Youth Employment @ BeeckerCo
A strategy based on talent
Education and youth employment are an integral part of BeeckerCo’s Culture. BeeckerCo is a Mexican company that specializes in Robotic Process Automation, with offices in Colombia, Brazil and the US. It has grown from four people to over 200 in six years of operation.
The company was founded and developed by people who had been educators and had seen how even a little education can help people go a long way. Back in the day, they had also been young entrepreneurs looking for a chance to shine, and had experienced how hard it is sometimes for young people to catch a break. And a break is sometimes all young people need to unleash their potential.
BeeckerCo’a culture of education and youth employement does not expresses itself merely in words, although those words make up a 250-page book called The Beecker Way, which can be found on Amazon. Important as they are, words are not enough: BeeckerCo’s culture of education and youth employement is at the core of the company’s current strategy, which consists of hiring recent graduates, training them in UiPath tools as well as management methodologies, and coach them on their way to becoming BeeckerCo’s leading developers and implementators.
This strategy originates from the fact that in Mexico there are over seventy technological universities with outstanding academic level, most of those in states in which about 56% of homes are considered low-income. Lower income level means fewer opportunities in a very competitive market, not only because of accessibility but also because even after graduation, furthering studies of many of the technologies and methodologies that can ensure employability can be quite expensive. There is also the fact that the business world can be very unwelcoming to people from different backgrounds, especially those in which English is sometimes learned in adulthood with great effort and most of the times at great expense as well. All this creates an employment barrier.
As of 2018, BeeckerCo has implemented a co-branded training program with as many universities as it can articulate with. There are currently more than twenty working with BeeckerCo in different states in Mexico, and this program is being replicated in Colombia and Brazil. Young graduates are given free courses in Robotic Process Automation, most prominently UiPath tools, which will make them more employable. Many of those that pass BeeckerCo’s very demanding training program are invited to become interns at BeeckerCo and continue in BeeckerCo’s employment in any of the company’s offices. Those who do not continue with BeeckerCo have become more employable, and that in itself is a win. Once a part of BeeckerCo, they continue their training to specialize, and they receive English language training as well.
BEECKERCO DW, BeeckerCo’s newest line of Digital Workers, has been developed and is being implemented by young talent at BeeckerCo that started as recent graduates. Many of those who started in our co-branded training programs are now in the front lines, interacting with our largest clients: household names such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé. They are not just part of BeeckerCo. They are BeeckerCo.
It has been our experience at BeeckerCo that young people are bright and work hard. They work even harder when they have a starting handicap, for example those who, as mentioned earlier, have only learned English as adults and still do not master it. Language training is a luxury many of them never had as children, so they learn English while they learn the newest UiPath tools, and they get good. They get good, they thrive, and since they know how hard it is to get there, so they take nothing for granted. They work hard, and they get far at BeeckerCo.
Everyone regardless of their place in the company works equally hard, and can contribute with ideas. BeeckerCo is a company with a low index of power distance, and this helps us relate across generations. As it is a relatively flat company, all levels can communicate freely on a daily basis. Informal interactions are considerably more conducive to creativity and unique thought. If everyone can contribute, we become richer in ideas for it, and those ideas contribute to the growth of the company. BeeckerCo’s line of Digital Workers exists thanks to the contribution of people in all levels of the company.
When we tell partners and clients that we have a large number of engineers in training, and that the whole training cycle (even after they enter BeeckerCo) takes more than a year, they tend to ask: what do they do while in training? The first stage is the introduction to RPA tools and methodologies in the free courses BeeckerCo provides. They study, they practice, they are evaluated rigorously. Those that continue with BeeckerCo train internally by developing and finetuning the bots for the company’s own backoffice processes. When they are ready to interact with external users, they are assigned to a program that provides bots for NGOs free of charge, provided that the NGO seeks to make a significant social impact. This stage not only provides trainees with the experience of dealing with final users in external organizations, but it also shows them how automation can have a positive, direct impact in the world. Their next step is to shadow the more veteran implementers and developers at clients. From there, they are only one step away from being themselves the ones to implement and develop. BeeckerCo has different career path with a lot of mobility between them, so that each person may find their passion: developing, delivering, supporting. Whichever path they choose, they become elegible for a BeeckerCo’s Academic Program, through a Bachelor's Degree in Robotic Process Automation may be obtained at IPIAM, an institute founded by BeeckerCo.
We provide equal opportunities. We are now at 31% women in the company, a good number in an industry that tends to be about 91% male. We do not do this by filling quotas. We simply provide the best possible workplace and give everyone a chance to shine. We certify ourselves as a Great Place to Work yearly, and let young people regardless of gender and background decide whether they want to come with on our journey.
Letting them decide is the best part of all this. We have found that competing tech companies keep trying to poach our young talent. Young people that perhaps two years ago would not have not been considered for a position in those companies have now become poach-worthy assets. We would be sad to lose them, but we are happy to see that after all that training they now have a choice.
When we see a youngster who started fresh out of college, green as lettuce, lead a team in a large-scale implementation in a large multinational client we know we are doing something right.
To date, BeeckerCo has trained over 300 systems engineers.