The best practices and benefits of staff augmentation

There is a growing need for IT and software development services. Here, a series of best practices and benefits when engaging in staff augmentation. Learn all about them.

Fidel Chaves
8 min read

What is staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation refers to adding work capacity to your team without hiring the talent directly. As with any other kind of work, there are a set of best practices and benefits of staff augmentation. Today, we will be reviewing the pros and cons of staff augmentation, how it works and its the best practices. But first, what is staff augmentation?

 

To put it plainly: staff augmentation refers to adding workers to your team without hiring them directly. It is, in a way, a special kind of recruitment where you do not recruit each talent individually but hire an organization that does that for you. Why would you choose this? We will go into specific benefits further in the article, but the bottom line is that staff augmentation lets you access remote talent worldwide with unprecedented flexibility.

 

With the new global requirements for stores to integrate physical with digital, demand for IT and software development services are rising. Business owners do not always want to commit or can afford to hire multidisciplinary teams (developers, designers, writers, and marketers). Their needs might be very specific or project-based, so they might want to take on the benefits offered by staff augmentation.

What are the benefits of staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation comes about with many benefits. I managed to list twenty of them, but you might find more if you start thinking about it. I will try to explain each of them briefly without throwing a sleep-inducer text to you.

1. Instant hiring

The most obvious one on the list. Staff augmentation allows to instantly hire talent from organizations that classify skills and introduce professional profiles to specific requirements.

2. All-rounder talented professionals

Through the process of staff augmentation, you can access all-rounder talented professionals. These are people that are used to blending into any project and start working immediately.

3. Cost-effective

Staff augmentation is not about paying cents to offshore workers, but it removes some costs associated with overhead expenses: HR recruitment costs, and training times, especially for clearly delimited projects.

4. Efficiency

Efficiency emerges in staff augmentation as you forget about recruitment, training, infrastructure, paperwork, and many other issues that take significant time.

5. Global reach

Staff augmentation lets you benefit from a global reach using present-day connections, facilitating hiring talent regardless of their geographical location.

6. Networking

Staff augmentation is a perfect networking opportunity. It enables you to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities by reaching out to entrepreneurs, developers, and designers you might not otherwise know.

7. Specialists & their skills

Staff augmentation can look like getting a motley crew of specialists, kind of those heist movies where everyone has an exceptional skill, which is true in IT where new tools and software launch every day.

8. Strategic advantage

Staff augmentation gives you a strategic advantage over other competitors as you can quickly introduce new players into your team to make a production spike and build an MVP or upgrade your system faster than anyone.

9. Scalability

Thanks to instantly (or almost) getting new people on your team without a lengthy onboarding process and training, staff augmentation lets you quickly scale a team to leverage a competitive position or prepare your site for the next hot sale.

10. Trial runs

Staff augmentation is not always about getting things as fast as possible. Though speed is always appreciated, sometimes you will want an expert to do trial runs, analyze your current infrastructure, and provide quality assurance.

11. No infrastructure investment

As you might have guessed, staff augmentation usually does not imply a single cent in infrastructure investment. Talent obtained from these organizations already has their own tools necessary to provide quality services.

12. Reduces recruitment times

Instant hiring means no recruitment times or reduced ones. Some organizations can provide a list of candidates to interview and choose from an existing pool of professionals before adding them to a team.

13. Expand your talent pool

Combining the global power with organizations that seek talent far and wide, you are guaranteed to expand your pool of available candidates. Software factories have access to local and regional talent that you might not be able to get from your location.

14. High productivity from the get-go

Bringing together the all-rounder talented professionals we talked about before with a straightforward project and workflow, staff augmentation can assure high productivity from the get-go.

15. Full control of staff

Have you considered outsourcing options before but were reliant on choosing them as a great deal of trust implied in giving your project to someone else? Then staff augmentation is the perfect solution for you as you maintain complete control of staff with all of them under your wing.

16. Client-centric

As you can see in the point above, staff augmentation is a client-centric relationship. You get what you need and ask for precisely, not less or more. Forget about invisible fees.

17. Workforce transparency and progress visibility

Staff augmentation presents workforce transparency and clear progress metrics. After all, these specialists are here for the job, so nobody wants to extend times unnecessarily. Efficiency and commitment rule here.

18. Internal acceptance

You might be afraid that your internal team might have some problems with the space invaders, but that is not what happens in most cases. For many of your team members, a foreign talent might mean that they are not here to replace them but to help them reduce their workload.

19. Shared learning

Given the right conditions, staff augmentation sets up a perfect setting for shared learning. Not only carrying the skills that the new talents bring home but also the diversity they introduce. With staff augmentation, it is not rare to find an interdisciplinary and international team all working together for a common goal: your project.

20. Reduced paperwork

I cannot stress this enough: reduced paperwork. I do not know about you, but one of my recurring nightmares is forgetting to turn in tax paperwork or going through something in my employment contract, and I'm sure it must be worse for HR with my bizarre questions. Forget about all that.

 

I think that's it for the staff augmentation benefits, but there is no better way of telling if it is meant for you than trying it out. Before wrapping up, let's review some best practices to have in mind before hiring a staff augmentation organization.

Staff augmentation best practices

As with any other service, staff augmentation has a set of best practices that you want to follow and agree with the provider. Let’s examine some of them before closing up:
 

First of all, choose an organization that provides the infrastructure needed for the staff you are getting into your team. There is nothing worse than thinking that everything is figured out only to realize that it is all cardboard infrastructure. Organizations have to provide their workers with the necessary tools and resources, be sure to ask beforehand, and mistrust anyone that does not give you a straight answer. Otherwise, there is no way to facilitate an offshore team.

 

Afterward, ask your vendor if they have dedicated professionals like HR, client management, and such. These roles might not be what you are looking for, but the service provider should include those positions for support. If this is not well-defined, some workers may not know who to call when they have a personal problem or need to discuss paperwork.

 

Lastly, when adding new staff to your in-house team, make sure to create some deliberate interaction and integration strategies. It is not an us vs. them situation, not unless you want to implode your project. Team building exercises are always an investment, even if they look like time spent.

 

As an extra recommendation, there are four best scenarios for staff augmentation:

 

  • When seeking to save up time and acquire flexibility
  • When planning to launch a new project and require additional staff
  • When the ongoing project requires specific skills and know-how
  • When carrying out extensive testing or consulting for a product before release

 

At Awkbit, the process begins with listening to your needs. We want to know what you are looking for, your expectations, and your requirements. If we manage to pique your interest, we can work together to achieve your goals while providing ongoing support.
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Sources & further reading