This month, Handle Recruitment launched the fourth round of its highly acclaimed HR Mentoring Programme – a scheme which is now widely recognised as offering valuable support and guidance to bright young professionals in the industry.

We introduced the UK’s first HR mentoring scheme specifically for the media, entertainment and retail sectors in July last year. And as a fresh group of mentees and mentors embark on their journey the initiative is going from strength to strength. To date, the scheme has included participants from Sony Music, McCann Erickson, ITV, Trip Advisor, BBC Worldwide, ASOS.com, Cath Kidston and Turner Broadcasting.

Those involved appreciate the value that being part of the programme offers. Mentor Alex Bonnor-Moris, SVP – Global HR at SDI Media explains, “In talking to Handle it was evident, very quickly, that there was a great need for mentors in the Media HR sector. Many junior HR professionals entering into the media world often lacked an independent advisor to help them manage their career and deal with any specific work related issues or challenges."

HR professionals are, by their very nature, adept at offering guidance and support to others. And mentoring programmes can provide an inexpensive alternative to traditional training which is mutually beneficial for both the mentor and the mentee. While the mentee becomes more self-aware through gaining confidence, insights and improving their existing skills, the mentor gets an opportunity to hone their management capabilities and to gain a fresh perspective on their industry. Whether that be engaging key performers, implementing reward strategies, or managing redundancies.

Mentors are not only able to share practical skills, but also offer an emotional education which can only be achieved by forging a close relationship with their prodigy. With gentle guidance and encouragement, the connections made through these programmes should develop into organic partnerships over time. And sharing skills and expertise within an industry will ultimately benefit everyone involved.

Furthermore, becoming part of a mentoring scheme can provide networking opportunities and strengthen employer brands. It can also be a cost effective way to invest in employee development to aid productivity, efficiency and staff retention by fostering a nurturing culture in workplaces.

Bridget Goona, VP, HR, Europe at Kuoni Global Travel Services is an advocate of the scheme, “I was delighted to be asked to be a mentor – what a great opportunity to give something back and to help others! The feedback that I have from my mentee has been extremely positive and the journey for both of us has been worthwhile."

Once again, the programme has attracted unprecedented demand and we wish our six successful couples the best of luck. If you are interested in training the next generation of HR professionals in the art of talent management contact [email protected]. As Bonnor-Moris explains, “If you have experience of HR in the Media world and believe you would have something to offer a new or junior professional coming into this market then I would have no hesitation in recommending the Handle Recruitment Mentorship programme.”

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