Sparks Personnel Services

www.sparkshr.com
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Sparks Personnel Services Reviews

Updated February 19, 2015
Updated February 19, 2015
19 Reviews
3.2
19 Reviews
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Steve Sparks
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great staffing and recruiting company!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Sparks Personnel Services

    Pros

    Full disclosure: I have worked at SPARKS, basically since I graduated college, and so I am writing this review without a ton of corporate experience for comparison. While the staffing and recruiting industry doesn't offer the unique benefits that say, a dot-com might, the one aspect it does offer is the daily interaction with great people! Throughout the entire organization, SPARKS is made up of fun, energetic people that truly care about one another and about the mission of connecting great talent to great companies. Time and time again I have heard staff members (especially new hires with previous staffing/recruiting experience) mention how SPARKS is so superior with regards to employee recognition, work-life balance, career development, and availability of senior leadership. As a long-time employee I am obviously very satisfied with all of these items and would highly recommend SPARKS as a great workplace!

    Cons

    As with any small to mid-size company, vertical promotions are a little bit more rare than in a large company. However, SPARKS does offer tons of opportunities for career growth and development.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great Place!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sparks Personnel Services

    Pros

    Great way to advance your skills in a professional environment. I was able to learn more than enough to help me land a worthwhile and professional career.

    Cons

    Sometimes the staffing recruiters will place you in temporary positions that do not help advance your overall skills and the jobs can become stagnant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a better way to reward individuals that have been successful temporary employees. The overall goal of a temporary staffing agency is to allow individuals to be placed in permanent positions. This process may be fast tracked if temps were put into positions that would challenge them in some degree but also show employers that these individuals deserve a chance.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    Know What You're Getting Into

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Staffing Supervisor
    Former Employee - Staffing Supervisor

    I worked at Sparks Personnel Services full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    If you leverage it properly, staffing can be a great way to grow your own business contacts and get a start in the Recruiting field. If you are looking for a work hard, play hard environment, this is it.

    Cons

    This has been said by other commentators but it bares repeating: Sparks is a staffing company. Their clients pay them, not candidates. Therefore, the emphasis has always and will always be on sales and account management. No matter how hard you may work at other parts of the business, this is what matters most for internal advancement. They absolutely hire right out of college and look for applicants with sales or customer service experience. They do provide training, though, if sales isn't in your DNA, no training can really help. If you are considering an entry level recruiting position with them - just be realistic about what you're getting into. Also, understand that no matter what they may tell you, for most of your buyers, staffing is a commodity so it can be hard to really differentiate your services and usually it just comes down to price.

    It is also not a sure fire way to career in HR as HR administration is a completely different bag of tricks than staffing. It could be a path to a career in Corporate Recruiting but you have to be smart about it. Build personal relationships with your clients and network, network, network. Also, staffing is a client service industry, which means the hours are long and the client is king so know that going in. The comment about suspending 401(k) matching when revenue is down is also absolutely true though for a small business, this isn't really surprising.

    On average, I think they treat their contract employees fairly well and certainly no worse than their competitors. Just remember if you're thinking of accepting a temp gig through Sparks or any agency: the client is paying them and you aren't. At the end of the day, they'll listen to the client.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When hiring internally, be transparent about the expectations around sales and account management. Unlike competitors, you actually do offer training to help develop these skills. You just have to be more up front about it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Unprofessional, Uncoordinated

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Contract Employee in Herndon, VA
    Current Contractor - Contract Employee in Herndon, VA

    I have been working at Sparks Personnel Services as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Submitting time sheet is easy.

    Cons

    HR is slow to provide responses. They often don't return phone or email messages. Office is closed on holidays. They change your benefits with short or no notice. Pay is average. Don't expect too much.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take responsibility and improve your communication to your employees. These employees don't want to work for you. Many of them are contract employees because of technicalities with your clients.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Not Great but Not Bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sparks Personnel Services full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Ongoing training for professional development including sales and software training

    Most of the management are visible, approachable, and nurturing

    The more tenured staff was pretty friendly and willing to help when needed

    Great position for entry level candidates looking to start out and gain business experience

    Cons

    High turnover and sometimes the various office could be very cliquey

    Internal software was a mess. There were 3 different internal systems that recruiters had to use and everyone used them differently and none of them worked together

    The payroll dept also had major inefficiencies due to software issues and a shortage in staff

    The company is increasingly quota driven and money motivated which cultivated a competitive work environment. Great for sales people not so great for recruiters looking to actually help people

    Base salaries for internal staff are low and growth is stagnant with limited career paths outside of sales

    Outside of quarterly meetings and the occasional happy hour there were no other team building exercises or opportunities outside of the office to get to know your coworkers (ie no community service events, volunteer efforts, etc)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Recruiters never have definitive information regarding assignments and will take advantage to keep reaping commissions.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Anonymous
    Former Contractor - Anonymous

    I worked at Sparks Personnel Services as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you need a way in to a company, temping is always a good way prove yourself and get hired!

    Cons

    Plan to wait forever for your initial in office assessment, even with an appointment to which you arrived on time.
    You will never be advised that you have earned time off or holiday pay.
    Start times of assignments are ambiguous and you will be left hanging for months before/if you begin. They may not have the contract when they tell you they do.
    The stated length of assignments are not accurate, the longer you were for Sparks the longer they receive money for each hour you work.
    Recruiters lie to you and about you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check yourselves.
    Learn integrity and practice it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Disgusting company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Software Architect in McLean, VA
    Former Contractor - Software Architect in McLean, VA

    I worked at Sparks Personnel Services as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    "Temporary" service "Temporary" service "Temporary" service

    Cons

    1. They silently decreased the pay rate agreed initially and restored it after 3 month with no compensation
    2. They made mistake in my W2 form
    3. They didn't want to correct that mistake and I was forced to apply to IRS

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Placed me in the wrong company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Quality Inspector in Sterling, VA
    Former Contractor - Quality Inspector in Sterling, VA

    I worked at Sparks Personnel Services as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    work-life balance, found a job fast,

    Cons

    management doesn't care about you only about making money

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    One of the recruiters placed me in a company that only accepted US citizen while I only had a work permit. I did not find out about this until it was time to change from temp to permanent, and they realized Sparks had made a mistake and I shouldn't had been there in the first place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Great company to work for!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Staff Recruiter
    Former Employee - Staff Recruiter

    I worked at Sparks Personnel Services full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    I had a great experience with SPARKS. The leadership and executive teams give you the opportunity to develop your professional skills by providing on going training, and staying in communication with employees. You feel like a valued team member, working towards the overall mission of the organization.

    Cons

    Current ATS system is slow and repetitive, an upgrade would do wonders to productivity.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Temporary Service.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Temp in Herndon, VA
    Current Contractor - Temp in Herndon, VA

    I have been working at Sparks Personnel Services as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    It's a company that has their own self interest in mind

    Cons

    It's a company that has their own self interest in mind

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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