For the last few years, in many of my presentations to the CPA profession and in conversations at partner and firm retreats, I have been warning firm leaders that they need to be prepared for involving the parents of new college graduates as they participate in the college recruiting adventure.
Some CPAs are completely shocked when I bring up this topic. This month as I was talking to the savvy ladies and gentlemen at the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) Women's Leadership Luncheon, there was no one in the room who had received a call from a parent of an employee. Important: In many of my sessions during the last two to three years, hands go up when I ask the question: "Have you had the parent of a Millennial call into the office about something going on with their son or daughter?" One participant told me",The grandpa called me!"
I once talked to a mother making the rounds at a college career fair. She told me her son was taking an exam and she was investigating on his behalf. Keep in mind, these parents are the ones who shout the loudest on the sidelines, called the little league coach, the soccer coach, or the gymnastics instructor. They want what is best for their child. All parents do.
The parents of young people entering the CPA profession are very influential when it comes to helping their children make decisions.
Think back . . . did you consult your parents before you took your first job? Before you bought your first car, rented your first apartment? Most of us Baby Boomers did just that. It's gone to a whole new level.
Per a recent blog post via Harvard Business Review titled",Parents May Be Your Secret Weapon for Recruiting and Retaining Millennials" by Karie Willyerd:
This is a new reality: Parents are increasingly involved in their Millennials' decisions. According to one study, more than a third of Millennials with a mentor say a parent fills that role. In another study, when asked to list the most influential people in their lives, 61 percent named their parents ahead of political leaders, news media, teachers, coaches, faith leaders, and celebrities. Pew Research reports that 36 percent of Millennials still live with their parents.
Be sure to follow the link and read the entire blog post – it will give you some good ideas.
"A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary."
– Dorothy C. Fisher
About the author:
Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor, and blogger. She has over thirty years of hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology, and administrative operations.