For Canadian-based IT services provider CGI Group Inc.mentoring skilled immigrants new to Canada seemed like a great way to give back to the community. However, since the IT service provider became an employer partner with The Mentoring Partnership, they have  also discovered a lot of benefits for the business and their employees.

“Mentoring a skilled immigrant gives us insight into a new pool of talented candidates,” said Michael Grahlman, Director, Business Systems Analysis at CGI and a mentor with the program. “We’ve recently hired several skilled immigrants into my team and through my experience as a mentor I’ve learned how to better equip them to succeed on the job.”

In 2012, CGI reached the 100 mentoring matches milestone since they first joined the program in 2009. That means that CGI employees have mentored over 100 new immigrants, helping them to learn more about their professional fields here in Canada and build their networks. CGI has consistently supported the mentorship of new immigrants, undertaking two mentoring cycles with their employees every year. The CGI mentors use the experience to develop leadership and coaching skills they can apply in their work.

“There is no downside to being a mentor,” says Grahlman. “I found it really valuable. From a business perspective we were able to tap into new talent pools and skillsets. And from a personal perspective, it forces you to look at the work environment and the norms, boundaries and expectations in a different way and think about the implications of these in your business and area of expertise.”