If you have had a good career in recruitment or any other industry for that matter, my guess is that you have had many people help you on your way to the top. These people may have been formal managers, informal or formal mentors and coaches, who have spent time & energy nurturing your talent or been your sounding board when you had important decisions to make. In 2014 and 2015 I have volunteered to be a mentor in the RCSA's PEARL mentoring program. The process is that RCSA will match you with a mentee, who wants to learn something, that you already have proven success in. I was extra fortunate as both years I was matched with no less than two mentees. On reflection here are 7 reasons why YOU need to become a Mentor this year:
1. You can give back to an industry that has contributed to your career and standard of living. In Kevin's words, you have a vehicle through the RCSA PEARL mentoring program to send the elevator back down.
2. Like many recruitment industry peers, we often lament the way, our industry is perceived by the wider business community. Sometimes with good reason as our industry can and does attract people who are only in it for short term gain. However I believe this to be a very small minority, so if we want to raise the perception of our $23 billion dollar industry, we all need to pull together to raise the standard across the board. What better way to do this than to share the gold nuggets of your experience and success with an aspiring recruitment leader? Let's not let the next generation of recruitment professionals have to make it up as they go.
3. The program is run by Altus Q and the facilitator Vanessa Fudge will teach you sound mentoring practices. Like I said to her in 2015 on my second round, she was one of the reasons I came back into the program, so I could enhance my skills. And that's working as a professional coach and mentor already. If as a recruitment leader, you think you have no more to learn, join this program and you will be pleasantly surprised. Some of my fellow mentors mentioned that they have taken some of the methodologies learnt, back to use with their own staff for richer conversations and outcomes.
4. It is a two way street; you may be the experienced person in the mentor-mentee relationship, but you have the opportunity to learn much. You may learn about how you relate to and motivate people. You may learn something unexpected from the mentees, who may be of a different generation to yourself. A very powerful development tool used in the U.S. is reverse mentoring where a less experienced/younger person mentors someone in the executive ranks. Whilst this is not the stated intention with the program, do not be surprised if it happens.
5. Role model how mature our industry is, when we can have leaders mentor aspiring leaders from other recruitment companies. RCSA will do their best in the matching process to avoid conflicts of interest, but as we say;" what happens in the mentoring relationship, stays in the mentoring relationship" or is that 'on tour"?
6. You get to spend time with very experienced and cool peers who are also mentors in your Quarterly catch ups. Again you can share and learn from each other. Sometimes you need to broaden your horizon by seeing what occupies other recruitment professionals. Remember the five people you spend the most time with, will influence you in every way. So seek out knowledgeable likeminded people, who are also generous of nature and who are also volunteering for all the above reasons!
7. Last but not least; the time you need to commit to is 90 minutes per month for 12 months, which is 18 hours. Think about who has sent the elevator down for you and is it time that you pay it forward by committing to sending the elevator down for someone else?
Sneaky 8th: As all the mentors volunteer their time, it is part of the agreement that the mentee pays for the coffee when you meet, so you get free coffee!
Look forward to seeing you send that elevator down!