Are you looking for experienced developers or other tech specialists? IT staff augmentation is one of the best ways to hire quickly and efficiently. We’ve prepared an informative and helpful list of questions about outstaffing services you hardly find anywhere else. The list combines 30 questions and answers that can be interesting to SaaS companies, fast-growing startups, software product development teams, and even enterprises. The questions are divided into general questions like staff augmentation definition, types, etc., and more specific questions like challenges associated with hiring offshore developers.
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What would you do if you were building a house? You’d hire a building brigade. A team of expert builders knows how to construct a solid house with a stable and fixed position. What would you do if you were to create a software product? You would do the same — hire experienced software developers.
So, what is staff augmentation? Staff augmentation meaning is broad but more often this term is used in the IT industry. Usually, people define staff augmentation as a special type of cooperation that allows businesses to engage external resources to complete some particular job. These people will work either as part of your in-house team or separately for a short-term or long-term period.
Software development, especially product development, requires lots of things to reach the project goals. It’s all about gathering both functional and non-functional requirements appropriately, breaking the work structure down, describing the project scope in detail, and many more. Involving the right people to make a team together is as important as all the rest.
Often, tech teams lack the required resources, skills, and competencies because of many factors. The latter may include the lack of skills in the local market, the need for unique expertise, the high attrition rate in the company, etc. The staff augmentation model allows such teams to scale up faster.
With this engagement model, they can find developers, architects, designers, test engineers, business analysts, product managers, project managers, and many other specialists more quickly than they were to find those on their own. Besides, the development costs are usually lower while the quality of work can be better.
First off, you as a client should identify the required expertise and skills, the number of developers, and their level of qualification. It should be a kind of detailed job description. Only then can a recruiting partner help you find the people that match your description and expectations. When done, the description should be handed over to a staff augmentation provider.
Most providers have huge databases of tech specialists to engage for your project. They either have people on the bench and in recruiting pipeline if your provider is a software development company or search for the needed resources in the market.
Once resume screening is done, they will appoint interviews with candidates. In most cases, you can ask for sending a test task to check the tech skills of potential candidates. If the interview and test are passed successfully, the candidate will get a job offer from a staff augmentation provider.
The most frequent reasons companies turn to staff augmentation services include the lack of required skills in the local market, the need for specific expertise, and the desire to decrease the cost of software development. Imagine, you are a fast-growing startup that raised a couple of millions of dollars in funding, and need to scale up fast. However, it occurs that there are not enough developers in your city or even country to take on the development. What would you do?
You’d probably look for a reliable software vendor or a staff augmentation firm that could help you extend your team with the necessary skills as quickly as possible.
The most remarkable advantages of staffing augmentation are quick hiring, well-organized onboarding, and high retention rates. Usually, it takes recruiting partners a few weeks to find the right people for clients. Surely, it’s better than hiring on your own which may take a few months. Besides, according to Deloitte’s statistics, the cost of a bad hire is 52 days and $4000. Literally, you spend lots of time and money when trying to find the right person to do the job.
Onboarding is another benefit. And it has nothing to do with instructing your new team members on how they should behave or what their roles and responsibilities are. In the software industry, it’s about articulating the project goals, flow, and requirements to a newcomer in a clear way. Most recruiting partners don’t understand the IT-related terms like SDLC, project management models like Agile or Waterfall, the difference between functional and non-functional requirements, and more. If you partner with a software company, it’s different. They know and understand every aspect associated with successful project outcomes and know how to communicate the client’s requirements appropriately.
There are several ways to get staff augmentation services. Let’s talk about the two most popular ones. Firstly, you can cooperate with a recruiting agency. Secondly, with a software development company, which, in most cases, will provide outsourcing services. The first variant can be a good fit if an agency understands the specifics of IT business, tech startups, and technology trends. Otherwise, you risk hiring the wrong person. The second variant is much better as software development companies understand your business well.
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The staff augmentation approach is explained as a way you engage external resources. Simply put, there are three types of engagement: remote consulting, on-site consulting, and individual or team specialists. The fourth is a blended approach where you might use all three types of engagement simultaneously. The best approach is the one that fits your needs. To understand better what works best for you, conduct an audit of your existing resources and define the gaps you have. Only so can you see what resources or expertise lack and what approach is best for you.
To find a reliable vendor, try one of these ways:
Recommendations. A word of mouth is probably one of the oldest and most proven ways to find a trusted contractor. Your friend would never recommend you an unfair provider. However, you should check if they provide precisely the services you need.
Listings. Some platforms like Clutch or Good Firms usually have thousands of different vendors on their lists. The companies present there are usually checked and even ranked so that you can understand who’s a top company providing .NET developers, for example.
Google. Browsing for a reliable vendor is also a good fit if you are good at digging deeper. You will meet millions of websites offering software developers. Your task number one is to check their legal identity and portfolio; your second job will be communicating with company representatives. During the talk, you will definitely see if it’s the right people to hire. Ideally, it should look like a kind of strategy session when a vendor provides you with rates, hiring speed and steps, deadlines, etc.
Fixed price is a kind of engagement model with a predictable budget and set timelines, which works best for short-term projects. A fixed price model is used more often while outsourcing turnkey software development, however, it is a typical model for staff augmentation presupposing fixed hourly rates of developers, as well.
Common managed IT services are data backup, system management, cloud transformation, data warehouse, data storage, network security, and others. These services are used mainly by enterprises while staff augmentation is merely a body shopping approach used by product development companies and very seldom by corporations.
Staff augmentation is one of the outsourcing models. The latter is more often associated with turnkey software development when clients hire dedicated teams, for example, to develop a software solution from end to end, following all stages of SDLC.
Time and Material is also one of the most popular outsourcing engagement models and types of payment contracts. It fits best when you know that your requirements will change, you need regular reporting on project progress, and want to balance the time spent and quality provided. This model is good for long-term projects.
Read other useful insights on IT staff augmentation advantages:
The staff augmentation model offers lots of promising opportunities for businesses. Firstly, you can acquire the resources exactly which you need.
Imagine, you need a specific technology to build some particular module or feature for your software product. Your in-house team members don’t possess this specific knowledge and skills, and it will surely take lots of time to study those. You would probably search for an expert in this technology to join your team and help you develop the solution. However, you understand that you don’t need this person to work permanently with you. Augmenting staff externally is a perfect fit to hire experienced developers for a limited period. They will complete the job and you will pay precisely for what they’ve done.
The IT outstaffing strategy is a combination of plans and actions aimed to help you hire the best employees at the most reasonable rates. The strategy is related to legal arrangements, recruitment, interviewing, hiring, training and onboarding best practices, workspace environment, retention, etc. The strategy may be worked out either by a client or an IT outstaffing firm. Why is it important to have such a strategy? Having a well-structured and well-organized procedure is a key to success.
Usually, the staff augmentation process consists of a few core stages: requirements gathering, interviewing and hiring, proceeding to work, support. That’s a typical process for most recruiting agencies. However, for better outcomes, the procedure should be more well-thought.
The staff augmentation process in DICEUS looks as follows:
Ultimately, the latest stages are followed by onboarding.
The difference between our staff augmentation services and those provided by other outstaffing companies or recruiting agencies is account management. All clients that cooperate with us get a dedicated account manager. This person is responsible for creating the most comfortable environment for collaboration. He or she is always available to solve any client’s issues or questions related to the dedicated staff or the project flow in general.
Staff augmentation rate cards show developers’ rates so that every client knows how much it costs to hire a particular developer. Surely, we provide rate cards to make our cooperation with customers fully transparent.
Want to know what your risks are and how to avoid them? First and foremost, it’s critical to find a trusted IT staff augmentation firm not to be deceived by scams or dishonest vendors. As mentioned above, there are a few ways to look for providers: recommendations, listings, and google.
Other staff augmentation risks are as follows:
A standard IT staff augmentation proposal contains the following information:
A detailed job description is one of the most important things in a whole outstaffing procedure. It serves as a basis for the right job ad. Besides, the description helps recruiters and tech specialists to create a list of relevant questions for interviews with candidates. It is a sure way to find the right person faster without checking and asking you for additional inputs. We devote a few days to compiling a very detailed description together with the client so that we do not spare your time in the future for finding out additional things.
Our staff augmentation contract template will be sent to you once we have a few sessions to identify how many and what resources you need.
Initially, we ask our clients the following questions to better understand what they need:
We’ll need around 1-2 weeks to hire the candidates from our recruitment pipeline. It will take us 2-4 weeks for finding people in the market. Overall, our hiring process can last up to 21 business days which is twice as shorter as if you were hiring with the help of a traditional recruiting agency.
A seniority level matrix is a card allowing both IT companies and their client to evaluate the developers’ level of expertise. For example, it may say that a developer with 5 years of experience is considered a senior developer. Of course, each outstaffing vendor may have his own matrices but they all are quite alike. For you as a client, such a card demonstrates what you are paying for. Remember, that it must contain not only the information about the years of experience but a detailed description of skills a developer should possess to be considered a junior, middle, or senior specialist.
We care both about our employees and clients. So, we work hard to ensure the most comfortable environment possible. For our employees, we have special benefits and perks as well as personal development programs for constant professional growth. Regularly, a dedicated manager conducts one-to-one interviews with employees to discover how they feel about working on the project, what problems they have, and what they would like to be improved.
Speaking about the clients, we allocate a dedicated account manager who’s responsible for coordinating the productive work and maintaining healthy relations between a client and team members provided from the DICEUS’s side.
Absolutely, you can. We send test assignments to candidates. The tasks can be prepared by specialists from the client’s side as well as by our tech team leads or senior specialists with regard to your project specifics. Usually, it takes approximately 3-4 days to send, complete, check, and give feedback on the completed test.
Of course, our clients are present on interviews and their questions are welcome. An interview between a client and a candidate is held once candidates are shortlisted. So, you don’t need to speak to a great number of people. It saves time and provides a clearer picture of potential team members.
One of the key staff augmentation processes is to define how you will communicate with new team members. So, we prepare a well-structured communication plan, including the preferred communication channels and hours, and agree on it with you.
As mentioned, we take care of both our clients and employees as we understand all the negative effects of employee attrition for software development projects. Thus, we develop special benefit programs, sign-on bonuses, referral programs, sick leave, and vacation policies, personal development plans, and much more to ensure the most comfortable working environment.
What does staff augmentation mean for you? Just send us a request and we’ll help you hire the most experienced developers!