What I discovered about Robert Half Staffing Managers

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Acct Rep in Schaumburg, Illinois

37 months ago

Looking at a business card from a former Robert Half employee I decided to do some reseach on the company and here are some things that I have discovered about them.

1. They all start off as "Staffing Managers"
2. Majority of them have never worked in a staffing firm prior to RHI
3. Some have previously were account managers, inside sales or worked with
4. None have been with RHI as a staffing manager for more than 2 years, many
5. Some of those that left RHI have left the recruiting field.
6. Quite a few post a summary on RHI on their Linkedin Profile, advertising to
call them for staffing needs.

I have read on other places that they have a very high turnover of 70-100%, and the salary is "fair". It is a sweat shop. If you do not produce, you are out.
One stated that a quota of 20 per week to interview, (not counting how many calls they had to make to get 20 people to spend the day there.

So there you have it folks. While employers today demand experience as well as education, they can be managers right away with no prior experience. I always thought you had to work your way up the corporate ladder, but not at RHI. Other agencies some of the recruiters are there for years and if you would call them next year, they may very well be there, as they don't have such high pressure gigs as RHI does.


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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

37 months ago

It's painfully obvious that Robert Half posts fake ads when you search here and other places and find 10 ads right in a row from them. They simply place the same ads over and over again in order to get people to go sign up. They don't have any jobs. Like you said, they have to sign up a certain number of people per week, or they'll be let go.

So what happens in this cycle? Robert Half pays for ads. Indeed gets paid. Job candidates get suckered and waste their time by signing up for fake jobs. If the Robert Half rep signs enough folks up, they get paid. What exactly has happened there? How about nothing.

Do not respond to Robert Half ads or go to their office to sign up.

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Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

37 months ago

In a semi-related story, I can't tell you how many spam emails I get from insurance companies like MetLife, AIG, etc that look like they are from real people, asking me how I'd like to make "up to $80,000 a year." I get at least 3-4 a week.

Don't these companies know that in today's environment, hounding a candidate with emails makes them look so desperate, that it calls into question *why* they are so desperate?

The truth is, these companies want to suck you and any network you have dry, and you actually have to PAY THEM for training under the assumption that you'll make it all back and more. Scam to the scamth.

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jenab in Austin, Texas

37 months ago

There many be particular issues with RHI but most of what you're describing is industry-wide not company specific. Many recruiting agencies have a very high turnover even for seasoned recruiters, use inflated titles, and post non-existent positions for resume phishing. Even the 'key word search' style of recruiting is prevalent industry-wide.

The titles inflation isn't industry specific, it's a common corporate practice. Fake positions can come from client companies trying to look more robust to their stockholders; the recruiters don't always know that.

Keep in mind that recruiting is a business, one that is often a subsidiary of a larger corporation and it's all about the numbers. The preferred agencies often get 1-3 days to fill a position, then the client will often open it up to several agencies, which is why it's so common to see several duplicate postings of positions on job boards.

Your best bet is to develop relationships with recruiters, and you can start finding them by researching the company as well as the individual (check them out on LinkedIn). The good ones are matchmakers, informed about their areas of expertise (industry/roles) and want to match the best candidates to positions and companies for the win/win. They'll be honest about your prospects and whether or not you're a good fit for the job and even the company.

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Jeff in Denver, Colorado

37 months ago

It's not just Robert Half. A lot of "employment" agencies are sweatshops whose "staffing managers" just scour job boards for openings and resumes and then try to get people to let them submit their resumes for job openings. I get all sorts of phone calls and emails from these sorts of companies for jobs that don't remotely match my resume (often pronounced reh-ZOOM!!!). I even had one call me on a Friday and ask me if I would be willing to do a phone interview that afternoon. After I agreed to, she said that the job was in a city 1500 miles away and that I'd have to start on Tuesday!

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jenab in Austin, Texas

37 months ago

And that's not even bringing up the fact a lot of it is outsourced to India, Jeff.

It all makes the good ones really stand out.

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Jenn in Watertown, Massachusetts

37 months ago

Will someone please explain to me how the staffing agencies make their money? If they're just bringing in people just to say they interviewed a certain number of people, surely, the client company isn't actually paying them or are they? Scratching my head...

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jenab in Austin, Texas

37 months ago

Jenn in Watertown, Massachusetts said: Will someone please explain to me how the staffing agencies make their money?

Most agencies work on commission, some on retainer, and some a mix of both, unless they're inhouse (and even then, they might be contracters). But mostly it's commission-based.

Some of the big companies (the ones that lay off in thousands) often contract with one larger staffing agency and have them on retainer. Other times, it's usually a case of being a "preferred" agency, which means they have first shot of placing candidates, but that expires quickly (1-3 days most likely). Then it's opened up to other agencies.

The recruiters themselves are usually salaried but get a cut of the commission for each placement.

I did recruiting for a few months after being such a good jobseeker I was teaching some recruiter friends how to take advantage of LinkedIn when it was still relatively new. It was eye-opening to say the least.

There was no formal training available (in better agencies peer mentoring can really make a difference). Some recruiters in the more specialized fields actually have experience in those fields (aka verticals). But those seem to be more rare these days.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

37 months ago

Please. These guys aim to sign up the world so that they can tell prospective clients they have everyone, making it useful to go through them.


People at RH and other recruiting agencies know nothing. They'll bring you in, sign you up, blow smoke up your backside and then see you off. You'll never hear from them again. They just want the most people they can have registered *in case* a "client" needs someone. And then they say, "Look at these 500 resumes, we have who you're looking for."


Somehow, agencies must make money. I assume they get a big score every so often. But 95% of what they do is simply trick people into signing up.


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Fred Jung in Fort Lee, New Jersey

37 months ago

Interviewing with a recruiter is free so why all the complaining. Problem is you place too much hope in recruiters. You should only view them as simply another tool to use in your job hunting arsenal. Sign up with as many recruiters as you can. Don't feel any loyalty to any of them. Use them the same way they use you. It's a numbers game. When you sign up with many recruiters, one might actually have a job (temp or full-time) just for you.

I got my best jobs through recruiters. My best job from Nov 2003 to Jan 2009 was through a recruiter that found me. It had the best pay and after 2 years of consulting, it became full-time with the best benefits. I was laid off though. A recruiter that found my resume online got me a job after that though it only last 8 months and the pay wasn't good.

Don't depend on a recruiter. Just use them and continue job searching using other strategies as well.

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jenab in Austin, Texas

37 months ago

Excellent points, Fred Jung. And you bring up an excellent point; recruiters are just one of the tools jobseekers should use.

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Sal in Salt Lake City, Utah

37 months ago

Fred I realize that interviewing with the recruiter is free, since they get paid from the client. But they ask you to come to the office, you have to commute on your own dime to get to the office. If the office is in the downtown area, parking is expensive, the train is not free, and gas prices are going through the roof. You don't get milage from them like you would if you were on a business trip. Keep doing that for every agency in the city, and you have spend several tank fulls of gas. They could talk to you on the phone, send you on the interview, and if an offer is made, then you can go in and fill out the paperwork. I have had one agency tell me to fax the paperwork and complete the application via their software program. Robert Half just brings people in and 99% of them will never get placed.

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BR in Evanston, Illinois

37 months ago

What they are doing to people that are jobless is sad. They are just using people and there should be a law against that. They have not rating in the Better Business Bureau. They also have the highest markup in the industry. They get it from both sides. They were the first in the industry and should be the first major one to go. We have heard of scandles like Arthur Andersen & Enron, I would like to see some kind of thing on RHI in the Media some day that would bring attention to them, not only to people who have been abused but to every person in America that reads the newspaper or turns on the news on TV. Put them to shame.

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Holbac in Nottexas, Texas

37 months ago

I've been a recruiter for Robert Half Technology.

Not all recruiters are created equal, that is for sure. But the team I was on was pretty good.

You ask how we make money. Aside from the convenience for a company to use temp, we know everyone in town. I.e. account executive has been there 10+ years, knows all sorts of hiring managers at companies. They call her when they need someone. I meet 5+ people a week, I probably know someone. For you the candidate, it is free.

If I ask you to meet me it is because I think I have a shot at placing you. I wouldn't spend my time meeting with you and asking you questions if I didn't think it could close a deal. Why do I need to meet you? Because I am going to represent you to a client that may be paying us tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars every month, and I want to have a good understanding of who it is I'm putting in front of my client. I also want to form a long term relationship with you, and provide some value to you, so that you come to me first when you are looking for a new role.

You want to put your resume on Monster and let Acme Technical Staffing's recruiter in Mumbai send your resume to 100 different places, go for it. You might think you're smart because you saved a trip downtown, but that isn't a very good way to conduct a job search.

I'd be violating my NDA to give specific numbers, but I would bet money that the likelihood of your meeting me leading to you getting a job is better than your average onsite client interview. Like I said I asked you to come in because I'm confident it is a good use of my time, and I can get you a job. The ones I didn't place, it was mostly a matter of timing (another recruiter got them an offer before I did).

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Kim in Chicago, Illinois

37 months ago

I have been to the Robert Half Offices a few times, and have never been placed on a job. You say that you want to form a long term relationship with me? The recruiters that I have met with are no longer with the firm. Since most of them are gone after 6 months and the next job is not with an agency what is the point? You only want to meet with me because you are pressured to meet a quota to keep your job. When you meet over a 100 people a month how are you going to keep a long term relationship with all of them? What employer is going to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a $10 and hour temp job? High markup for the client? In this economy the client is better off posting on Monster and sift through the resumes and decide which ones to bring in and keep the budget way under the cost of your inflated fees. Since you are no longer a recruiter for them, tell us why you are no longer there, did they tell you that you did not meet the quota?

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