Instinct for Leadership
AppleOne Employment Services uses research-driven benchmarks and assessments, and a bit of finely honed instinct, to align employees with employers for its “Hiring Made Human” mission. In its own offices, the largest woman-owned workforce management company founded in the U.S. leads by example with staff members who believe in that credo wholeheartedly.
“Even within the culture of our company, there are so many ways to work in our mission statement,” said Nicole McMurray, the company’s regional manager in Orlando. After 15 years there, McMurray’s accomplishments read like a case study of the potential that can be unlocked when the right candidate finds the right company. She continues to hone her skills as a member of CEO Leadership Forums, where AppleOne offers support for other growing businesses.
McMurray joined AppleOne as an account executive in 2004, remembered locally for an overactive storm season that included Hurricane Charley. McMurray thought companies might need extra help. Her hunch turned out to be right and led to her being named Rookie of the Year and promoted to branch manager.
McMurray’s survival instinct continued to steady her team throughout the decade. “When the recession hit, I was a young leader, but I recognized the chance to strategize. I would say ‘We’re in a kayak right now, heading into a hurricane — but there are no other people I’d rather dump water out of the boat with.’’’
Today McMurray and her team celebrate smooth sailing, cultivating a culture that is intentional, collaborative and fun. Just ask Lauren Arevalo, a 20-year veteran of AppleOne who works with McMurray in Central Florida.
“I feel the most important part of leadership is leading by example,” Arevalo said. “I never ask my team to do anything I have not done. It’s vital to be positive and encouraging, and reward employees with things are specific and important to them.”
The two joined CEO Leadership Forums when McMurray was introduced to one of the organizers, Russell Slappey, managing partner of Nperspective CFO & Strategic Services. Professionals from across Central Florida come together to exchange information and create a rich referral network.
The forums empower them to see the bigger picture, offering a holistic and lasting way to help their clients grow business. “Each member has the group’s best interests at heart,” McMurray said. “We always ensure we treat each other and our clients with respect.”