- What is IT staff augmentation?
- Main types of staff augmentation
- Why do companies choose staff augmentation services?
- When companies are looking for cost-efficiency
- When companies are seeking rapid growth or expansion
- When companies need to bridge talent gaps
- When companies need to implement specific technology
- When companies need to deal with specific project-based requirements
- When companies need to meet project deadlines
- When companies need to meet seasonal demands
- When companies need to test project viability
- Advantages of IT staff augmentation
- High productivity level
- Easy access to the technical talent pool
- Cost efficiency
- Knowledge transfer and learning opportunities
- What are the disadvantages of IT staff augmentation?
- Lack of project ownership
- Dependency on the staffing service provider
- Risks of turnover
- Potential communication gaps
- Higher management overhead
- The challenges associated with IT staff augmentation
- How IT staff augmentation differs from other outsourcing strategies
- How to optimize the staff augmentation model
- IT staff augmentation with ELITEX
- Final Thoughts
In an ever-changing business world, the demand for software development experts is growing. However, the lack of qualified technical experts in the local market via traditional hiring methods is often an obstacle. With more and more developers working remotely, various companies are looking for methods to hire staff quicker yet more efficiently.
Many companies shifted to remote work during the last several years, and sometimes, it is difficult to find new employees quickly. Many companies are solving this problem by using staff augmentation services and hiring employees online in the nearshore area. This strategy helps to get experienced employees in the shortest possible time and for an unlimited time.
When companies consider creating a new mobile or web app or need support with their current project, they often opt for staff augmentation. Staff augmentation is an outsourcing option provided on a contractual basis by an IT vendor to fulfill the pool of the skills of an internal team.
This business model allows an increase in the capacity of an internal team and reduces operational costs. Some companies use it as a source of unlimited top software development talent. The staff augmentation model offers companies a variety of ways to improve the productivity of their internal team. Let’s explain together how IT staff augmentation companies work and how they can help your businesses to reduce the workload of your in-house team in this article.
What is IT staff augmentation?
Staff augmentation is an outsourcing strategy that involves hiring an experienced software development services provider on an external basis to fill necessary positions on a company’s in-house development team on a permanent or temporary basis. An external vendor provides the resources contractually to augment the existing team’s knowledge. This approach consists of identifying the present skills of the team and defining what knowledge is needed with the consequent hiring of skilled professionals.
It allows companies to select only the candidates that meet their specific needs, shrinking or growing their extended team as needed. It helps you add skilled technical human resources to your internal development team in the short or long term.
This powerful model allows companies to quickly fill the skill gaps in their ongoing projects with qualified professionals. Staff augmentation IT vendors can offer highly qualified specialists such as software engineers, QA specialists, project managers, product managers, data scientists, business analysts, UI/UX designers, DevOps, content managers, and many more. IT staffing augmentation services have gained particular popularity in the software development industry in the last couple of years.
What is the staff augmentation model?
The staff augmentation model is a strategic approach used by organizations or companies to supplement their in-house workforce with external human resources. In this model, the company heavily relies on staff augmentation providers, and remote teams are a significant part of the existing company’s human resources. This approach is commonly used in various industries, not only information technology but also civil engineering, digital media, healthcare, FinTech, and more.
How does staff augmentation work?
The main goal of the staff augmentation is to bridge a temporary bottleneck in daily work, to acquire specific skills outside the company, or to build a strong internal team with the help of external software development experts in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Once clients define what kind of expertise and how many experts they need, they start looking for staff augmentation services. The more detailed the job description is, the bigger the chances of finding the right specialists.
Main types of staff augmentation
Each type of staff augmentation offers unique benefits and suits different business scenarios. The choice of the appropriate type depends on the organization’s specific needs, project requirements, budget constraints, and the duration for which external resources are required.
Temporary staff augmentation involves hiring external professionals for short-term assignments or specific periods. Companies typically employ temporary staff to cover seasonal demands, temporary projects, or to handle short-duration tasks. These professionals work as contingent workers and are not considered permanent employees.
Project-based collaboration is used when an organization needs to assemble a specialized team for a specific project. In this case, external resources with the required expertise are brought in to work collaboratively with the in-house team until the project is completed. Once the project is finished, their engagement with the company ends.
Team-based staffing involves augmenting your in-house staff with an entire team or department of external professionals possessing specific technical skills or domain knowledge. This type of collaboration is often used to address long-term skill gaps or to extend the capacity of a particular department. The augmented team becomes an integrated part of the company, collaborating with the existing staff on an ongoing basis.
Skill-based IT staffing augmentation is focused on acquiring specialists with specific skill sets that are not readily available in the organization. Companies use this type of augmentation when they require niche expertise or specialized technical capabilities for a particular task or project.
Full-time equivalent staffing (FTE)
The FTE staffing model involves hiring remote teams as full-time equivalents for a fixed duration, even though they are not formal employees of the company. These professionals work as if they were regular full-time employees, being fully integrated into the company’s operations and workflow for the specified period.
Part-time staffing is similar to FTE staffing, but the developers work on a part-time basis. Part-time staffing is suitable for tasks or projects that do not require full-time dedication but still need specific skills for specific tasks.
Global staff augmentation
Although this point can be divided into several separate types of staff augmentation itself, it generally refers to hiring remote developers from different parts of the world. It allows global companies to overcome geographical constraints in order to surpass territorial difficulties.
Why do companies choose staff augmentation services?
Companies resort to outsourcing vendor services on several occasions. It mainly happens when they need to scale quickly or more engineering capacity is required to grow their workforce. However, that’s the general rule. Here are some situations when staff augmentation actually makes sense for businesses:
When companies are looking for cost-efficiency
Instead of hiring full-time employees, which can be costly due to the recruitment process, training, and benefits for workers, the outstaffing model allows organizations to scale their teams as needed, optimizing overall costs. Apart from obvious outsourcing advantages, such as hiring remote teams in distant geographical locations, the outstaff-model hiring process itself is way cheaper compared to in-house hiring.
When companies are seeking rapid growth or expansion
In case a company experiences sudden growth or expands into new markets, staff augmentation can help meet increased demands quickly. It provides a flexible solution to support the organization during the transitional phase without disrupting existing operations and making additional efforts in traditional hiring.
When companies need to bridge talent gaps
When companies are unable to find niche talents or just experienced developers in the required quantities, they hire trustworthy and reliable staff augmentation services. This model ensures access to an offshore development team with the needed skills to complement the in-house team’s current expertise.
When companies need to implement specific technology
In case the project requires experts with specific technical skills in the field of innovative technologies that cannot be found locally or when an in-house team lacks particular knowledge of specific technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, or machine learning, employing outstaffed experts is the perfect solution. The staff augmentation companies quickly provide access to large talent pools with a wide range of expertise in every technology.
When companies need to deal with specific project-based requirements
For short-term projects or initiatives that are different in their tech stack from the core project, staff augmentation IT professionals may be a practical solution. Hiring external professionals for the project duration ensures the necessary skills are available without committing to long-term employment contracts.
When companies need to meet project deadlines
Meeting deadlines is a common issue in software development projects, especially extensive ones. Staff augmentation vendors can provide additional experts who will expand the development capacity of the in-house team and help deliver all projects on time.
When companies need to meet seasonal demands
In industries with significant seasonal fluctuations in demand, such as retail during holiday seasons, staff augmentation (e.g., tech supports outstaffing) can help meet temporary human resources needs. Hiring additional staff for peak periods ensures smooth operations without overburdening the core workforce during slower times.
When companies need to test project viability
Before committing to a long-term hiring plan or investing heavily in a new project, staff augmentation offers an opportunity to test the viability and potential success of the initiative. It allows companies to assess the project’s feasibility and make informed decisions about future resource needs.
Advantages of IT staff augmentation
What advantages do companies get if they decide to use IT staff augmentation? Well, it offers a list of benefits. These include a predictable budget and delegation of administrative and other operational tasks. Now, let us look at how staff augmentation can benefit your company in practice.
High productivity level
It improves productivity, as the developers you hire from staffing companies focus exclusively on your project during predefined working hours. So, the external experts will deal with every aspect of your developed product. This model increases productivity as developers focus entirely on a single project. When developers work for a single client, they usually have a higher level of motivation and commitment.
Easy access to the technical talent pool
You can access a global talent pool when you hire a remote staff augmentation team. That allows finding software development experts with solid skills in any IT field, such as IoT specialists, blockchain, and artificial intelligence experts. Having additional staff on your team will enable your company to hire a talented team of developers dedicated to your project, efficiently handling specialized tasks.
A staff augmentation team increases your company’s flexibility. An external IT provider can quickly scale your in-house team by adding certain specialists depending on the needs. Finding a replacement for a technical specialist is more accessible as the talent pool is bigger. Also, you do not need to spend an additional budget on the transition while the hiring time is reduced.
By hiring staff augmentation resources, businesses can significantly reduce their expenses. They can employ specialized IT experts for a short period to work on a specific project segment. Companies can avoid costs associated with hiring full-time employees. You do not have to cover administrative and organizational expenses like office space and hardware. The requestor only pays a fee and focuses on your main activity, while the staffing provider ensures the technical tasks.
Knowledge transfer and learning opportunities
The in-house team can learn from their expertise when working with external professionals. This knowledge transfer contributes to the continuous growth and development of the company’s internal talent pool.
What are the disadvantages of IT staff augmentation?
After seeing the benefits of staff augmentation, we also need to understand the risks and challenges of leveraging this model. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, they have slightly different meanings regarding our subject, so we will provide them separately.
Disadvantages refer to the drawbacks or negative aspects of staff augmentation as a model. These inherent characteristics of the model can potentially affect the success and efficiency of the augmentation process. However, most of them can be mitigated through careful planning and choosing a reliable software development partner.
Lack of project ownership
Outstaffed professionals may have a different sense of project ownership and dedication than full-time employees, potentially leading to decreased motivation, commitment, and accountability. Also, some unscrupulous developers, understanding the temporary nature of their jobs, can be irresponsible regarding the quality of their work. Companies should carefully approach project management if they lack confidence in outstaffed workers.
Dependency on the staffing service provider
Relying heavily on external service providers can create a sense of dependency on these partners. If the relationship with the outstaffing company deteriorates, it could disrupt ongoing projects and create difficulties in finding suitable replacements. Another factor to consider is the potential problems on the staff augmentation firm side. For instance, if the staffing company went bankrupt, it could significantly impact the future of your project.
Risks of turnover
Outstaffed professionals may receive other job offers or opportunities during the project’s duration, leading to the risk of turnover. Yes, the development partner will likely replace such a worker quickly; however, frequent changes in the external team can disrupt project continuity and knowledge transfer.
Potential communication gaps
Miscommunication or misunderstandings can arise between the in-house team and outstaffed professionals due to distance, language barriers, or differences in work practices. This can result in project delays and decreased productivity without appropriate project management strategies.
Higher management overhead
The factors above, combined with the nature of managing external teams, make project management even more important. You need to coordinate with the outstaffed professionals, provide clear instructions, and ensure seamless integration of both teams, which requires additional efforts.
The challenges associated with IT staff augmentation
Challenges refer to obstacles, difficulties, or hurdles organizations may encounter when implementing IT outstaffing. These challenges are not necessarily inherent flaws in this model, but they are factors that require additional attention. The list of some common challenges includes:
Communication and coordination
Managing distributed in-house and outstaffed teams can pose challenges in terms of communication, coordination, and ensuring effective collaboration between the parties.
Data security and confidentiality
Sharing sensitive information with an external IT team raises concerns about data security and confidentiality, necessitating robust security measures and contractual agreements.
Integration with company culture and standards
Outstaffed professionals may have difficulty fully understanding and aligning with another company’s values and culture, which can impact team dynamics and the overall success of the project.
Limited control over the team
While outstaffing provides access to specialized skills, it also means that the company has less direct control over the external team. This can present challenges in managing the project efficiently and ensuring accountability.
Working with outstaffed teams from different cultural backgrounds may lead to differences in work styles, decision-making processes, problem-solving approaches, and just work ethics, requiring efforts to harmonize diverse work cultures.
How IT staff augmentation differs from other outsourcing strategies
Staff augmentation differs from other outsourcing strategies in several key aspects. Of course, it will significantly rely on chosen types of staff augmentation; however, generally, key differences involve the scope of engagement, control and management approaches, team’s skills/expertise, project duration, risk, costs, and way of integration with company culture. Let’s check the comparison with other popular outsourcing strategies to see how it works in practice.
IT staff augmentation vs. project outsourcing
The main difference between staff augmentation and project outsourcing is the party responsible for decision-making and project management. In the staff augmentation model, the client is responsible for the entire software development team. In traditional outsourcing, the customer hands over project management to its software development services provider. On the other hand, staff augmentation involves hiring employees to collaborate with the existing in-house team. Project outsourcing suits your software development project better if your company has no IT department or you want to avoid the development team management burden.
IT staff augmentation vs dedicated team
Comparing staff augmentation and dedicated development teams, you must understand that working with dedicated coders means handing over an entire project to this external team. A dedicated team works only for one customer, whereas an outsourcing team can share several projects. Very often, a dedicated team becomes an extension of an in-house customer’s team, and the developers are aware of the company’s internal business processes. A dedicated team as a software development pricing model better suits long-term projects, while staff augmentation works better for short-term assignments. The staff augmentation team supports an internal team, while a dedicated team is a fully-equipped crew ready to create an entire project.
How to optimize the staff augmentation model
Staff augmentation is becoming as popular as outsourcing among businesses. However, there are several rules that the core business team can follow to get the most out of this collaborative model. When recruiting a developer for your team, pay attention to both their communication skills and their technical competence.
Ensure the organization has significant experience in this industry and offers the services your company requires to get the best IT staffing vendor. You may also start your research by looking at the IT staffing company’s portfolio and case studies or reading reviews to see who offers the best services at the best pricing.
Make sure your in-house staff is prepared with the strategy and has the skills necessary to manage a remote development team effectively. A staff augmentation team typically has a diverse pool of expertise to employ, including an in-house manager and developer. Still, it all depends on the product development stage and the project.
Ensure that knowledge is shared across projects at all times. When you enlist the aid of a third party, you will always be dealing with new developers. Onboarding new staff will be easier if you provide support documentation and collect more information and resources from the various phases of the project.
Take a precise look at the team
Check if they are culturally comfortable with your current team. Communication between the local and external teams is crucial to the development process and the overall project’s success. Discuss assigning a dedicated project manager to your long-term initiatives with the staff augmentation team’s leadership. Your primary business team will only have to contact one person in this case.
Verify that remote engineers experience the benefits of working with your internal team. Discuss with the IT staffing vendor the availability of professionals who can assist you in more effectively collaborating with your team.
IT staff augmentation with ELITEX
If your project expands or you need vendor services for upcoming assignments, you should contact the outsourcing team instantly. It will enable the vendor’s recruiter to provide you with services as quickly as possible.
If you need to hire dedicated development team, ELITEX software development company offers flexible team augmentation services. We assist you in growing your business by ensuring easy integration of your remote development task force.
Contact one of our IT experts team members to learn how to put it into practice and make the most of your project’s implementation today!
Staff augmentation is a dynamic and effective outsourcing strategy that empowers organizations to access specialized skills, enhance project outcomes, and remain agile in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. By supplementing in-house teams with external professionals, companies can address skill gaps, meet specific project demands, and achieve greater flexibility associated with traditional hiring.
Overall, IT staff augmentation meaning is difficult to overestimate for businesses looking to optimize resource allocation, stay competitive, and thrive in a rapidly changing world. By leveraging external expertise, you can easily accelerate growth, drive innovation, and meet all specific objectives of your project.
What is the definition of staff augmentation?
Staff augmentation is a flexible IT staffing strategy where external professionals are hired, generally on a temporary or project-specific basis, to complement and work alongside an organization’s internal team.
What are typical contract durations for staff augmentation in IT?
Contract duration for staff augmentation can vary depending on the project’s scope and complexity. Contracts typically range from a few months to a year or more.
How does staff augmentation differ from traditional outsourcing?
IT staffing involves hiring external professionals to work collaboratively with the in-house team on specific tasks or projects, while traditional outsourcing delegates entire assignments or functions to external vendors for independent management.
When does it make sense to use staff augmentation?
Staff augmentation makes sense when a company requires advanced skills, extra resources, or temporary support to meet project deadlines and address skill gaps without committing to long-term hires.
How quickly can I onboard IT professionals for my project?
The onboarding time for IT professionals in staff augmentation can vary; however, it’s generally way faster compared to traditional hiring. Getting the external team up to speed with the project can take a few days to a few weeks.
Can I engage the outstaffed team on multiple projects simultaneously?
Yes, generally, you can engage the same professionals on multiple projects simultaneously when it comes to staff augmentation. First of all, it depends on their availability and the terms of the contract.
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