What is Staff Augmentation?

staff augmentationA recent workplace trend is staff augmentation. What does this term mean? How does it work? What are the benefits or disadvantages of using a company that specializes in providing you with workers rather than hiring your own employees? Read on as we address each of these questions.


What is Staff Augmentation?

Before we can actually dive into what a staff augmentation is, it’s important to first understand the difference between “staffing” and “staff augmentation”.

Staffing is a situation where there is an urgent need for a workforce that will fill vacant positions. In staffing, companies hire new employees to fill the existing gaps in their departments or teams.

Staff augmentation is a situation where a skilled workforce will help prevent backlog and keep teams fully functional. In staff augmentation, companies hire contractors to temporarily cover the workload of their employees who are on leave.


Advantages of Staff Augmentation

Compared to hiring your own employees, the benefits of using the services of a company that specializes in staff augmentation are numerous. Here are some of them:

  • Companies who provide contract workers have an easy time finding people with special skills or fields because there are so many applicants out there looking for work.
  • It’s also easier to find people with specific certifications, such as Microsoft certification.
  • Staff augmentation companies usually provide high quality workers.
  • It’s easier to get staff augmentation workers since they’re more flexible and can work in different locations.
  • Staff augmentation companies usually offer cost effective solutions.


Disadvantages of Staff Augmentation

Here are some of the disadvantages that you may experience when using staff augmentation companies compared to hiring your own employees:

  • It’s more expensive since there’s a middleman involved.
  • It may be difficult to retain staff augmentation workers because they are usually only employed for a short time period.
  • Since contract workers are short term, you don’t usually get the chance to create a strong working relationship with them like you would with your employees.


What a Typical Process Looks Like

In a typical process of hiring staff augmentation, there are several steps that you will need to take.


Step 1: Contacting and Hiring a Staff Augmentation Company

First, you’ll need to contact a staffing or consulting company and tell them what kind of help you need. You’ll also have to mention the type of workers you’re looking for – entry level employees, professionals, consultants – as well as the number of workers you want. The company will usually have their own requirements in hiring staff augmentation, such as a minimum number of employees needed and the positions to be filled.


Step 2: Screening for Candidates

From here, the staff augmentation company can take over for the next steps. The staff augmentation company will start screening for potential candidates. If they find someone that meets your qualifications and is willing to work with your required schedule, then they may proceed to the next step.


Step 3: Working Period

Once you’ve chosen your candidate or candidates, they will be assigned to work with you for a certain length of time (usually around 3 months). During this period, they will need to go through an initial training process where they learn about your company culture and the necessary software used within your company. This is followed by on the job training where they perform specific tasks tailored to their skillsets.


Step 4: Evaluating Candidates’ Performances

After a few weeks of working with your company, you’ll need to evaluate the worker’s performance and determine whether they’re a good fit for your organization. If you find that they are, then they may be hired as full-time employees or remain on staff augmentation status with the company.


Alternatives to Staff Augmentation

There are several ways in which companies can work around their manpower problems when there is an urgent need for employees. For one, you could hire contractors or freelancers instead of regular workers who will be paid per project or task they undertake. This is cheaper than hiring full-time employees because it pays only for the work done and not an hourly rate.

In addition, you could also hire a staffing company to provide workers on a short-term basis. This is good if your company needs extra help only during certain parts of the year or when there’s a sudden surge in business. In addition, you can hire temps from agencies instead of full-time workers.


How Do I Know if Staff Augmentation is Right for My Company?

Whether you want to hire your own staff or use the services of a company that specializes in providing workers depends on how much you need each of them. If there is only a small gap in your workforce and it’s for a short period of time, then using staff augmentation companies is sufficient. However, if you’re hiring permanent employees with specific skills, then you would want to go directly to the source and hire your own employees.


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