To Recruit, Indian Outsourcers Must Also Woo Parents

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2008-05-27

In the U.S., parents who are overly involved in their children's job and career choices are considered pushy.

Terms such as "helicopter parenting" are thrown at parents who are seen as hovering over their children, swooping in to fight their battles and make their decisions for them. A 2004 60 Minutes report discussed the way the so-called echo boomers--the children of baby boomers, who were born between 1982 and 1995--were "overmanaged" and "very pressured," treated by their parents as pieces of "Baccarat crystal or something that could somehow shatter at any point."

None of these things are exactly positive connotations.

In contrast, the Wall Street Journal profiled outsourcing companies in India, who in the face of a tight labor market, vie to win over the families of potential employees. Family outreach is a critical recruiting and retention tool, the Journal explains, as twenty-somethings in India often live with their parents and seek their blessings on major life decisions.

Such efforts "create a bond, not just between the employees and the organization, but also with the families, and is key to our retention strategy," Ritu Anand, a human resources executive at Tata Consultancy Services, one of India's largest technology and outsourcing companies, told the Journal. (Other outsourcers listed in the article include Wipro, Keane and Convergys.)

So how are these companies working to get on parents' good sides? The article mentions supervisors paying several visits to one employee's family home, providing a shuttle service for employees, having security escorts accompany young women who are riding home alone and holding periodic "family days"--all to build parents' confidence in their company.

Rocket Fuel