The technology industry is booming, and as a result, IT staffing is becoming a serious concern for many organizations. Hiring qualified, experienced software engineers and developers is tough but it isn't impossible. You can find plenty of them—there are over 1.5 million programmers employed in the US alone, according to Statista.
The only problem is finding them at the right time, at the right price, and with the right skills. If you’re considering hiring permanent IT staff, your first question is probably going to be: Can I afford it?
The answer is yes, but you might want to start with a cost-effective alternative: staff augmentation.
IT staff augmentation is a strategy that enables organizations to outsource certain functions in order to increase their workforce while lowering the cost. But it is not without its disadvantages.
In this article, we’re going to examine the concept of IT staff augmentation and discuss some of the pros and cons of this approach in order to help organizations understand if this is the right fit for them.
What is Staff Augmentation?
In software development and IT, staff augmentation defines a hiring strategy that involves outsourcing IT tasks to third-party providers such as freelance developers and staffing firms. The goal is to supplement internal IT personnel with affordable and flexible help when needed, while keeping the core team intact.
Telecom giant Comcast uses this strategy as it has over 3,000 employees working across many departments. This approach lets them expand their web development depending on the project workload in order to reduce costs and time spent on hiring.
Staff augmentation is a method of deploying personnel that are not on an organization's payroll. It offers companies the opportunity to work with a flexible workforce across different time zones. Furthermore, tech staffing services are less expensive than hiring full-time employees and can offer more cost-effective solutions.
As opposed to traditional staffing models, where costs are based on the number of employees needed, tech staff augmentation does not require a large upfront investment. It is also more flexible than traditional recruiting models because it allows organizations to control both budget and timeline.
Let's review some more benefits of staff augmentation services.
The Pros of Staff Augmentation
As mentioned, staff augmentation is a cost-effective alternative to hiring full-time employees. This approach has allowed corporations and government organizations to scale up their tech recruitment pipelines without incurring high costs. Additionally, staff augmentation services supplement the usual IT talent pool and can help companies find local and remote experts with specific skillsets.
Here are a few more benefits in detail:
- Staff augmentation is flexible and can be deployed at a moment's notice to fill up open positions. In other words, it is a cost-effective approach to on-demand staffing that can benefit companies with urgent needs.
- Costs are more predictable because the organization can hire the right IT professionals on an hourly basis with little to no upfront investment. It also helps to scale software teams when needed by allowing companies to take advantage of short-term and long-term contracts. This lets companies to keep a lean headcount and a lean budget.
- Staff augmentation plans are structured around project time-frames, with staff members or contractors returning to their regular jobs once the project is completed. This allows companies to concentrate on their core competencies.
- You can hire top experts from around the world. One of the reasons why companies choose to outsource their IT needs is because they may not be able to find a top expert in-house or within their city or country.
- It doesn’t matter if the company needs a technical architect on staff or a junior developer to work on an hourly basis, they can find and hire the right talent for their projects.
- The amount of time needed to hire a senior specialist is reduced by around 25%. In fact, the average organization spends around 63 days filling a full-time tech role, but with staff augmentation firms like Intersog, candidates can be hired much more quickly.
The Cons of Staff Augmentation
While the staff augmentation model offers many advantages, there are also some disadvantages to consider. When selecting an IT staffing provider, organizations must prioritize factors such as cost, quality of candidates, experienced recruiters, and project timeline.
Here are a few drawbacks to keep in mind:
- Staff augmentation can be a costly strategy if implemented improperly. When working with freelance consultants or team staffing firms, companies should first consider how much the hourly rate is and whether it fits within their IT budgets. Prices will also vary depending on the location, skill levels, contract length, and job requirements.
- It can lead to a lack of continuity and consistency. Because this model utilizes contract workers or consultants, you might run into issues when it comes to keeping a core team together. You may have difficulty retaining employees as they move on to new jobs, and your company can also experience longer recruitment times.
- Finding and hiring staff augmentation candidates can be difficult. It may take time to identify good candidates, as well as develop a comprehensive search strategy and interview techniques that are effective for contractors. However, you will be able to cut down on your effort by partnering with a top IT staffing provider like Intersog Canada.
- Staff augmentation requires constant communication. This approach requires more coordination and collaboration between tech experts, as well as management staff and business stakeholders to ensure that candidates fit projects.
When Your Company Needs Staff Augmentation Services
Tech staff augmentation is ideal for companies that have a consistently busy IT team that is able to work with on-demand, contingent workforce. This model also works fine for organizations that have a specific and immediate need for expertise in a certain area, as well as those that need to rotate from project to project, but don’t want to hire employees full-time.
Here are a few more situations when you might need IT staff augmentation services:
- You manage a software project and want to hire developers to assist your core team on an hourly basis.
- You are a startup company and need to put together a full-fledged IT team quickly.
- You have an urgent tech project that requires expertise that cannot be found in-house.
- You are looking for more project flexibility, as well as financial stability.
The benefits of staff augmentation engagements are desirable for many companies, but it does have some downsides, too. So what is the best decision for your company? Here are a few things to consider before making that call:
- If you want to hire contractors or freelance workers often, then you might want to look into a formal staff augmentation program from an IT consulting firm like Intersog. Although this process may look complected, it will give you a steady stream of top IT talent and allow your business to thrive.
- In terms of cost, you need to be picky about the staffing partner that you choose. So again, use as much documentation as possible and make sure that the firm has relevant expertise, portfolio, certifications, licenses, and so on.
- Remember, staff augmentation is not a quick fix but a log term recruitment strategy. You should use this method when you have clear, legitimate projects that need to be completed by an expert team.