Well, for the time being, you can't die, so knock yourself out with all the hunting you want.
You could go buy a full squad of droids, but they have fairly low health and can't be repaired. You'll probably lose most of your droids, depending on what you're hunting. You can get a full squad of 24 K-4s from the NPC market/shop pretty cheaply, though, so it might be worth checking out (just be sure to pack extra).
NPCs, on the other hand, can be healed, but you need to buy them at least a gun, and preferably some armor and meds too. I wouldn't give NPCs any really expensive items, since they are still fairly likely to die and they take all their items with them when they die. NPCs themselves are fairly cheap to hire, but getting gear for all of them can add up pretty quickly (unless if you want to give them NPC market/shop gear, but that stuff is pretty bad).
It all depends on the funds you have available. If you're pretty broke, a squad of K-4s or NPCs in basic gear should work fine. However, if you have a few million to spare, then I would highly recommend buying bacta, armor, and decent guns for your NPCs.
Money isnt too short, so I'll probably stock up on NPCs and kit them out with basic armour and weapons.
Just as a final few questions sorry:
What is the value in having Heavy Weapon specilists if they're just likely to die and loose you a 5-10m credit weapon?
And re: the medical supplies. Do they need to be spread around the squad or can I just have them all in my backpack for everyone to use? I actually have a medical droid, will it actually work in a combat situation or just stand there?
Don't fight when you can talk ...
Don't talk when you can nod ...
... And don't nod unless you absolutley have to.
You can use meds right out of your backpack. However, only you can use meds; NPCs cannot. So you only get one heal total per round, to use on yourself or on an NPC in your party.
You can click on enemy targets on your scanners and check their gear, so you can figure out their weapon ranges. To avoid losing weapons from your NPCs dying, fight outside of the range the enemies reach. It's probably easiest to level NPCs on creatures, since creatures all have relatively low ranges, and some creatures can't attack at all.
Or grab a bunch of cheap gear for NPCs, or some cheap droids as someone suggested earlier, if you just want to consider them expendable, and level NPCs you actually care about by just setting them to patrol, so they can't die.
They can spawn on any square of a planet that does not have a city slab laid down (or any other players on the square, as that will prevent new spawns - NPCs are fine, though). They only appear within your sensor range, so if you don't have a high perception skill or a ship with many sensors, you would need to move around the whole square to check it for creature spawns, or invest in macrobinoculars, or something of the sort.
Really, you can just move between two adjacent terrain squares without city slabs repeatedly to check for spawns since they have a chance to spawn as soon as someone first enters the square.