Increasingly, parents are getting involved in the job hiring process. This presents a challenge for employers because you don’t know how much of the candidate you’re getting vs. their parents.
Things parents do for their adult children today:
- Go to job fairs and open houses.
- Write resumes and cover letters.
- Fill out job applications and send them in.
- Call employers to set up interviews and follow up.
- Attend lunches and interviews.
- Negotiate salaries with employers.
- Decide which job to take.
Too much parental involvement in the job hiring process is detrimental to both the candidate and the employer. The employer needs to assess whether the candidate is qualified and is a good fit for the job. The applicant needs to assess whether the organization and job are a good fit for them. When parents take over, neither side gets an accurate picture of the other.
What can employers do to move parents to the sidelines?
- Make it a policy not to talk to parents during the hiring process.
- Discourage candidates from involving their parents.
- Politely but firmly refuse to speak to parents when they call or show up.
- Put your no-parents-during-hiring policy on the website for all to read.
A bad hire is detrimental to both the employer and the employee. Too many times I’ve heard employers complain that the person they hired “looked great on paper” and had “all the right things to say” in the interview, but wasn’t able to perform once hired. This is a bad situation for the employer but an awful situation to be in for an employee. Failing at your job, especially your first job, has long lasting effects on self-esteem. It’s better for everyone involved—including parents—if the employee is hired for a job they can and want to do.
How can employers tell parents to back off?
Pushing parents away can be touchy for both the parents and the candidates. How do you do it without losing good candidates? Here are some suggestions from College Recruiter: How Employers Should Deal with Helicopter Parents. One of the suggestions is mine.