Or, Why Organizational Dysfunction Is Killing Companies

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In 2019, I left the security and comfort of a steady paycheck and joined my colleagues in a start up (Oplign) that has successfully created a fully integrated and relatable automated ‘labor data exchange’ (...think The Matrix for the labor market) that unlocks tremendous value for both sides of the labor curve and solves lots of labor-related problems — more on that later. As we began to sell our services, another endemic and systematic organizational problem became very evident. The more we interacted with companies, the more we saw that the support elements of a company (i.e. HR, legal, etc.) had incredibly too much control or influence within that organization. …

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

So much of our lives have been impacted by the rapid advancement and proliferation of Information Technology (IT). In fact, nearly everything in our day, at some point touches a digital network and is bounced off another. Everything from the traffic signal at roads intersections to our Netflix choice is nearly automated and integrated into a greater network. …

Oplign was founded by former US military Veterans who had been deeply involved in the defense services industry since 2005. That experience, frustration, and lessons learned spawned a labor optimization solution that solves the systematic flaws on how people interact in the labor market and how companies manage their labor.

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Our quest began in mid-2017 and we have been gaining traction ever since. Hear and read more about our journey below:


Veteran Administration’s Born the Battle #207

The Full Monty with Monty Heath #30

OnFire Ignites / The OnFire B2B Podcast #499


Oplign supports Ohio Virtual Job Fair

Olin alum’s startup redefines hiring for military vets

The Most Advanced Employment Alignment Engine in the World

Old Dominion University’s Take 5 Series

Contact Us for more information

Alex Calfee (alex@oplign.com) or Jeff Gibson (jeff@oplign.com)

Whether you’re a transitioning servicemember looking for that first job in the commercial market, or you’re an old hand at searching, finding and applying for jobs, you still meet the common enemy of all job searches — the ATS. They tell you ATS stands for “Application Tracking System,” but it really stands for “All the Stuff.” Mainly because you and everyone else just stuffs their resume in there, even if you’re not really qualified for the job. It is literally ‘Step 1’ when apply for a job at any company.

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On average a recruiter spends ten seconds screening a Stuff resume. That’s because the ATS is full of stuff, and the recruiter is measured on how much stuff they clean out of the ATS every day. So ya, that resume you spent four, eight, or endless hours wordsmithing to meet the requirements of that poorly written job description, got a seven second look and moved to the circular Stuff bin. …

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It’s safe to say that most companies truly understand the value that a Veteran can bring to their organization. Their unique experience, work ethic, and professionalism is most certainly noteworthy compared to their civilian colleagues. Many companies have even explicitly committed to significant Veteran hiring quotas such as AT&T did in 2016 when the announced their goal to hire 20,000 Veterans by end of 2020.

This level of enthusiasm is great but most companies don’t have a clue on how to hire Veterans or even where to find them. When the company leadership decides that it would like to grow it’s workforce with Veterans in general or specific disciplines, they hardly ever have a robust and comprehensive execution plan. …

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You’ve spent the last four to 25 years with a laser like focus on the mission. And whether that mission was breaking up the Haqqani network, or defeating the device, or getting the barracks ready for inspection — you understood it clearly. You were given an objective and resources, and then you made a detailed execution plan for making it happen. Furthermore, you were fully supported in completing this mission by everyone around you up and down the chain of command; and from all the voices on the other end of every comms channel. Everyone had a mission, and all those missions supported the overall mission the U.S Military has executed since 1776. The Mission is the purpose of the military, and the mission gave you purpose. …

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Despite all the effort and available resources today, transitioning military, military spouses, and Veterans still face a tremendous challenge in finding a job in the civilian market. The reasons are obvious and most can rattle off why — military skills translation to its civilian equivalent is lacking; there is a lack of awareness of civilian job opportunities; and well-intended but grossly misguided advice is everywhere.

However, no one is addressing the root cause of all these problems, which just happen to be the very same issue that the civilian labor market experiences as well. There is a fundamental and endemic problem with how labor demand (jobs) and labor supply (people) align for job seekers and employers. The problem stems from the overall archaic, chaotic, and analog nature of job searching where resumes and job descriptions tend to be the only currencies to match jobs with qualified applicants. Unfortunately, the problem is even more pronounced for a Veteran because of the cultural and vernacular divide between military and civilian ecosystems. Companies consistently fail to successfully recruit Veterans, transitioning military, and military spouses at an acceptable level even though that pool is deep and full of professional, talented, dedicated, and driven individuals with highly relevant and valuable skill sets. …


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