Designing the Future of Recruitment – A Global Experience

What is it like to have the opportunity to shape the future of recruitment in an organization like IBM? Exposure to new tools and innovative technology, traveling to different countries, and meeting people from across the globe – these are just some of the perks of being part of a global team.


by Bruno Martins

When I joined IBM as an intern in 2011, I remember listening to an executive who was involved in implementing new tools globally. He started talking about the perks of working on the project – traveling, meeting new people, learning about new technologies and obviously, the experience of globalizing and implementing a unique tool to more than 100 countries. This made me wonder: Is this something I will also experience in my career? As I was just an intern, it was not clear to me what that exactly meant, or where that could take me.

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Bruno, 4th from left, back in 2012, where his journey began at a global internship experience in NYC

Soon after, I became part of the Global Recruitment Candidate Attraction team. Back in 2012, the discussions in the recruitment field were no longer limited to career portals – no, that was too basic. Referral Tools, LinkedIn, Job Boards, Social Recruiting, Recruitment Marketing Tools – these were the buzz in the team! Things were running much faster. This time, I was starting to get an idea of the challenges that the executive was talking about when I was starting my career. Managing new systems, new ways of thinking, marketing and recruiting, conscious of the cultural, legal, technological challenges – I was already experiencing it, and they were all undoubtedly exciting!

With all the new things going on, my focus was almost exclusively on the adoption and implementation of employee referral tools, which is a major sourcing and hiring channel. And as my role evolved, I became a “specialist” for referral technologies and responsible for integrating the referral tool with Kenexa, IBM’s new Applicant Tracking System. When I actually understood what was going on, BOOM! – I was having the same experience as the executive from 2011 was describing.

For two years, I had the chance to travel a lot, meet wonderful people, and get to peek behind the curtains of the ‘Future of Recruitment’. Glad to say that in 2015, while many companies were pulling their hairs off with concepts like employer brand and analytics, IBM was already a step further, making sure all that would be solidified in its Candidate and Recruiting Experience. If this narrative ended here, it would have been quite a good conclusion, but the innovations never stop and IBM enjoys being at the forefront of it.

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Bruno, 2nd from left, traveled to Bangalore, India and met the main team who put together the IBM Referrals Tool
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Designing the future of recruitment with people from all around the world, 2015, Bangalore India

We’re at the end of 2017 and what’s next? AI (Artificial Intelligence), Cognitive and Predictive Analytics are just some of the main disruptive technologies which are already being applied in recruiting at IBM to build a more personalized candidate experience. I don’t have a crystal ball, but at this point, based on my relatively short yet intense experience, I recommend to fasten your seat belts and hold tight because the ‘Future of Recruitment’ will be quite a ride, a global ride!


Bruno Martins joined IBM Brazil in 2011 as part of the HR Global Internship Program. Today, he is part of the IBM Global Employer Branding Team as a Recruitment Tools Specialist, working on user experience improvement for new recruitment technologies. 

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