One day, Robert Crowe woke up and realized he was on the wrong team. With more than 20 years experience in the staffing industry, including 10 at Supplemental Health Care, Crowe fully recognized how inefficient and “old school” the staffing industry in healthcare was.
These agencies would only tell healthcare organizations about the people they wanted them to know, Crowe said. But he knew he could leverage technology to bring more people together without the middleman of the staffing agency.
“I woke up one day and I realized, well, we all have limited sand in our hourglass here on this globe,” Crowe said, “and I’m going to spend the second half of mine trying to work and live towards substance.”
That’s why he created Matchwell in 2017, a platform that matches healthcare clinicians with healthcare organizations. Matchwell first launched publicly in Atlanta in 2019 with $4.5 million in funding, but has since made its home in downtown Durham. By 2020, Matchwell had closed on $4 million in a new round of funding and is now live in 10 states with a wait list across five more, supporting all clinical settings from hospitals, assisted living homes, schools and community service centers.
The way Matchwell works is simple: clinicians create accounts and upload their credentials, and can then see all the client organizations and jobs they qualify for. They can also look through organizations based on their own personal goals, like finding a place with great work-life balance or a specific geography or salary.
Matchwell is different from a hiring agency because there’s no middleman. Clinicians are instantly connected with the hiring manager and can communicate through Matchwell. Matchwell’s value is as an affordable and convenient alternative to these agencies, and the 26-person startup has already attracted 740,000 clinicians in the network.
“As a veteran of the staffing industry, I am on a mission to provide an alternative,” Crowe said. “Healthcare organizations and clinicians alike deserve an alternative.”
A key component of Matchwell’s impact lies in giving back. Matchwell announced a $50,000 school loan sweepstakes for clinicians. The startup also donates a vaccine with every match through a partnership with Durham-based Vaccine Ambassadors.
When Crowe entered the staffing industry, it was not the $21 billion industry it is today, he said.
“I helped build that monster,” Crowe said jokingly. “It was only a $7 billion dollar industry when I got into it, and now I’m going to take it down.”
Crowe intends to grow Matchwell fast, hoping to be in every state over the next two years.
The pandemic brought both pros and cons for Matchwell’s growth. It raised awareness in healthcare organizations that they needed a solution like Matchwell, but Covid-19 also absorbed all their time and energy, making it a tough time to try something new. Still, Crowe thinks that healthcare organizations are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Matchwell has already garnered multiple acquisition offers, but ultimately Crowe said they turned them down because of the importance of the impact they want to make.
“We turned them down because this is not ‘let’s just sell and make money,’” Crowe said. “This is ‘we want to change the industry.’”