All the Key Benefits of Staff Augmentation – and Why Top Software Companies Use It
Time is the one thing we can’t control. And this is no more true than in software development, where there always seems to be a looming launch deadline or milestone around the corner at all times.
To speed up development, companies look to automate as much as they can though this only goes so far. The real barriers to speed are humans – aka great developers. But finding, recruiting and onboarding smart engineers internally is often a clunky and slow process.
As a result, most top software companies turn to offshore staff augmentation in which they partner with an agency (like TurnKey!) to hire engineers on their behalf or they hire them directly off global job boards (which takes a bit more time and effort). Indeed, it’s estimated that more than $500 million is spent each year on offshore staff augmentation.
Software development teams realize a significant number of benefits from using staff augmentation as this article will explain, including filling open roles more quickly, freeing up in-house developers for other tasks, adding unique technical expertise that they can’t find elsewhere, and adding capacity to important projects.
Keep reading for a comprehensive overview of the benefits of utilizing offshore hires to augment your local staff.
What is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is a term used in the software development industry to describe the practice of hiring third-party, offshore programmers to work alongside an existing organization’s development team in order to help with the creation and management of the company’s software. (For an even deeper dive on the definition, check this out.)
When a development team’s initiatives need more assistance or if their expertise is lacking in a certain area, staff augmentation can provide the experienced developers that are required. The augmented staff are integrated seamlessly with the rest of the team, contributing to the upkeep and advancement of the company’s culture as well as its strategic objectives. Augmented team sizes rely on the project requirements and may expand or contract as necessary.
In most cases, the adoption of staff augmentation is primarily motivated by the significant time commitments and high expenses involved in the process of establishing a permanent local workforce. And it helps make sure that critical projects stay on track with no loss of quality.
In sum, offshore staff are more affordable, can be recruited faster and help ensure you have a high performing software product. Thus, staff augmentation is what many casual observers might call “a complete no-brainer.”
The Top Benefits of Staff Augmentation
Development teams can often gain more from choosing staff augmentation services over traditional hiring methods. Let’s look at some of the reasons why:
1. Cost effective
Since offshore staff typically have a lower cost of living than developers in the U.S. or Western Europe (plus in many places a reduced tax burden as well), their salary requirements are usually correspondingly lower too. This means you can scale your development team in a more cost effective way than breaking your budget with all local hires.
2. Access to a large pool of talent
Through the use of staff augmentation, you have the ability to choose from a huge pool of skilled remote software engineers located all over the world. No more worrying about the labor shortage in your own country. You can now find all the needles in the haystack.
3. Faster hiring
Because you don’t have to face internal bureaucracy around recruiting and hiring (especially if you use an offshore staff augmentation firm like TurnKey), qualified developers can be hired more quickly. And the faster a team is built, the faster the speed to market of the product.
4. Increased productivity
Staff augmentation boosts operational efficiency because it enables software development teams to direct more resources toward core activities by either hiring more developers to work on the core or by outsourcing non-core tasks to other specialists.
5. More flexibility
Staff augmentation enables companies to swiftly increase or decrease the size of their development team according to the requirements of the project or the ever-changing needs of the business as a whole. You can hire and re-purpose programmers on an as needed basis, or you can add teams seamlessly as you start to scale.
6. Diverse perspectives
Many companies like staff augmentation because it allows for unique perspectives and deeper insights into their development plans. Having “a fresh pair of eyes” is often cited by customers as one of the key drivers of looking for offshore staff.
7. Better quality control
With staff augmentation, you keep total control over the quality and progression of your product roadmap. Moreover, QA staff and other roles dedicated to ensuring quality are often easier to find offshore, allowing you to bulk up this part of your team and have greater confidence in your product performance.
What is the Difference between Outsourcing and Staff Augmentation?
Although outsourcing and staff augmentation share similar characteristics, these two models are not alike in a number of important respects. Here are the primary distinctions between using outsourcing versus staff augmentation:
Augmented staffing models are used when a company needs a longer term solution. By contrast, outsourcing is typically used when the development needs are more short-term or temporary in nature.
2. Project management
With staff augmentation, the software development process is managed internally by the client or customer–they are in control. With outsourcing, the vendor is responsible for all product delivery, including scoping and milestone management.
3. Team integration
Developers under the staff augmentation model are typically integrated within the client’s team and –more importantly – culture. Outsourced developers are not embedded in the client’s broader product development team and live within the culture of the outsourcing vendor.
Want to know more about how staff augmentation differs from other development models? Check out this post where we compare outsourcing, offshoring and – TurnKey’s awesome model!– Yourshoring.
So, Which Is Better for You: Augmenting Your Existing Workforce or Outsourcing to an External Development Team?
Both augmentation of an existing workforce and outsourcing to others come with their own fair share of benefits and challenges. The model you choose should be driven by the specific development needs of your company.
If any of the following situations seem familiar to you, you should go with staff augmentation:
- You still want to be in charge of managing the project and deal directly with your team.
- You have a set budget that restricts you from recruiting an in-house development team.
- You want to accelerate your product development and overall speed to market.
- You want to focus on major business initiatives by hiring specialists who can save your team time.
However, project outsourcing is a suitable alternative for you if:
- You have short term project needs and just need a few pinch-hitters for a while.
- You have an extremely niche market or product idea and need to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or prototype to demonstrate your idea’s viability (like automating a certain part of your code).
- Your company isn’t ideally suited to develop or manage the type of software you require.
Why TurnKey Is An Awesome Staff Augmentation Partner for Software Development
Are you suffering or having difficulty deciding on the ideal recruitment method, or are you having difficulty transitioning to the augmented staffing model? You’re not alone.
The good news is that you can stop banging your head against the wall. At TurnKey, we provide an industry-leading staff augmentation solution for remote engineers. Our Yourshoring (aka personalized offshoring) strategy will provide you with handpicked, seasoned developers who offer the nuance of in-house developers with the cost advantages of offshore.
And all developers are fully embedded in your team and your culture so you have perfect alignment on direction and much less developer churn. It’s staff augmentation the way it’s supposed to be!
Finding new development talent for your company can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially if you try to do it at a local level. Furthermore, the outcomes of hiring new developers can be difficult to predict. When you require experienced engineers that can be onboarded in a timely fashion, staff augmentation can be super beneficial. Implementing this model will give your company a clear competitive advantage while also giving you more control over the entire product development process.
Yes! Staff augmentation helps software companies hire the right developer talent, minimize operational expenditures, and speed up their development cycles.
With staff augmentation, the company or client remains in total control of the roadmap and the product delivery; all developers report into the same team lead. With outsourcing, the vendor is usually in control of product delivery, and all developers report into the managers at the vendor or agency.
Staff augmentation is a hiring practice that allows for the rapid onboarding of development talent to bulk up an existing team. Managed services is more similar to outsourcing in that the vendor “manages” the product development process; unlike outsourcing, however, managed services tend to be for long term projects or initiatives.