Medical assistants make a great addition to any healthcare team. They are able to help with administrative tasks like scheduling appointments as well as clinical tasks like taking patient vital signs.
Hiring a good medical assistant can keep your patients happy and well cared for while helping your faculty stay organized.
However, finding well-trained medical assistants with the skills and knowledge to perform well can be a challenge. Healthcare workers are in high demand and there never seem to be enough employees.
Medical assistant staffing agencies offer a solution for organizations struggling to hire and retain medical assistants. They can be used short-term or long-term to fill vacant positions.
This guide goes over if medical staffing agencies are worth it, how Stepful can help you hire medical assistants, and some medical assistant staffing agency options.
Are Medical Assistant Staffing Agencies Worth It?
A staffing agency is an organization that helps healthcare facilities fill vacant positions. They hire medical assistants who are willing to travel to different facilities and can be ready to start working in just a few days when needed.
Before using a medical assistant staffing agency, however, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of them.
Pros of Using a Medical Assistant Staffing Agency
- Hire faster: Staffing agencies work well for companies who need to hire employees quickly. Instead of spending weeks recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new employees, staffing agencies can have a medical assistant ready to start work within just a few days.
- Save time searching. Posting on job boards, interviewing candidates, and reading through resumes takes a lot of time. Managers looking for new hires might sacrifice a lot of their time looking through potential candidate resumes rather than taking care of and supporting the staff they already have. In fact, up to 15% of human-resource time is committed to finding new employees.
- Agency pre-vets candidates. Before an employee is hired, most companies try to perform a background check, reference check, and possibly drug screening test. Staffing agencies take care of all of these double checks before they send a candidate out to their new job site.
- Experienced candidates. Since companies who use staffing agencies don't want to spend time training brand-new medical assistants on the job, most staffing agencies only hire healthcare workers who have at least several months of previous experience. Workers sent from staffing agencies usually have the basic knowledge and skill set to jump right in and start working without much guidance and training.
- Medical leave coverage. When good employees take temporary medical leave, it can be difficult to find a replacement for them. A staffing agency can send an employee to fill the holes in a schedule for a few weeks to months, allowing for a seamless transition when the permanent employee returns to work.
- Save on employee benefits. Employee benefits make up over 30% of the cost of employee salary. While agency staff generally charge more per hour, companies do not have to offer common medical assistant benefits to temporary employees.
Cons of Using a Medical Assistant Staffing Agency
- Expensive: Agency employees have to be flexible, quick learners, and able to adapt to new facilities without much training. Because of this, they are usually paid a higher hourly rate than permanent employees. This, combined with the fees that are charged by the agency itself, mean that agency medical assistants can become much more expensive than permanent employees.
- Often temporary. When a company is desperate for more staff to keep their patients taken care of, an agency is a great choice. Often, agency staff offer a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Healthcare facilities may have to hire short term agency medical assistants while they look for more permanent staff.
- Unsupportive permanent staff. It is common knowledge that agency healthcare workers are paid a higher hourly wage than permanent staff. This can cause negativity and resentment towards the temporary workers. Agency staff are often victims of workplace bullying, which can negatively affect the entire culture of an organization.
- Low agency employee motivation. Because a temporary employee knows they won’t be around forever, they may not have the same buy-in or commitment level as a more permanent employee. A temporary medical assistant is less likely to go the extra mile, because they are not motivated by job longevity.
How Stepful Helps Healthcare Facilities Hire Medical Assistants
We have a 4-month online medical assistant classes that end with graduates taking their Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam. Our program consists of 80 clinical hours and an externship to help students get real-world experience so they can jump into working after earning their certification.
There are two ways Stepful can help you hire quality medical assistants: our Hiring as a Service platform and our Learning & Development platform for training existing employees.
Hiring as a Service for Medical Assistants
We can work with you to create an exclusive source of candidates tailored specifically to your organization’s needs. We also do predictive analysis on our students’ performance during training to supply the highest quality candidates.
On average, our partner organizations only have to do 3 interviews with Stepful graduates compared to 6 with non-Stepful grads. In addition, 6-month retention rates with Stepful-trained employees are 75%, compared to 40% with others.
We recently completed a pilot with one healthcare organization in which we trained 100+ healthcare professionals across the United States, improving their employee retention by 80%.
We also offer partner organizations a retention guarantee with which we will refill any roles if a Stepful graduate leaves your organization within 6 months of being hired.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Stepful can help you hire certified medical assistants, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Learning & Development for Existing Employees
In addition to our Hiring as a Service platform, we can also train your employees without healthcare backgrounds to become medical assistants, coders & billers, and pharmacy technicians.
We also can upskill your current medical assistants to become more skilled through our training program, making them more efficient and effective employees.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Stepful can help you train existing employees to become medical assistants or upskill your existing medical assistants, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also have a four-part series that goes over how to decide if an employee upskilling program is right for your organization and how to set one up:
- Part 1: What are Entry-Level Healthcare Workers Looking for from Employers | How to Attract Talent
- Part 2: ROI of Upskilling Entry-Level Healthcare Employees & Deciding If It’s Right for You
- Part 3: How to Set Up an Upskilling Program for Healthcare Employees
- Part 4: How to Choose Healthcare Training Programs: Rubric for Evaluation
Best Medical Assistant Staffing Agencies
If you choose to use a medical assistant staffing agency, make sure you choose a reputable company with good customer reviews. Here are our top picks for the best medical assistant staffing agencies.
All Medical Personnel
All Medical Personnel is one of the largest staffing agencies in the United States. They offer staffing services in every state and help healthcare facilities find nurses, physicians, dental workers, medical assistants, and workers in many other healthcare professions. They were voted one of the best places to work by the Dallas Business Journal, and have thousands of employees ready to work.
- Phone number: 1-800-706-2378
- Address: 4790 Regent Blvd. Irving, Texas
- Website: https://allmedial.com
- Locations served: All 50 states
Team1Medical earned both the client and talent Best of Staffing awards in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. They help ensure that all of their candidates are prepared to work in healthcare by requiring CPR certification, a drug screening test, and up to date vaccinations of all of their employees.
They have helped match employees with healthcare organizations for over 20 years.
- Phone number: 713-590-2980
- Address: 2401 Fountain View, Suite 800. Huston, Texas
- Website: https://www.team1medical.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Locations served: Ohio, Georgia, Texas
Clinical Staffing Resources
Clinical Staffing Resources is a staffing agency that hires medical assistants, therapists, nuress, maintenance workers, and housekeeping staff. They help organizations find both per diem and direct-hire employees.
Clinical Staffing Resources offers competitive employee benefits as well as perks like weekly direct deposit, flexible scheduling, and assistance with obtaining licensure.
- Phone number: 631-282-8500
- Address: 188 Park Ave., Suite B, Amityville New York
- Website: https://www.clnicalstaffingresources.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Locations served: Florida, New York
RCM Healthcare Services
RCM has been helping healthcare organizations find employees since 1975. They currently hold the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval, showing that they have high standards for their employees.
They have locations in 14 states and as of 2022 have over 2,000 active employees. They have helped over 72,000 healthcare professionals match with a healthcare facility.
- Phone number: 877-611-5027
- Address: 575 Eighth Avenue 6th Floor, New York, NY
- Website: https://rcmhealthcare.com
- Locations served: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas
Medical Worx Staffing
Medical Worx Staffing offers temporary employees, recruitment services, and payroll services. They background check, reference check, and criminal check all employees before sending them out to jobs.
Medical Worx Staffing is part of the National Association for Health professionals and partners with Baylor, USMD, Methodist Health, Texas Oncology, and other high-level healthcare systems to provide highly qualified staff.
- Phone number: 972-480-6500
- Address: 12700 Hillcrest, Suite 125, Dallas, Texas
- Website: https://www.medicalworx.com
- Locations served: Texas
How Much Does a Medical Assistant Staffing Agency Cost?
A staffing agency acts as a middle person between the medical assistant and the healthcare facility they work for. Staffing agencies are paid by the employer, and the staffing agency then pays the medical assistant after subtracting their fees.
In addition to paying the medical assistant, staffing agencies are responsible for providing benefits and liability insurance for the employee. Some staffing agencies also take care of scheduling and pay a per diem to their employees who have to travel for work.
The cost of hiring a staffing agency varies greatly between location and type of employee. A staffing agency may charge anywhere from 25% to 100% of the hired employees wages.
Other Ways to Hire Medical Assistants
Staffing agencies can help an organization in need of staff right away, but they are not always the best long-term solution to staffing issues. For companies in need of medical assistants, there are many different ways to find good employees.
- Post on job boards. One of the most common ways to look for new employees is to post on job boards. Job boards like Monster, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter allow you to post a job for a small fee. Generally, employers can pay a premium to have their job featured on the front page or to have their job posting emailed out to potential matching candidates.
- Contact local colleges & training programs. Training programs and colleges are often eager to help their graduating students find employees. Many medical assisting programs like Stepful’s even offer job placement assistance or guarantees for their new graduates. Partnering with a college or medical assisting training program could be a great long term plan for having access to potential job candidates.
- Hire a medical assistant recruiter. Similar to a staffing agency, a recruiter is paid to find, pre-vet, and send job offers to potential medical assistants. A recruiter works best for larger organizations who have substantial hiring needs.
- Ask current employees for referrals. Current medical assistants often know other medical assistants from their schools or training programs. Good employees may be able to recommend friends or acquaintances who would be a good fit for the workplace.
- Offer a sign-on bonus. A sign on bonus gives candidates a good incentive to start a job in a facility and stay there for an extended period of time. Most sign on bonuses are paid out in chunks, with more incentive paid the longer an employee remains in their position.
What to Look for When Hiring a Medical Assistant
When you are looking for a medical assistant, you want to find someone with enough skills and knowledge to perform their job well. You also want to find someone whose personality and values are a good fit for your team.
Here are some other things to look for when hiring a medical assistants:
Medical Assistant Certification
Potential employees who have earned their medical assistant certification show that they have enough training and knowledge to pass a certification exam and are likely to perform well in the job.
Certified medical assistants have at least a basic knowledge of patient care, safety, infection control, and healthcare ethics.
There are a few different types of medical assisting certifications. For example, Clinical Certified Medical Assistants (CCMAs) tend to focus more on direct patient care tasks such as taking vital signs and drawing blood
Medical Administrative Assistants (MAAs), on the other hand, focus more on administrative tasks like billing and scheduling.
When hiring a certified medical assistant, make sure you hire one with a certification that makes sense for your company’s needs.
Medical assistant certifications include:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
- Medical Administrative Assistant (MAA)
>> Learn more: CMA vs RMA vs CCMA
In addition to being a certified medical assistant, you may want to hire candidates who have certifications in:
- Medical Coding
Hiring a medical assistant with prior medical assisting experience can cut down on the time you have to spend training and educating your new employee. Employees with any kind of healthcare experience should be able to transition smoothly into a medical assisting role.
Candidates with experience in customer service or administrative work may also have easier transitions to medical assisting jobs.
A lot of medical assisting requires good computer skills. Scheduling appointments, filling out medical records, and billing and coding all require some basic computer skills.
Good communication is essential for all medical assistants. They need to have clear verbal and written communication as well as good telephone skills.
Hiring a bilingual medical assistant can make a big difference for organizations that see a lot of non-English speaking patients.
Attitude and Values
Perhaps the most important thing to look for in a potential candidate is their attitude, work ethic, and willingness to learn. Even the most experienced medical assistant can negatively affect your organization if they have a poor attitude.
Try to find employees that are excited about helping others, eager to learn, and enjoy working as part of a team.
Other Medical Assistant Hiring Resources
Here are some other resources we have related to hiring medical assistants:
- How to Hire Medical Assistants
- Sample Medical Assistant Interview Questions
- Medical Assistant Job Description & Job Post Template
- Skills to Look for When Hiring Medical Assistants
- Strategies for Improving Employee Retention in Healthcare
- Nursing Retention Strategies
- How Stepful Helps With Healthcare Staffing
- Stepful New York Healthcare Staffing