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30 Fastest Growing Companies to watch 2018


ciobulletin harrington starr rob grant general manager

Harrington Starr, where Business is Based Solely around the Needs of the Customer

The combination of finance and technology has reshaped how we run our everyday business. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of what FinTech is. In simple terms, the technology used to support or enable banking and financial services is FinTech. Today, there is a dire need for staff who can handle FinTech. This is where Harrington Starr comes in as global specialists in financial services technology and sales recruitment.

Harrington Starr offers permanent, retained, interim, and contract solutions to over 800 of the leading financial services and financial technology companies in the world and many thousands of the globe’s most talented industry professionals. Established in 2010, Harrington Starr runs on a vision to be the number one supplier of technology and sales staff to the world’s leading financial services companies.  At Harrington Starr, the business is based solely around the needs of the customer.

Let’s learn more about the company in a conversation with Rob Grant, the General Manager of Harrington Starr in New York.

Why was the company founded in this vertical?

Started in 2010, Harrington Starr covers investment banks, hedge funds, brokerages, vendors, consultancies, etc and is ideally suited to connect world-class talent with world-class opportunity. We deliver to all client’s and candidate’s needs by partnering and understanding their requirements. Our five core values of positivity, excellence, execution, esprit de corps and kaizen live both internally and externally ensuring we consistently over exceed our customers’ expectations.

It’s been eight years since the establishment of your company. Tell us about the mixed responses you’ve received over these years and how it has motivated you to shape the company. 

The feedback from our clients has been phenomenal. In the current market, there seems to be a genuine need for a niche, boutique recruitment company. This is why we offer the best candidates in FinTech, and not simply the most visible ones.

Nearly a decade since starting the company, on what grounds has it been expanded?

Our New York office was the first overseas office in Harrington Starr’s history. It was started by myself and Sarah Philby. I’ve been in the recruitment industry for around 18 years and Sarah has been with Harrington Starr since 2011. It was vital that we had experienced people leading the office and people that understood and embraced the Harrington Starr culture. With our early success we embarked on an aggressive, yet sustainable growth plan. We also moved quickly to secure new employees that shared our vision and were keen to be part of an ambitious and customer centric recruitment company.

A company with such growing expansions, surely there must have been challenges you have faced.

The biggest challenge was finding good talent to work for us. Similar to our approach with our own clients, we wanted to make sure we found the right people who shared our vision and that we weren’t simply growing for vanity’s sake. We perhaps underestimated the market rate for recruitment talent and soon realized that even relatively inexperienced candidates had higher salary expectations we had envisioned.

How big is your organization today?

Globally we’re over 50 people and in the USA we’ve grown by nearly 400% over the last 24 months. All the growth has been organic and the US office has been self-sufficient and profitable since the first three months.

If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?

  • Listening to our clients and candidates
  • Hard work. We launched the US office remotely from London and started by working US hours right in the middle of winter. Working until midnight in a brand-new market was challenging but we knew what we were trying to do and that hard work was the key to our success
  • Focusing on the fundamentals of recruitment and doing the basics well
  • A clear vision of what we wanted with our first overseas office to be and setting realistic expectations and goals
  • Becoming famous in our space! Whilst we are first and foremost a recruitment company that services the financial technology space, we have made it our mission to be an integral part of the industry. We achieve this through our networking events and publishing a quarterly magazine. This commitment to truly understanding the challenges faced by our clients and candidates has allowed us offer them a much more nuanced service

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

The most exciting part is that we’ve only just begun. We’ve been operating in the USA for just under 2 years and we’ve far exceeded our own expectations in terms of growth and sales performance. However, there’s so much more we’re looking to do, from launching new vertical markets to even launching new brands.

Meet the inspiration

Rob Grant is the general manager of Harrington Starr, where he heads the New York office. Having originally started working with Toby Babb, Harrington Starr Group CEO in 2000, Rob has built and led successful recruitment businesses globally for nearly 20 years. Rob joined to help mirror the company’s success in financial technology recruitment out in New York where he is charged with building a fast growth business and capitalizing on Harrington Starr’s international relationships.

"We strongly believe in authentic networking and being of service."

"The most exciting part is that we’ve only just begun."

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