Filling gaps in your workforce to meet business objectives and fulfill customer requirements is paramount. However, recruiting the perfect candidate can be challenging. Closing these openings may not go as planned, and you could waste time besides the investment in onboarding, training, and perquisites. This is why businesses leverage IT staff augmentation to cherry-pick and hire experts.
IT staff augmentation is a remote hiring model to close positions in your business by outsourcing specialized, talented, and experienced resources – instead of hiring in-house employees. Add members remotely, temporarily, or for a prolonged period to augment your existing team’s capacity, skillset, and output. Let’s dive in and learn more about IT staff augmentation.
What is IT Staff Augmentation?
IT staff augmentation is the process of elevating the strength of your internal team by outsourcing proficient candidates. Any business facing a talent crunch or skills shortage can lean on another firm/agency to fulfill that gap. Staff augmentation makes sense when an impending deadline needs extra hands, the company requires a specialized resource competent in a specific tech stack, or for other mission-critical situations.
Companies rely on outside personnel to minimize their dependency on recruitment and screening. They approach another firm, sometimes across borders, to supply their crew with contingent workers. The flexibility without the hiring strain while retaining the core internal team and only using outsiders as add-ons makes staff augmentation a steadily growing model. Besides, being feasible and cost-effective.
What are the instances when businesses need IT Staff augmentation?
Reduce costs and improve savings:
Cash-strained SMEs often want to leverage other routes to improve cash flow, and staff augmentation enables this beautifully. Full-time employees (FTE) on an extended contract may not be needed after a while and end up getting benched, proving distasteful for the worker and draining money for the business. Businesses can instead focus on IT staff augmentation to hire externally for the project length without any long-term commitments.
Close the void and bridge the skill gap:
Professionals having more expertise and experience in certain areas can be more valuable to the team. However, these rare talented individuals are hard to grab from the open market. Traditional recruitment of unique skilled professionals wastes time & effort and delays time to market. In this scenario, businesses with ready-available experts can help to close the void remotely and accelerate your software development efforts.
Increased Work in current or multiple projects:
Businesses looking to increase labor to handle the increased volume and sudden spikes in workload will benefit from IT Staff augmentation. An abrupt increase in customer demand, seasonal swings, an upsurge in orders, and other unexpected upcharges can disrupt your team’s momentum. It could create a backlog, induce delays, and result in missed deadlines that manifest into fines and reputational damage. A variable workforce can help offset this with ease.
Internal workers are Preoccupied:
Your internal team is way too busy with another project. Diverting them or having them handle another valuable high-profile project simultaneously isn’t possible. IT Staff augmentation lets you hire workers exclusively for that one-off unique high-paying project that you can’t afford to lose and discharge them after the handover. A no strings attached, project-specific augmentation puts more money in the coffer with an extra project and impresses a client.
Struggle to hire, despite availability:
Businesses find it hard to get applicants to even show up for interviews. It is not that the industry lacks that particular talent but more to do with workers now exploring other alternatives like freelancing, making it hard to attract talent. Job seekers are available, but there remains a clear mismatch between their priorities and what the employers have to offer. According to Paychex Jobs Index, small businesses are struggling to draw employees.
IT Staff augmentation – Challenges and Solutions
Zeroing in on the right expert:
Finding the right talent is paramount to the success of your project. According to a Korn Ferry report, by 2030, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because of the lack of skilled people to take them. You can’t compromise with qualified, proficient, and seasoned veterans who bring a ton of knowledge and expertise. Often organizations struggle to hire the right candidate who would be the perfect technological and cultural fit for the project.
Solution: Partner with a credible and reliable staff augmentation company. Pick a partner offering a diverse skillset, deep talent pool, rich technological background, extensive exposure to various business types and verticals, and holds the best security standards and certifications such as ISO, PCI DSS, and HIPAA. Furthermore, take the following measures:
• Conduct an introductory call to go over their business model
• Review their onboarding process and collaboration best practices
• Understand their training, project methodologies, management, and availability
• Study the references, reviews, portfolio, and testimonials
• Go over the company’s case studies and success stories
• Review their infrastructure, resource strength, utilities, backup, and compatibility
• Assess the candidate on communication, development, security, teamwork, and other metrics
Management and Communication:
The last thing you want is to couple with a candidate that doesn’t bring the expected team rapport and interpersonal skills. A distant member who fails to respond to calls and refuses to attend meetings can become a liability. Businesses can’t risk playing with a resource that doesn’t step up or trips at the sight of stand-up scrums, emails, chats, and project tracking tools.
Solution: Steer clear from regions that can’t integrate with your team dynamics. A tightly connected team needs a resource that “stays on” and is easy to work with during working hours. A candidate who keeps the communication lines open to accept instructions and ask questions. Besides showing maturity, adhering to best coding practices and bonding with your team will ultimately serve your project needs best. Here are some other pointers to keep in mind:
• Shows a proactive hands-on willingness to accept tasks and iterate when needed
• Ensure your outsourced member comprehends the language
• The candidate is prepared to align with the team’s schedule and working culture
• Knows different project management service methodologies like Agile, Scrum, Kanban, and DevOps
• Works in a secure environment with the relevant tools and technology
• Shows flexibility and understands critical time-sensitive deadlines
• Respect confidential data, intellectual property/ideas, and source code repository
Inconsistent and irregular knowledge transfer can create a chaotic workspace for your team. Peers who can’t adopt best practices to assign duties and pass on instructions will find it hard to work resourcefully. Different stages like kick-off, implementation, and closure require a meticulous instructional approach right from the outset. Projects go haywire when the informal knowledge transfer pace or quality deteriorates at some stage, leading to missed deadlines and quality issues.
Solution: You must invest in resources and tools that reduce silos and simplify and streamline knowledge sharing, learning, and efficiency, through end-to-end visibility, granular transparency, user-friendly collaboration, and a solid communication charter. Matured and organized teams have a solid strategy for acquiring project details. They know how to work it out, distribute the tasks, and keep track of the progress. Here are some other pointers to consider:
• Collect/prepare the right information assets in spec sheets, videos, test docs, guidelines, etc.
• Have a methodical and planned roadmap with proper milestone breakup in place
• Define the right knowledge transfer items
• Pick the right knowledge transfer head to relay the data
• Prepare the meeting agenda and forward the Minutes of the Meeting (MoM)
• Conduct meetings and Q&A sessions with stakeholders to discuss and reinforce information
• Track and measure the ongoing work to stay ahead of the curve
Scalability and Flexibility:
Let’s say your project needs more developers, higher than the earlier requested resources. In that case, does the partner have a massive pool to address your requirements? Associating with vendors that lack experts or rely on freelancers can hurt your project. A long recruitment process can prolong your project completion and delay time-to-market. The longer recruitment waiting periods happen when requesting AI/ML and other high-end tech experts.
Solution: Any flexible staff augmentation agency must be able to empower and provide additional IT experts at the eleventh hour. You want to scale the team, and the vendor must comply and fulfill your requests ASAP. Only lean in on companies having a robust pool of multipurpose talent available 24/7. A shelf stock of extras can support you when a developer drops out or you need more developers to face near-impossible deadlines. Here are some other pointers to look for:
• Determine the overall strength and the total active personnel in the required role
• Check the attrition rate to avoid tying up with companies that lose employees quickly
• Check the employee Net Promoter score, work index, culture rating, and overall branding
• Figure out their recruitment methodology and average time to deploy a candidate
• Establish the number of screening/review rounds and assessment practices
• Discuss the different avenues that the partner uses to explore and absorb talent
• Get an insight into what the business does for inclusivity and employee retention
Legal, Investment, and Returns:
Ensure the contractual obligations in place reflect your requirements perfectly. Businesses often get into contractual disagreements that result in delays. The reason is they didn’t go through different situations in detail. Such companies have a hard time negotiating their concerns midway. The failure to comply with the terms from their side jeopardizes your project or ends up creating delays.
Solution: Before working with a staff augmentation company, get more clarity into the contract, discuss the possibilities, and assemble a contract that gives you proper control over the quality, challenges, and security. A watertight or leakproof contract handles all the exceptional scenarios and leaves no scope for dispute. Review the clauses and establish whether you get substantial returns from the investment. Here are a couple more pointers to look for:
• Analyze the risk to reward for the investment with the staff augmentation company
• Understand the breakup of your investment for the perceived value
• Ensure there is no ambiguity in your requirements
• Establish liability clauses that define limits of responsibility
• Introduce penalties for non-compliance to the contractual terms
• Establish guidelines for safe-proof measures/warranties in case of disruptions and delays
• Establish clear conditions for issuing and paying invoices
Benefits of IT Staff augmentation
• Don’t run the hassle of conducting and running recruitment drives
• Incremental cost savings from wasting less time on traditional hiring of candidates
• Fast access to expert talent, somewhere talent-acquisition executives have a hard time
• Hire on the go and let go upon project completion. Save tons in benefits and perks.
• Quickly add qualified, specialized, and experienced roles to your development project
• Allows you to pick a problem-specific professional and not a generalist for your project
• Newly hired professionals can hit the ground running
• Fresh ideas, distinct perspective, and objectivity of a professional outsider
• Occupy your current team members to do what they do best
• Hire from a vast network of certified global talent – no geographic restrictions
• Maintain full control – the temporary resource blends and works alongside your core team
• Scale your needs as the workload increases, while staying agile in development and up to date
• Improve operational efficiency without any excess burden on your infrastructure
Acquiring the right talent is crucial, but what else is key? The answer lies in sticking to a hiring practice that aligns with your budget to elevate the team’s capacity to deliver projects on time. Businesses that would waste pivotal time and face backlash from clients can now collaborate with staff augmentation firms. Allowing them to level up, accelerate, and uplift their internal processes for a faster finish and that too without incurring excess costs and staying flexible.
Modern businesses can gain that edge by adding specialized professionals for particular projects without compromising quality and straining their capital and time on a full-scale investment. If a development project in your company needs an extra hand, get in touch with ISHIR. Every business augmented and empowered with our specialized staff has achieved fast speed to value from project completion in record time.