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

1948
Robert Half founded by Bob and Maxine Half.

1960s: High ethical standards become a cornerstone

1963
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

1973
Robert Half opens its first international location in London.
1973
Accountemps, the first of many professional staffing divisions, is launched, thus beginning Robert Half’s specialized approach to temporary staffing.

1980s: New leadership

1986
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

1990
Robert Half is accepted into the New York Stock Exchange.
1991
OfficeTeam launches, focusing on administrative staffing.
1993
Robert Half Legal launches, focusing on legal staffing.
1994
Robert Half Technology launches, focusing on technology staffing.
1997
Robert Half surpasses $1 billion in annual revenues for the first time.
1997
Robert Half Management Resources launches, focusing on interim management and project-based financial staffing.
1999
The Creative Group launches, focusing on creative and design staffing.

2000s: Leadership and recognition

2000
First staffing firm to be added to the S&P 500 Index.
2002
Protiviti launches, growing to become a global leader in internal audit, risk, business and technology consulting.
2008
First listed on the FTSE4Good Responsible Investment Index.
2011
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.
2015
Chairman and CEO Max Messmer is named one of Fortune® magazine’s Businesspersons of the Year.
2016
Robert Half is named to Forbes list of “America’s Best Large Employers.”
2016
Chairman and CEO Max Messmer is inducted by the American Staffing Association into the ASA Leadership Hall of Fame.
2017
Chairman and CEO Max Messmer was named to Staffing Industry Review’s Staffing 100 Hall of Fame.
2017
Robert Half is once again named first in our industry on Fortune® magazine’s list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” (March 1, 2017)
2017
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)