Staff augmentation

IT Staff Augmentation: How to Find Reliable Agencies and Benefits of Outsourcing in 2021

How to extend your development team with staff augmentation in 2021

Outsourcing is an excellent practice to meet business objectives with minimal resources involved to support their strategic goals. Companies that favor professional services for a reasonable price have embraced this delivery model quite fast. Outsourcing companies increased the scalability of services they provide based on the demands of the current market. It also includes such software development outsourcing types as staff augmentation and dedicated development teams.

Traditional outsourcing and staff augmentation have a significant influence on the global economy: in 2019, the outsourcing market amounted to $92.5 billion worldwide, not only because it’s considered cost-effective to outsource, but also Deloitte revealed that companies often choose to outsource to focus on their core business activities, due to flexibility, enabling speed to market, and enhancing service quality for a new project.

Reason for outsourcing

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. Because recruiting in-house specialists is a challenging, time-consuming task, and freelancers often happen to be unreliable, staff augmentation offers the benefits at a fraction of the cost; however, it depends on choosing a time & material or fixed price business model.

There are some reasons why people decide to choose staff augmentation over in-house hiring:

  • In-house hiring is expensive
  • Hight staff turnover 
  • Time spent on recruitment, especially with the overheated IT market
  • Lack of local talent pool
  • Budget limitations

What is Staff Augmentation Model?

The augmented staffing model implies extending an in-house team with specialized skills experts on a short-term or long-term project basis. It means that you can cover a team’s skill gap by contracting dedicated specialists that will match specific IT project needs, add a competitive advantage to your business, and eliminate the liabilities of employing in-house employees.

For example, you are developing an e-commerce website, and you already have a team of developers in-house, but to launch everything in time, you lack 2 more programmers with specialized skills. Not to lose months on recruitment, contracting issues, and selecting a person to fit your team, you can use staff augmentation service and hire a software developer in 2 – 3 weeks; when the project is launched, you are not facing legal complications for firing a team if you don’t need their services anymore.

Specialized staff augmentation firms are just the place to find such dedicated IT professionals ready to join your project in a matter of days. This staff is employed and managed by the agency. It also means a much faster onboarding process without any need to go with payroll management, administration of the office space, vacations, training, and all other admin and legal. However, you still need to onboard a new tech talent into your in-house team. The difference with a dedicated development team is that, in this case, you may not onboard new team members with full-time employees.

Outsourcing agencies keep a database of profiles with a specific skill set, and you can choose to expand your company with vetted software developers. Thanks to their talent pool of professionals scaling your teams become easy and fast. That is especially beneficial for organizations that continuously need to hire developers with different skills and competence levels on a project basis.    

Staff Augmentation is a process of extending an in-house team with dedicated specialists on a short-term or long-term contract basis without liabilities of contracting employees.

You may choose the staff augmentation model, if :

  • Your in-house team is overloaded with work, and you don’t have the talent to invest in a new project.
  • Staff turnover is rising in your company, or you may find a temporary substitute to an employee who should leave for a while due to maternity leave, illness treatment, etc. 
  • You require the specialized expertise you don’t have in your stack to deliver the project, and you don’t need that professional after the project implementation.
  • You have CTO/PM in your team, or you are tech-savvy yourself. As management of contractor employees is on the client’s side, it’s crucial to have someone control the delivery. 
  • You need to expand the team rapidly. You may spend months looking for a senior developer or someone with rare/popular expertise due to the competition on the market. It’s better to partner with a company that can offer a wide talent pool of professionals.

The benefits of IT Staff Augmentation Services

More companies turn to staff augmentation to fit time and budget constraints. If you already have a dev team in place with the project manager or tech responsible, staff members would be better than hiring a dedicated software development team that includes managed services from vendors.

Secured flexibility

Being adaptable to business conditions but secured by a talent sourcing vendor, staff augmentation becomes the right solution if you have a massive upcoming project. An unexpected workload isn’t something you should be bothered with since this team extension model allows you to add people with the necessary skill set at any moment. This way, companies can take up projects of any size and complexity. Furthermore, relying on staff augmentation will help you cover vacant positions in a matter of days.

Outsource software development

Less time recruiting

Recruitment is a challenging task with an often unpredictable outcome. What if you’ve spent six months trying to fill the position and the new employee quits in a few months? Should you consider relocating candidates if there’s no one in your area meeting the demands? What if you only have two weeks to recruit a specialist?

Headhunting takes up too much time and effort. Suppose that’s something you can’t afford. In that case, staff augmentation is beneficial, primarily if you work with vendors that maintain an extensive database of vetted specialists to match them to your needs quickly.

Lower expenses

On-demand outstaffing saves on arranging a new workspace, providing equipment, hardware, software, and other office supplies. On top of that, you don’t have to bother about covering vacations, sick leaves, health insurance, and paying taxes for the employee – all of this is the staffing vendors’ responsibility. Keep in mind, if you want to hire a high-quality talent, the salary rates of developers may still be high. Therefore, if you find a candidate who fits your criteria, it’s better to hire them at the moment and not to look somewhere for better rates, as the demand for professionals is high, and you lose the candidate for someone else. However, it is still more cost-effective than in-house hire. Below we provide the overview of cost expenses if you hire in-house, freelancers through the platforms or opt for staff augmentation with YouTeam.

In-house hiring in the USStaff augmentation via YouTeamThe freelance contractor on Upwork
Extra costs for the companyTaxes, bonuses, non-financial benefits, office rent, and supportNo commissionUpwork commission
Hiring costsHR costs, job promotional adsYouTeam does candidates’ sourcing and assists with interviews for freeManagers’ time for candidate sourcing, screening, and interviewing

Efficient staff management

Compared to project outsourcing, staff augmentation provides more control over the workflow and the team. When you handle the management operations yourself, it gives you more authority than leaving team management to the outsourcing provider. In addition, by monitoring the development process and team efforts, you can take action immediately. So, you won’t be caught up in a situation when the outsourced manager tells you about a problem that could have been solved three months ago.

Focus on people, not vendors

When searching for an IT outsourcing vendor, business owners pay attention to their experience and expertise. But, sadly, these factors can’t guarantee the high quality of work their outsourced resources will provide. In that case, the right strategy would be to target the skills you need for the project before choosing the vendor. In addition, you can check some vendors on Clutch.co for feedbacks, rankings, and rates.

The staff augmentation model lets you pick an expert with the exact skill set you need, regardless of the vendor. You can select three different programmers from three other firms or look for a vendor that can offer all of them at once. The choice is yours. Either way, you will hire needed software developers in a week.

What Risks to Consider when Hiring Augmented Staff 

Increased Management. Augmented staff most of all will not work in the office together with other developers. You need to establish in-house – augmented staff communication, align workflow, track tasks deliveries, and implement a timeline without any risks or miscommunications. It demands more attention from managers.

Privacy risks. As you hire an outsider, make sure your data protected by NDA contracts and rules.

Communication. A huge role in communication would play if you are outsourcing nearshore staff augmentation or offshore. Plan time overlaps and working hours according to time zones. Establish communication tools and their purposes of usage. Use Zoom for video calls, Gmail for the most important information, Slack for team communication.

Coordination. Except for communication, establish project tools you will use: JIRATeamClerkTrelloAsana, etc. Create the outlines everyone has access to, as you may discuss the issues with an in-house team, and your remote employees will not be aware of them.

Differences between IT Staff Augmentation Consulting and Other Outsourcing Models

Staff Augmentation VS Dedicated Development team

When you hire an independent contractor, all responsibilities and management are on you, contrary to staff augmentation or dedicated team models. If you hire a freelancer through the platform, then you should pay commission. However, if you hire the freelancer directly, you are free from the commission fee and have less paperwork to do.

On the other hand, hiring an independent contractor bears more risks. One of them is that you can’t guarantee that the freelancer will not find a better deal and leave your project halfway while the staff augmentation model minimizes this risk.

Staff AugmentationDedicated team 
Managementclient vendor 
Engagementfull-timefull-time/part-time
Salary reviewclientvendor
Communication directdirect/PM
Office facilitiesvendorvendor
Responsibility clientvendor

Staff Augmentation VS Independent Contractor

When you hire independent contractors, all responsibilities and management are contrary to staff augmentation or dedicated team models. If you hire a freelancer through the platform, then you should pay commission. If you hire the freelancer directly, you are free from the commission fee and have less paperwork to do.

On the other hand, hiring an independent contractor bears more risks. One of them is that you can’t guarantee that the freelancer will not find a better deal and leave your project halfway while the staff augmentation model minimizes this risk. 

Staff Augmentation VS Managed Services

Managed service becomes quite popular and is expected to grow to USD 329.1 billion by 2025. Managed service model allows you to focus on the core of your business instead of IT service issues. What differs between staff augmentation, managed service, and project outsourcing is the level of control from the client’s side—software development supplier manages delivery model: processes and tools. In contrast, staff augmentation demands the most control.

Managed service model may be beneficial for you if you need to outsource the support of your day-to-day operations, such as software updates, operating software-as-a-service, or platform-as-a-service. It works as a one-in-all solution, monitoring critical functions and providing repairs. Staff augmentation focuses on outsourcing tasks and operations, while managed services focus on IT solutions and management.

Staff AugmentationManaged Service
Managementclient vendor 
Engagementfull-timefull-time/part-time
Salary reviewclientvendor
Communication directPM
Office facilitiesvendorvendor
Responsibility clientvendor

Where to Find a Reliable IT Outstaffing Agency?

Just like any other outsourcing model, staff augmentation has its pros and cons. However, the biggest challenge is to find a reliable and trustworthy partner, especially when sourcing in offshore destinations where risks are too high and unpredictable. That’s why if you opt for software development staff augmentation, consider the following points while choosing the dev shop:

Evaluate the needs. You should analyze what needs you want to cover through outstaffing. Are you looking for a specific skill set, or you want to free up your in-house team for a business-critical project? Note the scope of the work for augmented staff and the possible duration of the project.

Check partner’s experience and expertise. Look through reviews and testimonials from the vendor’s previous clients. You may check it on such platforms as Clutch.co. Also, pay attention to their credentials and work portfolio. Check if they had previous projects in your niche and a needed skill set in their stack. 

Timezone. Would you prefer to hire nearshore or offshore software development team? Check if the vendor has flexible or fixed working hours. It shows how long you have time overlaps with your remote team and if you can have real-time communication.

Why is YouTeam the Best Partner to Help You Outstaffing?

YouTeam – is the marketplace for on-demand engineering staff augmentation. It helps tech companies quickly scale their engineering teams by leveraging a network of 20,000+ vetted contractors from Latin America and Eastern Europe.

The talent marketplace was designed to help business owners hire better developers and achieve maximum efficiency with the staff augmentation model. YouTeam only works with trusted vendors whose specialists have proven experience working on real-life projects around the globe. You will receive a deliberately selected CV of the suitable candidate in 48 hours.

As soon as you found the best-matching developer team profile, the vendor will take care of a smooth and seamless team integration while focusing on core business tasks.

There are no hidden costs for our clients. When you choose to hire through YouTeam, the sourcing and interview process is entirely free. The only thing you pay for is the developer’s time, but that’s not sooner than you signed a contract.

YouTeam clients fully trust the platform’s vetting process and choose to stay with YouTeam after trying our matching service.

Still have questions about staffing or outsourcing? We’re here to answer all the questions and help if you need to enhance your current workforce.

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Written by
YouTeam Editorial Team

We love featuring verified solutions to outsourcing problems and coverage of remote work trends. We want our blog to be a source of inspiration for tech entrepreneurs and product people who are looking to build distributed development teams across continents.

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