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Staff Augmentation Services: Why Do Companies Turn To Them?

Staff augmentation can be a hit or a miss. It can improve your team dynamic if it's used in the right way. So, before going all in, it's necessary to fully understand it.
Daniel Zacharias

Alan Sperber

September 27, 2022
staff augmentation

Staff augmentation is a flexible outsourcing strategy that raises human capital on a whim. What was deemed a trend has become a vital resource in today’s businesses. Using temporary external personnel is a common practice in many organizations and startups. That popularity isn’t gratuitous. Staff augmentation services bring a lot of benefits that can enhance the productivity and efficiency of any company. A few scenarios can move a business to augment its personnel. Let’s learn about this process, its benefits, and how to apply it to any business. 

Why use staff augmentation services?

Big project, small team

Maybe you have the best software developers on your team, but your company bites more than it can chew. Now you have a massive project and a small team that can’t manage such a large workload. Temporarily complementing and improving your current staff is surely one of the most popular reasons for using staff augmentation services. 

Needing specific skills 

A particular project requires the participation and expertise of a specialized engineer or technician. Staff augmentation allows you to expand your team for a variable time frame, picking the personnel with that specific and unique skill. 

Filling gaps during recruitment

Recruitment is a long process. Advertising, checking resumes, interviewing, testing, and then picking the right person. If you’re lucky, it can take a couple of months. Staff augmentation can fill temporary positions while you’re finding the perfect employee for your team. 

How does staff augmentation work? 

When businesses can’t meet deadlines, staff augmentation can add extra help in reaching their goals. Staff augmentation is a way of outsourcing a skilled workforce when there’s a lack of human resources. In that sense, using staff augmentation services means bringing the professional or professionals a team needs to fill its talent gaps.

Staff augmentation is different from consulting.

Both facilitate the process, from building the best strategy to developing a project. However, consulting is a one-time consulting service that helps make all the planning, but the execution is something that your team will have to do on its own. 

Staff augmentation is different from managed services. 

Because the contracted partner will take control of all the projects, taking responsibility for the organizational process, management, and execution, this collaboration model is popular among businesses that don’t have an IT department or lack the expertise to do it. 

Staff augmentation is different from outsourcing.

Outsourcing means giving the whole project to a company. They will manage everything and give you back the results. Your team won’t have to do anything but provide requirements and feedback. You pay and they deliver. 

Types of staff augmentation

This tool can be classified following criteria such as the type of a specialized professional, contract term, or skill level. Thinking about staff augmentation in these terms can help you find the proper strategy to enhance your team. 

Let’s see some categories or types of staff augmentation: 

Commodity

When you need a workforce ASAP, it doesn’t matter if they’re not experts or have a specialized skill set. This is about numbers, not specialization.  

Skilled

What your team needs is a person with a specific skill set. They could be an expert or not, but it isn’t relevant in order to fill up the position. 

Highly skilled

Your team needs a specialized professional with advanced skills, training, and experience — a true expert. 

Staff augmentation by time frame: 

Short-term: 

These services are applied when employees are absent for a brief period (sick leave, vacations, etc.) or to fill a gap for a small project. 

Long-term: 

Staff augmentation is used for longer projects, to cut operational costs, or when it’s difficult to find a skilled staff member for a determined position. 

Getting the best of staff augmentation

Staff augmentation can be a hit or miss. It can improve your team dynamic if it’s used in the right way. Before going all in, it’s necessary to take care of some details:

Identify what you need.

Make a detailed analysis of your company, and try to identify the exact gap in your team. Begin assessing your team’s skills and current projects and see what is needed to fill the gap and make that project sail away smoothly.

Choose the best partner.

Research a few staff augmentation providers, check if their offers are aligned with the corporate and operational culture, whether they have a good pool of candidates, and more. Do you have opposite requirements in some departments? Don’t be afraid to try multi-sourcing.

Embrace all the tools.

One of the essential requirements to have flawless collaboration with your new staff is to ensure clear communication. In the beginning, it’s crucial to have the onboarding process to fully integrate your temporary employees into the project. Use technology and tools like Slack, Trello, Basecamp, etc., to share ideas and track all project phases.

Staff augmentation benefits

Staff augmentation is efficient.

When you hire a new employee, you must assume the responsibility for wages, taxes, sick leaves, and more. But you don’t have to take care of anything else related to this personnel. Forget about bureaucracy and all that hassle.  

There are more people to choose from.

Suppose you need a person with a particular skill or knowledge. Finding them through standard recruitment methods can be difficult, but a good staff augmentation partner can find that person in a broader talent pool, even from other countries. Therefore, your chances of finding skilled professionals are greater. 

It increases productivity.

The specialized staff you hire exclusively for a project can put their whole focus and energy into reaching goals and meeting deadlines. That person doesn’t have any other responsibility in the company, as regular staff would have, so it’s more productive and goal-oriented. 

It increases flexibility.

Staff augmentation increases the flexibility and adaptation skills of any organization. Expanding operations, exploring new markets or points of view, everything is more accessible when you have dedicated temporary staff with particular skills or training. This tool can allow you to evaluate and try new projects on a lower budget. 

It provides a better understanding of your team and project. 

To find the best fit for your staff, you’ll be compelled to focus clearly on your team’s and project’s strengths and skills. This offers the collateral benefit of a deep understanding of the project, improving performance and productivity. 

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