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From hiring the best people to kittens and celebrity lookalikes: Q&A with Business Development Director, Rob Cleeve

In our latest staff Q&A we sat down with our Business Development Director, Rob Cleeve.

We chatted to Rob about his life before Castleford and what advice he would give to his younger self, as well as what Olympic events he’s looking forward to watching and how he came to acquire his new kitten…

1. How long have you been with the company, and what were you doing before you joined us?

I joined the Castleford family in February 2013, having spent the previous 2 years travelling the world. Prior to that, I worked for Axonn Media, a content marketing agency in London, for almost 4 years, right after graduating with a marketing degree. I did also have a brief stint at a global market research firm just before my travelling adventures began.

2. If you could go back to your first day at Castleford what advice would you give to your younger self?

Never compromise on the people you hire – a company is the people within it, and it’s almost impossible to be the best without hiring the best.

3. What can we usually find on your desk?

Not much! Ask anyone that knows me and they’ll tell you I’m a neat freak. My desk has little other than a phone, a Mac, a coffee mug and a notepad. Oh, and of course a little megaphone that changes my voice to that of a child, old man or robot…

4. GIFs have become an integral part of Castleford office culture/banter – do you have an all-time favourite?

I just discovered it actually – our Head of Strategy just sent it to our MD when we found out he’s taking a couple of days off to look after the kids. Probably not my favourite GIF, but definitely one of the most appropriately used I’ve seen!

via GIPHY

5. When they make a movie telling the Castleford story, who should play you?

I’d like to say someone like Jamie Dornan (women love him, according to my girlfriend), but someone like Jay Baruchel or Simon Pegg, or even Toby Maguire would probably be more realistic.

6. The Olympics are now less than a week away – are there any events that you’re most looking forward to watching?

100m is always great fun, as are most of the track and field events – that feels like the real Olympics to me, but I’ll also watch the Football (‘soccer’ – ergh), Tennis and Boxing.

7. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you enjoy copying everything that Jonny (our Head of Inside Sales) does?

I guess I could be likened to him when I’m having an off day… What you’re probably referring to is our matching overcoats and kittens, and while I can’t deny that his kitten is what inspired our kitten purchase, I would argue that my overcoat is much better and more on-Peaky-Blinders-trend than his.

8. Is it true that, shortly after you found out Jonny bought a kitten, you also then went and acquired a kitten?

As per my previous answer, it is true. But what I would add is that like anything else Jonny has done first, I took the idea and made it better, in this case by buying two kittens to his one. Think of him as Bob Dylan’s version All Along the Watchtower, and me as Jimi Hendrix’s.

9. Word on the street is that you’re somewhat brittle….care to elaborate?

Ha. I would rephrase that with a past tense, actually. I have broken a fair few bones in the past year but, to quote Friedrich Nietzsche, ‘that which does not kill us makes us stronger’ – and in my case, most of those bones are now metal, so it’s definitely made me stronger!

10. What’s your favourite part of the job?

Lots of things, but I’d say two main things stand out: the start-up vibe and the people. We’re a pretty big business now, with a lot of experience and a great client base, but we still have that constant drive to change and innovate, and still have the flexibility to do it. That means every day provides new and interesting experiences. As for the people, we have a lot of really smart, but also really genuine people right across the company. That makes for a much more enjoyable working day, but also means you’re constantly challenged!

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