Our Company History and Accolades

Founded in 1948, Robert Half has a long history of connecting opportunities at great companies with highly skilled job seekers. Bolstered by the strength of our brand, our people, our technology and our professional business model, we find meaningful and exciting employment for the people we place and provide clients access to the specialized talent they need to help grow their businesses.  

We pioneered the idea of professional talent solutions nearly 70 years ago and, as the needs of businesses have evolved, so have we. In 1986, when current leadership acquired the Robert Half business from founder Bob Half, the staffing industry was much different than it is today.

Our leadership team saw potential in moving toward a more specialized talent solutions approach and began placing contract workers at higher skill levels. Our clients and candidates found value in professional-level talent solutions, which is why we launched a series of contract professional staffing divisions in the finance and accounting, legal, creative and marketing, technology and administrative fields. And in 2002, we again saw opportunity and introduced Protiviti, a global independent risk consulting and internal audit service, to support companies as they faced more stringent financial reporting and disclosure practices under new regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley.  

Explore Robert Half’s history, learn about our leadership and accolades and see how we have found opportunity in innovation to create a $5 billion professional services organization. 

1940s: The Begining

Robert Half founded by Bob and Maxine Half. 

1960s: High Ethical Standards Becomes a Cornerstone

Bob Half speaks out against discriminatory recruiting and staffing practices in a letter to the Association of Personnel Agencies of New York.

1970s: A Decade of Firsts

Robert Half opens its first international location in London. 
Accountemps, the first of many professional staffing divisions, is launched, thus beginning Robert Half’s specialized approach to temporary staffing. 

1980s: New Leadership

Max Messmer negotiates the purchase of the Robert Half business from founder Bob Half. Once finalized, this transaction sets the company on a new course, paving the way for the repurchase of the Robert Half franchises and the creation of a centralized corporate support infrastructure.

1990s: Growth and Expansion

Robert Half is accepted into the New York Stock Exchange. 
OfficeTeam launches, focusing on administrative staffing. 
Robert Half Legal launches, focusing on legal staffing. 
Robert Half Technology launches, focusing on technology staffing. 
Robert Half surpasses $1 billion in annual revenues for the first time. 
Robert Half Management Resources launches, focusing on interim management and project-based financial staffing. 
The Creative Group launches, focusing on creative and design staffing. 

2000s: Leadership and Recognition

First staffing firm to be added to the S&P 500 Index. 
Protiviti launches, growing to become a global leader in internal audit, risk, business and technology consulting.
First listed on the FTSE4Good Responsible Investment Index. 
Chairman and CEO Max Messmer receives two leadership awards. He’s named the Bay Area’s Most Admired CEO in the large public company category by the San Francisco Business Times and receives the Staffing Innovator Award from Staffing Industry Analysts. 
Chairman and CEO Max Messmer is named one of FORTUNE® magazine’s Businesspersons of the Year
Robert Half is named to Forbes list of “America’s Best Large Employers.” 
Chairman and CEO Max Messmer is inducted by the American Staffing Association into the ASA Leadership Hall of Fame
Chairman and CEO Max Messmer was named to Staffing Industry Review’s Staffing 100 Hall of Fame
For the third year, Robert Half was selected for the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index.
Robert Half has once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2021).
Robert Half was recognized by The Wall Street Journal as one of the World’s Most Sustainably Managed Companies.
Chief Executive Officer M. Keith Waddell and President and CEO of Staffing Services Paul F. Gentzkow were named to the Staffing Industry Analysts’ list of the North America Staffing 100.
Robert Half has been voted the winner of a Canadian HR Reporter Readers’ Choice Award in the “Best Recruitment Agencies” category for the sixth consecutive year.
Robert Half named to Forbes’ list of World’s Best Employers.
For the fourth year in a row, Robert Half and Protiviti have been named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index.
Robert Half, including Protiviti, was named one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality™ by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for the sixth consecutive year.
Robert Half named to FORTUNE’s “Most Admired Companies” list for the 25th consecutive year, and is the only staffing firm included on the “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list (February 2022).
Robert Half named one of Barron’s Most Sustainable Companies for the fifth consecutive year.
Chief executive officer M. Keith Waddell and president and CEO of talent solutions Paul F. Gentzkow named to Staffing Industry Analysts’ North America Staffing 100 list.
Robert Half has been voted the winner of a Canadian HR Reporter Readers’ Choice Award in the “Best Recruitment Agencies” category for the seventh consecutive year.
Robert Half named to Forbes' list of World's Best Employers for the second consecutive year.
Robert Half named to Forbes' list of World's Top Female-Friendly Companies.

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