Employee Gen Y: How to Recruit and Retain…The Parent?

With the induction of a new generation in the workforce, new challenges are presented to employers that require some type of adjustment to the
workplace environment. The “it” generation at present is Gen Y or as they have become more prominently known, the “Millenials.”

Since Millenials are relatively new to the workplace, employers are still negotiating the hazards that each new generation presents to traditional practices such as recruiting and retention strategies. Now more than ever employers are challenged with not only integrating a new generation into the workplace and preparing for some of the cultural changes it elicits, but becoming an appealing organization to attract Millennial employees, and their…parents?

Yes. Parents. Never before have parents been so pronounced in their adult child’s work life until Millenials claimed their membership in the working world. Commonly known as “Helicopter Parents” among human resources and recruiting departments in companies across the nation,
these parents have a strong influence over their adult child’s career decisions. Everything from what company they should work for to what type of health benefits they should select are deliberated with their “helicopter” parents.

Observers of this new trend contend that it should not come as too much of a surprise to organizations that parents remain so actively involved in their child’s life long after they have left home. Especially considering that Millenials were raised under the pretenses that they could be
whatever they wanted and that there was nothing that they could not achieve-Helicopter parents not only expect that the workplace will foster their child’s career growth and treat them as professional equals (despite their lack of experience), but that organizations will provide superior benefits and perks that allow for a healthy work-life balance.

For positions that are best suited with a Gen Y candidate, companies need to prepare their recruiting and retention strategies to appeal to both the employee and their parent. If your organization provides for flexible work arrangements, alternative work schedules, and other ancillary perkssuch as laptops, Blackberries or iPhones, car allowance, etc. it is important to highlight these advantages in order to attract to both a Gen Y employee and their parent.

Ultimately is it practical to assume that companies must cater to every need and expectation a Gen Y employee and parent has about a potential employer? Not necessarily. However it is important to recognize that as Millenials enter the workforce in growing numbers over the coming years, companies will need to accept that Gen Y parents are inevitably going to become a part of the workforce; to the extent that they will yield some type of decision making authority over the course of their Gen Y child’s career, which will impact organizations across the nation.