Director Dad’s Reaction to Job Candidate With Kid in Her Lap Should Be Standard Everywhere

In the COVID era, it’s more important than ever that employees and prospective employees alike feel supported in the workplace. Luckily, one dad ensured just that.

When DJ Cervantes, a Boston-based director of talent management and performance coach manager, had a video interview with a candidate who lacked childcare, he knew he had the chance to take the initiative.

As the mom’s camera turned on and he saw her scurry her kiddo off her lap, DJ, a dad himself, smiled and gave her two options: they could reschedule the interview for a better time, or they could continue with her child on her lap. When she decided to keep her child on her lap for the interview, an idea came to him.

The dad, who also lacked childcare, called his 3-year-old into the room to sit on his lap for the interview. In an inspiring LinkedIn post, he shared the impact it had on the candidate and the interview itself.

“I could see the weight drop from her shoulders. She lifted her head with pride. She nailed every question. We laughed a lot. The kids had a blast making faces to each other,” DJ wrote. “And she got a job offer because she was smart, competent, and qualified to do the job at a high level.”

Such a simple gesture proved to make all the difference. Because he made the effort to ensure the mom felt comfortable, not only did she get a glimpse of how supportive the company’s work environment is—she felt at ease enough to nail the interview.

With hundreds of thousands of women being pushed out of the workforce due to school closures and a lack of childcare, every effort made by managers counts. In a recent study by the job search site Joblist, one in 10 parents said they hadn’t been offered any effective means of support from their employer—and only 10.8 percent of respondents described their employer’s support as “excellent.” Women were far more likely to report their employer’s support as “poor.” No wonder women are leaving the workforce at four times the rate of men.

“Just because we’ve been at this for almost a year doesn’t mean we don’t need to continue to lead with empathy and grace,” DJ wrote. And we couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Managers, if you’re reading this, listen up. We’re still in the thick of the pandemic, and it’s on you to offer the support working parents need to succeed in the workforce. And leading by example, just like DJ did, is a great first step.

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