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Hiring managers, job seekers note retention benefits of mentorship programs



Both hiring managers and job seekers see the benefits in offering mentorship programs, which can aid recruitment and retention in the year ahead, according to a Dec. 13 report from Express Employment Professionals.

Most job seekers and hiring managers supported mentorship programs for upskilling and reskilling opportunities, attracting prospective employees and cultivating greater connections between employees.

“A mentorship program in companies is like a shortcut to success,” Bill Stoller, Express Employment International CEO, said in a statement.

“It’s a practical way to transfer knowledge, refine skills and foster a culture of continuous improvement,” he said. “By connecting experienced individuals with those eager to learn, companies not only boost employee development but also build a stronger, more collaborative workforce.”

In a survey of more than 1,000 hiring decision-makers and more than 1,000 U.S. adults, 82% of hiring managers said they believe job candidates are more attracted to companies that offer mentorship programs. Eighty-five percent of job seekers agreed.

Around two-thirds of hiring managers said their company offers on-the-job training/upskilling, followed by mentorship programs (40%) and reskilling (31%). Among those that offer mentorship programs, 81% said they do it for upskilling purposes.

In addition, 2 in 5 companies offer mentorship programs to reduce brain drain and keep older employees engaged, particularly as companies lose employees to retirement, as well as their institutional knowledge and experience.

Among companies that don’t have a mentorship program in place, 52% said they’re likely to implement one in the next two years.

Formal mentorship programs may be on the rise as more companies say they plan to implement one in the coming years, according to an Association for Talent Development report. Although in-person, one-on-one chats remain the most common way to provide mentorship, virtual programs have grown in popularity as well.

Mentorship and sponsorship programs can also boost diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, according to reports of successful programs at FedEx and Edward Jones. Senior leaders, in particular, can elevate underrepresented talent by guiding them through career development and leadership skills.

When considering return-to-office and hybrid policies this year, employers may consider highlighting the opportunities for mentorship and learning while in the office. A WFH Research report found that employees spend more of their workday on mentorship, training and professional development when they’re on site.

Mentorship can also play a key role in succession planning, HR experts told HR Dive. With a transition plan in place, mentorship can help a new leader gain on-the-job training and retain the institutional knowledge of the departing employee.

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