Staff augmentation services, also known as business or resource augmentation, is the method through which a business hires temporary competent individuals for a specific project. This is an outcome-based delivery method that a staffing agency can offer to a company, or the individuals can be hired on a freelancing basis. This will often further help the business maintain a competitive advantage.
How are staff augmentation services different from outsourcing?
For a clearer picture, it is important to know that there is a difference between staff augmentation and outsourcing. This difference is primarily based on the budget that an organisation has or is planning to save and the time and expertise that the organisation is spending on this given project.
To give an analogy, let’s say you wish to modernise and renovate your current bedroom. How would you do this? Either you would contract with an interior designer if you have a good budget and lesser time on your hands to handle the complete renovation project.
Alternatively, depending on how the space is laid out according to the time that you have, you may employ labourers to lay the flooring and electricians to assist with the wiring. This is basically like completing the project all by yourself while bringing in specialists as and when you need them.
The former is known as outsourcing, while the latter is staff augmentation.
Why should organisations choose Staff Augmentation services?
1. Cutting costs and saving time –
When it comes to scaling up or down their teams, organisations and corporations have a lot of flexibility owing to staff augmentation. This eliminates the headache of having to worry about recruiting, hiring, and then dealing with the costs associated with full-time personnel.
2. Quicker talent management –
One can effectively cover in-house talent shortages with outside experts using staff augmentation. While helping a business save money, this model can also help lower the general overhead expenses and the related costs of recruiting and training new staff.
3. More options to bridge the talent gap –
One may access a wider talent pool and is not restricted to your local area because the majority of staff augmentation organisations have branches all over the world. This enables professionals of the organisations to meet their requirements on time and quickly hire people with these specific specialised skills and unique abilities.
How can a business effectively start Staff Augmentation?
Primarily, the company must ensure that two prerequisites are fulfilled before then enter the steps of staff augmentations. Therefore organisations need to ensure –
1. Mental preparedness of the team to incorporate newness –
The managers need to make sure that their management personnel or team is prepared to work with and adjust to augmented staff members. When managers engage these temporary workers to facilitate a better working environment, they may repurpose managerial resources, such as office locations or meeting spots being midway to both parties, meeting times being convenient for both parties, etc., as necessary.
They could also sit their team down and equip them with soft skills and tools that would encourage them to cooperate with the augmented staff better. A faster adjustment within the workgroup would result in a better outcome.
2. Mental preparedness of managers to shape novelty –
Understand the fact that although the staffing company can offer an employer the best individuals, the prospects must still go through training, receive resources, and become familiar with how the business runs.
Similar to a newlywed joining a foreign family’s home for the first time, outsourced teams may need some time to become used to one another. Until the new staff members become familiar with internal business procedures and norms, this might occasionally cause productivity to slow down.
After fulfilling these two criteria, an organisation can follow the following steps to integrate staff augmentation –
3. Map out goals –
Outlining your outsourcing goals clearly is the first step in the process. This makes sure that you are in the greatest possible position to assemble a group of gifted personnel who have the drive, ingenuity, and expertise required to finish the project on time and under budget.
4. Take time to choose a candidate –
Next, give the correct talent source some thought. You should choose a technical staffing company that thoroughly aids or coaches its employees because not all are created equal. You may have confidence that your employees are ready for the task at hand by carefully sourcing your talent.
5. Outline specific tasks –
Once you’ve assembled a team, it’s critical to distinctly outline each member’s tasks and responsibilities. By doing this, you can make sure that everyone knows exactly what their responsibilities are and that the project stays on schedule. To foster a strong sense of teamwork, encourage feedback and question-asking from team members at every stage of the process.
6. Provide ongoing support –
Simply hiring temporary employees and letting them be is not sufficient. It’s crucial to offer your team ongoing support if you want your project to be finished according to your deadlines and specifications. Even the most gifted employees require a leader to help them navigate the process.
Issues with choosing staff augmentation services
Although staff augmentation is quicker than outsourcing and would evidently save more time, effort and resources from the organisation’s end. This fastened process can also be seen as a quick fix which would leave certain loopholes, or rather pits, to be filled and covered through remedied processes. For instance –
1. Cultural differences –
Since culture has a big impact on how well a person is managed, differences in cultural backgrounds could lead to possible problems in the workgroup. One’s work habits and perspective can be influenced by a person’s history, religion, and language, among other things providing more ground for value discrepancies.
To conquer challenges that this might get, learning about cultures or the other individual who has been introduced to the team or maybe perusing books and articles on the successful management of employees from certain nations where your staff augmentation provider is based is highly recommended. After all, diversity is not a criterion but a reality in today’s time.
Despite the fact that English is a widely spoken language, each country has its own dialects, which could lead to misunderstandings. With this drastic change in the work environment where everything is online and so is every freelancer, it is important to be specific with regard to communication.
It is advised to explain crucial instructions to make sure the message is comprehended in order to prevent this. This could perhaps stop time wastage and drastically reduce communication blunders.
3. Online staff augmentation –
Providers use resources from nations with lower expenses of living to lower the cost of staff augmentation. Because of this, the offered employees will be working remotely, which may make them less available than those who operate in the same office.
How to tackle issues in choosing staff augmentation services?
Since the staff augmentation business model involves involving a third party and integrating them into internal operations for a comparatively shorter period and on a temporary basis, there can be some sort of issues leading to a legal problem. The following points cover the legalities that could arise and how a business can tackle them.
1. Ensure Security –
Security and privacy for clients and projects are essential and cannot be compromised. Since the augmented third party is technically an outsider, data breach and privacy is of utmost priority to ensure that the main organisation’s integrity is intact with their customers.
In order to ensure complete security, businesses must follow all processes for obtaining NDAs signed after hiring the expanded personnel. Further, they must conduct regular security audits to address the issue of security threats and hazards.
2. Practice transparency to reduce overhead costs-
Contract negotiations are crucial because they bring transparency and security to the customer-vendor relationship. A contract that is improperly put together could hurt a company and its businesses.
It could result in unforeseen outsourcing costs, a loss of quality control, a breach in information security, and other difficulties with staff augmentation.
Penalties for the failure of compliance with the contract’s conditions, liability clauses that specify the scope of responsibilities, and a clear position on policy regarding the notice period are all examples of data protection standards.
3. Accountability when cancelling on Staff augmentation services
In addition to having an NDA for safety purposes, it is also required that an organisation takes responsibility due to their perceived ability to cancel without repercussions.
Cancelling without any just cause might bring about certain legal issues which could potentially be backed up by certain unions. Therefore, while drafting a contract for these augmented services, it is important for organisations to keep in mind the ethical and unionised guidelines which would favour both parties.
In conclusion, staff augmentation is a fantastic way for businesses to cut expenses while still having the resources they need to maintain corporate efficiency. Additionally, staff augmentation gives you the flexibility to change your resource allocation in accordance with your company’s needs. However, this method also has equivalent and crucial legal and other drawbacks that, if addressed, might significantly improve any company’s productivity.