Q + A with the newest member of our team – Tom Shaw!

It goes without saying… but we’ll say it anyway. The world is a different place today than it was a couple of years ago. And the world of technology, digital and recruitment? Well, that’s also gone through an evolution of its own.

As with everything that evolves, we must evolve with it. And with it we have! Which is why we’ve taken the opportunity to welcome global talent onto the beautiful shores of Australia. And the person who’s leading said welcoming is none other than Tom Shaw.

​With a breadth of recruitment experience in the UK and NZ, Tom is joining us across the ditch to connect Kiwis to opportunities in Australia. Pretty cool, ay?

Tom is an eager bean who’s genuinely passionate about connecting bloody talented humans to bloody good businesses. Have a little look-see for yourself below.

Q + A with Tom Shaw, our new Lead Consultant

Tell us, what do you do at affix?

I’m responsible for building up a network of excellent quality NZ digital/tech talent, who are looking for contract or permanent roles either physically or remotely in Australia.

What impact do you hope to have with affix?

I hope to be the best 3rd wheel EVER, offering affix job seekers a seamless pathway to positions in Australia, while also providing employers with much-needed talent that is becoming scarce.

What attracted you to working at affix?

Initially Simon’s Brummie charm (getting the brown-nosing in early)… When we first spoke it was obvious that affix actually cared about solving customer problems, instead of raking in the $$ for short-term gain.

It was apparent that each and every person I spoke to at affix shared the same goal. For me, working for a company that cares, is nimble, and isn’t afraid to make mistakes in order to improve in the long run is key to me having a spring in my step each morning.

What are you seeing in the recruitment world in NZ in 2022?

Great question!… Put simply, many, many jobs and not enough people.

Now that would most likely be too short a sentence to answer the question. To answer that. I’ll give you my NZ perspective on what I’m seeing from the viewpoints of employers, job seekers, and recruiters.


With borders being closed over the last 2 years and a need for brands to become more digital/tech-focussed in a Covid age has meant demand for job seekers has surged faster than the supply.

Companies that didn’t use recruiters before, often have to now. Many are scrapping around to try to become “employers of choice”, increasing salaries, offering WFH/remote working on a scale which was unheard of pre-Covid, in addition to holding on to talent for dear life by offering ridiculously tempting counteroffers, etc…

Many companies don’t have the networks that recruiters offer, and often lack the knowledge of what job seekers actually want and in some cases what the role they’re hoping to fill should be called.

These are all problems that we can fix. What it takes is a plan, knowledgeable recruiters, and some seriously good relationship building.. 

Job Seekers…

They have more choice than ever, if candidates take the leap to look for new jobs they will be paid more and probably end up working more flexibly… However, often too much choice can lead to anxiety and indecision. 

Job seekers are the royalty of the post-Covid age… So it’s both our job as recruiters and the businesses we represent to roll out the red carpet and guide them through the recruitment journey. This means finding the right job for them and not just pushing them in the door, even if it fills a gap for business in the short term.

To do this we need to find exactly what job seekers want and what they don’t want. Not just surface-level stuff, like salary, location, job title etc. We need to find out what their values are from top to bottom. Where they see themselves not just this year after a significant pay rise, but over the next 5 years. Could a move to Oz be the right next step? Would WFH actually be the dream for them, or would a hybrid way of working suit their personality and family life more?

Finally, almost an end to my waffling… A recruiter’s perspective…

In the NZ market as recruiters, I feel we are on a treadmill and knackered… We have more employers chasing us than ever before, more jobs to fill, and 12823823 different priorities to juggle each day. If we have the best job seekers partnering with us, it means we can pick the best businesses to work with.


My viewpoint on this is put simply: if we focus on rolling out the red carpets for the best talent and only partner with the values-aligned businesses, then our jobs as matchmakers is easy. We’re setting up two absolute worldies together and they will thank us for it, day in, day out. 

What tech or trend are you personally loving right now? 

I’m loving how technology is evolving to allow entire workforces to work effectively remotely, securely, and productively from anywhere en masse. 

Seeing both small and large companies adopt new technologies whether that be CRMs, Project Management tools, or video conferencing in such a short space of time is exciting. I feel this gives people the power to choose their priorities each day and take real ownership of their work as opposed to sitting at a desk 9-5 watching clocks.

This technology has become effective and cheap. Workers from all over the world can share ideas, work together on complex projects and grow together as people. This same technology is also helping to improve the lives of people in developing countries, as countries like NZ and Oz hire overseas workers at rates that are far better than their local market, leading to economic growth for all parties. 

If you had to deliver a TED talk tomorrow, what would it be about? 

I would talk about how tech and automation is giving us more time for connection, but how we also need to know how to disconnect from that same technology to take advantage of the time we have. 

What’s your superpower? 

I’m a fixer and love working with people. I love to use my creativity and listening skills to help people and solve problems, this brings me the most joy. 

What’s something many people don’t know about you? 

Most people don’t know that my right thumb is bigger than my left one… Or at least I hope they haven’t noticed. 

What’s the most useful thing you own?

Sunscreen… I would be dust without it. 

What are you listening to, reading, and/or watching right now? 

You got me! Alexa is belting out “Daydream Believer” by the Birds, the Bees and the Monkees.

What’s your favourite mental health/productivity hack? 

Gamify everything. Some things are just plain boring, so I try to make things like a LinkedIn shortlist for example more fun. Impossible? Nearly… Try setting yourself a hard target, giving yourself 1 hour to create a shortlist of quality candidates, meanwhile put everything unnecessary on silent, and whack a playlist consisting of Stormzy’s top bangers on high.

If you’re not as sad as me… Perhaps go into main character mode and take some calls during a walk along the beach, wearing some epic sunglasses. A change of scenery and the water can minimise stress and ensure you’re a happy bunny.

Ok last one… time for ‘would you rather’!

  • Would you rather have to write everything you say out by hand or only be able to speak in rhymes?
    • Rhymes for sure
  • Would you rather have your own robot or a private jet?
    • My own robot that makes private jets, that are small enough to park in a good old Wilson car park, but fast enough to fly me to London and back in 38 minutes. 
  • Would you rather chew a raw onion for 10 minutes or two raw heads of garlic for 30 minutes?
    • Onions

Connect with Tom over on Linkedin and give him a big warm welcome into the world of affix recruitment!