Have you heard of staff augmentation? Perhaps you’re struggling to understand the concept or see its benefits. Stay tuned. We will walk you through it and show you how augmented staffing can help you both in the short and long run.
What Exactly Is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is a modern hiring concept that’s particularly suitable for businesses working with IT professionals. In this model, you employ outside professionals temporarily, usually per project. The efficiency of this model is best shown in the fact that staff augmentation services are projected to grow at a 4.06% rate by 2026.
Staff augmentation is similar to outsourcing but with one key difference - in project outsourcing, you don’t have the amount of control over the quality of work being done, as the hired professionals are doing the work independently. With staff augmentation, you directly oversee the processes and the level at which the employees have integrated with your team and your work model. And - you get to save money.
Better Plan and Control Your Costs
Staff augmentation is a turnkey solution. Your partner's service provider handles everything from assessment, contracts, and onboarding to quality control and, in some cases, operations and office space.
For the employer, this means cutting costs that would otherwise be spent on recruiting, benefits, and taxes, too. Not to mention it's a temporary hire, and such funds are usually easier to allocate in the budget than a long-term hire that may not even work out.
That’s not by far the most important of the benefits of staff augmentation, though. It’s just the most obvious one, but today we want to show you that staff augmentation is more than a convenient saving model.
Scale Up, Scale Down With Ease
Companies that have a lot of project work in their portfolio know very well that periods of peak work can be not just stressful for the team but may also hurt the outcome. This can be solved by adding a set of professionals to the project team and then cutting down when the project is finished.
With the right hiring partner, staff augmentation can be done extremely quickly and seamlessly. The added engineers integrate into the project team instantly and have no expectations from you after the project is done. Both parties simply move on to new ventures, and the project is finished on time and stress-free.
The problem with hiring new staff members on a permanent basis is that you can’t really know for sure if it’s going to work out. And, of course, you can’t just let people go all the time and trap yourself in an endless hiring chain.
With staff augmentation, this is a non-issue. If one of the hired professionals does not meet the criteria or does not contribute to the project's bottom line, you simply reach out to the partner company that provided the professionals. It’s their job to fix it, not yours, and you will soon get a replacement free of charge. And because it’s their job to provide competent staff that meets your requirements, the replacement will be quick, too, and you won’t lose valuable project time.
Explore and Test New Job Markets
This is an often-overlooked benefit of staff augmentation - it helps you with your expansion efforts. Let’s say you struggle to hire the right staff in your local market. You start exploring the idea of expanding to new markets, but obviously, this is not something you can just get up and do. You need to ensure the new market makes sense for you and fits your capabilities and resources.
In these situations, you can use staff augmentation as a probing tool. You hire a couple of people through a staff augmentation partner, and if it works and the market proves good, you can go ahead and consider opening an office there. That way, you’re reducing the risks while making sure your line of expansion is uninterrupted.
Bring In a Fresh Perspective
Interpersonal and work dynamics in a permanent team are a complex thing that is bound to influence the processes, at least to some degree. An outsider, i.e. a short-term staff member, is much less likely to get involved with the in-office dynamics. As a result, such professionals are more focused on the project itself and less likely to create any unwelcome tensions or have any pre-existing loyalties.
Finally, short-term hires can be incredibly useful in terms of providing a fresh perspective and a new pair of eyes with an objective opinion of how things are going on in your company. This is a very valuable benefit as it is generally hard to achieve with a permanent team.
Offset the Attrition
High churn rates are an issue plaguing many IT companies in the past years. IT is an extremely dynamic environment. Professionals tend to change jobs more often than in other industries. Moreover, in 2022 a staggering 30% of employees stated they want to leave their jobs. Combined with current economic factors, in some companies, this can cause attrition issues, where many people are leaving and are not being replaced.
With staff augmentation, you can prevent getting stagnated in your crucial project phases as you’re making sure always to be adequately staffed.
Is Staff Augmentation Right for Your Business?
While it’s obvious that staff augmentation can provide multiple benefits, especially to IT companies looking for engineering staff, it is not some universal solution that should be applied indiscriminately.
First of all, it’s vital to understand that cost savings should never be the main motivator for making major staffing decisions. Sure, in today’s economy, we need to keep a keen eye on every single dollar, but it’s more important to keep a keen eye on your long-term vision and your bottom line.
Short-term savings are great, but, as we saw, staff augmentation is more than just that. Flexibility, agility, fresh ideas, and sharp focus are what you’re getting when you hire short-term staff that’s ready to hit the ground running.
And, what’s most important, you don’t compromise quality.