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Tips on How to Develop Mentoring Platform

  • 12-13 min read
  • July 27, 2021
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (9 votes)

Nowadays mentoring is featured in most modern companies, especially those that relate to middle and large-sized businesses (source). Commonly, the number of employees is constantly changing, some people leave, whilst other workers arrive and become employees upon hire. The more processes the organization has on a daily basis, the more complicated it is to onboard new employees as they are to figure out the peculiarities of all of the workflows to fit in quicker. 

Hence, mentoring or shadowing aims to resolve all issues connected to onboarding and make it smooth and simple for everyone. However, to make the mentoring program really effective, it should be structured and managed with the help of software solutions developed specifically for your mentoring course. 

Keep reading as we are going to discuss why mentoring is economically feasible and how to integrate your mentoring platform into your business workflows. 

Target Audience of Mentoring Apps

A mentor is someone who has already achieved the type of success you desire and is willing to help you achieve it yourself. A mentor offers their advice and insights for free, if you’re paying for it then that person qualifies as a consultant. A mentor just wants to see you improve and succeed because at some level they see themselves or at least many attributes that had been their own in the past in the trainees

Win-Win Nature of Mentorship

Of course, before you can get a mentor you should put in some independent work first. You should have the desire to improve, master a discipline, and have great potential to attract a mentor.

But it needs to be stressed that cooperation is hard for both sides. Whether you are searching for a mentor or an apprentice, the bar is exceptionally high. Finding a good apprentice is equally as hard as finding a mentor.

We found this challenge interesting and started thinking about how we would connect the two sides most efficiently. Eventually, based on our previous experience, we’ve done a little research about a mentor search app that would connect mentors and apprentices.

Mentoring App Development

Each and every app plays around the primary use case and functions that support it. Whether it’s Uber or Airbnb, or Sea App, app developers always focus on the main use case that provides value to the user.

Mentoring Search App use case is simple:

  • The user gets in and chooses the Mentor/Apprentice side.
  • Sets filters, navigates the map.
  • Familiarizes themselves with mentor/apprentice information.
  • Contacts the other side via message or video call.
  • Books the meeting, video call.

Hereafter, we’ll go over the main technical building blocks that would support this use case scenario.

Geolocation

Mentors and people who previously had a mentor agree that the ideal candidate would be someone from their geographic area, city, state, or country. This is very important because only during personal meetings can you tap into the full potential of mentorship.

Industry / Occupation

Another important criterion to consider while searching for a mentor is industry and occupation match. Say, if you are in construction, you won’t get any benefit from shadowing a dentist from a strictly professional standpoint. People always seek someone from their niche.

The ideal mentor is someone who’s already done the work through and through, possibly to the point of creating and selling a company in the same industry, and is now done with that work. The mentor search app can also serve people who are running a similar business model to your [employer] company with way higher stakes but in a slightly different niche.

Have you ever participated in a mentoring program?

Types of Mentorship

There are three types of mentoring, each with its own advantages and weak sides. Your app should allow users to choose what kind of mentorship they’re up for:

  • Individual mentoring – The most efficient type of mentoring, where all of the problems and experiences are shared privately, one-on-one.
  • Group mentoring  – This kind of mentoring proves to be extremely effective for people who seek extra motivation and need extra inspiration and support along their journey.
  • Collective mentoring – This kind of mentoring is somehow similar to networking and group therapy. By using this format, users can find apprentices with similar business problems and support each other. If this format is selected, the app will search for mentors and connect people who are running similar business models but in different industries.

Business Exit

We should stress that it is super important to have a mentor who can look at the business from the outside. A true mentor is a person who won’t become your potential competitor or a customer, but someone who’s already made an exit and has no personal conflicts of interest with helping someone grow.

Surveys found that 80% of business owners seeking mentorship consider whether mentors are still operating a business in their niche to be one of the top factors in finding a “teacher”. Therefore, your mentor search app should have a dedicated checkbox called something similar to: “Business Exit”.

Achievements

This is one of the most important pieces of information the app should collect and consider. Unfortunately, the truly accomplished and successful professionals rarely boast about all of their achievements to the full extent publically. Therefore, the app should keep this info in private until the very last moment before the apprentice contacts a mentor. Think of this filter as the last step in the user’s journey.

Another approach is to curate the list of mentors. You can add them only after private research, where you (as an app owner) will manually validate the accomplishments of each participant. This way you will raise the value of your mentor app in the eyes of the users.

Messaging & Video Streaming

This is a must-have function of every p2p app. Whether you’re building an Online Mentoring Application or a Matching app, messaging is super important. We’ve even made a location-based chatting system that connects people based on their position.

You can use private messages as a monetization option, just like Tinder and LinkedIn. Users may pay you for a first contact message or for the ability to open a mentor’s profile, where his contacts sit.

GBKSOFT
Live-streaming app

If you want to develop an online mentoring app, you should consider Live Streaming functionality. We’ve covered the basics of live streaming development in this article, and made a dedicated fitness app with live streaming options.

Beneficial use of the mentoring software for business

Mentoring solutions are especially in demand by large organizations with a huge number of employees. It is complicated to manage all departments and workers properly. So company leaders or heads of departments can appoint highly experienced workers as mentors to teach and help new employees become a part of the company, assimilate them, and bring them up to speed. Thus, we would like to present and share with you the main benefits the monitoring app can provide for your company:

  • Quick and more efficient onboarding of new employees; 
  • Individual approach to each mentee;
  • Effective employee training from day one to help them blend in easily and quickly;
  • Improved communication between different company departments;
  • Goal tracking for each mentee as well as for the whole organization; 
  • The general strengthening of experience possessed by your “new” employees.

Success stories – GBKSOFT

At this point, we would like to share our experience in developing mentoring apps of different types and for different aims. We selected the most prominent success stories of our development team who built highly functional solutions that help people develop their skills with the help of technologies.

CTRL Golf – Mentoring App with IoT

Talking about the unique way of mentoring we cannot overlook CTRL Golf  – an innovative mobile application that teaches users to play golf considering the individual approach to each golf player. This type of mentoring is a little bit different as users get recommendations from their application (i.e. computer algorithm), as opposed to a real trainer. However, such training sessions can be even more effective than real person coaching due to the fact that players wear special gloves equipped with sensors that scan the player`s swings, analyze them, and provide pieces of advice on how to improve their swings and playing skills in general. 

The level of the user`s golf skill doesn’t matter as this app is suitable for experienced players as well as for newcomers; as the app`s slogan postulates: “Practice your perfect”. The recommendations are generated based on special algorithms developed before the cooperation with the GBKSOFT development team. We successfully developed an Android-based solution that correctly connects with sensors located on the specially designed gloves. Our task was also to redesign the look of the running statistics and recommendations in a more convenient way.

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Portfolio case
You can learn more about CTRL Golf development flow and the fruits of our cooperation by following this link.

CTRL Golf case

Surf & Yoga

Surf & Yoga is a classic example of a sport mentoring application. The purpose of this solution is to connect surfers all over the world to share their knowledge, experience, skills, and so on. Users can register as trainers (meaning mentors) or as students who are considered to be beginners in surfing and/or yoga and are willing to learn more from seasoned veterans that they would like to call their mentors. Mentees or students can search for trainers located in their neighborhood thanks to the geolocation function.

All they have to do is just adjust some filters to find a suitable person based on what they need. After that, students can choose the lesson they need and schedule a meeting with a mentor directly via the Surf & Yoga platform, so there is no need to even leave the comfort of their homes to have a personalized learning experience from surfing and/or yoga gurus or even wirelessly surf the internet to find highly qualified instructors.

surf and yoga case study

Tips on how to integrate the Mentoring app


Identify your company goals
When you come to creating your own mentoring program and consequently platform, you should first outline the main problems this program is going to resolve and define what value it adds to your company and staff and where it adds it. It’s helpful to put yourself in the shoes of potential mentees and mentors as well to better understand their needs and desires. Thus, you will know how to make your mentoring platform not only highly functional but also really sought-after and in-demand by your workers and/or other employees. Your application can have a web and/or mobile version, which also depends on your mentoring solution and its specifics.
Choose the spheres of activity
Make sure that your mentoring software meets the expectations of the mentees. Learn what exactly your employees are willing to get to know, learn and what skills they would like to improve. Therefore, you will understand what specialists will [need to] be involved as corresponding mentors. Additionally, you can do research on the market to compare the already existing mentoring programs and find out what skills are presently trending in your field of activity.
Build the correct structure
The mentorship app should be properly structured to provide a smooth bridge for enabling mentorship. Of course, this process is quite unpredictable and some problems can appear. All these potential issues should be discussed beforehand and fixed as soon as possible by mentors or mentoring program managers who actually assign mentors to mentees.
Mind to match participants
Each mentor should have a profile where he or she can describe their work experience, hard and soft skills, particular preferences, etc. The purpose is to provide the opportunity for mentees to choose a suitable mentor by several parameters so that the mentoring app will flow comfortably. This selection can be performed based on specifically developed matching algorithms that are pretty simple if you develop a mentoring app from scratch. Sometimes the problem can lie in mismatching, not in your mentoring program.
Establish core rules
To make the mentoring course effective as much as it is possible, mentors and mentees should follow a particular set of rules and phrases. It will help to structure the mentoring course for the purpose of making it really productive. Mentors and mentees should have a schedule that consists of theory and practical lessons, communication channels, and so on.
Feedback
Considering the feedback is an obvious element if you are willing to constantly improve your mentor app and meet the demands of mentors and mentees. Mentoring solution like any other type of software requires regular upgrades in order to make it more functional and modern. To find out the true worth and quality of the application, it is advisable to hold anonymous questionnaires/surveys among your employees to know their thoughts and opinions.

All tasks and tips we listed above are handy and building out such a solution is reasonable, particularly for a development team that has already had experience in developing mentoring apps.

Initially, you might think that custom software is something really expensive and out of reach. However, a custom software solution is a great investment in the future of your company as a custom mentoring app will save time and effort for your employees as they will be able to share their knowledge and experience within the company to make the business process as efficient as possible in the short run.

Generally, the cost of developing a custom mentoring app starts from USD 80,000 and depends on the range of functionality and other requirements, particularly for your case. 

We advise you to schedule a consultation with our Business Analyst to hold an analysis of your organization and look for ways to boost the overall company productivity with a custom mentoring platform.

FAQ

The price of developing a mentoring app starts from USD 80,000. We suggest developing an MVP first to check its relevance and value contribution to your company and define if the initial functionality is suitable to continue the development.
Mentoring is the opportunity to structure internal workflow without assistance. A mentoring app expedites the onboarding of new employees and helps them to fit in in order to execute their duties in a qualified fashion from the first working days.

Bottom Line

Mentoring has already become an investable part of middle and large companies as it is a very unique and promising industry. It requires wide technical expertise and a clear understanding of its specifics due to the particular industry though. On the other hand, you’ll be rewarded with high revenues and stable income. By getting into this business you’ll face a demanding audience with its very specific needs and wants. The development of a mobile mentoring app may require high expertise and experience. But having a professional software team on your side with a special background will certainly clear lots of bumps from the road.

References

  • Barham, K. and Conway, C. (1998), Developing Business and People Internationally: A
    Mentoring Approach, Berkhampstead: Ashridge Research.
  • Parsloe, E. and Wray, M. (2000), Coaching and Mentoring: Practical Methods to Improve
    Learning, London: Kogan Page.
  • Small Businesses, Job Creation and Growth: Facts, Obstacles and Best Practices. (n.d.) OECD Report. 2020
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Let’s discuss the path of the development of a mentoring app for your company.

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Creator

Due to my Master`s Degree in journalism, I focus on the details while doing the research on the topic. My particular curiosity is about the latest mobile app developments that start in 2015 that make life easier and save much time to spend it more productive. I am an expert in reviewing and consulting web projects related to web applications, especially if they are connected with wearables.
Alexandra Rostovtseva

Expert

Being a proficient leader with over 10 years of experience in Project and Product Management, Business Development and Sales, I have strong skills in Negotiations, Crisis, Client and Risk management. Being an outstanding communicator I’m also a good mentor and leader in the tech industry. Experience and expertise are the key foundations in my ability to provide deep insights into the industry and as result I’ve also been published or was a contributor to several tech and business articles.
Leave a comment

One comment

Emmanuel Goossaert
Feb 10, 2021 at 7:27 AM

Mentoring is very important for startups. Great information for those who want to start their career in mentoring.

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