#34 Be the hardest worker in the room – with Toby Babb

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Toby Babb is the Managing Director and founder of Harrington Starr, the London based financial services technology recruitment, events and insight company. He is the Chairman of the FinTech Influencers, The FS Technology Breakfast, and the editor of The Trading Technologist and FinTech Capital Magazines. Harrington Starr launched in 2010 and has grown from 4 people to a market leading position in the global FinTech community and Toby is soon to be launching a number of new brands in the group. He started his career in recruitment in 2000 and has held senior positions in two listed brands before launching Harrington Starr.

Click to tweet: Toby Babb shares his incredible journey on Recruiters Live Lounge today!

Favourite success quote

  • Toby’s favourite quote is from Vince Lombardi, the manager of the Green Bay Packers back in the 1960’s and 70’s, “Excellence is in the mastery of the fundamentals”

Biggest failure faced in recruitment

  • One of the biggest recruitment lessons Toby has learnt was from an experience he went through when opening up an office for a company he was working for in 2000, just before the dot com bubble burst and the recession hit. The strategy was to try to ‘fill jobs’ and ‘find clients’ which he found really didn’t work. As soon as he changed the strategy to ‘finding candidates’ and marketing them out, he found things slowly changed around for the better.

Eureka Moment in recruitment

  • Toby’s very first recruitment eureka moment was when he ‘found the industry’. He fell in love with it straight away and thought “This has got everything that I want – interaction, competitiveness, the ability for you imprint it, everything I liked about it, it was just suddenly I found what I want to do.”

The crystal ball

  • Toby believes that the next five years are going to be very exciting for recruitment in general and it’s going to be a time for people to really make a difference and create some really good businesses. He doesn’t believe it will be quite as transactional as it has been in recent years gone and thinks that great customer service will play a massive part in success.

Best piece of business advice

  • The best piece of business advice that Toby has received was from one of his previous MD’s Daley Thompson who told him, “Recruitment is 95% qualification of candidate and client.” 

Best business resource

Best business book

Stronger Together‘ by Simon Hartley

Toby’s final piece of advice – “Be authentic and be yourself and make sure you ‘out work’ your competition. That’s the critical part of this. If you stick to the basics, out work your competition and put your personality and professionalism alongside it.”

Interview Links

Find out more about Toby via LinkedIn and contact him via tony.babb@harringtonstarr.com.

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