Is Staff Augmentation Right For Your Business?

Freelancer Economy

by Marta Kuzma , 22 June 2022

Is your company struggling to complete an important project? Then you need to bolster your team with extra workers — and fast! A great way to get this additional help is through staff augmentation.

Staff augmentation equips you with temporary assistance from outside workers who are contracted through an outsourcing vendor. These can be specialized operatives with targeted skills or simply extra workers ready to ease your short-term staffing woes. Another way to think of it is you’re boosting your team with extra personnel.

An augmented staff means your in-house staff has the support they need to tackle significant projects, fill operating gaps, or obtain crucial knowhow.

When Companies Might Need Extra Talent

When do you need staff augmentation? Most companies rely on temporary outsourced workers when their current staff is struggling to complete important work on time or needs extra expertise or labor for a project. 

Some common situations in which you may need team augmentation include:

  • A major deadline is approaching that you won’t be able to meet in time. Sometimes it’s impossible to tackle a big project or meet an impending deadline without some extra hands. Companies can benefit from staff augmentation when they need immediate help to finish important work. Temporary workers can push you over the finish line when you’re in a crunch. 

  • You need to briefly fill vacancies on your team. Hiring new employees to fill skill gaps in your team takes time— but you can’t sacrifice that when your organization is understaffed. Staff augmentation can provide quick, temporary aid while you devote your attention to interviewing and onboarding your next full-time hires. They provide your team with the bandwidth to continue their projects without hiccups.

  • You have a temporary need for specialized workers. Sometimes product development teams need special expertise for a one-time venture.Your full-time employees don’t have the expertise needed for a certain undertaking, and training them would take far too long. Outsourcing is a great way to bring someone onboard who’s already an expert in that field and can complete the specialized tasks. 

Staff augmentation is very common in tech industries such as software development, where staffing needs can ebb and flow with projects like program improvements or hardware rollouts. Even small companies can benefit from IT staff augmentation if they don’t have a sizable permanent IT team.

Benefits of Staff Augmentation

The benefits of staff augmentation are low costs, fast solutions, and temporary commitments. You only gain extra staff for a brief, predefined period — which is often more practical than permanently expanding your in-house team. In other words, the biggest advantages of team augmentation include:

  • Less hassle than hiring in-house employees. You know the time and effort it takes to hire an employee. You won’t face the expenses of recruiting internal personnel if you borrow workers from an outsourcing vendor. This is a fast, hassle-free solution to patch gaps on your team.

  • No long-term obligations or changes. This flexible, short-term model allows you to acquire workers who meet your needs without committing to an indefinite employment contract. They’ll adapt to the culture and structure of your company. Once the work is complete and the need ends, they leave — no strings attached. 

  • A cost-effective staffing solution. Temporarily augmented staff is far less expensive than growing your in-house staff. Consider the cost and time spent recruiting, interviewing, training, and coaching a new employee when you’re already in a crunch. 

  • Select candidates based on specific requirements. In a traditional hiring process, managers often choose workers who show long-term promise in the company and bring an array of skills to the table.  However, outsourcing via staff augmentation allows you to acquire personnel that add specific, immediate value without worrying about their future within your infrastructure. 

Types of Staff Augmentation

The staff augmentation model comes in three primary forms: commodity, skilled, and highly skilled. 

  • Commodity: When you need more hands for your labor force but the work doesn’t require special skills or training. 

  • Skilled: When tasks involve a certain level of prior knowledge and familiarity, with the possibility of passing along that proficiency to peers.

  • Highly skilled: When tasks necessitate many years of experience and technical expertise that is hard to transfer to other workers. This could also involve task or project management.

You can also distinguish short-term staff augmentation from long-term staff augmentation based on how long you intend to retain the extra personnel. 

  • Short-term augmentation: Typically, this period lasts 2-5 months while a permanent employee is away on personal leave or a specific task requires outside contributions. 

  • Long-term augmentation: Any arrangement lasting 6+ months is usually deemed to be long term, such as a substantial business development undertaking or when finding traditional workers has been unsuccessful.

Staff Augmentation vs. Other Options

Augmentation laborers are contracted through a staff augmentation company to assist your organization on a temporary basis. That’s not the same as project outsourcing.

What is the difference between staff augmentation and outsourcing? Staff augmentation brings outside assistance into your company to help with a project, while outsourcing sends that project to an outside firm. The difference is how much you retain oversight and control over the project. 

What is the difference between staff augmentation and managed services? Service management utilizes a remote team to perform specific tasks for your company, while augmentation brings on extra staff for overarching projects or general assistance in the workplace. In other words, the difference is in the responsibilities. 

Managed services are contracted and paid based on the completion of specific tasks, whereas staff augmentation reflects a certain goal but the particular tasks or duties are less clearly defined. 

Choosing the Right Model

Selecting an augmentation or outsourcing model that works for you depends on your business needs and resources. Here are some important points to consider:

  • Goals: What are you trying to accomplish? How will augmenting your staff help you reach your objectives? 

  • Location: Can the work be completed by remote developers, or do you need your staff to remain on-site with your other dedicated team members? Can your remote workers be internationally based or should they be domestic?

  • Availability: Do you need your permanent and temporary staff to all be in the same time zone with overlapping availability? Are work hours flexible? 

  • Accommodations: Do you have the office space to accommodate more on-site workers? Do remote personnel require specialized tools to perform work for your company?

  • Responsibility: Can you fully entrust an external development team with your project, or do you need certain internal staff members or project managers to remain in control?

  • Confidentiality: Does the work involve highly confidential data or intellectual property? Consider the possible fallout of a security breach if you’re working with third-party teams.

  • Timeframe: Do you need additional staff for only a few months or a few years? How much time do you have to onboard new workers?

  • Budget: How much cashflow do you have to spend on outsourcing, and how much revenue do expect to generate from your current venture? Make sure you consider bottom line through a cost savings analysis.

Navigating Staff Augmentation Services

Once you determine your preferred augmentation model, it’s crucial to choose a service provider that works for you. You can do this by:

  • Knowing your situation: Be upfront about the skill sets you need, your budget, your timetable, and your expectations. The more you disclose, the more likely you’ll gain the tech talent you need for a successfully augmented team.  

  • Asking questions: Get to know the provider and their practices. How do they screen and cultivate their talent pool? What ongoing support services does the vendor provide during the commissioned period? 

  • Understanding the contract: Don’t sign until you fully comprehend the arrangement you’re making with the provider. It can be tempting to rush through the transaction if you’re in a hurry to gain that extra help, but should always read the fine print.

Looking for Team Augmentation Now?

MVP Match is a tech-enabled marketplace that provides international staff augmentation services. We’re here to help you meet your business objectives by connecting you with new tech talent.

Skip the lengthy recruitment process and let us do the work for you. Contact us to find freelancers who already have the skill set your company needs. MVP Match will connect you with talented, high-quality personnel who are ready to take your business to the next level.

MVP Match can also help if you’re a freelancer seeking short-term gigs. Join our freelance network to explore endless career opportunities. 

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