Oct. 27, 2020

How do you match mentors and mentees?

CCAL research team explores the mentoring research literature to better understand how to pair mentors and mentees, and how this may be applied to the mentorship program in the future.
How do you match mentors and mentees?
How do you match mentors and mentees?

Mentoring is a developmental relationship and can either be informal or formal. A key feature that differentiates informal from formal is related to how the developmental relationships are formed. In formal mentoring programs, such as the BMO Mentorship Program at the Haskayne School of Business, program administrators pair mentors and mentees together to begin the mentoring relationship.

Matching in formal mentorship programs is an important aspect as a match between the mentor and mentee can contribute to a rich mentoring relationship. A rich mentoring relationship can have an impact on the professional and personal growth of both the mentor and mentee. In an effort to improve the mentorship program, the CCAL research team is exploring the research literature in mentoring and selection to answer the question: how do we pair mentors and mentees? What matching criteria can be used?

The limited research literature suggests that individuals who are experienced leaders, open to learning and strongly see themselves as a leader, may be appropriate mentors to help develop leadership in mentees.  Building on this, Haskayne researchers Connie Deng, Duygu Gulseren, and Nick Turner are in the midst of conducting an in-depth review to better understand factors related to mentor-mentee matching, and how this may be applied to selecting mentors, and how matching and selection can enhance the leadership development focus of the mentoring program. Findings from the review of the research literature will help guide future program development that is research-led—a key focus of CCAL’s activities.


Deng, C., Gulseren, D., & Turner, N. (2020). How do you match mentors and mentees? Advice from the best research available. White paper in preparation.