Staff augmentation can be an excellent way to make your development projects a real success. That’s because it can provide you with the experienced engineering professionals you need to fill your development talent gaps. However, it carries a certain dose of risk, so it’s understandable to have doubts about this practice. The following set of staff augmentation questions and answers will clear any qualms or doubts on whether this strategy is the best option for your business.
1. What is staff augmentation?
In a nutshell, staff augmentation implies hiring experts outside your organization via global recruiting performed by a staff augmentation company.
2. When is staff augmentation highly recommended?
Staff augmentation can be beneficial in certain cases. Some of the most common reasons for choosing staff augmentation over a hiring spree are:
- You need to launch a product fast.
- The outsourcing model doesn’t suit you for a particular reason (e.g., less autonomy and control).
- You have a short-term project with a strict deadline.
- You wish to develop a new idea fast. For instance, you can have a sudden great idea, develop an unplanned side project, and need to quickly find the right people for it.
- You have talent gaps in your in-house team and need help to fill them.
If you find yourself in any of these, you should consider contacting a staff augmentation company.
3. What are its biggest advantages?
The list of benefits is quite extensive, but here are the most important ones:
- The hiring process is much faster than the regular one, as the staff augmentation company handles it.
- You can hire an experienced professional at a much lower cost, i.e., you will obtain the desired services from an expert in the field without having to employ and pay them for an indefinite period.
- Flexibility is key — depending on your project, you should be able to find the right people relatively easily, which takes the pressure off, and leaves room for you to focus on core business tasks.
- Big talent pool — staff augmentation companies usually have a lot of experienced professionals with different backgrounds that can fill pretty much any gap in your team.
4. How does staff augmentation work?
The process of hiring an expert via staff augmentation is relatively straightforward. However, as usual, simple steps are sometimes the most important ones.
First of all, you need to define your goals precisely. Next, create a project based on those goals and determine just how many professionals (and of what type) you need to complete the project. You should be clear about the skills and qualities you require. That way, the recruiters will easily track the best people for you. It’s also recommendable to have a set test task for the interviewees.
When you send your document to the staff augmentation provider, they will screen the requirements and search for potential candidates. If the interview goes well and their skill set helps them solve the required task, the staff augmentation provider will present them with a job offer and forward them to you.
5. What are the biggest risks of staff augmentation?
Staff augmentation is only for some, and sometimes, it pays off more to hire an expert long-term. On the other hand, if you have already decided staff augmentation should give you the best results, here is what you need to look out for:
- Communication issues — this can wreak havoc on several levels. First, chances are high that you’ll communicate with offshore staff from different time zones.
Your regular team members are used to your strategies and processes, but for the newbies, you need to create a careful transfer strategy and know exactly at what stage to unveil specific data.
- Data leaks and security threats — you will be revealing a lot of information to a third party, which can be dangerous.
- Unclear expectations — the end product you had in mind may not match the outcome of your cooperation, primarily due to poor communication.
- Subpar quality of service — even though the reviews of the staff augmentation company are excellent, what you receive in practice may not match your standards.
These are some of the crucial issues, yet they can be repaired or avoided on time.
6. How can I avoid the risks?
You can stay away from the risks above by following these suggestions:
- Take great care when choosing the best staff augmentation company.
- You need good means of communication for both teams, such as Slack, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams.
- Form a clear strategy for educating your temporary teammates and make a sound, detailed plan when to reveal specific data to them.
- Meetings and Q&A sessions should be regular and obligatory.
- Conduct regular audits regarding security.
7. Which is the best country for staff augmentation?
It is more important to find the right staff augmentation company than to rely on the nationality or background of the person you are hiring. More importantly, contracting software engineering resources that are time zone aligned with you is much more critical to success.
However, certain countries are renowned for their engineering talent, including some Eastern European countries and Latin American countries like Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico. Thus, it’s wise to look for staff companies there.
While India and Poland, and similar developing countries have been very popular due to the low wages and rising levels of IT technologies, that does not necessarily mean your best solution will come from any of these countries.
8. How is staff augmentation different from outsourcing?
The most significant difference between staff augmentation and outsourcing stems from the former giving you more independence and direct control over the project. Basically, staff augmentation adds extra talent to your team while you keep direct control over it.
On the other hand, when you choose to outsource, you pay for an external team to develop your software, and you won’t be involved in every single step of the process.
9. How can I find a reliable company?
At the moment, there is a wide variety of staff augmentation companies. Yet, how can you choose the best one for your needs? Here are a few pointers:
- Always check their credentials and portfolio to see if they have worked with your niche. Feel free to ask for feedback about anything you have doubts about.
- Read other clients’ reviews or ask the company to send them to you.
- Reach out to their previous clients and ask for their experience.
- Arrange meetings with the most promising candidates and use them to assess their communication capabilities and the overall process.
10. Is staff augmentation safe?
This is one of the most common staff augmentation questions: is staff augmentation safe or not? Staff augmentation is safe if you choose the right staff augmentation provider.
Naturally, there is always a risk involved when hiring a third party to be involved in your internal procedures. The person will have access to your and your clients’ files. To resolve this, all third parties must follow and sign an NDA form, and you should implement regular security audits.
To sum up, staff augmentation can be an excellent way to bring your short-term projects to life. Yet, make sure that you remain in total control of the process.