Top Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation

The rise of staff augmentation

Each year thousands of small and medium-sized businesses look to outsourcing and staff augmentation options for their software development and business needs, but are plagued by the challenges of restricted budgets, time constraints and, not knowing what and who their best options really are. 

Staff augmentation - using outside talent on a temporary basis to augment the capacity of an organization - has seen a dramatic increase in popularity year over year, especially within the tech space. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that the staff augmentation services market will register an incremental spend of about USD 81.87 Billion, growing at a CAGR of 3.53% during the five-year forecast period.

Businesses looking for a staff augmentation solution for software development can benefit enormously, but they first need to have a clear understanding of staff augmentation in order to make the best decision while avoiding possible struggles further down the road. 

Here, we discuss the top pros and cons of staff augmentation and how you can plan ahead and make the best decisions as you adopt this strategy within your own organization.

Top pros of staff augmentation

  1. Cut down on costs and training

One of the main reasons why staff augmentation has become so popular is because of the significant cost reduction and effectiveness it brings to companies. Companies are now able to save money on lengthy hiring processes and full-time employee costs ( employee benefits, insurance, PTO, and more) by hiring professionals who can work on a temporary basis for a fixed period of time. 

Businesses are also able to take advantage of hiring available, already-skilled, domain-centric individuals that don’t need to be trained or upskilled. Not only do they save more money, but also more time as they are able to start working on specific projects from the get-go. 

  1. Access the expertise you need now

Many companies and organizations don’t have the skills and talent they need when they need it. Market needs and consumer demand are constantly changing. Keeping up with the latest trends poses a challenge that staff augmentation can address. Some companies may not have the time or bandwidth to lead traditional, local, full-time hiring efforts, especially when a project can’t wait. Also, finding and connecting the right talent to the right projects is a headache in itself and, when hiring goes wrong, projects may come to a complete halt. Once again, both time and money are at stake here.

Staff augmentation gives companies the ability to avoid all of this by providing the expertise they need, exactly when they need it. No longer do companies have to struggle to find the right talent on short notice. 

When working with a staff augmentation company, client companies can access the expertise they don’t currently have, greatly reduce the risk of hiring mistakes and save time and money. 

  1. Increased hiring and business flexibility

With staff augmentation, hiring becomes easier, faster, and more flexible. Companies have all sorts of needs and many of them are short-time or only have a specific, fixed duration that can last a couple of weeks, months, or years. Staff augmentation is able to provide what companies need while taking specific timeframes into consideration. 

By being able to engage in flexible hiring where companies can hire skilled professionals for a specific need, on a temporary basis, they don’t have to take up additional costs as is the case with permanent hiring. This means that businesses become more flexible in both the short and long run.

Top cons of staff augmentation

  1. More processes

When any type of worker joins a company, an increase in the number of processes is a given. This applies to a full-time employee as well as a temporary worker. Companies and teams need to aim at making sure their processes and operations are well documented and easy to follow, especially when bringing ‘’augmented’’ talent on board. 

  1. Onboarding pains

Even though staff augmentation helps companies reduce the time it takes to onboard employees, it still takes time to introduce them and get them settled into your company. Since remote working is common in a staff augmentation setup, swift and effective onboarding can become challenging for companies that still haven’t defined how it should be done. Another important part of onboarding is internal knowledge. Often new employees and workers are faced with the challenges of getting their hands on the internal knowledge they need to ramp up quickly. 

Augmented talent may need to come with previous knowledge about a project related to a specific client the client company is working with. Having easy access to this knowledge is key for the new employee to catch up quickly with as little friction as possible.

  1. Internal communication struggles

Closely connected with onboarding and processes, new team members may find it a struggle to adapt to new or different ways of internal communication. Both client companies and staff augmentation service providers should consider internal communication best practices before the onset of a project, especially in a remote or hybrid environment where misunderstandings can be common.

About Icalia Labs

Icalia Labs is a world-class nearshore software product firm enabling businesses to translate their digital strategies into tangible value. With a customer-centric design and an engineering culture, the firm guides its clients through an agile framework to acquire new digital capabilities and fortify their innovation-to-market mindset.

Icalia Labs delivers value through a frictionless software environment, assembling the right people, products, and processes into the mix. We have grown our team all across the Americas, leveraging economies of scale to achieve more in less time while providing better solutions.


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