With its rich history, vibrant culture, and thriving economy, Boston is home to a number of household brands, and for the last seven years, it has been a home to Phaidon International.
Each month, we'll release a new blog post in our series, diving deep into the unique culture and operations of our key offices located in various corners of the globe.
Phaidon International's Managing Director and Head of Boston Nick Barber can't see himself living elsewhere, and truly believes the city is the perfect environment for businesses to thrive and for professionals to develop their careers.
"Boston is amazing for startups. People forget Facebook was founded here, for example", says Nick.
"Organizations can collaborate with some of the greatest schools in the country, with a hotbed of talent graduating in computer science, engineering, as well as chemistry and biology. If the businesses and brands are here, the talent will stay."
Boston proudly hosts some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world, including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Boston University. With Yale and Brown also in close proximity, the education system, both public and private, means the city attracts some of the brightest minds. This concentration of intellectual capital fuels innovation and also provides businesses with a highly skilled workforce. The city's educational institutions foster strong industry-academia collaborations, promoting research and development initiatives that drive business growth.
The city's GDP is one of the highest in the country, making it an attractive destination for business ventures. The presence of numerous industries, including financial services, technology, healthcare, biotech, and education, has contributed to Boston's economic success. And with big companies such as State Street, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Takeda, Pfizer, Keurig, and Shark Ninja based in the city, graduates are encouraged to start their careers in Boston, as opposed to leaving and taking their skills elsewhere. Nick explains:
"For us as a talent partner in Boston there is a great mix of clients. The city has a strong financial district, and Cambridge, which is a stone's throw away, has overtaken San Francisco as the life sciences capital of the world. There are a number of global, corporate headquarters in Boston, but there is also a thriving start-up culture as well."
So that explains why Boston is the perfect environment for businesses and professionals, but what are Nick's personal reasons for choosing the city as his home? And how exactly did he end up in Boston? Nick is one of Phaidon International's most successful global mobility stories; here he explains how it all happened:
"After studying law at Oxford Brookes, I found that putting legal cases together just wasn't what I was passionate about. I was intrigued by Phaidon International, so I took a job and started as a graduate consultant for DSJ Global, covering procurement across mainland Europe. I then made the bold decision to move to the US and launch our presence there alongside seven other Phaidonites. Before I relocated I'd only made one placement in the US, and while everyone else that came out to the US to make a go of it worked for Selby Jennings, I was the sole supply chain specialist.
"We were reaching out to clients who didn't know us, laying the foundations for our culture and replicable model. I have such fond memories of developing our presence in New York, from a few graduates in a tiny office to an award-winning talent partner, so I knew we could do it again in Boston. I've been here now for 6 and half years, and my goal is to be the best talent partner in the city.
"Our management team in Boston are organic, meaning they have come through the ranks as graduates. We are now around 125 people and are the only talent partner based in the John Hancock building, neighbouring the likes of Bain and Ernst & Young. This is where we belong."
Phaidon International's Boston office under Nick's tutelage has expertly tailored talent acquisition and retention strategies to the specific needs and goals of local businesses.
"What we offer is a hyper-focused service, which is unique, and our clients trust us," explains Nick. He continues:
"Not everyone in recruitment has a good reputation, but our clients have confidence in our expertise when we give them advice or send them a candidate for a role. We help them make informed decisions that align with their business objectives, and that isn't possible without trust."
By implementing a comprehensive understanding of the local market dynamics, culture, and industry trends, Nick and the team have crafted strategies that address the unique needs of Boston's business community.
"We are also a 24/5 business", Nick adds.
"What I mean by this is that when we finish in Boston, our office in LA picks up. Then Hong Kong and Singapore wake ups, and it continues across our 15 locations. We are a well-connected business, meaning that if a Harvard grad is based in Asia for work now, but harbors a desire to move back to the US, our network of consultants can work together to offer the best service, and most relevant opportunities, for that professional."
Day in, day out we enable people to thrive, either as candidates or clients, but also our own colleagues, because at the heart of Phaidon International, is its people. Nick is incredibly passionate about creating a people-first culture - he is involved in the onboarding training of every new starter in Boston alongside an exceptional Learning & Development team:
"Everyone says working for Phaidon International is fun, and fun is great, but it is important to reflect on what you want to get out of your first job. Nobody is just a number to me; I want everyone in Boston to be trained to be the best talent partner, not just in Phaidon International but in the whole of Boston.
"We offer training to the highest standard, supporting people to be globally successful with amazing earning potential. Beyond that is also the opportunity to step into management. As a leader, I will always take hard work over natural ability, and that to me is the sell of Boston."
Across 15 locations and counting, we are always on the lookout for the right people. Search our latest opportunities and start your journey today.