Staffing is probably one of the most challenging business activities to manage as a business owner. Staffing typically includes hiring employees through a lengthy hiring process, training them, keeping them motivated, investing in development and transferring roles, only for them to possibly leave sooner than expected. This becomes frustrating and can end up being quite costly to businesses. When employees leave a company, it can also create big disruptions in the workflow of the business. This is where resource and staff augmentation as a hiring model becomes a very effective solution for staffing.
What is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is an outsourcing strategy to hire temporary personnel for a project or to augment the capacity of the organization as per business objectives. It involves inquiring into the existing skills of the workforce and determining the additional skills required for successful business delivery.
personnel are usually hired through an agency. Businesses in need of temporary staff members will contact the agency and offer a description of the type of employees required. The agency will then research its database of potential employees and put forward the best candidates. Therefore, it is of great importance that businesses give their preferred agencies a detailed description of which skills and experience are required. Once suitable candidates have been chosen, they will be contracted between the business and the agency for a predetermined time and at a certain rate.
Workforce augmentation has become increasingly more popular with businesses because of the benefits involved. Especially the IT industry is using staff augmentation as a hiring model because their staff turnover is often higher in comparison with other industries.
When do Businesses Turn to Staff Augmentation?
Many scenarios can drive the need for staff augmentation in a business. Let’s look at three different scenarios:
When a business takes on a new project but does not have the staffing capacity or resources to train new employees to complete the project in the timeframe required.
When an employee leaves a company in the pursuit of a new opportunity or even just for annual leave, there is a gap in the workforce. This can slow down the company’s entire workflow.
While a business is looking for the best permanent team to hire, staff augmentation acts as a bridge. This ensures continuity in the business.
These scenarios are just three examples where staff augmentation can be a highly effective hiring solution for businesses. But there are many other times businesses can also benefit from augmenting staff. It is, however, mainly due to a lack of or limited access to resources.
What are the Benefits of Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is increasingly becoming one of the most sought after recruitment models because it offers so many benefits to businesses. Some of these include:
More access to skills
When using staff augmentation services, businesses have access to a larger talent pool with a greater variety of skills. This talent pool is accessible at short notice and when required.
Workforce augmentation offers great mitigation for running the risk of having no capacity to take on and complete new projects or not sticking to deadlines. Businesses can quickly scale up or down when needed without having to deal with employee changes or paying high HR costs.
Lower operating costs
It is much more affordable for businesses to hire already qualified and vetted employees from an outsourcing agency than going through the sourcing and hiring process directly. Employing directly takes valuable time, effort and money out of businesses.
Being efficient is what business is about these days. Delivering the best results in the shortest amount of time. It is much easier to achieve this with staff that are already trained and ready to do business. Staff augmentation is a good choice when it comes to looking for higher efficiency.
Hiring full-time employees requires someone in the business to mentor the newly employed staff. This mentoring can include training them, explaining objectives, setting goals, and more. With staff augmentation, employees already have and ready to fit in with businesses, saving valuable time and money.
Staff Augmentation Best Practices
When managed effectively, staff augmentation can save businesses a lot of valuable time, effort, money, and other resources. Let’s explore some of the augmented workforce techniques and tips to make it work optimally:
1. Establishing goals and objectives
This is the most important point for businesses to consider before turning to staff augmentation. Businesses have to identify the unique objectives they want to achieve with a project and the staff they are planning to hire. Establishing goals and objectives can include identifying timelines, specific tasks, outcomes, deadlines and more.
2. Identifying any gaps
Before hiring, it is essential to identify the gaps in terms of skills. This helps to avoid doubling up on some skills while the ones needing attention are left unattended. Identifying skills also assist in hiring the very best candidates for the job.
3. Reviewing agencies before choosing one
It is important to consider a variety of agencies before choosing one. Compare rates, access to talent and working procedures. Also, be sure to research reviews from other clients and view different case studies. Vetting agencies is an absolute must, to make sure they deliver on what they promise.
4. Offering effective leadership
While augmented staff are often highly skilled and experienced, they still require strong leadership to function optimally. Appointing effective leadership before taking on a new project is crucial. Micro-management is not necessary, but having someone to offer guidance, provide information and answer questions is a must.
5. Offering a strong onboarding process
Without introducing new employees to a business and familiarizing them with business goals, systems and processes, they can feel lost very early on. This is why having a strong onboarding process is vital for successful integration.
Also read: Virtual Onboarding: A New Reality
6. Respecting differences
Working with remote employees often involves a mix of cultures, personalities and methods of working. To ensure everyone works in harmony, it is crucial to acknowledge differences and fully respect them.
7. Offering recognition
To keep staff motivated and consistently productive, it is essential to constantly motivate them by offering help and guidance and giving praise when it is deserved. All employees, even remote augmented staff, want to feel appreciated.
Staff Augmentation in a Nutshell
Today, IT staff augmentation services are an effective solution to fill the gaps in a business’s workforce while still maintaining the quality of its systems and processes. Staff augmentation can also be a cost-effective solution for staffing needs because there is no need to invest in office space or other hiring costs tied to traditional staffing methods.
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