Staff Augmentation: What It Is & When to Use It

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Fred Monnier
Fred Monnier
Chief Staffing Operations Officer
Staff Augmentation: What It Is & When to Use It

Table of Contents

Staff augmentation is a great option for companies that are looking to quickly fill employment roles for either short-term or long-term. This is considered a smoother way to find employees with a particular experience more efficiently.
Published on
April 12, 2023
Updated on
October 10, 2023

Your company is growing, and you'd like to add extra staff to keep up with demand — but only temporarily. Or you have a short-term software development project that doesn't need employees on-site daily and may require more hands on deck. You could hire more full-time employees, but that might not be the most cost-effective option in the long run. Besides, you may only need to hire these staff for this one project. So what do you do? In such situations, you could consider IT staff augmentation. It's a solution that many companies are turning to in the current job market because of its efficiency.

Though the term "staff augmentation" has been around for quite some time, people may not know what it is and how it works. This article will cover what it is, when companies should use, and how to best leverage its benefits.

What Is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is an employment practice that involves bringing in outside professionals to fill short-term job positions within your company. It's an outsourcing model in which you hire personnel for temporary projects and tasks requiring extra skill sets or resources.

In IT, staff augmentation may involve bringing in software developers, web designers, or system engineers to complete specific projects or on an as-needed basis. This can reduce costs and give you access to skilled professionals who are experts in their field.

Types of Staff Augmentation

To fully understand how the staff augmentation model works, it's essential to know the different types of staff augmentation available. There are three categories of staff augmentation.

Commodity Staff Augmentation

This type of staff augmentation involves hiring temporary workers to complete a project without necessarily having specific skills. This could include data entry, essential factory work, or manual work.

Skill-based Staff Augmentation

Skill-based staff augmentation is a staffing model in which organizations pinpoint which skills and knowledge will best suit a project or role — then hire personnel with those specific capabilities on a temporary or permanent basis. This allows companies to get the desired skill set without investing in training or development for their team.

Highly Skilled Staff Augmentation

Highly skilled staff augmentation involves hiring experts in specific fields. This is becoming increasingly popular among companies due to the current skills shortage, as it gives organizations access to the talent they need while avoiding the costs associated with hiring and training staff.

IT Staff Augmentation vs IT Outsourcing

While the terms may seem similar, staff augmentation and outsourcing differ. The staff augmentation model focuses on short-term projects and tasks, while outsourcing involves contracting out all or part of a company's IT operations to a third-party provider.

Say your company is developing a new website and needs additional software development resources. You bring in external staff on a short-term basis to help with the project. This is an example of staff augmentation. Alternatively, say your company needs someone or a team to manage all aspects of IT, such as software development, system maintenance, and network management. This would be an example of outsourcing, as you'd have to contract the work to a third-party provider.

In staff augmentation, the company retains control of the project and has access to the staff on-site or remotely. On the other hand, in outsourcing, the third-party provider has complete control over the project and may not necessarily be available on-site.

Staff augmentation is also less expensive than outsourcing, as it eliminates the need to hire full-time staff and only requires payment for the duration of an individual's contract. On the other hand, outsourcing requires a long-term contract and costs more due to the involvement of multiple personnel.

When to Use IT Staff Augmentation

Now that you understand what staff augmentation is and how it works, you may wonder when and if it is the right choice for your business. There are several scenarios when staff augmentation is the right choice for companies:

You're short on time

Time is of the essence when it comes to software development projects, as delays can significantly impact cost and reputation. With staff augmentation, you can quickly have the right talent in place and start working on the project immediately. Moreover, hiring for software development roles is often lengthy due to the need for technical skill tests and background checks, so staff augmentation eliminates that hurdle. Therefore, staff augmentation might be the perfect solution if you have an approaching deadline and need extra staff to complete the project.

You're preparing for a peak season

If you're expecting a surge in demand due to seasonal activities or special events, staff augmentation can help you meet your customers' needs. You can hire extra staff for as long as you need them, and when the season or project is over, you don't have to keep them on board. This is a great option to reduce costs while ensuring that your customers receive the best service possible during peak times.

You hope to bridge to full-time hires

Staff augmentation is the perfect solution if you're looking to hire full-time staff for a role but need someone to cover the position temporarily. You can hire an experienced professional to fill the role until you find a permanent employee.

You don't have the expertise in-house

Staff augmentation is the perfect solution for your project if your team lacks the skills to complete it. You can bring in professionals with the needed expertise and experience to help you complete your project on time without investing in training or development.

You have a short-term need

Staff augmentation is an excellent option for companies that need extra staff on a limited basis for specific projects or tasks. This is because you don't need to hire full-time staff and incur the associated costs, such as full benefits and salaries.

You need a fresh perspective

Sometimes, it's helpful to bring fresh eyes and an outside perspective when tackling a project. This is because this new personnel can bring a different point of view and help find better solutions that your in-house staff may have overlooked. Staff augmentation allows you to hire people with different skill sets and experience levels to help you complete the tasks.

Using Staff Augmentation to Help Your Business 

Staff augmentation can be a great way to bring in extra staff and increase productivity. However, it's essential to keep in mind that there are specific steps you must take to make staff augmentation work for your business.

Identify the skills gap present in your company

To identify the skills gap in your company, you should comprehensively analyze your current staff and their skill sets. Then look at your company's goals and if the current skillset can help you achieve them. If there is a disconnect between the two, you can start looking for personnel with the skillsets and expertise needed to bridge that gap.

Choose a reliable staff augmentation company

Once you've identified the skills gap, it's time to start looking for a reliable agency that offers staff augmentation services to help hire personnel with the needed skillset. Make sure to do your research and check reviews to ensure you're hiring the right personnel for the job. Look at the agency's experience and success rate with similar projects to yours.

Define the role you need

Before looking for personnel, define the role clearly and what duties you expect from the personnel hired. This will help to ensure that you get the right people for the job and that they have the right expectations of what the role entails.

Communicate your expectations

Clear communication between the company and personnel is essential for staff augmentation to be successful. Make sure you are upfront about the job requirements and expectations of the personnel when they join your company. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page and reduce confusion or misunderstanding between the two parties.

Embrace project management and team tools

In staff augmentation, it is crucial to ensure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page and working collaboratively towards the same goal. Leveraging project management and team collaboration tools can make this process easier by providing a platform for everyone on the team to communicate, share documents, and track progress on the project. Tools such as Slack and Trello can help to keep everyone organized and up to date with the project.

IT Staff Augmentation With Revelo

IT staff augmentation is an excellent solution for many companies, from startups to large organizations. Whether you need to fill a short-term gap or bring in extra staff as needed, staff augmentation can help you meet your needs without committing to long-term contracts or incurring the costs associated with hiring full-time staff.

At Revelo, our talent pool of experienced software developers and engineers can help you fill short-term needs quickly and efficiently. With our expertise in matching companies with tech professionals, we can help you find the right personnel for your projects and ensure that you have the skill sets needed to complete your project. Contact us today to learn how we can help you leverage staff augmentation to grow your business.

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