Founded in 1948, Robert Half initially provided staffing for just accounting businesses. With the desire to provide expertise on the field, recruiters thoroughly researched accounting businesses and then passed their research on to applicants in order to make them more appealing candidates for open positions.
Their tactic worked. Today, Robert Half is considered the first and largest staffing agency for accounting businesses. Over the years they've expanded to include six other fields, and they've been steadily growing. In 1986 they brought in $7 million, and as if that weren't impressive enough, they made $4.2 billion in 2013.
With headquarters in Menlo Park, California, the company also has 400 locations around the world. It is the parent company of Protiviti, which has 70 locations in 20 countries outside the US. The current CEO of Robert Half is Harold M. Messmer Jr., and Paul F. Gentzkow is the president.
More than ten thousand employees strong, Robert Half has quite the reputation. As of 2014, it has been recognized as one of Fortune Magazine's Most Admired Companies for 15 years in a row, and it has also received awards for being one of the best places to work, having strong ethics, having great human resources, and even being eco-friendly.
- Expert advice
- Staffing opportunities
Robert Half is a strong competitor because of its reputation and years of experience. They've proven that they will work hard, stand out in their field, and provide the services they promise. Another perk of being in the business for so long is that they know how to manage themselves throughout economic distress.
As long as you're interested in one of the fields they focus on, they will do whatever they can to educate you about the industry, connect you with employers, and give you information you need. Robert Half focuses on seven specific industries:
- Office (such as administrative tasks and other desk jobs)
- Law (for attorneys, paralegals, and legal support)
- Creative works (such as marketing, design, public relations, etc.)
Because the company focuses on seven specific fields, you'll enjoy expert advice from these recruiters. The company website features a lot of information about the research that these recruiters have done about salaries, hiring tactics, workplace conduct, and success in a smaller business, among other areas. They pride themselves on knowing the details about each industry and can therefore help you become a more appealing candidate.
They also offer temporary, temporary-to-hire, and full-time staffing opportunities. So whether you just need some short-term work or are in it for the long haul, the recruiters will work to understand your needs and fit you in with a company that matches them.
Robert Half offices are widespread in the US as well as international. They have the resources to set you up with a position in almost any type of area. And their services are free to use. They make their profits off of their client companies, so all you have to do is create an account to use their resources.
The opinions of past and present employees and applicants make a statement as well. Even with their proven experience and process, there are reservations associated with Robert Half. Common complaints include:
- Little room for advancement
- Miscommunication with recruiters
Many individuals say that if you're not assertive enough as an applicant, you may not hear back from recruiters very often. You might feel more like a number on a waiting list rather than a priority.
Job seekers will need an account with Robert Half to search and apply for jobs. That's not out of the question; most staffing agencies ask that you create a profile with them first. But what's limiting about Robert Half is that you can't get many questions answered until you humor them and select a division you're interested in. In this way, you feel a little shuffled through a system, which can be restricting. And if you don't fit nicely onto one of their seven categories, you're out of luck.
The Bottom Line
Robert Half has an overall excellent reputation, industry awards, and decades of experience. They've had a lot of time to hone their skills at getting you a job. So if you have your heart set on one of their seven specialties, you'll be in great hands because they perform detailed research. It's important to the people at Robert Half that their applicants are well prepared and educated about their field and position.
But be warned, you may need to be a little more assertive than you would with other staffing agencies. If you want to stay in the recruiters' minds and stand out as an applicant, be prepared to make some phone calls, regularly update your profile, and do your part to land a job.