tuition owed, per year of employment. 20. Paid time off to volunteer. Help your employees give back to the community easier by offering a specific amount of time to volunteer.
Incorporating creative benefits such as those above will help your company attract top talent, decrease expensive voluntary turnover, and ensure that your employees will retain their positions happily. Has your company enacted any of the above perks? What other ways can your company show employees they are appreciated?
Mark your calendar for our upcoming National Distinguished Candidate Conference
San Diego, CA June 4-5
The Distinguished Candidate Conference, unlike any other Military Hiring Conference of the year, brings you the very best Military Officer candidates that we have identified throughout the past year. We invite only the top 10% of Officers within our candidate pool, and you will not find this quality of candidate at any other hiring event.
The results of a recent Distinguished Candidate Conference speak for themselves –
• More than 60% of attending companies choose to pursue 4 or more of the candidates interviewed
• 96% selected at least one candidate for a final interview
• According to a client that hired 50% of the JMOs they interviewed:
"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 my organization."