If you’re reading this, chances are you’re among the 64% of IT leaders who identify talent shortages as the biggest obstacle to the adoption of new technologies. Since this is a growing problem to which there currently isn’t an end in sight, the market adapts however it can. Many software development companies have already resorted to IT staff augmentation services as their go-to cooperation model with relevant specialists.
With staff augmentation services, tech companies can conveniently solve some of their current and common problems: tech talent shortages, high hiring costs, the need to meet tight deadlines etc. At the same time, more and more custom software development companies recognize this market need and offer their internal talent for hire.
What advantages does this model have over other possible cooperation models? How to pick the right staff augmentation provider? How to ensure you hire the right people when you decide to expand your team with external specialists? We’ve compiled the answers to these and other questions you may have about this type of outsourcing service to guide you through the process and make sure you make the best decision for your company.
Let’s start with the basics.
What are IT staff augmentation services?
IT staff augmentation services (also referred to as team augmentation services) involve supplementing a company's in-house development team with additional tech talent. This can include hiring contractors or temporary employees to fill specific roles, or outsourcing certain IT functions to a third-party provider. The goal of staff augmentation is to provide the necessary skills and resources to a company in a flexible and cost-effective manner, in order to support the organization's IT needs and goals.
What is the difference between IT staff augmentation, IT outsourcing and managed services?
Since both models involve getting external specialists on board, this is an important question to answer. There is a common misconception that the two models are the same and some leaders use these two terms interchangeably.
Indeed, both IT staff augmentation and IT outsourcing are ways for companies to acquire additional IT resources, but they differ in the level of control and ownership the company maintains over the work being done.
With IT staff augmentation, a company concentrates on hiring additional IT personnel to supplement their existing in-house team. It retains full control over the work being done and the newly-acquired staff report to the company's management – they become a regular team member of the hiring company for the duration of a specific project. It’s good to think about staff augmentation services as out-tasking, rather than outsourcing.
In contrast, IT outsourcing involves contracting out certain IT functions or projects to a third-party vendor. The provider takes on ownership of the work and is responsible for managing the personnel performing the work. The company typically has less control over the work being done and may have less direct involvement in the day-to-day management of the outsourced staff.
Also, IT outsourcing is often compared with managed services. This model too is about hiring external IT experts, but, just like in the case of the other two models, the difference is in the scope of project management.
IT managed services entail outsourcing of IT functions and tasks to a third-party provider, responsible for the ongoing management, maintenance, and support of a customer's IT infrastructure and systems. This can include tasks such as network and server management, data backup and recovery, software updates and patches, and more. The goal of IT managed services is to provide businesses with a cost-effective and efficient way to manage their IT needs, allowing them to focus on their core business activities.
This brings us straight to the next question.
When to opt for IT staff augmentation services?
Now that you understand exactly what staff augmentation services are about, we can take a look at some of the specific scenarios in which this type of service may benefit your organization. Consider the below:
- When your company's IT team lacks specific or niche technical skills or expertise required to complete a project or task;
- When your company is under pressure to meet tight deadlines and needs to quickly scale up its IT capabilities; or when it needs to meet sudden, increased demand or unexpected workloads;
- When your company has temporary or project-based IT resource needs that must be filled out quickly; be it due to employee absences, vacancies or increased demand;
- When your company decides that specialized expertise will increase the quality of specific project or task;
- When a company wants to reduce the burden of hiring and onboarding new employees;
- When a company wants to manage the cost of IT staff by only paying for the resources needed on a project-by-project basis;
- When a company wants to access the latest technology and processes without making significant investments in new hires or training;
- When a company needs to extend its testing capabilities.
On the whole, IT staff augmentation services will be of benefit to any team or organization that needs the expertise of certified IT professionals on an ad-hoc, flexible basis.
Advantages of the IT staff augmentation model
Companies looking to fill specific talent gaps in their internal teams will be happy to enjoy the following benefits:
Maintain project ownership
In contrast to IT outsourcing or managed services, staff augmentation allows you to maintain full ownership of your project. Still, the experts will be eager to contribute in the best way they can. The dedicated software developers effectively become full-fledged members of your in-house team, led by you.
Staff augmentation is a great way to reduce project costs as you don't need to worry about the costs of vacations, maternity leave, sick leave, or the hassle of legal and recruitment processes. The vendor who provides the service package for a fee, covers all the costs associated with hiring. Also, your temporary employees will be working remotely, so you won’t have to worry about additional workspace.
Access a global talent pool
Companies used to be limited to a local labor market when it came to filling positions, leading to a decrease in the quality of the hire due to a lack of available experts. However, with the advent of staff augmentation services, companies now have the ability to access a vast talent pool, allowing them to easily find the expert they need regardless of their location. This enables you to hire the best and brightest from all around the world.
Gain greater flexibility
Staff augmentation services allow you to scale their internal teams up or down, as required. In addition, it makes it much easier to replace an employee should you need to do so. Businesses can now create teams with a diverse set of skills and specializations, allowing them to tackle complex challenges, maximize their potential and eliminate project delays.
Eliminate administrative burden
Recruiting and hiring personnel can be a long and costly process for your HR department. It requires finding and vetting potential candidates, as well as negotiating employment terms and managing administrative tasks. Working with an IT staff augmentation provider will take that weight off the shoulders of your HR team, allowing them to focus on more important matters. The legal agreements and paperwork will remain in the provider’s hands.
Cons of the IT staff augmentation model
Every hiring model has its drawbacks and it also applies to staff augmentation services. Leaders should be aware of them and consider whether they don’t outweigh the pros in their particular case.
Reliance on the service provider
In the staff augmentation model, an outside service provider is engaged to provide remote staff members. However, it can take some time to find the right partner that can offer the necessary skill set for your project. If the contract is terminated or the remote employee suddenly leaves, then the process of finding suitable replacements must be restarted, which may result in increased time and cost.
Potential lack of cultural fit
It is essential to select contractors who understand, appreciate, and are committed to your company's values and working procedures. The transition period of augmented staff may be a bit of a learning curve, and it is important to hire individuals who will quickly acclimate to the existing culture and workflow.
When you choose to hire remote professionals from RST Software, we will present you with our shortlisted candidates and you’ll have the freedom to select the members of your extended team yourself. Take all the steps you deem necessary to ensure they are the best fit for your business.
Why augment your team with RST Software tech talent?
We are aware of the benefits and the challenges this specific outsourcing service may bring. That’s why we strive to ensure that our employees are the right fit by taking the time to get to know your project's requirements, and we make sure to integrate ourselves quickly with your team in order to get the job done.
Additionally, we are committed to maintaining long-term relationships with our remote employees; many have stayed with us for over X years. In the rare case that our talent does not meet your expectations, RST Software will provide a replacement.
We are also dedicated to fostering a collaborative partnership and providing the highest value to our clients’ projects. Our managers are always here to keep track of payroll, talent engagement, and workplace services. No matter where they are located or what time zone they are in, our remote employees will have everything they need to work efficiently, at no extra cost to you.
What IT specialists can RST Software offer?
We are a software development company specializing in React development services and a number of other technologies.
- Web developers: our seasoned programmers can support you in building reliable websites for various business purposes, capable of handling large traffic.
- Mobile developers: we’d be happy to apply our extensive experience to create apps for Android and iOS. We specialize in location-based services, chat applications and media streaming services.
- Product Designers: our specialists can help you create alluring and usable products, while helping to ensure they fit the market needs.
- DevOps Engineers: optimizing the software development processes and IT infrastructure is crucial in any tech organization and we have dedicated specialists who deliver just that.
- QA testers: whether you have a deadline approaching and need to speed up the development process or simply don’t have dedicated QA testers in-house, we have a number of QA testers available for immediate hire.
- Project managers: in case you need extra support with managing your development projects or product development at any stage of the lifecycle, we’re fully equipped to help.
At RST Software, we take professional development of our employees seriously and help them continually hone their skills through courses, training sessions and workshops. We want to ensure that we have the best specialists under our roof and believe that, through supporting their development, we build long-lasting relationships with them. Some of our developers have been with us for over 10 years!
What does the IT staff augmentation process look like at RST Software?
It will take us up to 3 days from reviewing your requirement to present you with candidates we consider suitable. Closing the hiring process will take up to 1 week (depending on how quickly you make the decision. We also have a large network that gives us easy access to external talent, in which case we could get them to start working with you in 2-4 weeks. The hiring process is in fact quite simple:
Evaluation of needs
If you aren’t sure about your exact talent gaps, Based on your project requirements, we can help you identify the skills and expertise that will best complement your current IT structure. We can also help to establish the primary goals by determining the skill set you're looking for and letting you express any preferences you may have. This will help us determine which candidates are best suited for your needs.
We will ask you the following questions:
- What software product are you developing?
- How many people are already involved in it?
- How many people do you need to scale up?
- What level of seniority should these specialists have?
- What exact skills or expertise do you require?
- Do you need a project manager?
Additionally, we will sign a strict Non-Disclosure Agreement to ensure your idea remains confidential.
We will compile a list of exceptional candidates to meet your job requirements and preferences. Be confident that you will receive the best applicants for these positions.
At this point, you can evaluate the specialists we have already chosen for you. You’ll be able to carry out up to 3 face-to-face interviews before making the decision. You can also give them specific test tasks in order to find the perfect combination of skills, knowledge, and values for your internal team. The final decision on who to hire is up to you, as well as the total number of talents you end up hiring. If you’d like to get some tips about how to build a successful team with augmented staff, read our article on this topic.
Once the list of employees is complete, it is time to get them up to speed. Our experts will help your company ensure that new team members can become productive in no time. RST Software will always be available to provide them with the tools and expertise they require to excel in their projects.
When the developers are fully up to speed, RST Software can assist with multi-aspect administrative and office support to help ensure that your nearshore employees are well taken care of. Our relationship coordinator will be in contact with you throughout the project, addressing any issues that may arise and helping you to achieve the best possible results.
As it is evident, the staff augmentation process is quite simple and straightforward. No matter the particular details of your business, its goals, or industries, it will always follow a similar pattern.
Staff augmentation with RST Software
We are a software development and staff augmentation company that has been active on the global market for over 25 years. We are more than happy to contribute our in house talent and project management expertise to help you reach the specific outcome of your project, while leaving you in direct control of it.
If you’re interested in working with us, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make sure you can hire augmented staff within the next couple of weeks.