When you’re new to the Talent Acquisition industry, it’s natural to look for someone who can help light the path for you. According to a survey from Olivet Nazarene University, 76% of people think mentors are important, but only 37% have one. Beyond that, people with mentors report being happier at their current job than those without. So if there are so many benefits to having a mentor, why doesn’t everyone have?

Because it can be hard to find the perfect person!

So how do you find a good mentor? And when you find one, how are you supposed to approach them?

Make it Natural

A wonderful way to find a good mentor is to reach out to someone who you’ve met naturally at another event. This is a major benefit to checking out conferences and events in your neck of the woods! There are plenty that happen every year so do a little bit of research and visit a couple if you can. You’ll probably walk away with tons of new ways to do your job and plenty of helpful connections. If you are going to be in New York on October 22nd, we recommend HIREconf!

Do Your Research

Fairly certain that this is always a suggestion for how to be successful in TA in general. Before approaching someone about a mentorship, you need to be sure they’re the right person to be approaching! Learn all you can about them, just like you would with a candidate that you’re reaching out to. Take your time to note why it is that you are interested in having them as a mentor.

Respect and Value Their Time

There are few things worse than people who expect you to bend over backward to support them in something they need, so don’t be that person! Be grateful that your potential mentor even took your call or read your email. Be sure to be complimentary to their success and thank them for their time…even if they say, “No thanks!” to your offer of a chat.

When you ask them to take on this role in their life, be clear about what commitment you need from them. If you’re just looking for someone to run problems by and get advice every so often, let them know. If you’re looking for someone who you’d like to have a weekly catch up with, make that clear.

Offer Your Own Help

It’s far easier to agree to help someone out when you’re able to get some help yourself. If you’re looking to your mentor with help on how to create a positive candidate experience and they need some help with their presence on social media and you can help them with that, then you’ve found a great partnership! Making the mentorship mutually beneficial can also help in the future when one or both of you has outgrown the mentorship as you will have built more of a working relationship than simply a brain-picking one.

When it comes down to it, finding the perfect mentor is often a game of chance. You may work with a couple of people that just don’t work with you and that’s okay! Keep trying because when you find the right match, it can be perfection!