A workplace mentoring programme is a vital part of attracting talent, onboarding, and then retaining those new hires.

With employee stress at a record high, it’s as important as ever to help new employees learn and develop comfortably.

Mentoring eases new staff into your office. It reduces stress by making the first few weeks as straightforward as possible.

As Australia’s leading recruitment agencies, we have ample experience in employee mentoring.

Read on to find out how to set up a mentoring programme, and the benefits of implementing one!

Advertise your job and
find your next best hire

Streamline your recruitment with
our 360 hiring services

What is a workplace mentoring programme? 🤔

A workplace mentoring (or a career mentor scheme) is a scheme set up within a company/organisation, often designed for experienced employees to spend some time training and offering guidance to new employees.

Mentors will guide new hires on their professional journeys and help with their onboarding process as they settle into the company.

These programmes are useful in allowing new employees to gain valuable skills directly from an experienced employee, rather than a training manual.

This means they can learn from a professional role model.

And the mentor can find it rewarding themselves. A study found that staff retention rates are significantly higher for both mentees and mentors.

How we use a mentoring scheme at Give a Grad a Go  🤝

At Give a Grad a Go, we’re big advocates of mentoring programmes.

Claire Donaldson, People and Operations Director, explains why our mentoring scheme is so beneficial for new starters:


It’s really important for all new starters to feel integrated and supported by the team. When new people start at Give a Grad a Go, they have a Team Lead to guide and help them throughout their career.


We also incorporate varied training sessions and touch-points with members of different teams and departments. This includes  shadowing someone who has been in a similar role to them within the last few months, so they can relate to the thoughts and questions that they have at the start of the new role.


The variation ensures they can learn about the business from different perspectives, as well as get to know the wider team. Hopefully this makes their first few days a little less scary!


It is important that everyone feels they have someone to go to for advice (aside from their direct Team Lead) – whether to discuss work or a general pick-me-up. We encourage all staff to act as mentors to anyone and everyone in the business.

What does your business aim to gain from a mentoring scheme? 💭

Every business is different, with its own unique goals and ways of working.

Before you set up a workplace mentor programme at your business, it’s important to ask, ‘what do you hope to gain from a mentoring programme?’

Are there specific areas of your business that aren’t meeting targets and need improving?

Do you want to train and improve the management skills of a specific team?

Or do you have new hires starting in an area that needs thorough training from the beginning?

Set goals and aims for your mentoring programme to it adds valuable and targets needed improvements for your company.

Mentoring schemes are only beneficial if done correctly and with purpose.

The benefits of workplace mentoring programme for employers 👍

Here are some of the main ways a mentor scheme can improve your company:

  • The first few months your new hires spend at your company are crucial.

    This is your chance to set expectations and standards, and establish what you expect from an ideal employee.

    Mentors are great role models for new graduate hires, and should embody and reflect the values you expect from your employees.

    This more personal approach will always be more effective than making your new hire read a list of desirable qualities.

  • Graduate mentoring schemes can be an incredibly valuable tool for helping to increase employee satisfaction.

    It firstly eases new hires in, ensuring they do not feel alone or unsupported.

    Also, the opportunity to gain new knowledge and improve existing skills can be hugely beneficial in terms of both professional and personal development. This is especially true for those in the first or second job.

    You can spend time ensuring you’ve hired the right person, but it’ll be for nothing if you fail to support them when they enter the company.


  • Increasing employee satisfaction also leads to another great benefit: helping to retain your new hires.

    Retention ongoing struggle for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

    But it all begins from the first day.

    A well-structured business mentoring programme will enable your recent graduates make new acquaintances in the team, build team resilience, and help them to feel more welcomed.

    Check out our blog for more employee retention strategies.

  • And the benefits don’t end there.

    Setting up a mentoring scheme at your company can hold great value for your more experienced employees too.

    Taking on a role as a mentor can increase confidence and communication skills.

    It can encourage them to face a new challenge that might be outside of their comfort zone, and prepare them for possible future managerial positions.

    It also helps them consolidate the knowledge they already have – teaching is always the best form of learning.

  • Mentoring can provide better communication between members of staff and between different teams.

    It also provides an opportunity to hear feedback on areas of the business that could be improved, helping to create a stronger company structure overall.


  • What’s more, mentoring is a meaningful way to show concern for your employee’s wellbeing.

    As we’ve discussed, it helps employees feel comfortable and supported, which can go a very long way (particularly in a larger company).

    Onboarding can feel stale and corporate if everything is doing via training manuals and presentations. Implementing a mentoring system demonstrates that you’re actually invested in both their personal and professional development.

    It’s also a great motivator: giving a new the opportunity to see an established employee operating gives them a target to work towards.

    Ultimately, satisfied workers make for a successful business!

Associate Director at Give a Grad a Go, Sam Hickson, explains how a mentoring programme benefited his early career and allowed him to quickly progress:

“Having a mentor when I joined meant that I immediately had someone I could turn to with questions, whether they were about work or otherwise. This really allowed me to hit the ground running but also meant that I felt I could fit in straight away. ​

On the work side of things, my mentor gave me an in-depth understanding of the ins and outs of the world of recruitment and excellent tips on how to drive sales.

I still use some of the lessons I’ve learnt to this day so it really formed a grounding of my understanding of the job, and has played a huge part in my progression at Give a Grad a Go”

How to set up a successful graduate mentoring scheme 📢

Make sure you’ve designed a mentoring scheme that’s working effectively.

Here’s our advice on how to set up and start a mentoring programme:


  • First of all, it’s important that you define the objective of the programme.

    Be specific from the very start about what you are looking to achieve.

    Whether this is supporting the professional development of your employees, increasing satisfaction and commitment to the company, or retaining new hires.

    Speak to employees about what they hope to gain from the venture and think about what you want to come out of the mentoring scheme.

    This way, you’ll be able to establish a clear end goal, and be able to plan the programme backwards from this.

  • There are a few different types of mentoring at work schemes: two of the main ones being mentoring circles and peer mentoring.

    Mentoring circles are led by an experienced member of staff with multiple mentees.

    Mentoring circles are great if you have a large intake of new hires at a similar time.

    It’s a good way to create a sense of community, where new hires can talk about common issues, like their career development.

    They can also share their experiences and discuss challenges they are facing, some of which may be similar or entirely different.

    Being able to do this with a supportive peer group is invalubale, as it’ll let mentors feel less intimidated about the onboarding process.

    Or, if you have one or a few new hires starting, one-on-one peer mentoring schemes may be a better option for your new hire.


  • If your current employees have never managed or mentored before, they will need to be trained on how to best guide their mentees.

    It’s useful for senior members of staff (who already manage teams and people) to run a few sessions training new mentors on the processes and skills of mentoring.

    Small details like when to check in with the mentee and how to ensure a mentee is on track can be hard to perfect. This training will help guarantee positive mentoring relationships.

    Mentees will also need a briefing about organisational aspects of the programme. This includes when they should meet with their mentor, what they will gain from the programme, and how to get the most out of their mentor.

  • Once you are clear about the aims of your programme, you can begin to decide on a clear structure.

    This will include things like whether the mentoring scheme should be obligatory or something that employees can opt-in to if they so wish.

    The organisers of the scheme will also need to decide when and where meetings should take place, and allot specific times for mentors and mentees to meet.

    Your company might also like to put a small budget behind the scheme to be used to fund meetings off-site, or to pay for events, prizes, or certificates for those who are involved.

  • Only once you have established a clear structure should you begin to pair mentors with mentees.

    With your ultimate aim in mind, decide which pairings would be the most effective.

    Perhaps if you want your employees to develop their role-specific skills, pair them with someone who is a more senior member of their own team.

    If you’d like the mentee to learn new skills, and be taken outside of their comfort zone, then their mentor should be someone who is on a very different side of the business altogether.

  • Once your mentoring scheme is well underway, it’s important to review how the process is going.

    Though you don’t need to be too involved in the meetings themselves, try to get feedback from both the mentor and the mentee.

    As the programme develops, remember to keep note of their feedback and report back to the wider business on how successful the scheme has been.

    Finally, if the programme has been trialled on a small-scale and has produced some really positive results, consider how it might be rolled out to the whole company.

    Whether you’re looking to engage with your employees or fast-track the development of your graduate hires, the stats show that setting up a mentoring scheme in the workplace can be a hugely valuable tool for a number of reasons.

How to make mentoring schemes work remotely 💻

If your company predominately works remote or hybrid, this doesn’t mean your mentoring programme should come to a halt.

You can still efficiently run mentoring schemes remotely.

Here are a few ways to do so:

Structured regular weekly checkins

  • It’s useful to have regular weekly checkins to receive updates on how your mentor is doing and to see if they need any additional help.
  • Put a recurring event in the company calendar so both parties are aware.

Offer extra support

  • It may be hard for some of your new hires to adjust to working from home, without other employees around them to learn from and ask questions to.
  • So, it’s useful to jump on as many calls as possible, and to offer support over messages.
  • Equally, it’s important to be attentive to your messages to answer any queries they have hastily.
  • Running workshops and extra training sessions are great ways to give additional guidance to your new hires who may be struggling.

Setting up a workplace mentoring programme can benefit your business in many ways.

Follow this guide to successfully implement a scheme in your workplace and help boost your current and new employees’ working lives.

If you’re looking to add great candidates to your business, get in touch via the form below and find out about our graduate recruitment services:


Get in touch

Revolutionise your hiring process.

Let us know your requirements and we’ll build a plan tailored to your needs.

    PhoneSchedule video call via emailEmail