Mentorship as an effective recruiting tool

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Universally, when speaking with successful people about keys to their achievements, the role that great mentorship played in their lives and careers comes to the forefront. Whether it be mentors in academia, the workplace or in life, we can all point those that have taken real interest in us and have taken the time and effort to help us along our paths. Today I want to spend a few moments discussing how having strong mentorship in the workplace can be an effective tool in the recruitment and retention of key employees. 





Mentorship as an effective recruiting tool



Approximately 75 percent of all Fortune 500 companies have clearly defined and established employee mentoring programs. However, that number greatly reduces proportionally the smaller a company gets. Of all the attributes that smaller companies try to model from the “Big Boys” why has mentorship gotten so little attention, especially when the benefits (tangible and other) are easy measurable. One of the most impressive things about an effective mentoring program is that the positive effects can be felt throughout an organization.


Mentoring can come in many forms, Peer mentors (often utilized for new employees as an effective method to introduce someone to a new environment), Work mentors (serving as an internal advocate and resource guiding mentees through professional goals), and Life mentors (serving as sounding boards as those who can assist in integrating professional development with the larger life journey). As such, clear expectations are essential, as the very term mentoring may carry different connotations for different people.


Strong corporate mentorship programs contribute to improved personal and career development by fostering growth and offering guidance “outside” of the corporate policies and procedures. Having a trusted resource to rely on for insight is a valuable tool for engaged employees. Additionally, onboarding and productivity increase dramatically as mentors become key resources for employees seeking to chart their own career paths.


Mentorship also plays a vital role in companies seeking to employ a diverse workforce. Diversity mentoring helps an organization find the similarities within a diverse workforce and helps to unite the workforce by recognizing differences as a learning opportunity. A recent study by the Harvard Business Review, found that formal mentoring programs within organizations boosted minority and female representation in management on average by almost 25 percent.


A good mentor can help bridge the gap between individual and organizational needs as well as between extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. Mentoring programs, by nature, also encourage a healthy amount of goal setting, fostering leadership and coaching skills in current and future managers. Mentorship also serves as a key building block for effective succession planning depending on size of department / organization. Mentors are leaders. Leaders don’t produce followers. They create additional leaders!


Since mentorship is not a one-way street. mentors and mentees both benefit from the shared experience. By paring employees across all generations, greatly increasing the flow of knowledge both ways, older generations are exposed to many nuances of the current workplace as well (new technologies, social media, and modern trends just to name a few). Through these programs, there is a deepened connection between employees and management.


It is important to remember however, that a formulaic, one-size-fits-all approach can do more damage than good, as mentoring must be personal and not bureaucratic. If the program comes across as another obligatory HR program, getting buy in from the necessary parties will not be easy and can cause resentment or participants merely go through the motions.


Feel free to reach out directly to discuss this topic further as well as any other questions or concerns regarding the current hiring climate.  


Peter Tannenbaum is sought out by leaders in Financial Services who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent. Through Ramax Search’s extensive network of relationships and their “deep dive” qualification process, they are able to identify and secure individuals who represent the top tier of Financial Services professionals. To discover how this process can benefit your organization, call Peter at 212.686.1686 ext. 102.

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