Why introduce a mentoring programme?
One of the key findings of our research, ‘Raising the bar in HR recruitment’, was that the integration of new hires is often unsuccessful. We thought an external mentoring scheme would help candidates during their first 100 days. After reaching out to our network of senior HR professionals, we were inundated with people who said they’d love to be mentors, and so far we’ve matched 25 of them with candidates. We make the introduction, then it’s up to the two individuals to forge the relationship, which usually lasts much longer than 100 days.
What are the benefits for the mentors and mentees?
Mentors from outside the organisation are able to offer neutral feedback and enable someone to appreciate situations from another point of view. For a mentee, it’s someone to share your challenges with and bounce ideas off. Equally, the mentor can be independent and ask frank questions about the scenarios you’re faced with. As a mentor, it’s rewarding to share the experiences of another person in your field and see them develop and grow. Learning, professional growth and personal development all dovetail with what the HR profession is all about.
Mentor: Chris Leonard, EMEA head of HR, Blackrock
“Building a mentoring relationship has been hugely valuable to me. Transitions into roles are difficult as the gloss of the new firm wears off to unveil the harsh realities of cultural challenges, political blockers and people management nay-sayers. Having navigated some challenging circumstances in my own career, being able to support a talented HR professional and build a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship has been very rewarding. Watching someone taking control of their career and putting into action stuff you discussed with them and then seeing the positive return they receive from their firm makes me wish I’d had someone to turn to when I was in my middle management years.”
Mentee: Sarah Day, global head of people, Ben Sherman Group Ltd
“I have built a strong professional relationship with a senior HRD. This has really benefited me in terms of acting as a sounding board outside my current organisation, pushing me in my professional development and allowing me to really think outside the box. Mentoring can really add value and encourage further networking within the HR profession.”