Last Updated on January 28, 2022

To hire middle or senior-level developers or specialists in the software development space, you choose to conduct in-house recruitment, which sucks your time. Moreover, when you need an expert team player at high priority, following this approach would not be a good option. 

Here, you would be required to take a smart move using a perfect hiring model, namely staff augmentation. It targets in-house team expansion to assist you in hiring professionals for your project without taking much of your time. 

This post will cover a profound explanation of staff augmentation, types of staff augmentation, staff augmentation services, its benefits, its working, challenges, pros and cons, and a lot more.

Let’s start without any delay.

What Is Staff Augmentation? 

The organizations use an outsourcing strategy to staff their project and meet submission deadlines successfully. This technique includes evaluating the current staff and determining additional proficiency. 

In simple terms, staff augmentation is the utilization of outside personnel temporarily to augment an organization’s capability.

Also, using staff augmentation services, brands can diminish their payroll service, recruitment, and project implementation costs. This hiring model is easily scalable, which means it’s damn easy to end this sort of partnership despite terminating an employment contract. 

Types of Staff Augmentation

Before we further learn more about staff augmentation, we should know the types of staff augmentation.

There are three types of staff augmentation:

Skill-Based

This type demands a specific skill set, like data processing, clerical work, basic copywriting, transcription, etc., but the relevant skill is not essential. 

Commodity

You demand a reliable employee to conduct tasks, like warehouse work, events, retail, or manual labor, but not a specific skill set. 

Highly-Skilled

You need highly advanced skills, like contract law, software engineering, and brand design, that you can get only through experience or training. A level of skill is also needed. 

Types of Staff Augmentation Services

Well, there are varied options for accurate staff augmentation talent. Picking the right and apt relies on the particular requirements of the organization. 

Let’s check out the choices you can select as per your company’s needs.

Master Vendor Staffing Providers 

It’s a large-scale staffing program that a single vendor runs. It’s a commodity type, which is best for highly-commoditized labor requirements where the cost is low, and the scale is significant. 

For example, Aerotek, Manpower, Kelly, etc. 

Gig Platforms

These are online platforms that offer immediate access to independent workers. It’s commoditized skill-based that is best for task-based requirements for more commoditized skillsets. It’s widely known for its rapid speed and flexibility. 

For example, Freelancer.com, Upwork, etc. 

Traditional Staffing Providers

These are temporary labor specialized in skill-based commodities, best for non-critical projects requiring high-level skills. It’s mostly preferred because of its flexibility—

for example, TEKsystems, Adecco, Experts, etc. 

Boutique/Specialized Staffing & Consulting Firms

These are smaller agencies or firms that target highly-skilled and specialized talent. It’s known for its best quality services—
for example, Patina Solutions, PintB, etc. 

Direct Independent Relationships

These contractors are directly engaged by organizations and offer highly-skilled and skill-based talent. It is best at meeting the requirements through professionals—

for example, WorkMarket, TalentNet, etc. 

On-Demand Talent Platforms

Such platforms offer access to highly skilled, curated talent. These are best for highly-skilled talent that is deployed quickly.

For example, Toptal, BTG, etc. 

How to Choose the Right Staff Augmentation Model?

Many companies use various providers, at a time, according to their needs. 

While considering staff augmentation, one should remember determining their goals and priorities.

Moreover, you should weigh the pros and cons (we will discuss later in this post) before choosing any model. 

For example, if you seek a machine learning expert, considering cost would be impractical. 

When to Use Staff Augmentation Services

Now, we will talk about the scenarios in which the organizations prefer using staff augmentation. 

You can employ staff augmentation when you get caught up with the below scenarios:

When you want an add-on to your in-house team

As we know, employee augmentation states extending an existing in-house team to get more people to perform workflow jobs or stuffing the expertise space finding professionals who are competent enough in specific tech stack in specific IT fields. 

When you need to augment your team quickly

You can go with staff augmentation if you require a local person holding proficiency in any particular software, like ERP software or something like that. This model saves time that we waste in finding a professional. You only need to connect with the vendor, go through the candidate’s CVs, and interview them. 

You are looking for high-level skills

Software engineers hold skills that demand training, time, and experience to gain expertise. The skill level also holds significance as the workforce augmentation projects mainly include experienced developers; juniors are rare as they don’t have time to train them. It’s a faster and more straightforward way to adapt an adept engineer to the project working ambiance. 

When your project is in the hand of a tech-savvy manager

You need to meet the management part when selecting a resource augmentation model. You are fully responsible for team management and product development. It states you need to be a tech-savvy and good manager. 

When you need to interact well with the team

By picking a staff augmentation model, you will fulfill your project requirements and have complete control over your project. 

Furthermore, every team member would be required to report to you. Also, they will be a part of your in-house team. 

What are the Benefits of Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation comes with various advantages. Let’s look at a few below:

Flexibility

You may hire as many IT specialists as you want with team augmentation. Also, you can scale that team up and down. You can begin with two QA engineers, iOS developers, and a UX/UI designer, yet you can work just with Android or iOS developers later. 

Resource Saving

The definition of staff augmentation that relies on your business requirements may assist you in saving hiring resources. Although to get staffing for your project, you need to run according to the vendor’s time. The necessary time frame to hire augmented employees is determined just by the proficiency level of the staff augmentation company. 

Direct Communication

If you outsource software development or web development, the vendor will account for every detail. Although, when it comes to a staff augmentation selection, you hold the authority to assign the jobs, plan sprints, and ultimately control the process through corporate project management tools, like Trello, Jira, etc. Being constantly in touch with you, the developers will directly report to you only. 

Growth and Adaptability

Flexible hiring permits brands to expand their operations on trial with no investment loss or risk of failure or full-time workforce. Staff augmentation services offer growing businesses various options by permitting them to hire as per the project. 

High Productivity

To expand staff, one needs to consider high productivity. In simple terms, the team you hire needs to be focused on the project, dedicating their effort and time. So, accordingly, their efficiency level should also be higher than an outsourcing team that can handle various projects at a time. 

Affordable Prices

If you find hiring full-time employment quite expensive, you can go for an augmented team. It charges hourly, including hardware expenses, software, training, and office rent. For this, the cost for in-house development services is typically low. 

How Does Staff Augmentation Work?

Let’s take an example for a better understanding.

Suppose you have an internal CRM system and you want to update it. Also, your current team doesn’t include any experienced or specialists who can make your product better. 

So, you opt for an outsourcing software development vendor, despite choosing the traditional recruiting process, like exploring, interviewing, and then onboarding. 

Here, the vendor picks competent engineers holding experience on similar projects and shares their CVs with you. You can interview the chosen experts and sign a contract with them if selected. 

Such a staff and resource augmentation approach performs perfectly and suits the best to short-term projects, as they demand less time to finish. 

One more is likely to happen in which you require to change a current engineer as he’s on leave. So, here, the vendor will help you find the right programmers for a decided time and stuff in the gap of experts in the team. 

Need to expand the team fast

If you are looking for a proficient candidate in a specific stream, you can go with the staff augmentation model to save your time and emerge with a suitable and best professional. You just need to connect with a vendor, review the CVs of the candidates, and interview them. 

Have an in-house team

When you want to extend your current in-house team, you choose to hire more people holding the caliber to conduct various workflow jobs using employee augmentation. 

Have a tech-savvy manager on your side

Using a resource augmentation model means performing management yourself. In this, you completely stay in charge of team management and product management. It demands you to be a tech-savvy and good manager. 

Need better communication with the team

Hiring an augmented team will perfectly meet your business needs when you want complete control over your project. That team will also be a part of your in-house team placed for you. 

Need people with high-level skills

Software engineers hold the skills that demand training, time, and experience to be experts. The skill level also has significance. Human resources augmentation projects hardly include junior developers as they need time to train. It’s faster and easier to adapt a skilled engineer to the working environment and project. 

What are the Challenges of Staff Augmentation?

Well, the staff augmentation role will not prove beneficial for you if you don’t remember the key challenges that a company can face. 

So, let’s scroll and know them better.

Quality Control

The companies seeking professionals for their projects should verify their caliber and expertise by reviewing their past work and accumulating feedback from their previous clients.

Moreover, they need to ensure that the candidate’s proficiency meets their staff augmentation needs. 

If they fail to do so, they may lead to project delays, security risks for end-users, and expense overruns. 

Technical Expertise

You need to go through an attentive selection model that can help you examine the candidates’ profiles and keep an eye on their experience in your needed domain. 

If you find that your augmented team’s performance is worse than what you requested, the faster you walk to hire new specialists may end up with your delayed project.

Language & Time Barriers

This is the most common staff augmentation challenge that the clients may face. During the development workflow, you may misunderstand because of the conflicting level of English. 

Although, you can get rid of this issue by checking the English level of your vendor by consulting with its reps or connecting with its staff members. 

Security Issues

As the staff augmentation business model needs engaging 3rd party integration for internal operations, here, security is a key concern. The project and client security is essential and should not be pushed to risk. 

For that, staff augmentation brands should undergo frequent security audits to locate the issues of security hazards and threats. Also, they need to follow entire protocols to get a hold of NDAs signed post employing the augmented staff to ensure complete security.

What are the Pros & Cons of Staff Augmentation?

Now, we will check out the pros and cons of staff augmentation that every brand needs to know before using its services. 

Pros of Staff Augmentation

Complete Control Over the Staff

The staff augmentation will allow you to extend your staff and get complete control over it, which will provide the full details of their working hours, processes, tasks, and more. It allows you to likewise control a specific project or job results. 

Remove the Recruitment HR & Overhead Management

With the staff augmentation services; the vendor will take responsibility for the HR and recruitment management you need. It permits you to save time and cost associated with the recruiting staff. 

Reduced Costs

As various staff augmentation organizations use resources from worldwide; they hold the caliber to offer personnel at a comparatively lower price. To provide you with an idea about the average savings that staff augmentation can offer, the following are some of the positions along with associated savings that a vendor can offer to its clients:

  • Systems Engineer: About 48.77% Cost Savings
  • QA Specialists: Around 55% Cost Savings
  • Help Desk: Approx. 46.14% Cost Savings
  • Software Developer: over 52% Cost Savings

Additionally, to reduce salary costs, one needs to save on expenses relevant to an office computer, space, and equipment as the staff will be performing remotely.  

Reduce or Increase Staff On-Demand

Staff augmentation allows you to quickly cut or add resources per your company’s needs. You can temporarily add resources through staff augmentation and cut them after the project completion. 

This method permits you to scale your business in a costly and less risky way as you don’t need to hire full-time employees. 

Access to a Big Pool of Trained Professionals

As many staff augmentation brands have branches worldwide; you can get access to a massive pool of talent regardless of area limitations. It permits you to hire niche skills faster and meet your needs on time.

Also, countries and cities often hold specialized skills they promote and cultivate, which offers you a chance to emerge with the top talent of particular knowledge and caliber. 

Cons of Staff Augmentation

Miscommunication

However, most countries speak English, every country holds specific dialects that may lead to potential miscommunications. 

One should explain vital instructions better to ensure the message is clearly understood to avoid this. It will diminish communication errors and potentially prevent the waste of time. 

Reduced Accessibility Because of Remote Staff

For staff augmentation, providers use resources from countries with a lower cost of living to diminish costs.

For this reason, the staff offered will be performing remotely, which may not be as accessible compared to someone working in the same workplace. 

Different Cultural Backgrounds

Different cultural backgrounds influence the management of a person.

Moreover, language, religion, and history may affect an individual’s mindset and work habits. 

So, it’s usually recommended that one read books and articles relevant to learn how to manage people from certain countries to which your staff augmentation provider belongs. 

Staff Augmentation vs. Outsourcing

Outsourcing surely eases the hiring job providing the most common models, staff augmentation, and project-based outsourcing. 

The significant difference between these two outsourcing models is given below. Let’s check them out:

Parameters Project-based OutsourcingIT-augmentation Services
Control Over Team, Performed by Software Development VendorClient
EfficiencyBest for traditional businesses, big projects, etc.Cost-effective for short-term and small projects
Target ResultResources
FlexibilityIn attaining the client’s business objectivesFor altering needs
Specialists Offer analytics & designers, QA specialists, engineers, project managers, etc.Software engineers
ScalabilityScalableNot scalable

Conclusion

In brief, staff augmentation is the best solution for organizations to diminish prices while holding essential resources to support business productivity. 

Moreover, staff augmentation offers you the flexibility to increase and lower resources according to the business requirements. So, be attentive towards the pros and cons of staff augmentation as, if used right, it may prove to be cost-effective for your business. 

Author

CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.