One of the principal innovations of the iMentor Platform is the ability to match mentors and mentees based on their shared interests and experiences. All mentors and mentees fill out a "Matching Preference" page on their application to your program. These answers help the iMentor Platform calculate a Strength of Match score, which tells you whether or not mentors and mentees are highly aligned in their interests and experiences. This allows your staff to narrow down the hundreds of possible matches to only the best combinations of mentors and mentees.
This article will walk you through the matching process on the iMentor Platform.
Getting started with matching
The iMentor Platform is designed to find mentees the best mentor possible. We believe that putting the mentee's needs and desires first helps to establish strong matches between pairs. This means that during the matching process, you will first navigate to a mentee's profile and begin the matching process there.
To find the Mentee you are looking to match, first navigate to User Management by going to the "Users" page.
Once you are on User Management, you will need to filter for your mentees. Mentees who are not matched yet will have the user status of RTBM - Ready to be Matched. So, you will need to filter for:
- Match Status: Ready to be matched
- Your assigned Partner Sites
- User Type: Mentee
This will bring up the list of all of the RTBM mentees in your cohort. Click on the name of the mentee that you want to match. On the mentee's profile, you will see the Match button under the "Matching Information" section at the bottom of their profile:
Selecting the right mentor
This will take you to the Match Search page. Initially, the match search page will have the following pre-set filters:
Open your Program Preference filters to ALL and select your cohort from the Mentor Site List filter.
You will then see the list of mentors, in order of their Strength of Match (SOM) with the mentee you are trying to match.
From this page, you could match the mentee by with a mentor by selecting the checkbox associated with that mentor, and then clicking the orange Match button. However, it is likely you might want to compare a handful of mentors in greater detail to choose the best match.
To compare multiple mentors, select the checkbox associated with them on this page, then click the Compare button. We recommend selecting 5 mentors from this screen to compare. This will take you to the Match Compare screen which will allow you to scroll through the full matching section of the mentors that you selected, and compare it against the mentee's profile. You can also see the notes and reference notes left for each mentor.
Making the match
Once you choose the mentor you believe is best for that mentee, click the orange Match button on the Mentor-Match box for that mentor. You will see a confirmation box:
After selecting Yes you will be taken to the Match Message screen. This allows you to notify the mentor and the mentee that they have been matched! You can preview or edit each message as it goes out. You will have to click the orange Send button on each message separately to send them to the mentor or the mentee. You may also choose to send the match message at a later time or an entirely different one altogether.
After sending those messages, you can click the Back to Mentee Profile or Back to Mentor Profile link at the top of the page.
When you return to the user's profile, you will see they have been matched with the mentor that you selected. The pair is now able to communicate with each other over the iMentor Platform and their match has officially begun!
Matching Best Practices
- If a mentee does not have a mentor and completes a lesson, when they are matched with a mentor, their new mentor cannot see the content from the lesson that was completed before the match was created.
- To be safe, ensure your mentees (and potential mentors) have been made Active the day before you are matching. It takes some time for the system to calculate the SOM score for each mentee with all potential mentors. The SOM calculating queue may be quite backed up for a few hours during the matching season depending on how heavy the traffic is.
- When matching from User Management, open multiple mentee profiles (around 5 or so) in new tabs so you can match multiple mentees back to back. When those mentees are matched, refresh your User Management page and those mentees will be gone from the list.
- While the first few matches typically take a bit longer, we recommend taking no more than 1 or 2 minutes to match each mentee. Because you will be matching a lot of students with mentors, it is an exhausting process that you should not dwell too much on.
- Match all of the students in a particular gender first. This will allow you to see the same mentors over again and become familiar with their profiles until they are matched. For example - matching all of your female mentees at the same time will show you the same group of female mentors you are puling from, which will speed up the process.
- The SOM score is one of many indicators of a pair's potential success in our program, but it is in no way foolproof. Mentees will often inaccurately or incompletely fill out an application which can affect the SOM with potential mentors. As a PC, you will have spent some time with the student and should rely on this experience to help find the best match.
- Oftentimes, a student will ask for a mentor who speaks a similar language as them. To find out if a potential mentor speaks another language, navigate to the second (Evaluation) page of their application.
- If your screening team uses the notes section of a mentor profile to log notes about the mentor phone interview, use it to quickly read through any additional information the application does not capture.
Want to learn more about Matching?
Check out our staff training center, where you can dive deeper into this with activities, quizzes, and more! https://mentor-training-center.thinkific.com/courses/platform-training/