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Are Parents Micro-managing Millennials? The Influence Of Parents On Graduates’ Early Career Decisions

With the end of the academic year looming, finishing university can be a daunting time for graduates and many find themselves moving back in with their parents whilst searching for their first ‘proper’ job.

New research shows that when looking for a role to kick start their career, many graduates turn to their parents for advice and guidance. Parents maintain a strong influence on the choices that their child makes; whether this is helping them choose which subjects to study at GCSE or which university to apply for.  So, it should come as no surprise that Millennials are taking advice from their parents on which job offers to accept.

Cohesion, leading recruitment specialists, surveyed parents of graduates they had placed in roles over the last year and found that almost half (49%) of respondents had advised their child on whether to accept or decline a job offer.

With regards to academia, 45% of respondents had indicated that they had encouraged their child to apply for a particular university course. In fact, a recent report by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services found that 54% of students surveyed said that their parents tried to influence their choice of course or career. These students said they did not object to parents’ attempts to influence them; 66% thought this was the right thing for parents to do, while only 7% thought it was wrong.

Naturally, parents holding such an influence over their child’s career decision, has a significant impact on recruiters.  Cohesion research revealed that when looking into the most important factors that parents value in a potential job for their child the following applied;

  • Future progression opportunities & enjoyment of the role ranked highest
  • Training opportunities came a close second
  • Company reputation and work/life balance also ranked higher than pay
  • Location, benefits and salary were ranked the least important

Will Shepherd, CEO at Cohesion, comments; “Throughout our investigation, it has become even more apparent that parents are actively taking part in influencing the graduate recruitment process.  It would seem that helicopter parents are still hovering during the early career process!

When recruiting graduates for a job, it is not uncommon to have parents calling-up to discuss the potential role or for the graduate to say, “I need to speak to my parents” before accepting an offer.”

Will adds; “It’s important for employers to recognise what new graduates are looking for within a role – and which benefits to highlight. Company culture, reputation and career progression all rank highly for parents of graduates, so employers need to consider bringing these benefits to the fore.

“In recent years, many companies have begun embracing the relationship between parents and their adult children – it has also become more and more common for companies to include ‘parent pages’ as part of their careers portal, where company information can be tailored to suit parental needs.”

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