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News » Robert Half optimistic despite 15% Q4 revenue drop

Robert Half optimistic despite 15% Q4 revenue drop

Robert Half optimistic despite revenue drop
Photo from Robert Half

CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES — Staffing firm Robert Half retains an optimistic outlook this year despite a 15.2% drop to $1.473 billion in its fourth-quarter revenue for 2023.

In its latest financial report, the firm revealed that its Q4 declines were led by permanent placement revenue, down 22.6%, and contract staffing revenue, down 17.7%. Its adjusted revenue in the United States also fell 16.7%, while international dropped 9.8%.

One bright spot was Robert Half’s Protiviti consulting unit, with revenue down just 7.5%.

“We delivered above-consensus top-and bottom-line results for the fourth quarter, with Protiviti leading the way,” said Robert Half President and CEO M. Keith Waddell.

“Global labor demand continues to be resilient, and talent shortages persist, although both are modestly below their peaks. We are encouraged that our improving weekly revenue trends that began in the third quarter and continued into the fourth quarter are approaching a positive inflection point.”

For the first quarter of the year, Robert Half predicts a 13% revenue decline amid still-cautious hiring. But the tone seems brighter than 2023.

“The tone of client discussions has improved in the last 90 days due to some combination of lower inflation, a more favorable interest rate policy, fewer predictions of pending recession and newly approved staffing levels resulting from the annual budget cycle,” Waddell stated. 

“These factors contribute to a more positive backdrop heading into 2024 than we saw a year ago.”

Robert Half shares dipped slightly on the earnings news, falling by more than 11% in after-market trading. But over the past year, shares have risen 5% to give the staffing firm a $8.4 billion market cap.

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