Robert Half International

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Robert Half
Traded as
Industry Professional services
Founded New York City (March 1948 (1948-03))[1][self-published source]
Founder Robert Half
Headquarters Menlo Park, CA, United States
Number of locations
>400 (2014)[2][self-published source]
Key people
  • Harold M. "Max" Messmer (CEO)
  • M. Keith Waddell, CFO
Services Human resource consulting
Revenue USD $5.09 billion (2015)[citation needed]
USD $358 million (2015)[citation needed]
Total assets USD $1.7 billion (2015)[citation needed]
Number of employees
16,100 (2015)[citation needed]

Robert Half, most recently, Robert Half International, is an American human resource consulting firm based in Menlo Park, California.[3] It is a member of the S&P 500,[citation needed] and is credited as being the world's first and largest accounting and finance staffing firm, with over 325 locations worldwide.[4][citation needed] In 2009, the company was ranked first in the temporary help industry on Fortune magazine's list of World's Most Admired Companies,[5][third-party source needed] and was ranked 9th by global staffing revenue.[6]


The company's founding was in 1948,[7] in New York City,[1][self-published source] with its original name being variously reported as being Robert Half Inc., Robert Half Finance & Accounting,[7] and Robert Half Personnel Agency.[1][self-published source] The founding, in any case, is reported to have been of two separate business entities, the Robert Half (RH) portion as "an employment agency for accountants," and the Accountemps portion "to supply accountants and other financial professionals… on a temporary basis."[7] Founder Robert Half had previously managed the hiring of accounting staff for a sizeable textile manufacturing concern, and saw an opportunity as no placement agency had been focusing on this sector of the market.[1][self-published source]

In the mid- to late-1980s, Robert Half (RH) altered its prior focus—which had been like that of the field in general—from relatively undifferentiated temporary clerical and light industry staffing, to providing temporary workers at higher skill levels via new "professional staffing divisions".[8][self-published source] Having grown to over 150 locations in the United States and launched an aggressive campaign to re-purchase many of the separate franchises, the firm went public in 1987, then expanded its operations into Europe in 1993.[7] In addition to their Accountemps brand, the firm expanded to include specialty groups focusing on technology, legal and creative services personnel.[7] Inroads into the legal sector began with the company's 1991 acquisition of "The Affiliates, a firm in Southern California that placed temporary and permanent paralegal, legal administrative, and other legal support personnel," with it being renamed as Robert Half Legal.[7]

Robert Half went on to establish itself as a key information provider for government agencies and others seeking statistics and trends regarding employment,[when?] with its market-specific salary guides being used as a resource by the U.S Department of Labor in the preparation of their own forecasts.[7]

In addition to their main staffing line of business, RH also provides independent risk consulting, internal audit and information technology consulting services via its Protiviti subsidiary, which was founded in 2002 with the acquisition of former employees of Arthur Andersen.[7][9] Since then, the group has grown from 700 to over 2,900 staff,[10][self-published source] and continues to be led by Andersen alumni.[citation needed]

In 2003, the company was finally able to buy back the last of the few remaining independent franchise operations.[7]

In 2006, RH acquired the assets of PG Lewis & Associates, a leading national provider of Data Forensics and Cyber Security services founded in 2003 by serial technology entrepreneur, Paul G. Lewis. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Published works[edit]

Founder Robert Half's tradition of authoring books on the industry—such as Making It Big in Data Processing[full citation needed] and How to Get a Better Job in This Crazy World[full citation needed]—was continued by the CEO of this date,[when?] Harold M. "Max" Messmer,[citation needed] in the form of works like Job Hunting for Dummies.[full citation needed][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d RH Intl. Staff (2013). "History and Values". Archived from the original (company web page) on June 21, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2017. [self-published source][third-party source needed]
  2. ^ RH Intl. Staff (2014). "About Us". Archived from the original (company web page) on March 29, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2017. [self-published source][third-party source needed]
  3. ^ "Robert Half International". Fortune 500. 
  4. ^ "Locations". 2017-04-11. Retrieved 2018-01-16. 
  5. ^ RH Intl. Staff (March 17, 2009). "Robert Half International named to World's Most Admired". Archived from the original (press release) on October 22, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2017. [third-party source needed][self-published source]
  6. ^ SIA and Staffs (2009). "The Hot List I: World's Largest Staffing Companies" (PDF). Staffing Industry Analysts ( Archived from the original (PDF) on February 16, 2010 – via [Quote:] Note: Results reflect revenue for 2008 or most recent fiscal year for which information is available. / Source: Staffing Industry Analysts ( Staffing Industry Analysts, a unit of Workforce Management parent Crain Communications, compiled the list and established the ranking based on public filings, information provided from companies and an annual survey. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j FU Staff [Wernick, E., et al.] (2005). "Robert Half International Inc. History". Retrieved February 27, 2017.  This information is derived from the following source: Wernick, Ellen & Gariepy, Jennifer (2005). "Robert Half International Inc.". In Grant, TIna. International Directory of Company Histories (IDCH). IDCH, Gale Reference Library (Derdak, Thomas, series ed.). Vol. 70. Detroit, MI: Gale/St. James Press. ISBN 1558625453. Retrieved February 27, 2017. [verification needed] Note, this compilation reports, to a significant degree, information self-reported by the company, and so constitutes information not strictly third-party in nature.
  8. ^ RH Intl. Staff (2015). "History". Archived from the original (company web page) on September 9, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2017. [self-published source][third-party source needed]
  9. ^ Jordon, Steve (June 6, 2002). "New Risk-Consulting Firm Lures Ex-Andersen Employees". Omaha World-Herald. Omaha, NE. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Retrieved February 27, 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  10. ^ Protiviti Staff (July 9, 2016). "History". Archived from the original on July 9, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2017. [third-party source needed][self-published source]

Further reading[edit]

Verified sources[edit]

  • AT Staff, "Staffing Firm Founder Robert Half Dead at 82," Accounting Today, September 24 2001, p. 56.
  • Brandstrader, J.R., "It's an Ill Wind," Barron's, March 25, 1996, p. 18.
  • Byrnes, Nanette, et al., "The Good CEO," Businessweek, September 23, 2002.
  • Caldwell, Douglas E., "The New Economy's Gold Digger," Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, March 16, 2001, p. 38.
  • Desloge, Rick, "Robert Half, Kelly Services Share in Temp Firm Growth," St. Louis Business Journal, December 1, 1997, p. 24.
  • Fleming, Eric C., "Job-Recruiter Blues: Will Paltry Demand Drain Robert Half Shares?," Barron's, November 11, 2002, p. T8.
  • Jordon, Steve, "New Risk-Consulting Firm Lures Ex-Andersen Employees," Omaha World Herald, June 6, 2002.
  • Lenz, Edward. "Flexible Employment: Positive Work Strategies for the 21st Century," Journal of Labor Research, 1996.
  • Marsh, Ann, "We're Your Talent Agent," Forbes, August 10, 1998, p. 104.
  • Morningstar Staff, "Morningstar Names Max Messmer of Robert Half International as 2003 CEO of the Year," Morningstar, January 6, 2004.
  • Murphy, Victoria, "Robert Half International: Everyone Need Apply," Forbes, January 8, 2001, p. 106.
  • NATSS Staff, "Temporary Help Services Continue Growth; Several Factors Cited," Alexandria, Va.: National Association of Temporary Staffing Services, June 17, 1996.
  • Robson, Douglas, "Half's Measures: Robert Half Harnesses Outsourcing Trend to Prove that Even Big Businesses Can Grow Quickly," San Francisco Business Times, April 18, 1997, p. 5A.
  • Siwolop, Sana, "Renting the Workers, But Buying the Stock," The New York Times, December 15, 1996.
  • Svaldi, Aldo, "California-Based Staffing-Services Firm Hires 760 Andersen Accountants," Denver Post, June 6, 2002.

Other sources[edit]

  • RH Intl. & Staffs (July 8, 2009). "30 Companies Will Be Represented at the Job Fair [Entry 12]". Archived from the original on July 8, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2017. [Quote:] The brief bios below give information about the 30 companies that will have representatives at the Job Fair on Tuesday. This information was submitted by the companies. [Emphasis added.]  Note, this source contains no content other than an advertising blurb and a 2009 contact phone number for job seekers. Specifically, it contains no reliable information on this company's sector, or its being a member of the S&P 500, or its size and rank among accounting and finance staffing firms.

External links[edit]