What is the top trend that reigns supreme in the world of the early third millennium? No doubt, pervading digitalization. The swiftly increasing number of people is becoming involved in active employment of computer technologies in various spheres of our life – from personal communication and dating to business and entertainment. A reliable staff augmentation partner could help you handle all these challenges.
Weird as it may sound, the global pandemic that has been wreaking global havoc for over a year serves as a propellant to the robust progress of the IT sector. With “remote” and “virtual” having become buzzwords describing most human activities on the COVID-ridden planet, digital products and technologies are conquering an ever wider range of industries, generating a great demand for software development services and specialists.
Since the Earth’s population displays a rapidly growing pattern, it would be logical to assume that the need for high-tech experts are covered with a vengeance. Unfortunately, it is not the case. On the contrary, the swelling demand for qualified IT staff is going to be felt more acutely in the foreseeable future. Moreover, their shortage is predicted to have an adverse effect on the functioning of three-fourths of organisations.
The staff augmentation model: What is all this about?
In the highly volatile business environment of the 21st century, the flexibility of the workforce is probably the major asset that allows any company not only to stay precariously afloat but to thrive and expand. However, the challenges that crop up almost every day may turn out to be above the head of the in-house IT department.
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In both cases, CEOs own up to the necessity of enlisting some extra help, but hiring a permanent employee might be the wrong option. For one thing, finding a competent worker isn’t a matter of a day or two and the assignment can’t wait for a week or even a month while you are weighing the merits and demerits of possible candidates. Secondly, the project that your team is tackling may be a one-off issue, so adding another line to the organization’s payroll is a sheer waste of money in the long run. Outsourcing the job to the whole team is also a bad call since such an option is expedient only if the assignment is going to take half a year or even longer.
And this is where staff augmentation steps in. You hire only the person you need for a stipulated (typically short) period to do the job together with your in-house team, after which each of you goes their own way. Such a model is beneficial in many respects.
Top reasons to consider IT staff augmentation partner
If you choose this approach, it will provide a string of boons to your enterprise.
- Cost-saving. You pay only to the person who does the job for you. You save huge sums that you would spend (or waste?) in case you hired a team of regular employees since you don’t pay for the premises where they would work, utilities they would consume, software and equipment they would utilize to say nothing of downtime, bonuses, training, and other inevitable expenditures symptomatic of the permanent personnel scheme.
- Uninterrupted working process. Sick leaves are an alien phenomenon to the staff augmentation model. If an onboarded member is called in sick, the staff augmentation company is supposed to replace them. Vacations are also out of the question because the tenancy is rather short.
- Unlimited access to the global talent pool. With staff augmentation, your scope of the search for a qualified employee isn’t limited to the vicinities of your office location, or even your city and country. You can hire a suitable IT staff augmentation partner hailing from any corner of the planet once their rates and quality of service suit you.
- Problem-free onboarding. It is easier and faster for a single temporary employee to fit into the working style and pace of your regular team than it would be for a whole new gang of permanent workers (who will also have to adjust to each other within it). Plus, the realization that the onboarded specialist is with you for a short term only will foster internal acceptance among your regular personnel, who thus won’t worry about their hard-earned positions and salaries.
- Immediate upward and downward scalability. In case you need more people to put out a fire, or there is slack time, you can always call for an extra workforce or put their activities on hold as the circumstances demand.
Sounds appealing? So let the hunt for staff augmentation begin.
How to find a staff augmentation provider
The first question that confronts IT companies in need of new temporary employees is how to get staff augmentation or rather where to get it. Such services can be searched in three possible ways.
- Word of mouth. People treat the grapevine differently, yet conversations with friends, former teachers, acquaintances, clients, or colleagues may yield valuable information or references to be used as a starting point in your recruitment quest. Today, the face-to-face communication option is extended by social media opportunities, so neglecting such a powerful tool of broadening your headhunt would be a felony.
- Google search. In the contemporary internet-driven world, search engines are the major instruments employed to look for information of any kind. It would be strange indeed if an IT company didn’t try to browse for staff augmentation providers’ sites to compare their portfolios and prices.
- Specialized guides. While Google search results need filtering and close scrutiny, rankings that are compiled on the basis of data-driven analytics furnished by specialized resources provide ready-made insights into the reputation of staff augmentation providers. So try Clutch and GoodFirms to take a shortcut to more efficient decision-making.
This preliminary search will leave you with a list of company names that you will have to choose from.
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Top 5 things to consider when choosing the vendor
Being an experienced player in the market of IT services, DICEUS recommends focusing on the following aspects while comparing staff augmentation providers.
The company’s portfolio
This is the first thing you should look into. Case studies, domains of expertise, customer testimonials, the term of presence in the industry, similar projects tackled by the vendor form the success story and reputation of the company as a reliable foundation for you to shape the general impression of the organization. It is still better to talk to the former and present customers of the service provider to make conclusions as to the veracity of the information given on their site and consequently the integrity of the vendor.
The IT staff record
It is the crucial summand of the successful future cooperation since, after all, it is individuals who will augment your staff, not the entire company. Naturally, you should consider the tech stack a developer has proficiency with (the certificates in them would be a plus), the projects they contributed personally to, the nature and amount of this contribution, and whether all of this relates to the task you have in mind for them.
But however important these hard skills might be, they will scarcely yield the expected outcome if they are not matched by the soft skills. The new staff member should be ready to fit into the new team, maintain friendly communication with colleagues without giving them attitude, meet the deadlines, and generally become a part (although, a provisional one) of the corporate culture within the given organization.
Rates and quality of service
There is a misconception that the better quality of service a company provides, the higher its rates are. In the IT world, it isn’t always true. Sometimes, you can hire high-end specialists at a reasonable price if you know where to look. Typically, a workforce from developing countries (especially from Ukraine, Poland, Romania) abounds in talents in the field that can provide top-notch quality of performance without making a hole in your pocket.
Generally, this is about the vendor’s flexibility. The staff augmentation provider must be ready to adapt to the customer’s requirements and even sometimes pander to their whims. For instance, by hiring several employees from one outsourcer, a client gets a discount on such a “wholesale deal”. Or the vendor is open to changing the contract offered and never insists on the one-size-fits-all pattern of it. Scalability is also an important option to be included in the cooperation agreement.
Language and culture
Today, a qualified IT workforce can be found all over the globe, notably in Eastern Europe, South Asia, and Latin America, where service rates are rather attractive. But unless the developers have an adequate command of English (or other languages that suit the customer), the cooperation is unlikely to proceed smoothly. Common or close work ethic and set of values both parties to the process have can also become a differentiator that will either contribute to the common cause or serve as a hindrance that will significantly hamstring the progress of the project.
Risks you can face when cooperating with a staff augmentation partner
As with any other form of remote cooperation, staff augmentation can encounter a number of challenges. What should you do to mitigate the typical risks?
- Ensure effective communication. It is crucial while having some members of your team working distantly. Having a clear-cut communication plan, adjusting schedules of employees located in different time zones, and utilizing digital cooperation and communication tools (Zoom, Slack, JIRA, Trello, etc.) will help you maintain a constant rapport channel and synchronize efforts of all stakeholders.
- Emphasize management. Managing remote teams is totally the responsibility of the customer. So, it should be entrusted to a seasoned expert who will align workflows, implement a timeline, watch for task deliveries – in a word, go all lengths to keep the team members on one page.
- Take thought for privacy. Since you let an outsider into your company’s backstage, it is natural that total privacy is compromised. Yet, a well-judged security policy should be implemented to keep possible data leakage and system penetration risks to a minimum.
Most of the worries and anxieties related to staff augmentation can be alleviated if you enlist the help of a reliable and experienced partner. DICEUS ticks all boxes in this respect whose competent IT specialists can augment your team in case of emergency. Contact us to discuss cooperation.
Given the universally recognized shortage of IT specialists, companies working under the rapidly changing business conditions have no other choice than to hire temporary employees to succor their in-house teams in an emergency. When implemented wisely, the staff augmentation model can be highly beneficial for all stakeholders involved in short-term software projects.