What Is Staff Augmentation? How It Works

Published On: 27-03-2022 06:02

What Is Staff Augmentation? How It Works

To recruit mid or senior-level engineers in the software development space, companies typically conduct in-house recruitment which can take weeks. Additionally, when you require a specialist team player at high priority, following this approach would not be a suitable option.

Here, you will need to take a smart move using a perfect hiring model, that is, staff augmentation. It targets in-house team expansion to help you hire experts for your project without taking much of your time.

What is Staff Augmentation

IT Staff Augmentation is a contractual outsourcing service meant to cover an existing in-house team’s skill gap by hiring specialized skills experts that will match specific IT project needs.

Simply put, this model allows you to continuously hire developers with different skills and competence levels on a project basis while eliminating the liabilities of employing in-house employees. Employed and managed by the agency, they become a part of your team and cooperate with your own team, usually for short periods of time. This way, you expand your in-house team temporarily by combining the benefits of staff outsourcing and the convenience of in-house staffing.

Moreover, using the team augmentation service, companies can minimize their payroll service, recruitment process, and project implementation costs. This hiring model is easily scalable, which means it is very much easy to end this kind of partnership.

How Staff Augmentation Works

Outsourcing companies generally have a database of IT professionals and can look for additional specialists on the market if required. After the resume screening is done, you’ll be able to schedule interviews with candidates and assign them test tasks. After the tests and the interviews are completed successfully, the IT Staff Augmentation company will present the candidates with job offers.

Let’s take an example for a better understanding.

Assume you have an internal CRM system and you want to update it. Also, your existing team does not have any experienced professionals who can make your product better.

So, you go for an outsourcing software development agency.

Here, the agency selects capable developers having experience on similar projects and shares their CVs with you. You can interview the picked candidates and sign a contract with them if selected.

Such a staff and resource augmentation approach operates perfectly and suits the best for short-term projects, as they demand lesser time to complete.

Types of Staff Augmentation Services

Type Traditional Staffing Providers Master Vendor Staffing Providers Specialized/Boutique Staffing & Consulting Firms Gig Platforms On-Demand Talent Platforms Direct Independent Relationships
Talent Types Skill-Based Commodity Commodity Skill-Based Highly Skilled Commodity Skill-Based Highly Skilled Skill-Based Highly Skilled
Description Traditional providers of temporary labor Large-scale staffing programs run by a single vendor Smaller firms or agencies that focus on specialized, highly skilled talent Online platforms that offer instant access to independent workers Online platforms that offer instant access to curated, highly-skilled talent Independent contractors engaged directly by organizations
Best For Non-critical projects where a high level of skill isn’t required. Highly commoditized projects labor needs where low cost and scalability are important. When you require specialized skillsets and highly skilled talent Task-based needs for more commoditized skillsets Highly skilled talent deployed quickly Needs that can be filled by known professionals
Strengths Flexibility Low Cost Scale Quality Speed, Flexibility Speed, Flexibility, Quality Quality, Low Overhead
Challenges Finding highly-skilled talent can be difficult Highly commoditized, talented quality can be inconsistent Generally costly, with high overhead Large marketplaces make it difficult to distinguish between candidates Talent is generally geographically distributed Difficult to find reliable individuals
Examples TEKsystems, Experis, Adecco Manpower, Kelly, AeroTek, Randstad PointB, Patina Solutions Upwork, Freelancer BTG, Toptal TalentNet, Workmarket

The definition of staff augmentation is diverse and context-dependent. Thus, to maximize the value of this approach for your company, make sure to determine your goals & priorities and weigh the pros & cons before choosing any model. For example, if you’re looking for a machine learning developer, considering cost would be impractical. Similarly, if you require a hundred individuals to perform a task that can be easily trained for, you don’t have to recruit based on a high level of skill.

  • Think of the duration of your project (if it takes less than six months, staff augmentation will suit you, while for a long project, it may be better to pick other models);
  • Consider the sensitivity of data you’ll have to disclose (it is always recommended to sign a staff augmentation contract with NDA terms with the agency and all developers).
  • Calculate the costs of training your in-house employees to work with augmented staff vs. recruiting a dedicated team or outsourcing the entire project (often staff augmentation does not ensure saving costs if management and communication processes do not work as they must).

A strategy to avoid underwater stones of outsourcing is simple: including the above three considerations into your planning process, always insisting on a staff augmentation agreement with an NDA clause, and calculating the costs carefully.

When to Use Staff Augmentation Services

Now, let us discuss the scenarios in which companies prefer using staff augmentation. You shall implement staff augmentation when you get caught up with these scenarios:

When you want an add-on to your in-house team

As you’re aware, staff augmentation focuses on extending an existing in-house team to acquire more individuals to carry out workflow jobs or stuffing the expertise space finding experts who are capable enough in a particular tech stack in certain IT fields.

When you need to augment your team quickly

You can choose staff augmentation if you need a local employee with expertise in any specific software, such as ERP software. This model saves time that is wasted in searching for a specialist. If you’re seeking a competent engineer in a particular stream, you can select the staff augmentation model to save your time and emerge with an appropriate and best expert. You only have to contact the agency, go through the candidates’ CVs, and interview them.

You are looking for high-level skills

Software developers possess skills that demand training, time, and experience to acquire proficiency. The skill level holds importance too as the workforce augmentation projects majorly include experienced engineers; juniors are rare as they do not have time to train them. It is a faster and more straightforward method for adapting a competent developer to the project working ambiance.

When your employee is unavailable

Another thing is likely to happen in which you need to change a current developer as he is on continuous leave. So, here, the agency will aid you in finding the suitable developer to replace and stuff in the gap of specialists in the team.

What are the Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation?

IT staff augmentation comes with several benefits. Let’s look at the main ones below:


Staff augmentation assists software organizations to reduce costs at different levels. To begin with, as already mentioned, you may pay augmentation staff only for the period of time they’re working. You do not have to spend on hiring, employee benefits, taxes, etc. It also assists in reducing the cost of training new specialists as augmentation staff are picked due to their proficiency in a specific area and need very little training.

Increased Adaptability & Flexibility

The scalability of your company is hugely benefited by staff augmentation services. You can afford to take up projects of every size and never say no to your clients’ needs. With staff augmentation, you scale the size of your team as per the demands. It also assists you in diversifying your services and offers great quality solutions with the proficiency gained from the temporary staff.

Better Control

Compared to complete outsourcing, Staff Augmentation lets you control your project at all times and conduct regular monitoring. When you have outsourced your project completely, you won’t be able to track the progress of your project, and the quality of your project is also fully dependent on the outsourced staff. With staff augmentation, you can place the augmentation staff at any requirement to enhance the efficiency of the project. It also aids in reducing the privacy and security risk which is common with normal outsourcing.

Counteract Attrition

In most situations, the need for staff augmentation emerges due to unexpected attrition. Staff Augmentation eases off companies from dealing with project management, staff attrition, and delivery deadlines. Recent statistics show, as the economy grows, up to 40% of software workers are looking for quick job changes. Staff augmentation can be the perfect solution for both parties as organizations could always be adequately staffed at all times and experts can put their skills and expertise to better use in a bigger arena.

Final Thoughts

In short, IT staff augmentation is the best solution for companies of any scale to reduce costs while promising a great deal of flexibility. So, be attentive towards the pros and challenges of staff augmentation as, if used right, it may prove to be effective for your organization.

Vofox Solutions has years of experience in the niche of IT staffing and outsourcing, and they provide expert advice and competent assistance in filling the staffing gaps in your company. They will guarantee smooth and productive staff augmentation process flows. Contact their team today to learn how they can help, request a staff augmentation contract sample to see how they work and get one step closer to the dream development team. Read more: How To Extend Your Development Team With Staff Augmentation In 2022

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