Spherion Staffing Services Matches Employees and Employers

by Carl Kotala

When Marj Bartok decided it was time to buy the Brevard County chapter of Spherion Staffing Services from a trusted friend, she knew a lot about the business, but not so much about the area.

Spherion Staffing Services

Front, left to right: Marj Bartok, Emily Cooch; Back, left to right: Ben Yeargin, Shelby Hill, Lance Brancato


“I really bought the business sight unseen,” Bartok said.  “I had never been to Melbourne, so I bought the business as opposed to the area.  But when I drove over the causeway … that’s when I decided to sign the papers because it was such a beautiful location.  So I kind of got here unintentionally, but through the things I wanted to do it’s been a very good move for me.”


Eighteen Years of Growth

In the 18 years Bartok has owned Spherion, she has become a pillar of the local business community – serving as chairman of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, following her company’s selection as its Business of the Year in 2003.


She took Spherion, which was making $400,000 annually when she arrived, and turned it into a multi-million dollar venture in just a few years, developing working relationships with some of NASA’s primary contractors such as Boeing and United Space Alliance.


In a given week, Spherion has between 500-700 contract workers at other companies throughout the county; another 10 work for the franchise itself.


Bartok, who had worked at several large staffing service firms prior to buying the Brevard Spherion franchise, opened an office in Huntsville, Ala. three years ago because a number of her local clients have offices in that area and needed her services.


Why It Works

“I believe that customer service has to come above everything else, and if you have good customer service everything else will fall into place,” Bartok said of her business philosophy.  “I treat everyone who comes in that door, or every customer, the same whether they’re giving me $100 worth of business, or $100,000.”


“Everyone that comes in to apply for a job, I consider a customer.  Whether they’re coming in to do a data entry job or they’re a high-level engineer, they get the same treatment.  They are all important.”


What makes Spherion so effective is that it provides a tremendous service not only for companies seeking reliable employees, but also for individuals who are out of work and looking for the right fit to match their skills.


Making the Connection

Spherion fills jobs that serve a number of capacities, anything from accounting and finance to administrative/clerical; customer service; engineering and manufacturing; human resources; legal; industrial sales and marketing; as well as technology – just to name a few.  Making sure both sides are a match, of course, is what has made Spherion successful.


“It’s really matching up a good job description to the right skills of the person,” Bartok explained.  “We assess their skills.  We do reference checks.  And we do it very quickly and efficiently, as it can be a real cost-savings for the company because time is money.”


“If someone goes to hire somebody on their own, they have to have someone doing that.  We just happen to have a constant flow of people in our funnel, so to speak, who are always coming to look for positions.  That’s very helpful, and that’s the advantage a staffing company has, especially one that’s been around as many years as we’ve been in this county.  You get that reputation of, ‘Oh, they have the jobs.’”


Of course, jobs haven’t been as easy to come by in a troubled economy and Spherion has certainly seen signs of that.  Some companies aren’t sure if they can commit to hiring a position full-time, but at the same time they need help.


Perhaps that’s the reason why Bartok thinks the future looks good.


Bright Futures

“I think it’s getting brighter,” she said.  “We’re starting to hear from companies we have not heard from for a long time or new companies that maybe have just started out here and are going to start staffing.”


While helping people find jobs is Bartok’s business, there are the occasional reminders – by the way of an email or thank you note – of just how big of an impact she can have on a person’s life.  That helps make the job even more enjoyable.


“I still have fun doing this business.  I think, every morning when I get up, that it’s exciting to go to work because when you’re dealing with people – which is our product, really – you’re finding different things every day that you never thought you would have to deal with,” Bartok said.  “Some are positive and with some you just have to go with the flow.  We do a good job at that, too.”