Has anyone else noticed an increase of resumes coming from the parents of out-of-work college graduates? I was shocked when I saw the first one a few months ago, but have seen several since; seriously, who would ever hire a person whose mommy chased down the interview for them? It seems to me that this is yet another example of the generation who will be sitting in the C-Suite when I’m in the rest home years from now. Is this is a taste of our future, and if so - what are we in for?
Call Me Scared
Annoying, isn’t it? I mean when the unemployment rate is higher than it has been in either of our lifetimes, and competition for jobs is unprecedented in most industries, what kind of sissy let’s his parents network on his behalf?
Two thoughts come to mind immediately regarding your question, my friend. First, never look a gift horse in the mouth. Great candidates show up in the strangest places, even in the form of unsolicited resumes from well-meaning moms and dads. Recruiting 101: Turn over every rock until you find the hire.
Second, get over your assumptions that the source of a resume determines the quality of the person it represents. Although there is some correlation between the two, it may serve you better to approach every candidate with a “three strikes you’re out” rule: one red flag, test your assumptions by looking for more supporting behaviors. Two red flags: explore it further to see if the behavior is an anomaly or a trend. Three red flags: Round file the candidate and move on.
In this case, it strikes you odd that a job seeker would look for a job through his parents. The implication is that the candidate isn't capable to do it himself, so stage-mommy steps in to make it happen. So investigate the red flag: if your assumption is true, what other behaviors are lurking there below the surface? Give him something to prepare in advance of an interview with you, and see who does the foot work. Build questions into the interview that explore his success with (and attitude toward) initiating, driving, and completing tasks. And if he passes that screen, build questions into the reference check that explore the same thing from the perspective of those (preferably not his parents) who have been in a position to observe.
Once you get past your own assumptions about where good candidates come from, you may find yourself making more placements. Who knows? Happy recruiting!
In my day job, I’m the Head of Products for Improved Experience, where we help employers use feedback to measure and manage quality in hiring and retention. Learn more about us here
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