What Is Staff Augmentation? A Model To Extend Your Team

・8 min read
What Is Staff Augmentation? A Model To Extend Your Team

In IT, staff augmentation is one of the ways to extend a development team. Having an in-house team can be tricky, not to mention the time and money needed to find the right engineers.

Staff augmentation combines the benefits of outsourcing and in-house hiring allowing companies to hire qualified programmers quickly.

Let’s dive deeper into the topic of staff augmentation, its benefits, comparison to other models and how to find a staff augmentation company right for you.

What is staff augmentation?

Simply put, staff augmentation is the use of outside specialists on a temporary basis to augment the capacity of one’s organization. It is a type of outsourcing strategy where employees are hired in order to fill gaps on projects in compliance with the current business objectives. This personel is hired based on the skills needed and can be hired for short or long-term cooperation with a client.

Service like this gain momentum because of the specifics of IT industry and shortage of talents. In the IT sector, staff augmentation companies can provide you with programmers, QA engineers, designers, marketing specialist and system administrators.

Types of staff augmentation

Generally speaking, there are two main types of this hiring model: short-term and long-term collaboration.

  • short-term services - used during periods of increased demand for developers or when in-house specialists are on vacation or sick leave
  • long-term services - more suitable for longer projects, commonly used to fill a skill gap, cut operational costs or when the in-house hiring process is too long

We can further divide staff augmentation into the following three categories:

  • commodity - when you do not have reliable workers to perform a specific task but they do not need specific skills
  • skill-based - when you require certain skills, but the level of them is not critical
  • highly-skilled - when you require advanced skills and their level is important

How staff augmentation can improve your business?

There are many possible scenarios where making use of staff augmentation will introduce many benefits to your company. For example:

  • to increase flexibility and capacity - it is easier to hire developers at the time you need them, for example during the holiday season
  • time savings - specialists can be hard to find locally, sometimes the recruitment process can take months. Staff augmentation allows hiring specialists from around the world in a short period of time
  • lower operational costs - although vendors charge fee, you do not need to worry about costs like office rental, bills, equipment. It is cheaper to outsource than to hire in-house
  • close the skill gap - companies that lack IT talents can hire programmers outside the country
  • bridge to hire - staff augmentation can serve as a temporary solution while you hire a permanent team
  • business strategy - used to build an organization or team to gain competitive advantage, increase time to market or be more agile

Benefits of staff augmentation

  1. Workforce Transparency - you are informed about every detail of the work through advanced tools of communication and project management strategies
  2. Full control over project development - you are hiring a team of experts while having full control over the development process
  3. Progress visibility - teams of developers often make use of agile and scrum principles which means you will constantly be informed on the progress of works
  4. Client-centric - in outsourcing client is the biggest priority
  5. Quality resources and skillsets - you can choose from an international talent pool
  6. Employees from the expert team - by contacting an outsourcing company you have the ability to choose the people who are you going to work with
  7. Complete flexibility - with staff augmentation you can have as many developers as you need at the given time
  8. No setup or maintenance costs - there are no hidden costs like equipment, office rentals etc.

A competent development team will quickly add value to your project. You will be able to find people with the right skillset. You can also look at staff augmentation as a trial run for potential full-time employees.

Staff Augmentation vs Other Models

Staff augmentation is not the only type of employee outsourcing. It is often compared to other outsourcing models like software project outsourcing and managed services.

Software project outsourcing

An outsourcing model suitable for more demanding projects that require not only coding but also project management or testing. It is usually used when a new project is created while adding new features to an existing one. In this case, the software outsourcing company provides various services and manages the entire project. A solution like that requires less engagement from the client-side, however, extensive research is necessary.

Pros:

  • wide range of skills - you get a fully-fledged team of specialists
  • less responsibility - the partner company manages the development process from start to finish
  • well-developed outcome - the provider has to meet your requirements while providing a quality solution within the agreed timeframe and budget

Cons:

  • less flexibility - the conditions of cooperation are defined by the contract
  • less control - you rely on contractor’s expertise
  • additional costs - more experts cost more, in comparison to staff augmentation

Managed services

A cooperation model based on principles similar to project outsourcing but here you entrust the whole process or system. Usually, it a non-core part of the business and the partner has full control over it. Managed services are more complex and long-term solutions.

The pros and cons of such solutions are the same as in software project outsourcing including losing flexibility while gaining a variety of skills. However, there are fewer vendors that provide such services.

All in all, the main difference between staff augmentation vs project outsourcing vs managed services is the client’s involvement (the highest in staff augmentation) and control over the development process (again, the highest in staff augmentation).

When Is Staff Augmentation the Right Model for You

The most typical scenarios for staff augmentation are:

  • the company wants to save up
  • when launching a new project and in need of extra staff
  • the project requires specialized knowledge
  • to test the product before the release

Staff augmentation is a perfect way to scale a project when the in-house employees are not able to deliver all the solutions. Because it is temporary, it is also cost-effective and flexible.

7 Steps to Finding a Staff Augmentation Company

In general, the process of finding the right staff augmentation partner can be narrowed down to 7 basic steps:

  1. Determine what you are lacking - whether it is a specific skill or number of people
  2. Specify whether you are interested in long-term or short-term collaboration
  3. Research the market - choose the most suitable outsourcing company. Consider both nearshore and offshore
  4. Find 3-5 staff augmentation companies providing services in the selected location
  5. Verify testimonials and references, check their portfolio, social media, company blog
  6. Hold a call, negotiate about pricing, discuss contract details
  7. Sign a contract

Why choose Selleo to augment your team

Selleo has years of experience in team augmentation. Our unique process includes 4 steps:

  1. Tell us your needs - drop us a line explaining your idea and product
  2. Interview and hire developers - book a call with our developers, graphic designers, and QA specialists. You can choose who is going to work on your project. Even at the very early stages of our collaboration, we will provide you with full technical support - propose unique solutions, technologies etc
  3. Start development - our specialists will handle the back-end, front-end, design and testing
  4. Ongoing support - after the release of your product, we will still provide you with support

Selleo has over 12 years of experience in software development. More than 230 business and tech leaders have built their web apps with our teams since 2005.

With 60+ developers and designers with rich industry expertise on over 150 projects, we can help your business grow.

Conclusions

Staff augmentation is a great option if you need to quickly scale your team or you are lacking a particular skill.

It brings lots of advantages like flexibility, transparency and cost savings.

Before you choose the outsourcing partner, make sure to conduct extensive market research to find the best-suited company.

With many years of experience in staff augmentation, Selleo skilled teams are always ready to help you build an amazing solution. If you want to work with us, use the contact form to get in touch.

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