Manchester's 20 Hottest Startups Cube Staffing

Craig Barclay is the Founder of Cube Staffing, a specialised recruitment company working throughout Manchester and the UK, pairing talented candidates with small and large companies up and down the country. 


“We believe in utilising local people for local jobs…This is something we strongly believe keeps Manchester the northern powerhouse it is – matching local companies with passionate, local people.”


Craig Barclay left his hometown in the Lake District, Cumbria at the age of 17 to pursue a career in the leisure industry. He worked his way through the ranks before making the move to Manchester to start a career in recruitment. Having worked in some of the UK’s major recruitment companies for over 14 years, Craig launched his own recruitment company, Cube Staffing and Cube Leisure with the support of the Bluestones Investment Group. Working throughout the commercial, sales and leisure sectors, all of Cube’s staff have extensive knowledge and experience of the industries they work in enabling them to provide a quality service to candidates and clients alike.

Read More: AMAGAZINE Manchester’s 30under30 

What makes Manchester a great place to start a business?

It’s vibrant and booming, and that attracts people from far and wide to come to Manchester – same as me. I came from a small town to be in a city that’s full of vibrant and enthusiastic people. It’s the kind of people that move away from their hometowns and come to Manchester that are driven. What better place to start a business than an economically vibrant city, with vibrant people that want to push things forward?!

What makes a great startup in 2018?

The main thing behind a great startup is enthusiastic people offering a quality service. Everybody can say that they can do a good job, especially in recruitment, but you’ve got to be able to demonstrate it. Part of what we do at Cube Staffing and Cube Leisure is gathering testimonials from clients and candidates, and I think part of why we’re doing well is because we can demonstrate that quality service we’re offering. 

What inspired you to start the business?

Part of the reason I wanted to launch Cube is to bring BACK the personalised touch and getting to know people, getting to know the client and the candidates to such a level that you can match them perfectly. A lot of the companies I’ve worked for in the past have lost that touch – there’s no personality there. By creating my own business, I can make sure that we’re providing a quality service with personality – personality in our people and personality in our business. I think people thrive in that environment.

What makes your business stand out from the crowd?

I always ensure that my team is happy and that I’m happy in work. We spent so much time in work, so you’ve got to have a good time and you’ve got to enjoy your job. I firmly believe we stand out because we enjoy working here and if my team are looked after, they automatically look after our clients.

What surprised you the most when setting up your business?

The old days in recruitment were picking up the yellow pages and dialling – it’s not about that now. I think I knew that a long time ago, but having my own business has really proved to me that it has changed. We get an amazing response online and our marketing partners, Allison and Alex from APEX, are fantastic in helping us make the most of our online presence. The new generation that we are targeting for work is online – that’s been a surprising thing because I’ve never used social media and advertising more than I have at Cube. 

What keeps you motivated?

We started off small and we’ve gotten bigger, but I can really see Cube taking off and becoming a household name. People wanting to work with us because of our quality service and because of what we can do for our clients and candidates – a tailored, personalised service. 

How does your business help give back to Manchester?

Even though we work nationally, we believe in utilising local people for local jobs – no matter if those jobs are in the private or public sector. This is something we strongly believe keeps Manchester the Northern powerhouse it is – matching local companies with passionate, local people. We also believe in using our platform to support local and national charities. Most recently we have supported numerous cancer charities throughout Manchester and the UK.

What are your business goals for the next 3 years?

Our top goals are to carry on providing a quality service, to organically grow the team which in turn will grow the business, and to become a medium to large sized business capable of serving more clients and more candidates. It would be great to continue putting Manchester on the map – saying ‘yes, we’re a national company, but this is where we originated, this is where we are based’. I’ve got a good, clear vision of the future.


Read More: Manchesters 20 Hottest Startups features the most inspiring startups and stepups in Manchester talking on industry and our future. 


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