How to Start a Medical Staffing Agency

several healthcare workers lined up in a row with their arms crossed

Last Updated on January 24, 2023

By 2030, older people will make up 21% of America’s population, and while this may not be a cause for alarm, it accounts for a rise in healthcare demand and caregiving. Full-time employees may not be able to meet this increase in healthcare needs, especially with the recent shortage in medical professionals.

Because the U.S. will need to recruit about 2.3 million medical professionals to take care of its aging population, healthcare staffing agencies may be the only way the country can keep up with the increasing demand for healthcare professionals.

With a market size of $23.6 billion, which is expected to grow by 5.6% from 2023-2030, healthcare staffing is a booming industry. From nurse and CNA staffing to medical billing professionals, healthcare staffing agencies are increasingly in demand. If you’re willing and able to supply healthcare workers to hospitals and medical offices, starting a healthcare staffing agency may be for you. A healthcare staffing agency might have a low barrier to entry, but you still need the right information to start and grow your staffing agency. This article covers the details of everything you need to know to start your healthcare staffing company.

Pros and Cons of Starting a Healthcare Staffing Business

As with any business, there are both benefits and downsides to starting a healthcare staffing company. Below we outline some of the most impactful pros and cons:


  • By starting a healthcare staffing business, you improve access to healthcare for individuals, especially in rural areas hit by medical staffing shortages.
  • A healthcare staffing business helps to fill the shortage gap in health professions as agencies can go as far as recruiting outside the state, region, or country to fill these gaps since institutions within the region may not be producing enough professionals.
  • Owning a healthcare staffing business means greater flexibility! Whether you are looking to work from home or choose your own hours, owning your own agency gives you the ability to do so.
  • Because the healthcare staffing market is more than $20 billion (and growing!), there’s quite a bit of money to be made.


  • You may face accreditation and licensing issues, especially when placing out-of-state professionals.
  • Staffing medical roles can be challenging because of the technicality required for specific roles.
  • Healthcare professionals are more expensive to staff as the healthcare field offers competitive pay, meaning it will cost more upfront to hire your workers.
  • It can be difficult to grow your clientele when you are first starting out.

How to Start a Medical Staffing Agency

Starting a medical staffing agency may seem daunting, but it is a relatively straightforward process. Once you follow the steps outlined below, you can consider yourself a healthcare staffing agency owner!

Choose a Specialty/Niche

There are different niches and specialties in the medical field, and this translates to the healthcare staffing industry as well. It is usually easier to specialize in one area of medical staffing when first starting out and incorporate more niches as your agency grows. For example, some agencies staff only essential healthcare providers, such as nurses and physicians, while others focus on providing allied medical professional staffing services, like anesthesiologists or sonographers. It is not recommended to start as a generalist as this can hinder you from landing clients quickly or cause you to earn lower incomes.

If you’re a healthcare professional looking to start a staffing business, it is best to choose a niche where you have the most experience. Not only will you be able to highlight your own industry expertise to land clients, but you can independently contract yourself.

Outline Your Service Offerings and Set Pricing

To be able to supply a successful pool of candidates, you need to outline your offerings and set pricing. Your service offerings should articulate details, such as whether you’ll be providing full-time or contract options, or both. It is also important to ensure your pricing covers payroll, insurance, taxes, business logistics, and any other miscellaneous expenses you face. A markup of 30-50% should take care of these expenses, but be sure to run the numbers yourself and customize your services and pricing accordingly.

Register Your Business

To operate any kind of business, you need to register it as an entity. Before you proceed with registrations, decide if you want to operate as a sole proprietor, an LLC, a partnership, or a corporation. Then, check in with your local laws to find out what documents and government requirements apply to your region. Different laws exist for different states, so researching your state-specific requirements will ensure you properly register your business in your region. Once you’ve registered your business, be sure to keep your documents handy and make note of your Employer Identification Number (EIN), as you will likely need this when filling out other business forms.

Open a Business Bank Account

After you’ve registered your healthcare staffing business with the federal government and any required state agencies, the next step is to open a bank account for business transactions. This will help you track and analyze business income and expenditures as you grow your staffing agency and always know when you’re running at a loss or profit. When considering which business checking account to get, consider the following:

  • Minimum opening deposit
  • Monthly fees
  • Interest
  • Transaction limits
  • Customer support
  • Additional perks, like sign up bonuses and cash back

Note that when applying for this business bank account, you should use your business name and not your personal name.


Running a business requires you to be professional, and that includes your branding and social media aesthetics. Prospective clients will likely search for your business online, and you need your digital identity to accurately reflect your business reputation, values, and client offerings. So, a user-friendly website is an investment you should make. Details such as graphic designs, page layout, imagery, and color palette will impact how potential customers perceive your business, so be sure to spend time making your site as professional as possible. You can choose to customize the website yourself with options like Wix or WordPress, or you can hire web design and branding experts to support the development of you digital identity.

Related: How to Create a Marketing Strategy for Your Staffing Agency

Determine Your Payment Process

To eliminate payment hurdles, you need to determine how you will receive invoice payments from customers. You can set up payment accounts like PayPal, Square, or Stripe and integrate them into your website to accept payments online, or you can plan to have clients mail checks or send ACH transfers to pay their invoices. Additionally, there are several staffing-specific software products that are available that often include billing and payment solutions, such as Akken Cloud and Avionté. The main takeaway here is just to make sure you have a billing solution in place so that you are prepared once you land your first client.

Create a Client Base

A business cannot exist without clients, and to find clients for your staffing agency, you’ll need to put your interpersonal skills to work by reaching out to healthcare managers and executives who hire medical professionals and offer your service. Because of the vast opportunities in this field, it is fairly easy to get your first clients with this proactive approach. Consistent outreach will land you your first clients, and you can go ahead to staff them.

Recruit Candidates

You can find healthcare candidates on platforms like LinkedIn, via word of mouth, on job boards like Indeed, and at healthcare events and conferences. After you’ve compiled a list of candidates, you can screen them and interview suitable matches before sending them to work at your clients’ medical practices.


How do medical staffing agencies make money?

Medical staffing agencies make money by charging fees to recruit and supply medical professionals and allied healthcare professionals to healthcare establishments. One of the most common methods for staffing agencies to make money is through a salary markup, in which the agency charges the healthcare establishment 25% to 100% more than the outsourced employee’s salary, keeping the additional money as revenue. To learn more about how staffing agencies make money, check out our article.

Can anyone open a healthcare staffing company?

Anyone can open a healthcare staffing company, but you might need some healthcare experience to provide the best medical staffing, especially if you’re looking to staff licensed roles. Having experience in the healthcare field can help build your reputation and make it easier to land clients.

How big is the healthcare staffing market in the United States?

The US healthcare staffing market had an estimated market size of $23.6 billion in 2022.

How much do healthcare staffing agencies make?

Staffing agencies can make money depending on a lot of factors such as location and quality of clients. However, they generally make about $103,000 per year.