Anyone have experience working with Robert Half "Salaried Professional Service"?
July 25, 2012 at 1:38 am #172777
I’d like to ask anyone who has ever worked/applied to work for Robert Half / Accountemps what your experiences were?
I told them I was done with 3 parts of CPA and wanted to get experience (I have ZERO). This was with the Accountemps office in my area. This was about 10 days ago. Now today I received a call from a “different division” of Accountemps (but same company) called “Salaried Professional Service”. They gave me this whole pitch about how great it is to get experience while going to different companies on different assignments (there may be 3 different projects you are assigned to per year or more). They mentioned something about getting paid even if there are gaps in the weeks between projects. This sounds ok I guess, but I am extremely leery about Accountemps/ Robert Half in general. I know the game they play and I know they may be interested in me because they may feel they can bill me out at a great rate. I’m reluctantly going to meet with the person who is in charge of the “Salaried Professional Service”.
Any warnings/ other advice is GREATLY appreciated. Like I said, I’m new in accounting land and even with the CPA passed I still have to earn my stripes.July 25, 2012 at 2:31 am #357879
I’ve heard of them. Bad reviews on dice.com’s message board. Ridiculously low rates.
I’ve never gotten a job with them no matter how many times I’ve worked with them on a “req” when other consulting firms placed me.July 25, 2012 at 2:56 am #357880
@bob Thanks for the response. I must say I’ve seen you on some other boards here and I think we may be in a similar “boat”. You seem a bit frustrated with the whole job search. I think I share your frustration. I love getting job advice from people who aren’t looking in this market. To me, it is quite brutal and very impersonal. I just started looking (very briefly) after passing the 3rd part without really applying to any companies directly yet (accept for a regional firm that said “no thanks”). The thing I cannot fathom is how someone as educated as yourself (and myself) cannot find work. As I mentioned, I’m just starting to look and I don’t know your exact situation or any of the pitfalls you may have already faced. All I can say is I’m trying my best to stay optimistic. I’m absolutely PETRIFIED of passing the 4th part because I’ve had this hidden fear in the back of my mind. The fear is OH GOD, I”VE PUT IN ALL OF THIS HARD WORK TO EVEN SIT FOR THE CPA, GOT THE CPA, and NOW AN HR PERSON WHO LIKELY HAS NO IDEA OF WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CPA IS IN CONTROL OF MY DESTINY. Scary times we live in, I’m hoping for the best for people like us who deserve a good job/career. Best of luck.P.S- I used to think hard work made it’s own luck but now I”m starting to wonder if that is true.July 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm #357881
Bob & BARF~
I think I’m in the same boat. What’s interesting to me is that I’m more “qualified” for government jobs than anything else (civilian jobs often say I’m “over qualified”). I can often get a rating of “qualified” for government jobs all the way from GS-3 to GS-12, but have been un-qualified for civilian jobs because I don’t have an accounting degree yet I have a CPA. Also, the civilian sector (around here anyway) often wants someone with a 2 year accounting degree…that’s the extent of education they are willing to pay for so if someone like myself with a CPA comes along, they think (rightly or wrongly) that I won’t stay long so they’ll have to fill the position again soon – and they are not willing to even give me a chance…and they don’t bother to ask my intentions. Fortunately for me, I’m a Vet so I’m getting help on the job front.July 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm #357882
I think experience varies regionally. I got my current jobs through accountemps, and I’ve been happy-ish with my experience. It’s not something I am going to stay in long-term, but its good for experience if your other option is something like working retail. The pay varies. I have two part time jobs through them– $9.50 an hour for bookkeeping (I lowballed myself on this one because it was my first accounting related job, I was still in school, and I thought I’d be in the job for just a few months– the place I work for pays them $17 an hour for them to pay me $9.50), and $13 an hour for staff accountant in industry. They do ask you how much you want, which is how I got $13 at my second assignment. For reference, in this area, a bookkeeper makes about $15 an hour according to glassdoor.
– fast (I got my first assignment within two weeks)
– flexible (they have full or part time work, lots of different kinds of industry, taking a day off is not a problem, etc.)
– experience (almost entirely in industry)
– a lot of people get hired on by the places they temp for
– you get paid every week
– you don’t get paid much
– they don’t tell you where you’re going to work until a day or two before your assignment starts
When you go in for your “interview” or whatever the call it, dress professionally, take it seriously, and you are way more likely to be placed quickly. That should go without saying, but the lady who interviewed me thanked me profusely for actually showing up in a suit and has been really willing to work with me however she can. YMMV.July 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm #357883
We live in an economic depression. Companies want to pay cheaply. So they believe if you are overqualified, you deserve to starve.July 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm #357884
I believe Accountemps are more for AR/AP clerk type stuff. I applied a looong time ago and the same thing happended to me. They started putting me into consideration for more upper level positions.
Granted this was years ago, and I ended up taking a job elsewhere.
FWIW, from my experience with Robert Half, they follow the same pattern as other staffing agencies: 9 out of 10 of he recruiters are garbage, the rest are A+ material.July 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm #357885
I’ll chime in with something I forgot to say in the original post. I’m leery of their tactics I’ve heard about. They are a power player, I looked at their recent earnings and they are generating 4 billion a year in revenue through all business lines. When you look at their numbers you realize you have to take lower pay to get experience. A trade off for certain. I guess I’m willing to take 35k and them pocket 30k. I”m just scared they will mess up a direct hire because of their greed. I guess I’ll go to the appointment and see how the “manager” of this division is.July 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm #357886
If you decide to work for them, work as an hourly consultant, and not salaried. If you’re salaried, you don’t get overtime and they WILL work you to death.
Work as an hourly consultant, that way when they work you to death you get a bigger paycheck.July 25, 2012 at 7:23 pm #357887
RH is a beast in terms of their sheer size.
A few things:
Its unfair to bitch about low rates or being afraid that they will bill you are rates that are “too high”. Every company is in it to make a profit. You can only worry about your rate, not the rate that is being charged for you. If your rate is acceptable to you its silly to be too wound up about what a company is paying for you. If you have zero experience you need to get your foot in the door somewhere.
They have FANTASTIC opportunities for operational type accounting positions (Controller, CFO, etc). I’ve worked with them in the past for that reason and although it was a totally different division I worked with I will say that I was treated very well. They get bad reviews because potential employees get upset when RH doesn’t find them a job. But its important to remember that they actually work for the EMPLOYER. If they don’t have an opportunity that you are a good fit for its not really fair to get super angry at them. They have way more applicants than they do open positions. That being said they help companies hire for positions that are otherwise not advertised. I got my current job on my own, but once I complete my CPA will be looking and plan to contact RH. I’ll be looking for a CFO, Director of Finance etc gig- and those don’t generally show up on Craigslist.
Any temp job sucks and ultimately any company that places temps will have an agreement saying you cannot be directly hired for x months (usually 6 months) unless the company pays a placement fee. I do not think thats unique to RH. Years ago I lost out on a job because I was placed with the company as a temp and although they wanted to hire me were not willing to pay 15k to do so.
A lot of it will depend on what sort of job you want. For someone like me having a recruiter is perfect and will always be my preference. Back when I was doing staff accountant type jobs, AR clerk stuff, etc things were different. I would NOT want to work with a recruiter in that sort of situation unless it was for temp work. Companies are willing to pay more for temp employees, but generally are not willing to shell out 20k to hire someone they could find themselves for 20 bucks on craigslist. However they are willing to pay 50-60k for a high level job for which qualified employees are harder to find.
It sounds like you fall into the entry level side of things in which case its way more unlikely that you would find a permanent gig with a recruiter anyway… So if it were me I would take any temp job they can throw your way and in the meantime look for a better job on your own.July 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm #357888
@Sandra- yes you do make some good valid points. One thing I’d like to say is they contacted me, not the other way around. Meaning, an accountemps office forwarded my resume up to robert half salaried professional service after meeting with me. They didn’t mention that they were going to do that, so I was kind of surprised. My understanding of their service is they use you wherever they need you and you may rotate often (4 times a year). I’d certainly be appreciative for them IF they are able to get me into a good company long term. I’m not your “average” entry level candidate so to speak in accounting. While I have no previous experience in an “accounting role”, I still have good experience at some major corporations. I also have 3 parts of the CPA done and expect to be finished in August. So I will play it by ear and see how it goes.July 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm #357889
I met with the “Salaried Professional Services” Manager today. This individual was rude, condescending, and generally not someone I’d want to work for. They did a great job belittling my resume, and lack of experience. The hilarious thing is this person CALLED ME. I’ve never been more offended/shocked in my life. I thought almost being done with the CPA would earn me 1% respect, I’d earn the other 99%. This didn’t happen at all, I was treated like a bug they would like to step on. I was told they can’t help me because their clients want “a premium service” and they pay a premium for it. They want someone who knows how to do things. I laughed and said, yeah I don’t know how to do any of that stuff (full sarcasm mode)! This stupid idiot didn’t even take the time to read my resume (since they called me in and then said they made a mistake). I have a lesson I learned today I’d like to share with anyone who cares to listen. Accountemps/Robert Half/ Office Team/ Whoever they are going by this week should be avoided at all costs. They are a HORRIBLE company and I was VERY reluctant to go there. Now my experience not only confirms the reviews I read, but cements my original feeling that you should always trust your gut. What a waste of time. Sigh.July 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm #357890
On Dice.com, in its forums, they refer to Robert Half as Pay Half or Half a job.July 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm #357891
The funny thing is they were suggesting I am only accoutemps / temp material. But they were also suggesting my resume had too many jobs. Now tell me, wouldn’t constantly changing jobs through accountemps make me look even worse? Unreal. Never again.July 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm #357892
Why even try to get a temporary job if you’ve almost got a CPA?July 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm #357893
BARF, I can’t agree more with you. They are a total waste of time. Highly unprofessional, ignorant, and rude.July 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm #357894
@75 That makes 2 of us. Thanks for providing me with your experience. Could you provide me with any advice or methods that have been successful in landing you interviews?
@ cardinalhoya That is a good question. My CPA prep experience has been consuming all of my time. Now that I”m almost done I wanted to “put myself out there” without putting in the time commitment of a full time job search since I’m still studying through August. I’ have a tendency to deeply focus on ONE thing at a time. So after the CPA is done I’ll shift to job search mode.
I’m not taking on the CPA ego thing. I love the credential, and I think it has major value. That being said, I’m willing to work my way up and have no sense of entitlement. The only people I feel more qualified than are the ones who are landing good jobs right out of college with no CPA. That is luck any way you would like to slice it.July 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm #357895
BARF, it’s completely random. I haven’t had any success whenever recruiting software is involved.
The only times I’ve had success is whenever a recruiter had received my resume relatively early after posting a job opening. They usually receive 500 resumes within the first day only.July 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm #357896
@75 May I ask your age? I know this isn’t “appropriate” but I’m curious of a few things.
Also, what is your background? Are you fresh out of a masters program, bachelors, or do you have experience in a field that is “kinda” accounting but not really.
I worked for a MAJOR mutual fund company as a licensed trader. It’s funny that I was good enough for them but Robert Half doesn’t want me…..LMAO!July 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm #357897
I’m 31, not fresh out of anything apart from the CPA, with good accounting experience and some well explainable resume gaps.
The CPA has put me in a different category. I’m clearly overqualified for most of the regular accounting positions and underqualified for others. My B.S. is in economics, not accounting, which is something Taleo doesn’t particularly love.
There’s something in my resume that intimidates most of the recruiters. I think I should dumb it down for some of the positions I’m applying for.July 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm #357898
@75 Yes I agree about the intimidation thing. I’ve been trading securities on my own while going through school. I have been series 7 licensed for a while. I’m pretty sure recruiters/hr people don’t take the time to even learn what that is. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. I went back to school for Accounting and received an associates degree in 2011. I’ve passed 3 parts of the CPA. Yet this “person” (is that what they were)? today felt the need to totally unload on my about how they could not help me and they “can’t help everyone”. I felt the need to “unload” on them but really had to refrain. I love the saying “don’t burn any bridges”. Sure, when you hate someone you will want to. But I”ve had it come back and bite me in the behind a few times. I just bite my tongue now. You will probably be pleased to know I got in a few shots at “this person”. I love the whole “interviewing the interviewer” tactic. If an interview is going so badly, please use this. Basically, feel free to be as condescending as you would like and ask any questions you normally would not. Ex.–do you have any questions for me? Look down at your paper/notebook review your paper and say, NOPE. Then, ask THEM about THEIR background. This is usually the thing that pisses them off if they don’t want to talk to you. YES! What did you do? I hate you but I’m REALLY interested in the things you have done to become such a complete d-bag in your everyday life/career. Please send me daily notes on the steps I can take to NOT be like you. Thanks in advance- IT WAS SO NICE MEETING YOU! P.s- I’m 33July 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm #357899
I try not to work with any staffing agency. They always call with some great job looking for my education/skills/experience, offering more pay than I am asking for, benefits, good company culture, etc. I talk with the agency after they get done stroking my thing they tell me they will present me to the company and I should hear back soon. I never get the job offer. Usually it was “filled internally” or some bs but they have some job, in a dying industry, twice as far from my apartment for half the pay. The company usually faces “challenges” and has “difficult” people to work with. Then they ask if they can present me for that job.
I’ve heard that recruiters have quotas on how many people they must interview and how many resumes they must collect. These are filler material to present with the candidate they actually want to get hired, just so they look like they have infinite people to select from.
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