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What Is IT Staff Augmentation and Why Companies Should Choose It?

IT staff recruitment constitutes a major share of the staffing industry across the world. The recruitment of IT staff is accomplished through multiple models of hiring such as outsourcing, on-premise hiring, offshoring, nearshoring, IT staff augmentation, and others. According to the research studies conducted by the Center of American Progress, replacing any employee earning between $50K and $75K costs about 20.4% of the salary of that particular employee annually.

The best solutions to reduce this substantial cost for filling temporary posts include IT outsourcing, IT staff augmentation, offshoring outsourcing, and others. Let’s talk about IT staff augmentation at length in this article.

What Is IT Staff Augmentation?

It is one of the commonly used models of IT staff hiring for filling the temporary positions arising against any project, activity, skillset, or increased workload. This is one of the modern forms of contingent worker hiring traditionally adopted in the past.

IT staff augmentation is very effective in short term capacity enhancement of an organization that falls short of any skill, or shortage of manpower for a very short period. It offers great cost efficiency and productivity in an IT organization. The major aspects of IT staff augmentation for an employing organization include strategic staffing, capacity building, bridging hiring process gaps, specialized skills, and others. IT staff augmentation is very useful in both offshore and nearshore software development.

What Is the Difference between Staff Augmentation and Outsourcing?

According to the Staffing Industry Analysts, the size of the global staffing industry was about $500 billion in 2019 with a projected global staffing industry growth for 2020 at about 3%, but the growth will be hampered by the Covid-19 impact. Staff augmentation and outsourcing are two major components of this huge market value of the staffing industry.

Staff augmentation is temporary hiring for a particular project or time to enhance the capacity of the existing team. The newly hired resources augment the existing teams in the form of an extended team. This entire process of hiring is sometimes referred to as outstaffing services too. Staff augmentation is fully under the control of the client who can directly assign tasks and activities.

While outsourcing a model of hiring in which a particular process or project is outsourced to the service provider company on a pre-agreed contract. The client interacts with the project manager for progress and outcome. An example of outsourcing is a business process outsourcing BPO, which is a fully managed service for a particular client.

The major difference between staff augmentation and outsourcing are mentioned in the following table.

What Are Different Types of Staff Augmentation?

The human resource industry is changing drastically due to the influence of technology, innovative ideas, and the changing landscape of modern businesses. Different types of sub-modules are emerging in different hiring models. Likewise, staff augmentation has the following types.

  • Skill-based staff augmentation – This type deals with the hiring of a team with skills to perform certain general tasks like data entry, copywriting, text processing, data processing, etc. 
  • Highly-skilled staff augmentation – This type of staff augmentation is fully based on training, experience, and high-level of skills such as programming skills, engineering skills, web designing, and others
  • Commodity staff augmentation – This type of staff augmentation hires the temporary workers to perform manual labor and other tasks that don’t require any specific skill set other than a good attitude towards work.  

How Does Staff Augmentation Process Work?

Numerous companies choose staff augmented processes for their HR needs nowadays. Staff augmentation is one of the fastest-growing domains, especially in the outsourced application development sector, which amounts as much as $85.6 billion. The staff augmentation process involves the following steps.

  • Identification of requirements – To cater to the shortage of skills, capacity, and strategic needs, staff augmentation is used extensively. So, the first step is to identify the types of roles needed for team augmentation. 
  • Searching for required tech-talent – Choose different options for searching the desired tech-talent that meets the requirements identified in the first step.
  • Scrutinizing of candidates/teams – Short-list the most suitable candidates and teams of technical roles.
  • Hiring the teams – Different types of tests and interviews are conducted to finalize the candidates for team augmentation.
  • Onboarding the team – In this step, the newly hired team is introduced to the existing team, work processes, and any other information related to the company and workflow of the company. 
  • Establishing collaboration and coordination – This is an ongoing activity for better outcomes of the teams. Create a friendly environment of communication and coordination where every team member shares knowledge with teammates.  

Top Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation for Companies to Choose It

More than 76% of the staffing offices in the US deal in the contract and temporary hiring field, according to the American Staffing Association information. The main reasons and benefits for this widespread use of staff augmentation services by the client companies include the following.

  • Reduced cost – Staff augmentation of reduced cost for all IT processes, especially software development
  • Greater control – Client has full control over the technical team
  • Faster delivery time – it offers faster team development and starting of technical activity processes
  • Access to specific advanced skills – Clients can have full access to the advanced skills that the company lacks.
  • Greater flexibility – staff augmentation offers greater flexibility to scale up the team as well as the option to reduce the team faster.
  • Access to a large talent pool – You have access to a larger pool of tech-talent across the globe.
  • Greater focus on core business – It offers a better opportunity to focus on the core business activities rather than general processes like HR management.

Final Takeaway

Staff augmentation is getting more popular in IT companies due to the many benefits that it offers to enhance business growth. Three major types of staff augmentation offer custom HR solutions to different types of companies with a very short process of hiring. IT staff augmentation is more cost-efficient than IT outsourcing. It is very suitable for SMEs and startup companies to choose for HR needs.

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