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50 Best Workplaces of The Year 2018

An Interview with Toby Babb, Harrington Starr Founder and CEO: ‘We Believe in Excellence through Understanding both the Sector itself but also the Real Needs of our Clients and Candidates’

thesiliconreview-toby-babb-founder-ceo-harrington-starr-18“Together, we are committed to creating a unique, compelling learning environment of connection, collaboration, and communication.”

Hiring and employing unfit talent often drives undesirable hardship on a company’s books and turnover rate, leaving operations and culture to suffer the consequences. Employers and management personnel must continually calculate whether retaining and re-engaging unproductive staff members is more beneficial than finding, hiring and training new employees.

In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we are thrilled to present Harrington Starr.

The company was as established with the vision to be the number one supplier of technology and sales staff to the world’s leading financial services companies through partnering, understanding and delivering to the needs of all of its clients and candidates. Harrington’s five core values of Positivity, Excellence, Execution, Esprit de Corps and Kaizen live both internally and externally ensuring the company consistently over exceeds its customers’ expectations.

Harrington Starr offers permanent, retained, interim, and contract solutions to over 800 of the leading companies in the world and many thousands of the globes most talented industry professionals. Covering Investment Banks, Hedge Funds, Prop Trading Houses, Exchanges, MTFs, Market Makers, Brokerages, Trading Companies, Vendors and Consultancies, the company is ideally suited to connect world-class talent with world-class opportunity.

Harrington Starr was incorporated in 2010 and is headquartered in London.

Toby Babb, Harrington Starr Founder/CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

What makes a best company to work for?

So much has been written recently about workplace culture and the world has gone mad for table tennis tables, chill out zones and beer taps. The more we have looked at this, the more it has become clear that a great business is actually based on a few crucial criteria. 1) The quality of your colleagues. 2) Your journey and ability to improve and be the best you can possibly be at your job. 3) Fair and consistent leadership. 4) The challenge and variety of your work. 5) The purpose of your business.

We have commissioned studies throughout the industries we hire into and the story is exactly the same with our clients. Whilst perks, pay and flexibility are important, really great places to work focus on having an excellent team, who are trained to be the best in the world at what they do by leaders who listen, provide a clear strategy, challenging work and give you real purpose behind what you do.

What is your company’s mission statement?

Our mission statement is ‘Your Success. Our Business.’ The vision tied to that is to become the best in the world at what we do. ‘Your Success. Our Business’ is about growth. Our business is focused on growing the careers of our candidates, the teams, brands and networks of our clients and the skills and careers of our consultants. We are passionate about the industry and believe in improving the reputation of the sector with world class customer service and changing the lives of our stakeholders through outstanding delivery and execution.

In order to stay motivated and inspired in the workplace, employees should feel there are opportunities to continue to grow in their careers, not just from a promotion standpoint, but in terms of professional development. Do professional development opportunities exist in your company?

We are very proud to have been shortlisted for the best professional development plan at the ‘Investing in Talent Awards’ in London. This is something we are hugely passionate about as a business with Kaizen being one of our core values. Continuous improvement is very much in our DNA and we invest heavily in ensuring that our people are given every bit of support possible to become the best that they can be in the industry. We believe the key to an inspiring workplace is the ability to get people winning and consistently improving at their job. We have developed our best in class Harrington Starr University Programme, designed a recruitment specific MBA, brought in experts including a former leader of the Red Arrows to give a series of Genius Talks and work with one of the World’s leading performance specialists to get the mental game right in the team. We want to provide the environment that helps people improve year on year and progress their career throughout. All of our VPs have developed through the company.

Two-way communication is the key. Employees need to feel they have an outlet for sharing their observations and ideas, is this true with your company?

Absolutely! This is another thing we passionately believe in. Some of our best innovations and ideas as a business have come from the newest people and we want to ensure that everyone has a voice. Communication is a vital tool in our business and every morning our lineups help share best practice and clear, consistent messaging as a business. The door is always open and we actively court feedback to ensure we can strive to have one of the best working environments in the world.

How do you bring the best out of an employee, do you give them enough autonomy in work-related decisions?

We believe that every employee is different and try to tailor things specifically to their requirements. Autonomy is hugely important but some need a firmer hand on the tiller than others until they get to sail the ship to the levels they want. An example is our US business where the head of our professional services business has gone from trainee to leading an international team overseas in less than six years. It’s something we are very proud of.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

The future is massively exciting for us with growth anticipated in London, New York, San Francisco and beyond. Opportunities in Texas, Asia and Europe are being explored for geographic expansion, we are looking into a new brand in the Change and Transformation space and are continuing to monitor and investigate disruptive tech opportunities. The combination of man and machine is very much where we see the future of recruitment lying. Both North Starr and Harrington Starr will see extensive further investment with headcount predicted to treble in the coming years. We have ambitious financial targets but the principal concern is to continue to build a brilliant business, to invest in our team and provide a world-class experience for our customers and clients.

Toby Babb: A Brief Background

Toby Babb, Founder, is the Chief Executive Officer of Harrington Starr Group. The company has grown organically from four to nearly 70 staff with offices in London, New York and San Francisco. In 2018, Toby was named ‘Recruitment Leader of the Year’ in the prestigious Recruiter Awards and the company was named ‘Best Agency in the Global Recruiter Awards’ among four other wins on that evening. With Harrington Starr being a FinTech Recruitment business, Mr. Babb launched the wholly owned subsidiary, North Starr in 2016 to focus on Sales, Cyber, Data and Software Recruitment to expand the Group’s remit. Toby has 19 years of experience in the industry and has assumed senior roles in two listed brands before launching Harrington Starr.

“We are passionate about the industry and believe in improving the reputation of the sector with world class customer service and changing the lives of our stakeholders through outstanding delivery and execution.”