What is IT Staff Augmentation? How it Works: Complete Guide

What is IT Staff Augmentation? How it Works: Complete Guide
Technology

The soaring demand for business digitalization has exposed companies having dearth of skilled tech experts. According to Bloomberg, about 54% of companies all over the world experience shortage of proficient talent, and HR managers face difficulty in attracting and finding the skilled talent required to build their team.

Now, the IT Staff Augmentation process is completely transforming the workflow. As a result, web and app development is not just only confined to the team of in-house professionals, whereas it has widen its boundaries in all directions. To enhance the project quality and to explore the different market and tech trends, more and more companies are inclining towards outsourcing skilled personnel to fulfill their short-term project demand.

It is turning out to be a very effective and convenient model for companies, regardless of the industry domain to which it belongs. Overall, Staff Augmentation practice delivers multiple benefits for companies and skilled developers as well. In addition to that, the client can also demand a crisp deadline for the project delivery, and to make this possible the agencies can increase their staff instantly as per their requirements.

If you are the one exploring such an instant expansion solution for your business needs, then Staff Augmentation can be the most suitable tactic. Let’s understand this term in detail, its types, pros and cons, and the process of staff augmentation to fill the gaps in your business.

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff Augmentation is a common practice in the IT industry that involves outsourcing specific staff for a definite time period to work on a definite web or app development at a time.

Recruiting the right talent for your project needs is quite a tricky and complicated task. For that, the HR managers have to explore the global market of developers and pick the right talent very precisely to deliver the project. These IT staff often work as an extension of an in-house developer’s team.

In general terms, Staff Augmentation is a type of outsourcing service from an external service provider on a contractual basis. These external staff should have to complement the skills and knowledge of the in-house team. It requires a strategized hiring module where the evaluation of existing staff capabilities is required to analyze the gap of tech-experts that a specific project requires.

The outsourced personnel is directly recruited by the vendor, as a result, the need and cost of hiring full-time employees are minimized. Let’s understand Staff Augmentation with a simple IT agency example.

Suppose, you want to develop an app which requires a team of 6 developers and 3 UI/UX designers. But currently, you are having only 4 developers and 2 designers. It might be possible that you can deliver the project with this limited resource, but meeting the project deadline won’t be possible. Therefore, you can turn towards practicing the Staff Augmentation model in your organization. As a matter of fact, hiring 2 in-house developers and a designer would require a month or two. It might lead to project delay or loss of client.

But while following the Staff Augmentation model, you can hire specific talent within a week or two for the specified period of time. It will help you to get your project developed and deployed within the assigned timeline. In addition to that, you don’t have to lay off the additional staff after the project completion due to shortage of work.

Types of Staff Augmentation

Before planning to implement an IT Staff Augmentation services, the agencies need to analyze their requirement first. The agencies can hire IT staff for a shorter or longer time duration as per the project demands. Analysis of time duration, expertise, and skills of the outsourced staff is very crucial to maintain the quality of the project.

After analyzing these details, you can consider any of the following types that suit your project’s needs. Generally, there are two methods that staff augmentation companies follow.

  1. Short-Term Services

    The short-term staff augmentation service is used when a sudden demand for IT staff arises but for a definite or shorter time period. For example, when the in-house expert is on a long holiday or on sick leave.

  2. Long-Term Services

    The long-term staff augmentation service is suitable for the entire project development or long-duration projects. Such experts are basically recruited when the project deadline is short and you need to fill the shortage of skill/resources gap, reduce operational cost.

Further, Staff Augmentation can be divided into three categories and are as follows:

  • Commodity

    The commodity staff augmentation type does not demand any specific specializations. Under this model, the recruitment is done to fulfil the urgency gap rather than seeking specific skill expertise. It means an averagely skilled person can also fill the shoes when such urgent needs arise.

  • Skill-based

    As compared to the Commodity staff augmentation method, the skill-based staff augmentation requires a little bit more focus over skilled hiring. Still, the top quality skill is not required, yet basic skill and subject understanding are required. For instance, clerical work which can be taken care of by any educated or trained candidate.

  • Highly-Skilled

    As the name suggests, the IT or software development companies consider highly-skilled staff augmentation type to fulfil the relevant expert gap in the team. Without a doubt, the highly-skilled staff augmentation method should be practiced to ensure the project quality. Hence, the recruitment manager needs to look for essential skills, training, and expertise of the candidate who can work efficiently in coordination with the in-house team.

Pros and Cons of IT Staff Augmentation

Pros of Staff Augmentation

  1. Recruit Global Talent

    There are numerous global companies that follow staff augmentation model, hence the companies can explore the worldwide spread talent and need not be confined to a specific area. This enables companies to hire highly qualified and skilled employees to fulfil their project’s demand instantly.

  2. Cost-Efficient

    The skilled manpower is spread all over the world but the charges significantly vary. So, from the outsourcing agencies the companies can recruit skilled candidate at a comparatively low budget. Overall, the development cost will reduce and clients can also feel good with a quality product but under the planned budget.

  3. Full Control on Staff

    Another major benefit of preferring IT staff augmentation is the ability to have a firm grip on the existing staff. When you hire a part-time or a project-specific candidate for a definite time frame, then you have control over who leads the project and what to prioritize to ensure the product quality and timeline.

  4. Minimize Legal and Management Issues

    While hiring staff, the companies have to provide employees everything necessary, including software, required devices, payrolls, insurance, etc. overall it is quite a lot to deal with. But with Staff Augmentation service providers or tech staffing agency, the company doesn’t have to take care of all such details. It is super convenient for such an IT business to find the right talent with minimum effort and post recruitment management activities.

  5. Resource Saving

    The Staff Augmentation practices rely on business requirements and support to save hiring multiple resources as a full-time employee. The companies can hire relevant resources whenever required for a definite time period. Hence, it eliminates the presence of in-house ideal resources or employees when the company doesn’t have projects in the pipeline.

  6. Higher Productivity

    Under staff augmentation, the employees or developers can deliver 100% productivity as they are dedicated to a single project at a time. As a result, the client can experience top-quality dedicated work from the employee which leads to higher productivity.

Cons of Staff Augmentation

  1. Minimum Accessibility of Remote Staff

    It is a bit tedious process to monitor remote staff, due to differences in time zone, instant accessibility, and reach as compared to the in-house inmates.

  2. Difference in Cultural Backgrounds

    Different cultural backgrounds can be a major hurdle in managing the team effectively. The teams might face language, time, and cultural differences that influences the person’s working style, habits, and mind-set.

  3. Potential Miscommunication

    Language barrier can be the potential promoter of miscommunication in staff augmentation. Although English is the most common language spoken in many countries, but each country has a specific dialect that usually causes miscommunication.

  4. Higher Management Costs

    Project and staff management could be a tedious process to carry out remotely while adopting for staff augmentation. It may also result in higher staff and project management costs.

Staff Augmentation Process

The IT Staff Augmentation is applicable for companies that have in-house teams and require additional specialists to achieve their business goals. The process of staff augmentation used to vary depending on the outsourcing company or agency that is providing the employees. However, considering the standard practice, the staff augmentation process follows the following steps for ensuring the project’s success.

  1. Need Identification

    The initial step of implementing staff augmentation services in your organization is to first analyze and define your outsourcing goals; with reference to a number of specialists/professionals, skills, and experience you require for your project’s on-time delivery while maintaining the budget.

  2. Choosing an Outsourcing Partner

    Explore the IT Staff Augmentation market before hiring any specific outsourcing agency to fulfil your business requirements. Figure out the most suitable partner that can follow your business criteria among the available outsourcing partners list. But be cautious in terms of price tag while selecting the one, as neither the lowest price tag nor the highest price would be the guarantee of quality tech delivery. Therefore, choose the one after a thorough research.

  3. Interview and Negotiate with the Chosen Partner

    Based on your project’s requirements, and the shortlisted outsourcing partners, interview every individual candidate to figure out the candidate’s expertise and their potential to manage the remote processes. After filtering a few numbers of the right talent, negotiate the budget and discuss the contract with every individual partner before making the final selection of tech-partner.

  4. Employee Onboarding

    After taking care of all the legal and monetary concerns, now you can remotely onboard your new team member. The first thing to be taken care of is to introduce these members to the team and define their roles and responsibilities in detail. Try to resolve all the queries of on-boarded expert, it will help him to smoothly associate with the team and be aware of the project’s requirements.

  5. Ongoing Support

    The staff augmented employees are assigned to communicate with HR managers and the team leads to ensure a productive and successful relationship during the ongoing partnership and futuristic requirements as well.

Conclusion

Recruiting new talents for your organization could be time taking and complex process. Despite such efforts, the results of hiring an employee could not be predicted. With evolving business requirements the demand for staff varies in terms of long-term or short-term commitment. For short-term staff requirements, the IT staff augmentation services works very effectively. It provides a competitive edge in the tech market and provides a firm grip over project progress.

The staff augmentation introduces a number of benefits, including transparency, cost-efficiency, and flexibility. However, before choosing the staff augmentation partner, ensure to perform extensive market research to find the most suitable tech partner.

Codiant has a team of skilled mobile app and web developers and collectively they hone more than a decade of expertise in staff augmentation. During this time span, we overcame all the hurdles that agencies usually face in outsourcing the staff, by providing them industry-wide domain experts under a single roof. Given that, we can effectively help you to build a brilliant business IT solution, no matter what. Get in touch with our experts, and we can support you efficiently in dealing with your web or app development needs. 

Fill in the Resources Gap and Speed up the Project Delivery Time with Codiant’s Staff Augmentation Services.

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