Some businesses open their doors to the children of employees, enabling kids to get a taste of cubicle life. Some businesses even let their employees bring pets into the office. Now, a growing number of companies is urging prospective recruits to bring their parents to job interviews and corporate events.
(A few words of advice if you’re a millennial looking for a job — by all means bring mom and dad to the interview, but leave the boozy uncle and the grandmother who speaks her mind back at home).
From the Wall Street Journal:
Paul From was used to meeting the spouses and children of employees at company events. As chief executive of Central Wire Industries, a manufacturing firm based in Perth, Ontario, he has long held regular baseball games to get to know his employees better.
But in the past five years, he has noticed his 20- and 30-something employees have started bringing new guests to company socials: Mom and Dad.
Millennials—people born between 1981 and the early 2000s—are much closer to their parents than previous generations, and they have gained a reputation for being coddled by so-called helicopter parents, say researchers who study Millennials. But when they started joining the workforce in the early 2000s, managers balked at parents getting involved in their kids’ workplace struggles or job searches.
That was then. Now, some firms have begun embracing parental involvement and using it to attract and hold onto talent and boost employee morale.
One of them is Northwestern Mutual. Michael Van Grinsven, field-growth and development director at the Milwaukee-based financial firm, says the company does everything it can to accommodate the parents of college-aged interns, including regularly inviting them to the office for open houses.
“It’s become best practice,” Mr. Van Grinsven says, noting that parents can influence their children’s career decisions. Some Northwestern Mutual managers call or send notes to parents when interns achieve their sales goals and let parents come along to interviews and hear details of job offers. They may even visit parents at home.
Mr. Van Grinsven says the efforts have paid off: The number of interns meeting the company’s benchmark for success in sales has risen more than 40% since 2007, a productivity improvement that he attributes in part to more parental support.
In May, Google Inc. held its second annual “Take Your Parents to Work Day,” hosting more than 2,000 parents at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. Participation numbers showed that the event was valuable to employees, the company says.
It may be on the rise, but parental involvement in the U.S. doesn’t begin to match countries in Asia and South America, according to a 2013 study from the global accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
The study, which surveyed 44,000 people from more than 20 countries, found that just 6% of recent college graduates surveyed in the U.S. wanted their parents to receive a copy of their offer letters. That’s well below the global average of 13% and much less than some other countries, where it was as high as 30%. The study also found that just 2% of young employees in the U.S. want their parents to receive a copy of their performance review, compared with the global average of 8%.
Nate Kruse, a financial representative and college unit director at Northwestern Mutual, says that including his parents in the hiring process made them more supportive of his career choice. His mother, Deb Kruse from Hildreth, Neb., says she met her son Nate’s intern coordinator at Northwestern Mutual when he stopped by her house to introduce himself in 2008.
Since then, she has attended several company events, including the company’s annual meeting for employees and their families. Once she attended an intern open house to answer questions from other parents.
“My parents were unsure at first,” Mr. Kruse says. “But seeing the office firsthand allowed them to be that much more confident with the company.”
Read the entire article here.