Bring your parent to work: “Meet our new hire – and their mother”

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When’s the last time a candidate brought their mom or dad to the interview with them? If it’s never happened to you, count yourself lucky!

According to an Adecco survey of college graduates, 8% had brought a parent to a job interview, and 3% had the parent sit in on the interview. Now some companies are bowing to the increased parental influence with parent pages on their websites and companies including LinkedIn holding “Bring your parent to work” days.

Milwaukee-based financial firm Northwestern Mutual now regularly invites parents of interns to office open houses as part of an effort to win over them and their children. Northwestern Mutual field-growth and development director Michael Van Grinsven said it was becoming best practice, and some Northwestern Mutual managers call or send notes to parents when interns achieve their sales goals and let parents come along to interviews and hear details of job offers.

The efforts are paying off. The number of interns meeting the company's benchmark for success in sales has risen more than 40% since 2007, a productivity improvement that Van Grinsven attributes in part to more parental support.

“At first glance it seems ridiculous that young people are bringing their parents to work or getting them involved, but it’s now normal to have your parents be very involved in your job hunt, education decisions and in deciding where to work,” TalentEgg founder Lauren Friese told HRM.

Friese said recent research showed parents were the number one influencer on where Gen Y choose to apply, more so than their career centre, professors or even friends.

“It’s not necessarily that surprising that they’re taking that extra step and actually showing up,” Friese said, adding that it was “over the top.”

Friese said if a parent showed up to an interview employers should not let them sit in on the meeting, but needed to make sure they feel comfortable and recognize that they’re the influencer. If you decide to hire the candidate, the parent’s opinion will matter. Some employers had taken the step of putting together an entire section on their website or in written material that tells parents what to expect.

“In the past when I’ve been hiring, advisors and mentors have said to me you have to make sure to appeal to the actual decision maker, you have to make sure that person thinks it’s a good idea to work at your company,” Friese said. “What they meant was the significant other of the person you’re trying to hire. I think it’s shifted from being the significant other that you have to worry about to being the parent when it comes to hiring young people.”

“Now Linkedin is acknowledging and making room for it, and I think that’s a good thing.”

  • Bonnie Reid on 2013-09-20 8:22:20 AM

    What exactly is this saying about their generation?

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