How to Start a Staffing Agency

In 2023, at least 56% of staffing leaders predicted growth in double digits. It showed the thriving nature of the industry.

A staffing agency helps companies to find the right people for their work. Its main role is to connect job seekers with businesses that need staff with some expertise. These agencies lend a helping hand in the hiring process, allowing them to select and screen people for vacant positions.

As the job market and hiring processes keep changing, a successful agency must stay updated on the current industry trends.

This guide aims to offer knowledge on what and how to start a staffing agency.

What is a Staffing Agency?

Most often confuse staffing agencies with recruiting agencies. However, both have different purposes and services compared to each other. For instance, recruiting agencies only match suitable clients with the hiring team. But, staffing agencies work with the company for the entire hiring process.

A staffing agency offers recruitment services to companies searching for people to hire positions. The companies may look for temporary or permanent staff for their business.

They work closely with clients to understand their specific workforce needs and identify candidates who are an ideal fit for those requirements. Staffing agencies maintain databases of prescreened and skilled workers who are open to working across different industries.

Staffing Industry Growth


When a client approaches them with an open position, the agency leverages its candidate pool to select applicants whose skills, experience, and qualifications align with the job description. They coordinate interviews, negotiate compensation, and handle legal paperwork and onboarding— essentially managing the entire hiring process on behalf of the client.

Moreover, along with sourcing and hiring, staffing agencies provide ongoing services throughout the hiring process, such as:

  • Skills Testing
  • Background Checks
  • Training
  • Performance Evaluations

Simply put, staffing agencies facilitate end-to-end recruitment services to varied industries according to a company’s needs.

Upcoming Trends in Staffing Agencies

The staffing agency trends are being reshaped yearly, and aspiring agency owners must keep up with them. As the workforce and market dynamics transform, staffing firms must align their services and strategies with emerging needs.

Key Hiring Trends For 2024


Some key staffing agency trends to look for in 2024 are:

1. More Focus on Flexible Working Options

After the pandemic, more companies are looking for candidates that are comfortable with a remote or hybrid work option. This is better for the workers as it helps balance work and life. On the other hand, companies are saving on infrastructure and amenities.

The staffing agencies also provide candidates who are open to flexible options. Keeping a database of freelancers and gig workers also gives staffing agencies a competitive edge.

2. Advances in HR Technology

HR technology is rapidly evolving to make recruiting and managing candidates easier. We’ll see more staffing agencies adopt artificial intelligence tools to take over tasks like:

  • Screening resumes
  • Doing initial video interviews
  • Digitally onboarding new hires
  • Processing payroll

These AI tools will help agencies work much faster. They won’t have to manually sort through hundreds of resumes or schedule simple screening calls. Technology will handle the basic tasks, leaving humans to build relationships and make strategic placement decisions.

HR email list will also be key for staffing professionals to directly connect with HR contacts in any industry they want to work in. This makes it easier to learn about open roles and pitch the most relevant candidates.

3. Generative AI Assisting Recruiters

Recruiters will start leveraging more generative AI tools to find great candidates faster. Tools like chatbots can win over talented communities. On the other hand, AI copywriting can assist with creating effective job posts.

4. Recruiting Non-Traditional Employees

To address talent scarcity, agencies are expanding their talent pools beyond conventional resources.

Recruiting retirees, people with disabilities, gig workers, stay-at-home parents, and other groups provides access to motivated workers with transferable skills. Creating partnerships with community organizations helps connect with these demographics.

5. Emphasis on Upskilling and Reskilling

Training existing workers is often more economical than finding new talent. Manufacturing and tech clients will expect candidates who are open to gaining new skills.

Assessing transferable skills and providing training programs tailored to industry needs expands candidate pools.

6. Efforts on Diversity and Inclusion

While diversity recruitment has come a long way, more improvement is needed. The existing biases and obstacles that many minorities face daily need to be addressed.  Companies expect staffing partners to supply diverse, equitable, and inclusive candidate profiles.

Prioritizing traditionally underrepresented groups and creating an inclusive recruitment process helps agencies meet this need.

7. Compliance with Workforce Regulations

Given the highly regulated nature of staffing, strong processes for assessing pay, classifications, and safety will differentiate agencies. Staying updated on all labor regulations is crucial. This minimizes legal and compliance risks.

How Staffing Agency Works

Recruitment Process


As a business, when focusing on how to start a staffing agency, it is vital to recognize the key processes and components that make these agencies operational.

How do these agencies bridge the gap between talent and open positions? Let us help you learn how staffing agency works.

A reliable staffing agency gathers and maintains a collective database of potential candidates. It can include details of people searching for full-time, part-time, or temporary job opportunities in diverse industries. Client organizations approach the agency with open job requisitions and descriptions of their staffing needs.

The staffing agency screens its candidate database to identify and shortlist qualified individuals who match the job requirements. The selected candidates are evaluated.

After the thorough assessment, information on the most suitable candidates is submitted to the hiring company for consideration and interviews. Upon selection, the staffing agency handles legal employment paperwork, agreements, and onboarding formalities.

They continue to monitor engagement, manage timesheets/payroll, and provide support until assignment completion.

Key Components of a Staffing Agency

For a staffing agency to operate smoothly, certain components need to be in place, such as:

1. Candidate Database

Each staffing agency takes pride in its large database consisting of screened candidates. Larger firms maintain databases with millions of applicants. Niche and specialized agencies have smaller yet highly targeted talent pools.

2. HR Email List

An HR email list is a crucial resource for a staffing agency. It contains the contact information of HR professionals across various industries. This list can establish direct communication with potential clients, send job postings, and update them about the latest candidates that fit their requirements.

3. Strong Recruitment Process

Staffing pros work hard to attract active and passive candidates to grow their pipeline. Tactics involve advertising, job boards, social media, events, referrals, and more.

4. Efficient Screening and Testing

Professionals carefully assess candidate resumes and ensure only the best and most suitable ones get selected. The screening involves interviews, skills testing, checking references, and verifying education and work history through background checks.

5. Robust Staffing Software

Robust Staffing Software


Specialized staffing software helps manage requirements and match candidates to specific job openings. The agencies use various AI tools, digitize hiring paperwork, and provide insights through analytics.

6. Placement Specialists

These specialists have expertise in specific industries, skill sets, and client needs. They use networking and negotiation skills to place optimal candidates according to client requirements.

What are the Requirements to Open a Staffing Agency?

The first step is to take care of the office setup, finances, and compliance to get a staffing agency running.

Once you cover those initial needs, let’s find the answer to – what are the requirements to open a staffing agency.

1. Develop a Business Plan

A detailed business plan is vital when starting any venture, and staffing agencies are no exception. Your plan should cover your mission, target market, competitive analysis, startup costs, pricing strategy, processes, growth projections, and funding requirements.

It helps set a proper direction and serves as a roadmap for launching operations.

2. Choose a Business Structure

Decide on a legal business structure. For example, most staffing agencies come under either limited liability companies (LLCs) or S corporations. So, choose a structure that offers personal liability protection and tax advantages in your area.

Also, consider forming separate legal entities for each specialty division based on risk and compliance needs.

3. Acquire Business Licenses

Research the local license requirements where you wish to set up your agency. After all, it is mandatory to apply for the right business licenses and permits. Further, these permits vary based on state and city.

There are federal, state, and local laws covering elements like worker safety, discrimination, data privacy, and general staffing practices. Proper licensing shows you’re committed to meeting regulations and doing things by the book.

4. Secure Funding

Funding is the stepping-stone to start any business. Sufficient startup capital helps cover costs like renting office space, purchasing office equipment, and hiring employees. To fund these expenses, a staffing firm spends around $3,000-$250,000 as an initial seed finance. It may come from savings, loans, or investors.

5. Choose the Right Location

Ideally, look for commercial office space in a well-connected area for easier talent sourcing and client meetings. The location should project a professional image to attract strong candidates. Workplace size should accommodate current and future hiring needs.

6. Invest in Equipment and Technology

Invest in good quality office furniture, multiple phone lines, broadband internet, computers, applicant tracking software, databases, phones, safety equipment, etc. Choose specialized staffing software that effectively manages high candidate volume and requisitions across service lines.

7. Build a Talent Database

Actively start sourcing, screening, and adding skilled candidates to the firm’s talent pool across in-demand skill sets and industries. A healthy talent pipeline must exist before beginning sales efforts to service potential client requirements.

8. Hire an Experienced Workforce

Bring on board staffing specialists and recruiters, ideally with industry connections and placement expertise that aligns with your focus areas. Also, hire salespeople to promote and sell services to corporate clients. The workforce strength can be scaled up as operations expand.

9. Get Insurance

Purchase adequate general business liability and errors and omissions (E&O) insurance to mitigate risks from legal claims, especially around employee injuries or other disputes. Consult attorneys to determine prudent coverage levels for your niche and staff size.

10. Develop Robust Compliance

Given the highly regulated nature of staffing, establish strong processes to ensure compliance with labor laws around candidate vetting, wages, worker classification, privacy, and workplace safety. Stay current on all employment-related regulations.

What is the Future of the Staffing Industry?

Future of staffing agency


Many ups and downs have changed how the staffing industry works. The reasons are new technological advances, changing workforce dynamics, and economic shifts. As businesses are reeling from the effects of these shifts, many wonder what is the future of the staffing industry.

Experts predict that going forward, there will be further adoption of AI and automation, a growing gig economy, and stronger compliance. How? Let us explain.

With artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) entering recruitment, staffing firms will rely extensively on AI and ML for tasks. These tasks may range from semantic search to video interviewing.

The gig workforce is expected to expand dramatically as companies embrace agile, remote talent. Staffing agencies facilitating reliable access to skilled independent contractors on demand will see greater demand.

As misclassification lawsuits and regulations intensify, staffing agencies will invest heavily in compliance. Strong protocols around pay, benefits, safety, and data privacy will become a key differentiator.

While AI and technology will optimize efficiency, the human touch will still matter. Experienced recruiters who can address nuanced hiring needs and provide workforce insights will continue to be valued by clients.

Businesses wondering how to find clients for staffing agencies need to leverage technology while retaining human insight and adaptation skills.

Bottom Line

Starting a successful staffing agency needs planning, preparation, and execution in all key areas of the business. Researching and learning about how to start a staffing agency will set you on the right path for it.

A good staffing agency helps meet job seekers with employers. So, it must create a strong value proposition and gather a sizable pool of diverse talent.

While the staffing landscape continues to evolve, agencies that position themselves as workforce solutions experts, providing value beyond just filling in requirements, will grow.


1. What is a staffing agency example?

A staffing agency, forexample is Randstad, a global company that provides hiring services. It matches candidates for temporary internships and permanent job positions across multiple industries.

2. What is the future of the staffing industry?

The staffing sector registered steady growth in the past few years. They are going to focus more on technology, hire people opting for flexibility, and concentrate on compliance and data insights.

3. What are the 5 functions of staffing?

The 5 key functions of a staffing agency include:

  • Recruitment
  • Screening
  • Interviewing
  • Onboarding
  • Compliance Management.

4. What is the scope of staffing?

A staffing agency’s scope is extensive. They have flexibility in meeting diverse workforce needs. Whether companies require temporary workers or want to hire directly, staffing agencies can deliver the right talent.

5. How do you find clients for a staffing agency?

Staffing agencies can find clients through:

  • Networking events
  • Cold calling/emailing
  • Social media outreach
  • Attending HR conferences
  • Leveraging existing relationships and referrals

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