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Posts Tagged ‘helicopter parents’

5 True Tales of Gen Y’s Parents Calling Bosses

July 02nd, 2015

Hi All!

By now, most people have heard the term, “Helicopter Parents”. You know, the Boomer parents of the Millennial (aka: Gen Y) Generation who have hovered over their kids since birth, guiding them through childhood, into college…and now following their “adult” children into the professional workforce.

What??? You weren’t aware of how prevalent this hyper-parenting phenomenon truly was? Oh, trust me, it’s a BIG deal (and issue) for many Bosses and companies. Some companies are even starting to add “do’s and don’ts” policies in Employee Handbooks for the PARENTS! I’ll explain why in a bit.Boss-Phone

And, just to be clear, I’m referring to employees who are in their 20’s, in corporate environments; not parents calling work on behalf of their teenager who has a summer job at the local mall.

Let me put this into perspective from my own first-hand experience: In my SEVEN YEARS of being a keynote speaker and conducting workshops for companies about how to better recruit, manage and retain Millennial talent, I’ve yet to ask this question and NOT get a hand raised: “Who here has heard from the parent of one of your Millennial employees?”

EVEN if it’s a small private session for a corporate Management Team (versus an audience of 500+), I always get at least 1-2 hands raised. Always.

This recently happened again at a presentation I conducted for Executives at an annual automotive industry conference last week. Six attendees out of 75+ raised their hands when I asked that question, and (as usual) I asked one of them to share why the parent called. I’ll share that story in a moment, so please keep reading.

The reason I always ask at least one person to share “why” the parent called is not only because I find it fascinating, but the answers always result in an outburst of laughter, mixed with shock & disbelief, from my audiences. Plus, I also ask why so that other attendees who (may) think “there’s no way parents call”, quickly realize I’m not making this stuff up.

Based on this new phenomenon in today’s modern workforce, I decided it was time to share some of these stories to illustrate how common this is. I’ve got hundreds of these real-world stories, but here are five. Each of them was shared at different speaking engagements I’ve conducted; all from different industries, located in different regions, and of different sizes, throughout the U.S. and Canada.

IMPORTANT: In the countless stories I’ve heard, sometimes the Millennial employees were aware their parents were calling, and sometimes not. So I do NOT want to imply the Millennials always ask their parents to do these things. Oftentimes, the Helicopter Parents do it on their own, and I’ve spoken to many Millennials who said they were mortified when they found out.

TRUE TALE #1: The Sr. Vice President mentioned previously at the recent automotive conference shared that she received a call from the father of one of her (26 years-old) Millennial employees. Dad called her to say he didn’t think his daughter’s private parking spot was located in a safe place for women so he requested that she be given a different one.

TRUE TALE #2: The CEO of a medium-sized company shared that he wanted to hold-off on promoting one of his Millennial employees because the employee (24 years-old) simply needed about six more months of training and on-the-ground experience. The next day the employee arrived at work with her Mom. They requested to see the CEO immediately and he obliged. Once in his office, Mom proceeded to pull out a long list that she and her husband had created the night before which outlined all the reasons why THEY thought their daughter WAS qualified to receive the promotion now…not in six months.

TRUE TALE #3: This does not pertain to someone’s “current” Millennial employee, but it’s another good example. The Sr. Director of HR at a Fortune 500 company attended my presentation for their Executive Team. Three days later she sent me an email to share that that morning she received a phone call from the Mom of a college senior. The Mom called her to inquire about internships the company had that her daughter could apply for. Mom explained she was calling companies on behalf of her daughter because her daughter was too busy at school studying for finals and being on the school’s swim team.

TRUE TALE #4: The Marketing Manager at a Fortune 1000 company shared at one of my presentations that a Dad called him, very upset. Dad said that his son (25 years-old) didn’t feel like he got enough time to share his ideas at the weekly department meetings. Dad asked the Manager to either make the weekly meeting longer OR call on his son more often.

TRUE TALE #5: The Director of Learning and Development at a large company had this to share with me and the audience: He had just hired a new Millennial employee (26 years-old) and during the on-boarding process the Millennial was given the standard Employee Benefits Package to review. Apparently, the Millennial had her parents review it because the next day Mom called her daughter’s new Boss to say that she (Mom), and Dad, had some questions about the benefits information.

I’m sharing these examples because, aside from being somewhat humorous, this topic is important for employers to be aware of. Why? Because if someone at work receives a call from a Helicopter Parent inquiring about things like promotions and raises their adult child didn’t get, and the Manager (caught off guard) engages in a conversation with the parent, it could cause serious legal issues for that Manager AND the employer.

The bottom line is that Bosses cannot discuss sensitive matters about employees (who are over 18 years- old) with the employee’s parents. Therefore, as an expert on Millennials and generational dynamics, I strongly suggest that this info quickly be shared with your Management and Leadership Teams.

By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be Millennials. That means the number of Helicopter Parents calling employers is only going to increase!

New Study Shows Reaching Millennial (Gen Y) Candidates Harder Than Reaching Off Shore Candidates!

March 30th, 2008

Hi there,

Well, this recent study certainly drives home my point that companies need to get a bit more creative and learn how to adopt Web 2.0 initiatives to reach (ATTRACT!) Millennial talent. See? It’s not me just running around trying to make “something out of nothing”. Here’s what I’m referring to:

A new report published by the Boston-based Novations Group surveyed more than 2,500 senior HR and training executives and found that companies are twice as likely to report difficulty reaching Millennials than any other employee group. The survey shows that 18.9% of respondents reported problems with Gen Y/Millennials. This figure is more than double other groups, such as off-shore employees (7%); older employees (5%); and recent immigrants (2.5%).

So just what is the best way to communicate with Gen Y now that spring graduation is looming? Novations urges recruiters to avoid gimmicks and not to expect tried-and-true ways of communicating to work. Younger employees are more “jaded,” so skip the gimmicks. “Take part in a two-way discussion, and don’t try to wow them with a fancy presentation. Don’t be afraid to turn the meeting over to your team, leverage their know-how, and take your own notes. Use less technology, and eliminate it all together for meetings with fewer than 50 employees,” says Novations executive consultant Michelle Knox.

But I believe you do need to use MORE technology to attract them to your brand. And if you need a good example of that, scroll down my blog entries to the one I wrote about how Deloitte is using YouTube to attract candidates.

However don’t abandon your good ‘ol fashioned career fairs! According to another recent study conducted by Universum, students’ preferences when it comes to gathering information about employers went in this order: Career fairs coming in first, followed by internships, company websites, online job boards, and coming in fifth, company recruiters at school.

And at the job fairs, the students say the information they prefer the most includes material on internships; current job openings; career-development opportunities; the actual recruitment process; and mentoring.

One very cool, hip, suggestion I offer in my seminars is to put this info on a Flash Drive and hand those out at career fairs versus big, bulky collateral packets. You can also drop a 30 – 60 second multimedia piece on it that includes employee testimonials, fun info about your campus/building, info about the city you are in (things to do, nightlife, housing, etc.), and much more!

Also, handing out Flash Drives can be marketed around a “we are green” message by not printing tons of collateral and killing trees. This is a message MOST Millennials want to hear!

Bye for now but visit again for more tips on attracting Millennial talent now that spring graduation is upon us!!

Lisa

Three Great Tips for Attracting and Recruiting Millennials/GenY

March 19th, 2008

Hi there!

Here is an excerpt from an article I recently wrote for a women’s business magazine…thought you may enjoy the info and benefit from the tips:

As you read this, Millennial Professionals are being actively recruited prior to, and upon, college graduation. Some are already busy navigating the waters of their first professional job since being hired a year or so ago.

And companies are hiring me to consult with their HR executives and internal recruiters about attracting and recruiting Millennial Professionals, as well as conduct seminars to educate their GenX and Boomer employees about managing, motivating and retaining them. So, this isn’t just me saying they are a big deal to the future of our professional workforce; companies all over the U.S. and abroad are starting to see it, too.

So, why has this new generation of young professionals turned into such a hot commodity? Why are stories about them all over the media? One key factor is the looming reality of the Boomer Brain Drain that companies across the country are going to feel over the next 5-15 years (starting now as the oldest Boomers hit retirement age). Here’s one simple statistic, out of many, from the Office of Employment Projections that will quickly put this into perspective: The average large company in the U.S. will lose 30-40% of its workforce due to retirement over the next 5-10 years. Ouch.

And we have as many GenXers on the planet as there is going to be, so the replacements for this massive Boomer exodus are the Millennial Professionals. That is why M.B.A. students are being offered amazing employment packages, starting salaries are being jacked-up higher than ever, and impressive signing bonuses are being offered. These young college grads are currently being pursued and courted like top college draft picks entering the NBA. Basically, recruiting and retaining them has turned into a big, competitive business.

Now that you have a general idea of why companies are clamoring to hire them, I thought it would be a good idea to share a few key recruiting tips with you. There is a reason companies like Disney, IBM, Toyota and many others are taking this very seriously and implementing some of these!

Attracting & Recruiting Tips:

1. Go Where They Are: Running some ads on Craig’s List or on Monster aren’t the only solutions. This generation has grown-up experiencing life online and congregate on places like MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube and Second Life. You should consider having a company presence in these communities to attract Millennials to your brand and make them aware of you. You can interview employees about how great it s to work at your company with a hand held video camera and post it on YouTube. Deloitte has done an amazing job posting fun videos on YouTube to attract Millennial talent, so check out their posts for ideas. Make them funny and interesting and you’ll get viewers. And it’s free!

2. Preach Work-Life Balance: This generation is showing up totally aware of work-life balance. They value time with family and friends, and they value their time doing things they enjoy. Boomers and Gen X employees typically didn’t ask for flextime until they had been in the workforce for 20+ years. Millennials are showing up and requesting it from Day One. And companies are offering it.

3. Invite the Folks: As a whole, this generation considers their parents part of their social circle. They admire their parents, they like their parents and they respect their opinion. Perhaps you’ve heard the new term “Helicopter Parents”. It means that even when their kids go off to college they don’t stop hovering over them and guiding them (a lot). Believe it or not, recruiters are now finding themselves taking a top candidate to lunch for a schmooze fest and he/she brings their parents. Recruiters are realizing that convincing the parents it’s the best job for little Sally is as important as convincing Sally. Well-known companies are even creating “Parent Days” where candidates can bring their parents to tour the company’s work environment, meet potential managers, etc.

To learn more about how I can help your organization, simply visit: TheOrrellGroup.com

Bye for now!
Lisa