Ask The Recruiter: Jeremy Buentello, IBM Software Group Asia-Pacific

By Masha Tseveen.

Jeremy BuentelloJeremy Buentello is Recruiting Account Manager for IBM Software Group and Sales & Distribution in IBM Asia-Pacific. To help our teams hire top talent into IBM, Jeremy uses his experience in team leadership and people management; candidate and hiring program management; candidate and marketing communications; candidate attraction channels, including social networking; offer negotiation; and university recruitment. With experience leading teams in China, Southeast Asia, North America, and other geographies, Jeremy thrives on building collaborative, high-performing teams. Originally from Austin, Texas in the US, Jeremy loves live music, dogs, traveling, and all things Game of Thrones! Connect with Jeremy on LinkedIn.

1. Can you tell us about IBM Software Group Asia-Pacific?

What a great question – because Software might not be the first thing you think about when you think IBM! But as the world’s second-largest software maker, IBM has been working with companies, cities and communities around the world to build a Smarter Planet. We’ve seen enormous advances – companies and their leadership are using an explosion of data to transform their enterprises and institutions through analytics, mobile technology, social business and the cloud.

Our clients scan the breadth of communications, distribution, financial services, industrial, and public sectors, for whom IBM Software Group Asia-Pacific (and around the world) is helping grow new business models through analytics, remake enterprise IT for the Cloud era, and deliver new personalized customer engagements through social business and mobile enterprise software. This presents an exciting chance for IBM Recruitment to meet and engage talent from across this diverse and competitive market!

For a couple of examples of the type of work our business (including our recruits!) does, consider Qantas Freight, Australia’s largest cargo-handling terminal operator. Here, IBM Software Group helped the client improve customer service by providing greater visibility to shipments across the supply chain.

Or at Haiton Securities Co, one of the first securities companies in mainland China, the client is increasing wealth for investors while boosting company profitability by aggregating and analyzing company-wide data, using the IBM business analytics solution from IBM Business Partner Global Business Intelligence Consulting Co.

However, across the spectrum of industries, the ubiquity of data and the speed of access to data presents a common challenge: security. Here’s another chance for IBM to come to the table for our clients, and another exciting and challenging segment of the market for IBM Recruitment to identify top talent. IBM Security offers security intelligence and analytics solutions, advanced fraud protection, data security, application security, threat research, and more, which means Security industry professionals have hot opportunities at IBM Software Group.

2. What type of opportunities exist in Software Group?

Well, again, Security is a big one. Trusteer, an IBM Company, acquired by IBM in 2013, has exciting Security Seller opportunities across Asia-Pacific and the world, to help some of the world’s top banks, (including half of Australia’s top four banks) to protect their web applications, computers and mobile devices.

Individuals with talent in Cloud, Analytics, Mobile and Social are of course another hot skill set – where Mobile Developers are also enjoying a tremendous rise in demand.

3. What type of candidates do you look for?

This is a tough one to answer because the market in Cloud, Analytics, Mobile and Social is so rapidly evolving – but isn’t that the challenge and excitement of Recruitment at the leading edge company IBM is? Think about Mobile candidates. Different business units, hiring managers, or indeed cultures may have different schools on thought who is the “ideal” mobile candidate. Some hiring managers are looking for specific framework developers (like iOS or Android), because it’s easy to identify those candidates and to screen them. But, we do have to be careful with this because we don’t want to hire someone who is really only stuck on one specific tool. For mobile developers, sound fundamentals of computer science and object-oriented programming are a good start. And as always at IBM, we are always excited to consider the broad array of diverse talent in the marketplace to find the best qualified applicants no matter the field.

4. Describe your recruitment process. How quickly will applicant be notified about the application status?

There are some nominal variations in the Recruitment process across the Asia-Pacific markets and countries; however, client satisfaction and candidate experience is foremost in our organization’s priorities. This means we strive to work with candidates and hiring managers both in the most efficient way to streamline the interview process while maintaining stringent screening standards and business controls. Candidates can usually expect to hear about their overall hiring status within three to four weeks of their application.

5. How many rounds of interview should a candidate expect? Who makes the hiring decision?

Usually candidates experience two-three interviews, with at least one in-person interview. Hiring is a collaborative decision, wherein the hiring manager typically consults with technical and functional experts on his or her team to evaluate the slate of qualified applicants.

6. Do you consider applicants outside of Asia-Pacific?

Yes; for most positions which do not have specific citizenship requirements (e.g. Public sector jobs which require citizens of their respective country), cross-country applicants can be considered. However, this is also dependent on the availability of talent in the market, language requirements, and other factors.

7. Will there be formal training once hired?

Absolutely! In addition to the two-year learning continuum for all new IBMers (called Succeeding@IBM), various in-depth, industry leading trainings, including IBM Global Sales School, exist for both experienced professionals and university students to introduce new hires to the IBM consultative sales approach. This is a great opportunity to grow professionally and to develop your very first network as an IBMer.

8. What tips would you give to job applicants?

As a seasoned Recruiter with years of experience in hiring across the IBM organization, there is loads of advice I could give here! Firstly, of course, the applicant’s CV is often a Recruiters company’s first glance at his or her capabilities. But in the era of Social Business, having an equally compelling online profile – for example on LinkedIn – can greatly increase your visibility. Stay engaged in your industry or function’s online communities and member groups. Contribute to the conversations with your thoughts and experiences. All of these will increase your “hits” in online searches.

Of course, not to sound old-fashioned, but a clean, well-formatted CV, beginning with a compelling executive summary statement about yourself is key as well. The summary statement is less about your experience as it is about your personal brand. Remember, the “objective” statement is outdated. Rather, describe who you are professionally and in a short summary, what you bring to the table that is unique. Stay away from descriptive adjectives such as “detail-oriented” or “energetic”… no one describes themselves as lazy and oblivious to detail, so Recruiters will simply gloss over these words and they are “wasted space” on your CV. Instead focus on your concrete contributions – wherein specific numbers and metrics are always helpful.

And, it goes without saying, but stay positive! Polite, timely communications will always go far in any business relationship – especially in the job search.


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For more information on IBM Software Group client case studies;
For more information on Trusteer, an IBM Company.

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