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Healthcare Staffing Agency 101: Working, Benefits, Charges & More

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What do you call a company whose entire purpose is to put super-heroes to work? You guessed it – healthcare staffing agencies. Also known as medical staffing agencies, these behind-the-scenes superstars are the wind beneath the wings of many of the healthcare professionals out there making a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. Today, we’re breaking down everything you ever wanted to know about healthcare staffing agencies. Let’s take a look at the overall market and break down the different segments within the healthcare staffing industry.

Segments in Healthcare Staffing

The global healthcare staffing market reached a staggering $64.4 billion

Travel Nurse – The segment with the largest market in 2022, travel nurses accounted for 63% of the healthcare staffing industry’s revenue. While this number can be attributed in part to the global pandemic, the travel nurse segment experienced a 6X growth factor from 2019. And while SIA forecasts a 25% decrease in market share in 2023 that may continue into 2024 because of budgetary concerns associated with contingent labor, the continued nursing shortage will likely still have healthcare systems relying on travel nurses to fill gaps in care.

Locum Tenens – This segment of healthcare staffing has been around for centuries and differ from the travel nurse segment in a few ways. The primary difference being that locum tenens (Latin for placeholder, or substitute) providers can be physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, other healthcare professionals, and even non-medical healthcare workers. The length of assignments is also different in that travel nurses typically work in 13-week increments. A locum tenens provider can work anywhere from a day to several months, to years in some cases. According to one report by a leading locum tenens service provider, the number of physicians taking locum tenens assignments has increased by 88% since 2015, with 90% of U.S. healthcare facilities using locum tenens annually.

Per Diem – The ultimate fill-ins for contingent staffing, the per diem segment represents travel healthcare professionals who are used to fill open roles or shifts on an as-needed basis without committing to a contract. Similar to a daily labor recruitment model, per diem workers can be leveraged at a moment’s notice offering a great deal of flexibility to healthcare systems when sudden gaps in care occur. This segment of the healthcare staffing industry is expected to grow by 5% in both 2023 and 2024.

Allied – The National Health Institute defines allied health practitioners as – “a large cluster of health care related professions and personnel whose functions include assisting, facilitating, or complementing the work of physicians and other specialists in the health care system, and who choose to be identified as allied health personnel.” Allied health roles include things like diagnostic medical sonographers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists and more. The allied health segment is expected to increase by as much as 18% through 2026.

What does a Healthcare Staffing Agency do?

In a nutshell, healthcare staffing agencies specialize in matching qualified healthcare professionals with both temporary and permanent job opportunities in a variety of healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and more. They serve as intermediaries between healthcare facilities and the professionals looking to work for them, providing a valuable service to both sides of the equation.

A healthcare staffing agency may choose to specialize in one or all of the four industry segments referenced above and play an integral role in keeping the wheels of healthcare turning.

Benefits of Working With a Healthcare Staffing Agency

Working with a healthcare staffing agency offers a number of benefits to both healthcare professionals and medical facilities. Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages.

More job opportunities – Healthcare staffing agencies have established relationships with healthcare facilities and can often offer access to exclusive job listings that may not be publicly advertised. This can increase your odds of getting matched to the right job that aligns with your skills, experience, and preferences.

Streamlined hiring process – Working with a healthcare hiring agency can drastically reduce the time-consuming tasks of resume screening, interview coordination, and reference checks for healthcare organizations. It also saves healthcare professionals valuable time and effort in their job search.

Better job support – Healthcare staffing agencies provide support and guidance to their candidates throughout the job search and hiring process, and assist with resume writing, interview preparation, negotiation of job offers, and more. Their success is determined by the success of their candidates, so ensuring you’re well-prepared to land the job is critically important.

Continuity of care – For medical providers, working with a healthcare staffing agency can minimize or even eliminate gaps in care, resulting in better patient outcomes.

Flexibility – Because healthcare staffing agencies often need to fill temporary, or short-term roles, healthcare professionals have the flexibility of trying out different roles to see what feels like the right culture fit for their unique personality and goals.

Choosing the Right Healthcare Staffing Agency

When it comes to choosing the right healthcare staffing agency, there are a several factors to consider.

  • Expertise – First and foremost, you want to ensure that the agency specializes in your specific area of expertise. Whether you’re a nurse, doctor, or allied health professional, it’s important to find a medical hiring agency that has experience placing professionals like you in the right job positions.
  • Reputation and track record – Look for reviews and testimonials from both healthcare professionals who have used their services and the facilities they work with. This will give you some insight into the agency’s level of professionalism, reliability, and the quality of job opportunities they provide. And speaking of job opportunities, take a close look at the agency’s network of clients and jobs. A diverse and extensive network indicates the agency has a wide range of options for professionals, increasing your likelihood of finding the right fit.
  • Level of support and guidance – What kind of support does the agency provide throughout the job search and hiring process? Do they offer resume assistance, interview preparation, and negotiation support? These services can make a big difference in landing your dream job.

The Hiring Process: From Application to Placement

Just like working with any recruiting firm, you’ll need to fill out an application and submit your resume to the healthcare staffing agency. This typically includes your personal information, education, work history, and any relevant certifications or licenses. Make sure to provide all the necessary details to give the agency a comprehensive understanding of your skills and qualifications.

Once your application is submitted, the agency will review it and determine if you meet their criteria. If you’re a good fit, the next step is to schedule an interview with you to further assess your skills, experience, and career goals. This interview can be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video call, depending on the agency’s preference.

After the interview, the agency will begin the process of matching you to the most suitable job opportunities. They’ll review their database of available positions and consider your preferences, such as location, schedule, and specialty. If they find a potential match, they’ll present the opportunity to you and coordinate an interview with the healthcare facility.

After successfully completing the interview with the healthcare facility and an offer is extended, the agency will assist with the negotiation of your contract, including salary, benefits, and any other terms. If you accept the job offer, the agency will then handle all the necessary paperwork and administrative tasks, such as background checks, drug screenings, and credential verification. They may also assist with any licensure or certification requirements.

Depending on whether the role you accept is a temporary, permanent role, or direct hire role, the agency will continue to provide support and guidance throughout your assignment. If it is a temporary role, they will assist you with finding another role once the assignment is finished. They will be available to address any concerns or issues that may arise and ensure a smooth transition into your new role.

Pay and Benefits for Healthcare Staffing Agency Workers

Healthcare staffing agencies typically offer competitive compensation packages that include hourly rates or salaries, depending on the type of employment. The pay rate can vary depending on factors such as experience, specialty, location, and shift differential for working nights or weekends. The healthcare staffing agency may also offer benefits such as health insurance, dental and vision coverage, retirement plans, and paid time off. These benefits can vary depending on the agency and the specific job position. It’s important to carefully review the benefits package offered by the agency to ensure it aligns with your needs and preferences.

Charges for Using a Healthcare Staffing Agency

Most healthcare staffing agencies charge a fee to the healthcare facility for finding and placing a qualified professional. This fee is typically based on a percentage of the professional’s salary or an hourly rate for temporary positions. The exact amount can fluctuate depending on factors such as the agency’s services, the job position, and the location.

As a healthcare professional working for the agency, you usually don’t have to pay any fees directly to the agency. Instead, the agency’s fees are covered by the healthcare facility. This means that you can take advantage of the agency’s services without incurring any additional expenses.

Trends in Healthcare Staffing and Future Outlook

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, so does the field of healthcare staffing. Several trends are emerging that are shaping the future of healthcare staffing agencies.

Increased Demand + Workforce Shortage

One major trend is the increased demand for healthcare professionals across the industry spectrum. An aging population, advances in medical technology, and the ongoing need for quality care is driving an unprecedented demand for skilled healthcare professionals. But the rising shortage of healthcare professionals is nearing crisis mode. As a result, healthcare staffing agencies will continue to play a vital role in filling gaps in care and connecting healthcare professionals with job opportunities.

The Rise of Telemedicine

Another trend on the rise is the telehealth and remote work in the healthcare industry. The global pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth services, and many healthcare facilities are embracing remote work options. This opens up new possibilities for healthcare professionals to work from anywhere, and healthcare staffing agencies are adapting to this changing landscape as well.

Diversity and Inclusion are Priorities

Diversity and inclusion are becoming more important across all industries field, but especially in healthcare staffing, where recruiters are looking for a wider field of candidates to address the massive workforce shortages. There is a growing focus on recruiting and hiring professionals from underrepresented backgrounds to ensure a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Healthcare staffing agencies are actively working to promote diversity and connect professionals from diverse backgrounds with job opportunities.

Looking ahead, the future of healthcare staffing agencies looks promising. The demand for healthcare professionals is only expected to increase, creating a continuous need for these agencies to keep hospitals humming and patient care flowing.

Recruiting technology will also play a crucial role in the future of healthcare staffing, with advancements in AI and data analytics helping healthcare staffing agencies speed up and improve their ability to source and match the right healthcare professionals to the right jobs.

This is where an AI sourcing platform such as Arya – can be a game changer for healthcare recruiters. Arya helps healthcare organizations rapidly discover and engage the candidates most likely to succeed in the role. But even better, Arya can remove the entire burden of sourcing from healthcare staffing teams with Applicants on Demand (AoD). Arya’s AoD service delivers AI vetted, qualified applicants directly to your ATS. With predictable, pay per applicant pricing, AoD helps you better manage your budget, and reach your hiring goals faster. Stop sourcing and start hiring today with Arya’s AoD service. Contact us now to learn more!


How do healthcare staffing agencies find job opportunities for professionals?

Healthcare staffing agencies have established relationships with various healthcare facilities. They receive job listings directly from these facilities and match them with qualified professionals in their database. They may also have exclusive job opportunities that aren’t publicly advertised.

Do I have to pay any fees to a healthcare staffing agency?

As a healthcare professional, you typically don’t have to pay any fees directly to the agency. The agency’s fees are usually covered by the healthcare facility. So you can take advantage of their services without incurring any additional expenses.

How long does it usually take to find a job through a healthcare staffing agency?

The timeline for finding a job through a healthcare staffing agency can vary. It depends on factors such as your specialty, location, and availability. However, these agencies often have a large network of clients and job opportunities, which can speed up the process compared to searching for jobs independently.

Can I work with a healthcare staffing agency if I’m looking for permanent employment?

Absolutely! Healthcare staffing agencies can help you find both temporary and permanent job positions. They have a wide range of options available to meet your career goals, whether you’re looking for short-term assignments or a long-term position.

What kind of support can I expect from a healthcare staffing agency during my job search?

Healthcare staffing agencies provide support and guidance throughout the entire job search and hiring process. They assist with resume writing, interview preparation, and negotiation of job offers. They are there to help you every step of the way, ensuring you are well-prepared to secure your desired position.

What is Arya’s Applicants on Demand Service?

Arya’s advanced AI and talent intelligence identifies, engages, and delivers highly qualified applicants directly into your ATS, eliminating the burden of sourcing your team. You only pay for what you get with AoD, allowing you to better manage your budget and still meet your hiring goals.


  • https://www2.staffingindustry.com/Editorial/Healthcare-Staffing-Report/April-13-2023/Summary-of-SIA-s-healthcare-staffing-industry-forecast
  • https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230322005095/en/Report-More-Physicians-Are-Taking-Short-Term-Locum-Tenens-Assignments
  • https://www2.staffingindustry.com/Editorial/Daily-News/A-look-at-SIA-s-healthcare-staffing-forecast-Healthcare-Staffing-Report-65209
  • https://www.bls.gov/

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