Recruiting new employees is not cheap - and it’s not fast, either. Hiring a new software engineer, on average, will set you back $4,700 and take 58 days!
Staff augmentation can help businesses reduce these upfront recruitment costs and shorten the time to fill talent gaps. However, before you adopt this model, it is imperative to know exactly what it is, when it’s appropriate to use, and how you can put it into practice to see the greatest benefit for your organization’s recruitment strategy.
In this article, we demystify the concept of staff augmentation services and outline its potential impact on your business and technology operations.
- What is staff augmentation?
- When to use staff augmentation
- How to succeed with team augmentation
- Staff Augmentation with SoftKraft
What is staff augmentation?
To get started, we first need to answer the question “what is staff augmentation?”
In short, staff augmentation is an outsourcing model that allows you to bring highly skilled tech talent onto your team without the time and overhead required when hiring someone as a full-time staff member. Depending on your needs, you can utilize staff augmentation services to fill a single gap on your team or to build up a full dedicated team via an outsourcing company.
Either way, typically you would begin the process by working with a staff augmentation provider or outsourcing company to interview candidates they have available. You would then select team members that fit your requirements best. The team members you choose then immerses themselves into your existing internal team, maintaining your company culture and working in line with your development process and strategic goals.
Types of staff augmentation services
To answer the question “what is staff augmentation,” we first need to understand the three primary staff augmentation models:
Sometimes simply referred to as “project outsourcing services,” commodity staff augmentation is a business model in which a company provides temporary workers in order to complete a specific project or tasks.
There are a few things to keep in mind when considering commodity staff augmentation. First, it is important to carefully consider the skills and experience that the organization needs. Second, the organization should have a plan for integrating the new staff into the existing workforce. Finally, the organization should be prepared to manage the new staff and monitor their performance.
Typically the commodity model is used to source workers without specific specializations. If you’re looking for help fulfilling tasks like data entry or repetitive manual testing, commodity staff augmentation might be the right fit.
Skill-based staff augmentation is a staffing model in which organizations identify the specific skills and knowledge required for a particular project or position, and then hire staff with those skills on a short-term or long-term basis. This can be an effective way to get the skills and knowledge you need without having to invest in training or development for your own staff.
There are a few things to keep in mind when considering skill-based staff augmentation. First, you need to identify the skills and knowledge you need. Then, you need to find experts who can provide those skills. Finally, you need to integrate the expert into your team and manage the relationship.
With this type of flexible team augmentation services, organizations are after a specific skill set, but are not necessarily requiring a strategic, expert-level staff member (as they would the highly-skilled model).
Highly-skilled staff augmentation can be used to address skills shortages or fill business-critical positions, fast. By hiring experts in specific areas, you can free up your own employees to focus on other tasks.
There are a few things to keep in mind when staff augmenting. First, it's important to find workers who are truly experts in their field. There's no point in paying for someone who is only marginally better than your own staff. Second, you'll need to be clear about what you expect from the augmentation. What are the goals and objectives? What are the deliverables?
If you keep these things in mind, staff augmentation can be a great way to improve your company's productivity.
The focus with this augmentation model is finding an outsourcing partner who can provide top-tier talent to help a company gain competitive advantage. For example, they might not be just looking for a Python developer but rather someone who has years of experience developing Python-based eLearning platforms.
Benefits of staff augmentation
IT staff augmentation is gaining fast adoption among companies that want a cost-effective way to develop high-quality software but who may not have the existing software development or project manager resources to do so internally. Here are some benefits that the staff augmentation model can offer your business:
Staff projects faster
It takes ample time and resource capacity to plan and organize the recruitment process. You need to draft a job description and update it on several job portals, sometimes for months. Not only that, but you will spend time shortlisting and interviewing candidates.
When you launch an IT staff augmentation project, the entire task of recruiting falls on the software development partner. Your remote development team can be ready in a few days rather than in a few months. And with managed services you don't have to worry about any administrative and organizational expenses.
Access top tech talent
The reality is that you may not have sufficient expert-level developers on staff to meet your project demands.
Staff augmentation enables you to leverage external resources, detect loopholes and patch them. The model also saves the time you need to spend on training and retraining as experts bring skills and experience into your projects.
You only decide the particular skills and technical expertise you expect candidates to possess. A staff augmentation or software outsourcing company will quickly provide you appropriate candidates to supplement your IT workforce.
Build in flexibility
One of the key benefits of staff augmentation for many companies is that you can easily upscale and downscale your team. Flexibility is built right into staff augmentation services.
Especially if your core business priorities are likely to change over the next 12 months, it might make sense to utilize staff augmentation services rather than hiring and then laying off full time staff members (not to mention much more ethical).
Control your IT costs
There are significant costs associated with bringin on full-time staff members: training costs, day-to-day operational costs, allowances and bonuses to improve their happiness, and more. While sometimes this is more than worth it to have a dedicated long-term staff member, other times it just doesn’t make sense.
Utilizing staff augmentation can help you cut operational costs by hiring high-level developers who will produce the same quality and quantity of work at a fractional cost over the length of your project.
When to use staff augmentation
The cost and time of recruiting an in-house team can be enormous. With IT staff augmentation, you can hire highly skilled remote developers or a technical project manager and dedicate them to a specific project in your organization without all of the overhead.
For this reason, staff augmentation can be a a great model when:
You need to reinforce your team
While you have in-house software developers, it is imperative to complement or improve your current expertise when releasing new products or launching new projects. In this case, you may want to augment your IT team while you still leverage existing resources internally. This type of reinforcement is very common amongst organizations who opt to utilize a staff augmentation model.
A deadline is approaching
Recruitment for software development roles is a long process from job advertisement to onboarding. You probably don't have that luxury of time and patience which could be an average of two months. Implementing an IT staff augmentation project can enable you to meet your needs regardless of the duration of the contract you signed- short term or long-term contract. You can also access a large pool of software developers from any part of the world in no time.
You need specific skills
Augmented staff can help to fill a software development or IT skill gap by providing additional staff with the necessary skills to complete a project or task. You may want to expand your team within a short time by introducing specialized engineers or technicians (DevOps, data scientist, quality assurance engineer, or business analyst). Or, you may need to bring someone in who has a special skill set and can help to train up your existing staff over time.
As a bridge for hire
Starting a staff augmentation project can help bring in software development engineers to meet your short term needs while you recruit permanent employees. Essentially, they would help to cover the staffing gap so you can keep your projects on track while you go through the traditional recruitment process.
How to succeed with team augmentation
The IT Staff Augmentation model can impact your business operation and improve your bottom line if you do it the right way. Here are some things to consider to implement the staff augmentation model correctly and ensure your project’s success as well as a collaborative long-term partnership with your staff augmentation company:
Identify your company’s skill gap
Every business has a skill gap. Before augmenting your IT or software development team, it’s important to understand what your company’s skill gap looks like. This can be done through interviews, surveys, and observation.
Speak to your IT managers, look ahead to the company’s IT priorities and compare your team’s capabilities to those that will be needed over the next 3-9 months. Once you have an idea of the skills you lack, think about if they are short or long term gaps.
Sometimes team’s have a short term skills needed for a particular software modernization or digital transformation effort. Other times teams may have long-term skill gaps that will prevent them from meeting their current business objectives. Staff augmentation can help you bridge this gap - whether short or long-term.
Choose the right partner
Choosing the right partner is perhaps the most critical step in any staff augmentation model. The software development partner you work with will either make your experience seamless or make you wish you had never decided to use outsourcing models in the first place. It really is make or break!
A few tips for finding the right staff augmentation partner:
- Your outsourcing vendor should fit your culture. If you are a very casual, modern startup, you may not want to work with a stuffy, corporate-focused augmentation agency. Make sure you get to know potential vendors through video chats.
- Do your research on the broader outsourcing market. Understand your options from hiring a dedicated team of developers to project outsourcing and beyond. For example, the right type of partner will be different if you’re looking for a single project manager vs a full team of software developers,
- Assess potential vendors’ credentials thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and case studies. Take the time to look at reviews and speak to past clients. This may be the most important tip!
Read More: How to Choose a Software Development Company in 10 Steps
Multisourcing is the practice of using multiple suppliers for the same service. The goal of multisourcing is to improve quality and reduce cost by leveraging the strengths of multiple suppliers. This can also be a great way to decide which vendor you want to work with long term. Key benefits include:
- Increased competition: By sourcing from multiple suppliers, you are able to encourage more competition, often leading to lower prices for software development services.
- Risk reduction: By diversifying suppliers, you are able to reduce the risk of relying on a single staff augmentation provider.
- Improved flexibility: Multisourcing can provide you with greater flexibility in terms of delivery schedules and payment terms with your staff augmentation service providers.
Make remote developers feel the effects of being with your local team
If you are working with remote developers, you will need to modify your management style and build a good relationship with every member of the team very intentionally. You need to constantly communicate to ensure both in-house teams and remote teams are in sync.
Anytime you are holding a Zoom meeting with your remote team, create some time for them to share about their hobbies, lifestyle and interests. This will enable you to figure out what everyone has in common. It will also foster healthy relationships among the team.
Ensure clear communication
Clear communication has the potential to improve your bottom line. Your team needs to understand the vision, mission, project requirements, and development process. It is important to enhance the communication process in the development cycle so everyone can buy into decisions and contribute effectively to the projects at hand.
Embrace tools and technology
Leverage project management and team collaboration tools like Slack, Asana, Jira, Trello and Basecamp to foster idea-sharing and track the status of your projects. The lack of communication may lead to miscommunication which can affect the entire project. Therefore, it is highly important to use these tools to improve operational efficiencies and streamline long-term project development.
Staff Augmentation with SoftKraft
With Softkraft’s IT staff augmentation services our in-house development team becomes an integral part of your team. We carefully select each team member based on the requirements and expertise you need. They immerse themselves in your project, maintaining your company culture and working in line with your strategic goals.
Engage quality tech professionals
We are driven by 15+ years of experience in IT staff augmentation and engineering software solutions.
Fast process: CVs within 3 days
Time and cost savings - receive first CVs of our specialists and start interviewing candidates.
Risk-free 2 weeks trial
To get rid of any doubts, check the quality of your dedicated team with no obligation to pay with 2-weeks trial.
Staff augmentation will no doubt enable your company to focus on the core business and stay competitive in the technological innovation race. On top of that, you gain several operational efficiencies benefits of staff augmentation, such as reduction in recruitment tiem and cost, office space, improved flexibility and productivity.
For companies that have a particular skill need on a more temporary basis, staff augmentation is not an option but a must. Flexible team augmentation services deal with smooth integration, and ensures you have access to experienced developers anytime you need them.