If your mentees are responsible for finding and requesting their own mentors, this guide will help you manage the experience.
Note: Your program's term for "mentee" may be different, depending on how terminology was customized for your program.
Mentee Workflow: Requesting Mentors
It's best to make sure all your mentors have fully completed their profiles before you invite mentees. That way, your mentees can request a mentor straightaway. This will yield better match rates than if mentees are expected to return a second time to do this.
- A mentee logs into the software, fills out the profile if this is his or her first time logging in, and then lands on the Home page, where the top-recommended mentors are displayed at the top. Mentee will have a quick link to request any of these mentors.
- The mentee may want to filter down their options based on a personal preference such as gender or functional area. To do this, go to the "Mentors" page.
- Filters appear on the right. Make sure your mentees understand that they should not blindly rely on the score: it may not take into account their nuanced needs. Encourage them to feel comfortable filtering based on preferences, and matching with scores that "look low" - even a 40% means they have at least a few things in common.
- After finding someone of interest, click "Connect" next to that person's name. Then select "Request Mentoring Connection" from the drop-down menu. Note: if you have messaging or flash mentoring enabled, the mentee will also see "Send Message" and "Request Meeting," respectively.
- The mentee will be prompted to input a message prior to completing the request. Encourage mentees to put a friendly message explaining why they picked this mentor, and perhaps even thanking them in advance for their time; this will help the mentor feel more comfortable accepting the request.
- After submitting the request, the mentor can check back on the status of pending requests anytime under Quick Links on the home page. The mentee will either be able to send a few more requests to other mentors, or will be blocked from submitting further requests, depending on the settings the admin chose under Program Settings > Matching Settings.
- The mentee will receive an email when the mentor responds. This email will contain a link directly to their shared Connection Area.
Mentor Workflow: Accepting Requests
- The first time after logging in, mentors will fill out the profile & then land on the home page, same as mentees. Now there is not much they can do other than wait for a request to roll in. In the meantime, they are welcome to browse the Help Resources, post an Article, or contribute to a Forum.
- When the mentor receives a request, it will include an email notification. The mentor may click the link in the email to see the request. Alternatively, mentors can check "Mentoring Requests" in the Quick Links on the home page.
- The mentor will review the personalized message from the mentee and click either "Accept" or "Reject." Please train your mentors to feel comfortable rejecting requests if needed with a polite response; otherwise, mentees will feel ignored.
- If the mentor does not respond to the request, you can configure an automatic reminder to go out after X days (you choose). You may also choose to auto-close requests if you find a high volume are sitting untouched. You can also manually send reminders or close requests.
- When the mentor accepts a request, the mentor is automatically redirected to the shared Mentoring Area. Since the mentor is the first person to land on this area, it's a best practice for them to send the first message to break the ice!
Admin Workflow: Monitoring Requests
To view open mentoring requests, on the Manage page, click the Matching card, then click Mentor Requests. Select Pending within the Filter in the right column.
- Keep tabs on this page. If you see a high volume of requests that stay pending for a long time, this might be a training opportunity for your mentors.
- You can track the average time requests sit in "pending" from the Program Health Report.
What happens if a mentor declines a mentee request?
- If a mentor turns down a mentee's match request, that mentor will still be visible to that mentee and still available to be requested again by the same mentee.
- The reason the mentor checks off when declining the requedst is viewable by both the mentee and the admin.
- The decline reason the mentor checks off does not have any further technical/workflow impact. If they select that they are unavailable, but have not marked themselves unavailable on the profile, they will still be visible to the same mentee.
Can I control the final decision about who gets matched?
There is a way to route all requests through you, the administrator. However, this is not a workflow we recommend unless absolutely necessary -- it is a complex, unwieldy process which will not scale neatly as your program grows. In this workflow, mentees will send a list of their preferred mentors to the program admin. These will be received via the Mentoring Requests tool, just like in regular self-match. The admin then assigns a mentor from the list provided by the mentor. There is no bulk match option with this workflow. If you would like to see a demo, please contact Chronus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can mentors send offers if they do not receive any requests?
Yes. Contact Chronus to get this feature enabled.
Can I control or limit how many mentors each mentee sees?
Yes. On request, we can enable a feature called Mentor Recommendations. This allows you to use the Bulk Match feature to push specific recommendations to mentees. You can choose how many mentors you want to recommend per mentee -- e.g., 3 or 4. If you also hide the Mentors list from mentees (via Program Settings > Permissions), then mentees will only see the specific mentors you have recommended. When you push recommendations, it triggers an email to mentees and displays your recommendations on their home page.
This is a great option for a few use cases: if you want to personalize recommendations beyond the system-generated ones, if you want to limit how many mentors each mentee sees, or if mentees are struggling with understanding how to choose the "right" mentor.