Navigating the Staff Augmentation Market

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Evolution and Benefits of Staff Augmentation and Key Differences with Outsourcing

In this article we will cover staff augmentation services, staff augmentation benefits and some of the main differences between outsourcing and staff augmentation.

Evolution of Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation has its roots in early outsourcing. Outsourcing is often associated with BPO or Business Process Outsourcing. BPO is where companies outsource processes and business functions to third parties, typically at low cost locations. Outsourcing is typically when 3rd parties take over entire departments worth of work. As the workforce has become more flexible, the increase of staff augmentation has grown rapidly. Staff augmentation is more agile than outsourcing.  Scaling with staff augmentation has become easier to accomplish. Companies increasingly seek to augment than replace or outsource entire functions or departments these days. Staff augmentation still relies heavily on globalization, a trend started by outsourcing.

Differences Between Staff Augmentation and Outsourcing

The main differences between staff augmentation and outsourcing can be found in their names. Staff augmentation is focused on supplementing existing staff. The key characteristic is integrating with existing teams. Staff augmentation involves integrating external resources with existing teams to complement skills. Outsourcing typically involves transferring entire business processes or projects to an external organization. Companies that leverage staff augmentation typically retain greater control over staff. Staff behaves more like virtual employees. When it comes to outsourcing, the outsourcing service provider typically manages the entire process of hiring and managing workers.  Staff augmentation services provide HR functions as well, but clients can be more involved in the oversight in this area when they want to be. Staff augmentation services supplement not only the role or roles being required to be filled, but also the processes of recruiting, hiring, and managing workers. Staff augmentation agreements tend to be more flexible in nature as well. Outsourcing agreements typically are less flexible and have longer term contracts.

Understanding Staff Augmentation Benefits

Staff augmentation can bring many benefits to companies using it. Meeting skills shortages within a company is by far the biggest reason to deploy staff augmentation services. Staff augmentation can provide access to a global talent pool. Well trained and educated workers are often available in regions and countries where there are less jobs or a smaller economy. These qualified workers in other markets typically are more cost effective. We have found that staff augmentation services can often be as low as 1/3 of the cost of hiring somebody locally in a developed country.  Companies do not have to pay local taxes or insurance or health benefits when leveraging staff augmentation. They also do not need to provide office space or equipment. A faster hiring process is also a key benefit of staff augmentation services. Staff augmentation services have become increasingly popular in niche roles.  Some of these niche roles are highly technical in nature. Staff augmentation service providers can help make sure that their workers are keeping up with industry changes and are up to date on the latest software and technology.

Staff Augmentation Services

What they are and, what they are not

Staff augmentation services are a flexible and versatile way to find workers quickly. Staff augmentation contracts are typically month to month and can be scaled up and ramped down quickly. Staff augmentation services are cost effective by nature. They are almost always tapping into a global labor pool as well. Staff augmentation services provide time efficiency. They allow companies to staff quickly and rapidly. Staff augmentation is not at all an employer and employee relationship. No long term benefits are provided, no taxes are being paid and employers are able to get in and get out of agreements quickly. Staff augmentation is also not outsourcing. Companies are not handing over entire departments when they are engaged in staff augmentation. Staff augmentation is also not a replacement for full time employees. The point is to augment, supplement, and complement existing workers. Staff augmentation is leveraged so that local staff can be focused on what is most important. Typically, that is something that is more strategic, more cognitive, or more client and customer facing.

Staff Augmentation in Practice

At Valenta we are well versed in staff augmentation best practices. Our managing partners, regional service delivery heads, and staff augmentation managers are involved in all of our client engagements. The first step that we take is to define the role, requirements, and responsibilities for the positions we are filling. Frequently we have staff on the bench who are available for engagements. We are also in constant recruitment mode, so if no one is on the bench we will look for candidates from the current funnel for any good fits. We are also able to quickly launch recruitment for any specific roles.

Local Managing Partners

Valenta has managing partners located in cities across the world. Our managing partners often have industry experience that is relevant for the clients whom they serve. They are also well versed in staff augmentation services.  Staff augmentation in practice can be quite easy. Placing staff within a few to several weeks is typically the norm.  Clients are able to ramp up and scale down quickly and are able to staff at cost effective rates. To learn more about some of the staff augmentation roles we fill, please visit the highlighted link. If you would like to determine if staff augmentation might be able to assist your business, please contact one of our local managing partners here.