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Lucky Prize Winner Turns Out to be a Champion of a Good Cause

Published 8th August 2019

How Oncore met Melissa

Oncore was recently the proud platinum sponsor for the annual Recruitment Yarns event in Auckland – an event well known for its great content and interactive format for recruiters. Our own team were in attendance, including Dan Mettham, NZ Country Manager; and Phil Mulvey and Alex Kerton, our Business Development Managers for Queensland and Sydney, respectively. Altogether, a combined experience of over 40 years in contractor payroll and management for the recruitment industry.

The morning session  was geared towards personal and career development for recruitment professionals, while the afternoon session focused on senior leaders and decision makers looking for innovative solutions to overcome the most pressing issues currently affecting our industry. A number of great topics were covered throughout the day, but the great takeaway for us came after the event.

As part of our role as event sponsor, Oncore held a competition to give away a Bebop 2 Drone, a prize everyone wanted to get their hands on!

Keep reading to learn more about our winner and the fantastic work she does in our industry.


Introducing Melissa Cruz – Winner of Oncore’s Competition

A Senior Business Manager for APM in Auckland, Melissa Cruz was the lucky winner of our competition. Having only recently found out about Recruitment Yarns, she thought attending the event was a great opportunity to meet with like-minded professionals. 

Her own personal and professional development has been an interesting story. Originally from Manila, Melissa has worked a number of jobs in varied industries over the years. After her first child was born, she took an extended break from the workforce, before moving to New Zealand in 2006. It was here she got a job at The Johnson Group, a specialist recruitment agency for the public sector. After a second child and another extended break, she landed a job at APM, where  she started as an Administrative Assistant, and quickly worked her way to her current role in Employment services.

“I jumped at the opportunity because it was related to my background. Once I was there and understood the work APM does – that’s what’s kept me there.”

We recently caught up with Melissa to get her thoughts on the Recruitment Yarns event. Melissa relates how, as she works away from the typical recruitment model, it was nice to meet people and “have a yarn” about what was happening in their shared space. She found the conversation really relevant, and noted some of the key trends APM had been looking at internally.

“My favourite speaker was the Paralympian, Adam Hall. He was very inspirational, and his words really resonated with me, as it ties in with the work we do at APM. It was great to see someone differently-abled, but who’s still killing it at his chosen profession.” 


APM – Opening Doors for Employers and Talent

Founded in 1995, APM is a candidate-first employment services company which assists people living with an injury or disability (including mental health), as well as ex-offenders. With a large presence in Australia, the company branched out to New Zealand in 2012, focusing on rehabilitation and employment services for the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) NZ.

“Part of our role is to get to know the person really well – what their interests are, what their background is, and understand why they stopped working. We can then put a plan together to hopefully get them back into the workforce.”

Research has shown work is important and helpful for mental health, wellbeing and social inclusion – but it has to be the right job. APM believes in finding valuable work for the candidate, and they also offer post-placement support to address any issues that may arise.

“A lot of these people haven’t been in work for a long time, so we try to remind them what an employer expects of them. We also provide support with their health conditions, and try to direct them to work places that offer more support.” 


The Need for Resilience & Support

Melissa finds her work incredibly rewarding and shared with us some positive feedback from clients who have been able to find stable employment. However, working in this space is not entirely without its own emotional toll.

“It’s really helped me and my team to better understand mental health. We’ve learned a lot about being resilient at work, and we also better recognise triggers for our clients. Someone could be fine for a long while, but then begin spiralling, which can be challenging from an employment-perspective.”

 APM is contracted by the government to provide their services, which means they receive funding and  have targets that must be achieved. One thing that Melissa feels could make this easier is by receiving support from both employers and the recruitment industry as a whole. 

“Whether it’s as part of their corporate social responsibility plan or simply by tapping into this hidden market, we need everyone to come to the party. Our clients want to work. They’re willing and able. They just need some support.” 


Leading the Charge

For this year’s event, Recruitment Yarns supported ​​Mobility Dogs NZ, an organisation that helps improve the lives of families living with physical disabilities. This is a great step in the right direction and something Oncore is passionate about as well. We hope to see more businesses doing their part to help people with both physical and mental disabilities, whether that’s through employment or other support.

Oncore is also committed to the health and well-being of each one of our contractors who come under our management. That’s why we are providing all contractors access to a specialist employee assistance program, where they can arrange a call with a dedicated professional counsellor when they need. Click here to find out more. 

Congratulations are also in order for Recruitment Yarns who have been drawn as finalists in the upcoming APSCo Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility. 

Successful businesses these days are not just about making a profit, but about doing something good for the community and for each other. It’s when we get behind these great causes, that we can collectively make a big difference and our industry will always be better off for it.