It can take a village to raise a business from the ground up.

In 2021, over 75% of job listings offered the option to work remotely, which increased due to the global transition to working from home. The challenge now is to find the right people for your village, whether you hire them internally or work with an outsourcing partner.

When you're experiencing a skilled staff shortage or have seasonal projects that need extra hands, augmented staff can help fill the gaps. What is staff augmentation and what benefits does it offer? We answer this question and offer tips on when and why you should consider this business strategy.

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What is Resource and Staff Augmentation?

With the ever-increasing demand for productivity and high-quality output, there’s an equal need for skilled workers. However, the time and funds it needed to find and hire the talent can be too steep for growing organizations.

Resource and staff augmentation is a cost-effective way to meet these demands.

Staffing Augmentation Meaning

Staff augmentation is the practice of partnering with a dedicated team to support your internal workforce in your projects. It allows your business to quickly fill open roles in your organization and can be a critical part of your development and productivity.

It functions similarly to outsourcing since you’re working with an external team to support your core team on certain projects. Moreover, it’s a cost-effective option for businesses that favor temporary or freelance contractors due to the nature of their work.

The key difference between them is that augmented staff closely supports your team and reports to your assigned leads. Outsourcing is handing off projects to your partner organization and relying on their respective management teams to lead and turn in their work after a specified period.

Types of Staff Augmentation

Specific problems require appropriate solutions, and with staff augmentation, you can fill any gaps in your payroll.

Think of the many types of IT services having a role to match every task. Staff augmentation works the same, and you can hire a team for varying levels of skillset you require in the project:

  • Commodity workers for manual skills and manpower
  • Skill-based staffing for entry-level, clerical work
  • Highly skilled workforce of advanced expertise and experience

How Staff Augmentation Benefits Your Operations

Augmenting staff primarily grew out of companies needing further assistance from outsourced IT support. However, the advantage of augmented staff is that it’s a team you can manage alongside your in-house workforce.

Below are some other benefits your business can experience with staff augmentation:

Benefit #1: A Dedicated Team of Specialists

Augmented resources fill the essential roles in your team to a functional point, focused on producing and developing for a specific project. This can be a critical part of your productivity since you won’t have to spend time training your external staff.

Augmenting your team means you can work with specialists who have prior background and knowledge to support your internal team.

Benefit #2: Fill Open Positions Before Fully Expanding Your Team

You can temporarily extend your team’s capabilities before you find long-term team members to fill your organization’s roles.

The advantage is keeping your operations functional as your HR specialists find and hire for your open job listings. You can keep the augmented staff until you’ve fully trained your new members and they can take over for your temporary workers.

Benefit #3: A Flexible Workforce for Seasonal Employment

Certain industries require more manpower during particular periods in a year.

With resource augmenting, they can fill the necessary roles without having to permanently hire people and keep them on throughout the year. This can help keep overhead costs low for your company while also saving your management the trouble of managing excess workers.

Benefit #4: Save Time and Cost of Recruiting and Training Hires

In 2021, 73% of recruiters reported an increase in higher salary negotiations with candidates and current workforce. This was more than 20% growth since 2020, with more employees prioritizing their benefits to meet their needs.

If you decide that augmenting resources works better for your company rather than hiring in-house employees, it’s a strategic option for you to consider. This benefits your team since you can partner with skilled workers immediately rather than go through training talent yourself.

Benefit #5: Easy Delegation and Task Assignment

Compared to an outsourced team with their own team leads and managers, staff augmentation means integrating an external team with your in-house team. You’ll be in charge of delegating tasks to them, tracking their performance, and providing feedback.

These steps may seem like additional work for your leads but will be simpler to communicate directly with your workforce, cutting off the middlemen in sharing your insight with the team. Instead of risking miscommunication with more people involved in the process, you can reach your team and discuss improvements to be made.

When to Consider Staff Augmentation Services

According to the American Staffing Association, 40% of staffing employees occupy higher-skilled positions within the industrial, administrative, managerial, STEM, and healthcare sectors.

Your company may have mainly worked with in-house employees so far. So, how would you know if your company requires augmented staff? To know for sure, below are some points to consider about your current business strategy:

You’re Looking to Partner With Industry Specialists for Your Project

In 2020, 20% of employees resigned due to the lack of career development opportunities, which is a preventable issue. One way to solve the problem is to provide better chances to learn, including practical application of their skill set.

For example, you can hire augmented resource staff to manage your IT infrastructure services if your team is having a difficult time handling it on their own. Moreover, you can work with experts who are more familiar with your challenges.

A highly skilled augmented staff can offer your team a look into new techniques and strategies that may improve your internal processes. This also opens a network of connections within the company to share practical methods.

You Want to Effectively Communicate With Your Staff

This applies especially to organizations that have previously worked with outsourced workers and freelance contractors – an augmented staff is fully integrated within your team and works alongside your in-house employees.

This makes task assignment and delegation more efficient, rather than working with a separate collaborator and spending the effort to send detailed feedback and the time to wait in between communications.

Naturally, other factors come into play when communicating within a team. That said, being able to immediately discuss points of improvement with your specialists is more streamlined than playing pass-the-message and hoping for the best.

You’re Investing in Scaling Up Your Team With High-Level Skills

Staff augmentation allows for rush contracts, which are handy for when you’re in the middle of a project and looking to solve a problem quickly. This allows plenty of time for your team to find the right people to hire.

Moreover, you can also consider hiring your augmented staff if possible. Think of it like promoting a tenured employee – knowing their skillset and compatibility with your company, you’re familiar with their potential and how they would perform for the role.

In fact, 64% of staffing employees work in the sector to help the transition between full-time jobs or find a permanent job.

Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation

A critical function of staff augmentation is to give your team a significant boost in productivity. If you find your organization lacking in this department, staff augmentation is a primary solution you can entertain.

However, weighing the pros and cons of this business strategy can help you decide better if augmenting staff is the right move for your business.

Pros of Staff Augmentation

There are select services that staff augmenting applies to the best, such as IT, managerial and administrative, or marketing tasks.

In these departments, you can partner with an external team and fast-track your operations thanks to:

  • Prior skills and experience in the field
  • Forgoing the talent search, hiring, and training process
  • Quicker communication with an integrated staffing team

Cons of Staff Augmentation

That said, there are some challenges to staff augmentation you may want to review before making your final decision:

It will take time to match your external staff’s pace with your in-house team, or vice versa. While the goal is to become more productive, you’ll also want your team to be in-sync and to collaborate easily.

It isn’t always the cheaper option. Every project and every team are different, so it’s usually on a case-by-case basis to determine the rate. It will be up to you to gauge the value of its worth.

Despite the existing skillset, quality may still be below your expectations. Set the bar at a viable level before considering the job well done. Your team leaders will still need to track your external staff’s performance and provide the essential feedback to keep the project rolling.

Accelerate Your Team’s Productivity With Staff Augmentation

Other than consulting with a high-ranking consultant in your industry, you can gain insight and improved techniques from experienced specialists in the field.

In staff augmentation, you can even integrate them into your production team and benefit from their expertise.

  • A convenient way to supplement your team as you go through transitions, whether scaling up or reducing staff
  • Work with talent with specialized skills to bolster your team and share expertise
  • Reinforce your bandwidth without permanently increasing your team size, especially for short-term projects
  • Boost your team’s productivity to meet tight schedules and deadlines
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