‘Helicopter’ Parents Involved in Job Searches

As more college graduates are moving back in with mom and dad while they hunt for jobs, parents are getting more involved in their children’s job searches.

Executives interviewed in a survey by OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half International, the world’s largest specialized staffing firm, were asked to recount the most unusual or surprising behavior they had heard of or witnessed from the parent of a job seeker. Responses included:

  • “One parent wanted to sit in during the interview.”
  • “A parent called a politician to push me to hire his son.”
  • “A mother submitted her daughter’s resume on her behalf.”
  • “A parent came by my desk and told me that he expected his daughter to get preference for a position since he was a manager at the company.”
  • “A parent called to find out why we did not hire her son and why we felt he was not qualified.”

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,300 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States and Canada.

“Although most parents mean well, those who become overly involved in a child’s job search can derail their son or daughter’s prospects of being hired because companies may question the applicant’s level of independence and maturity,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “New graduates should steer their parents away from direct contact with potential employers and toward behind-the-scenes guidance and networking assistance.”

For more survey results, click here.

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