Mentoring can be such an effective way to get the best out of your graduate talent and is an investment seriously worth considering. Harriet Kirk at SAGE certainly believes so and we were treated to a masterclass in mentoring as part of the GRN Masterclass Series recently. GRN members were guided through the process from introduction, management and measuring effectiveness with Harriet and one of her colleagues from Sainsbury’s. To compliment this presentation, we also had Sharon Spice from ICAEW explaining her “View From Campus” to update on us on current student behaviour and how they are navigating the path to securing employment.

In attendance to hear these insights were senior early talent managers from forward-thinking recruiters such as AON, Experian, TeachFirst and Thames Water plus many others, kindly hosted at ICAEW in London. After an engaging Q&A session, GRN members were enlightened with practical advice to go back to their teams and their next board meetings. So, what were some of the key takeaways?

1. Learning to learn is the skill of the future. Graduates are fresh out of a learning environment so they are primed to learn new things. Providing mentoring on a one-to-one basis means you can offer a very attractive element to the role whilst also helping retain your top talent.

2. Mentors can develop management skills. A mentoring programme is a soft way to assess a mentor’s skillset and see if they are potential management material. If they are, this could help them blossom and potentially be promoted into a management role which could transform a whole team’s performance.

3. Define your ROI. How are you going to track and measure a mentoring programmes success? Will it be based on nurturing an existing persons skillset or achieving a specific project objective? Is it helping the person perform quicker on the job? Whatever the reasons are, start with a pilot project, make the objectives clear and if you can show its successful it can be something that could scale up.

This GRN Masterclass was recorded for our third release in the GRN Masterclass Podcast series available now. This will give members who were unable to attend (and those based outside of London) an opportunity to benefit from these learnings. Do you have something to add to the debate? I’d love to hear examples of best practice to share with GRN members so do send me an email at

This is just a flavour of the topics covered during a typical GRN event. To join GRN please apply for membership and receive invites for future events. Our 2019 events calendar is as follows;

• June 14th 8.45am-11am. ICAEW, London

• September 11th 8.45am-11am. ICAEW, London

• December 10th 8.45am-11am. ICAEW, London

It’s free and a fantastic opportunity to develop as a professional graduate recruiter in your sector with a diverse range of graduate recruiters facing the same challenges.