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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Speed Mentoring
    Posted: Dec/03/2010 at 7:41am

Fast contacts, fast employment

Juliana Tonello
December 02, 2010
Chronometers on. Mentors and mentees prepared. In 10 minutes of conversation, newcomers could be given their first step into the Canadian labour market, and employers could find a new talented professional for their company.

The dynamic networking talks were part of the Acces Speed Mentoring Program’s kick-off that brought together 100 new Canadians and 100 prospective employers yesterday at the Toronto Board of Trade.

In five sessions of 10-minute individual meetings, jobseekers shared their doubts and experiences with executives and managers from 65 different companies. “The main goal is that they are getting practical information straight from people on their field,” says Manjeet Dhiman, Acces’s senior director of services and business development.

Speed mentoring also provides the opportunity for those who don’t have Canadian work experience to learn more about their professional field, notes Lebanese-born Khalil Ramal, parliamentary assistant to the minister of citizenship and immigration. “Although Canada is a nation of immigrants, when we came, we face a lot of barriers. People come with a lot of applications, skills, and they don’t know how to get integrated,” says Ramal.

The fast-meetings strategy is only one part of the diverse programs offered by Acces Employment, but is measured as an important reason of their success — their clients have an 80 per cent employment rate at their five locations across the GTA.

The organization is now focused on making its speed mentoring program national. With agency partnerships, Vancouver is already on the list for speed mentoring sessions in the next year.

How a Speed Mentoring session works:

- The participants are divided in four rooms, one for each field — financial, sales and marketing, IT and engineering.

- Ten minutes after the first conversation, a bell rings and the mentee moves to the next mentor.

- To facilitate communication, cards with standard questions about resumés, networking, interviews and industry are given to the newcomers.

At the end of the fifth mentoring, all the participants are gathered again in a closing reception, a less hurried opportunity for keeping the networking going.
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