Helicopter parents enabled by employers? Improbable, but true.

Helicopter parents enabled by employers? Improbable, but true.

My daughter is at university and so I’ve heard and read a lot about helicopter parents who “help” their kids at school. You know, things that a typical 18-22 year old can’t do for themselves like finding the laundry facilities, selecting courses, finding lecture halls, taste testing the dorm food.

Yes, we helped our daughter with some things but mostly she either did stuff on her own or we pointed her in the right direction and said “OK, you take care of this now but let us know if you need help”. Its called trusting your kid and having confidence in your upbringing skills.

Helicopter parents in the workplace?

It seems that for some parents, their kids aren’t much brighter after they finish college. They continue their hovering techniques, “helping” their offspring find a job and once hired they’ll advocate for things like promotions and raises.

It shouldn’t be so surprising that this extends beyond school days and into the work environment. After all, the parents who practice this is are not exactly grown up themselves.

Companies who cater to Helicopter parents? You’re kidding, right?

Nope, not kidding. Today I read on the NPR site about just that. The article is entitled Helicopter Parents Hover In The Workplace. Have a read, you’ll hardly believe it.

While the article implies that most companies (sensibly) don’t pander to parents, some companies actively involve parents in some elements of recruiting and hiring because they deem them to be influencers.

There’s also a supporting point of view from a consultant who equates this phenomenon with parents who were demanding of their kid’s high school or grade school teacher. Hello! Totally different situation and completely unlike a work environment.

Rant largely complete. Let’s get to the point …

Accommodating and/or involving parents in a hiring situation is perhaps the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. I would never employ such a practice and I think that any company that does has badly mistaken it as a “progressive hiring practice”. Also, this could only happen at a big company. Could you ever image a small business CEO tolerating the meddling of parents of a new hire? Its laughable.

Here’s the thing …I would honestly have serious reservations about a potential hire who has active helicopter parents. I would be suspect of things like their initiative, motivation, resilience and ability to accept feedback. Its not that I would discount these people outright, but I would certainly undertake additional scrutiny during the hiring process. And I would NOT accommodate his/her parents.

There’s nothing wrong with supportive parents who are silent partners in their kid’s work goals. But for the sake of the kid, don’t cross the line. Its embarrassing for them and largely unhelpful in their quest for work and career.

Thanks for reading my blog and please visit again.

Vincent out.

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