A powwow with Benjamin Nomine

Every so often we sit down with one of our favourite people and ask them a few questions. Benjamin Nomineis everything e3 hopes to find in a partner. He is passionate, energetic and wants to help HR disrupt itself. He is also a true global citizen; growing up in France, living in Ireland, marrying an Indian/Irish woman and raising his daughter in Singapore.Tell us your Singapore story, how did you end up here?
It was the end of a cycle, I believe in questioning and challenging myself once things become too comfortable. I had already done a major change in my career path 12 years ago. Being initially a Microbiologist, it was not a natural move to start working in HR after my MBA. After 10 years working in Paris, it was time to move on and discover new horizons.

There is another reason, our daughter was one year old and it was important for us to show her a world with no borders, no limits and with amazing diversity.

Using only three adjectives, how would you describe Singapore to someone who has never been here?
Hot, humid, stuffy? … Seriously: diverse, dynamic, challenging but full of opportunities.

What’s the coolest thing you worked on in Europe?
It is actually not something I have worked on, it is people I have worked with. I started working in HR for the big H. I still believe there are too many HR organizations hiding behind processes when the key issue is the conversation you are having with people and connections you are creating between the business needs and people’s needs.

What’s the most interesting thing about working in the oil & gas industry?
It really is a global and very technical industry. But the most interesting aspects come from its weaknesses. There is a skills shortage and we are in the midst of a global talent war, with a huge need for developing a local talent pool that does not exist yet.

But it also is an old-school industry. This industry needs fresh ideas. There is a real challenge in trying to convince its leaders that change is good and that being different is a strength!

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out on an EVP project?
Get involvement of the Leaders from the beginning and then involve as many employees as you can. Keep in mind it is not an HR project but a companywide project. Also, don’t sell what you want to be – sell what you really are. Clever marketing will not save you. Last, be passionate! But that should apply for anything you are starting.

What advice would you give someone starting out on a journey with e3?
Don’t be scared! Open your mind, embrace the ideas, seize the moment (this one is for you Em!)

You’re a runner. Tell us about it.
I started running a few years ago and it quickly became an addiction. I like it because it is made of determination, dedication and self-discipline. A lot of people I meet are asking me why I am running. I guess sometimes you just do things. And it is part of me now.

The truth is I run to breathe and to escape the ordinary. But I also run to explore, discover and reconnect with myself, with other runners and with my environment.

Most important of all, I run because whenever I do so, life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I think I want to make sure I possess the strength to attempt something I am not sure I can accomplish.