Staff Augmentation: Everything You Need to Know

Avantika Shergil By Avantika Shergil  |  Jan 31, 2024  |  Business Strategy Hire Developers Outsourcing Staff Augmentation
Staff Augmentation Guide

Staff augmentation has been an effective outsourcing strategy adopted to fill the skill gaps, and accelerate the speed of the project development while cutting overheads such as salaries and infrastructure. In this staff augmentation guide, we shall go through topics such as when to opt for staff augmentation, types, advantages, and staff augmentation services by professional companies.

Staff augmentation could be defined as a working model wherein employers hire staff or domain experts out of their usual office time and salary or wages. In other words, it is acquiring a special workforce without overhead costs or time of permanent and full-time employment. Some enterprises may adopt this working model by themselves, but there are renowned staff augmentation companies to upscale your workforce precisely and professionally. Hiring these companies assures you that your IT staff extension or amendment is fruitful and solves the exact purpose by utilizing the budget you spend.

The potential of IT staff augmentation is reflected by the numbers and figures. While the global talent shortage is getting worse day by day, enterprises can benefit enormously by fulfilling the skill gaps and strength of the employees. As reported on PR NewsWire, the staff augmentation service market will exhibit incremental spend crossing USD 81 billion with a CAGR of 3.53% in the forecasted period.

Here we shall take you through some of the essential factors you must know before stretching your staff as it will help you build the strategies and execute a result-oriented working model.

What Is Staff Augmentation?

A classic definition of staff augmentation goes like this – augmenting your staff i.e., workforce. Expanding your employees without carrying the burden of regular salaries, wages, and office times (working hours). Simply put, staff augmentation is having domain experts or veterans in a specific field without making them your permanent employees on wages.

Types of Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation involves acquiring explicitly qualified manpower for the in-house teams on certain terms and conditions. Augmented employees are handpicked according to the special skills they offer to help business initiatives of various scales for both long and short term. There are a few types of staff augmentation that you’ll want to understand. The three primary types are commodity, skill-based, and highly-skilled staff augmentation:

Commodity

This type of staff augmentation allows enterprises to have steadfast workers who are capable of performing a variety of tasks including manual labor at development hubs or company events. Commodity staff augmentation is a perfect fit for projects requiring a large number of workers, but not explicitly a high level of specialization or expertise. Commodity staff augmentation is often sought to tackle seasonal peaks, transient replacements, or unexpected demand.

Skill-Based

If there is a specific need to expand the staff for clerical tasks, data processing, transcription or basic content/copywriting, the skill-based staff augmentation model is adopted. Skill-based staff working model is suitable for projects requiring workers with niche skills or knowledge, but not with intense creativity or innovation. Enterprise adapts skill-based team augmentation model as an aid to core functions and streamlining processes while improving efficiency.

Highly-Skilled

Highly skilled staff augmentation is a model to access super specialists in specific high-profile fields such as software design and development, engineering, or marketing. Highly skilled staff augmentation is adopted for elite and mega projects that require intense team members with advanced skills and experience. Such professionals also possess a high degree of creativity and innovation to build a world-class product. This resource augmentation model for staffing is often put into action to enhance the in-house project development efficiency, solve tedious problems, or create the latest products or services.

Staff Augmentation Process

The working model of staff augmentation has been a big buzz for the past several years especially when talent shortages were observed in various industries, especially the IT sector. The IT staff augmentation companies are professional agencies that help you extend the pool of talented employees or workforce.

The process of team augmentation works according to the needs and budgets of the company. If you are in grave need to fill the talent gap or there is a huge demand to meet or if the deadline is nearer and you don’t want to lose a crucial project, staff augmentation is the key solution.

Here are the simple steps on how this staffing model is adopted:

Staff Augmentation Process

Identify your project vitals

IT project vitals include the complexity of the IT product (such as web and/or mobile app, and software development). By complexity, we mean the number of features/functions, size, and security layers. You may also check the projects developed in the past. Identify whether the present workforce requires additional aid.

Stretch your workforce

Enterprises can give it a shot by asking the present workforce to extend their services such as extra working hours, working additional hours from home, or even working on the weekends to meet the project vitals. If this step does not work, you need to proceed with the next step.

Professional IT staff augmentation services

Reaching out to professional staff augmentation companies for appropriate resource enhancement is a one-stop solution to all your searches and worries. These companies identify the talent gap and project-specific parameters to add the workforce to your present teams.

Disperse when done

Resource augmentation, as said earlier, is not permanent and you don’t take a headache to put employees on payrolls permanently. Depending on the size of the project and the deadlines, you have large and small staff augmentation for a specific period. Once done, you disperse the team and get back to your in-house workforce working model.

The Signs of Staff Augmentation Requirements

Staff augmentation can prove to be a flexible and cost-effective model that enables enterprises to obtain skilled IT professionals for specific software development projects. Here are the signs that indicate team augmentation is required for your project.

Signs of Staff Augmentation Requirements

Strategic change

If you want to adapt to changing market demands and customer expectations, you can bring in new talent with fresh perspectives and innovative thoughts. Resource augmentation will allow you to acquire a global pool of designers and developers and choose the best fit for your IT project goals and culture.

Team expansion

IT staff augmentation is also performed to fill the gaps in your existing team and enhance their capabilities. This is done through extending staff with harmonizing skills and experience. IT Resource augmentation enables enterprises to leverage the expertise of outside professionals, and you don’t compromise the cohesion and collaboration of the in-house teams.

Acquire scalability

As a business, you need to scale up or down your workforce if there is a project requirement and budget constraint. You can opt for staff augmentation without bothering about hiring and firing the present employees. IT staff augmentation will give you the flexibility to adjust the team size and will allow you to compose it as per the changing needs of the projects on the floor without affecting the quality outcome and work productivity.

Domain expertise

Another indication of having an IT team augmentation is to access specialized knowledge and expertise that your enterprise lacks with an in-house team. Especially when there is a talent scarcity even in your local market such as domain veterans in emerging technologies like AI, ML, IoT, and AR/VR, the IT staff augmentation companies come as a helping hand to you. It is because these special agencies are well aware of the latest trends and best practices in the IT industry and, therefore, ensure a competitive edge in the market.

Large vs Small Staff Augmentation

Though staff augmentation helps businesses to scale up quickly, fill skill gaps, and reduce costs, not all IT staff augmentation models are the same. Depending on the size and scope of the projects, an enterprise may go for small or large staff augmentation services.

Small staff augmentation involves recruiting a few specialists to work closely with the internal team and integrate effortlessly into the existing processes and culture. The small resource enhancement model is suitable for projects requiring specific expertise, flexibility, and agility. This working model also fosters collaboration and innovation because the external resources bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the projects.

On the other hand, large staff augmentation means hiring a sizable team of external professionals to handle a much more complex portion of the project or a huge project itself, independently. This extra staff hiring model is suitable for projects needing a high volume of work and fast delivery while maintaining minimal supervision. Large IT staff augmentation is known to reduce risks while ensuring quality because external teams are highly skilled and professionals who follow the best standards and best practices.

Both small and large staff augmentation have their advantages and disadvantages, and the selection typically depends on the requirements and goals of a project. You must consider factors such as budget, deadlines, project size/complexity, and availability of resources when selecting the option to go for.

Advantages of an IT Staff Augmentation

IT staff augmentation can induce flexibility and effectiveness into your existing staff or build a new resource to meet the enormous needs of your business. As IT staff augmentation companies help you hire skilled and experienced IT service providers on a temporary or project basis, you avail of ample benefits from the following advantages:

Increased productivity

Team augmentation helps fill the talent gaps in the existing team and reduce the workload while speeding up the deliverables. You also expect the augmented staff to bring in newer ideas and unique solutions to existing concerns.

Resourcefulness

Staff augmentation services can also assure you access to a large pool of talent with assorted skills and expertise. You can select the best fit for your specific IT project requirements and goals. There is no limit to the availability or location of the in-house resources.

Cost cutting

The staff augmentation model helps you save money on recruitment and training along with mammoth infrastructure costs. You just need to pay for the services you avail and for a particular period; thus, you avoid the expenses of hiring and retaining a full-time workforce.

Strategic growth

Resource augmentation assists you to on your core competencies and strategic objectives as you delegate the non-core or routine tasks to the augmented staff. This can free up time and resources for the in-house staff to work on more critical and value-added projects.

Scalability

IT staff augmentation helps your business adapt to the changing market demands and customer potentials as you can scale up or down your IT workforce as needed. You can easily adjust the size and composition of your augmented staff as per the scope and complexity of IT projects on the floor.

When and How to Scale Software Development Team in the Middle of Project?

IT Staff Augmentation Services

There are different ways to avail of large and small staff augmentation services. You may choose the option based on your needs, budget, and deadlines.

Here are some of the most common options:

Traditional staffing services

These are team augmentation agencies providing temporary or permanent resources and team members for several IT roles. These agencies usually have a large pool of IT professionals and can handle everything for you such as screening, hiring, and payroll processes. Nevertheless, they may charge high fees and might have limitations in team flexibility and the duration of the contract.

Gig platforms

Gig platforms are online portals providing a place where freelancers and independent contractors connect with clients seeking IT team augmentation. These platforms offer a low-cost and faster way to gain diverse and global software engineering talent; nonetheless, they could pose quality and reliability issues, and you may have to face legal and compliance risks.

Master vendor providers

These are resource augmentation service-providing firms acting as a single point of contact for all your team enhancement needs. They tackle multiple vendors and subcontractors to offer consolidated invoicing and reporting. Such providers help enterprises reduce costs and complexity; however, they also limit choices and controls over the software professionals.

On-demand providers

These are probably the safest firms specializing in providing IT staff augmentation services based on a project or period/term. Staff augmentation service providers have a strong network of vetted and qualified software developers on standby modes and thus can be deployed quickly and flexibly. These providers help you scale up or down your IT team as and when required. However, they may have higher rates and less continuity compared to the other options.

Word-of-mouth acquisition

An age-old working model of finding IT staff augmentation services through referrals from the company’s existing network of employees, colleagues, peers, partners, or even clients. This team augmentation may help you find trusted and proven IT staff though it could also limit your reach and diversity.

Consulting firms/specialized domains

These are professional firms offering IT resource augmentation services as well as other consulting or advisory in the software industry. You can avail of myriad consultations like technical strategy, software tool design, implementation, or optimization. These domain experts possess expertise in niche IT domains such as cloud or quantum computing, cybersecurity, blockchain, or mCommerce. These consulting firms provide high-quality and tailored IT solutions but at quite higher costs and longer lead times than other options.

Comparison of IT Staff Augmentation Services

Description Talent Types Suitable for Strengths
Traditional staffing services Traditional providers for temporary or permanent staffing Skill-based Commodity Non-critical projects where high-skilled workers aren’t needed Flexibility Lower budget
Gig platforms Online platforms providing instant staffing Commodity Skill-based
Lower budget
Task-based needs that require diverse skills Quick onboarding Negotiation in budget
Master Vendor providers Large-scale staffing solution Commodity Highly commoditized staff where low cost and scaling are essential Low-cost High scale
On-demand providers Online platforms for curated and high-skill talent augmentation High-skill Quick scaling, high skills, and complex projects Quick onboarding. Speed. Flexibility
Word-of-mouth acquisition Independent contractors with references Skill-based Small projects with less super specialty Quick onboarding. Trust
Consulting firms Professional agencies for IT staff augmentation Skill-based Highly-skilled Medium or large-size IT projects requiring high-scale and skills Professional. Quality. Long term.

How Staff Augmentation Is Different Than Outsourcing?

Staff augmentation and outsourcing projects are two different strategies that enterprises adopt to meet their needs. While IT staff augmentation allows you to hire skilled IT professionals temporarily to work with your existing team, outsourcing projects is delegating the entire IT project or processes to an offshore software development company.

The main difference between these two models is the level of control you have over the project. With staff augmentation, you have total control over the project management and scope to meet the quality and deadlines. Nonetheless, the augmented staff performs under offshore companies and follows their practices.

Ready to Meet Quick Deadlines and Fill the Skill Gaps?

You can avail of any team augmentation or enhancement to meet quick deadlines or fill the talent gaps by availing of professional facilities from renowned staff augmentation companies. Simply check their credentials and shortlist a few among them. You can then contact each one separately with your business objectives and project requirements. Compare their prices, experiences, and expertise to choose the best one.

Avantika Shergil Avantika Shergil   |  Jan 31, 2024

An enthusiastic Operations Manager at TopDevelopers.co, coordinating and managing the technical and functional areas. She is an adventure lover, passionate traveler, an admirer of nature, who believes that a cup of coffee is the prime source to feel rejuvenated. Researching and writing about technology keeps her boosted and enhances her professional journeying.

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