Match criteria

Assuming your program will include matching, you’ll need to determine match criteria. The criteria you chose will be related to program goals, program design decisions (for example, the mentoring model used), and practical considerations. In choosing match criteria, always keep in mind that a fundamental goal of matching participants is to facilitate development of a personal bond between them.

Because personal relationships are complicated, it’s best to use multiple criteria, even if the program goals might suggest relying on a single criterion. Here are some examples of match criteria:

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• Job function/department
• Location of the participants
• Mentor’s position in the organization in relation to the mentee
• Personal chemistry
• Race or gender
• Mentees’ goals and aspirations
• Mentees’ development needs
• Mentors’ particular strengths and professional experience
• Mentors' personal experiences/situations
• Hobbies or interests of the mentor and mentee

Implementing the match

After you’ve identified match criteria, you can turn to the method for implementing the match. For example, you might use any of the following, or a combination:

• review of applications (by the program administrator or others designated for that work),
• employment reviews,
• nominations,
• interviews,
• software designed to match based on a variety of factors (inputs).

Mentee screening criteria

Note that you can customize this worksheet to suit your specific screening system. The format shown here assumes potential mentees (referred to here as applicants, as we assume they are applying to participate) are providing this information about themselves – in other words, they are assessing their own qualifications. If potential participants are being interviewed by the program administrator, for example, you can convert this to a checklist the interviewer completes based on his/her observations and questions.

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    Mentee screening criteria worksheet (PDF)

The application

Regardless of whether mentee participation is mandatory or voluntary, to administer the program you should require mentees to provide a profile or application. Here’s a sample mentee application form for voluntary participation in an in-house program that matches mentees and mentors based on some input from the mentors and mentees.

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    Mentee application (PDF)