The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

Recruitment Buzz Meets: Toby Babb, CEO of Harrington Starr


Today, we at Recruitment Buzz caught up with Toby Babb; a man involved in the fascinating space of Fintech recruitment. Assuming the title of CEO at his agency, Harrington Starr, Toby is at the helm of this incredibly new, innovative industry. Talking to us about what the future of recruitment looks like, he shares his opinions on the biggest opportunities and challenges ahead.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I’m rapidly approaching 19 years in the industry, the first 10 and a half working for two big listed brands. In the summer of 2010 we launched Harrington Starr and have since grown the company to 4 brands over 3 offices in London, New York and San Francisco.

I host a couple of YouTube channels (FinTech Focus TV & Recruiter 360 TV), edit the Financial Technologist Magazine and chair the FinTech Influencers events. We have also launched North Starr, Harrington Starr Executive Search and Harrington Starr Tech Consulting.

Can you tell us more about your company?

Sure, Harrington Starr is a specialist FinTech recruiter based in London and New York. It centres around building a community that helps candidates and clients grow their teams, brands and networks. Whilst recruitment is our day job, we look to add value through content, insight, magazines, events and TV.

In 2016 we launched North Starr to build the group out into the commercial tech space. The business focuses on Data, Cyber, Tech and Sales and has since grown to New York and San Francisco.

We have formed a JV with an Agile Transformation consultancy called Harrington Starr Tech Consulting and are building Harrington Starr Executive Search. It’s a busy time!

Could you give us a sneak preview of your seminar at the expo?

Our talk is called Faster, Better, Stronger and focuses on our story and what we believe the future of recruitment looks like. We’ll show how we use marketing and the brand to help people in the sector and show how we identify and bring talent into the business.

We’ll then look at what we think the future of the industry will look like. Faster tech with better user experience and stronger relationships. Don’t miss it!

Looking to 2019, what do you see as the biggest opportunities for the recruitment Sector?

There are huge opportunities for the industry in 2019. I think the image and perception of the sector is changing and the service levels dramatically improving. When the industry is seen as a trusted partner and true professional service rather than a cowboy shop, we can really stride forward.

Is there anything on the horizon the recruitment sector should be worried about?

If we aren’t aware of the threat of tech we will be left behind. Tech in my mind is far less of an axe looming and more an enabler. Alongside that we should always be ready for macro -economic issues. Government change, Brexit, Russia and beyond all provide potential banana skins. Preparing for the worst but expecting the best is key.

What are your thoughts on Brexit and its impacts on your space?

It’s naïve to think Brexit won’t have an impact but we’ve had a long run up to it. Confidence is key and as long as negotiations go well it is again an opportunity. Skills shortages in tech will continue to be an issue as is access to talent. That makes the candidate a commodity and represents a good opportunity for recruiters to place candidates rather than fill jobs.

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give a recruiter?

Outwork your competition. No matter how talented you are I can honestly say that a genuine hard worker will always win. You can do the same amount of work in one year that it would take others three years to achieve if you focus and graft. A great attitude and a strong work ethic is hard to beat.

Automation: friend or foe to recruitment?

Friend without question. The industry has traditionally been excellent at responding to tech innovation. Automation if thought about properly is a huge opportunity.

What advice would you give to anyone attending the expo this year?

Listen. Think. Plan. Act. So many times we can come to these things, have great ideas, great intentions and never put them into action when back in our offices. Take massive action!