June 24, 2021
Learn everything you need to know on choosing the best mentoring platforms in 2021. Get matched with the right mentor for personal and professional growth.
Looking for the best mentoring platform for your needs? You’re not alone.
John F. Kennedy was the 35th U.S. President. Oprah Winfrey is the African-American talk-show star. Robert Kiyosaki, real estate tycoon. Bill Gates is Microsoft’s founder. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the father of Bodybuilding, 38th governor of California, A-list Actor, and businessman.
5 names. All industry leaders who helped change the world. What did they have in common? They attributed part of their greatness to mentors that fostered their passions and guided them down the right path. Those are just 5 names. Multiply that by 1000 and the top 5000 icons will also, very likely, credit part of their success to their own mentors.
“Like everyone, to get to where I am, I stood on the shoulders of giants.”
We humans, we’re a very interdependent species. Like many other processes in this pandemic, organizational mentoring has also gone online. What does an online mentoring program look like? What should you expect from successful mentoring programs?
Online mentorship programs are something rather new. Naturally, you’re looking for a map to navigate the foreign sea of mentoring software. In this article, we’ll go through what online mentoring platforms are, what they do, criteria for the best platforms, and recommend the six best mentoring programs you can join in 2021.
Online mentoring programs connect employees, entrepreneurs, and other industry newbies looking for guidance with seasoned experts who’ve been there and done that.
With traditional, real-life mentorships, you were lucky to find an industry professional willing to give you their time and advice long-term. It was hard to find someone who’d invest in you. Now, online mentoring software has bridged that gap. With a sophisticated mentor matching algorithm, thousands of mentees can find the right, willing mentors for their growth needs.
You’re probably curious about what factors go into successful mentoring platforms. After all, you can’t decide which one is the best without knowing what makes the mentoring program great. Here are four things to consider (that we considered) when searching for the best mentoring software.
Profiling sometimes gets a bad rep because of how “boring” it is. But a thorough profile is a robust, digital identity–which helps with mentor matching. During the sign-up process on a mentoring platform, it’s essential to add demographic information like job title, department, location, contact information, work history, passions, and goals.
Integrated systems of records that facilitate the profiling process with some pre-filled information is a convenient plus.
Mentor-mentee matching isn’t guesswork. A value-packed mentoring platform will have an effective matching system that reads user profiles and suggests recommendations.
A well-organized mentoring platform doesn’t have just one matching system in place, either. It’s versatile–ready for different user preferences. So, that means including self-directed (mentee surfs for mentor), administrative (mentee is assigned a fitting mentor by organization), and automated matching (matching algorithm based on filters and criteria) systems.
Matching an eager mentee with the right mentor is half the journey. Successful mentoring platforms should encourage and support communications post-match, too. That’s why collaborative tools are essential in mentoring software platforms to help with that.
You want to make sure the mentoring system allows mentees and mentors to post messages, ask/answer questions, share links and documents, schedule events, and even assign learning activities for maximum engagement and development.
It’s a plus if everything is recorded with an easily accessible history tab so users can revisit old lessons and conversations to refresh their memory and store notes.
Mentoring is all about growth. Online platforms are especially unique because, unlike real-life mentoring relationships, accountability is easier recorded with referrable displays and graphs.
Program coordinators, mentors, and mentees can leverage integrated tools with monitoring capabilities for performance management, double down on smart mentoring activities that work, develop inclusion strategies for more mentor participation, and drive overall program success with the power of data.
However, steer away from any mentoring platform that promises a system that will run by itself. The achievable efficiency and productivity gains are possible through active engagement and effort; the system displaying that potential won’t “run itself,” though. Keep that in mind.
The best mentoring platforms will provide an easy and intuitive onboarding process. Most websites will, more or less, have a similar user interface. Here’s a quick rundown on what you can expect for getting started with a mentoring software platform (for example’s sake, we’ll be pulling screenshots from our top pick: MentorCruise):
Once you reach the homepage of any mentoring website, the sign-up button should be clearly in sight. It will either be in the middle of the homepage or, most often, on the top-right of the web page beside “log-in.”
Next, you can start looking for mentors in your field through the mentoring platform’s search panel. Different software will vary in how you match with a mentor, but, generally speaking, you set certain filters and requirements, and you’re presented options based on that.
Otherwise known as the “awkward meeting.” This is where you meet your new mentor over a video or phone call to just… vibe. See if your personalities match and whether or not you have your eyes on similar things.
You want to communicate all your needs, weaknesses, and expectations from the get-go, so you both know what to expect. There should be somewhat of a blueprint planning session. How will you two meet? How will the mentee be held accountable? And whatnot.
Make sure to record successes (failures, too–the lessons) and measure your improvement with your new mentor.
MentorCruise is a mentoring platform that connects mentees worldwide to industry professionals in the line of Leadership, Marketing, Sales, Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Data, Design, and Business–the 21st-century tech billionaire package.
If you’re looking for personal mentorship catered towards your own goals, budget, and preferences, MentorCruise is an excellent choice.
Excellent collaborative tools like live chat, weekly to-dos to grow professionally and personally, practice activities (like coding challenges), video calls for clearer, seamless communication and bonding, and hands-on support.
Background info and stories on all mentors to get to know them deeper and understand where they’re coming from.
Human-like AI Matching Assistant asks profiling questions in a friendly conversational manner to make the onboarding process as easy as possible.
Widest range of available mentors in programming, design, and business. There are also administrative mentoring solutions designed for teams, startups, schools, and boot camps.
We especially like MentorCruise because of their easy seven specialized onboarding sessions catered to different needs at a knocked down price. They address pretty much any mentoring need and ensure that you feel welcome:
The prices are dependent on the kind of mentor and their respective rates. You can start as low as $10/month and go higher than $500 on MentorCruise.
The co-founders Ruben Harris, Timur, and Artur Meyster, launched their app, Career Karma, as a build-off to their career advice and journies podcast: Breaking Into Startups.
“Breaking into Startups actually helped hundreds of people get jobs on their own, but those were the most disciplined people. The people that didn’t have as much discipline required more help,”
And so, Career Karma was started to help people become software engineers and other tech-related positions by matching them with the appropriate coding boot camps and providing consistent, long-term support.
If you haven’t guessed it already, this a tech and programming-heavy mentoring platform. So, if you’re in that industry and looking to grow your career, Career Karma may be a viable niche option.
Career Karma offers many exploratory options for its hundreds of boot camps.
The first one is a simple and fast-tracked training program matcher. Simply choose your desired tech position, be it software engineer, data scientist, designer, data analyst, or cybersecurity, and hit “GET SCHOOL MATCHES” for auto-matching relevant training and mentoring programs.
The location-based program recommender registers your inputted location and provides real-life or a cloud-based mentoring solution so you can level up your skills in that region.
Third, you can explore the best boot camp programs based on student ratings. Fourth, you can explore popular courses by filtering through subjects and technologies.
You can get guidance by getting matched up with a mentor who recently enrolled in a tech boot camp too.
At the moment, Career Karma’s revenue stream is based on an affiliate partnership structure. They charge 10% of a student’s tuition (student placed into the program by them, of course) to the boot camps. As far as users are concerned, their only expense is paying for education.
Clarity is a popular marketplace for one-on-one expert consulting. This mentoring platform gives you that opportunity for people who are willing to pay for valuable answers and advice. Anyone can become a mentor or mentee by signing up and verifying their socials. Mark Cuban is actually on the platform, but he charges $167 per minute. Do what you want with that information.
Clarity’s call-scheduler allows you to select the call duration, along with three dates and times that work with your schedule, and leave a brief “teaser” for the call. (The mentor has 72 hours to respond before the request expires)
The mentor browsing feature displays different goals and interests relevant to your needs. You can choose the mentoring sector. For example, under Business, you’d find something like “How to grow a profitable eCommerce business.” You’ll see the mentor and their rate per minute (e.g., $3.33/minute).
The prices are on a per-minute basis and are entirely dependent on what the mentors choose to charge. On average, a 30-minute call will accrue $50 ($1.60/minute)–but, as mentioned earlier with the Mark Cuban example, rates could go higher than $100 per minute.
GrowthMentor is a trustworthy mentoring platform that hires start-up and marketing mentors solely on an invite-only basis by vetting their on-paper credentials and reviewing proven experience in their fields. GrowthMentor helps you stand on the shoulders of giants by getting advice from the peeps who’ve already played the game and are eager to help.
You can get access to a big circle of mentors like serial entrepreneurs, marketers, and startups for a direct 1:1 guidance call by paying a monthly fee.
If a one-time, one-on-one counseling session isn’t enough, then sign up for the monthly coaching sessions to foster long-term growth.
Schedule a call and choose a duration with the appointment booker with the built-in calendar. Intuitive and organized display of potential mentors that can apply to your specific succession planning.
GrowthMentor’s pricing is different from other mentoring platforms in this article. Rather than paying mentors directly by the hour or minute, simply pay a singular fee periodically to GrowthMentor and let them handle the rest.
Currently, GrowthMentor’s membership plans include:
By paying that sum, you get:
The Muse is one of the more prominent platforms on this list, with over 50 million users. More than a mentoring platform, it’s an aggregation of resources relating to career growth advancement. They manage multiple programs: streamlining employer-job seeker channels, sharing career advice from seasoned professionals, and offering optional private coaching.
As we said, the muse is more than just a mentoring software. They have actionable tools to help you advance your career, like a comprehensive job search tool with filters including industry, experience level, remote work, company size, and perks and benefits.
The Muse also has a comprehensive company-search tool to find the right work environment to grow and prosper under exemplary leadership and mentoring. Through informative articles, company office photos and videos, and employee testimonials, you get an accurate feel for the company culture. This is an excellent tool for those interested in applying to the company for opportunities other than just the position title itself.
Their “ADVICE” panel in the header is their blog section packed with career advice. You can read free information and advice from industry experts in the blog posts and implement them in your own life to start seeing changes.
Of course, the fourth (most recently added in 2016) mentoring outlet is offering direct coaching. The muse allows mentees to choose a specific struggle and then suggests appropriate mentors to help guide them through their journey.
Muse’s job board and articles are free. However, they do make money from career coaching–prices depend on the mentoring service. So, for example, a 30-minute resume review typically accrues $119 for one round of edits. The programs/courses get more expensive for management, leadership development, and career growth.
MicroMentor is a non-profit online mentoring software platform geared for corporate mentoring programs, small business development organizations, economic development agencies, and entrepreneurial foundations.
MicroMentor allows flexible administrative control through personalized project management, consulting, and resource support for a successful mentoring solution. Clients like HP, Calvert Foundation, and the U.S. state department use MicroMentor as a unique employee engagement tool.
MicroMentor features an intuitive chat messaging system so mentors and organizations can efficiently communicate tips, goals and keep mentors accountable with their objectives.
Because MicroMentor caters to organizations and teams, they offer customizable branding solutions to personalize the mentoring platform and experience.
MicroMentor’s automated notification system sends mentees and mentors important alerts or email invitations to ensure participants stay on top of activities and be held accountable.
This mentoring system also has guidance and monitoring capabilities with engagement tracking, reporting, and statistics.
$0. Because MicroMentor is a non-profit, the mentoring services are free thanks to government and private funding and donations.
Okay, after reading this ultimate guide on the six best mentoring software and platforms, you should know by heart the criteria it takes to transform ineffective mentoring programs into great ones. That means you know the mentoring programs to look out for.
In our opinion, we think MentorCruise has the best mentoring culture, with versatile mentors who can go from talking on a scalable SaaS solution to monitoring check-ins for their mentees and continue to support top organizations in any way possible.
Our 'state of mentorship' report sums up the benefits, reports and effects that mentorship has on the modern working environment.