Fast Company has reported that LinkedIn is currently testing a new feature which will enable users to find potential mentors and mentees.
Specifics about the service:
• Access to "career advice hub" will be available in a section named "your dashboard" on the user's profile.
• The user signs up to be a mentor or a mentee.
• The user provides some detail about who they would like to connect with, and what kind of advice they would like to give or receive.
• LinkedIn's matching algorithm comes up with recommended matches. The user selects one of the matches and the person receives a notice of the wish to connect. If both people agree, they can start chatting — either on or off LinkedIn.
Hari Srinivasan, director of product management at LinkedIn, told Fast Company that people naturally start talking to others within their companies to get career advice. However, he points out, “As people spend less and less time at a company, it’s hard to find people you need to talk to.”
Internal analysis of user actions revealed that nearly 90% of senior leaders on LinkedIn would be interested in giving advice. Among those seeking advice, exploring career options was one of the top issues they wanted to discuss with a mentor.
The LinkedIn mentoring service could potentially make it easier to ask for career advice, as there will most likely be people in one's industry who have signed up to mentor, hence there should be a lesser chance one is rejected.
At first glance, the potential of tapping the expertise of some 500 million LinekIn members seems like a tremendous opportunity however, Srinivasan acknowledged that one of the potential stumbling blocks was that members needed to be mindful of expectations. One of the reasons mentorships fail is because the mentee sometimes is not able to articulate what they need or place too much expectation of a mentor. According to Srinivasan, LinkedIn is working on ways to make the conversation flow more smoothly so both sides get what they need.
A LinkedIn representative told Fast Company that the free service is currently only available to some users, but it will be available to all LinkedIn users by end of summer 2017.