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Cary Renquist cary.renquist at ezag.com
Thu Nov 19 17:49:45 CST 2009

The NRC dating service? - Fedline - The Federal Times Blog - federal
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The NRC dating service?

November 17th, 2009 | HR Management Uncategorized | Posted by Steve
LoseySteve Steve Losey Name: Steve Losey

It seems like everybody's got a new idea for attracting new talent to
the federal government these days. But Jim McDermott, chief human
capital officer of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, thinks he's found
a foolproof way to convince young engineers to come to his agency: Find
them dates.

"There are incentives, and then there are incentives," McDermott told a
crowd of human resources officials at the HCMF Conference in Arlington,
Va., earlier today. "When we're hiring, we say, 'Is there a significant
other in the picture?' If there's no significant other, I tell them, 'We
can help.' "

McDermott said his unorthodox recruitment pitch works because while
nuclear engineers may know how to split atoms, they're not quite so
adept on the dating front:

"Now, engineers study a lot in college," McDermott said. "They neglect
very important extracurricular activities. My girls went to school with
engineers, [and] they said, 'Dad, they don't know how to dance, they
don't know how to dress, they don't even know how to talk.' "

Engineers may not necessarily become better dancers by taking a job at
NRC, but McDermott said they can meet other single engineers (who
probably won't roll their eyes at Star Trek or lectures on reactor
cooling systems). McDermott said NRC's dating scheme - which he jokingly
called "NRC Harmony," after the eHarmony online dating service - has so
far resulted in about eight or nine weddings.

McDermott's comments made me think of the sitcom Big Bang Theory, which
features hopelessly nerdy theoretical physicists and their often-failed
efforts to find romance. McDermott said he's seen bits of the show,
which hit close to home: "I thought I was watching something on the

Cary Renquist
cary.renquist at ezag.com

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