Nurses are in high demand; in 2018 we’re still experiencing the nursing shortage that we’ve been experiencing for years. Why is this? Well, one of the contributing factors is the population of the UK is living longer, we have an aging population presenting more illness and more disability and putting more pressure on our medical resources. Hospitals and care facilities are understaffed, so sourcing the well qualified staff needed to fill some of these positions is important in keeping our hospitals and care facilities going.
Setting up a nursing agency is a little different to setting up a regular recruitment agency, it’s a specialist form of recruitment. Although this is a niche area of recruitment, it is not to say that you need experience in or particular knowledge of the nursing industry, but recruitment knowledge and experience is of course an advantage and preference for your venture to glide easily to success.
You’ll need a comprehensive business plan, which will include but is not limited to, laying out your goals, your project timeline, projected financial plan and your marketing. Many of the pointers given here are the same as those we would give for starting any recruitment agency; we have further information on our how to start a recruitment agency blog.
Do your research; knowing your market is vitally important when you’re beginning any new venture. This means knowing your competitors, identifying if and where there is a gap in the market you might fill and identifying who your target audience will be. Not only will you need to define your audience, your potential clients, but plan where your base of clients will come from, where you will find them.
Plan your brand, you need to speak to your target market (which you have already identified), so ensure the language you use, colours you pick, logo and name reflect the brand and service you will be presenting to your clients.
Developing your online presence should be covered in the marketing segment of your business plan, but the importance of being online is so vital that we’re separating it here.
It has become fairly simple to create your own website, not having the funds to have a website built for you is no longer a barrier to creating a really informative website on WordPress or Squarespace, for example. Online is how the majority of workers will find you, so carry your branding across to your website and provide useful content and clear information here.
It’s always necessary for recruitment agencies to take out workers insurance; when you’re running a nursing agency, your nurses are giving patient care and therefore may be open to a higher risk in their day to day jobs. You may also want to consider some form of screening for your workers. As you are the point of introduction between your workers and your clients, you need to know that your workers are qualified, professional individuals.
Figure out if you need to be registered or not. Unless your staff are providing care in individual homes your agency should not need to be registered with care quality commission. If you’re staff are filling hospital positions or positions in care homes then you should be fine, but you want to get off to the best start possible so simply check and if you need to, then register.
Have patience, you won’t build a client base or a base of nursing staff overnight. If you have planned well your agency will grow. Having the patience and the drive to work to find a strong pool of both of these is going to be vitally important in building a successful agency.