What is Staff Augmentation and How Does It Work at Synapse Team?
Let’s face it – we all know a “dream team” is an utterly romanticized concept when it comes to business. Especially when it comes to an IT-related business that has to keep afloat in the volatile, pandemic- and sanctions-ridden market. Rather, it is all about staying dynamic and ready to adapt.
Timely filling gaps in expertise, experience, and specialist availability by switching and shuffling staff members has become an art of its own. You don’t actually have to full-on hire new employees every time you need to face a challenge or handle rough workflow patches. For this, businesses of all scales adopt the staff augmentation approach.
What is staff augmentation really all about? Let’s start from the top.
What is Staff Augmentation?
Companies, organizations, and entrepreneurs of all sorts regularly seek external assistance in completing IT projects of different scales. The project outsourcing approach emerged as a way to delegate certain tasks or whole project workflows to third-party specialists.
The outsourcing practice has eventually evolved into an alternative – staff augmentation services that enable companies to “rent” temporary workforce on-demand for short-term tasks completion.
Ultimately, an augmented staff approach is a choice of companies looking to keep their project workflow consistent and fully within their own corporate constraints while compensating for lacking expertise.
Pros & Cons of Staff Augmentation
The practice of IT staff augmentation is an organizational strategy that fits certain goals. It is important to understand that it is not a one-fit-all solution that simply allows you to cut costs by not hiring this or that specialist in-house.
- Huge time-saver. You get to steer clear past the lengthy and costly strain of employee seeking, recruiting, onboarding, etc. At the same time, you retain overall team management. While getting basically in-house performance, you are also saving tons of time.
- On-demand expertise injection. Augmenting pros ready to jump in may as well be the most all-around efficient way to tackle unexpected project challenges so far. Best of all, you get to pick a certain type of expertise and “skill package” to augment the ongoing workflow.
- Business lifesaver. Whether it is an unexpected spike in demand, a force-of-nature issue, or an ongoing project bump, timely workforce augmentation can save both money and reputation.
- Optimized budget. It all comes down to the resulting cost-efficiency – multiply time savings from “express recruitment” by the lack of organizational expenditures (office space, appliances, licenses, etc.) and downtime, and you get an ultimate budget optimization.
- Not a long-term fit. The cost-efficiency and primary effect of the approach become counter-efficient if you try to manage a long-term augmented workflow. Whereas in-house employees would dedicate and grow alongside your business, augmented specialists have only some pinpointed expertise to offer.
- Possible barriers. Different time zones, languages, and cultures may spawn certain workflow challenges. If you are up to augment specialists, you must be ready to synchronize all communication and interaction aspects.
- Harder quality control. As much as you get to manage an augmented team at will, you still cannot fully rely on outsourced employees as much as on in-house. You may have to go the extra mile to keep the performance consistent.
- Business sustainability risks. Lastly, even a competent staff augmentation service provider is still a third party. As your dependence on that third party grows, your overall business sustainability plans may be undermined.
How Does Staff Augmentation Work?
There are several major stages to the whole process of IT staff augmentation services delivery:
- Requirements discovery. First off, a client pinpoints what expertise and skills they are looking for exactly, what scope of tasks must be handled, and how many and what kinds of specialists are required.
- Search and evaluation of candidates. Based on the requirements, an outsourcing provider may either look for fitting candidates globally or gather well-tried specialists from their own pool. The candidates undergo qualification tests and interviews and are listed for the client.
- Onboarding and support. The augmented personnel must be familiarized with all the internal policies, values, and core technical concepts of the company for smooth integration with the work environment. Further support helps maintain the augmented specialists’ performance and build stronger professional relationships.
Depending on your particular goals and needs, different collaborative workflows can be tailored. But that is only if you work with a flexible enough provider. The last thing you need to figure out now is what exact type of staff augmentation should fit you best.
The 3 Types of Staff Augmentation
While the main gist of express team augmentation is simple, there are also three degrees of augmentation needs. Based on these, you can shape the most optimized augmented workflow.
You don’t need to search too far and wide to find reliable workers to perform simple tasks. If you are looking to fill out some auxiliary positions and handle routine work, moderate qualifications may do just fine. This goes for any physical labor, e.g., warehouse maintenance.
Alternatively, you may require workers with particular skills, the level of which does not matter. Skill-based specialists may fill in data collection and processing, client service, basic copywriting, and similar positions. Everything that calls for a commonly good specialist.
It is important to specify it if you need talents with advanced skills for more complex purposes and in-depth work. High-level software developers, programmers, or designers with unique experience and sets of skills fall under the highly-skilled category.
Choosing the Right Staff Augmentation Model
Which staffing augmentation model should fit your particular case best? Here are some pro tips from firsthand experience.
- Go for commodity augmentation if you lack hands in the warehouse, office maintenance, or any other auxiliary tasks;
- Go for skill-based specialists if you need to handle profiled project tasks without the necessary highest level of proficiency;
- Go for highly-skilled specialists when you need to implement software, design systems from scratch, and do lots of expensive hardcoding.
How to succeed with team augmentation
The practice of staff augmentation is a very common one. Most businesses don’t have a lot of issues finding a reliable way to fill the gaps. To achieve the ultimate results, however, keep in mind the following pillars of successful augmentation:
- Keep your needs and requirements clear
- Pick a proper augmentation model to avoid unnecessary extras
- Augment with the help of a reliable provider
Staff Augmentation with Synapse Team
Synapse Team is a seasoned IT assistant with years of experience in tailored resource and staff augmentation. We have a pool of well-tried professionals ready to jump into a project or company workflow of any scope and purpose.
Wondering what does staff augmentation mean for your business results? Let’s discuss how you can scale performance on-demand, promptly compensate for any lack of skill, and optimize costs here and now.
We hope we got the most detailed staff augmentation definition clear and now you can easily decide whether you need it in your specific case or not. It is a great approach to handling emergencies and routines alike that has been tested by years and hundreds of companies.
So don’t fret and pick the best-fitting type of augmentation – we will help you handle the rest at the highest level of quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
To give you the simplest outline of staff augmentation meaning – it is an outsourcing approach where you turn to an intermediary company that helps find and onboard specific IT specialists to fill the gap if you lack certain in-house expertise. Such services are most commonly required when you need some extra professional input, e.g., to enhance complex aspects of the project or handle rough workflow patches.
The definition of staff augmentation tells us that it is more about the express hiring possibility. The augmentation approach works best when pinpointed short-term needs must be handled. On the other hand, managed services is an outsourcing model where you get more consistent control over the outsourced team of specialists. It may as well serve more long-term needs as the scope of the required expertise can be vaguer in managed services.
A dedicated staff augmentation services provider gathers your requirements and searches for fitting candidates. To pick the best, they use tests, interviews, and preliminary screening. Top candidates are assessed further and delegated to the client. The client makes a pick or goes with the provider’s recommendations. The provider also helps to onboard and support the performance of the augmented team.