IT staff augmentation is a powerful strategy to make your Software Development acquire speed, flexibility, and low-cost scalability without losing code quality. Using the resource augmentation for hiring and scaling your Software Development Team you can get in-house and distributed talents all together to meet specific business objectives. 

The main advantage is combining the reliability of a full-time workforce with the flexibility of project outsourcing. 

Also, you can reduce time and money spent on recruitment, once the responsibility of vetting and recruiting talents is of staff augmentation companies. 

Once finding IT architects, DevOps specialists, software engineers, and others is an exclusive task of the staff augmentation services outsourced, your role will be staying in control of managing the project and adjusting your team size and expertise exactly to the needs of your project.

But, what is IT staff augmentation? How does it work? If you would like to understand team augmentation and how it can do your business going to the next level, keep reading this page.

What is IT Staff Augmentation?

IT Staff augmentation is an outsourced model that aims to quickly have a team available for a project according to the anticipated needs.  Let’s say, it’s a new look at the old formula.

In this model, companies count on the help of outsourcing staff augmentation services to cover skill gaps after evaluating the existing staff and identifying a lack of experience to fill.

Therefore, the main advantage of IT Staff augmentation is to be more assertive in the talent hiring and retention process. Once the IT staff augmentation companies provide the client’s workforce with skilled talents and dedicated specialists that will match specific product development needs, you reduce the risks of outsourcing.

Furthermore, Staff Augmentation is used by IT Managers and Tech Leaders globally for accelerating your hiring process and makes companies grow faster. In 2017, the outsourcing market reached $88.9 billion worldwide, according to Deloitte. 

And not only because it’s considered less expensive to outsource: most often companies choose to outsource to focus on their core business activities, solve capacity issues and enhance service quality.

  • 59% of companies outsource to reduce or control costs.
  • 57% do it to focus on business objectives.
  • 47% to solve capacity issues.
  • 31% to improve service quality
  • 28% to take help from talented professionals
  • 17% to manage their business environment
Cost, enabling core business functions, and solving capacity issues are primary drivers of outsourcing.

Cost, enabling core business functions, and solving capacity issues are primary drivers of outsourcing. Source: CMA Group

How does IT Staff Augmentation work?

IT Staff Augmentation is a custom and personalized model of outsourcing talents, according to skills and roles. Using Design as an example, the teams may be formed of Strategist Designers, or Product, User Experience (UX), User Interface (UI), Research and Service Designers. Not to mention the fields of expertise that blend with Technology, like Design Ops and Design System specialists.

In practice, there are some steps for each stakeholder to follow:

IT staff augmentation companies

  • Creating the map of required skills, qualifications, years of expertise, and the number of developers and engineers that your product needs.
  • Start the search process, find and review suitable talents
  • Interviewing and curating candidates to ensure culture and technical qualification

IT Managers or Tech Leaders

  • Creating and monitoring onboarding and integration of new team members
  • Keep supporting and nurturing the talents (even after the integration process).
  • Collecting feedback and building strong relationships with them is crucial for effective cooperation.

How long does Staff Augmentation last?

Short term Staff Augmentation: it can be adopted during periods of increased demand for employees or when in-house teams are unavailable for a certain period. 

Long term Staff Augmentation: it’s more suitable for big projects filling a skill gap, cutting operational costs, or not preferred in-house hiring processes.

Why use IT staff augmentation instead of other alternatives?

Argument Staff Augmentation Onshore outsourcing Offshore outsourcing
Cost-efficiency High level team nearshore without spending with recruiting and training, employee benefits, taxes etc. Costs are higher than Staff Augmentation because of employee benefits, taxes etc. Cheaper options, but chances are you loose in communication because of the big gap of time zone
Code quality High High Medium
Bureaucracy x Flexibility Total flexible, change team size whenever you need. Not flexible  Not flexible because of large timezone differences and local legislation
Cultural fit High High Low

Is IT Staff Augmentation really a good Idea?

There are a ton of reasons to adopt IT Staff Augmentation as your strategy to scale a high-performance team. 

Money savings, including hidden costs

Because of the high demand in the US, hiring high level software engineers is very costly. According to Indeed, the average salary for a software engineer is $110,564 per year in the United States and $4,000 cash bonus per year. 

In addition to the high salaries, there are more hidden costs such as health insurance, ongoing training  or even hiring a contractor and spending goes beyond hourly fees – the majority of staffing agencies charge 15%-25% off each new hire’s annual remuneration as their commission fee – which can mean a substantial increase in your budget.

On the other hand, using an IT Staff Augmentation service as outsourcing partner you’ll have Hiring Process Outsourcing (HPO) and HR Process Outsourcing (HRO) both included in just one fee.

This will help you to eliminate the long process of hiring someone for a reasonable cost-effective.

Increase growth speed by shortening months of recruitment work

Instead of spending weeks or months, in the Staff Augmentation model you’ll be able to meet aggressive project deadlines.

Once the Staff Augmentation Company is completely focused on source, recruit and hire processes you can account with high level engineers and developers in a matter of days, temporarily or permanently.

The only part of the recruitment process which remains your responsibility is final interviewing and selection.

So, choose a nimble, effective, and customer-centric partner that brings results at the speed your business demands.

More assertive because of Custom Recruitment Model

Once the Staff Augmentation service is focused on finding engineers and developers with specific qualifications and skills, you’ll direct access to the needed specialists which you may not always find in your city, region, or country.

Here is another thing: when looking for your Staff Augmentation service prefer choosing a partner which works nearshore.

IT Staff augmentation roles and responsibilities

IT Staff augmentation roles and responsibilities

Working with teams located in geographical proximity to your country like South America – chances are you’ll have seniors specialists available, taking less time to complete tasks and consequently increasing the quality of your product.

Here is a short list of benefits for choosing a nearshore team:  

  • Get face to face with your team, supported by shorter flight times when compared to offshore
  • Maintain your sanity (and sleeping nights) not working an odd schedule because of bizarre time zones
  • Keep intellectual property laws are similar to the US
  • Not losing a Higher-level of engagement (thanks to similar culture)
  • Improve quality software development and collaboration
  • Reduce costs with the US dev team and increase ROI
  • By involving staffing augmentation instead, you get three more developers to your team within 1-3 weeks, achieving quicker software product completion and faster market launch.

Sometimes mix in-house engineers, staff augmentation and project outsourcing will be the best choice for you. The truth is that there is no 100% answer for it. Anyway, cost-benefit and quality will always be the deciding factor at the forefront. 

there are many benefits to staff augmentation

There are many benefits to staff augmentation

Check a Table Comparison among Onshore, Nearshore, and Offshore here.

Questions you should ask a Staff Augmentation Firm before hiring

When choosing your Staff Augmentation Service you must focus on some important points, which are the Methodology, Service Level Agreement (SLA), Intellectual Property and labor conditions.

Staff Augmentation Methodology

Finding a Staff Augmentation partner which understands your staffing needs is crucial to be successful in the hard task of managing distributed teams.  And most important: this partner should have a good plan to support you in building a high-performance team.

Some good characteristics to look for in a partner are:

  • Flexibility to adjust their overall staffing approach when necessary
  • Resourcefulness to attend to different skills needs from your Software Development Lifecycle such as front-end developers, product designers, web analytics developer, etc
  • Communication capacity of the talents hired by the partner with the rest of your distributed team
  • Great Background in Outsourcing with good work history, professional credentials and high level of previous clients satisfied
  • Smart processes and strategies to adept at executing staffing requests
  • Partner location and time zone next to yours to facilitate meetings and alignments
  • Convenience and facility in communication, with tools simple-to-use and transparent process to guarantee the efficiency in keep all project stakeholders connected
  • Consistency in the schedules and a pool of exceptional engineering or creative design candidates.
  • A partner able to guarantee candidates with english language proficiency in order to establish effective remote worker communication channels

Questions to ensure Quality of Staff Augmentation Service

When you invest the money of your company in Staff Augmentation service, nothing is better than asking everything possible. The best outcomes depend on a good initial filter to find the one that best matches your cultural fit and has the expected ability to deliver top-notch talent.

Beyond that, you must ensure control and quality at the end of the day, so you need to reduce more risks you can. Despite you can’t monitor the entire project all the time, you can’t be in a leap of blind faith, so asking specific questions for your potential partner can help you to make the right decision.

  • What does your vetting process look like?
  • What specific contributions did your team members make to prior projects of your clients?
  • Should I be able to interview the candidates for my project?
  • Have you done any project similar to mine, regarding the Industry/Technology/Product Features?
  • Where do you find your candidates and what do you look for when hiring new developers?
  • Will the staff work full time on my project?
  • How do you ensure software quality?
  • Will I own the source code?
  • Does my intellectual property remain safe?
  • What collaboration tools do you use during the project?
  • What steps do you take on to protect my company’s confidential information? Do you operate with Standardized Security Protocols?
  • Are the hired engineers legally bound to me through co-employment? Are they treated in the same manner as my internal employees? 

Can IT Staff augmentation be a successful model for expanding your team?

Yes. It is not surprising that IT staff outsourcing is so popular and particularly successful among companies from the USA, Canada, and various European countries. More qualified staff provides the speed, professional acumen, and flexibility your team needs to scale quickly and complete development on time.

There are many advantages such as lower Development Costs, Less Recruitment Headache and Increased Output and Team Size, IT Staff Augmentation became prominent in America. This is the opportunity to choose the right (and qualified) candidates at lower costs and manage them with the methods you desire. When should you prefer IT Staff Augmentation instead of onshore models?

  • When there is a need to manage and staff required resources

If you need to establish a quick communication with your team regularly to manage the project you have to be well-connected to your remote team. Also, if you want to make sure that all staff required resources are being served and they feel like part of your organization, staff augmentation model it’ll be perfect because it integrates teams either locally or throughout the country. 

  • When you don’t have time or Human Resources to hire specialized engineers or developers to your team

You want to scale your team to have several programmers to develop another module of the products. You are developing high-end products together with a team. But your company is still struggling to hire the right talent, perhaps hiring some people that did not work out. Now you intend to hire from other countries/locations. Augmenting a staff is a perfect solution for the given scenario!

  • When you have a short budget and a challenging product or need to meet aggressive project deadlines

Staff augmentation is a pay-as-you-need model where it helps IT firms to cut expenses at various levels. As we already mentioned, you can pay workers only for the period they work. You don’t have to spend on recruiting and training, employee benefits, taxes, and more as workers are selected based on their expertise in a specific domain because all the hire is on the Staff Augmentation Firm payroll. This eliminates a lot of the cost and compliance barriers present in full-time employee hiring, especially if you hire often. 

  • Reduced Risks​ in outsourcing because of seniority of your team

Once you find a great Staff Augmentation Firm to support you in the hiring process, chances are you’ll successfully build a custom development team with value and multiple skills and reduce as close to zero as possible the risks. Otherwise, rely on the Staff Augmentation Firm support and consulting is a plus.

How do Staff Augmentation firms Help Companies Find the Right IT Staff?

Scaling your team successfully depends on finding the right Staff Augmentation service, which means a partner with a high-touch and consultative process of sourcing, vetting, and hiring talents.

Your Staff Augmentation firm needs to understand the roles required in your team, meet deadlines and increase your ROI. And how can this partner do this? Knowing the local market where the talents are, which means: good IT universities, specialized schools, competitors, what is fair compensation for the roles and what are the mandatory benefits you have to handle your employee.

6 types of Staff Augmentation 

Staff Augmentation All types of projects and product development
Boutique Agency Searching rare skill sets and filling exclusive needs
Master vendor staff Addressing quick needs at low costs, good for bulk hiring
Gig platform Quick hires for short tasks
Independent contractor Clear scope and need to terminate contracts easily

 

Among other things, Staff Augmentation services can also help your business grow by:

  • Implementing new technologies that give you an edge over your competition.
  • Providing access to on-demand talent based on your project requirements.
  • Cutting down capital and operational expenses on IT.
  • Bypassing processes like personnel training and hardware purchasing.
  • Reducing development time so you can launch products faster.
  • Giving you project flexibility, guidance, and constant expert support.

Curious? Talk to Ubiminds

Ubiminds combines the best of each world when it comes to growing your software business. The IT staff augmentation firm also acts as a boutique agency for filling Principal and Lead positions (as well as other leadership roles) but has a facilitated engagement model so you can upscale and downscale teams quickly. There are no fines for terminating SOWs, for example.

Why hire IT staff augmentation with Ubiminds: everything you need to know about how we source, vet, and custom-curate digital product teams

IT Staff Augmentation: Everything You Need to Know for 2021 onwards (trends & challenges)

As per a Statista report, the global outsourcing market in 2019 before the Coronavirus hit the world was $ 92.5 billion. And after the pandemic, the IT staff augmentation market size grew to $ 132.9 billion. By the end of 2021, Statista reports that IT outsourcing’s market size will hit $ 413.7 billion.

Because of all the benefits of IT Staff Augmentation for scaling tech teams, this model has become influential on the global economy, reaching more than $ 20 billion worldwide, according to a study by TechServe Alliance.

Companies that often choose to outsource to focus on their core business activities gain great cost-effective results, besides flexibility, enabling speed to market, and enhancing service quality for a new project.

Remote teams prove to be a successful solution to the IT industry, which requires skilled programmers with high competencies to deliver a high-quality job for beneficial pricing. 

On the other hand, in recent years, however, we have witnessed the number of IT staffing services increasing and low-barriers to entry have crowded the marketplace with an over-saturation of service providers. 

The supply of IT staffing firms far outweighs the demand for these services. Selling IT staffing services has transformed a profitable strategy to make money and that meant signing risky and unfavorable contracts with poor payment terms. 

So, the main challenge for those who need to find a dedicated and committed  IT Staff Augmentation partner to the needs of your company and the quality of hiring, you need to pay close attention to your decision. A shortlist of trends in IT Staff Augmentation for 2021 and onwards are:

  1. Staff Augmentation will be a permanent solution for the shortage of Top Tech Talent
  2. Companies will prefer only seniors on board to ensure quality in deliveries (the more talented, the better).
  3. Nearshoring is an interesting choice to increase the cost-effectiveness of the project, access expert knowledge, and enhances the workforce, besides solving the issue of language and cultural differences
  4. IT Staff Augmentation with talents residing in UTC/GMT+3 time zone should be more aligned to US companies and have good working hours overlap with U.S. time.

Common IT Staff Augmentation Challenges & How You Can Begin to Solve Them Today

There are some good practices that help to ensure that your outsourcing operation will be successful. To name a few:

1. Communication

Ensure that your IT Staff Augmentation partner has continuous, transparent, and smooth communication. Ask the partner what collaboration & communication tools they usually work with, their methodology, and SLA.

2. Culture and location

Establish a communication protocol to ensure English proficiency and cultural fit from the beginning. Also, prefer nearshore staff instead of offshore to solve time zone issues. For overcoming the time zone differences, synchronizing both in-house & augmented teams and scheduling meetings is a better way.

3. Mismatched Expectations

Because there are many people involved in the Software Development Lifecycle, chances are that the stakeholders can have a different understanding of how the end product should look and function. 

To avoid mismatched expectations between augmented staff, the customer, and your company is a good practice to align the complexity of the project, level of detail in the work description, level of standardization, the unknown variables, and a number of engineers and developers needed.

Want an IT Staff Augmentation Partner Hassle-Free?

With custom hiring strategies Ubiminds guarantees a high level of IT Staff Augmentation to your company. Count on us if you are looking for Fully integrated efforts, Senior engineers only, and Improved ramp-up and tenure.

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