Over 300 management executives from local and international corporations donated their time to provide invaluable one-on-one career guidance to 1,200 job seekers at the inaugural Mentor Hot Seats event organised by Talentbank recently.
The one-of-its-kind corporate social responsibility (CSR) event held on April 15 that aimed to empower Malaysian job seekers saw mentors from diverse industries and positions, including C-suite executives, directors, managers, consultants, and more, voluntarily signing up for the session supported by Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, Signmastr, and the Malaysia Association of Professional Speakers.
Talentbank’s CEO, Ben Ho, said the event intended to provide a comfortable and safe space for mentors to privately coach mentees on overcoming their career doubts and increasing their employability, thus enabling them to secure better job opportunities.
“During the Talentbank Career Fair held in early March, we observed a high demand for mentorship, with only 24 mentors available and long queues forming. We realised the need for such a platform, inspiring us to organise this CSR event to cater to the mentees’ requirements,” he added.
Ho said the Talentbank team had sought the assistance of Human Resource personnel to provide mentorship while those who signed up shared the same on their social media pages. These messages prompted other management executives to register as well.
“We were truly humbled by the response we received from the mentors who signed up without hesitation. We truly believe the gap in Malaysia’s talent pool can be rectified with the right assistance, and the best way to develop the necessary skills is to train and support the new workforce,” said Ho.
Aligning with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 4, 8, 10, and 17, the event sought to promote quality education, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, and partnerships for the goals.
The mentors represented various organisations, including Accenture, Bank Negara Malaysia, LinkedIn, Deloitte, Doo Group, Baker Tilly Malaysia, HP, Malaysia Aviation Group, PwC, Uniqlo, HP, Setel Ventures, Grant Thornton, LG, Prudential Assurance, Zuspresso, and more.
Talentbank also sought the assistance of locally based universities to help promote the event to mentees seeking guidance.
The venue, provided by Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, was suitable for fostering a comfortable atmosphere for career discussions. With abundant space for 45-minute one-on-one sessions, the setting enabled mentees to obtain valuable advice, guidance, and insights from experienced professionals in their respective industries.
To ensure a successful mentoring experience, Talentbank provided guidelines for both mentors and mentees. Mentors were encouraged to share their professional journeys, offer insights into industry trends, and provide personalised career advice based on each mentee’s aspirations and background. Meanwhile, mentees were urged to prepare questions in advance, actively engage in conversation, and be open to feedback and suggestions from their mentors.
The diverse participating organisations allowed mentees to gain insights into various fields and explore different career paths. Some common themes discussed during the mentoring sessions included career planning, resume writing, interview preparation, networking, personal branding, and work-life balance.
Both mentors and mentees expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to connect, learn, and grow, with several mentors finding the experience rewarding. Many were inspired by the enthusiasm and determination of the mentees. Likewise, mentees expressed gratitude for the guidance and support they received, noting that the event significantly impacted their career outlook and confidence.
In addition to the direct benefits for mentees, the Mentor Hot Seats event also allowed them to network with other professionals and learn from their peers. Talentbank is already looking ahead to future Mentor Hot Seats events, with plans to expand the initiative to reach more job seekers and collaborate with other organisations and stakeholders to further enhance the impact of the Mentor Hot Seats initiative.