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Good Luck Employers, Your Next Challenge May Be Helicopter Parents

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Chis Hondros, Getty Images

A few years ago, the term “helicopter parents” was coined to describe those rather invasive parents who were extremely involved in their children’s college experience, to the point of hovering. (Get it?) According to a new survey, these moms and dads are doing the same thing in their now adult childrens’ work lives.

If you remember, these parents would micromanage even the kids’ roommate and class schedule selections. Now, according to a Michigan State University survey of more than 700 employers in the process of hiring recent college graduates, these parents are still deeply involved.

The survey found that nearly a third of hiring companies had received resumes from parents. A quarter of the companies had been contacted by parents who urged the employer to hire their kids. And, four percent of companies surveyed said parents had even shown up for their children’s interviews.

While some companies find this to be a distracting annoyance, other companies are embracing the involvement, if you can believe that. Consultant Neil Howe said, “You don’t want to block the energy of the parent. You just want to channel it in a certain direction.”

Car rental giant Enterprise has started to take advantage of the helicopter parent’s role as an influencer. Their strategy is to convince the parents that the company has a good culture for growth and let the parents convince possible recruits. Other companies have gotten on board by establishing a “Bring Your Parents to Work” day.

Margaret Feister of Society for Human Resource Management, however, is convinced that too much involvement can backfire. “It definitely does not show great leadership or decision-making skills,” she said.

[via NPR]

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