Nearshore Staff Augmentation: What You Need To Know
I get a lot of questions from North American IT executives about nearshore staff augmentation: What is it? Why should I use it? So, I took the time to answer the four most common questions here:
What’s the difference between professional services and staff augmentation?
When you hire a professional services company, you’re outsourcing a project. When you hire a staff augmentation firm, you’re outsourcing the recruitment, hiring, training, and management of part of your staff.
Many companies prefer the latter for a number of reasons.
First, it’s easier to scale. Sometimes you need to hire a number of people quickly. It can take a lot of time to do that on your own and you can’t afford to hire just any people - you need the right people. A staff augmentation firm is specialized in finding those people for you quickly.
Next, staff augmentation allows you to optimize your resources. You need your top developers to be face-to-face with your clients or involved in on-sight tasks. Those in-person tasks, like meetings with partners or clients or events, are an important part of your team’s work, but they take time. Staff augmentation allows you to hire additional people that can pick up the slack and boost your operation so that your top people don’t get burned out.
Another reason many companies are switching to staff augmentation is because they can better manage their costs. Good nearshore staff augmentation shouldn’t be cheap, but it’s certainly less expensive and less time consuming than hiring more in-house developers. A staff augmentation firm will take care of the costs of hiring, training, and retaining your people, and it’s all included in one all-encompassing monthly bill.
What are the advantages of staff augmentation?
When compared with traditional outsourcing or professional services, staff augmentation allows you a much higher level of control. This is because what you are outsourcing has changed: instead of the project, you are outsourcing developers themselves. This means you know your remote developer(s) personally, speak with them directly, and manage your own project sprints.
Staff augmentation allows you to build a team and diminish ramp-up time, because your projects are being done exclusively by the staff you’ve hired through the staff augmentation company. With each new task, your learning curve will get less and less painful because the same people are working with the same brand. Your augmented staff is 100% integrated into your operations.
So, staff augmentation gives you better control on your project and your team, but it also gives you control over your budget. With professional services, you’re usually paying per project or by the hour. If you’re paying by project, maybe it comes out perfectly the first time. Maybe not. If not, you may end up paying double for a re-do with another provider. If you’re paying by the hour, there can be a big gap between your expectation of how many hours a project will take and the number of hours your provider bills you at the end of the month. Both hourly or project-based fees are flawed and can result in big fluxes in your costs. With staff augmentation, you’re paying a monthly fee based on how many developers you hire. So, unless you decide to change the number of developers you’re hiring, your costs from month to month, from project to project, won’t change.
So, now that I’ve sold you on the idea of staff augmentation over professional services (what’s not to love??), now I’ll tell you how to do it right.
As more and more companies wake up to the benefits of staff augmentation, more and more staff augmentation companies crop up.
With so many providers to choose from, how do you pick the right one?
Here are some tips I’ve learned from working with clients at Jobsity.
First, you should be able to interview the candidates for your project. If the provider won’t allow you to talk to the developer candidates that will be working on your project, it means they’re not confident in their people. And if they’re not confident, you shouldn’t be either.
Then, make sure there’s a trial period. Don’t get stuck in an annual contract if you’re not 100% sure this provider is a good fit for your company. There should be a grace period where you can get out without repercussions.
It’s a potentially long term partnership, so visit their offices. Get to know the people you’re working with: developers, managers, even the CEO. It’s important that you see them as a long-term partner vital to your company’s success. Talk to them - and look them in the eye.
When you show up on their stomping grounds, you’ll find out who they really are. Witness their values and learn about their company culture and the way they treat prospective clients - remember, a staff augmentation company will never treat you better than when you show up on their doorstep. Their values should reflect your values; and their culture, your culture.
Invite them to your offices. Are they willing to travel to make this partnership work? The answer to that question says a lot about their commitment to your success.
Don’t go cheap. This is so important. You know traditional outsourcing is cheaper. But the reason you’re reading this article is because you know that traditional outsourcing sometimes sucks. What you want is quality - look for it in the people, the craft, and the services.
Last but not least, be patient. Know that being successful with a staff augmentation provider is a process. Both provider and client will need to learn from each other and gain a deep understanding of how each works. You will need to learn what tools work best and how to use them.
Now, what is Jobsity?
You guessed it! Jobsity is a nearshore staff augmentation company. More specifically, we are a tech-driven startup that helps hire for fast-growing startups in New York and Silicon Valley. We can do this because our developers speak your language, both literally and figuratively.
We hire top talent - people with great potential and passion - and train and coach them to be great developers for world-class brands. We accept only the top 5% of developers that apply to work with us, ensuring that our clients are getting the absolute best talent we can offer.
We don’t just provide bodies, we analyze each client’s needs to make sure our people fit their profiles. Our most successful clients are those who completely incorporate the developers they hire through us into their teams.
Finally, when our clients hire a developer from our team, their not just getting that one person. They get a whole package of additional training, mentoring and coaching, as well as an entire team of highly experienced developers with deep institutional knowledge behind them.
We’re committed to hiring great people and training them to become great developers to work on world class projects. If you’re ready to hire augmented staff or just have some more questions about our process, please don’t hesitate to contact us.