Chicago staffing CEO named SIA 40 under 40

Engtal is delighted to reveal that CEO and founder of Engtal and sister firm Biotal has been honored as one of SIA’s 40 under 40, recognizing his leadership and achievements within the staffing industry. 

The list recognizes the next-generation of leaders in the industry who are driving the future of recruitment.

As co-founder and CEO of two fast-growing staffing firms, Christopher is spearheading change in the industry through innovative practices, building positive workplace culture, and launching diversity programs and initiatives to support the wider technology community.

In the last year Engtal has achieved over 300% growth in revenue, and 127% growth in YOY headcount, with a futher 52% growth in headcount in 2022 to date, including a graduate cohort, with a training program to support them in their first role. Following the fast growth and success of Engtal, Christopher launched life sciences division Biotal earlier this year, the sister brand of Engtal.

Christopher began his career in recruitment at the infamous SThree group in London in 2010, moving to the US in 2012 to open SThree’s Chicago office – quickly growing the team to 60 people across two offices and earning several accolades, including Manager of the Year.

In 2017, he left SThree to start his own recruitment company, joining forces with the original founder of Staffing Group Mark Znowski to launch Engtal. In less than five years, he’s grown Engtal from a team of 0 to nearly 50, with an international team across offices in Chicago, Boston, Dallas and the UK.

Thanks to Christopher’s strategic direction, Engtal has continued to grow rapidly, despite the disruption of the pandemic as the company quickly pivoted to supporting its technology clients, expanding its portfolio within the tech space.  Engtal has seen a 41% growth in client base from 2020-2021, and serves clients across a range of niche vertical markets.

Testament to Chris’s leadership is the workplace culture of Engtal, with high staff retention in an industry that typically sees high turnover. Engtal’s 5-star glass door rating and 100% CEO approval score, and accolades, including Fortune Best Workplaces Chicago, illustrate his success in building a positive and inclusive workplace where recruiters can succeed.

Christopher Atiyah said, ‘When I consider the abundance of incredible talent across the staffing industry, I’m truly humbled to have been selected for this prestigious award. Like many others, I fell into staffing without any knowledge of the industry, or the journey that lay before me. That journey changed my life. It morphed me from a blue collar, door-to-door poker salesman, into a business leader and an entrepreneur. It took me from hometown of Portsmouth to London, and then across the Atlantic to Chicago. I’ve met many lifelong friends and mentors in this space, and even met my wife through a work colleague.

I’m proud of the past and excited for the future. At Engtal we’re on the eve of our 5th birthday and our journey thus far is beyond anything I could have imagined. We launched in a windowless office with uneven floors. Five years later we have 4 offices in two continents and will be opening in Miami in January.

I’d like to personally thank the entire Engtal & Biotal family, as well as everyone else who has supported and backed me on this journey.’

Congratulations to all of the list honorees. You can see the full list at