Should you try to win over job candidate’s parents, too?

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in Hiring,Human Resources

“What do you think, Mom?” College grads entering the work world are likely to ask such questions when weighing job offers, according to a new study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

More than 45% of 2,412 students polled by NACE said their parents’ opinions of potential employers are “important” or “extremely important.” Another 25% said their parents’ opinions are “somewhat important.”

As a result, some employers are reaching out to parents. Examples:

In-house “meet-and-greets.” In May, Merrill Lynch invited the parents of summer interns to visit its offices. Parents toured the trading floor, stayed for a luncheon and heard presentations by Merrill Lynch execs.

Parent-centered packets. Accounting firm Ernst & Young this summer distributed so-called “parent packs” to graduating students during information sessions at about a dozen colleges.

Some observers call this recruitment fad a negative result of overly involved “helicopter parents” who hover over and invade their kids’ career airspace.

Outlook: Like it or not, count on this trend to become more of a factor in college and entry-level recruiting as Generation Y becomes an ever larger percentage of the future labor force.

Advice: Look for subtle ways to acknowledge parent interest without an overly hard sell, such as open house events. But always keep the focus on the job seeker, not the parents.

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