Brisbane Digital Spotlight is a blog series that aims to shine light on the exceptional talent within the city’s digital community. With each post, I uncover a devoted individual within my network who I’ve recognised to be deeply engaged in the digital industry. Whether it be a Digital Marketer, a Developer, a Co-founder, a Project Manager, or even a Recruiter – my goal is to highlight the work these remarkable individuals do; day in, day out.
In this instalment, I caught up with Eron Castro, the Marketing & Digital Recruitment superstar from Affix. I met Eron in 2017 after what seemed like a lifetime of interacting through LinkedIn. Eron’s not only passionate about the digital space, but is also a dedicated mum at the same time, so I was rapt to have the opportunity to uncover more about her busy life.
Tell us about your background, how did you end up in the digital space, particularly in recruitment?
I originally started off my career as a BDM for a software company, then landed into an up and coming digital agency back in late 2010. Initially I started in the agency as a sales consultant and managed to kick some goals quite early on in the piece and was then asked to join the Paid Performance team. This role saw me look after a pretty sizeable portfolio of SME’s and their AdWords campaigns, and I absolutely loved it.
Because the company was very much in startup mode, I’d end up wearing heaps of different hats, and spinning a lot of plates. At one stage I was holding training sessions, doing customer resolutions, and spearheading some of the hiring for the Paid Performance team; all whilst managing my portfolio of clients and their respective campaigns.
The CEO liked that I was so eager to get involved in all areas of the business and he asked me at the end of 2011 if I was interested in starting a HR function, because he was quite determined to scale the business and needed some help to do it. I gladly took up his offer and created the HR function from scratch. I hired right across the business from SEO Account Managers, Developers, Salespeople and everything else in between. I put policies and processes together, drove growth through some pretty intense recruitment, and helped cultivate a cool, clever, creative culture.
When I went on maternity leave in 2015 to have my baby girl, I decided that I had left my legacy in the business, and it was time to do something new again. And because a lot of my role as Human Resources Manager was around recruitment, I thought, why not do agency recruitment. So, here I am!
Tell us a little about Affix and the exciting work they do.
We’re a small startup Digital and Tech recruitment business, created to help Aussie SME’s! We’re purposefully different and we don’t work like any other recruiters in Australia.
Affix have been doing some really good stuff in the Melbourne market for the past two and a half years, and the founder, Jarrad Skeen created the business because he felt that the industry was fundamentally flawed, and he wanted to make some positive change.
One of the main things Jarrad felt was flawed about our industry, was that traditional fee models didn’t always lead to the best recruitment outcomes for candidates or employers. He wanted to offer a stronger guarantee that candidates careers would remain in everyone’s best interest – theirs, their employers and ours – well after your appointment to the job. So he picked it up, thought it over and changed it.
Amongst a whole heap of wonderful work Jarrad and the crew have done, Jarrad created a really cool and unique fee model that means we only get paid if we have done our job right and candidates remain in their role for the long-term without killing clients cash flow. It’s a small, yet simple change which transforms the entire recruitment process from beginning to end to focus on a single goal. People’s careers.
What does your role at Affix entail?
I’m essentially a “recruiter”, but what I do at Affix is purposefully different to almost every recruitment agency – who I know many people have grown to form some pretty strong opinions about.
I recruit only in the Marketing scene here in South East Queensland, and it’s a space that I love. I’ve been a marketer myself, so I get what marketer’s do and I can talk their lingo. Also, I don’t have crazy KPI’s to meet, and I don’t make a commission from putting a bum on a seat. Our ‘cherry on top’ at Affix is the satisfaction of being able to form an actual relationship with both clients and candidates and assist brilliant people in their career; long term. And we do this because we genuinely care.
Obviously there’s lots that goes on behind the scenes in order to do what we do at Affix as recruiters, like drinking lots of coffee and beer, having endless great conversations with incredibly smart people, and cruising around network events and whatnot; but the byproduct of everything we do is to ultimately help people find their happy place at work.
What are some emerging job trends you’re seeing in the Brisbane digital space? Is there a particular demand for any certain roles, skills or experiences?
The obvious one is how data is affecting the nature of what marketers can do today. There are endless amounts of data at their fingertips, which allows them to make very considered, targeted decisions that aren’t based on assumptions or ‘hunches!’
Aside from seeing very specialized marketing roles be in high demand, I’m starting to see a trend in Product Marketing gigs, which has taken the Brisbane space a little while longer to develop than say in the Victorian market. My buddy’s in Melbourne saw this shift around 18 months ago in their market, and because we’re about two years behind (with a lot of things) we’re inevitably going to see more and more Product Marketers, Managers and Owners in time to come. Obviously there a lot more, but these two are the most obvious!
What’s your favorite thing about working in digital?
Everyone always says this, and I’m going to sound really cliche, but it moves so darn quickly. Also, I find people in the Digital scene to be super smart and really up-to-date with emerging trends and tech; so conversations with them are always really insightful and I find myself learning so much. Plus, all of the candidates and clients I get to meet are always good humans. Some even end up becoming friends, which I love.
Tell us your upcoming blog, the Super Women Collective?
Super Women Collective is a cool little initiative that has been in the works for a little while now, that initially came about from me finding my own identity in my career as a working mum and through meeting some incredible women doing the same thing.
Similar to what you’re doing with the Digital Spotlight, I’m conducting interviews in a journalistic type of way, but with mothers who are operating in the Digital and Tech space. I’m excited about creating some beautiful, ‘virtual’ space here on LinkedIn and on the interwebs to shine some much-deserved light on the amazing work working mothers do, and how they balance both with what appears to be effortless and with lots of grace. There are some incredible stories to share, and hopefully by creating this content via Super Women Collective, it’ll inspire a lot of other women (and men too, of course!) to know they CAN have a career and be a great parent.
It’s going to be epic!
I can certainly admire your passion for both work and family. How do you find the balance between working hard and being a busy mum?
Oh, thanks so much Lachlan! I’m a pretty impassioned type of person naturally, so whatever I do, I normally jump right in head first with open arms and a whole lot of heart.
I do try and find that perfect balance on the daily, but it’s hard.
Being a busy, working mum, I’m often left last on the pecking order of having needs met, but I’m acute of this and I’m working on it. I’m also fortunate enough to have a super supportive husband who’s really hands-on as a dad, is a huge feminist, and supports me having a career. And having the backing of a good network of family and close friends to help when needed has been instrumental and an absolute lifesaver at times.
From a work and career perspective, working for a family friendly business with other parents and alongside good humans who know and adore your family always helps too. Affix is a family led and owned business, and they encourage work/life integration. I’m a pretty lucky lady if I’m honest.
If you ask me, I’ve won the work and family lottery, so it makes balancing it all a lot easier.
What are some of your favourite things to do around sunny Brisbane when not at work?
We’re pretty social and are always out and about on the weekend.
If it’s not going to the beach in Summer, it’s for a bushwalk in the cooler months, and meeting up with friends over food and drinks. My three-year-old daughter Lola loves being out and about too, and I think it’s because we made a conscious effort since her birth to not let the fact that we’re parents hinder us from getting out and about.
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I’m a twenty-two year old Digital Marketing & Conversions Specialist based in Brisbane, Australia. With a passion for all things digital and tech, I aim to connect and learn from as many like-minded digital enthusiasts as possible. If you have a passion for emerging technologies and digital practices, I’d love to connect and hear your story.