What is IT Staff Augmentation? and its Benifits

Blog Man By Nancy
11 August 2022
174
What is IT Staff Augmentation?

There are different types of staff augmentation and selecting the right model to fill your company’s requirement is not always easy. There’s always scope of error and many times the wrong model leads to the wrong hiring of the team.

But then what's the right way of doing it? And what's the right choice and selection of IT staff augmentation? Let’s find out in-depth what is staff augmentation?

What is Staff Augmentation?

IT staff augmentation is the process of temporarily hiring developer or professionals from an outside source. To fill the necessary positions in your company and get the work done.

It is a way of temporarily extending the professional team and making it stronger to complete the work at hand. So, that the work can be done faster and by the hands of experts leaving no scope of error.

Benefits of Staff Augmentation

This is how firms leverage from the staff augmentation to benefit their work:

Increased capacity:

An increase in labor is always a good idea during the seasoned business or hike in customer demand and when there's a spike in everyday work.

Filling the gap:

Staff augmentation works as a bridge to connect demand with supply and also supports employment. As there are majorly permanent hiring and building new offices or line of business at new locations.

Specialized skills:

It is a method of hiring people with specialized skills during a time of need. Bringing the best out of the firm and people working towards the common goal.

Intelligent strategizing:

Increasing your manpower during the time of need and not giving up during a challenging time. The competition must go on with increased speed and skillful work by taking the advantage of staff augmentation.

Everything has got its set of pros and cons and staff augmentation is no different. Let's see what pros and cons this method of recruiting has got to offer you.

Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation

Like any other thing, the staff augmentation of their respective pros and cons too. And we must know them to have a better understanding of this process. Have a look:

Pros
    Cons
To know all the potential full-time employees, this method can be used as a trial run.
Not a practical and great solution for long-term projects. There are chances of augmented staff to turn over during long-term projects.
Makes it easy to increase or decrease the workforce based on the demand.

The project that needs a high level of contextual and institutional knowledge may not be able to fully benefit from this scheme.

The augmented staff may not match up to that requirement and prove to be wasted time and cost in such a case.

Helps in smoothing out the peak, valleys, and challenging times in an enterprise.
Increased levels of dependency on third parties will bring the augmented staff. This will further add risks to the organization's sustainability plans.
The staff is usually pre-trained, experienced, and skilled which saves the time of making them understand the task. Making work getting completed in less time.
Lack of stability in the firm as augmented staff come and go repeatedly.

After knowing all the risks and advantages of staff augmentation, it's time to understand their types to make a better choice during the time of need.

Types of Staff Augmentation

Commodity

When a firm needs reliable workers that don't need to have any set of skills. This is basically about laboring and managing basic factory work or retail and warehouse events that can only be done by manual labor.

Skill-based

Here, the augmented staff must have some sort of skill or should be semi-skilled like typing, basic knowledge of any language, basic knowledge of computer, copywriting, etc.

Highly-skilled

The augmented staff is required to have an advanced level of skills and must be highly skilled in a specific field. These types of skills are very crucial and are only attained by learning, training, and experience. Because such staff is required in software engineering, brand design, contract design and at other high professional areas.

Types of Staff Augmentation Services

There are different criteria, services, and areas where the different category of augmented staff is required. Let us know them all in-depth.


Specification
Talent types
Most suitable for
Examples
Strengths
Challenges
Direct independent relationships
This is when independent contractors engage directly with organizations
Highly skilled
A task that can only be done by a thorough professional

WorkMarket

TalentNet

Quality

Low overhead

Tough to maintain an active and ongoing relationship, difficult to find reliable and suitable individuals
Specialized consulting and staffing firms
Smaller agencies require specialized, talented, highly-skilled, and professional individuals
Highly skilled
Work that can only be fulfilled by a highly skilled and experienced individual

Patina solutions

PointB

Quality

Mostly costly

High overhead

Traditional staffing providers
Temporary laborers facilitated by traditional providers
Skill-based, commodity
Tasks where a high level of skills are not required, best for non-critical projects

Adecco

TEKsystems

Experis

Flexibility
Finding skill-based individuals is sometimes difficult
Master vendor staffing providers

A single vendor that runs staffing programs on a large scale


Commodity
Highly commoditized labor is required for important and low-cost projects

Randstad

Manpower

AeroTek

Kelly

Low costed individuals
Sometimes inconsistent talent and skill quality, highly commoditized
On-demand talent platforms
Access to curated and highly skilled people provided by online platforms
Highly skilled
Deployed quickly, highly skilled talent

Toptal

BTG

Quality, speed, flexibility
Talent is generally remote or geographically distributed
Gig platforms
Instant access to independent workers provided by online platforms
Commodity skill based
Task-based needs

Freelancer.com

Upwork

Flexibility and speed
Talent is mostly geographically distributed, large marketplace and multiple candidates make it difficult to differentiate between talent

Choosing the Right Staff Augmentation Model

When recruiting people via the staff augmentation model, you must look at the task you want to accomplish with their help. Knowing when to increase the workforce and put-up money and when to save money by compromising the workforce is important.

Because at the end of the day, the work must be done properly, with or without augmentation staff, by saving rightfully money or by spending it on the right things. Look at all the pros and cons that are there in every situation and make a decision based on this calculation.

This will further help you to choose the right staff augmentation model. Don’t forget to check the details below to avoid mistakes, to be extra informed and careful.

Model Considerations and Misunderstandings

Here are the 3 considerations that one must clear before signing up augmented staff:

Time length of the project

The first consideration is the time length of the project that requires augmented staff. It is in the best interest of a firm to use staff augmentation in short-term projects. This is because since the augmented staff is not permanent, they might leave the organization once the decided time is up.

While in exceptional cases, augmented staff providing agencies are usually ready to negotiate.

Ramp-up Time

The second consideration is ramp-up time or the entire duration. Ramp-up time can be a huge challenge when a project is crucial and complex. Firms sometimes end up spending more time on a project than they initially estimated. And this costs them huge time and money.

A lot of time goes into ramping up the augmented staff or hiring new individuals. Ramping up or hiring the augmented staff all the time can be exhausting and time-consuming.

Privacy and Secrecy

The last consideration is the privacy and secrecy of the firm that might be compromised by having augmented staff. You must know that the privacy and secrecy of the company can be compromised after hiring augmented staff.

And while the agreements signed by the contractors can save you from such a mishappening, one should still be careful.

If the projects that are highly secretive and involve critical information urgently require augmented staff, the selection must be done very carefully. Also, the project must process slowly and with caution if you have hired augmented staff for it.

And now we must discuss the 3 misunderstandings too to be clear of them:

Staff augmentation is expensive

The first misunderstanding is that an augmented employee costs more than a full-time employee is very real. But looking at the statistics, it is safe to say that this is just a myth in so many cases. Paying a full amount of annual salary to one person is more costly than hourly paying someone for some time to get the job done.

Practically, the cost of augmented staff is usually reasonable and cost-effective.

Managed services vs staff augmentation

The second misunderstanding comes in with this comparison. People usually confuse their terms and professions.

While the staff augmentation works on a contract that is finalized before signing them up, deciding their duration and cost. But their result is not definitive. They are only supposed to do whatever they are asked to do.

EG; to write lines of a specific code and work on an hourly basis.

The managed services on the other hand are about paying the augmented individual after the completion of work and based on the result. And in this case, the quality and benchmark of the result are predefined and the delivery of work has to be definitive.

EG; to create an entire application.

Staff augmentation is cheaper

The third misunderstanding is believing that staff augmentation is cheaper than having full-time employees.

While this might be true in some cases, not in all cases. Plus, the risk of having only or maximum augmented staff can be risky for the firm's security and success too.

Hiring or not hiring augmented staff thinking about cost can be foolish. There are certain tasks in a company that can only be fulfilled by full-time employees while some projects will require short-term employees to finish the special tasks.

Staff augmentation – A Cross-Functional Strategy

If used properly, staff augmentation is a great model that can help in leveraging various organizations. To increase the workforce when needed by the required set of individuals, to adapt and seamlessly blend with the changing needs of the enterprise, and to increase the agility of a company, having augmented staff is a wise choice.

With the increase in need of augmented staff in fields like HR, finance, R&D to operations. And having an entire web of freelances and contract networks. The significance of augmented staff shortly for any enterprise is surely going to increase. And therefore, it must not be overstated.

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