For Recruiters

The art of mentoring

How important is a senior steer if you want to reach the top in banking?

Fairly helpful, if you believe the corporate literature on the mentoring schemes banks run to help new employees with teething troubles. But not very helpful according to bankers who've actually been through them.

One Singapore-based private banker says mentoring schemes are over-rated. "The relationship with your boss is far more important: they should effectively be your mentor," he explains. "I've moved banks in the past because of a good rapport with my boss, and there are plenty of examples where that happens."

But Pan Zai Xian, financial services manager at recruitment firm Robert Walters in Singapore, says mentoring programmes are a good bet, just so long as they receive proper backing from the banks concerned. It also helps if mentors are really enthused and don't see sharing their wisdom as just another part of the daily grind.

"It's highly dependent on the quality of the mentor and how he/she perceives the programme. Some may view it as another thing to do in an already busy workload," he says. He adds that mentoring schemes also function best when the mentor isn't too senior to the mentee - in which case, he or she can start to look more like a boss than a senior hand on the tiller.

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AUTHORRob Davies Insider Comment
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  • T.
    T. Law
    14 July 2007

    Mentoring is definitely essential for a new hire to gel into the bank's culture, especially if he/she does not possess any prior background.

    If team work is the name of the game, the more a mentor is required to teach, guide and advise the new colleague till he/she is comfortable to walk on her own and not continue to probe in the dark.

    The challenge of course is to find the time and enthusiasm to mentor a mentee which some may find it a chore. Nonetheless, a mentor should assume the task with competence as there might come a day the mentor has to assume a role of a mentee in a new working environment.

  • Ca
    Calvin / Cash Management
    28 June 2007

    Simply put - Senior steer/mentoring when effectively used as part of talent retention & development is key for anyone who aspires to move up. Regardless of banking/non banking, the reality is successful organisations that have some form of structured programs to groom potential/high-performers as part of succession planning. Then having a mentor/senior to provide that direction, guidance becomes key.

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