Say What? You're Bringing Mom and Dad to the Job Interview?

Ok, so maybe some of us baby boomers deserve the "helicopter parents" label for the way we hover over our kids. Still, I can't imagine accompanying my bearded 20-something son on a job interview. I may be in the minority here because taking Mom and Dad on job searches and to interviews appears to be a weird new trend.


According to a 2012 survey of more than 500 college graduates, 8 percent said they had a parent go with them to a job interview. And 3 percent had Mom or Dad sit in on the actual interview, according to Adecco, a human resources firm, which conducted the study.

Another study from the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said 6 percent of recent U.S. college graduates wanted their parents to get a copy of their job offer letter and 2 percent wanted their parents to get a copy of their performance review. That study polled 44,000 people from more than 20 countries, a report in the Wall Street Journal said.

Apparently, I'm not the only one puzzled by the growing practice of parents escorting their college graduates to job interviews.

"It seems nutty," John Challenger, CEO of the human resources consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in Chicago, tells me. "It would cause most employers to downgrade the candidacy of someone. They're looking for someone who's able to act on their own, independently. Bringing your parents to an interview is absurd."

The Journal says some companies are encouraging parental involvement to attract and retain Millennials - kids born between 1981 and the early 2000s - particularly as they make the transition from college to the workplace.

Google just held its second "Take Your Parents to Work Day," hosting more than 2,000 parents at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, the Journal reported.

LinkedIn, the social media website for professionals, will host its first "Bring In Your Parents Day" in November at its offices in 14 countries. Spokeswoman Danielle Restivo told the paper that employees who have their parents' support are happier.

Northwestern Mutual, a Milwaukee-based financial firm, routinely invites the parents of college-aged interns for open houses. Some managers let parents come along to interviews and hear details of job offers. Coddling Junior, and his parents, have worked out well for the company. The number of interns who've met sales targets rose more than 40 percent since 2007, the Journal said.

Challenger says companies that invite parents to their kids' workplace usually have a larger share of younger workers. He says it's an extension of company practices that have included inviting workers' spouses to dinner and other social events.

"Companies are looking for ways to create tighter bonds among employees to build culture, to tie families to the work environment. It helps to retain workers," Challenger says. "You're more likely to see this at companies with young workers. If I brought my 87-year-old dad in to my office, he'd have to come in with a walker."

 Photo: Ryan Hsuh31/Flickr


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