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

by on
in Hiring,Human Resources

You may have seen the "60 Minutes" report last Sunday on the  "millennials"—the 80 million Americans born between 1980 and 1995. They're your new employees and they're...well... different. Some of them even want mom and dad to come along with them to job interviews. That's just fine by some large employers.

“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.

Fad or future?

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

Like it or not, count on this trend to become more of a factor in college and entry-level recruiting as the millenials become 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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