Over the past 77 years, Spherion has developed a name for itself as a leading staffing and recruiting brand. We wouldn’t be America’s most awarded national staffing brand without the countless contributions of Spherion franchisees who each came to us at different points in their career. As with any business venture, becoming a Spherion franchise owner is a journey of challenges and successes. For this month’s blog, we sat down with franchisees Brian Lytle, Phillip Frassinelli, and Sabbath and Edem Ekene to profile each of their journeys to becoming successful franchise owners with Spherion. 

When did you first open your first Spherion franchise? 

Lytle: My father first opened our Chico, California location in 1990, which led me to begin my journey with Spherion. I first worked as a temporary employee underneath him as he grew his footprint in our community. Later, I took over his locations and began charting my own path as a Spherion franchisee.


Frassinelli: My father and I opened our first location in Reading, Pennsylvania in the summer of 2009. As we were both former members of the Spherion corporate team, my father and I fell in love with the emphasis that the brand puts on its franchisee culture and the use of new technology. We wanted to make the jump from employee to franchise owner ourselves.


Sabbath Ekene: My husband and I opened our location in League City, Texas in February of 2019. As longtime staffing professionals, we knew that Spherion was a leading brand in the industry and were eager to take the next step in our careers as successful business owners in our local community. 

Two men looking at a paper and smiling

What were your biggest challenges when you first started out, and how did you overcome them?

Lytle: Throughout my career as a general manager and franchisee, I’ve come to realize that clients will come and go. That reality can be challenging to adjust to as a new franchise owner who is just starting out and not used to the cadence of the staffing industry business. However, managing ongoing client relationships and working to ensure each client's satisfaction in my daily operations across three markets has been key to overcoming that initial client turnover.


Frassinelli: Overall, the biggest challenge was securing new business and managing our cash flow. When our first location opened, we were in the middle of a recession and many businesses were consolidating their staff instead of expanding. That experience — which we survived! — just goes to show you that our candidates’ and clients’ needs are constantly shifting. We view this constant change as an exciting challenge that our dedicated staff works to overcome in the local communities that our offices support.


Edem Ekene: The biggest challenge we faced was prospecting new clients. Some had never heard of Spherion before in our region. Soon after we opened, many corporate team members helped us establish our presence and build brand awareness. The corporate team does an amazing job developing our brand nationally and offers many tools to help us reinforce the Spherion brand locally. The resources we were given helped us overcome typical initial growth challenges and skyrocket our business to the next level.  

A young couple smiling and sitting on a teal couch

How has Spherion supported and encouraged your success?

Lytle: The Spherion team is there to support us as franchise owners. They’re always looking for new ways to help us stay on top of industry changes and implement new business technologies. Throughout my Spherion career, our corporate team has always been quick to plan out and provide resources around notable industry-related changes like updates to various labor laws that may affect our business as staffing professionals. 


Frassinelli: Spherion has always been quite supportive of us as franchise owners. They were very hands-on during my initial opening process as it relates to all the components that went into our launch, and later helped facilitate multiple acquisitions of new offices as we expanded our markets. They continue to give growth and strategy guidance as our portfolio expands to future locations. 


Edem Ekene: The Spherion team helps fuel our success daily. Our assigned SVP was there from the very beginning as we grew our footprint in League City. One of the most impactful resources she offered was consistent individual coaching sessions that have been instrumental in helping us shape our business. 

Any lessons learned that you want to share with future Spherion franchisees?


Lytle: My biggest piece of advice to share with someone looking to make the jump to franchise owner with Spherion is to follow the established framework Spherion has fine-tuned over their years in the business. Lean on the network of Spherion franchise owners that have come before you. The brand and other franchise owners are more than willing to share their unlimited base of knowledge with new franchisees as you grow your business. 


Frassinelli: Do your homework on the market that you are looking at purchasing and supporting. Knowing the market and the challenges it faces can go a long way toward protecting your cash flow during the early years and beyond. As you grow, connect with other Spherion franchisees and ask them to mentor you as you build your business. Finally, change is always eminent. Embrace the unknown and trust the process!


Edem Ekene: Reach out to your Spherion peers. We all want to help you every step of the way. We are our very own franchise family and have a long history of caring for each one of our franchise owners. When it comes to your own business, never stop selling and recruiting, but most importantly: Never give up!

What are you most proud of and why?

Lytle: I have been fortunate to have a great support system of employees throughout my time as a Spherion franchisee. Many members of my staff have been with me for a long time. But I am most proud that one of my branch managers transitioned into a franchise owner themselves! They recently opened their first Spherion location in the Pacific Northwest.


Frassinelli: I’m extremely proud of being able to build a business from the ground up with my parents and my wife. We took risks and reached outside of our comfort zones, all in the name of taking our business to new heights and making an impact on the candidates and clients we support in our local market. Ultimately, Spherion has helped us create full flexibility as it relates to our lifestyle, as well as secured my parent's futures. They’ve officially moved into the retirement stage of their own careers. 


Sabbath Ekene: My husband and I are most proud of being able to apply our passion for the staffing industry as a whole towards creating our own lasting legacy that we will eventually leave to future generations of our family.

A young couple dressed up and posing in front an a Spherion-branded backdrop

Brian, Phillip, Sabbath and Edem are just a few of the strong business owners within the Spherion franchise community. We are grateful to be part of their continued growth as forward-thinking staffing leaders.

Interested in learning more about the Spherion franchise opportunity? Connect with our team today to learn more!

About the Author
Dan Brunell
Dan Brunell

Dan Brunell

Regional Vice President of Franchise Development

Dan’s background as a senior executive in the staffing industry and founder of a top franchise brokerage equips him with more than 30 years of experience helping prospective franchisees succeed.