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Our Company History and Accolades

Founded in 1948, Robert Half has a long company history of innovation, always guided by high ethical standards and the belief that finding the right fit for a client and candidate creates an engaged and energized workforce.

We pioneered the idea of professional staffing services 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 staffing approach and began placing temporary workers at higher skill levels. Our clients and candidates found value in professional-level staffing, which is why we launched a series of temporary 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 beginning

Robert Half founded by Bob and Maxine Half.

1960s: High ethical standards become 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.
Launch of the “Find Your Bob?” campaign, a revival of the widely recognized “Bob??From Accountemps” radio ads from the 1990s.
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.
Robert Half was named #1 on Forbes' list of America's Best Professional Search Firms and named to Forbes' list of America's Best Executive Search Firms. (May 3, 2017)
Robert Half was named No. 1 on Forbes' list of America's Best Professional Recruiting Firms and selected for Forbes' list of America's Best Executive Recruiting Firms. (March 2019)
Robert Half was named to Forbes’ 2019 list of America’s Best Employers for Women. (July 2019)
Robert Half is honored to be named one of Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity 2020.
For the second 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 2020).
Robert Half is proud to be named one of Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies for the third year.
Robert Half was No. 1 on Forbes’ annual ranking of America’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms and placed fourth on the list of America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms. The company also was named to Forbes’ inaugural list of America’s Best Temporary Staffing Firms.

FORTUNE and The World’s Most Admired Companies are registered trademarks of Fortune Media IP Limited and are used under license. From FORTUNE Magazine, February 2020 ?2020 Fortune Media IP Limited. Used under license. FORTUNE and Fortune Media IP Limited are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or service of, Robert Half.

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