Welcome to the next feature in our Leaders in Tech editorial series. Speaking to leaders in the industry to capture their stories, career highs and lows, their trials and successes, their current company and their role, most recent projects, advice to others, and the individuals who they most look up to in the industry.
This week, we talked to Stephen Martin, Head of Technology Talent at Daily Mail, to find out more about why he joined the tech industry, what his role entails, what are the challenges he faces as a tech leader, and his advice to aspiring engineers and developers.
What is your current role and responsibilities?
I oversee all recruitment across dmg::media, known better as Daily Mail, MailOnline, Metro, and The i, with a specialism in Technology.
Can you tell me a bit about your journey? How did you get where you are now?
After leaving school, I spent 7 years working in investment banking, based on a number of trading floors, not feeling the love for finance, I decided to go to university. I then got into Technology Recruitment in 2010.
I spent 5 years working for agencies before I was lucky enough to come onsite with dmg::media through an RPO. They asked to hire me directly and I’ve been at the company ever since.
What drew you to the tech industry?
Tech is the most buoyant market, in the 1990s and early 2000s the stock market was still the sector that people wanted to get into, now it’s Tech.
Technology is shaping how we live and changing things for the better so it’s exciting to be part of such a dynamic sector.
Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?
People like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, they’ve not only built two of the biggest companies on the planet but they’ve changed how we live and how society does everyday things in their lives.
The two CTOs I work with are also very interesting, Rob Chandhok and Oleg Vishnepolsky are visionaries and are not afraid to think differently. I’m lucky to be part of what they’re looking to achieve and helping them to build the teams that are changing the way media is viewed.
What are your current goals?
Inhouse recruitment has changed in recent years, 10 years ago it was very much to hire talent but now, Talent Teams are across many projects. We’re looking at things such as staff retention, EVP, Branding, and Remote onboarding.
Diversity & Inclusion continues to be a focus area that I am really passionate about.
What are you the proudest of in your career so far?
Being asked to speak at events across Europe, discussing what things we have implemented atdmg::media and how we’ve achieved them.
What is the favourite part of your job?
I love the variation of it, no two days are the same. I enjoy working across projects, but I still love the recruiting side of the role and looking for the best tech talent in the market.
What has been your greatest challenge from working as a tech leader?
People’s perception of dmg media can sometimes be a challenge. In the UK, your choice of newspaper can be based upon your political view, so not all candidates that we approach are positive about the company.
What’s the most important risk you took in your career?
Leaving a stable and progressive career in finance to go into a completely new career where I had no experience. I always wanted to get into recruitment, and I remember meeting and speaking to recruiters when I was looking for a new job. I always thought that I would like and enjoy what they did, which I do, so I’m pleased I made the move!
Do you have a memorable story or an anecdote from your experience you’d like to tell?
A candidate once sent me a word document which was his online dating profile instead of his CV. I hope he found his dream role as well as a new partner!
Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring engineers who want to grow in the tech industry?
Attend as many meet-ups and events as you can, not only is it a great way to network and meet other people within the industry, but it’s also an opportunity to listen to some of the most creative people within the tech market and discover what they’re doing and their upcoming projects.