Six Benefits of Staff Augmentation Services
Staff augmentation services boost your resources while keeping you in control. It’s a model that offers flexibility and efficiency. Here’s what else you need to know.
Staff Augmentation Services Defined
Staff augmentation services are a variant on temporary or short-term hirings, particularly in IT. The big difference is that you aren’t simply hiring extra workers to cope with a busy period or provide maternity, paternity or sickness cover. Instead, you hire them to work on a specific project.
This isn’t the same as outsourcing or managed services. That’s where you get an external company to take care of some or all of your IT needs, with them making decisions on how to achieve your goals. Instead, with staff augmentation services you bring in temporary staff and control what they do.
Let’s run through some of the benefits.
You Retain Control
As we’ve noted, the staff augmentation services means you remain in control over how your project runs. You (or your project manager) decide how you achieve your goals and what each team member does. It makes it the ideal model when your problem is a lack of manpower rather than being uncertain about how to organize the projects.
The Right Person For The Job
Compared with permanent or even temporary hires, the staff augmentation services model means you can look for very specific skills and experience. This can include both technical knowledge and soft skills such as working in teams. These requirements may vary depending on the project itself, the people you have working on it, and the way you want them to work.
The project-specific set-up means you can hire people with highly specialized experience even if they don’t have the broader skills or qualifications that you’d need from a more generalized temporary hire. Specialized recruiters can help you find these experts, based on your specific requirements.
Flexibility Is Key
Using staff augmentation services gives you the extra flexibility to bring a dynamic approach to your operations. For example, you may have a one-off project that requires particular skills. Hiring a permanent employee with these skills may not make financial sense if your needs are temporary. Meanwhile, training your existing staff in these skills could be costly and time-consuming, particularly if you won’t benefit in the longer term.
Bringing in staff specifically for the project takes care of both the skills gap and the financial efficiency. In turn that means you can run projects that would otherwise not be viable, or even mitigate risks that could make a project less attractive. You can also respond quickly to changing market conditions and head off threats from competitors.
Staff Are Focused
One of the main drawbacks of hiring temporary staff through traditional models is difficulty keeping focus. While you may bring people in for a particular role, there’s always a risk your permanent staff will see them as a more general resource. This can mean they have to take on a variety of tasks, some of which aren’t best suited to their particular abilities.
With staff augmentation services, there’s little or no chance of such mission creep. The new recruit isn’t simply a “plus one” on the headcount, but rather an asset who you deploy with laser focus. They’ll have a specific role on a specific project, giving them the space to carry it out to the best of their ability.
Many forms of temporary hire involve a big increase in administration and more work for your human resources department. This can include recruiting candidates, vetting their backgrounds, adding them to payroll, taking care of taxes and benefits, and even handling the bureaucracy around their departure.
Staff augmentation services let you get the best of both worlds. You can treat the employee as one of your staff assets, directing their abilities and efforts as you do regular workers. However, the human resources side of things can be the responsibility of a recruitment or staffing agency. While you’ll still need to treat the staff worker as professionally as any other employee, you don’t have to worry about the paperwork.
An Outside View
We’ve talked a lot about how staff augmentation services mean you keep control over what the temporary staff do and how they do it. However, this doesn’t mean they simply act as drones with no input or initiative. If you use the set-up to its full potential, they’ll instead be extremely useful assets that boost your overall performance.
Because they deploy their specialist skills across multiple businesses, these experts bring both a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience. They’ll often have insights that can refine and improve your own ideas of how to tackle tasks and achieve goals. They’ll also be able to share examples of when particular approaches did and didn’t work for particular businesses (while retaining professional confidentiality.)
The best staff augmentation workers will know how to share this wisdom without undermining you and your team. (It’s all part of the people skills we mentioned earlier.) Indeed, for the time they are with you, they’ll truly feel part of your team.
Making The Most Of Staff Augmentation Services
While the logistics of staff augmentation services are fairly straightforward, you can take several steps to make sure you get maximum benefits from the model:
- Have a clear idea of what your project involves, including the ideal outcomes, potential hitches, available resources and timescales.
- Work out what skills, experience and technical knowledge you can’t cover with your own staff. Figure out if your shortfall is in headcount, skills or both.
- Consider a specialist recruiter that understands the tech industry, has a deep talent pool available, and has experience with the staff augmentation model.
- Set out clear guidelines for the responsibilities and requirements of the temporary staff, including the chain of command. However, make sure you have scope to incorporate their experience and ideas.
To find out more about how staff augmentation services could help your business, contact Intercast today.