Having the right amount of staff at any given time to meet business demands is critical. If your business demands shift, however, it can be difficult to have the right amount of qualified employees in the right roles. Staff augmentation is a solution that can provide flexibility to meet changing staffing demands. But what does staff augmentation mean?
What Is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation consists of staffing strategies that fall outside of the typical spectrum of hiring. Temporary workers may be brought in from an outside agency to assist with certain tasks or with a project. Work may also be assigned to external teams or subcontractors as needed.
Staff augmentation is done by evaluating a company’s existing staff and then determining what specific skills are required for a certain time of year or for a project.
Why Do Companies Leverage Staff Augmentation?
There are a variety of reasons why a company might choose to leverage staff augmentation instead of hiring new staff. Sometimes there isn’t enough work involving a specific skill to justify hiring someone full-time. It may not be possible to offer a part-time position. Staff augmentation allows companies to hire someone with a specific skill set as the company needs them rather than hiring for a permanent position when there may not be enough work.
Staff Augmentation vs. Outsourcing or Hiring
Companies have multiple hiring options. If there’s enough steady work for an employee, the company could choose to hire, either full-time or part-time. Alternatively, the company could choose to outsource the entire project. In comparison, staff augmentation involves bringing someone with a particular skillset on temporarily.
With staff aug, you’re bringing someone in to augment your existing staff for the duration of a season or a project. It doesn’t have the same financial burden or commitment as hiring a full-time employee. It also allows you to maintain control of the project. Your employees are just able to get the extra help they need to better complete that project.
The Benefits of Staff Augmentation
There are many benefits to staff augmentation. Bringing on temporary staff or hiring an independent contractor to supplement a team can be a very attractive solution to a hiring problem. A company looking to meet a specific need may not have enough in the budget or enough work to hire someone for a more permanent position. At the same time, a company may not want to relinquish control of a project by outsourcing the entire thing.
Staff augmentation means that a company can keep the project in-house with existing staff while also avoiding the costs and commitment involved with hiring new employees.
Avoid the Costs of Recruitment and Hiring
Sourcing applicants, screening candidates, and hiring new employees can be extremely costly. Providing training and benefits to those new employees can strain the budget even more, especially if those employees decide not to stay on after the training period. Staff augmentation allows you to bypass the hiring process, saving you both the costs and the uncertainty.
Temporarily Fill Specialized Roles
In some cases, specialized skill sets may be required for one project or business need, but not necessarily for any further business needs. Staff augmentation provides a way to shop for a specific skillset without requiring a commitment to utilizing that skill set again in the future. This may save your company from an intensive recruitment search and make it possible for you to get the help you need temporarily at a lower cost.
Avoiding Commitment to Hiring
Hiring more staff to fill a role at your company involves a commitment to those employees. You’re not locked in for life to an employee, but letting someone go or firing someone is more difficult than simply working to the end of a contract. Staff augmentation allows you to bring in additional talent to meet a specific need and there’s no commitment. There’s no commitment to hire and there’s no commitment to working with that same person the next time you have a similar staffing need.
Expand into Foreign Markets
Setting up a location overseas can be daunting, especially if there is no promise of future business from that area. Staff augmentation can be used to contract workers that are familiar with the foreign location, which can assist with legal compliance as well as many other potential hurdles that come with operating in a new place. Additionally, there is no need to cover traveling costs for existing employees or to disrupt local operations.
Retain Control over Projects
Using staff augmentation to fulfill staffing needs allows more control over projects than outsourcing. Outsourcing projects can be risky, as you’re trusting another company to perform to the same standards and to complete the project in the allotted time without much supervision.
Additionally, internal employees may interact with temporary or contracted staff to complete projects, which can be helpful if questions or issues arise after the augmented staff has finished their shifts. This can save time, while also making existing employees feel more valued and less threatened by the external aid.
Scale Staff to Company Needs
While being understaffed can be problematic, being overstaffed can also be a tough situation. Having to lay off talented employees can be emotionally taxing for all involved and can tarnish a company’s reputation if employees come to feel that they are expendable. Staff augmentation makes it possible to temporarily ramp up staff numbers so that it’s not necessary to scale down after demand has waned.
Utilizing staff augmentation can help you meet business demands efficiently without a negative impact on your internal staff or company reputation.
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