In recent years, staff augmentation has become a popular solution for businesses looking to fill seats with the best talent available. This outsourcing practice allows companies to quickly and easily fill gaps in their workforce without going through the hassle and expense of recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new employees.
In this article, we will discuss what staff augmentation is and how it can help businesses address talent shortage.
What is staff/ team augmentation?
Staff augmentation is a flexible outsourcing option that enables businesses to extend their IT team as needed. This model is ideal for filling skills gaps quickly, accessing highly-skilled talent, and scaling up or down as needed. With staff augmentation, companies can easily integrate remote team members into their existing team and retain full control over the project while the outsourcing partner takes care of recruiting, education & training, retention and ensures high employee productivity. This model is also cost-effective, as it allows businesses to avoid the expenses associated with hiring and onboarding full-time employees. Moreover, terminating the contract is typically faster and easier than other outsourcing models. The outsourcing company leases or contracts a specified number of contractors from a supplier for a limited amount of time, with the service provider delivering the essential staff on an as-needed basis or at an agreed-upon charge for the length of the project.
Why is staff augmentation becoming popular?
According to a LinkedIn report, the demand for developers increased by 25% between 2019 and 2020 due to companies needing to digitise their business to stay competitive amidst the pandemic. This has made it difficult to find and hire professional engineers, which not only requires time and resources but also significant investments. As a result, recruiters are struggling to find the best talents to fill in the ever-increasing job openings, taking approximately 42 days to fill a vacancy with an average hiring cost of $23,8000.
This trend has created a gap between the available talent and employer demand, which is challenging to bridge quickly and efficiently. Additionally, the competitive labour market around technology means that developers and engineers have numerous job opportunities available to them, making it hard to retain existing staff. Any loss of existing staff can be critically fatal for project timelines, leading to delays and increased costs.
Staff augmentation is a flexible outsourcing option that can help businesses bridge this gap between demand and supply of skilled IT specialists in Australia. It allows companies to extend their IT team on an as-needed basis, providing greater flexibility and faster turnarounds.
Is staff augmentation the same as outsourcing?
Not exactly. While both outsourcing and staff augmentation involve seeking talent outside your company, outsourcing involves transferring the work entirely to an external entity. In contrast, staff augmentation brings the talent to your company, adding to your current team. When outsourcing, you pay for the results, and the work is performed outside your organisation. Staff augmentation, however, involves the additional team members working with your existing development team on-site, providing you complete oversight of the entire process.
What are the benefits of staff augmentation?
- Effortless Team Integration and Enhanced Communication. IT staff augmentation allows your business to bypass the stress of traditional hiring while gaining top-quality talent. Professionals from staff augmentation services seamlessly integrate into your existing teams, adapting to your workplace culture and ethics. Being fully-bilingual and operating in similar time zones make communication faster and more efficient, ensuring smooth collaboration.
- Access to On-Demand, Top-Notch IT Talent. Staff augmentation provides your business with skilled, dedicated, and experienced professionals who are innovative and team-oriented. These experts possess cutting-edge coding and testing skills, having undergone rigorous training in various software development disciplines. With staff augmentation, your business gains access to a diverse pool of talent with the right qualifications for your project requirements.
- Unmatched Flexibility and Scalability. The flexible, on-demand model of staff augmentation enables businesses to scale up or down according to their needs. Industry experts handle talent sourcing, hiring, onboarding, and training, allowing your employees to focus on core business activities. This agility ensures your business remains competitive in today’s ever-changing environment while providing excellent customer service.
- Cost Savings and Effortless Oversight. Staff augmentation offers significant cost savings compared to traditional recruitment methods by eliminating overhead costs like advertising and interviewing. Additionally, you can avoid mistakes associated with hiring inexperienced candidates. Easy communication and oversight are ensured, as management closely monitors the selected staff and maintains open lines of communication with clients.
- Comprehensive IT Expertise Across Multiple Disciplines. Staff augmentation grants your business access to a full range of skills, roles, and experiences, such as front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers, software architects, DevOps engineers, and project managers. These professionals are fluent in multiple programming languages and frameworks, ensuring that your business benefits from their diverse expertise.
When is staff augmentation the right choice?
When deciding whether to use IT staff augmentation, it’s important to first determine if you need a full-time employee or a contractor. If you only need a limited amount of hours or have a short-term need, a contractor is likely the best choice. Then, consider if you need the contractor to follow your processes and use your tools. If not, outsourcing to a freelancer may be sufficient. However, if you require control over work processes or handle sensitive data, staff augmentation is the way to go. To determine if staff augmentation is right for your project, consider the following questions:
- Do you need your team to work alongside the talent or can they simply submit deliverables?
- Do you want to manage the work and output closely or be more hands-off?
- Should the talent use your in-house tools and technology or is it unimportant?
Staff augmentation can be beneficial in various situations, such as testing a new position, adding niche skills to your team, covering staff on leave, managing complex projects, and having a limited budget.
Staff augmentation can answer your talent shortage or long hiring times. With a broader pool of world-class talent at a lower cost, this strategy can give your business a competitive edge. It offers flexibility to scale up or down as needed and overcome the challenge of finding qualified candidates. Choosing the right partner is crucial, so look for a provider with skilled talent in your technology mix. While it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, it can be a powerful tool to find qualified talent for open positions or new projects. Contact us today to learn more about how Creativ Digital can help your business overcome the IT skill gap and talent scarcity.