Military.com Discusses the State of the JMO Job Market with Orion Vice President of Officer Recruiting Brian Henry,
2011 Top Military Friendly Companies,
Job Seeker Success Story,
Where are they now? Herb Congdon,
2011 National Distinguished Candidate Conferences,
Orion’s Military Officer Transition Program & Upcoming Webinars,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Upcoming Base Visits,
Industry Spotlight: Transportation,
Featured Positions: Honeywell Recruiting Program,
According to your Peers,
Sales Opportunities Within Orion,
Earn $100 for Every Referral that Finds their Career through Orion,
Orion Launches Job Seeker Blog, From the Battlefield to the Boardroom,
Companies Recently Hiring,
Franchise Opportunities for Veterans,
Connect with Orion Online
Military.com Discusses the State of the JMO Job Market with Orion Vice President of Officer Recruiting Brian Henry
Military.com recently interviewed Brian Henry, Vice President of Officer Recruiting at Orion International, about the current state of the veteran job market. Henry, a former U.S. Marine Corps Major, spent 11 years as an infantry officer before joining Orion as an Account Executive. He then moved through the positions of Recruiter and Operations Manager before being promoted to VP. With upswings in industries such as manufacturing, logistics, energy, and oil and gas, among others, Henry says that Junior Military Officers (JMOs) are becoming increasingly sought after.
Henry offers some advice to these JMO job seekers. He reminds them to have an open mind and to look at an array of opportunities instead of focusing only on one type of position or industry. He also reminds job seekers that being geographically flexible can help broaden the scope of their opportunities, as well. “People who limit themselves often pass up on perfect opportunities,” says Henry.
In the article, Henry is asked about the programs Orion offers to transitioning JMOs. One of those programs, the “Long Way Out” program, is geared toward officers who have just begun to think about transition out of the military. The program involves a comprehensive curriculum that prepares them for the civilian world and helps refine their resume and interview skills. You can learn more about this program here.
One issue that JMO job seekers often run into is that their skills are often not easily translatable to a hiring manager. In fact, Henry says this is one of the biggest challenges transitioning officers face. “A lot of companies are looking at people who have done the exact job before -- with the transitioning military candidate, they may not have done that exact job before, but they'll probably have done something similar, and they'll bring a lot of potential. They already have a lot of well-honed leadership skills, and they'll bring the ability to learn rapidly, assimilate and grow,” explains Henry.
Not to fear, though, as one trend that Henry sees when dealing with hiring managers looking for JMOs as candidates is that a company will ask for specific things in a candidate but end up hiring a veteran who may not fulfill every qualification but rather has a great achievement profile and unlimited potential. A trend like this showcases why JMOs are a hot commodity in the nation’s fastest growing industries.
In creating this list, the following criteria were considered as indicators of a company being Military Friendly:
Existence of a formal company-wide initiative to hire military.
Internal company veterans’ affinity group.
A structured Leadership Development Program that actively includes military, or a stated recognition of the transferability of the military technical skillset to the civilian workforce.
A culture of inclusion.
Outreach and support to military members and their families.
Top 20 Military Friendly Companies - 2011
7-Eleven APi Group Dell Dollar General Entergy ExxonMobil General Electric Georgia-Pacific Honeywell Intuitive Surgical Kansas City Southern Railroad Kraft Foods Linde Gas PepsiCo Safeway Samsung Siemens Stryker Target Wal-Mart
We applaud each of these companies for their ongoing commitment to hiring and honoring our nation’s Military Veterans!
Job Seeker Success Story
Damon Rickenbacker, Facilities Manager California State University Northridge
I was a Navy Supply Officer and believe that the logistics training I received in the military was directly transferable into the civilian community. Every aspect of supply, warehouse management, understanding contracting, and accountability were all essential to the positions I held after separating from the military in 2006.
Orion recently helped me find my latest civilian position as a Facilities Manager with Warehouse Specialists. JP Sniffen, my Orion recruiter, was honorable and highly dedicated. From the moment JP and I had our initial meeting, I knew I was in good hands. He took time to examine my entire military career, my college background, and my personal preferences. His ability to identify my strengths and my weaknesses gave me an added confidence boost.
Once JP identified my type of work, industry, career path, and geographical preferences, I attended a two-part webinar. The webinars were a thorough brief on how to be successful during an interview and an overview of the companies that were hiring. Armed with this knowledge and a freshly reviewed resume, I then attended a hiring conference.
Every aspect of my new position utilizes all the skills that I needed to be a successful division officer in the supply community. The facility manager position calls for the ability to plan and then execute your plan, utilize partnerships, develop a team, have financial accountability, be adaptable, produce results, have good oral and written communication skills, have interpersonal skills with people of diverse backgrounds, and, lastly, to have the ability to LEAD.
Orion in my opinion has a leg up on its competition in 3 ways. First, the entire staff consists of men and woman that have served in the military and thus have intimate understanding of what have you gone through. This is critical because they can see through your eyes and help offer ways to make your transition to civilian life less stressful and more impactful professionally.
Secondly, Orion exists to make you better. Throughout your military career you learned a lot, you experienced pressure, and you overcame. Orion takes those traits that made you successful in the military and tweaks them to fit into a career that will be an ideal fit for you.
Third is the support Orion offers. Throughout my entire experience with Orion I was NEVER alone. Every step of the way I was partnered with someone in the organization that was able to answer my questions and give reliable guidance. My recruiter functioned as a mentor and a coach and was able to deliver the constructive feedback I needed to perform well during an interview.
I’d like to give a special thanks to JP for offering his council and mentorship throughout my Orion experience. I want to thank Shereen Ali for all of her administrative assistance. Finally I’d like to thank Isaac VanHoose for presenting me with a career opportunity that was a fit for my background and the means to obtain it.
Where are they now? Herb Congdon
In continued celebration of Orion’s 20th anniversary, this month we profile Herb Congdon, a former Navy Nuclear Submarine Program Officer placed with Siecor in 1991. Congdon was commissioned in the Navy following his graduation from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering degree. During his six years on Active Duty, he spent time on a fast attack submarine out of Charleston, SC, and Portsmouth, NH, and as a Squadron Operations Officer (shore tour) in Charleston, SC.
Congdon recalls that when it came time to resign his commission, he was attracted to Orion because of the fact that the company was owned and operated by JMOs that were very familiar with the issues he was facing. More importantly, though, they understood the value he could offer a company and how to best position him for a job opportunity. “The opportunities Orion presented me with were well-targeted, and I did not feel I was wasting my time with any of the interviews,” recalls Congdon.
Among those interviews was one with Siecor (now known as Corning Cable Systems). Congdon decided to start his civilian career with the company partly because of location, and partly because of the technology—at that time fiber optic communication was still in an early growth stage with a visibly approaching boom. Also, he liked the fact that Siecor targeted JMOs, so there were already several former officers rising through the ranks of the company.
Congdon felt that his military experience translated well into his position as a Process Engineer with Siecor. “The military career taught me a lot about myself –what I was capable of doing, how to take appropriate action, and how to be calm in a crisis. Further, it put a lot of other experiences before and after into perspective. It was, undoubtedly, a very high-stress environment. However, that made ’routinely’ stressful situations much easier to handle. Further, it strengthened my organizational skills, competency, and sense of responsibility. As I often say, I wouldn't recommend it to just any person, but I became a much stronger individual and performer for the experiences I survived!” says Congdon of his time in the Navy.
Congdon started out at Siecor as a Process Engineer, but felt he could better use his customer presence and presentation skills in a more customer-focused role. With this in mind, he took a position as an Application Engineer supporting the Japan market, a very demanding role which required several trips to Japan. Congdon’s success positioned him to be promoted to a supervisor role in applications engineering, which he feels was truly a great position that took advantage of his Navy-built leadership skills while letting him focus on the customers.
After eight years at Siecor, Congdon transitioned into a technical marketing role working for Tyco Electronics (now TE Connectivity), where he became "the" fiber guy. From that position, Congdon moved onto a global product management role and then back into technical marketing with global responsibilities. And while he does not conduct the actual hiring at TE Connectivity, he has had opportunity to conduct many interviews. Congdon has found those with military experience to be more mature, more responsible, and to possess a greater sense of initiative than candidates without military experience.
Congdon advises hiring managers to hire veterans. He also advises them that JMOs, in particular, are very aware of career paths and movement, so some time should be spent talking about how long they should expect to be in that role, what opportunities exist for advancement, and what kind of time frame is appropriate.
On the other side of the coin, Congdon advises veteran job seekers not to second guess their decision to separate and accept a civilian position. “Make the best decision you can at the time with the information you have and run with it,” he states, “You'll always learn something later that might have influenced your decision, but don't stew over it or you'll be miserable. You still made a good decision, so make the most of it.”
Congdon’s past success at Siecor and continued success at TE Connectivity is yet another testament to the value that veterans bring to civilian organizations. Stay tuned next month for another profile of an early Orion placement.
2011 National Distinguished Candidate Conferences
Are you preparing to exit the military and begin a civilian career? Do you think that your education, background, and military career distinguish you from your peers?
If so, you may be a candidate for Orion’s National Distinguished Candidate Conference (DCC). Orion only holds a few DCCs each year. The last 2011 DCC will be held in Chicago, IL, on July 18 - 19. There will be positions available nationwide, with a focus on Engineering, Sales, Leadership Development, and Operations Management.
Orion carefully selects candidates for our DCCs that exemplify the best Orion has to offer our client companies. We work hard to assemble a select group of the top JMOs from around the country.
Our distinguished candidates include:
• Graduates of Military Service Academies or Top Universities with a minimum GPA of 3.0; • Those with a masters degree or other advanced education; and • Those that have consistently ranked above their peers in Officer Evaluations.
Additionally, you should be available to start working within the next four months and be geographically flexible.
What do our clients have to say about the caliber of our candidates at the DCC? Read on...
"The success of the Distinguished Candidate Conference will allow me to lay the foundation for our Sales team in Texas.”
"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 our organization."
We are also pleased to annouce the creation of our Distinguished Officer Partnership Program, which provides qualified Officers the opportunity to get unmatched resume assistance and interview preparation, as well as access and maximum exposure to our best client companies at our DCC.
If you would like to be considered for one of the upcoming Orion DCCs or are interested in learning more about our Distinguished Officer Partnership Program, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application.
Orion’s Military Officer Transition Program & Upcoming Webinars
Whether you have two years or two weeks before you transition from Active Duty, there are many steps you can take prior to your separation date that will position you for success as you transition into the civilian workforce. Our Military Officer Transition Program is designed to put your preparation "things to do list" into a logical sequence that you can complete as you approach your separation. Our goal is to minimize the stress you may have about changing careers by giving you all the tools you need to be 100% ready to interview before you enter into the 90-day window leading up to your terminal leave.
You will receive a monthly email from us guiding you to a suggested webinar, reading, or activity for that month. These emails will be sent based on your Earliest Start Date in our records. If your timeline changes, be sure to let us know so we can update our records! Update your Earliest Start Date and other contact information by logging in here.
In addition, we’d like to invite you to register for our upcoming webinars:
Career Transition Seminar This webinar is designed to be one of your very first steps in preparing for your transition into the civilian workplace. Learn about current job market conditions, and the industries and positions in which transitioning Military Officers typically excel. Get tips and advice about your transition, steps you can take to make yourself most marketable, and the best timeline for finding your civilian career.
Resume Writing Seminar This webinar will cover all the basics of resume writing – why a resume is so important, what you should and shouldn’t include, how to write a resume that is easily understood by a civilian hiring manager, and much more.
Interview Preparation Seminar This webinar will cover all the basics of Interview Preparation – how and what you should prepare, do’s and don’ts during any interview, practical assignments to help guide you, and much more.
Please do not hesitate to call or email your recruiter at any time if you have questions or concerns about your transition. We are here to assist you in any way possible.
Upcoming Hiring Conferences
If you will be separating from the military and preparing to begin your civilian career within the next 90 days, be sure to attend one of our hiring conferences. After a full day of preparation, you’ll interview with hiring authorities for only those positions that are a match with your needs and preferences.
Click on any of the conference locations to request more information on the conference you’d like to attend!
When our Recruiters visit a location near you, it’s a chance to get a jump start on your career search, regardless of your ETS date. Our Recruiters will discuss your goals and preferences with you and present a realistic picture of what to expect in your search. You’ll get resume advice, interview preparation tips, and much more! Click here or on any of the base visits to receive more information about the base visit you are interested in attending.
A recent article by Adam Stone in Military Times Edge titled “Why transportation companies want vets” explores the demanding transportation industry and how it is well-suited for transitioning veterans, including Orion International alumna Kelly King. Stone turned to Tim Isacco, Vice President of Sales at Orion, to discuss this industry in relation to veterans. Isacco explained, “Transportation is one of the five hottest industries recruiting veterans right now.” One reason veterans fit so nicely into this industry is that transportation companies need technicians and logistical experts, which are readily found in the military community.
The railroad industry is one in particular where veterans flourish, in particular because of the demanding 24/7 environment. “Veterans who liked the rush of military operations tend to thrive in these jobs,” said Dave Ebbrecht, Executive Vice President of Operations at the Kansas City Southern Railway Company. And the former ranks of the veterans in this industry run the gamut. Enlisted technicians are sought after for their technical and craft skills, while Senior NCOs and Junior Military Officers are often placed in entry-level leadership positions.
Stone lists six qualities that veterans are wise to highlight in their resume when applying to a job in this field. Discipline and work ethic rank number one. “The rail industry is a tough industry,” Isacco told Stone, “You might have to be out in the railyard when it’s snowing at night, or when it’s raining at night, because the rail runs 24/7, just like the military.”
Attention to detail is next, followed by communication, and organization. Flexibility is another required quality. This quality is one in which Kelly King, a former Army Captain and recent Orion placement with Kansas City Southern Railway Company, revels. King, Director of International Rail Operations Support, deals with customer service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection issues. “On any given day, I can’t tell what I’m going to be doing. It’s a great thing. I enjoy that,” says King. Leadership experience is also required in this industry. In fact, Stone points out that transportation companies that recruit veterans understand the scope and relevance of their military leadership experience.
King also enjoys the tight-knit quality of this industry. “I’ve been able to get out in the field and meet conductors, engineers,” said King, “It’s funny, when they ask me how long I’ve been in the industry — anything less than 10 years, you’re still young.” As this industry continues to grow, as is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterans like King will continue to find challenging and satisfying careers.
Marin is originally from the state of Washington, and graduated from the University of Southern California. She was commissioned through NROTC with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Law and Society. She commissioned in 2003 and reported to the USS Bataan as a Surface Warfare Officer in Engineering. Marin then went on to serve on USS Bulkeley as the Training Officer, and then Destroyer Class Squadron staff as their training and readiness department head. When Marin left active duty in September 2010, she transitioned to the Reserves where she currently drills at Tactical Training Group Atlantic as an Air Defense Evaluator, and works with Commander Second Fleet Surface Warfare Enterprise and Career Transition Office.
Marin is happily married to Vince Jakawich and lives in Virginia Beach. Marin and Vince have twin 1-year-old girls, Michaela and Makenzie, and a four-month-old named Madelyn (Maddie).
If you could give just one piece of career advice to a transitioning military professional, what would it be?
Start the process early. You don’t realize how busy you are wrapping up loose ends at the end of your career with physicals, VA Benefits, turning over, and moving, if applicable. There’s never a better time to start looking for a job!
What do you like most about working at Orion?
I get to make things better than they were for me. I was a girl scout growing up, and that’s one of our mottos. As I got older, it turned into “if you’re going to complain, have a solution”. I thought the Navy’s transition program left something to be desired for Junior Officers, and, since I can’t change that, I came to a company that has a program where I can help Junior Officers months, if not years, before they get out. When the time comes, they’re ready to transition into a great new career.
What are you actively recruiting for at the moment?
I am currently recruiting JMOs for our Norfolk conference being held June 28 Equipment Engineers for Samsung Austin Semiconductor, and JMOs with experience in logistics and briefing senior officers, for a Management Specialist position in NJ.
Please share one interesting fact that you would like candidates to know.
I moved from Washington State to Incirilik, Turkey, to Torrejon, Spain, to Aviano, Italy, and then back to Washington when I was 10-14 and saw 30 countries before I was 18. All because my mom was a teacher in overseas military base schools.
"Brian Smith and Orion provided the best assistance in helping me find a civilian job as I transitioned out of the military. The hiring conferences, particularly the group practice interviews, were a huge help. Brian and other members of the Orion team were with me every step of the way from initial interviews all the way through accepting the offer. I highly recommend Orion to anyone transitioning out of the military seeking a job in corporate America." - Scarlett Collins, Process Engineer and Buyer
“Being a Platoon Sergeant in the US Army gave me the confidence, leadership skills, and problem solving abilities that have allowed me to be successful in my career after the military. I am now an Operations Manager with Koch Industries at KCBX Terminal in Chicago, IL. This position parallels my Platoon Sergeant role in that I lead a group of workers to fulfill daily plans using large equipment. There is also a chain of command within the crews that resembles that of an Army platoon. The communication skills that I used in the US Army directly apply to my new role on a day-to-day basis.
Todd Phillips, my Orion recruiter, did an excellent job of matching my skills and preferences with employers. All of the opportunities presented to me matched my interests and abilities. The entire staff was very courteous and communicated with me often throughout the entire process. Orion made my career search very easy and smooth. I am very satisfied with my new career.” – Shaun Willis, Operations Manager
“I retired in October 2010 and was working at the Port of Seattle temporarily while I sought more suitable employment. While there, a fellow Navy veteran encouraged me to contact Orion. Previously, I served in the US Navy for 21 years and was initially trained as a helicopter pilot but served in many roles throughout the aviation community. My military background gave me a broad understanding and familiarity with leadership, management, and the technical skills required to work in the aerospace industry.
My Orion recruiter was JP Sniffen. JP did an outstanding job of connecting me with several opportunities. Additionally, he gave me advice on how to prepare and respond to interviewer questions. Dave Bakkeby also did great work in preparing me for interviews with my eventual employer. All staff members of Orion were helpful and very good at instructing candidates. Thanks to JP and Dave, I have been hired by RLG international as a Project Manager/Leadership Coach and will be consulting at Boeing on the 747-8 program. Orion is the only military recruiting firm I will recommend!” - Dom Gaudin, Project Manager/Leadership Coach
"Brian Smith helped me throughout the April Orion International Hiring Conference in Raleigh. During the conference, he was always available to provide good advice and insight into the companies at the conference. After the conference, he conducted a thorough follow-up and stayed in contact with me providing me with updates on the hiring process.
I got an offer from a company I really liked, and I can attribute a lot of my hiring success to Brian and the other folks at Orion. Thanks so much!" - Christopher Boyd,Process Engineer and Buyer
“I was a Captain in the Engineer branch for the US Army, and my military background in construction management directly correlates with my new career as a Project Engineer with Clark Construction Group. There are many parallels when it comes to construction management and project management. The most common parallel is the ability to exercise leadership to actively guide the projects and group of people.
My Orion recruiter was JP Sniffen. He treated me very professionally and listened and cared about placing me in a job that suited me well. He wanted me to be comfortable with my new career. Orion was 100 times better than other recruiting agencies. While working with Orion, I was also working with another firm that gave me the impression that they just wanted to stick me into any job just so they could collect a commission.
Working with Orion was overall the best experience hands down. I would definitely recommend Orion to any departing officer for their sheer level of professionalism and dedication to finding the service member a career that actually fits them and their capabilities.” - Miguel Uc, Project Engineer
“Todd Phillips was great. He represented me very well and took the time to learn what I wanted in order to set me up with the best opportunities possible.” - Bradley Delaney, Maintenance Specialist
“Todd Phillips was my Orion recruiter. I felt like I was treated well by Todd and that he advocated on my behalf. Todd assured that I did not accept just any position just because it was offered. He made sure I was prepared for every interview and assisted me with how to handle any offers or negotiations and what to do after I started my new position.
I attended a hiring conference in January 2011 and had seven first interviews. From those interviews, I had four second interviews and was tendered an offer from those. I did not accept the offer, however, and attended another hiring conference in March. At that conference I had seven more first interviews, two second interviews, and was tendered the offer that I accepted. Orion personnel reviewed the offer with me and shared their guidance and valuable input.
Orion is head and shoulders above the competition and was more assertive with contacting me about opportunities. They were able to match me with opportunities that matched my career goals. I had a very good experience in my job search with Orion. The hiring conferences were very organized, and the recruiters were very professional and assertive with companies, as well as candid and honest. I have been referring several people that served in the military to Orion to pursue career opportunities.” – Norman Tidmore, Shift Supervisor
Sales Opportunities Within Orion
Orion International is currently seeking transitioning or former military officers with a strong record of achievement to join our Sales Team as an Account Executive. We are hiring for our San Diego, CA, and Raleigh, NC, offices.
As an Account Executive, you will be responsible for creating relationships with America’s leading companies through development of leads lists, business development calls, and client presentations. The work you do will help fellow veterans transition into the civilian workforce.
To qualify, you should have military experience, a Bachelors degree, and previous sales experience or a desire to succeed in sales. Click here to learn more about joining the Orion team.
Earn $100 for Every Referral that Finds their Career through Orion
Did you know that Orion candidates have already earned $1500 in referral bonuses in 2011?
For every job seeker you refer to us who is subsequently placed by Orion, we will give you a $100 gift card to a retailer of your choice!
30 seconds of your time could be $100 in your pocket!
From the Battlefield to the Boardroom, Orion's Job Seeker Blog
Orion International is pleased to announce the launch of our new job seeker blog, From the Battlefield to the Boardroom®! From the Battlefield to the Boardroom® is dedicated to supporting military job seekers throughout their transition process by providing everything from topical veteran news, Orion news and services, job search advice, Recruiter Spotlights, Veteran Spotlights, etc. Whether you are currently in the process of transitioning out of the military or have been in the civilian workforce for a while, this blog is for you. We hope that you will find our blog to be a great resource for all things transition! Check it out!
Making LinkedIn Work for You: A recent blog post by Sue Shellenbarger on The Juggle, one of The Wall Street Journal blogs, titled “Making LinkedIn Work for You,” lists some interesting tips on making the professional networking platform effectively function for job seekers. Orion's own Officer Recruiter JP Sniffen was quoted in the article. Read More
Hiring Heroes Act of 2011: Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011 on May 12, 2011. According to a fact sheetreleased by Senator Murray, the legislation aims to help veterans successfully transition to the civilian workforce despite the fact that many veterans are finding it difficult to do just that. Read More
Companies Recently Hiring
CB Richard Ellis
GE Aircraft Engines
Kansas City Southern
Franchise Opportunities for Veterans
Are you interested in owning your own residential or commercial service business?
If you like the idea of being in business for yourself, but not by yourself, owning a franchise may be the career for you! Being a business owner allows you freedom and flexibility, while providing a great challenge. A benefit of owning a franchise is that you have an established and respected corporate brand behind you, as well as support of the franchise company, providing for a smoother startup phase and continued assistance and training.
Orion is currently hiring for nationwide franchise ownership opportunities. There are 6 different franchises to chose from, all in residential or commercial services. Our client has been ranked among The Best Places to Work in Texas for 2 years in a row, is one of the most respected franchise companies in the U.S., and will provide franchise owners with all training to successfully start-up and run their own business.
As with any franchise opportunity, the franchisee will need a capital investment (at least $25k); and must have the ability to obtain financing for the remainder of the franchise. If you would like to own your business and want to learn more about this opportunity, please email Bob Berkholz, or call him at (800) 336-7466 x 415.