At GrowthMentor, the curation/vetting process is our secret sauce.

We’re a people business.

Sure, the product’s great. It’s got a pretty UX, nifty AI matching, and the scheduling works great.

But without the right people behind it, none of that would matter at all.

For context: Our mentee side consists of founders and marketers that are looking for guidance on how to get unstuck. Usually, it’s related to challenges related to growing their startups. Sometimes it’s career-related, especially for the marketers amongst us. These mentees have raised their hands, and are saying, “I could use some help here?

The common denominator is they’re usually in a vulnerable state.

The last thing they need is for their mentor to pitch them a silver bullet. Whether that’s a framework, a course, an ebook, or a coaching engagement.

It just feels icky.

Culture fit is a big deal at GrowthMentor.

We’re all about genuine connections, not just business transactions. We are looking for mentors who get that and are here to offer real, empathetic guidance, not to make a quick buck or push their own agenda.

When a mentor’s motivations align with our ethos, that’s when the magic happens.

They’re not just offering advice—they’re investing in the growth of our community.

But how do we find these people?

Let’s talk about the vetting process

The first step is an application questionnaire where we ask a variety of questions.

Before we ask a single question we pre-empt the form with our expectations as to not waste anyone’s time.

Curious about what our application looks like? Feel free to click here and go through the application process for yourself.

I get around 10 applications per day on average and will batch review my co-founder Jessica to remove bias.

We kick off reviews by scanning applicants’ LinkedIn profiles. Five years’ tech startup experience is a minimum requirement, as well as recency in a hands-on role. If an applicant has been a consultant, freelancer, or advisor for the past few years, that’s a red flag.

Next, we zoom in on questionnaire responses.

  • What’s motivating them to join?
  • What topics do they get excited to mentor people on?
  • Have they mentored before?
  • To what degree is the monetary reward of mentorship the primary driver to joining the community?

Around 10% of applications get bumped to the next stage.

If mentor applications pass the first step of the evaluation process, I’ll invite them to jump on an interview call with me.

Me and Agata having a chat.

The purpose of these calls is to:

  • Personally get to meet all of the new mentors and learn more about them
  • Build a 1:1 relationship with them and just meet new cool people
  • Learn a bit more about them to see if there’s a mutually good fit
  • Give them a chance to ask me any questions they might have about how it all works

Things I look for:

  • Culture fit. Are they here for the right reasons? Do they actually want to help people?
  • Do they pass the airplane test? If I got stuck sitting next to them on a never-ending flight, would I be scrambling for the escape slide, or would we end up trading life stories over mini bags of peanuts?
  • Warmth and overall vibe. We’re looking for positively charged people.
  • Does their expertise jive with what our community needs?
  • Are they asking questions, showing that spark of interest and curiosity? Curiosity is the lifeblood of great mentors. And I’m always on the lookout for that spark in our potential mentors.
  • Are they punctual, set up properly, and ready to roll? In this virtual mentoring world, showing up on time and having a solid setup, including a good microphone, is non-negotiable. If they don’t nail these basics during the interview that’s not a good sign.

Once we’ve sized each other up in the interview, it’s time to decide on the next steps.

If they’re a fit for us, I guide them through the process of setting up their account. If it’s not quite the right vibe, I’m honest about it.

We’ve got a ‘worthy contenders’ list for those who show incredible potential but get outshone by others. Let’s be real, we can only onboard a certain number of mentors each month. If it’s down to selecting 20 out of 50 outstanding individuals, we pick the 20 who will add the most value to our community.

It’s not that the other 30 aren’t stellar – they absolutely are – it’s just that the top 20 have that extra ‘oomph’. And we let these folks know that they’re on our radar and could be tapped at any time. A simple yet effective tip to skip the queue: Follow up and show continued interest, that’s a big plus – it demonstrates your commitment. This has gotten many people pushed to the front of the queue.

It’s important to note that we have a bit of a bias towards mentors who are full-time employees at tech startups and founders, as opposed to professional mentors, advisors, or consultants. We do have exceptions, especially if they’ve just left their job and are transitioning to fractional roles.

The reasoning? Full-time employees and founders are caught up in their own whirlwind, and are less likely to have services to pitch mentees, they’re mentoring for the sheer joy of it. Whereas with consultants, there’s an inherent conflict – their bread and butter is pitching their services. It’s not that they can’t be fantastic mentors – they absolutely can be – but past experience has taught us it can lead to complications.

And there you have it, folks!

Joining GrowthMentor isn’t some walk in the park. Only about 5% of applicants get their way through. And as more applicants throw their hats in the ring, that slice of the pie is only going to get smaller.

But hey, we’re on a mission here at GrowthMentor. We’re all about curating a top-notch crew of mentors who truly get our ethos – good karma, a genuine passion for lifting others up. We’re more than just a mentorship marketplace; we’re creating a community of people helping people grow where karma is the north star metric. Our whole selection process? It’s a mirror image of that mission.

If you’re ready to bring your A-game, and you’re excited at the chance to help ambitious founders, marketers, and product managers hit their growth goals, we want to hear from you!

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