Binu Jacob

Driving HR Success with Purpose & Passion

Binu Jacob

Group Human Resources Manager,

Flat White Specialty Coffee

Misconceptions often shroud the true essence of HR, perpetuating misunderstandings among job seekers and non-HR professionals. A prevalent misconception suggests that HR primarily serves employers, overlooking employee needs. However, Binu Jacob, Group Human Resources Manager at Flat White Specialty Coffee, Qatar, challenges this notion. With 10+ years of cross-industry experience, Binu reshapes HR perceptions by prioritising employee well-being and development. At Flat White, he leads initiatives bridging organisational goals with workforce needs. His tenure at the London Education Centre as HR Operations Manager honed skills in organisational development and employee relations, as evidenced by his nine certifications in people management. Binu’s dedication to continuous improvement drives his transformative approach to HR, positioning it as a strategic partner in organisational success. Join us in exploring Binu’s journey and shaping HR narratives and standards at Flat White Specialty Coffee.

What led to your role as Group Human Resource Manager, and what does global HR management entail?

My journey to becoming a group human resource manager began with my postgraduate studies in human resources management at Christ University, Bangalore. This academic pursuit deepened my understanding of HR complexities and sparked a lasting passion for the field. I commenced my professional journey as a Plant HR Officer at JSW (Jindal) in India, where I gained valuable insights into HR operations and set the stage for continuous growth. Transitioning to NBTC (Kuwait) as a senior HR officer, I led transformative initiatives that reshaped talent management practices and fostered a motivated workforce. At NBTC, I played a key role in implementing innovative HR strategies, including talent development programmes, performance management systems, and employee engagement initiatives. These efforts contributed significantly to enhancing organisational effectiveness and employee satisfaction. At the London Education Centre in Qatar, I focused on driving HR excellence and cultivating a culture of growth within the department. Here, I oversaw strategic HR operations, including talent acquisition, development, and retention. Now, as the Group HR Manager at Flat White Specialty Coffee (Round Table), I am honoured to lead HR efforts under the guidance of CEOs Ms Maryam Albader and Mr. Nasser Al Naemi.Their leadership provides opportunities for skill refinement and impactful contributions to the organisation’s future. Throughout my career, I’ve learned that HR transcends borders—it requires continuous learning and commitment to nurturing workplace culture. With passion and dedication, I embrace the opportunities ahead, ready to navigate this remarkable HR journey with purpose.

How do you lead global HR and promote inclusivity in multinational organisations, leveraging your diverse industry experience?

I prioritise inclusivity by embracing diversity, especially generational diversity. Recognising the unique strengths each generation brings, I foster a workplace of high-octane passionate energy, promoting collaboration and innovation. Inclusive decision-making taps into the collective intelligence of diverse age groups, yielding effective outcomes. Drawing from over 30 years of industry experience, I emphasise the analogy of fingers on a hand—each indispensable, forming a formidable force together. By celebrating differences and promoting collaboration, organisations navigate global complexities with resilience, ensuring long-term growth and prosperity for all stakeholders.

In global HR management, how do you ensure compliance with diverse international labour laws and cultural norms?

In global HR management, Flat White ensures compliance with diverse labour laws and cultural norms through thorough research on regulations and cultural practices in each operating country. We stay updated on legislative changes and collaborate with legal experts to navigate complexities, fostering a culturally sensitive work environment.

How do recruiters utilise technology to streamline operations? Could you provide examples of HR Tech applications you use?

Recruiters can leverage technology to streamline operations and improve outcomes for both recruiters and candidates. At Flat White, we utilise platforms like LinkedIn Recruiter, Indeed, and niche job boards to identify and engage potential candidates efficiently. These tools enable us to automate repetitive tasks, access a broader pool of talent, and build meaningful connections with candidates. By embracing HR tech solutions, we enhance productivity and optimise our recruitment processes to meet evolving industry demands.

Could you share some initiatives you've implemented and their outcomes?

I’ve initiated impactful training programmes to enhance workplace culture, notably implementing diversity and inclusion training sessions to foster respect and acceptance among employees. Recently, I led efforts for Flat White, Qatar, to achieve the prestigious Great Place to Work certification, underscoring our commitment to prioritise employee satisfaction and engagement. These initiatives reflect our dedication to cultivating a supportive and inclusive work environment, resulting in heightened morale, improved retention rates, and a positive organisational reputation.

What challenges come with the gig economy and millennial workforce, and what factors are key in multigenerational policy development?

The gig economy offers flexibility prized by millennials, but retaining them poses challenges due to their preference for independence. Developing policies for a multi-generational workforce involves fostering inclusivity, accommodating diverse work preferences, and providing tailored professional development. Communication channels must be diverse and accessible to cater to varied generational needs. Ultimately, policies should prioritise creating a supportive and adaptable work environment that enables all employees to thrive.

What HR trends should companies know, and how are they implemented in your organisation?

Amidst the evolving landscape of HR, several trends demand attention from all companies. Notably, prioritising employee well-being and mental health, fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and promoting continuous learning and upskilling are crucial. At Flat White, we’re proactively addressing these trends by conducting comprehensive reviews of our HR policies, practices, and organisational culture to align with emerging trends. Additionally, investing in HR technology solutions takes precedence. By leveraging these tools, we enhance operations, support employee wellbeing, streamline performance management, and optimise essential HR functions. These forward-thinking measures not only drive Flat White’s success but also empower our workforce to thrive in today’s dynamic work environment.

How has the rise of moonlighting and hybrid work impacted recruitment? What challenges do you foresee in the near future?

The emergence of moonlighting and hybrid work has revolutionised the recruitment process, offering employers access to a broader pool of talent and enabling flexible work arrangements. However, challenges such as retention and maintaining team dynamics arise, requiring proactive management and adjustments to recruitment strategies. Effectively addressing these challenges is crucial for organisations to thrive in talent acquisition and retention amid evolving work trends.