Any software development team that has a scarcity of hands (and brains) from time to time may need to hire staff augmentation services in order to achieve deadlines and meet client quality criteria.
How to Get the Best Out of Staff Augmentation?
When it comes to implementing a staff augmentation plan for your organization, there is a failsafe formula to follow. Here’s a quick summary:
- Determine which areas of your team require more staffing.
- Prepare a job description to provide to potential recruits.
- Conduct interviews with candidates to determine their degree of experience.
- Choose the best qualified candidate.
- Sign a contract when you've agreed on the terms and circumstances of your collaboration.
- Install the new team member and get them up to speed.
- Sync the schedules of the whole team to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
To get a better understanding of what staff augmentation is and how it helps enhance your business’ digital capabilities, read on.
What Is the Definition of Staff Augmentation?
To further comprehend the idea of staff augmentation, consider how developers normally work on a software project. In an ideal world, an IT team receives the assignment, creates a strategy and a timeline for execution, selects a technology stack, and starts to work. The task is carried out in a tidy and ordered manner in order to provide the desired result within the time frame.
Doesn't it sound ideal? With a wealth of expertise managing software development products, our software developers and product managers know this to be wishful thinking and not the real world.
Staff augmentation began in the IT industry and has since moved to a variety of industries, earning almost $500 billion in revenue in 2019. Software development, on the other hand, remains the key domain where staff augmentation is quite effective.
After starting a job, you may be confronted with the unpleasant reality that it is a little more difficult than you had anticipated. If this is the case, you must make a straightforward but difficult choice: either abandon the project, suffering financial loss and damaging your image, or hire more staff to meet the customer's expectations.
You can't afford to pick the first choice in today's extremely competitive business world, therefore your only alternative is to acquire competent temporary employees who can start right away, which is what staff augmentation is all about.
Staff augmentation is a fantastic choice when you lack the required knowledge to complete the assignment, in addition to simply expanding your personnel to accommodate the work flood. Of course, you may use traditional outsourcing and engage a team to do the task for you, but this is only practical if the task will take a long time.
Learn more about Managed Software Teams and how they help you deliver digital products and software faster than your competitors.
Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation
No Geographical Restrictions
You have access to a nearly endless talent pool from anywhere on the planet, regardless of where your office is situated. Furthermore, different individuals of the expanded team for your project may wind up working for the same cause in different parts of the world.
Hassle-free Talent Management
Because your partner is accountable for the devoted and uninterrupted work of the onboarded personnel, you can forget about hurdles like employee vacations or sick breaks once you've embraced this approach. If any of the members have such issues, other out staffers come in to fill in for those who didn't make it. Furthermore, there is no downtime to pay for, as there would be if the project were handled by your in-house developers.
Lesser Recruitment Costs
With access to the labour market in several countries, you can always find a suitable worker at a reasonable price. Furthermore, some firms provide discounts if you recruit a large number of people. You also don't have to pay for things like office rent, utilities, outsourced gear and software, Christmas bonuses, and office parties, not to mention employee training. All of these are now your partner's duty.
Enhanced Flexibility and Scalability
You may control the number of employees based on a variety of factors that may arise unexpectedly. As a result, in the event of an overflow, you can always hire more people and then cut back the team as the workload recedes.
Seamless Workplace Integration
When your in-house team knows that the new hires will be with them for as long as it takes to put out a fire, they won't be afraid that your new recruits will eventually displace them, and collaboration between the two groups will go smoothly.
Despite the numerous benefits that this type of remote collaboration provides, even best practices for staff augmentation can run into implementation issues that transform assets into liabilities.
How to Overcome the Top 10 IT Staff Augmentation Challenges
Are you considering hiring a software professional to supplement your in-house team? Before you set out on this journey, you should be aware of the IT staffing risks and traps that await you.
Long Recruitment Process
Bringing on an expert to your team is never a one-day task. On average, it takes three weeks to find a person for a typical post. Conducting interviews, verifying qualifications and history, and administering a battery of exams is a time-consuming process. And what does staff augmentation include if not immediately filling the void with the necessary hands ready to jump into action?
It isn't as simple as it appears. In fact, finding people to supplement your personnel might take as long as employing normal employees. Making hasty decisions is never a smart idea, unless you choose the first applicant that replies to your call for skills.
Solution: If you hire a seasoned firm with a wide range of specialists with the necessary abilities, your selection process will be completed quickly, and the new team members will be able to get right into the project.
Onboarding New Personnel
Co-opting a new member takes time and effort for any group of individuals who have been working for a long time and have created a corporate culture and work ethic. Fitting in may be a difficult process for newcomers, and it does not always go easily. However, because staff augmentation is frequently done during a time crunch, all stakeholders simply do not have the time to make lengthy adjustments.
Solution: When conducting exploratory interviews with potential co-workers, attempt to pique their interest in the project and reassure them of the pleasant working environment at your firm. They should be enthusiastic about your temporary merger and approach it with a positive attitude.
Your regular staff should be aware that the company requires the new employee's services (although on a temporary basis) and should be available to assist them and put them at ease.
Lack of Expertise
In your rush to hire new personnel on a temporary basis to fulfil a job, you might be disappointed at the lack of return with regards to the new hire’s performance and expertise.
Solution: Only a meticulous selection technique will suffice in this situation. However, this does not imply that you should spend weeks assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the developer you want to recruit. Examining the portfolio, paying close attention to the candidate's experience in the domain you're interested in, and requesting credentials that authenticate the talents are all required stages in determining a new recruit's competence level.
Your hiring process is far from done once you've engaged an expert since staff augmentation is a method that allows you to change your mind about the person you've employed. The first few weeks will establish whether or not the new individual is a good fit for you.
Assessing their hard and soft talents, as well as their ability to operate in a team, will be critical in determining if you should continue working with him (her) or look for someone who will better fit your needs.
Possible communication concerns are one of the top staff augmentation challenges, since they are bound to arise in the remote work style. Such problems might arise as a result of either a lack of English proficiency or (more commonly) the parties' inability to communicate effectively. As a result, the reporting is ambiguous or non-existent, and the project's success is in doubt.
Solution: Discuss and agree on the workflow, as well as a convenient communication method and channels for both sides. You can't do without specialist software that enables contact and streamlines project management in today's IT environment. It's also crucial to set rapport guidelines, such as holding regular communication sessions at least twice a week. In this instance, all stakeholders are on the same page, and any difficulties that arise may be handled quickly.
Your virtual staff has been hard at work for months, and the finished product is now in front of you on your virtual workstation (or rather home screen). You enthusiastically notify the consumer and submit it for their review. However, rather of sharing your joy and expressing thanks for a job well done, the client begins to criticize your flawless (as you believe) product, claiming that they had pictured it differently.
Solution: The only way to avoid such scenarios is to ensure that both parties to the process agree on how the end product should appear and operate from the start. So, before signing the contract, a similar document must be agreed upon, in which all expectations are clarified and the parameters of the future project are stated.
However, having such an arrangement does not completely eliminate the danger of misaligned expectations. It is critical to maintain continuous communication with the customer (see Challenge 4) while implementing the project so that they are aware of the major milestones in your development. If there is something that they don't like, it should be brought up right away so that the team can make the necessary changes.
Vendors should not be scared to be obnoxious (as they believe) since early-stage over-communication is the ideal tool for ensuring they are on the correct road, as fine-tuning is always preferable to redesigning or even overhauling.
Talent(particularly younger ones) are unlikely to stay in their current work for more than two years, resulting in high attrition and issues with institutional memory. The latter is crucial knowledge that allows you to use previous failures to prevent future failures and forecast future successes. This challenge is exacerbated by temporary recruits.
Solution: Bonuses, promotions, and perks should be used to encourage valuable employees to stay on the job. At the same time, every organization should make it a habit to save important data for later use. Here you'll find guidelines for dealing with ordinary duties as well as the extent of each employee's obligations.
The use of specific software to sustain institutional memory is a more high-tech method. Client data is gathered and processed by CRMs, however internal laws inside a business are not appropriately managed by digital technology.
Temporary and project-based hires are usually recruited on an hourly basis. However, when recruiting their help to supplement your staff, it's difficult to predict how long your project will take. Furthermore, because the quantity of labour varies from month to month, you'll never know how much money to save aside.
Solution: Choose fixed-price contracts if you want to know exactly how much staff augmentation will cost. Despite the fact that the price normally includes commissions and overhead fees, this model works effectively for long-term employment. For one-time projects that are comparatively fast in completion, the hourly-rate model is ideal.
Security concerns will be jeopardized as a result of bringing in third-party actors, and entire privacy of your company data will be non-existent.
Solution: It is necessary to strike a sensible balance between efficiency and security. Cooperation with augmentation personnel should be conducted under NDA standards to reduce the danger of data breaches and fraud assaults.
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Because staff augmentation is a relatively new practice, the legal underpinning of such collaboration is never certain.
Solution: Being aware of regulations is important and your human resources team should lead on this. Hiring the services of a staff augmentation service provider with a global talent pool will provide you with a hassle-free experience getting access to the talent you need.
Time Zone Availability
If the members of your augmented team are onboarded from all over the world, coordinating your schedules will be a nightmare.
Solution: An ideal approach is to seek the services of a staff augmentation service provider that has offices across the world. Some outsourcing firms adjust their schedules to meet their employer's working hours, so find out whether an employee is willing to change their working habits before hiring them. Sitech has offices in 4 continents.
In conclusion, staff augmentation helps you quickly extend your digital and IT capabilities if done correctly. We pride ourselves on being a trusted strategic partner for many enterprises across the world and as a result have become a fast growing provider of staff augmentation services and full digital transformation solutions.
If you need any assistance in identifying your requirements, we are more than happy to schedule a free consultation.