What is IT Staff Augmentation and how to go about it?

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IT Staff Augmentation

Staff Augmentation is the utilization of outside personnel or team to increase the capacity of your team and maximize performance. IT companies usually go for staff augmentation when they want to scale their operations or have to deliver a project at a predetermined time. The practice of hiring workers from across the countries has always been there. Companies used to hire resources to fulfill for workers who have gone on leave or have medical emergencies, and many such reasons. Today the same trend has been continuing but with a slightly different motive. IT staff augmentation has become a prominent and essential practice in all the major companies because it simplifies tasks and ensures business continuity. It is one of the important aspects of scaling the business. So, if you are skeptical whether your organization needs it or not, here are some of its pros and cons that will help you give clarity about the perks it offers and what can be the drawbacks.

Pros of Staff Augmentation

Staff Augmentation is typically the utilization of outside personnel which has quite some advantages.

Fill workforce gap with global recruitment

Facing gaps in your development team or other staff? Staff augmentation can help you fill it up with technically sound resources as per the needs of your organization. Today, it is easier to hire resources from different locations because you have plenty of candidates from developing countries who usually look for such opportunities. The add on is, you can also hire freelancers for a specific project or the entire team that will work dedicatedly to roll your project to market.

Save Project and Organization’s time

When it comes to in-house recruitment, there is a lot of hassle. By choosing an offshore team for your project, you can simply eliminate the process of individual in-house recruitment, resource background check, skill check, documentation work, etc. All you have to do to scale your team and get the job done is – find a good offshore service provider and leverage the resources that they have already recruited based on their skill set and could quickly get onboard merely by transferring project knowledge.

Complete ownership of team/staff

Staff expansion gives you control over the team and lets you decide who will lead the project and who will shift to a new role, etc. Moreover, you get a temporary team that works full-fledged for the project tenure.

Pay as per your needs

Resources can be hired according to the needs of the project. It is not at all important to recruit full-time employees which could prove to be pretty expensive. You can simply hire the resources for as long as the project demands and save money for other future projects.

Disadvantages of Staff Augmentation

It is a tricky job to handle staff augmentation because when the short-term project turns into a long term, it poses some setbacks. Here are certain challenges that an organization can face:

Extra efforts to train resources

When you hire resources for full-time development work, you need to train them. The flip side of increasing staff in-house is you have to bear the cost of training and dedicate time to help the worker to come to terms with client expectations. This is feasible but honestly, needs more efforts from the organization to onboard new team members.

Operational Issues

Working with extended teams can be a hassle at times because it is a tedious process to make them understand your organization’s workflow. You will have to acquaint them with the working methods and introduce them to company policies.

Different Company Culture

Culture is an important aspect of motivating employees to give their 100% at work. However, new employees don’t have much time to understand the company’s culture. They are more focused on project completion however, understanding company culture helps you to deal with people better while working together. This could be more challenging when the projects are long-term and require knowledge of the company.

Types of Staff Augmentation

There are different types of staff augmentation that will suit the best as per your business requirements:

1. Within country staff augmentation

It is the model that works in the same country. The team is hired within the country limits, which gives the advantage of being familiar with the citizens’ behavior. This in turn helps make informed decisions. However, one thing that you will have to keep in mind is that it is a costly model and restricts the talent pool which can be outsourced from any other country at cheaper rates and with higher skills.

2. Nearshore staff augmentation

Nearshore staff augmentation refers to the model where the staff is scaled in a different country but in the same time zone. By going with this model, you get many options to pick from and you can take advantage of different perspectives as well. The more your talent pool is diversified, the better ideas you get to drive a project.

3. Offshore staff augmentation

Offshore staff augmentation is when the external team operates from a different country in a completely different timezone. It helps in exploring a vast talent pool at a remarkably low price. The only thing that could be a setback is the cultural or language difference. Other than that, the time zone differences can be of concern at times.

When should you go for staff augmentation?

Here are certain scenarios when you can go for staff augmentation:

  1. When you have a new project and don’t have the required skillset in your team, recruiting an augmented staff would be excellent to compensate for the skill gap.
  2. You have a big project with a strict deadline and need more manpower to upscale the process, you can hire 7-10 software developers to ensure on-time deliveries.
  3. You are willing to outsource the project but you want to have better control over the outsourced team to ensure better performance.
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How to choose the right augmentation model?

Choosing the right augmentation model is imperative when you want to onboard a dedicated team of skilled professionals. Each company has unique staffing requirements and the staffing goals should be aligned across those goals only. Therefore, while finalizing the IT staffing model or service providers, you must ensure they are flexible, understand requirements properly, and have enough skilled resources. Also, before finalizing the deal make sure they have the provision of adding temporary talent as and when needed.

Here are some of the steps that will assist you in making an informed decision about staffing augmentation:

1. Check the staffing requirements

Staffing requirements could be multiple. Whether you want to increase your staff for internal process handling or developers to deliver a project? There could be ad hoc or planned demands like the requirement of a UI/UX designer, project manager, or PHP developer. It is essential to analyze the specific requirements your organization is demanding. Consult HRs and project managers to learn how many resources and expertise is lacking to plan your staff augmentation process accordingly.

2. Analyze the expertise of staffing model provider

You must make sure whatever service provider you are finalizing on, they are able to manage the challenges of augmenting staff. Get the history of vendors and analyze their credentials as well as work portfolio. Take feedback from the previous clients of the service providers to get an idea about their work.

3. Understand the contract

Search for vendors that are capable of providing customized work agreements to cater to all your needs perfectly. Apart from that, the service provider must take time to comprehend the working environment of your business. This ensures that you have the right partner to achieve your goals as per your requirements.

4. Examine the communication

Before finalizing on the service provider, make sure how they are handling accounts as well as general communications. Search for a staffing model provider that has clear communication protocols. It can be used to monitor and tailor the specific requirements of the business.

5. Network of the service provider

It is essential to get in touch with an experienced provider with relevant connections and infrastructure to support the team. Moreover, it should give you the authority to hire, recruit and manage staff as per your operational requirements. Staff augmentation becomes easy when the service provider has a good network locally and internationally. Therefore, choose wisely after thorough research to make operations smoother in the future.

Misconceptions about Staff Augmentation

Most of the organizations feel skeptical while thinking of staff augmentation because of certain misbeliefs that circle in the market quite often. Let’s do away with those misconceptions and check what the reality is.

#Staff augmentation is a costly deal

IT departments are difficult to sustain, however, augmenting staff or outsourcing is certainly more cost-effective. Augmentation of staff eliminates many other costs like employee retirement benefits, insurance, legal procedures, compensations, etc. When you choose an experienced and well-established firm for staff augmentation, their efficient recruitment process ensures the hiring of skilled resources with good practical experience. This way businesses can work on their core competencies and simultaneously get good staff.

#Technical Assistance and Staff Augmentation are same

This is a common misunderstanding that staff augmentation and technical support are the same thing. Staff augmentation is the process where skilled resources are added to the team to increase the efficiency of operations. On the other hand, technical assistance is a temporary support for which resources are recruited to develop a product or resolve service problems.

#Staff augmentation teams are difficult to manage

When you opt for staff augmentation, the teams are well trained to acclimatize to the new working environment and operations of the organization. It is a misconception that physical distance makes operations difficult. With good connectivity and frequent communications, staff augmentation can actually benefit more than one had thought because you get to leverage top talent.

There are many players in the market that guarantee smooth staff augmentation. If you don’t want to fall into the trap of unreliable services, do a background check first thing. When you go with the right service providers, you won’t even have to bother about the above misconceptions that align mostly with the poor staff augmentation services.

How to Augment your staff with OpenXcell

OpenXcell is an IT services provider and recruitment firm that has more than 12 years of experience in the industry and has offered its services in 30+ countries. We help you augment your staff without any hassles. Our experts give you the best recruiting advice and assist you in filling the resource gaps ensuring the entire process flows smoothly.

Our process goes like this:

  • Requirement gathering
  • The first level of screening of resources
  • Hiring as per client’s specifications
  • Onboarding & resource training
  • Operational support
  • Maintenance support

Contact our experts now to learn more deeply about our Special Staff Augmentation Services and get your team built with the best talent on board.

Get Quote

author
Meenakshi Kalyani
AUTHOR

Meenakshi is a writer at OpenXcell. Her writing is a reflection of the deep knowledge that she has of the silicon world. Corroborated by intriguing facts and innovative ideas, her articles present every aspect of constant technological evolution. When she is not penning, you will find her painting, traveling, or introspecting her emotions to craft a piece on @sutured_emotions.

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