The Route to Gen Y Recruits is Through Their Parents

Last Updated Oct 13, 2008 12:54 PM EDT

The Takeaway: The first thing managers looking to recruit Gen Y need to do, according to Erickson, is get over the delusion that young workers' parents aren't a factor. It may seem strange to older managers but,

Most members of this generation seek their parents' input on key decisions; virtually no Y will accept an offer of employment without first calling home to discuss the pros and cons with his or her parents... accept parental involvement as a given, and make the most of it.

When your potential Gen Y hire calls home, you want them to hear those three magic words: "Good choice, honey." Some organizations have already implemented strategies to speak to parents. Think the U.S. army with their "You made them strong. We'll make them Army strong" campaign. SkyWest Airline's recruiting campaign highlights the fact that "employees and their parents have access to worldwide travel discounts."

How should your company involve parents in recruiting? Erickson has some suggestions:

  • Hold a career fair in your community designed specifically for parents
  • Create special FAQ material directed at parents' likely questions and concerns
  • Hold parent orientation sessions or conference calls
  • Invite parents of interns and new hires to visit the Y's place of work and meet the boss and colleagues
  • Run ads communicating your positive attributes as an employer aimed at parents
The Question: Erickson notes that companies including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Merrill Lynch, Ernst & Young and Vanguard Group offer to send information packets to potential new hires' parents, and she suggests your company do the same; does that sound like a good idea or a sure fire way to drive off any young worker without helicopter parents?

(Image of helicopter parent cartoon by BlogjamComic, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.