The use of alternative labor or staff augmentation wasn’t much of a consideration a few years back but now it has become a powerful model for organizations to increase agility and respond to hiring challenges.
ITstaff augmentation model is used across industry borders and there comes a concept of cross-cultural functional teams working together breaking typical hiring stereotypes.
The average time to hire a software engineer is 35 days by woventeams
Thirty-five days are way too much when needing quick hiring. If you hire through popular hiring platforms like Toptal, Clutch, GoodFirms, Basecamp, etc. You get pre-vetted engineers within 2-4 weeks time frame.
In one of our previous blogs, we covered all key aspects of hiring a dedicated development team.
This blog post will cover the concept of IT staff augmentation, its working principles, hiring challenges, and a comparison of staff augmentation services with a consultation.
IT Staff Augmentation Meaning?
IT Staff augmentation is a business model for companies to expand the technical capabilities of their in-house teams on a permanent, short term and long-term basis.
In software development, IT staff augmentation meaning is to allow organizations to find the right and highly qualified experts which otherwise isn’t possible if we restrict hiring within borders.
There are many vendors offering IT staff augmentation solutions on a contractual basis.
Staff Augmentation Process Flow
Before team expansion, you should identify the number of resources needed, the expertise and skillset, and the project scope. Only when you’re on a clear page, outsourcing vendors can start candidate resume filtering.
- Resume screening – qualification of the resource is assessed and checked if the expertise is according to the one required.
- Scheduling interviews – selected candidates are scheduled for interviews.
- Test tasks – to assess the technical expertise of the resource.
- Job offer – once the candidate clears the interview and test tasks, the job offer is sent. IT vendors have their own hiring procedures and standards too which they follow.
The hiring process can take anywhere from 10-20 days.
Working Principles of IT Staff Augmentation
Principle 1- You Should Know When to Use Staff Augmentation Model
Understand what your company’s skill gap looks like
This can be achieved by conducting interviews, surveys, and doing some observations. Ask IT / project managers and top management, to compare in-house team capabilities with the ones needed.
Already have an in-house team
IT staff augmentation model is used when you already have an in-house team and you want to augment the capacity of the organization. You want capable resources quickly who could merge with your in-house team and deliver quality code.
Augmentation for short-term projects
IT Staff augmentation is ideal for short-term projects and if the project expands, this model acts like a bridge in assessing if the talent hired performed well enough. So, if the hired development team worked well, you can hire them for the long term with a dedicated development team model.
You’re on tight timelines
The hiring of software developers takes time and it may affect the delivery or timeline of the project. To avoid such scenarios staff augmentation can help greatly as resources are pre-vetted and hired quickly (2 weeks in most cases).
Mid or senior-level developers or rare / skillset needed
Rare specialists like Scala Dev or Big Data developers are hard to find. Recruitment of in-house developers either senior or mid-level isn’t easy; staff augmentation helps in finding the right talent as the hiring is global and not restricted to one country or region.
Direct control over project progress
Each member of the augmented team will report daily to you or as you set the progress reporting. Staff augmentation keeps on total control over the project.
Cross-cultural and diverse team formation
Expand your talent pool by hiring resources from across the globe. If you want to portray having cross-cultural and diverse teams onboard, staff augmentation is the answer here.
Related blog: How to choose an offshore software development company?
Principle 2- Prepare Considerations Checklist of IT Staff Augmentation by Research
- Language and cultural barriers, outsourcing especially staff augmentation come with such differences. Accommodate your hiring strategies to the region’s cultural and language differences.
- Seek knowledge about the outsourcing team’s region universities and companies.
- Different career paths of engineers from different regions.
- Take time out and design interview processes as they vary from one region to another.
- Be clear on who you want to hire. Must provide interviewee details of your recruitment process and later stages.
- Identify the skillset gap your company is facing and what positions need more attention.
- Look for if the outsourcing vendor matches your company culture. Startups with casual and modern cultures may feel difficult to work with cooperate-focused companies. Video chats can help in this regard.
- Don’t be afraid of asking for past references and projects. Take time to talk to one of their clients, if possible.
- Do multi-sourcing for the same project, this helps in getting hands-on with the right development partner.
- Modify management style and make the augmented team part of your in-house team by ensuring a shared sense of responsibility.
Principle 3- Avoid Basic Mistakes that Could Ruin Your Business While Outsourcing IT Staff
- Delegating random tasks without strategizing the need and budget of the project.
- Ask yourself if your business has the bandwidth or enough budget for outsourcing.
- Never prioritize cheap labor over quality. When you hire with the sole purpose of cutting costs, you may compromise on the code.
- Choosing the development partner without doing background research such as company profile, reviews, references, past projects, etc.
- Skipping the interview part and selecting candidates based on research and on-resume data. You may miss on great talent.
- Not setting what you can expect from the outsourcing company. Miscommunication can affect business goals in the short and long run.
- Dishonesty. Transparency with your vendor will help the company serve you better with true serving intention.
Hiring Challenges That Could be Solved Through IT Staff Augmentation?
1- Talent shortage, finding IT experts
today hiring specialists for the IT industry has become hard, US developers or developers from big economies are expensive and outsourcing is one way of getting cheap or low-rate developers/teams.
2- Poor communication due to language and cultural differences
Effective communication is the key to successful project delivery. Cross-cultural teams are often hard to communicate with due to their poor English writing and speaking skills.
3- Process of contract negotiation
Transparency and safety in client-vendor relationships can be maintained via properly assembled contracts. Poor contracts can lead to unexpected outsourcing bills and loss of control over the code quality.
4- Security threats and risks
Staff augmentation implies hiring a vendor and involving him in internal procedures. Security and privacy are critical to a client and must not be compromised. Organizations must perform regular security audits and maintain confidentiality.
5- Unrealistic expectations
In-house teams and augmented teams are often not on the same page of project understanding and scope, hence leading to delayed deadlines and more spending on the project.
IT Staff Augmentation vs Consulting
Project-based consulting is the one where the team is hired for working on a project from the scratch and that kind of outsourcing provides a clear roadmap of timeline and resources needed.
In contrast, the staff augmentation model opts for when there is already an in-house team doing well and it needs expansion of resources with special or rare skillsets.
The decision of employing either via consultation or augmentation boils down to business needs. The quick expansion of the existing team can be best done via staff augmentation.
These days, the trend of using contingent workforce across organizations globally is a hype whatsoever. Staff augmentation or outsourcing has increasingly become more and more common.
Companies are always in need of hiring talented engineers and they face shortages and many hiring challenges. Staff augmentation allows businesses to temporarily augment their teams after analyzing the in-house skillset gap.
Moreover, it overcomes major hiring challenges that most recruiters are facing.
Contact us if you want to fulfill the in-house talent gap quickly.