Is IT Staff Augmentation the Right Strategy for Your Business

IT staff augmentation

By now, you’ve probably heard the speech of why hiring local developers is not the best idea. If you have the world to choose from, why focus on local ones? And yes, you can hire talented local developers but at what price? It’s always better to have a broad spectrum of options. However, hiring remote developers is not only about outsourcing them or hiring them on a freelancing basis. Other alternatives can help you scale your IT team. For instance, IT staff augmentation has turned into the new buzzword on the market; but is it a good business strategy? 

What is Staff Augmentation?

Let’s say you have a great IT team; you’ve been working together with most developers for a couple of years now, and luckily your business is growing. Each month you have more and more clients, which translates into more projects. However, everyone on the team is starting to get burned out because there are too many things to handle.

The dilemma now is whether it’s worth hiring a full-time remote developer for projects that might not last that long or hiring a freelancer (we covered that here). But, are those truly the only two options you have? No, you can also extend your IT team with staff augmentation.  

Staff augmentation, in technical terms, is an outsourcing strategy that teams and companies use when they need to hire extra talent temporarily. As its name says, companies augment their capacity by hiring developers to work on specific projects and tasks.

But how does staff augmentation work?   

If you have a project that will last for 3 months only, you can use staff augmentation to hire a full-time dedicated remote developer to focus on that project until it’s finished. That sounds like the perfect solution, right? The whole point of this outsourcing strategy is to obtain the skills and talent necessary to fulfill the team’s objectives. 

Pros and Cons of IT Staff Augmentation 

Whenever you need to hire IT talent, you probably feel your heart starting to beat faster and have painful headaches. The main reason is that developers tend to be expensive, and not in all cases do you get what you pay for. However, with business strategies such as staff augmentation, you’re not creating a permanent contract, so you get to work with a developer without risking too much of your time and money. But like everything in life, it comes with pros and cons. 

Advantages of IT Staff Augmentation  

1.   Higher Productivity

If your business is growing and you have more projects, overloading your team is counterproductive. If you want to increase productivity, the best way to do so is by hiring remote developers. You’ll have more hands working and adding specific skills that will help you complete your project.

IT staff augmentation will help you increase productivity because developers will be fully devoted to your project.

 2.   Get the Talent You Need

If you’ve hired developers before, you’ll know how difficult it can get. Not everyone’s skills match your expectations, and sometimes you need to hire someone for an urgent project, so time becomes your enemy. However, one of the greatest benefits of staff augmentation is that you’re hiring for specific skills. 

If you need someone good at technology setup, you hire them for a temporary basis, and that’s it, problem solved! Plus, when it comes to remote developers, the talent pool is the entire world full of possibilities.

Think of it as hiring a house painter. Although you don’t need to hire them during the entire year, you could require their services for two days, saving you time and stress! They are skilled enough to paint the house flawlessly.

 3.    Staffing Flexibility

If you’re wondering how IT staff augmentation can enhance your business growth, think of the staffing flexibility it offers. When you’re running a business, you need full-time permanent employees but, in some cases, you don’t need to hire someone under a 1-year contract. You need their skills temporarily, and that’s exactly what staff augmentation offers.

Imagine you need to build a logo for your website. Would you hire a designer for an entire year or a month or two?

 4.    Low Operational Costs

One of the great things about staff augmentation is how it helps companies to reduce costs. You can hire an Eastern European developer who charges half of the money a U.S. developer earns. Why? Because of the costs of living.

When you hire remote talent, you get to hire people that live in countries where the cost of living is lower. This allows you to lower your operational costs without prejudicing your projects. You get unmatchable talent for a lower price.

5.    A Different Recruitment Strategy 

As we’ve mentioned several times, staff augmentation is mainly for hiring people with specific skills, mainly during a short period.  However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t get hired for a longer period.

If you hire a talented developer who enjoys working at your company, you could eventually hire them for a permanent basis. 

Disadvantages of IT Staff Augmentation 

1.    Forget About Long-Term Projects

Staff augmentation mainly focuses on short-term projects. Yes, if things go well and you get along with a developer, you could eventually work on longer projects, but this doesn’t happen very often.

2.    Training

When you hire a full-time permanent developer, there would always be training involved. Imagine you’re working for a specific client; they need to understand the terms and conditions and specific aspects. This will also happen when hiring under staff augmentation, even if it’s for a short period. In the end, you might spend effort and time training the developer for the short period they are working with you, so sometimes it is not worth it.

 3.    Lack of Your Company Culture

Culture is an essential aspect of companies. It’s what makes employees passionate and give their best at work. And one of the disadvantages of IT staff augmentation is that the new people in your team won’t have time to understand your culture as they would be more focused on getting work done. They will not focus on your company but on the project itself, and while it doesn’t seem like a big deal, someone that’s more involved in your company could give a greater result.

This significantly impacts those projects that require a high-level knowledge of the company and its culture.

4.    Workflow Issues

Not all companies can adapt easily to working with extended teams. If your IT team has been together for a time now, it’s harder for outsiders to understand your workflow and processes.

You need to put energy into showing them more about your working methods, as you would do with a new hire.

Is IT Staff Augmentation the Best Business Strategy? 

Staff augmentation can be a dream come true for companies that need specific skills! But it could also turn into a nightmare for those teams who are not sure what they need to achieve their goals. 

IT staff augmentation is a great business strategy, but it depends on several aspects. Firstly, you need to know why you want to extend your team and if it’s necessary. And secondly, keep in mind that staff augmentation consists mostly of short-term contracts. If you wish to have passionate and loyal employees, probably what you’re looking for is a full-time remote developer. However, if you need a specific skill set for one or two projects, your best option is hiring through staff augmentation.

If you need a full-time remote developer (check our guide on how to do it properly) who will adapt to your workflows and processes and your company culture, we can help! As a remote recruitment agency, we’ve been making matches made from heaven for our clients for more than 10 years. We are ambassadors of remote work, and we believe in all its benefits. But we also believe in the importance of hiring talent that will also adapt to the company besides providing the skills. 

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Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman believes every company, from the biggest enterprise to the newly-launched garage startup, should have access to world’s top talent. That’s why he used over 10 years of experience in tech industry recruitment & HR to create DistantJob. His unique recruitment model allows DistantJob’s clients to get high quality IT experts working remotely at a fraction of the usual cost - with no red tape and within two weeks.