Staff augmentation is a form of outsourcing in which companies hire skilled professionals to work on specific projects. Depending on the size and requirements, companies can either hire professionals independently or they can hire agencies that provide staff augmentation services.
Before you adopt this solution model, it is important to understand its meaning and use cases, as well as its benefits and how to get great results by working with an augmented team in your industry.
What is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is an outsourcing model built around augmenting talent for short durations. Companies hire skilled professionals that can deliver on tight deadlines and are experienced enough to understand the nuances of joining a project midway and drive it to completion.
As an industry, staff augmentation is growing consistently at a CAGR of 4% and will breach the $90b mark by 2023.
Hiring an agency for the augmentation services is usually the smart way to go about this because of the low turnaround time and access to a wide network of vetted professionals.
How Does Staff Augmentation Differ From Hiring Freelancers or Independent Contractors?
Hiring freelancers or independent contractors means that you still have to go through the processes of recruitment, managing payroll, doing salary/rate reviews. Additionally, you cannot switch the contractor for another one if you believe they cannot fulfill your project’s needs.
With staff augmentation, you can hire the person/team that best suits you or switch them to a different resource if you need more skills. Additionally, the augmentation company takes care of the rest while you pay the company an hourly, weekly, or monthly rate.
Staff Augmentation to the Rescue
Not all types of outsourcing are alike. IT staff augmentation is a rapidly growing industry that helps tech companies of all sizes to bridge their talent gap and deliver projects in time. These team members are skilled, available on-demand, and ready to take on the challenge without you having to commit to a long-term association with them.
Why is there a need for Staff Augmentation Services?
There are many scenarios where your organization might find itself in a bind and need additional human resources.
Talent shortages—a global phenomenon
A recent report by Bloomberg says that over 50% of companies worldwide faced talent shortages due to the limited availability of skilled labor in their vicinity. This problem was extremely pronounced in the U.S. at 69%, followed by Mexico at 52%, Italy at 47%, and Spain at 41%. This is why individuals with technical skills are in extremely high demand worldwide.
How can companies address their workforce shortage?
There are two ways to address workforce shortages. The first is to hire more employees, and the second option is to outsource your talent requirements to an agency. Although both the options seem doable, let us drill deep to find out what is causing staffing shortages if the solution is simple.
Hiring additional employees
Organizations face a lot of challenges while hiring new employees. These include:
- Budgetary constraints with hiring full-time employees
- Time is taken for the recruitment process
- A limited local talent pool
- Specialists in the area know their worth and are more expensive compared to others
What are the Use Cases for Staff Augmentation?
Here are some situations where staff augmentation can help you to easily meet your immediate requirements. You need staff augmentation services if:
- Require additional members for a project that is facing a temporary resource crunch
- Bridge the gap while you hire new resources for your team
- Hire specialized or more experienced resources for a limited period—for example, if your project needs a Unity or Perl developer for a particular module
- Feel the need only to hire talent when you need it—giving you the flexibility to scale up or down on-demand
What are the Benefits of Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation offers numerous benefits that cannot be matched by permanently hiring new talent or outsourcing your project to other entities. These benefits include:
- No administrative overheads
You can hire team members on an hourly, daily, or monthly basis, with no commitments to keep them long-term. Your service provider takes care of these employees’ payroll, insurance, legality, and team-building activities.
- Reduced training costs
As you hire experienced professionals who are already well-versed in their domain, all you need to do is familiarize them with your development environment and project goals, and you’re good to go. These are trained people who get the job done—fast.
- Reduced project costs
Hiring a temporary team for a quick overhaul or a bug fix is much cheaper than maintaining a full-time development team for your project. Companies save up to 50% of their costs by hiring augmented staff. You can get the resources you need on-demand, pay them according to the number of hours spent, and that’s it.
- Location no bar
Hire talent from around the world. You no longer need to look around your local talent pool for the resources that your project requires.
- Talent on-demand
Add or reduce your needs on-demand. Get the flexibility to hire resources exactly when you need them.
What kind of Talent Requirements can Staff Augmentation fill?
With staff augmentation, the possibilities are infinite. The very flexibility of this approach gives organizations the capability to fill various roles with diverse talent sets without compromise. Some roles that staff augmentation can easily fill include:
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Staff augmentation can fulfill the roles listed above and many others—ensuring that your organization can scale up or down on demand.
How Does an Ideal Staff Augmentation Process Work?
Staff augmentation is very similar to a traditional recruitment process, except that you choose from a pool of pre-filtered talent. Here’s how this works:
- Step 1: Gathering requirements
We understand your project requirements, work methodologies, and business goals to ensure that we have the right talent for you.
- Step 2: Interview the talent you need
We provide you with managed professionals who have the skills you need. You interview the finalized candidates to pick those best suited for the job.
- Step 3: Start winning with your new A-team
You bring the newly hired resources onboard with a Q&A session to provide clarity and ensure that everyone is on the same page. We ensure that all the cultural, operational, and other policies of your workplace are understood and followed by the new hires. This includes knowing how to log hours, understanding reportage frequency, chain of command, and project, network, and data access.
- Step 4:Get consistent support
Our client relationship manager will stay in touch with you to ensure that you build a highly productive team with your augmented staff. Your data and systems are kept safe through our access control systems. Additionally, we keep your team members engaged with regular team-building activities.
What do Staff Augmentation Contracts Include?
A staff augmentation contract lists all the terms and conditions that the hiring company and the staff augmentation agency agree to. Here’s what these contracts commonly include but may have fewer or more components:
Note: Please consult your legal team before signing a contract. If you do not have a legal team, speak to a lawyer before signing one.
What are the Problems Associated with Staff Augmentation?
Although the number of problems faced with staff augmentation is few, you may occasionally run into road bumps due to one of the following reasons:
This is a common problem whenever you hire global talent. Whether you’re hiring full-time employees or for a temporary gig, communication issues can often create problems at the workplace.
Security breaches and data and intellectual property thefts happen more often than you may realize. With incidents of cybercrime and IP theft on the rise, it is necessary for every company to ensure data, network and IP security, especially when dealing with external vendors. At Volumetree, we follow industry-standard best practices to ensure total confidentiality, security and intellectual property protection. We sign an NDA with all our clients to ensure that their information and intellectual property is 100% safe and secure.
Your remote workers might not be as efficient as your staff. Building rapport and ensuring that you get the same levels of efficiency from your augmented team can be hit-or-miss if you do not partner with the right agency.
When should you go in for staff augmentation?
Staff augmentation is a great idea for companies of all sizes if you are planning to add staff for:
- Short-term requirements
Temporary staff requirements or is a cash crunch delaying hiring? Staff augmentation is the way to go for you! If you’re hiring team members for the long haul, it is better to hire full-time employees.
- Projects that are not classified or restricted
If you’re working on a project that has classified info, hire your own team. For everything else, there’s staff augmentation.
- Immediate, one-time job requirements
Do you need a specific resource or a small team to get a one-time job done quickly? Staff augmentation is the best choice for you! If you wish to permanently hire an entire team, it is better to outsource your project to a third party or hire your own staff.
A Checklist Before You Finalize a Staff Augmentation Services Vendor
Similar to outsourcing, staff augmentation requires due diligence from your end before you hire the agency. Ensure that you take care of the following:
- Protecting your intellectual property
Keeping your data and IP safe is your responsibility. Sign an NDA with the service provider to safeguard your intellectual property. The resources you shortlist will become a part of your team and will have access to all your data just like your regular employees.
- Ensuring clear payment terms
All payment terms must be clear before you sign a contract with the service provider. This will ensure that there is no confusion and everyone is on the same page.
- Employment benefits and terms
Even though the employees you hire work for you full-time, you must discuss and agree on areas of responsibility, working terms, vacations, and off days with your provider.
- Get the talent you need
Ensure that your provider has a wide selection of talent to ensure that you can get the experience level and expertise you need.
- Switch resources on-demand
Things may not always work out with the team members you hire. You must have the ability to switch developers on-demand if you believe that the individual you shortlisted cannot keep up or is not comfortable with your team.
- Flexibility and multiple pricing tiers
Your service provider must be flexible enough to accommodate your requirements and have multiple pricing tiers that work with your budget.
Why Augment your Team with Volumetree
In today’s fast-paced world, organizations such as yours require the flexibility to scale up or down according to need. In such cases, staff augmentation becomes a highly beneficial component and strategy for you. Get access to world-class talent at a fraction of the cost involved in hiring your own team, with little to no long-term commitment requirements.
We are an experienced staff augmentation company. With over 5 years of experience dealing with clients worldwide, we know what it takes to provide a world-class staff augmentation experience. If you have a project that needs an A-team to get the job done, let us know. Our large pool of engineers, UI and UX designers, and project managers can help you get the job done, fast!
Schedule a quick call with one of our experts to see how we can help you succeed!