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How to Deal With New Hires And Their Meddlesome Helicopter Parents

Posted by Insightlink on 08/23/16

We all know that organizations with engaged employees are more successful. We also know that every workplace has its drama,  issues, problems, awkward moments and funny stories. But this week our hat goes off to the people in HR who have the privilege of handling the people we have affectionately come to know as 'helicopter parents'. In an article written by Dana Wilkie that was published by SHRM last week, Wilkes gives us the inside view on some of the most outrageous stunts pulled by helicopter parents. And, as we consider the possibility of any of these happening in our organizations, we wonder if any of these kinds of experiences would make you say yes or no to the hopeful young person applying for the job.  

The most incredible experiences were shared by Managers who recounted:

• "The candidate opened his laptop and had his mother Skype in for the interview."

• "A woman brought a cake to try to convince us to hire her daughter."

• "A father asked us to pay his son a higher salary."

• "One mom knocked on the office door during an interview and asked if she could sit in."

• "Parents have arrived with their child's resume and tried to convince us to hire him or her."

• "A job seeker was texting his parent the questions I was asking during the interview and waiting for a response."

• "Once a father called us pretending he was from the candidate's previous company and offered praise for his son."

• "Parents have followed up to ask how their child's interview went."

• "A father started filling out a job application on behalf of his kid."

• "I had one mother call and set up an interview for her son."

• "Moms and dads have called to ask why their child didn't get hired."

Interestingly Wilkes points out not all HR managers are put off by parental involvement quoting survey results from a recent study that showed:
35% of senior managers (35 percent) said they're annoyed when helicopter parents are involved in their kids' search for work.
34% said that they prefer mom and dad stay out of the job hunt but would let it slide.
29% percent said this parental involvement is not a problem.

Many would say kids today are not being given the chance to fail because their parents are working overtime to make sure life is easy and uncomplicated. Insightlink’s very own Senior Research Director Marilyn Mitchell got the last word in though as she cautions "If you find yourself meddling in your kid's job hunt, stop, remind yourself that your child is a grown-up and remember that your child's life is not going to be determined by the outcome of a single interview. Get a life and let your kid have a life, too."

Since kids with helicopter parents are emerging as part of the new workforce you may want to consider using an Onboard tool to keep your pulse on their experience as a new hire. InsightONBOARD for example let’s you ‘hold hands’ electronically while your new hires settle in so that you can make sure they are adapting well and are comfortable in their work environment. You invest so much into hiring employees that their feedback can, in the long run, save your organization significant amounts of money if those new hires have a positive settling in experience.


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