Types of Mentor Matching: The Pros and Cons 

When organizations are seeking to develop their performing employees, they may often wonder, "What is the best approach to finding the most optimal mentoring match?" 

There are several methods that can be used in the mentor matching process for a successful mentoring relationship. No matter which method your organization chooses, we recommend simplifying the process by using mentor matching software for your mentoring program. 

When using this software to facilitate mentor-matching, you should also recognize your top priorities: 

  • Is timing crucial?   
  • As the administrator, do you need full control?   
  • Should potential mentors and mentees be matched by compatibility?   
  • Is the number of possible matches important?   

Recognizing these top priorities will allow your organization to get the most out of your matching software and choose the process that works best for your overall goals. 

When considering how to match your mentoring participants, these are a few different types of matching that can be used in the matching process. 

Self-Matching 

Mentees know what they are looking for in a mentor, so sometimes it’s best to let them choose. 

We have seen that when a mentee chooses their mentor, the relationship can be longer-lasting and more fruitful. 

Pros: 

  • Usually, a more successful match 
  • Does not require administrator’s time 

Cons: 

  • Mentees don’t always initiate relationship searching process 
  • Less control of matching for admin  
  • The match may not align with program or organizational objectives 

If your goal is to find your employees mentors that they can connect with professionally and personally, self-matching is a great approach. Although it may mean less administrational work for the organization, self-matching can be more difficult to track in terms of success. Self-matching is dictated by the mentee and can be less engaging. 

Admin Matching 

As an employer, if you need control over mentor-matching decisions, admin matching is a practical option. 

Pros: 

  • Administrator has full control over matching process 
  • Mentees aren’t required to request or respond to matches 

Cons: 

  • Takes hours to days to match every mentee 
  • Chosen mentoring relationships may not be the best match 

If timing is critical, this may not be the best approach. Use admin matching if a higher number of matches is a priority, and you have the time to put into the mentor matching process. 

Hybrid Matching 

This mixture of admin matching and self matching is also an option. It carries the advantages of both options as well as their disadvantages. 

Pros: 

  • Administrator has full control over matching process 
  • Mentee chooses their preferred mentor 

Cons: 

  • Longest matching process 
  • Mentees don’t always request a mentor 
  • Mentors don’t always accept/decline requests 

This is an effective form of mentor matching if timing isn’t critical and harmonious mentoring relationships are a priority. 

How Insala's mentoring software streamlines mentor matching 

With the capability to use custom matching criteria and the power of our P3 Mentor Matching Algorithm, Insala’s mentoring software makes mentor matching easy. Together, they are the recipe for creating mentor-mentee pairs that meet development needs and align with business goals.   

  • P3 Matching Algorithm: Our 3-level approach finds the best possible mentor match through an aligned questionnaire, profile data, and personality compatibility.  
  • Match Percentage Indicator: Our matching technology will let you know how good of a match a mentor is.  

At Insala, our more than 25 years of experience has enabled us to design and develop mentoring software that meets the direct needs of our clients. Your organization’s unique objectives will be implemented in a way that your goals can be achieved. To learn more about how mentoring software can boost your mentor matching processrequest a demo with one of our experts. 

Judy is the Director of Consulting and Mentoring at Insala. She has over 30 years of experience providing customized human resources consulting services to medium to large organizations across a variety of industries. In the area of mentoring, Judy has designed and delivered workshops, training, and a complete mentoring methodology. Judy’s mentoring process is the foundation of Insala’s mentoring solution we know today. Her thought leadership articles have been published in journals such as The Diversity Journal and Industrial and Commercial Training and she has spoken at many conferences throughout her career.

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