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Let’s Talk About Those Pesky Millennial Helicopter Parents

Yesterday, we shared a horrifying article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal focusing on the ever-terrifying level of involvement parents have in the youngest working generation's professional lives. Including the article — creepily entitled "Should You Bring Mom and Dad to the Office?" — in yesterday's Footnotes prompted one loyal GC reader to ask: REALLY?!

Hi Caleb/Adrienne/Intern/NSA Spook,

PwC got a one-sentence mention in an article in the WSJ, “Should You Bring Mom and Dad to the Office?” which stated that “PwC also hosts receptions for interns' parents at some of its offices.”

Please do a survey of how involved the parents get in the job search and/or job of young accountants.  It’s one thing to discuss interview tips with your parents, or ask for negotiation strategy advice, but are they really bringing their parents to office interviews, recruiting/office events, or sharing their performance reviews?   Are parents getting cc’d on review notes?

(I heard a story, possibly an urban legend, that someone A1’s parent called the partner to dispute their child’s first annual review.    Allegedly the young A1 was soon laughed out of the job, because word got around.   I do tend to believe it, though, and I want more stories like this.)

If you recall, we once shared a set of recruiting slides that featured tips like "roar at the young ones" and "go after the parents," which suggested when wooing new talent, it's important to woo the parents too. Funny, I don't recall living in that world but maybe I'm old.

Admittedly, the WSJ is trolling here:

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%.

6% is hardly a trend but anything above 0% is a bit scary. Isn't any new grad not blacklisted from the family going to share the exciting news of their fancy ole accounting firm offer with mom and dad anyway? Why would the firm need to CC the parents?

So we absolutely have to ask: did any of you bring your mommy along to Meet the Firms? Or have dad negotiate a better salary? Or maybe needed grandma to hold your hand before you walked into the office on the first day?

And would you bring your mom or dad to your interview? Please answer that candidly, I have to believe people aren't actually doing that and WSJ is just trying to make a story where there is none. Please tell me I'm right.