Together Mentorship Platform

Pairing criteria best practices on Together Software

Here are the 10 criteria to consider when setting up your matching process for your mentoring program.

Together Team

Published on 

March 8, 2023

Updated on 

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Together’s pairing algorithm makes the best mentor-to-mentee matches possible. It has a 99% success rate you can trust every time. However, participants need to supply the right information for our algorithm to match the best pairs. 

This article will explain what criteria admins need to consider when pairing mentors and mentees (i.e. what they need to have in common).

Top 10 things to consider when pairing mentors and mentees

We have 10 criteria you should consider when pairing mentors and mentees. When building a mentorship program on Together, these are key registration questions for participants. 

This will assist the algorithm in making the best possible matches. The answers won’t just help the algorithm, but they will also populate their mentoring profile that other participants can see when browsing. You can also integrate your existing HRIS data to create more comprehensive profiles.   

Let’s dig into the top 10 things to consider when matching mentors and mentees.

1. Tenure

How long has the mentor or mentee been working? This gives you an idea of their professional experience and who would be a good fit.  

2. Professional discipline/function

You can decide to match mentors and mentees in the same discipline or with a similar function.

3. What soft skills do they want/offer?

Depending on what users are looking for, you could include questions about soft skills in your criteria.

4. Career goals: what hard skills do they want/offer

Hard skills are also a potential matching criterion to pair users. You can ask users to list skills they are hoping to learn, and what hard skills mentors have to offer.

5. Career goals: their motivation for joining the program

You could ask about a person’s inspiration to join a mentorship program. This can help you find the right mentor for them. What career goals are they hoping to achieve?

6. Language

Speaking the same language is also an important criterion to consider particularly if you work in a large multi-national organization. Most of the time, employees with the same native language will pair up.

7. Affiliations

Organizations, groups, alumni and other affiliations mentees and mentors belong to is a great matching criterion.

8. Location and time zone

Participant location is important to consider if you’re matching people from different parts of the world. It can be challenging to maintain a mentoring relationship when your mentor or mentee is several hours ahead or behind you.

9. Reporting line

At Together, we always advise that administrators use the rule within the pairing algorithm that keeps managers from being matched as mentors with their subordinates. It’s a conflict of interest. Likewise, consider if a mentor may be too far away from a mentee in the org chart. We recommend making no more than two jumps up or down the reporting line.

10. Their motivation for joining the program

Asking about motivation could unearth criteria you can use to make the right matches. Our algorithm will match mentors and mentees that have similar motivations for joining, whether it be to advance their careers, grow their network, or learn about a different area of the business.

How does pairing work in Together?

As an administrator, this is the process you’ll follow when preparing for matching participants:

  1. Review Together’s default registration questionnaire. Customize it to include questions specific to your program, or leave it as is.
  2. Set up the pairing algorithm by reviewing pairing required rules and recommended rules.
  3. Launch registration and matching for participants.

Let’s look at Together’s pairing algorithm in more detail.

Together’s pairing algorithm

When you launch registration, mentors and mentees will get emails to sign up and complete the questionnaire.

Once they submit the questionnaire, the algorithm considers each answer and looks for overlaps among participants to determine recommendations for matches.

Together’s pairing algorithm is fully customizable, so you can assign more or less priority to each matching criterion.

Managing pairing in the Together Platform

There are three different ways to go about the pairing process.

  • Admin-led pairing is where the administrator matches participants using either Together’s algorithm or their own preferences. This is peculiar to the cohort mentorship format, which is usually time bound and involves one-on-one mentoring.
  • Mentee-led/user-led pairing is where the mentee uses Together’s algorithm to find a match. Usually, the mentee gets a ranked list of best to least fitting matches to choose from. They can make a choice with no need for the mentor’s approval. Pairings start immediately after the mentee submits their request. 
  • User-led pairing is where the mentee can request mentors, but the mentor needs to approve it. Here, if the mentor does not approve of the pairing, the mentee just needs to choose from the remaining list of the best matches. Also, the algorithm will only suggest mentors that have not reached their capacity. 

All the pairing types can use the algorithm to make pairings, but who has the final say in the match depends on which of the three formats you choose.

Ready to start your mentoring program?

Start pairing mentors and mentees in minutes, not weeks using our pairing algorithm that has a 98% Match Satisfaction rate. Are you ready to start learning more about launching a mentoring program on our platform? Connect with our team today to see the platform in action.

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