Four people at a conference table with their laptops

Spherion Staffing:
Applying Insights to
Stay Ahead of Competitors

13 %

13% increase in growth over
competitors since partnering with
Reputation.

4.8

No change in average review rating
— 4.8 — from 2021 to 2022, despite
review volume growth.

95 %

95% positive review volume in 2022, up
from 84% in 2018.

The Client

Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, Spherion Staffing is a staffing and recruiting agency with more than 75 franchisees and 215 locations across the United States. Spherion is a valued member of local communities in every market in which it operates, thanks to its hyper-local focus through a wide network of franchisees. Rather than just fill vacant positions as quickly as possible, regardless of the fit, Spherion works closely with individuals and its business partners to find the right person for the right job — every time.

Finding Competitive Differentiators

In a highly competitive industry, Spherion sought ways to differentiate itself from its competition to both potential customers and temporary workers. Unlike some of its competitors, Spherion is 100 percent franchise-owned, which means that the “head office” has willing partners at every franchise location: small business owners who not only want to turn a profit, but help their communities in the process.

“What makes us truly different is being a franchise organization and really knowing the local market,” says Doug DeLor, Vice President of Marketing at Spherion.
“And we combine that with our purpose, which is to drive careers, grow businesses, and better the communities we call home. Everything we do is around that, so we really pride ourselves that our franchisees live in and know those local markets — that’s what drives them — and we’re able to consistently do that across the entire country. Our focus is local, and we believe local is our superpower.”

13 %

13% Increase in growth over competitors since partnering with Reputation.

We outgrew our competitors last year in 2021. One of the key reasons we did that was being able to leverage third-party credibility. As a franchisee, when they go to our Reputation dashboard, it’s super easy to manage reviews, respond, and understand what’s going on — from our customers and from the employees we help each day.”

Doug DeLor, Vice President of Marketing,
Spherion

To highlight this and help its franchisees keep a tight focus on their local markets, Spherion partnered with Reputation in early 2021, primarily utilizing the platform’s Reviews feature. This way, each franchisee would be able to better monitor and manage its stature and standing in the area through a range of tools and tactics, which DeLor and his team were happy to show to franchisees.

Leveraging Positive Feedback

With something so critical and, at times, fragile as employment, staffing issues can cut to the core of many people and sometimes bring out the worst in them, leading them to leave a bad review of a staffing company — or simply skip them altogether. Though some of its competitors simply push to fill job openings, Spherion’s franchisees and recruitment teams prioritize their job candidates’ happiness from the moment they engage with Spherion and every step along the way.

Rather than treat their role like a simple “9 to 5” that they drop at the end of the day, Spherion team members get to know, partner with and invest in job candidates so that they can help those candidates find a job with a perfect fit. While each candidate’s needs vary, Spherion team members offer a range of services including career coaching, resume reviews, and interview preparation options, and they’re always just a phone call away to offer support or pivot to find a new job assignment, if needed.


This candidate-centric approach has not gone unnoticed by job seekers, which has led Spherion to enjoy tremendous growth.


“We outgrew our competitors last year in 2021,” says DeLor. “One of the key reasons we did that was being able to leverage third-party credibility. As a franchisee, when they go to our Reputation dashboard, it’s super easy to manage reviews, respond, and understand what’s going on — from our customers and from the employees we help each day.”

No Change

in average review rating — 4.8 — from 2021 to
2022, despite review volume growth

That third-party credibility has gone a long way with both potential and current customers and workers. Despite ongoing review volume increases, and despite the fact that Spherion, in essence, is actually 76 different independently owned businesses, the company has been able to maintain an average review rating of 4.8 out of 5 in 2021 and 2022. Not only that, but Spherion has actually grown its positive review volume from 84 percent in 2018 to 95 percent in 2022 — no small feat, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Targeting & Boosting Underperformers

In addition to remaining active and engaged with customers and workers, Spherion has also used the Reputation platform to track its progress over time, compare itself against competitors, and develop goals and key performance indicators.


“We’re very competitive and we wanted to make sure that we’re beating everybody else in our industry,” says DeLor. “So we wanted to find out what were our historical ratings, what were the total number of reviews we had, and what do we need to improve that Rep Score because we were already doing pretty well.”


With its Reputation Score sitting in the 600s, Spherion was already ahead of much of its competition but still wanted to improve. As a result of its already-stalwart performance, Spherion set reasonable, achievable goals for the company rather than simply shooting for the moon. While every business would love to average a five out of five rating, that isn’t practical; there will always be some minor percentage of customers that perceive a bad experience and leave a negative review. So instead of trying to improve its remarkable 4.8 out of 5 rating, Spherion instead tried to solidify it.

“To say, ‘Hey, we want to get to five out of five,’ that’s not real,” says DeLor. “Our system, recruiters, and franchisees are just rocking it at a 4.8 out of 5. So we figured, if we can increase our review volume dramatically while maintaining that 4.8 rating, that’s the big thing — that’s how we’ll boost our Reputation Score.”


And improve it has. In the short time the company has partnered with Reputation, Spherion has been able to raise its Rep Score from the low 600s up to the mid-700s while increasing its overall review volume by nearly 50 percent year over year — truly remarkable for a company based with more than 75 separately functioning franchised businesses.

To say, ‘Hey, we want to get to five out of five,’ that’s not real. Our system, recruiters, and franchisees are just rocking it at a 4.8 out of 5. So we figured, if we can increase our review volume dramatically while maintaining that 4.8 rating, that’s the big thing — that’s how we’ll boost our Reputation Score.”

Doug DeLor, Vice President of Marketing,
Spherion

What’s Next?

Along with leveraging Reputation to monitor its performance historically and develop key performance indicators, Spherion has also used the platform and
its dashboard to identify markets that could use some assistance or coaching and plans to continue to do so.


“What we’ve done is take a look at those states that were red or orange in the dashboard and figured out a process for how we’re going to get them to be green,” says DeLor. “Our ‘worst state’ is only orange because we don’t have enough reviews. So we just need to boost them up, and that leads us to tap into the franchise owners and work with them to understand the importance of the volume of reviews, not just the quality. We can’t tell our franchisees what to do; we have to lead them by influence, and the dashboard helps with that and is so easy to manage.”


This dynamic approach to working with franchisees, as well as the larger brand, has paid off dividends, allowing Spherion to tailor tactics to specific franchisees and markets without sounding prescriptive or antagonistic. The results — higher review volumes, high and unchanged review average, and competitor-beating growth — speak for themselves.

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