Cultural Trends: Helicopter Parents

The cultural trend of helicopter parents may not be a welcome development to the Human Resources Departments. Helicopter parents are parents who try to ‘assist’ in the process of working or job hunting for their adult children (Credit Union Journal 2010). They do so in the form of sending resumes for them, trying to intervene in the recruitment exercise, and even attending interviews with the candidates. Some go a step further to try and influence the terms of employment of their son or daughter. This paper explores the effect of helicopter parents to organizations, how to tap into the trend, and eventually how to handle the negatives of the trend (Lantz 2013).

Helicopter parents have had adverse effects on both their children and the organizations that have had to deal with them. Firstly, organizations have to deal with the parents when they arrive with the applicant (Peluchette, Kovanic, & partridge 2013). This implies not working but instead trying to help the helicopter parents feel comfortable. It also means that someone has to ensure that the parents stay put especially during the interview process rather than interrupt the interview. Secondly, helicopter parents are likely to misuse the company resources hence limiting the delivery of the organization. This misuse will come in the form of time spent talking with the parent on the phone and even the labor devoted to take care of them during their visit. Finally, helicopter parents bias the impression of the human resource departments preventing the true potential of the employees from being seen. They have in this way prevented good candidates from being absorbed into the workforce by depicting them as immature (Credit Union Journal 2010).

In this regard, organizations have to device a means for dealing with the rising trend of helicopter parents. Various methods can be used to deal with the impact they make on the recruitment exercise (Lantz 2013). First, it is recommended that the human resource officers make it clear that issues such as compensation and benefits can only be discussed only with the candidate. They should also consider stating that parents are not allowed to sit in during interviews. Secondly, it is recommended that parents are made to know that they do not make a good impression by participating in the job searching exercise (CNN Wire 2013). They should be made to understand that candidates would be more effective delivering their own resumes. Finally, calls from parents should be handled diplomatically as this will reduce the strain that parents exert on the organization in terms of follow-up and even misinforming other people about your firm (Lantz 2013).

However, it is also important to note that parents are prospective customers and if handled with care will offer opportunities for the organization in the future. Parents can also be useful in answering survey questions and letting you know the public impression of the company (Peluchette, Kovanic, & partridge 2013). While conducting interviews it would be a good idea to take the parent through company products and processes so that they understand how much devotion goes into the products produced by the company. They should however be made to understand that their presence will not have any impact on the decision of recruiting the candidate (and can only work against the candidate) (Lantz 2013).

In conclusion, Human Resource Officers should note that helicopter parents are here to stay. They will continue to consult on the employees’ progress, continue nagging concerning their sons and daughters. The company should therefore put up strategies of dealing with them before every recruitment exercise. Parents on the other hand should note that their participation in the job searching process is destructive to their kids’ acceptability (Lantz 2013). It is, however, important for organizations to note that parents are a possible market and should therefore be handled subtly.

References

Lantz, S., J. (2013) First Person Account: Getting On Board With Helicopter Parents. Society for Human Resource Management Journal, 58(12)

(2013). Bring your parents to work day: Positive trend or helicopter parenting?. CNN Wire

Peluchette J., V., E. and Kovanic N., and partridge D. ( 2013). Helicopter parents hovering over the work place. What should HR Managers do?. Business Horizons, 56(5), p601-609

(2010). Hiring Children of Helicopter Parents places new challenges on HR Executives. Credit Union Journal, 14(2,8)

HR and Helicopter Parents. (2008). PERSONEL TODAY -SUTTON-, 22-25

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