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Helicopter Parents Hover in the Workplace

As the millennial generation enters the workforce, employers report that parents are taking an increasingly active role advocating on behalf of their children.

So-called helicopter parents first made headlines on college campuses a few years ago, when they began trying to direct everything from their children’s course schedules to which roommate they were assigned.

With millennial children now in their 20s, more helicopter parents are showing up in the workplace, sometimes even phoning human resources managers to advocate on their child’s behalf.

Megan Huffnagle, a former human resources manager at a Denver theme park, recalls being shocked several years ago when she received a call from a young job applicant’s mother.

“An employee was hired as an IT intern, and the parent called and proceeded to tell me how talented her son was, and how he deserved much more [compensation], and that he could make much more money outside of this position,” Huffnagle says.

Despite the pressure, Huffnagle stood firm, and the young man ultimately accepted the job. But the new employee was embarrassed by his mother’s phone call, Huffnagle says. “I think there was a little bit of the roll of the eyes and a bit of a blush,” she recalls.

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