How to Build an Award Winning and Highly Successful Recruitment Agency, With Toby Babb, Ep # 74

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Want to become the ‘go-to’ recruiter in your niche, generate inbound leads, create a high-performance culture, or scale your recruitment agency internationally? Then you’re going to love my interview with Toby Babb.

Toby is the founder and CEO of the Harrington Starr Group, an award-winning fintech recruiter with offices in London and New York. Toby had been in the recruitment industry for 21 years and has won Agency Leader of the Year and the Entrepreneur of the Year by Recruiter Magazine.

Toby’s also paving the way for other recruiters with his commitment to digital marketing. He’s the host of the Fintech Focus podcast, Fintech Focus TV, editor of the Financial Technologist Magazine and Chairman of the Fintech Influencers networking community.

In this interview, Toby reveals the success factors to building one of the UK’s top 100 recruitment companies. He also shares his passion for positioning recruitment as a professional service and the importance of improving the customer experience, standards and overall view of the recruitment sector.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [2:30] Toby shares his motivations for hosting a podcast.
  • [7:02] Doing the right thing for your clients by becoming a consultant in the truest sense.
  • [13:04] Increasing the quality of your inbound leads.
  • [18:37] The 3 success factors for building one of the UK’s top 100 recruitment companies.
  • [24:30] Using technology to help your people be ‘faster, better, stronger’ without sacrificing the art of recruitment.
  • [30:45] Staying true to your niche vs the temptation to pursue other opportunities.
  • [35:47] Having offices in the UK and New York, Toby shares differences in the style of recruiting between the two markets?
  • [42:36] Which works better, 360 or 180? Toby compares both business models, from the perspective of having a hybrid of both.
  • [49:08] Harrington Star’s way of doing things - five keys.
  • [56:51] Toby reveals his biggest mistake in the business and what we can learn from it.

Becoming a Consultant in its Truest Sense

Toby truly believes in the importance of becoming a “consultant” in its truest sense. He explained, “People are the fuel of everyone’s success. If you are able to be a trusted advisor… if you are a genuine consultant in what you are doing, you are able to garner that trust that excludes competition and it makes your business more efficient.”

Some of the key takeaways from our conversation on this topic include:

  • How to position yourself as an advisor
  • How to establish your credibility
  • How to increase the quantity and quality of inbound leads

Building One of the Most Successful Recruitment Companies in the UK

Harrington Starr was listed by Recruiter Magazine as one of the Hot 100 recruitment companies in the UK. That’s out of 30-40,000 recruiting and staffing companies! I asked Toby to explain his top three success factors. Here is what he shared:

  1. You can’t do good numbers without good people.
  2. You must have something slightly different in the marketplace.
  3. Staying true to your niche.

You can imagine the challenge given the really saturated situation in the UK. How did Toby’s organisation come up with a unique value compared to others? He shared some great insights and also talked about the temptation to be opportunistic vs strategic and staying true to his niche.

Toby Babb Bio and Contact Info

Toby has worked with the world's leaders in financial services and commodities technology for seventeen years. Having led high performing teams for two listed, global recruitment brands, he saw the opportunity to build a pioneering, values-based company that would work with customers to provide solutions and real value well beyond the traditional models on offer in the sector. He is a keen student of the world's leading teams and brands and passionate about elite performance organisations. Toby is a regular commentator on business, technology, employment and recruitment for the BBC and a blogger on FinTech and Commodities Trading systems.

People and Resources Mentioned

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