Alexa Harrington Starr: Delivering high quality IT professionals on a permanent, retained, contract, and interim basis to the global financial services and commodity trading sectors.
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Harrington Starr: Delivering high quality IT professionals on a permanent, retained, contract, and interim basis to the global financial services and commodity trading sectors.

Harrington Starr: Delivering high quality IT professionals on a permanent, retained, contract, and interim basis to the global financial services and commodity trading sectors.

We all know hiring the best Fintech talentis very difficult. They are faced with meeting very aggressive hiring goals — sourcing candidates from a limited talent pool and competing against each other for the top talent. It is even harder for smaller organizations that struggle to match the benefits and perks that large, well-funded organizations can offer.

As a result, many financial servicesand commodity trading companies are now turning recruitment agencies to improve hire quality and diversity while increasing employee retention rates. By embracing recruiters, financial firms are finding ways to reach new levels of enterprise productivity, technology efficiency, and customer experience.

Harrington Starr was established in 2010 with the vision to be the number one supplier of technology staff to the world’s leading financial services and commodity trading companies through partnering, understanding and delivering to the needs of all of its clients and candidates. The firm’s five core values of Kaizen, Excellence, Execution, Esprit de Corps and Positivity live both internally and externally ensuring it consistently over exceed its customer’s expectations.

The business is based solely around the needs of the customer. Global specialists in Financial Services and Commodities Technology recruitment, Harrington Starr offers permanent, retained, interim, and contract solutions to over 700 of the leading companies in the world and many thousands of the globe’s 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 opportunities.

In convo with: Toby Babb, CEO

Why did you set up the firm?

We felt that there was a genuine opportunity to do things better in the recruitment industry. In the UK, the sector has had a traditionally poor reputation for service and quality. We felt a combination of great people; brilliant basics and magic touches could genuinely differentiate and provide a solution to help solve the globally increasing talent shortage in technology.

What are the main assets of the company?

All revolve around people. Firstly, our business has been able to achieve its growth to date as we have focused on sourcing and selecting an outstanding team of consultants who don’t necessarily fit the stereotypical mould of a recruiter. The quality of the team is exceptional.

Secondly, we are fortunate to have an outstanding leadership and advisory team that has allowed us to expand quickly. This gives us an excellent platform for growth.

Alongside our immediate team, our customers (both candidates and clients) have been world class. We are fortunate to work with some incredible brands and highly-skilled technologists who have helped shape our offering.

Finally, we have been fastidious in selecting a group of suppliers that combine to give us a true trading advantage. This includes the tech suppliers we have selected, the trainers we have worked alongside, marketing teams and many more.

How do you get the best results from an employee?

We talk a lot as a team of being the best we can possibly be. That means creating the right environment for people to thrive. We are strong users of data to help tell the story behind the numbers.

There is a heavy focus on a systematic process that allows employees to know exactly what they must do to succeed. The team is trusted to follow that process and is provided the feedback and data to make better decisions at the right time to adjust the focus to the quality, quantity or direction of their work.

 We also believe in investing in the best possible tools for employees to “play at their best” every day.  This includes state of the art technology, industry-leading training and investment in the brand to give them a “horse shoe in the boxing glove” advantage over their competition.

What are the reasons behind your consistent growth as an organization?

This is about a series of marginal gains that combine to make a significant difference. Kaizen is one of our founding values as a business and keeps our focus on continuous improvement. We are constantly looking for feedback and thinking of opportunities to make the 1% differences to our service offering.

We also wanted to build a community that provided insight, events, thought leadership and genuine consultancy. This has resulted in a series of events to bring together influential FinTech leaders, magazines that provide brand coverage to tens of thousands of technologists for our clients and the launch of our new YouTube channel, Harrington Starr TV.

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

If we had simply competed in a mass tech marketplace rather than concentrating on the FinTech niche and not created a compelling and genuinely value-adding proposition for our clients, we would not have been able to grow as consistently as we have.

The next couple of years are incredibly exciting. We have a clear 2020 strategy with an ambitious growth plan which will see us treble our global headcount. We will expand the offering throughout the US, Europe and Asia and look to build a multi-brand group with a dominant position in a series of micro-niches, creating opportunities for our team of loyal staff to grow in a genuine meritocracy.

Our “Faster, Better, Stronger” Programme will see us continue to innovate and combat the inevitable disruption in the recruitment industry from Artificial Intelligence, technology and in-house teams.

Meet the CEO

Toby Babb launched Harrington Starr, the Financial Technology recruitment company, in the summer of 2010 after ten years working in senior positions in two global, listed organizations. In only seven years, the company has grown into a circa $20m turnover business and boasts a client base of over 800 companies across five continents. Toby is a regular speaker at recruitment industry events, sits as the Chair of the FinTech Influencers, edits the Financial Technologist Magazine and is a regular commentator on employment and the economy for the BBC.

“We specialize in Financial IT, Commodities IT, Buy and Sell Side Trading Systems and Enterprise Technology.”

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