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Stephen Trigg: 30 years of Quanta

Posted bySpencer Trigg
Published on 7 April 2022

This year, on April 6th, Quanta celebrates its 30th birthday. From winning awards, going global, and growing an internal team to 90 employees – the past three decades have been nothing short of spectacular. Without the vision, courage and determination of one man – Quanta’s beloved founder and Chairman, Stephen, this journey would not have been possible. So, we sat down to hear what he has to say for reaching the 30-year milestone.

Why did you start Quanta?

To feed my family! I had just left my second start-up company, having sold out in the previous year. Quanta became my third start-up company; I was determined to make it work and restart my career in recruitment. My previous company had been bought out during the recession, and whilst I was employed to run two of the organisation’s offices, I always felt I was better suited to being my own boss and running my own business.

I knew my only option was to start again, and build a company based on the knowledge and experiences I had learned up until that point in time. Starting Quanta wasn’t without its challenges – getting back and hitting the phones and working alone without a team was not easy – but it was also incredibly invigorating. I am a salesperson at heart, so after the first few phone calls in the early weeks, it became very enjoyable. I was back to doing what I love.

What do you love about the recruitment industry?

Opportunity. There are endless opportunities in recruitment, and the world really is your oyster; you can go anywhere across the globe and recruit within any sector.

I am grateful for the opportunity that recruitment has given me, and all the people that I have worked with: my team, clients, and contractors. The craft of the industry is all about directing and focussing on new opportunities and finding a specific area to concentrate on. In the early days of Quanta, I specialised in some very niche areas, and that has been one of the main facets that have led to our business success. By focussing on a narrow market, with a deep knowledge, you can become first in class, which we have now achieved in the Renewable Energy, Life Sciences, Data and IT sectors we recruit in. 
How important are Quanta’s values to you and the organisation?

Quanta’s values are at the very heart of our business.  They provide the foundation upon which we conduct ourselves, both internally and externally.  In 2014 the ‘5 Values’ were created by all the staff after 6 months of workshops, brainstorming and ensuring we encompassed everyone’s opinion.  It was imperative everybody had a voice in this process as these values are the bedrock of our culture. 

What has been fundamental Quanta's success over the past 30 years?

Above all, it is the spirit and culture of the company. Channelling positivity and spirit in all that we do has been crucial. I don’t believe in a massive hierarchical empire, and employing management driven by ego. I believe in opportunity and equality given to everybody, whatever their role.

We employ certain tools at Quanta that have helped harness our creativity, productivity and overall success. Investment in our future is a huge element of what we do and is vital to the business. For this reason, we have created rigorous and thorough training programmes, creating learning opportunities that are available to our team throughout their career.

In addition, a tool that has become an underpinning of our operations at Quanta, taught to me by an ex-business partner in 1989, is Mind Mapping. Normal communication is two dimensional; depending upon where we live, we write horizontally from left to right or right to left or vertically, normally with one colour on a white background, but with mind mapping we communicate three dimensionally using colour, shape and size. This helps to engage wider areas of the brain and untap greater potential to organise your world coherently. I have mind mapped ever since and encourage the Quanta team to do so also.

What have been your highlights through the years?

My first Quanta contract: Paul Mahoney, May 1992. You always remember your first one. Thank you, Paul!

A more recent win has got to be receiving the Queen’s Award for International Trade on behalf of Quanta. I will never forget driving my Aston Martin through the gates of Buckingham Palace and into the inner courtyard, what a feeling!  I resisted the temptation to do a ‘doughnut’, but only just!

But really, there have been so many highlights through the years, and from an enterprising perspective, winning business is always very special. In the early days, I gained a foothold in recruiting for a niche market, Huron – a rule-based software language designed for Amdahl mainframes. We had simultaneous projects in both EMEA and APAC regions. It started our international journey, and we continue to recruit for countries throughout the globe.

Another notable time in my Quanta journey was putting roots down in Europe, opening up overseas offices in Neuchatel, Zurich, Amsterdam, and Stockholm. They became fundamental steppingstones in growing Quanta to be the global recruitment company that it is today.

What message do you have for Quanta and its next 30 years?

Continue to grow but stay true to who you are. We have always had an eye on undertaking projects in North America, and as we’ve grown Quanta to the size we are now, we have the numbers to support our American dream. The challenge for the future will be to maintain our ethos and values whilst we strive for new opportunities and grow the company. We have an excellent management team, and I am sure that we will build upon what is already a brilliant place to work.

What our team had to say about Stephen:

Stephen Trigg is a true peter pan and has been a joy to work with! He has a passion for life, and you’ll rarely find this guy grumpy! One of my first encounters with Steve (that I am allowed to quote) is when we were all at the wine festival in Neuchatel, he thought my white T-shirt was too white so proceeded to pour his red wine down my top! He never takes himself too seriously, loves to have a laugh, and working with him has been such fun over the years.

Wendy, Delivery Executive, has worked with Stephen for 21 years.

One of my greatest highlights in life has been to spend 20 years working alongside Stephen. Stephen is a one off; he embodies all that is great about the recruitment industry and over 30 amazing years has created a culture at Quanta which ensures that everyone enjoys what they do. Stephen treats all people with respect; he is the original business winner of Quanta and to set up our amazing business is phenomenal. To think that for 30 years Quanta has existed; grown and continues to succeed is testament to Stephen and his commitment to all our staff, clients, candidates, and suppliers. Stephen’s enthusiasm remains as strong as it was decades ago; his relentlessness and pursuit of excellence is infectious and his willingness to adapt a true strength. Stephen should be immensely proud of achievements, and I know all at Quanta are truly grateful for all that he has done and continues to do.

David, CEO, has worked with Stephen for 20 years.

I have worked with Stephen for a long time, and I can truly say that he is a great person to work for.  He will always take time out of his day to listen to you about anything and will help in any way that he can.  After all this time he still values and promotes the ‘family’ vibe in the workplace even though Quanta has significantly grown in size over the last few years. Over the years he has made me laugh so much, if someone is going to put their foot in it, you can guarantee it will be Stephen. Also, he has and still causes me grief when he creates his own version of our financials and in the past, he’s overwritten the main copy but always insists he hasn’t! All I have left to say is huge congrats Stephen on your 30th anniversary, wouldn’t have you any other way and here’s to the next chapter, have a blast - legend.

Jackie, Finance Director, has worked with Stephen for 16 years.

Stephen has been a consistent guiding light not only for Quanta but for me on a personal level over the years that we have worked together. His passion and drive are addictive and his ability to think outside the box is endless. I have been fortunate to be part of Quanta and Stephen’s journey, and the hard work aside I have great memories of business trips, meetings and nights out that are all part of the Quanta way that Stephen has grown and developed. Stephen is Quanta. Congratulations on reaching 30 years - truly momentous achievement.

Guy, Divisional Head, has worked with Stephen for 15 years.

There are too many wonderful memories to share here but I wanted to say THANK YOU…

Thank you for working tirelessly by yourself in the early days.

Thank you for sacrificing every night.

Thank you for sacrificing your weekends.

Thank you for being daring.

Thank you for taking risks.

Thank you for seeing endless opportunities.

Thank you for creating an environment for people to flourish.

Thank you for your passion.

Thank you for the endless memories.

Thank you for always believing in yourself.

Thank you for always being yourself.

Thank you for your support.

Thank you for always wanting to organise an event to celebrate successes, from the 1st Henley Regatta in July 1998 to our trip to Portugal in June.

Thank you for loving recruitment.

Thank you for loving your family.

Spencer, CEO and Stephen's son, has worked with his father for 17 years.