Filling out IT staff for software developer companies can seem daunting. There are few specialists, and they all know their worth. The best IT staff augmentation comes from planning well in advance using an efficient process to quantify your choices. Keep the following tips in mind when building out your system.
How Does Staff Augmentation Work?
When a software company or IT development company cannot meet the needs of its customers for any reason, it may call upon a resource and IT staff augmentation company for temporary help or permanent assistance. Software development often happens on an uneven schedule, so companies may need to hire IT staff very quickly in some instances. Finding people with certain skill sets can be difficult for a company to do in house while working on projects. Staff augmentation specialists can take the pressure off in this case.
What Are the Different Types of Staff Augmentation?
- Commodity — If you need a team for low-skilled work, the major issue is trust. If a company needs people for data entry or research, they may seek out a commodity staff augmentation.
- Skill-Based — The next level of staff augmentation is for situations that may require a specific skill set, but does not require top level professionals within that skill set.
- Highly-Skilled — This level of augmentation means that a company needs high level performers with advanced skills within a specific sub-discipline.
Staff Augmentation vs Outsourcing
Staff augmentation is a type of outsourcing; they should not be used as synonyms.
Augmentation refers to a workforce expansion that involves a software engineering company hiring more staff as employees. These hires may be short term or long term, but they are not treated as contractors.
Other types of outsourcing may include contractors or other forms of temp hire. Although contracting offers some convenience in terms of processing, there are definitely a number of benefits to staff augmentation.
Staff Augmentation Benefits
- Flexibility boost — Software development staff augmentation frees your staff to focus on their core competencies. If you need to move people to a certain part of a project, you also gain the flexibility of having multiple options to get things done. Being flexible can be a lifesaver if you are working on multiple projects with different timelines. If your employees finish one project early, they can help on another that may be running late.
- Gaining more cost-efficiency — With your core team on their primary competencies, you should achieve a higher level of efficiency overall. Putting specialists where they are best utilized also cuts down on the cost you incur for specialized tasks. The net result should be more cost-efficiency overall.
- Access to a global pool of talent — Working with the right IT staff augmentation company gives you immediate access to specialized talent around the world. The wider your talent pool, the more likely you are to get great talent at a lower price point.
IT Staff Augmentation Challenges
Challenge #1: Finding the right experts
Solution: Partner with a reliable technology vendor.
The quality of developed software you get from your augmentation process is a direct result of the tech vendor you partner with. Make sure you check the reputation of your preferred vendors and compare them for the specific job you have at hand.
Unreliable vendors may offer you better terms up front, but the initial cost should only be a piece of your decision making process. If you are in a place to augment staff, your reputation is likely doing well in the market. Your business is expanding. Trying to save pennies on upfront costs can cost you dearly later. If the appropriate vendor with the best reach costs a bit more, it pays off to pay that cost.
Challenge #2: Communication and management
Solution: Establish effective collaboration.
Just because you have a excess of talent does not mean you will get the job done. In surveys of top custom software and IT staff augmentation company experts, communication is the number one priority of successful teams. This is especially important if you are working with different hires from different site development companies.
Creating synergy between disciplines can also be difficult depending on the type of project you are working on. Work with your IT staff augmentation company to ensure you are hiring people with effective collaboration between each other. Hiring one or two highly talented individuals is less important than hiring a talented team of people who know how to collaborate with each other.
Challenge #3: Legal issues
Solution: Sign up for a win-win contract.
The contract between company and staffing agent can become a nuisance or it can grease the wheels of commerce. Make sure that the relationship you form with your agent creates a positive situation for your company, the augmentation company, and the employees you will hire.
Even if you are looking for commodity talent, becoming known as an employer that respects new hires works wonders for you in the long run. Prioritize taking care of your employees, old and new, and they will take care of you when you need them most.
Challenge #4: Project knowledge transfer
Solution: Ensure effective knowledge sharing.
Make sure that your new hires are quickly brought into the fold so that no one is at a loss for understanding. Even if you are hiring commodity employees for a short term job, people usually perform better when they understand and feel as if they are a part of the big picture.
Effective knowledge sharing also comes from including your core employees in the augmentation procedure. Let them know that the new hires should not be perceived as threats. If everyone feels secure, they can be more comfortable sharing information among themselves.
The best developed software comes from properly augmented teams that can glean experience and morale from your core employees. Partnering with the right software engineering company makes all the difference here, so take the time to find the right one. The upfront cost pays for itself quickly when you partner with an established company that knows how to place employees.