Steven Bartlett CEO of Social Chain Group, is one of AMAGAZINE’s 10 Most Influential Mancunians. Here he talks about his career journey and the future of our city.
“If you want to attract and retain talent you need to offer more than ever before – more freedom, more benefits, a better working environment.”
What makes Manchester a great place to live and work in 2018?
Manchester is a special place. It’s renowned for its artistic creativity and in terms of creative talent it’s got a tremendous amount of talent that come here to attend one of the many universities. From a more personal perspective, it’s one of the only big cities in the world that still feels so small, homely and holds on to its sense of community well.
Why do you think so many businesses have chosen Manchester as their central hub?
Manchester offers many of the professional opportunities that people seek from the capital while having lower rental prices, lower business overheads, less demand for creative talent and a stronger collaborative business community.
What do you think Manchester needs to raise its profile on the international scene?
I believe Manchester’s profile on the international scene is growing, however, if we want to raise the profile further, we need to do a better job of marketing the city, for how special it is, for how many exciting organisations we have, for the beauty the city holds and for some of its unique assets (like the Manchester football teams) on the international scene. Manchester deserves more credit! I would love to do the marketing for it.
What does Manchester need in terms of new talent coming through?
Manchester needs to be at the forefront of emerging industries like social media, tech, AR, AI, automation, machine learning, data. These are the jobs of the future and the jobs that are going to make other roles extinct. We also need to invest in entrepreneurs within the city – the cities entrepreneurs bring hundreds of thousands of jobs to the city.
What are the essential qualities that people must have to be a part of your business?
You’ve got to be nice. You’ve got to have a humble positive solution orientated attitude and you’ve got to be keen to learn and change with our industry.
How has the working world changed from when you started your career compared to now and how have these changes affected your industry?
People expect more from work because of how public all of our lives these days are. We compare our jobs to our friends’ jobs and the truth is, our friends only really show the best parts of their jobs, so it’s a false comparison. This false comparison is very real though, and it means as an employer if you want to attract and retain the talent you need to offer more than ever before – more freedom, more benefits, a better working environment and better compensation. I personally welcome this – I want people to love their jobs.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your career?
It’s hard to really decide. Every single day of my life there’s some kind of challenge and at this stage, I don’t weight them differently. I just see all challenges as beatable and something to overcome, however big or small. As you can imagine, I’ve been through it all running this business, everything you could image and more.
What would you say to people who feel they haven’t ‘made it’ yet?
Stop being so stupid. You never “make it”. All of this is a journey and you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to meet societies timelines of where you should be in your life by a certain time – that’ll only lead to bad life decisions. Take your time, life is long, and do your best.
In what ways would you like to see Manchester businesses giving back to their city and community?
Knowledge sharing! If you’ve made it, tell others how, so they can make it too! So many great businesses have grown from nothing here in Manchester and the knowledge they have can help grow other businesses and bring more opportunities to this city.
What industries do you think will be booming in Manchester over the next 5 years?
Social media, Tech, AR, AI, Automation, Machine learning, data!
‘10 Most Influential Mancunians’ sees some of Manchester’s most inspiring professionals talk about the future of our city and share their career journeys. If you’d like to get involved with 2019’s ‘10 Most Influential Mancunians’, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.