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How to Use Targeted Recruitment to Find the Best Mentors

During the final days of National Mentoring Month, I had the privilege of attending the 2015 Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC. Gathered with hundreds of other mentors from across the nation, the Practice Makes Perfect programs team has been attending workshops focused on expanding the mentoring effect. Here are three valuable takeaways that I learned from a workshop by Michigan State University on targeted recruitment: Where and how do you find mentors?

In order to target the right people for a particular position, you need to identify specifically what you are looking for in a candidate. Genuine, committed, compassionate, flexible, dedicated, resilient, communicative and passionate are all adjectives that describe a mentor. These terms, and others specific to each organization and role, need to be present in every job description. Express exactly whom you are looking for in order to find them. Target areas and groups where you can find people who fit these qualities. You might find mentors at universities, churches, barbershops, local coffee shops, among friends of current mentors or among retired teachers.

What benefits of mentoring should I advertise?

Identifying the benefits each mentor will receive by participating in a program is crucial to targeting the right people. Tangible benefits such as training skills, making new friends and resume building, and intangible benefits, such as making a difference and putting skills to use, are factors that appeal to future mentors.  These benefits are used by recruiters to motivate them to join their organizations. Know your mentor’s purpose, mission, and continue to craft messages that will motivate your specific targeted group.

How do I leverage my current mentors to boost sign-ups of future mentors?

One of the most important and effective recruitment methods is taking advantage of what is happening with your current mentors. Referrals are so vital to the recruitment process, so it is important make sure your current mentors have a positive experience. PMP’s programs department, including my role in recruiting, focuses not only on recruitment, but also on training, complete support throughout the program and ongoing engagement throughout the rest of the year. All mentors should leave your program with a positive experience. Encourage them to share those positive stories of their time with your organization to their network.