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Is staff augmentation worth it?

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In an unpredictable and constantly evolving business environment, the demand for tech expertise is ever-increasing. However, the shortage of proficient IT specialists is the sad reality today’s market must confront and adjust to.

The staff augmentation services have been in high demand for quite a long time. Although it was a novel concept with limited familiarity back in the 2000s, today, most companies use it as a resource of critical skill sets.

The magic behind its popularity is simple: staff augmentation works wonders. It is an efficient and hassle-free way of fulfilling any talent gap and resuming corporate growth at a half of related expenses, making it a win-win option for the company.

What is staff augmentation?

Managing an internal team can be challenging, let alone the hours and money needed to recruit the right specialists. That is the main reason why lots of companies are opting for the team augmentation.

Put it simply, staff augmentation refers to hiring outside professionals on a per-project basis to supplement the resources of one’s organization. It is a kind of outsourcing methodology where specialists are recruited to remedy the deficiencies on projects according to the existing business objectives. This staff is supplemented depending on the core skills and can be recruited either for brief or long-lasting cooperation with a business owner.

Why consider staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation for a full spectrum of a tech stack

Specialists with rare skills and tech stack are like unicorns – no one is sure they exist. And if you are lucky to find one for in-house employment, the recruitment process may take months. Besides, experts that do hold such expertise charge excessively high rates.

The collective experience of team augmentation vendors guarantees you have access to the most relevant and cost-effective tech talent to give you a competitive advantage on the market. IT staff augmentation is the magic pill taken when there is no employee with a rare tech stack nearby. As a result, team augmentation speeds up the process of hiring the needed tech specialist and helps find the most cost-effective option.

It’s a catalyst in solving hiring issues

Hiring full-time workers for temporary tasks is laden with intensive activity. Unlike the traditional hiring process, team augmentation services allow companies to reduce recruiting time and hire consultants more quickly than in-house employees. This is thanks to the non-involvement of HR and the absence of extensive interviews from the client’s side. Therefore, companies can ramp up their teams faster compared to the usual process. Thus, the average time to recruit full-time employees for the tech industry ranges from 2 to 3 months, whereas team augmentation companies can staff your team on request in mere weeks.

Scale staff to needs

IT companies often find themselves in constant flux regarding their staffing needs. Sometimes, niche-specific skill sets may be needed for one project, but not necessarily for any further project needs. Staff augmentation allows companies to add or subtract resources to match demand. With flexible hiring, businesses can expand their operations on a trial basis, without investing in a full-fledged workforce. As a result, companies don’t need to scale down after demand has waned.

What are the cons of staff augmentation?

Undoubtedly, this model is not a cure-all option for business. In particular, an arrangement with IT service providers has a number of disadvantages:

Remote work struggles

Although staff augmentation is a flexible way to quickly extend your internal team by hiring remote dedicated experts, remote staffing challenges are what turn off businesses to consider this hiring option. However, with 2020 coming to an end, pandemic-induced remote living and working did contribute to the global adoption of remote working situations. Remote working is the new normal today.

Questionable English proficiency

Among the most popular cited challenges linked to collaborating with staff providers is the communication barrier. Since most traditional outsourcing companies are scattered all over the world, staffed employees frequently struggle to communicate effectively in English. Therefore, companies have to make sure that the staffing vendor verifies the English language proficiency of potential supplemental workers, and builds effective client – worker communication channels.

Knowledge vested in the specialist

On-boarding supplemented workers into the company can be challenging taking into account compartmentalized knowledge of different departments. However, your remote workers must stay au courant with project initiatives, business rules, and the corporation’s vernacular. Familiarizing the team member with the existing ways of working is time-consuming, but essential to keep the project Agile as much as possible.

The bottom line

IT staff augmentation is a common practice for turning business challenges into opportunities. It is creating the possibility for scaling up or down internal teams along the journey, thus combining the benefits of outsourcing and internal recruiting.