Talent Management

What is Staff Augmentation?

Jaryd Sage 03 August 2023

The tech industry is a fast-paced, ever-evolving environment where keeping up with the latest trends and meeting business objectives quickly and efficiently often dictate project success. It is here that innovative hiring methods, like staff augmentation, can be incredibly valuable. But what exactly is staff augmentation, and how can it benefit your organisation when compared to other talent acquisition methods?

The Definition of Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation is an outsourced hiring business strategy that allows businesses to add skilled workers to their existing teams, for a fixed period, based on specific and evolving project demands or skill gaps. Augmented teams or professionals are typically hired through a third-party agency and can work remotely or on-site, depending on the needs of the organisation.

This flexible model allows the company to obtain specialised skills and expertise, scale their team quickly and easily according to project needs, and maintain more control over their workforce compared to other models, while at the same time avoiding the commitments and potential complications that come with permanent hiring.

Staff Augmentation vs. Traditional Hiring

Traditional talent acquisition involves a drawn-out process of advertising vacancies, conducting multiple interviews, and eventually recruiting a candidate for long-term employment. Despite its advantage in maintaining a stable workforce, this method has its drawbacks. The initial process can be time-consuming and expensive, and comes with long-term commitments such as employment equipment and infrastructure, training and development, employee benefits, and more. Additionally, it lacks agility in response to shifting project demands or evolving technology trends.

Staff augmentation allows businesses to bolster their existing workforce with skilled, specialised workers on an as-needed basis. For instance, a company undertaking a project that requires niche programming expertise not possessed by their current staff can augment their team for the project duration, thus addressing the skill gap without the overheads or commitments of a permanent hire. Augmented staff could range from adding a specialist developer for a complex project, bringing in an experienced project manager to oversee a critical transition, or even scaling a team up or down based on fluctuating workloads.

Staff Augmentation vs. Outsourcing

Project outsourcing involves entrusting an entire project or a substantial part of it to a third-party vendor. Businesses often outsource when they lack in-house expertise or resources to accomplish a particular task or project, like a tech start-up outsourcing its customer service operations. Outsourcing can result in loss of direct control, as the outsourced vendor generally takes the lead, operating largely independently and making crucial decisions.

With staff augmentation, businesses maintain complete control over their projects. Projects can be managed as per their standard practices and the team structure can be adjusted as and when required. An e-commerce company might augment its IT staff with data scientists and AI specialists during the holiday season to handle increased traffic and provide personalised shopping recommendations. With this model, the augmented staff work under the direction and supervision of the company, essentially becoming part of the existing team for the duration of the project.

Staff Augmentation vs. Freelancing

Freelancing involves hiring independent professionals who work on a contractual basis. Freelancers typically work with multiple clients simultaneously, manage their schedules and work methodologies, work remotely, and are remunerated per task or project. While freelancing offers flexibility, individuals are usually not integrated into the company’s culture and processes, or aligned with its long-term vision.

Staff augmentation ensures external personnel function as an extension of the existing team, adopting the company’s culture, practices, and tools. For instance, a software development company embarking on a complex, time-limited project might deploy staff augmentation to quickly add several skilled developers to its team to get the project over the line. These professionals work under the company’s direction and follow its work schedule, project management practices, and team culture, as if they were regular employees.

Find out more about staff augmentation, and get answers to some FAQs

Choosing a Talent Acquisition Partner

Our staff augmentation services provide direct access to a vast pool of qualified talent, capable of plugging gaps in your team, bringing niche expertise to your projects, or even scaling your workforce up or down in response to fluctuating workloads. Our talent pool encompasses a wide range of skills and expertise, allowing us to match the right professional to your specific project requirements.

Every professional within our talent pool has undergone a rigorous vetting process, which includes comprehensive background checks and verification of skills and qualifications. This means that when you engage our staff augmentation services, you can be confident that you’re receiving top-tier talent that has been pre-approved and vetted.

The Workforce of the Future

In a world dominated by technological advancement, flexible and dynamic approaches to building workforces are quickly becoming the new norm. Staff augmentation sits at the forefront of this transformation, representing the ‘Workforce of the Future’. As project scopes expand and technology evolves at a rapid pace, the ability to leverage on-demand expertise becomes a significant competitive advantage.

If you’re interested in learning more about how utilising staff augmentation can benefit your business, CHAT TO US and our talent management experts will lay out a personalised plan tailored to meet your unique needs.