3 Ways For Matching Mentors and Mentees

August 01, 2019
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Successful mentorships in formal mentoring programs should always start with a strategized mentor matching process. This approach allows for strategic mentor matches to be made based on the qualifications of the mentors. There should always be a plan for matching mentors and mentees before the program launches.

Mentor matching can be done in several different ways. The matching strategy used is usually determined by the size of the program, the participants involved, and the business strategy. Our recommendations would be to use mentoring software to facilitate the best possible match.

There are several different ways to mentor match, both with and without software. Different organizations can choose to approach this process differently, depending on their needs.

Here are 3 ways to match your mentee with a mentor.

Mentee Self-Matching for Career Development

We have seen that mentorships in which mentees choose their mentor, are more likely to become long-term relationships with higher success rates. This is especially true for a mentoring program focused on career development where the mentee is looking for a mentor from a similar career path. However, the mentee cannot just arbitrarily choose a mentor.

When matching for career development, the possible mentors need to be at least one career level higher than the mentee. They should also be more experienced in areas the mentee wants to develop, and they should participate willingly. Matching software can ensure the mentor can fulfill the career development needs by filtering through mentor candidates.

Matching software should provide the mentee with a list of qualified mentors and their appropriate profiles. The mentee can then choose their own mentor from this list and begin their career development journey. This mentor match option is both appropriate for career development goals and more likely to produce a meaningful mentorship.

Hybrid Matching for Leadership Development

When it comes to leadership development mentoring, the mentees are often high-potential employees. Some organizations prefer to choose the mentor for these hi-po employees, because this employee is often being groomed for the c-suite. The organization wants more control over the mentor match in these situations, so we recommend hybrid matching.

Hybrid matching allows key executives to compile a list of the most qualified mentors. The mentee then gets to choose their final mentor from this list. This type of mentor matching allows both the mentee and the organization to participate in the matching process to choose the optimal match.

Hybrid matching programs tend to be more selective and advantageous to high-potential employees. However, even if the mentee is not a hi-po or the goal is not leadership development, hybrid matching is still an option. It involves multiple parties checking to make sure that the matches made are good ones, increasing the likelihood of success.

Like self-matching, mentor matching software can also be beneficial to hybrid matching. This will help the executives compile the list of all available mentors initially. The execs can then disqualify mentors that they donít feel will help the mentee. The remaining candidates are passed on for the mentee to choose from.

Administrator Lead Matching

Before technology, administrator lead matching was the only option within an organization. Today, most organizations allow the mentee to choose their own mentor. However, there are still some instances in which the program admin may choose for the mentee.

This could be caused by a small program with no immediate need for matching software. It can also be caused by a mentee that canít find a mentor. In these instances, the admin is in charge of compiling a list of all qualified mentors and matching them to the mentees. It should work like matching software. The admin should try to select matches that will be most compatible and successful with the mentee.

To qualify these mentors by hand, the admins should issue mentor qualification assessments. These assessments should measure the competencies and skills the mentor can bring to the table. These assessments will tell program admins which mentors are qualified for each mentee. Qualifications based on program-specific criteria will help make more sound and stable mentor matches.

Mentor Training

Regardless of the mentor match method, once mentors have been selected to participate, they should go through mentor training. Training will help get mentors ready for mentorships by clearly defining their roles and responsibilities. The growth mentors will go through during mentor training will help the match and the mentorship be more successful.

Mentors who have been properly matched with a mentee and trained for their positions are more likely to produce excellent mentoring relationships. These mentorships will provide the company will benefits like increased employee engagement and elevated company culture.

At Insala, we have provided many mentor matching solutions to organizations across the globe. Our mission is to ensure your mentees find the best possible match, while saving time for program administrators. 


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