Cotton wool kids: when Mom and Dad come to the interview

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It’s a fine line for parents – when do you stop bailing your kid out? For most it’s sometime during or at the end of high school; for others the answer is never.

Today’s helicopter parents are famous for not letting go – some colleges have set up special orientations for the Moms and Dads who aren’t ready to leave their kids on campus. But Mom attending a job interview seems like the plot to a bad movie. Unfortunately, it’s all too true for 4% of companies surveyed by Michigan state university’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute

Their recent survey found that almost a quarter of companies reported seeing parents “sometimes” to “very often” – and the numbers increased depending on the size and visibility of the company. A third of large companies, with more than 3,700 employees, reported interacting with parents.

“Companies attending or hosting campus events tend to possess regional or national brand recognition and are believed to be more prestigious by students and their parents,” head researcher Phil Gardner said. “Parents who desire positive, prestigious outcomes and have been involved from an early age on behalf of their child’s welfare are more likely to be involved in job search activities,” Gardner added.

Almost a third (31%) said they had received resumes submitted on behalf of an adult child – prompting one HR pro to suggest parents make sure they tell the student that they’ve sent in a resume.

“We have called a student from our resume pool only to find they did not know anything about our company and were not interested in a position with us,” the anonymous respondent said, while another talked of a lengthy discussion with a mother on why the company could not arrange a special interview for her son who could not make the scheduled on-campus interview.

According to those surveyed, mothers are more likely to collect information and arrange interviews or visits, while dads tend to pop up during negotiations, when the hiring decision went against their child or when their kid was being disciplined by their supervisor.

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