Winner: Toby Babb, CEO, Harrington Starr

Sponsored by: Flexr

Toby Babb has been the driving force behind creating the Harrington Starr brand. He has put together an outstanding leadership team and set the strategy and vision for the business. Babb runs the Financial Services Technology Breakfast events and has launched Harrington Starr TV. He hosts Fintech Focus TV, interviewing fintech’s most innovative leaders, and Recruiter 360 TV, driving excellence in the recruitment industry by interviewing recruitment experts and performance specialists. Between October 2016 and October 2017, under Babb’s leadership, the company launched and grew its US business by more than 142% year on year. The company expanded with the formation of the Harrington Starr Group, encompassing Harrington Starr (fintech), The North Starr (data, security, software and sales), Harrington Starr Executive Search and Harrington Starr Technology Consulting, as well as Harrington Starr Inc in New York.

• Babb has driven the recruitment strategy and written a training plan to develop those staff in the business. He has written a ‘playbook’ of how to deliver a best-in-class recruitment service and created a modular programme (The Harrington Starr University Programme) that has developed people who have never worked in a professional environment into top recruitment performers.

• He believes in ‘the aggregation of marginal gains’ and puts kaizen –continuous improvement – at the heart of the company’s values. His use of publications, events, video and networking creates a community that allows Harrington Starr to sit at the heart of clients’ minds.

• Many of the 800 companies who the Harrington Starr Group work with were brought on board by Babb’s extensive client network. He continues to be a focal point of many of the company’s leading clients.

• He has spoken at numerous events and on podcasts in the recruitment sector and has been keen to give back by helping to coach and mentor start up businesses in the sector. He has written in numerous publications – including for Recruiter, City AM, Evening Standard – and has spoken on BBC television and radio about the future of the industry.

Judges’ Comments:

“What impressed us most were his engaging communication style, his passionate commitment to raising standards in recruitment, his personal commitment to advancing the skills of his team of recruiters, and his compelling vision not just for his business but for his clients and candidates, too”