staff augmentation
staff augmentation

Staff augmentation comes in various iterations, from commodity to skill-based and highly skilled. It works akin to outsourcing or offshoring, as well.

Know what staff augmentation is about and how it can help your business thrive and succeed in this article.

Staff augmentation is the temporary employment of outsourced workers to improve an organization’s operational capacity. This business strategy offers a variety of advantages.

For starters, specific projects can benefit from the addition of competent and contractual staff. You can hire on a per-project basis while targeting the exact skill set required by a plotted objective.

For seasonal shifts in the frequency of business transactions, the process offers workforce on-demand, eliminating the need to hire a full-time workforce that entails dispensing considerable capital.

Lastly, staff augmentation can serve as a trial run for organizations seeking to eventually hire full-time addition to their existing human resources.

The benefits of staff augmentation boil down to scalability. Big or small, organizations reap the rewards of the opportunity to adjust either to growing or decreasing labor demands. That means you get to maximize resources, without compromising operational efficiency.

If such benefits have you sold on the idea, here’s what you need to know.

How Staff Augmentation Works

Staff augmentation works akin to outsourcing or offshoring. The process covers the following steps.

  1. Search for a staff augmentation firm
    Here, it’s crucial to know the organization’s background and history. Get acquainted with their previous clients and learn what they have to say about the service they have received. Peruse existing clients and determine whether any of them represent the industry where you do business.

    If you require IT staff augmentation, it’s best to partner with a firm that specializes in that field. That way, you will be getting top-notch expertise.
  2. Narrow down your options
    Tell service providers what you need. Be vocal with your expectations and clear with your requirements. If there’s a need for utmost project secrecy, communicate that consideration, too. From there, pick the firm that suits you best. Conduct a meticulous contract review before signing.
  3. Interview and hire
    Your chosen staff augmentation firm will cull the best candidates for the job at hand. Get to know these recommended applicants via thorough credential reviews and multiple interviews. Hire those you deem the most promising relative to the work you offer.
  4. Work with your outsourced staff
    Here, you are spared from administrative duties. Even the onboarding process will be carried out by your staff augmentation partner. You and your augmented staff can zero in on accomplishing core business objectives.
  5. Maximize ongoing support
    Your contract covers ongoing support led by an HR or client manager from your hired firm. Make the most of this opportunity to ensure that the project works seamlessly.

The Different Facets of Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation comes in various iterations. Here are three examples.

  1. Commodity – This is when you need workers you can rely on to carry out tasks that do not require a specific expertise or skill set. Examples include warehouse work, factory labor, and most manual gigs. Jobs in retail and events may be classified under this category, as well.
  2. Skill-based – You require specific skills. However, there’s no demand for a particular level of that expertise. Think spreadsheet use, typing, writing, or multilingual skills. This category covers jobs like clerical work, basic copywriting, basic recordkeeping, transcription, and data processing, among others.
  3. Highly skilled – If you’re looking to augment your staff with workers boasting significant training and experience, and perhaps formal education, then you need highly skilled staff augmentation.

    Here, you’re not just after specific expertise but you’re also particular with the skill level of an applicant. Jobs that fall under this category include software engineering, brand design, digital marketing, legal assistance, and tax resolution, among others.

Staff Augmentation Services

When looking for a staff augmentation service provider, it’s in your best interest to zero in on one that specifically caters to the type of business you run and the skill sets you need. On that note, here are services at your disposal.

  • Traditional Staffing Providers – These are most suited to businesses looking for commodity and skill-based labor. They do not offer highly specialized types of services.
  • Gig Platforms – If you’ve previously hired from Upwork or, then you’ve had an experience with a gig platform. These job portals boast thousands of candidates for commodity and skill-based jobs. Work posted on these sites ranges from basic editing to transcribing.
  • On-Demand Talent Platforms – This is where you go for highly skilled talents. These platforms painstakingly curate giggers and freelancers to feature. Those that make the cut are the best of the best; hence you’re assured of your money’s worth.
  • Direct Independent Relationships – These are independent contractors suited to skill-based and highly skilled work. You can peruse the credentials of profiles featured on these platforms. You can then choose to establish a long-term business relationship with your hired personnel.
  • Specialized/Boutique Staffing and Consulting Firms – Are you looking for an outsourced team to carry out a marketing plan for a new product? This is where you go.

These categories are hierarchies of client needs. You must be familiar with them, so you do not commit the mistake of paying significant money for highly skilled staff augmentation when skill-based would suffice. Conversely, you won’t have to deal with incompetence due to paying for skill-based staff augmentation when what you need are highly skilled workers.

Wrapping Up

While staff augmentation remains a viable business strategy, it has its downsides, too.

For instance, hiring temporary staff for a job that requires a high level of institutional and contextual knowledge might lead to information disparity. You might end up providing time-consuming training and orientation, which would defeat the goals of fast-tracking operations and reducing expenses. 

Also, the process is not suited to long-term projects and ongoing skills demand.

Lastly, you will have to rely on outsourcing services for your staff augmentation needs, which could affect sustainability plans. 

For this roadblock, a reliable workaround is the careful scouting of a staff augmentation firm you could trust. The goal is to establish a lasting partnership where both parties are assured of growth. With many organizations offering the service, rest assured you will find one that’ll suit your business to a tee.

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod, as a blogger he used to spread all about app-based business, startup solution, on-demand business tips and ideas and so on.