Recruiting Mentors for Your Corporate Mentoring Program

May 15, 2014

In a poll taken one of our recent webinars, 51% of attendees said that recruiting mentors and coaches had been a challenge in implementing their mentoring or coaching program. Thereís often a lot of emphasis placed on qualifying and matching mentees, when just as often administrators are faced with the more fundamental problem of finding mentors and ensuring that theyíre ready to undertake the mentoring journey.

Recruiting Mentors

Many organizations find that mentor recruitment is low, and assume itís because of the personal cost of their would-be mentorsí time. Insalaís mentoring training expert Judy Corner offers three steps you can take that will improve your mentor recruitment numbers.

  1. Clear up any misconceptions of what mentors are. Administrators often have difficulty with mentor recruitment because ďthere is a historical misperception regarding what a mentor is,Ē says Corner. Itís not necessary for mentors to have many years of experience, a higher job profile, or more years with the organization. All mentors need is a certain area of expertise, knowledge, or skill that is sought by the mentee, and the willingness and ability to share it.
  2. Assemble a mentor role profile, and explain what mentors mean to your organization. Youíll find that this step is important in both mentor recruitment and mentor qualification, because it enables your mentor candidates to understand the mentor role in terms of your organizationís vision for the program, as well as the skills required to be a mentor.
  3. Communicate exactly what value mentors will provide to your organization, and lay out what will be expected from them. Donít just communicate the expectations you have of your mentors Ė communicate how they will make a difference in the lives of their mentees, as well as to the organization as a whole.

Qualifying Mentors

After youíve recruited candidates to be mentors, how do you qualify them?

  1. Create a mentor role profile. Again, itís important to explain exactly what the role of the mentor will and will not be in your program in order to prevent any surprises down the line.
  2. Ensure that mentor candidates are willing to take on the commitment of mentoring. Taking on the role of a mentor is a big responsibility. Make sure your mentor candidates have fully accounted for the time and effort mentors must give by aligning their expectations with your requirements.
  3. Ensure that mentor candidates have the necessary skills to mentor. Having experience is good, but if mentors donít have the communication, coaching, and leadership skills to convey their experience in a relevant way, the mentor-mentee partnership will be ineffectual. Ultimately, sheer willingness is less important than the skill ability to mentor when it comes to your mentorsí success.

Once you've done that, don't forget to consider using mentoring software to help with the administration, accuracy, and proof of your mentoring program's success!

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