Martay Davis was a $5,000 grand prize winner as part of the Spherion Winter Games, where nearly $50,000 in prizes were given to temporary employees in good standing with the national firm. Davis works through the South Bend, Indiana office. Photo contributed

published on June 15, 2022 - 1:06 PM
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At a time when job seekers run the market, Glenna Gates, owner of national staffing firm Spherion in Fresno, tapped into a novel way to fire up its temps.

This past winter the company surprised employees with gifts in the form of nearly $50,000 in prizes for its “Spherion Winter Games.” As a nationally franchised staffing agency, Spherion serves nearly 4,000 businesses in more than 200 offices across the country.

To compete was simple: Show up for work as an active temporary employee and keep showing up as scheduled. Spherion employees and temps on active assignment and in good standing earned one entry for each week during the campaign.

There were weekly drawings for prizes of up to $500 in cash. After six weeks of competition, nine grand prize winners were drawn: three were awarded the $5,000 gold prize; three were awarded the $2,500 silver prize; and three took home the bronze $1,000 prize.

The winter games were held to spread the word and attract new employees — and it was effective, Gates said. There were 54 winners total throughout the country. The company’s employee campaign took place during the holidays and Gates anticipates it will happen again. Other types of branded gifts were also distributed to employees during the holidays.

“I love the creative end and engagement with employees; it keeps things fresh and new,” she said.

Because of the selective nature of the current job market, it’s a high priority for Spherion to come up with creative solutions that recognize and reward their employees while also helping their client companies find the top candidates, she said.

“Hiring has gotten tough, people are calling this time the Great Resignation,” she said. “There is a shallow pool of people to choose from and we do work across the spectrum but 90% of what we do is in industrial work.”

Gates has been in the Valley for 30 years. She is originally from Texas but has lived all over the country. She originally had a background in call centers before taking a temp job in Bakersfield. She liked her job so much that she decided to eventually buy the company.

According to her, she stays in Fresno because she likes it here.

“Fresno has a fabulous community. I like the small time feel of the area and it’s a Mecca for business opportunities. Everything comes from here,” she said.


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