What Is Staff Augmentation?

Written by Donna Kmetz
Direct Staffing
6 mins read
nearshore staffing hires connected in a web

In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that there will be a developer shortage of 4 million by 2025. Demand for developers isn’t expected to fall anytime soon, either. Backed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the IDC, Forbes projects a significant shortfall from 2023-2032. This talent scarcity leaves companies behind and projects undone.

At the start of the tech shortage, COVID-19 brought unforeseen challenges and solutions. Companies had no choice but to ramp up digitization faster than expected, promoting distributed team structures over previous office models. 

The lack of local tech talent, combined with remote work protocols already in place, also greatly influences hiring trends. To thrive in a global economy, the key point is to find the right hires at the right time. As a result, having a higher headcount became crucial in the race to bring products to market. Many companies found a quick, easy solution in staff augmentation.

But what do we mean by “staff augmentation?” It’s been tech’s favorite buzzword for years and it’s quickly becoming the norm. Let’s start with the basics.

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is a strategic hiring method that allows companies to quickly add new team members without disrupting existing workflows. Instead of more “old-school” hiring, staff augmentation relies on external providers to source talent. This talent is most often contracted on a temporary basis to fill a skill gap or handle an increased workload.

The new staff work alongside the internal team, providing additional expertise and resources. This approach allows companies to scale up their workforce without the long-term commitment and overhead costs of traditional hiring.

Staff augmentation is commonly used in industries such as IT, software development, custom app development, and other project-based fields. It lets companies quickly bring on skilled individuals for short-term tasks. This flexibility can make it easier for businesses to adapt to changing requirements and market conditions.

What Are The Options?

No two companies are the same. Staffing needs will differ on a business by business—and sometimes project by project—basis. Luckily, there’s a world of augmentation options available: 

  • Temporary: Bringing in additional staff for a short period to handle specific tasks or projects
  • Project-Based: Hiring experts for a particular project to contribute their skills and complete the assigned work
  • Skill-Based: Augmenting staff with individuals possessing specific skills needed for a particular task or project
  • Team: Bringing in an established team of external specialists to solve a problem or complete a task
  • Strategic Consulting: Seeking external advice and expertise for strategic decision-making or planning
  • Emergency: Quickly adding staff to the workforce in response to unexpected or urgent situations, to address immediate needs

Bringing a product to market and completing projects are dynamic processes. Staff augmentation lets you build the team you need when you need them.

The Benefits of a Higher Headcount

Across industries, increasing the headcount of your team with a staffing partner proves to be a strategic move. Regardless of why you need extra talent on your side, the benefits are undeniable.

One of the most significant upsides is the inherent flexibility and scalability it offers. Working with a staffing provider allows organizations to scale their workforce up or down in response to fluctuating workloads. And when partnering with a reliable remote staffing agency, you’re not just adding another team member: you’re adding top talent. 

It’s this access to a diverse range of skills that makes adding to your staff so compelling. By bringing in specialists, companies can tap into a pool of new expertise. It’s an investment in the future success of your team, too. 

Access to a broader skill set benefits your project, there’s no doubt about that. It also fosters a culture of continuous learning and knowledge exchange in your core team, today and tomorrow.

Reducing time to market is another critical factor in today's fast-paced environment. Having a staffing partner on hand means you’re covered: you can quickly scale up to meet increased demands. This agility is a game-changer, allowing you to capitalize on opportunities and maintain a competitive edge.

Staff Augmentation vs. Direct Staffing

Let’s say that you’re looking to really ramp up your business. Staff augmentation sounds great: you love the scalability and skill set it could bring to your projects. But you’re looking for something a little less casual, a little closer to a “real” employee. What you need is direct staffing

It’s a subtle difference, mostly having to do with the amount of time you’ll be working with your new hires. Direct staffing is aimed at being a long-term solution: a year or more. This helps the talent you bring in really become an integral part of the team. They’ll be working closely with your internal staff and may work on more than one project. 

The advantage to working with a direct staffing partner over undergoing a traditional hiring process is the ease and scalability. A direct staffing provider will take the hiring out of your hands: you don’t have to spend resources finding new staff. They’ll handle everything from the sourcing through basic onboarding. 

You can also scale your staff as needed. You’ll bring on new faces in as little as two days to support an increased workload. And you’ll lower your headcount at a month’s notice in slower times.

Another benefit? Opting for a direct staffing solution means that you’ll have one point of contact for all your hiring needs. You can provide details about the company culture and a quick onboarding procedure to the staffing partner. In turn, they’ll share that information with each contractor, ensuring that they can make an immediate impact. This saves time and ensures a standardized foundation for all new hires.

It’s the perfect balance between simple staff augmentation and full-on hiring. 

Preparing to Add to Your Staff

Preparing to receive new team members is a vital part of the process. Before selecting a staffing provider, be sure that you’re setting your future hires up for success: 

  1. Clear Objective: Define your project objectives and the skill set you’re looking for. When looking for a staffing provider, come to the meeting prepared with detailed job descriptions and requirements. If the provider has talent that matches your criteria, it’s a good indication that they might be a fit.
  2. Effective Communication: Prepare your existing staff to welcome their new colleagues. Give an explanation of their job descriptions and responsibilities so the team can help them hit the ground running. 
  3. Integration: When working with a direct staffing provider, prepare a quick onboarding procedure to integrate new hires into your company culture and processes. Showing them that they are valued team members promotes a positive working environment and achieves better outcomes. Talent hired through staff augmentation providers is meant to be temporary, so this isn’t necessary.
  4. Performance Monitoring: Set up a monitoring schedule to regularly evaluate the performance of new staff. Create a protocol for providing feedback to both the staff member and the staffing provider. This helps foster continuous improvement in both work performance and the overall service.
build your distributed team with our guide

Choosing a Staffing Partner

So you’ve made your decision, you’ve gone through the steps, you’re ready to start looking for a provider—now what? With so many options on the market, choosing your staffing partner can be a daunting process. 

Traditional hiring typically falls under the category of “onshoring:" you’re looking for a partner in the same country as your main workforce. The benefit is that they know and understand the work culture, so it’s easy to add them to your team. Unfortunately, onshoring in the U.S. is usually the most expensive option out there, with sky-high costs. 

You might have heard of “offshoring,” or what we typically think of as “outsourcing.” The good news is that it’s significantly less expensive than onshoring. But the bad news is that what you’re saving on cost, you’re losing with team cohesion. Offshore consultants often work different hours—sometimes opposite schedules!--- and aren’t as familiar with U.S. work culture. This makes it hard for offshore contractors to integrate with your team. 

Luckily, there’s a middle ground: nearshoring. Nearshoring is the best of both worlds: less expensive than onshoring, but with the same ability to fit into the team. Nearshore contractors come from countries in your same time zone (or close to it) and are fluent in English. They’ve grown up with a similar cultural background to U.S. residents and it’s easy for them to make meaningful workplace connections.

When it comes to nearshore staffing, you’re getting quality without the compromise. But you still need a provider you can trust, with a proven track record of success across industries. 

That’s Where Jobsity Comes In

Direct staffing’s many benefits blend seamlessly with Jobsity’s services and mission. Here’s some of what you can expect from partnering with Jobsity:

  • Time Zone Compatibility: Instead of working with overseas staff in a drastically different time zone, nearshoring allows you to collaborate in real-time with every member of your team. Your Jobsity hires work similar hours to you. 
  • Accelerated Time-to-Hire: Jobsity’s allocaters can provide you with handpicked candidates in two business days or less.
  • Lower Costs: Working with Latin American developers lets you benefit from competitive rates without sacrificing convenience or quality. Jobsity also covers overhead expenses.
  • Technical Skills: Latin American countries have leveled up their tech education and training. You can find developers proficient in juggernauts like C#, AWS, and more.
  • Soft Skills: Success doesn't depend on technical chops alone. Latin American developers align closely with U.S. work culture, leading to improved collaboration and problem solving.
  • Retention: According to LinkedIn Talent Insights, employees with in-demand skills (like machine learning) often leave after only six months. But when it comes to Jobsity’s nearshore developers, they work with clients for an average of 3 years.
  • Dedication to Clients: Other nearshore firms offer contract work, meaning your developers’ attention is split across multiple clients. But Jobsity provides staff who are 100% committed to your team, full time.
  • A Diverse Workforce: Jobsity can help you meet your diversity goals by providing grade-A talent from South and Central America. Our candidates represent the top 3% of talent in the region, meaning you can expand your team without sacrificing quality.
  • IP Protection and Privacy: Jobsity can provide hires who are up to speed on U.S. intellectual property laws, offering valuable peace of mind regarding your company’s privacy.

  • Scalability: While offshore firms offer little flexibility, nearshore firms can adapt to your changing needs. Jobsity moves with speed and precision: you’ll receive handpicked candidates in 48 hours or less.

The Jobsity Promise

At Jobsity, we aim to not just provide you with staff, but with fully fledged members of your team. We’re passionate about building great technology, developing exceptional people, and fostering meaningful relationships with our clients. 

When you hire a Jobsity developer, we do everything to ensure they feel like a part of your team—and that you feel like a part of ours. 

Our long-haul developers have years of proven experience in Drupal, Python, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, custom mobile app development, and more—and they have the soft skills necessary to fit right in with your company.

With an average retention rate of three years, Jobsity developers are the perfect solution to your hiring needs. We’re just as committed to your success as you are.

There’s never been a better time to grow your team and build your business. Book a call to get started today!

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Written by Donna Kmetz

Donna Kmetz is a business writer with a background in Healthcare, Education, and Linguistics. Her work has included SEO optimization for diverse industries, specialty course creation, and RFP/grant development. Donna is currently the Staff Writer at Jobsity, where she creates compelling content to educate readers and drive the company brand.

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