Spherion Franchise vs. AtWork Franchise: Which is Best For You?

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AtWork team during the meeting

For executives looking to dive into the staffing industry, franchising offers a path forward. Two of the most notable names in the staffing franchise arena are Spherion Staffing and AtWork. Both have carved out significant niches in the industry, but how do they stack up against each other? Explore the differences between the Spherion franchise and the AtWork franchise and get help deciding which one is best for you.

Staffing Industry Demand Hig

A tight labor market and worker skills gap are helping fuel demand in the staffing industry. At least six out of 10 workers will require training by 2027 to combat a skills gap, according to the World Economic Forum. Businesses are coping with the crunch by turning to staffing companies to fill their rosters. Demand for employees who can tackle jobs in marketing, healthcare, and education is particularly high, Precision Global Consulting reported. Staffing companies employ 14.5 million temporary and contract employees in a year.

They serve as a vital bridge between businesses and the talent pool, offering tailored solutions to meet specific workforce needs. Staffing companies provide businesses the flexibility and agility to adapt to changing demands, ensuring they remain competitive and productive. They can also streamline recruitment and ensure they secure the right fit for their organizational culture and job requirements. Staffing companies limit paperwork by handling various administrative tasks, such as background checks, initial training, and payroll, allowing businesses to focus on their core operations.

Staffing Franchises: A Closer Look

To get started, let us take a side-by-side look at Spherion Staffing and AtWork.


  Spherion Staffing* AtWork*
Initial Franchise Fee $40,000 $40,000
Initial Investment $214,325 – $471,975 $153,500 – $210,500
Net Worth Requirement $250,000 – $472,000 $250,000
Cash Requirement $215,000 – $472,000 $100,000
Royalty Fee 6% 7% – 9%
Ad Royalty Fee 0.25% – 0.75% .5%
Payroll Services Fee 1.5%-1.75% 0%

*Source: Entrepreneur

Spherion Staffing

Spherion Staffing debuted more than 75 years ago, in 1946, serving the auto industry. Over the years, the company has evolved and grown. Today, Spherion provides temporary, temp-to-hire, direct hire, and managed hiring services to more than 4,000 businesses nationwide across its 200+ locations. The company offers a professional model for dense, urban markets specializing in filling roles in technology, finance, and accounting, and also a commercial model for mid-size cities and rural areas defined by counties.

Although a Spherion franchise offers accounting and payroll services as part of its franchise deal, it charges a fee of 1.5% to 1.75%, and its franchisees are not able to take advantage of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to trim operational costs. AtWork doesn’t charge for payroll processing and allows its franchisees to benefit from a variety of tax credits.

AtWork’s Unique Selling Proposition

AtWork has been helping businesses fill their rosters for over 30 years. The company’s mission is to help entrepreneurs build profitable staffing franchises to strengthen the businesses in the communities they serve and put people to work. AtWork has received a host of franchise awards, including being named the best staffing firm to work for in 2023 by Staffing Industry Analysts. AtWork put more than 45,000 people to work last year and added 12 new locations.

“Since the first days of operations, my overall vision has been not only to create a franchise company that offers unprecedented operational support, but allows the local franchise to make ownership decisions without barriers from the corporate office,” said CEO John D. Hall, Jr.

AtWork has an initial investment range of $153,500 to $210,500, which includes a franchise fee of $40,000. This comprehensive package ensures that franchisees have everything they need to hit the ground running. AtWork’s impressive average gross revenue figures for their franchises make the potential ROI quite attractive. Annual gross revenue during the 2022 calendar year for the seven AtWork locations operating between one to two years ranged from $140,233 to $3.6 million.*

Every franchisor has its unique selling propositions, and in the case of AtWork, one of its standout features is its corporate-funded, in-house accounting services. AtWork owners are also eligible for significant tax credits, such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and Employer Retention credits, further offsetting operating expenses.

Learn More About AtWork

Connect with one of AtWork’s franchise business consultants to learn more about how a staffing firm can help you achieve your financial and lifestyle goals. Get started on your entrepreneurial journey by building a future in the staffing industry.

*This is a historical representation of what some of AtWork’s franchised agencies earned, as described further in Item 19 of the FDD.


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