Parents, Children, and Schools

Miscellany:
 
–Northrop Grumman is trying (it has been a long process) to centralize its dispersed recruiting operations and reduce the amount of non-recruiting time spent by recruiters. Candidates have been receiving mixed messages, and there are redundancies in the recruiting operation. It’s consolidating its technology with Vurv and is using AIRS SourcePoint.
 
–Thought-provoking Wall Street Journal article about the reporting on the economy.
 
–Funny how much you can learn about the advertising of jobs by looking at video-job postings (see right side, under Jobs TV).
Like the job for a “custodial supervisor” at New College — I guess it’s truth in advertising, but they didn’t exactly make the job look appealing, eh?
 
–Allied Waste has improved its onboarding programs among drivers, and this has reduced turnover, reduced recruiting costs, and improved service and safety.
 
–This candidate is smart, but kind of heavy.
 
BusinessWeek this weekend will have a cover story on “the future of work.” It’ll be a large set of articles (and a silly poll or two about whether you’d rather work for Oprah or The Donald) about virtual work in U.S., Europe, and Asia; about what younger candidates want in a job; about outsourcing; and more. It’s worth checking out, but there’s not a ton that’ll be new information to many people reading this, so I wouldn’t run red lights to the newsstand if I were you. Fascinating fact from one article: the Dallas airport is bigger than the entire island of Manhattan.
 
–Wednesday night at Universal Studios (California) I recruited high school students for my alma mater Ohio Wesleyan University at a college fair put on each year by “Colleges That Change Lives.” The colleges featured in the book of that name have been traveling together putting on these fairs. I’ve been doing the Ohio Wesleyan booth at fairs like this for years, and love spending hours talking about colleges and careers to the kids, their parents, and college counselors — whoever wants to listen to me.
 
Having done this so many times, I’ve noticed trends, some of which perhaps mirror society. The students of course continue to show up sharper and younger. The majority of these high school students seemed fairly certain about what their future careers would be; many were as specific as “teaching political economics” and other niches most adults couldn’t define. One student, a 10th grader, asked me about Ohio Wesleyan’s “forensic psychology program.” I wasn’t attending college fairs at that age, and had I been, I would have asked if they had moped racks.
 
More people say they’re attending school at home, perhaps due to the weak California public-school system. More females have asked about the male-female ratio on campus, concerned that there aren’t enough males. One kid asked me whether the political-correctness culture of the campus is stifling non-liberal opinions, as is the case on so many campuses. He was liberal himself, but was concerned about the lack of debate and domination of far-left teaching by professors.
 
Though most parents are wonderful, and I had wonderful conversations with people I plan on keeping in touch with, a handful each year are neurotic and overbearing micromanagers, such as the mother who asked me if I knew the average wind speed in the town, concerned that the weather was actually worse than the average temperature indicates, due to the wind-chill factor.
 
Of course, there are the parents who are obviously hoping their children pursuit studies and jobs that will redeem themselves for their own insecurities and shortcomings. I had a long conversation with a woman from Oak Park, California, (which along with Fullerton, La Canada, Irvine, and a few others, is sadly one of the few LA/Orange County public school systems that is widely respected) who showed up with her daughter.
 
The mother looked at me and said, “I don’t care about status. I want her to go to college where she fits, and I want her to do whatever makes her happy with her life.”  I met many interesting and bright people Wednesday, but this was the most mentally healthy.
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