10 Nov 21 The Importance of Matching and How Mentoring Software Can Make It Easier for You
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Wise words from Benjamin Franklin, and ones which outline how we at sfG MentorNet work with our customers – including when it comes to making your matching process easier. Finding the right mentor and mentee for a mentoring relationship has a big impact on the success of everyone in the pair, but also for the success of your mentoring programme. Matching up lots of different mentors and mentees, and trying to get that as correct as possible to meet each of their needs, can be a challenge in a lot of mentoring schemes. Below, we suggest some things to consider when looking at matching mentors and mentees – and those include how our online mentoring software can help you in this process.
Paper to Portal – Use Automation Where You Can
Most people we speak to are currently using paper and spreadsheets, or multiple files to carry out their matching process for mentors and mentees. Many will be laying them all out on a table and matching that way. That may work as you start a scheme and you have a small number of matches, but as your scheme grows, this just won’t be sustainable. This manual approach will potentially drive you crazy, use a lot of unnecessary time and often incur double entries. Watch a presentation from Bertie Ross at Brunel University, who talked about switching from “Paper to Portal” and how that helped them do more for their students.
Use the System to Collect the Information You Need About Your Mentors and Mentees
Our software gives you suggested matches based on the information it has. At the start you decide what criteria you want to match mentors and mentees based on. This can be by age, gender, industry, skills and expertise – or anything else you want! Based on the criteria and the information from the users, the system will then provide a list of suggested matches. You can then use tools to search – either by keyword or on flexible search filters.
Work out How the Matching Process will be Carried Out
It’s up to you how you carry out the matching process – whether it will be solely caried out by the administrators or will the process be driven by the input from mentees. In such a case, the mentee would request which mentors they would prefer, the requests would then come to the administrators of the programme to approve the match they think is most appropriate. Each way provides its own positives, it just depends on how you want to work!
Understand the Capacity and Preferences of Mentors and Mentees
Some mentors may want to just mentor one person and others may wish to have 2 or 3 at a time. The system captures how many mentees a mentor thinks they will have capacity for, so you can match accordingly. You can set the maximum number of mentees a mentor can have, such as 5 and mentors can then choose from 0 to 5, how many they will mentor. This can automatically ensure that no mentor gets more mentees than they have said they have capacity for.
Equally, understanding the preferences of mentees and again recording that in your system, will help mentees have a better match. You can for example, enable them to assign mentors a score out of ten and add a note, so that you as administrators can understand who they’d prefer to be matched to – and do so if appropriate. This is a great way to help guide your decisions and matching process.
Match People Provisionally, before you Make your Final Decision
Since you will have lots of people to match, you may want to provisionally match a pair while you carry on through and match others. It could be for example, that as you continue, you find a better match for each mentor and mentee. Our matching admin screen allows you to go through a list of provisional matches at the end of your matching, it gives you a snapshot of the user’s profile and information and then lets you confirm all provisional matches once you are satisfied. Once the matches are made an email notification will be sent out from the system to let the mentor and mentee know they have a new partner!
If you want to find out more about how our mentoring software can help you, see here.
Watch some short videos here, to find out how other customers have reduced the administration of their matching process.