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 IT Outsourcing: The Ultimate Guide To IT Staff Augmentation

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There are different IT outsourcing strategies, but there’s no denying staff augmentation has recently become the most popular one of them. This flexible hiring model has been adopted by many US-based companies and provided successful results to most if not all businesses that implemented it. 

You might have heard the term IT staff augmentation. Still, do you know everything there’s to know about it? With our ultimate guide to IT staff augmentation, you’ll be able to determine whether or not this is the right move for your company and learn more about the model in the process. Keep reading to learn more about IT staff augmentation services! 

IT Outsourcing: The Ultimate Guide To IT Staff Augmentation


1. What is IT staff augmentation?

You might be wondering what staff augmentation services look like when being maximized by a US-based company. Even more, you could be wondering what exactly is staff augmentation in the first place.  

To put it simply, IT staff augmentation is the addition of an outside team (usually composed of remote developers) to a company’s regular full-time or part-time staff. This can be done both on a short and long-term basis, since most staff-augmentation developers work per project as well as for a set period of time, depending on the company’s specific needs. What IT staff augmentation brings to the table is the opportunity to hire expert IT professionals without needing to commit to location restrictions or a traditional long-term employment contract. 

IT staff augmentation services have been gaining steady popularity in the past few years, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. The prolonged isolation caused by the world-round quarantine periods caused companies to look beyond the local area or country when it came to their coding solutions. If their employees were already working from home, why not hire remote developers from all over the world? 

This spike in growth caused by the pandemic becomes evident once when you take a look at some of the recent numbers. As shown by Statista in 2021, staff augmentation services increased their presence in the Americas by 6.3% after 2020.  

Now that we have established what IT staff augmentation is, it’s clear why this IT outsourcing strategy is widely popular. While staff augmentation can be used as an outsourcing model for several different industries, the seasonal workflow of most software development and coding projects makes it particularly useful for the IT business. Next up, you’ll get to read all about the various advantages of IT staff augmentation. 


2. Why should you choose staff augmentation as your company’s IT outsourcing strategy?

It’s natural to wonder what IT staff augmentation can provide your company with that a regular hiring model can’t offer as well. The answer is quite straightforward: staff augmentation services provide efficiency. The main advantage of staff augmentation is that this is a simple way to bring skilled professionals from all around the globe into your company so you can maximize their knowledge and expertise without the risks and commitments of hiring a salaried full-time local developer.

According to Clutch, the main reasons why businesses choose outsourcing and staff augmentation services are: increased efficiency, increased available expertise, increased flexibility, free up employers for more relevant tasks, increased available resources, and help reduce operational costs. These are all part of the key advantages of IT staff augmentation and valid reasons why you should consider IT staff augmentation services to grow your company. 

The entire dynamic of staff augmentation is fundamentally different from a regular hiring model. This process is extremely time-saving because the recruitment procedures are usually shortened or handled by a professional staff augmentation agency.  

Using IT staff augmentation to hire remote software developers can help your company save money, time, and resources and maintain long-term team flexibility for projects. Several US-based companies are already taking advantage of this modern hiring model, as seen in our post about 10 US companies hiring remote developers in Latin America in 2022


3. What are the 5 key advantages of staff augmentation?

As mentioned before, there are several reasons why companies should consider IT staff augmentation. While there are many advantages to staff augmentation services, we think it’s better to list the 5 key competitive benefits of this hiring model. Having a set number of key advantages you can always refer to when considering your decision will help you realize whether staff augmentation is the right next move for your company. Here are the 5 most important advantages of choosing IT staff augmentation:

1. Faster hiring times and project deliveries.

One of the best things about IT staff augmentation is how much it speeds up the entire recruitment process. To no surprise, hiring software developers can be a lengthy task, especially for a company without prior experience in this department. That’s why hiring external remote developers can help you get a quick jumpstart on several different coding projects. Since you’re not hiring these developers through an in-house recruitment process, there’s no need to have as many steps during the interview procedure as with traditional hiring.

The same occurs with the project delivery process. Because you would be adding external developers to your in-house team, there would be more hands-on-deck, which translates into shorter project timeframes. A larger team of software developers can help your company get things done more efficiently without having to hire more full-time employees for just a couple of specialty deliverables.

2. Freeing up tasks for your core team. 

Choosing IT staff augmentation will help you free up tasks for your in-house employees. You can opt for adding only a couple of experts in certain technologies or programming languages or choose to hire half a dozen developers for general IT purposes. The decision is yours to make, thanks to the flexibility of this IT outsourcing strategy. 

When you hire an external team of remote developers to work alongside your full-time staff, you can free up tasks for them that would otherwise need to be covered due to a lack of resources. This ultimately makes your team more productive thanks to the way it helps all members save time and utilize it for tasks relevant to their core position within the company. No more administrative team members handling server mishaps, now you can count on your dedicated team of remote developers to solve all tech issues.

3. Long-term team flexibility. 

Hiring external software developers through IT staff augmentation services helps your business avoid layoffs and other staffing problems. This is thanks to the fact that with staff augmentation a percentage of its workforce is 100% flexible. 

A flexible hiring model can spare your company from the trouble and expenses of job cuts if they ever need to happen. You can just not renew the contract with one of your external team members or rediscuss the terms and length of your agreement.

4. Access to an international talent pool. 

It’s no secret that, after The Great Resignation, there’s been a considerable IT talent shortage. According to a recent report titled The Impact of Technology in 2022 and Beyond: an IEEE Global Study, 73% of IT leaders recognize that filling open tech positions is one of the major IT challenges for this year and beyond.

With a true talent shortage currently undermining all your traditional recruitment efforts, whether that is due to location limitations or budget restrictions, a new perspective is needed. That’s when staff augmentation comes into play. Thanks to this IT outsourcing strategy, your business can gain access to a worldwide pool of talented remote developers.

5. Lower software development costs.

Hiring salaried full-time software developers can be quite expensive, especially if you are limited to the area near your company’s headquarters.  In fact, hiring an in-house developer in the US can cost you between $137K and $173K per year according to recent reports. When you take into account the high development costs that come with salaried workers and the length of a traditional recruitment process, it’s easy to see why your company will most likely end up spending a lot of time and resources.

That’s where staff augmentation can help US-based businesses save a considerable amount of time, money, and resources. Because it streamlines the recruitment process and allows you to hire remote software developers from countries with lower living expenses, staff augmentation offers you a much better return on your investment. To put it in clear numbers, the costs of hiring remote developers through outstaffing are up to 40% lower. 


4. When should you consider staff augmentation?

  • You need software solutions but you’re on a tight budget. 

As mentioned before, one of the main advantages of IT staff augmentation services is the way it helps to reduce software development costs. You can hire external remote developers instead of salaried IT professionals to save up to 40% on development costs and avoid committing to a long-term work arrangement. 

  • You want to expand your team without compromising flexibility. 

If you’re absolutely certain you don’t want to deal with the troubles of a traditional full-time work placement, then IT staff augmentation will be your best alternative. There are staff augmentation arrangements of any duration, ranging from three months to a multiple-year contract if you find the developer works well with your team. 

  • There’s no local talent available. 

We’ve talked about the current IT talent shortage and we were serious when we said this is one of the main challenges for the software development industry at the moment. It’s getting increasingly difficult to find skilled developers, no matter the area. Now imagine if your company is only open to hiring IT professionals within commuting distance of your headquarters. This limits your options even further. That’s why, whenever there’s no local talent available, IT staff augmentation will help you find the next member of your team. 


5. Which is best? Short-term staff augmentation vs long-term staff augmentation.

  • Short-term staff augmentation: This is the most common type of staff augmentation arrangement, as it provides companies with maximum team flexibility while allowing them to lower their software development costs. You can hire an external developer for as little time as a couple of weeks and then renew their contract if another project comes up. No matter the length of the contract, short-term worker augmentation allows you to temporarily extend your in-house team and work with talented developers without committing to a long-term partnership. 
  • Long-term staff augmentation: On the other hand, long-term staff augmentation still allows companies to save on development costs, but through longer contracts. With this flexible long-term hiring model, you can hire external developers for the long run. The model is still different from hiring a salaried worker, though, as the developers usually work as independent contractors. 


6. What are some of the employee augmentation best practices?

  • Learn how to manage a remote team. 

Considering that 85% of managers affirm that remote teams will become the new normal for many companies, it’s important to ensure your management style is suited for an external remote team of developers. We have an entire article dedicated to the best management techniques to lead remote teams which will help you identify what you could do to better manage remote developers.

  • Get involved in validating and onboarding your new team members. 

All remote team members want to feel like they’re equally part of the team as the in-house personnel. The best way to achieve this is by showing them your appreciation through a personalized onboarding process. Though, of course, you first need to validate those developers during the hiring process. Once you’ve approved the final candidates and extended them an offer, you can begin to prepare the perfect onboarding to welcome them to the team.

  • Build trust with your remote software development team.

The first weeks of working with a brand-ned remote team can be daunting, especially if you’re unsure about how to build trust and connect with your remote development team. While team building can be more challenging outside of the office, there are still different strategies you can try to build that connection with your new remote developers. Read all about how to connect with a remote team in our article about building trust with remote developers.

  • Take advantage of virtual meetings. 

Believe it or not, you can actually use virtual meetings to start building trust with your remote development team. If the meetings are conducted accordingly, it’ll give the team a chance to look at everyone’s faces and chat about something other than work. Make every call have a specific purpose, tell everyone to turn on their cameras, stay on track with the order of the day, and create reminders on the team calendars to ensure maximum participation during the meeting.


7. What are the different types of IT staff augmentation services?

Nearshore staff augmentation. 

Nearshore staff augmentation consists of hiring remote software developers from countries that are closer to the US and have a similar time zone. This allows you to work in real-time for several hours a day and reduces the possibilities of cultural barriers arising as they interact with your in-house staff.

Offshore staff augmentation. 

On the other hand, offshore staff augmentation is the process of hiring an external team of remote developers from an offshore location. This means locations further away from North America, with usually considerable time zone differences and cultural barriers. While it can sometimes be cheaper than nearshore staff augmentation, the costs don’t outweigh the cons compared to the prior alternative.

Staff augmentation through a nearshoring firm.

You’re paying for the ultimate efficiency when you hire IT staff augmentation services through a nearshoring firm. Nearshoring firms like us, Next Idea Tech, handle all the recruitment, vetting, and payment processes so you can simply focus on onboarding and assigning tasks to your new remote development team.

Freelancing platform IT staff augmentation. 

If you feel like you’ll be fine hiring developers on your own, you can always try staff augmentation through a freelancing platform. Upwork and Freelancer are two of the most popular ones. You’ll have to complete the entire hiring process by yourself, but the app will help you handle payments on site.


8. What does a professional IT staff augmentation process look like?

The Next Idea Tech signature vetting process is based on a holistic approach: we assess the candidate’s ability across multiple fronts, not just their ability to write code. We test our developers according to a full-stack development environment in which a candidate can prove their back and front-end development skills.

We use an assessment tool that offers a cloud-based, integrated development environment that we have extended and customized with the specific purpose of hosting technical assessments. This tool’s environment allows easy compiling and serving of files so any candidates can get immediate feedback about their work.

Usually, the steps we take before extending an offer to a remote development candidate are: 

  1. General interview. 
  2. Technical English assessment.
  3. Live coding task. 
  4. Job offer. 


Looking for the best employee augmentation services?

Now that you know everything about staff augmentation and why it can help you hire remote developers, you might be ready to take the plunge and start nearshoring. If this is the case, at Next Idea Tech we’d like to offer you our staff augmentation services to help you find nearshore developers that are the perfect fit for your team. Contact us today to learn more about our IT staffing services!


Posted on

May 6, 2022