10 Mentorship Tips for Financial Recruiting and Retention

10 Mentorship Tips for Financial Recruiting and Retention

10 Mentorship Tips for Financial Recruiting and Retention

The age of the ‘great resignation’ has made it more difficult to attract and retain employees. We’re experiencing a time of ‘quiet quitting’, when employees expect hybrid working and working from home to be available as standard. Mentoring proves the best means to recruit and retain talented financial professionals.

Investing in mentoring can prevent your company from entering a cycle of short-term appointments, hiring sprees, and limited productivity. Young financial professionals are best placed to get the most benefit from mentoring. Mentorship is becoming a key tool for success in any company, from training newcomers to upskilling existing employees and fostering strong company culture.

How should mentorship work for financial professionals? What steps can CFOs take to create successful mentorship programmes? At FD Capital, we believe mentoring is vital to the success of any company. We’re sharing the mentoring tips for financial recruiting and retention that will help you build a winning team.

The Three ‘A’s of Mentorship

The three ‘A’s of mentorship are the founding principles that should guide your mentoring of any employee. Understanding these three principles will help you determine who is best suited in your company to take on a mentoring role.

  1. Availability

Not everyone is suited to be a mentor. Availability is one of the factors that will often determine whether a CFO or senior financial professional is best placed to be a mentor. While they may desire to help junior employees, it’s often a question of whether they have the time to do so.

A mentor should be able to make time for their mentee to share their experience, wisdom, and ideals. It takes time for a mentor and mentee’s relationship to develop. Mentoring is built on trust, built over casual coffee meetings or monthly catchups on Zoom.

Likewise, if you’re looking for a mentor, you want to consider their availability before approaching them. Mentors should be emotionally available to their mentees, offering them the emotional support they will need at difficult times in their careers.

Mentors should be available to offer a listening ear when needed, even at short notice. Many CFOs have a desire to be a mentor, but not all have the availability – both timewise and emotionally – to see it through.

  1. Analysis

Mentors are usually only able to spend limited time with their mentees. Most mentoring tips focus on how to maximise the potential of this short time. Analytical skills are therefore vital for being a successful mentor. You need to be able to understand the concerns of your mentee and find an effective solution or answer.

A vital part of these analytical skills includes staying up to date with the latest industrial changes. Mentors should be objective and able to offer a valuable analysis of any problem or situation that their mentees may bring to them.

  1. Active Listener

The skill that every mentor needs is to be an active listener. A professional mentor’s success depends on their ability to listen to the needs of their mentee. Active listening involves engaging with what the mentee is saying and being able to notice the importance of what they’re not saying.

Although listening is something we’re taught at school, active listening is a skill not everyone possesses. Talented mentors who actively listen can navigate conversations and provide direction. Being an active listener is why most mentors can provide self-discovery for their mentees, instead of empty advice.

Understanding the three ‘A’s of mentorship is vital to becoming a mentor who can provide vital insight and encouragement to their mentees. These fundamental principles are what every mentor should subscribe to. Understanding these principles will allow you to apply our mentorship tips to their full potential.

10 Mentoring Tips for Financial Executives

If you’re a financial professional who is an active listener, analytical and has the availability to help others, being a mentor can be one of the most rewarding parts of your career.

The FD Capital team is made up of entrepreneurs and financial professionals who act as mentors in their spare time. We’re sharing 10 mentoring tips that guide our own mentorship programmes.

  1. Mentoring and managing are not the same thing

The first step to becoming a successful mentor is to understand that mentoring and managing are the same thing. They require different approaches and have separate goals. You want to get to know your mentee on a personal level, understanding how they think, and what their goals are beyond their career. The relationship between mentee and mentor is far more personal than that between employee and manager.

Successful mentors have genuine compassion for their work. As a mentor, you’ll be dedicating your time and effort to your mentee. You want to see them as someone who you are helping, rather than viewing them as a junior colleague.

  1. Defining the role of mentor

Mentorship programmes often fail due to one simple fact. They fail to clearly define what the role of a mentor is. You want to look a mentoring as a partnership.

What is the purpose of it and what do you want to achieve? Mentoring is a part of lifelong learning. Some mentees approach mentors as they’re looking to develop a specific skill set. Others turn to mentors to help them get to grips with a new industry or company.

Mentoring is more successful when there’s a clearly defined goal. It’s vital that mentoring is considered independently of the day-to-day work of each party. Ideally, the mentor shouldn’t be someone within the direct management line of the mentee. This situation makes it easier to define the relationship and for the mentor to offer more objective advice.

  1. Establishing goals for mentoring

You may be considering introducing a mentoring programme in your start-up or company. These mentoring programmes usually have a specific goal in mind, whether it’s assisting new graduates or enabling personal development for more established colleagues.

If you’re creating a mentoring programme, you want a list of clear goals. What is the purpose of your mentoring? Most mentoring programmes aim toward increasing employee retention and act as the final part of the recruitment process by helping new employees adapt to the company culture.

You want to have measurable goals that can be analysed to determine the success of your mentoring programme. Such goals can include improving retention rates, promotion rates, and overall employee satisfaction.

  1. Non-judgemental in your advice

Not everyone is suited to being a mentor. You need to have the right personality to help another person grow personally and professionally. This situation can be more challenging than people expect.

One of the most important mentoring tips is to be non-judgemental in your approach. Your mentee should feel like they can come to you during difficult times or when they need advice. You want to build trust with them to help them navigate times of challenges and uncertainty.

Scheduling informal chat-ups and meetings are a great way to build a sense of trust and confidence. You never know what your mentee’s life experience is like. You want to put yourself into their shoes and avoid being judgemental. This mentoring tip is especially crucial for inter-generational mentoring.

  1. Be intentional with the time you spend together

Most mentors and mentees don’t see each other every day. Many of them don’t work in the same department – or even in the same office. You want to be intentional with how you spend your time together. The growth of hybrid and remote working makes this mentoring tip even more important.

You don’t want to leave your mentee feeling alienated. Be intentional with the time you spend with them and avoid distractions. If you work in the same office, take your weekly catch-up somewhere neutral. Your mentee should feel like you’re focused on them and available when they need you.

  1. Mentoring is a two-way relationship

One of the most common misconceptions about mentoring is that everything is done for the benefit of the mentee. Mentorship programmes instead benefit all of those involved. Setting clear goals is vital to creating a productive mentor and mentee relationship. It can also help the mentor see what they stand to gain from the relationship.

Most senior financial professionals find that mentoring helps them go back to basics. It’s an opportunity for them to revisit aspects of their career they wouldn’t have thought of again. Mentoring can also allow senior professionals to build relationships with colleagues they wouldn’t otherwise interact with. This relationship can also give them an insight into the evolution of the industry and the state of their workplace.

  1. Give mentees directions on building relationships

Most mentor and mentee relationships never get off the ground. Think back to the mentoring programmes you had throughout your career or education. How many of them did you follow through on?

It’s common for mentees to point to a lack of communication as the reason why they don’t speak to their mentors. Mentees often wait for mentors to reach out to them, but it should be the other way around. Most mentorship programmes rely on the mentee to make the first contact.

One reason why mentees put off meeting their mentor is that they don’t know what to discuss. You can create a successful mentoring programme by giving mentees directions on how to build a relationship with their mentor.

You want to provide your mentor and mentee with a brief overview of potential topics to discuss and how to navigate the start of their relationship. This guidance can make mentoring programmes more successful in the long term.

  1. Don’t underestimate the importance of culture

Culture is king. Mentoring programmes that focus on recruiting and retention should have company culture at their heart. Many mentees learn how to navigate their way through companies from their mentors. Company behaviours are passed down from mentor to mentee.

Company mentoring programmes that exist to improve employee retention should focus on passing on the company values.

  1. Introduce new employees to the company

Mentoring programmes are often seen as the final step of the recruitment process. You can consider them a vital part of successfully onboarding a new employee. Feeling at home with a new company can be difficult, particularly for recent graduations. This fact is especially true for those entering the world of work at a time when offices are becoming increasingly more hybrid or remote in set-up.

Mentors can help recruits understand the company and become more familiarised with every aspect of it. Rotational mentoring programmes can be part of the onboarding process to allow new recruits to experience each department in a business. These initiatives also give a chance for new employees to observe the company culture and values in practice.

Working with mentors from the early days of their employment can improve retention rates and help attract new talent. Successful mentoring is more important than ever before in the post-COVID working environment.  Consider the requirements of the business for mentors when you are recruiting and selecting a new CFO.

  1. Don’t overcomplicate things

It’s easy to feel like mentorship programmes are complicated. The most successful mentoring systems are ones that don’t overcomplicate things. Complicated mentoring programmes can be counterproductive and less time-effective, as well as being more costly.

Instead of looking at mentoring at a corporate level, look at it from a personal level. Your mentorship programme will need leadership, although this is often best suited to one or two employees. They should match mentors and mentees that are best placed to work together and give them the tools to begin successfully.

Building Your Team with FD Capital

At FD Capital, we believe that mentoring is vital to the success of any company. Mentoring programmes can help to attract the best and brightest talent within the financial industry. Our talent pool of candidates views mentoring as essential for their career progression.

Having a successful mentoring programme will make recruiting more fruitful and improve employee retention. Recruiting and mentoring go hand in hand. You can start your recruitment process today by contacting our team at recruitment@fdcapital.co.uk.