Professional Mentoring: A Win-Win Scenario for Employers and Their Veteran Hires
Are professionally mentored job-seekers better candidates?
America's biggest companies think so. According to a recent Forbes column:
- 84% of U.S. Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs
- 90% of U.S. Fortune 250 companies have mentoring programs
- 96% of U.S. Fortune 100 companies have mentoring programs
- 100% of U.S. Fortune 50 companies have mentoring programs
Is your company missing out?
What is professional mentorship
Professional mentorship matches seasoned professionals (mentors) with those looking to grow in their professional career (mentees). There are a few ways this can occur:
- One-on-one mentoring programs: Mentors are matched with mentees, either through a program or on their own. Mentee-mentor pairs participate in a co-learning relationship that follows a structure and timeframe outlined by the organization.
- Group mentoring programs: A single mentor is matched with a cohort of mentees as part of a program that is structured to provide each mentee with individualized guidance from the same mentor.
- Reverse mentoring programs: In reverse mentoring, a junior team member exchanges skills, knowledge, and understanding with a senior colleague who wishes to to build up their capabilities in a field where the junior peer has more experience.
Are there benefits to hiring a candidate who's been mentored?
Absolutely! Professionally mentored employees bring stronger confidence, industry perspective, and leadership skills than those who have not been mentored. Recent data indicates that over 66% of American workers are willing to retrain and reskill for new jobs. Within the transitioning military community, that rate is even higher.
The recruiting and hiring process may be easier with a mentored candidate. A common hurdle in the veteran hiring process is translating military skillsets into civilian ones.
Candidates who have gone through a professional mentorship program are often better equipped to describe their military experience and skillsets in a way that makes sense for corporate recruiters. These candidates will have strong resumes that align well with their industry of interest, due to the hands-on-help they've received through mentorship.
In general, mentored individuals from the military community may have an elevated grasp of business concepts beyond their non-mentored counter-parts.
Mentorship is entwined in military culture.
Veterans and military spouses highly value mentorship. Every veteran who's been in a leadership role was expected to train, mentor, and develop subordinates.
One Navy veteran credits mentors with teaching him vital skills. “I worked in a small unit of nine in Kuwait, and I was the youngest by fifteen years. I like to say I had a Navy mom and dad, because two of my superiors really took an interest in me when I was fresh and green. They guided me along and groomed me for my promotion to E-5,” he said. “That really set me up for success later. By watching them, I learned what it takes to be a good leader. They also taught me how to watch out for junior personnel. I’ll never forget their example when I have people working under me now.”
An Army veteran said, “I was very fortunate. I had very hard, very stiff commanding officers who happened to love me – so it was a great experience. They never put me in a situation that they wouldn’t go into themselves. It all boiled down to top-notch training. They taught me how to be proficient at my job, to be safe, and to go at things the right way.”
A Marine veteran recalls, “As a leader in the Marine Corps, there are a lot of people who you mentor. You tend to know what is going on in their lives, and you learn to be a good listener.” He found that skill translated very well to his current role in sales. “It helped me to listen to a customer’s needs and find the answer that is right for them,” he said.
RecruitMilitary is partnering with mentorship organizations to ensure long-term career results for veterans and military spouses.
Veterati is a digital mentorship platform that supports the military community as they pursue the careers of their dreams at every point in their career journey.
SSV provides practical advice for finding meaningful post-military work. Every career counselor is a Veteran who understands the unique needs of Veterans and their families.
ACP’s free Mentoring Program connects post-9/11 veterans, active duty spouses and eligible military spouses (Protégés) with corporate professionals (Mentors) for customized mentorships. ACP assists veterans and eligible spouses on their path towards fulfilling, long-term careers, whether the veteran is job searching or newly employed.