Robert Half International

Robert Half CEO Harold Messmer has been around long enough to know how to ride a wave. And he has surfed the tightening of labor markets like an old pro. The jobless rate for professionals has been low, especially in the company’s sweet spot: placing accountants, marketing specialists, attorneys, and programmers. Messmer excels by targeting small and midsize companies. Smaller clients are less likely to seek discounts, and don’t mind paying a higher price for top-caliber personnel. In 2006 most of its units grew 20% or more, and the one that places permanent accountants saw revenue jump 53%. Messmer also has pushed deeper into the international arena, breaking ground in both Germany and Spain, where the market for temp staffing is less developed than in the U.S. And he set up his temp business for the first time in Asia by taking advantage of existing office space in Robert Half units already operating there.

Overall Grade


Market Data


Market Value

$6.6 Billion




Sales Growth Rate**



12-Month Sales

$4.0 Billion

12-Month Net Income

$0.3 Billion

Total Return Past 12 Months


Past 36 Months


Economic SectorIndustrials
IndustryHuman Resource & Employment Services
The overall sector letter grade reflects how the weighted average of the return on income, or return on equity, and sales growth grades compare with others in the same sector. For the overall grade as well as the ROE/ROI and sales growth grades, an "A" places a company in the top 7% of its sector and an "A-" in the top 14% of the sector. The actual ranking was done using the underlying numerical measures. Grades are for information only.
* For nonfinancial companies, three-year average pretax operating profit before interest and special items as a percentage of average invested capital. For financial companies, pretax profits as a percentage of average shareholder's equity.
*Three-year average annual sales growth based on the most recently reported 36 months, calculated using the least-squares method.

Harold M. Messmer Jr.

Harold M. Messmer Jr., 61

CEO since 1987

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Data as of 2/28/07 provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat