BECKSearch is a peer-to-peer platform where you can be paired up with whoever has the knowledge that you don’t. Looking to transition into a new industry or a new role? Do you have a job interview in a week’s time? Do you need to get an insider’s perspective on a foreign job market – or on the home job market after a few years abroad?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could ‘pick the brains’ of a person who has been there and done that? However, it can seem impossible to find just the right person, with the right knowledge, and to get access to them. And then how do you approach them? Rather than ask for the goodwill and time of a stranger, it would be a lot easier if we could simply pay somebody for their time commensurate to the relevance of their experience in our situation. BECKSearch offers a solution, by pairing up people who are willing to share their knowledge for a fee, and those who are more than happy to pay for specific advice tailored to their exact profile and problem.
Susan is familiar with the camaraderie the Irish are famous for – she has been the grateful recipient of many a word of good advice over the years, and she has been happy to reciprocate whenever she could, offering informal mentoring to budding entrepreneurs and sharing her insights into exporting with other SMEs. In September 2016, Susan was sitting in a conference on a London Chamber trade mission to the UAE, when she thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could ask a person who knows their stuff, instead of trying to find the proverbial needle in the haystack?’ Susan had the idea that, thanks to the right algorithm, you could very efficiently pair up those facing unfamiliarity with others who have wisdom, experience and context.
‘This kind of informal mentoring happens all the time in Irish business circles, based on people’s good will. Sometimes it’s paid for by our taxes, and the expert advice we get in exchange is more than worth our tax euros: Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office have helped our company countless times. Here I have been lucky to receive the unstinting help of the Consulate General of Ireland. Other times you access expertise through formal networks, for example the Irish International Business Network (Susan serves on the board of the Dublin chapter). And then there’s serendipity: saying yes to coffee or lunch or dinner with a fellow businessperson. I’ve had so many informal chats like this, all over the world: in the UK, the US, Belgium, Netherlands, Malta, and more recently the UAE and now Hong Kong and Macau. They’ve been eye-opening and they’ve alerted me to so many opportunities.’
In Hong Kong, Susan was able to speak at the Insiders’ Evening at the Irish Consulate, talking about business and employment opportunities back in Ireland. The Irish Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and the Irish Chamber of Commerce Macau also extended her a warm welcome: Hayes Culleton’s BECKSearch will help make knowledge exchanges more fluid for highly mobile entrepreneurs and professionals between Europe and Asia. ‘The aim of BECKSearch is really to make this very enjoyable process of sharing knowledge lightning-fast: helping somebody out with your hard-won knowledge, and on the receiving end, getting those immensely precious insider’s tips that can open the doors to a new role, a new career or a new life.’
And people are hungry for this kind of information. Susan was blown away by the keen interest that young people expressed for studying or interning in Ireland, and getting valuable international experience with highly reputable companies on the Emerald Isle. She met several groups of students at Ricci College in Hong Kong, a school with long-standing ties to Ireland, as it was founded by Fr. Mallin. These young, dynamic people, she says, might very soon become the ‘new Irish’ communities of tomorrow: people with strong professional and emotional ties to Ireland, championing the Irish business brand all over the world. Helping people spread their wings and confidently look to new horizons is exactly what BECKSearch is about.