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Who is Oplign?

Veteran Employment Revolution: Who Is Oplign?

There are four owners of Oplign, all veterans who had never worked together but were in the same industry. They like to say the word frenemies was designed for the government services. One day you are competing, chasing a big government contract, and the next day you are teammates. “The four of us had never worked together, but we always dealt with the same problem.” says Brian, co-founder of Oplign. “As a senior leader, I needed to get the right people to the right place at the right time, and so did they.”

Brian and the team at Oplign don’t want to bad-mouth HR (Human Resources), but understanding SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) is essential to understand the enormity of Oplign’s impact on the job market. “If you are connected in any way to HR, SHRM is your bible.” According to SHRM, 92% of people who visit a website intending to apply for a job will abandon the website because they find the process for applying too difficult. “Traditional HR systems want you to upload your resume, then chop up your resume and put one or two sentences at each one of these forty or fifty cells here and there, and then, oh by the way, join my talent community, and then, and then… it just doesn’t work.” Brian explains. The Oplign Founders had tossed around the basic principles of Oplign a few years back but, back then, “a supercomputer would have been needed to develop and run the software.” he explains.

Brian says, “When AWS (Amazon Web Services) came out, and you could basically buy or rent computing power on the cheap and you didn’t have to write the patch code, we all stopped what we were doing, looked at each other, and said, ‘Okay, we can make this work.’” The team spent about a year on their laptops building a link association matrix. “Once we created the underlying schema and taxonomy of what became Oplign by hand on these computers, our study began to reveal patterns.” shares Brian. “For example, you need an Accountant? Well, it doesn’t really matter if they currently work at a restaurant, at Wells Fargo, or for the Federal Government. Around the world, criteria for a certified accountant position are the same: Are you a Certified Public Accountant? Do you understand GAP Principles? Do you have a four-year degree?”

Part of the taxonomy and schema study required the Oplign team to deconstruct why no one else was already doing this. They began the root cause analysis. “We had to go really far down the rabbit hole. Once we got down that hole, we started building a solution.” “It was just as long walking out of that dark hole as it was digging down into it.” he exclaims, “When we had it all figured out and had come up with a viable solution, we knew it could only work if it was fully automated and none of us were code guys.” After completing the initial taxonomy and schema, the Oplign team went to Silicon Valley to pitch their idea. “At first, we weren’t taken seriously,” he says, “but soon, when it was evident what we were doing and that nobody else in the world was doing it, we became recognized as a multi-billion dollar idea.” Oplign’s efforts in the valley resulted in a meeting with a code guru, a very high-powered Silicon Valley code guru whom they asked to take a look at their product. “When he got back to us,” says Brian, “ he told us, ‘not only is this going to work, I want in.’”

Thus, he became Oplign’s CTO (Chief Technology Officer). When Oplign was ready to launch, they approached the wizards at AWS. “You know Amazon is more than just a product delivery service. Amazon manages more terabytes of information than anyone else in the world.” shares Brian, “They are the largest software company in the world. Let that sink in. They manage data for just about every alphabet soup in Washington, D.C.” Amazon had a need and Oplign recognized it and proved their ML (machine learning) was a crucial missing piece in Amazon’s hiring processes. “So, if Amazon wants to hire a software engineer that writes three different types of languages and has a top-secret security clearance, they tap Oplign for that resource.” says Brian.

“Currently, nearly 100% of people with TS or above clearance make their way to Amazon through Oplign” From that initial meeting, AWS became one of Oplign’s first actual customers. Meetings and well planned exposure quickly grew the company. “One of my business partners, a Marine, was at a big convention and literally ran into one of the senior guys from Verizon in charge of Veteran hiring.” says Brian, “After sharing the Oplign concept with him and after some fine-tuning to match their industry needs, Verizon became one of our first customers also.”

Oplign was formally founded in 2017 but the actual launch came later in late 2019. When most companies were dealing with the devastating impacts of 2020’s COVID epidemic, the Oplign team jumped to the front lines. “COVID worked in our favor,” he explains, “there were many people in the first year of Covid, a lot of decision-makers sitting around with time on their hands, and man, we burned up the phone lines and got in front of a lot of people during that first year.” Cold calls and Zoom meetings are how the team sealed up a lot of big companies like Amazon, Wells Fargo, and USAA in 2020. “In a typical business environment outside of COVID, we would have had a more challenging time getting in front of important people.” says Brian. The founders boast that Oplign sells itself, and that everyone who sees it falls in love with it. The only resistance they have had to deal with is from senior HR people who have become comfortable in the antiquated ways of managing human resource department objectives. “Most HR folks,” says Brian, “believe their job as a recruiter is to gather as many resumes as possible, then do a boolean word search and kick those up to the hiring manager where the hiring manager then weeds through them again and kicks them up to the PM, who’s in charge of hiring.

“But that isn’t really the job.” he states. “The HR Department’s job is to close demand as quickly as possible. If a position is open within a company, the job is to close that demand quickly.” According to Brian, there are two basic employment models; one is the government sector model, whether city, county, state, or federal, they are basically ‘butts in seats’ because the federal government buys everything because they don’t make anything. Brian goes on to say, “If they need a ballpoint pen or a B2 Bomber, they need to contract it out, and every day they don’t have that contract filled is a day they can’t bill for it.” The other model being the private sector, they decide that although there is an increased cost with hiring another person, the increased profitability based on the position’s increased production is worth it. “Every day they don’t fill that position, they lose out on the downstream profitability.” Oplign has found that, historically, it takes about 96 to 126 days for a position to start from the point of the initial demand signal. 30 days of that is the onboarding process for a new hire, and Oplign can’t fix that, but Oplign can take the other 100 days and turn it into 10 or 15 seconds. “SHRM has a 92% failure rate, and at Oplign and Vetlign, we have a 98% success rate,” says Brian. “At Oplign an applicant doesn’t have to research the job they are after and then tailor their resume to it. They don’t have to create 15 versions of their resume because they want to apply for 15 different positions. None of that.” he shares. The Oplign software is efficient.

The ML asks the applicant a couple of questions that are auto generated by the ML (machine learning). “The initial questions get you into a range,” explains Brian, “after that initial interaction with the program it understands how you’ve answered, matches you within an industry and recognizes that industry, as a whole, wants the answer to the following 30 or 40 questions. So, the machine creates the second questionnaire.” You can do all of this on your phone, and creating a profile takes about two minutes. “The machine doesn’t care if you like to take long walks on the beach, but the industry doesn’t, either.” says Brian, “the data collection is strictly hard skills to determine if a person has the required degree, the number of years of experience required, the certifications required, and so on. Now, the hiring manager has three to five high quality profiles to review instead of a hundred resumes.

For veterans, more specifically, Vetlign is changing veteran lives. When asked if Oplign could be an official part of the future transition process in the military, Brian explains, “TAP (Transition Assistance Program) offered by the military is about ensuring all military information and data are closed out correctly and in a manner most beneficial to a service member when they transition from the military. Is your SGLI going to go with you? Is your Tricare going to go with you? The DOD wants to ensure that the people leaving the military benefit optimally from what they have earned. The other colossal half of TAP is about getting jobs. At least half of TAP is about getting a job. How to write a resume, interview, search for jobs, and everything else. Some guy will get up in the class and talk about how to present yourself at an interview. That you should wear a button-up shirt.

“Let me tell you something, nobody needs to be told to dress nice and comb their hair for an interview. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. What a veteran needs to know is, where are the jobs I’m qualified for?” That is what Vetlign is. “It is a crucial missing key to the TAP program.” explains Brian, “all I have to tell transitioning veterans is to take their phones out because, in the next five minutes, I will get each and every one of you a job. “I guarantee I can align you to a job where your (military) skills match those described in the job description.”

If you are reading this right now, and you need a job, all you have to do is scan the QR Codes on the next page. Scan the code and within seconds, you will be in the system with Oplign pairing your unique experience to thousands of available jobs.

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