Software development market is evergrowing. But finding qualified experts for your dev team remains a challenge for both startups and established IT corporations. In the US only, there were 1.4 million software development jobs. And the increase in demand was so big that 2020 expected to have 1.4 million less ready applicants to fill in for available IT vacancies.
Already then these numbers started calling for a solution from outside. Today, staff augmentation is a growing trend that covers worldwide software development needs, and helps build scalable cost-saving development strategies.
But what is staff augmentation, and, if you choose to augment developers for a project, how do you find a perfect partner for it?
We’ll walk you through the pros and cons of augmented staffing and try to answer as many questions as we can, to help you make a weighted data-backed decision that will suit your product and your vision of growth.
What is staff augmentation?
This staffing strategy is designed to help you quickly and flexibly expand your team based on your current and future needs. Staff augmentation lets you hire an expert, or a dedicated team of professionals, through a provider. Usually, a provider is a software development team that works with a certain tech stack and has both in-house and remote employees working as augmented resources.
A staff augmentation provider will take care of both initial hiring processes and ongoing office routine. Experts that they hire for you—web developers, mobile app engineers, UI/UX designers, project managers—remain 100% dedicated to working on your projects, while being completely on a provider’s payroll. This solves a lot of issues with accounting and compliance, as compared to hiring full-time employees.
The benefits of augmented staffing
IT Sector is reaping all the good stuff that augmented staffing provides. First of all, because it’s getting harder every day to find qualified staff locally. Second, software development work fits the model of staff augmentation like no other.
However, it takes more than just "the right fit" to adopt a staffing model for your software project development. Let’s dive into the actual benefits that you get from staff augmentation.
There are usually three ways of getting an employee that matches your skill requirements:
- Teach an existing member of your team
- Get a junior developer and spend a couple of months on onboarding
- Dive into the talent pool and get an expert that is already a perfect fit
While many non-development companies prefer to hire "newbies" with awesome soft-skills that match company values, and then show them the company's road to growth, a product development company does not always have the time and resources to onboard new team members from scratch.
Staff augmentation gives you access to any local market full of development experts of any level. All you need to do is set the requirements for your provider, and let them do all the scouting, interviewing, testing, and hiring for you. What would have taken you months and months of headhunting, can now take a couple weeks, with zero effort from your side.
Staff augmentation lets you rethink your R&D budget, and invest the money into more important areas. Or simply reduce your monthly spendings. The beauty of this model is that your staff provider will take care of the following:
- Office management
- Legal compliance
All you have to do is cover the hired employer’s salary and the provider’s fee.
When you outsource a project, you outsource the management with it and only jump into action when a milestone is delivered. When you hire a dedicated team or a dedicated developer, you can take the reigns of project management completely into your hands.
All you get from a staff augmentation firm is a dedicated expert to add to your team. It is up to you to delegate tasks and manage the software developer’s, or a designer’s workload.
As a founder, however, you don’t always have time to manage production. This is when a project manager can be a useful addition to your team. But if your augmented team is small and consists of only 2-3 developers, hiring a full-time PM can be a burden to your budget. In this case, discuss an option of on-demand project manager with your provider.
You don’t have to pay full salary to an on-demand PM. Just cover the hours they spend on managing your tasks. All you need to do is delegate the requirements to the project management and let them set up the development process. This gives you more time to focus on impactful work and venture goals for your business.
No matter what country you live in, hiring an employee always has a legal aspect to it. An aspect that can’t be ignored. Here’s a brief look of what it takes to arrange a new team:
- Sign an office for rent. Of course, you’ll have to find it first
- Hire an HR and build a recruitment team
- Hire an accountant
- Hire a lawyer to set up contract templates and ensure the compliance of operations
- Take care of employment taxes
- Constantly support every abovementioned point
With staff augmentation it is all a burden that you don’t have to carry.
Simplified legal processes allow you to expand your team on a whim. If you feel like the project can be expanded and be more successful, add another team member. It’s that simple.
Scale and grow only when you’re ready.
What to look out for when choosing the right augmented staff vendor?
Staff augmentation may sound very attractive to anyone. But it is a model that might not suit every business’s needs. Augmented staffing can also bring some challenges that you have to be ready for.
You have to know that the reason for such challenges is obvious—with staff augmentation you don’t get a 9-5 employee that you see every day in your office. You get a skillset necessary to ensure the success of your project.
Let’s take a look at the challenges that you may face, and show you how Kultprosvet team helps you deal with them!
Finding a qualified expert is hard. Trusting someone to find the right fit for your team abroad is harder. After all, it’s not just the hard skills that you’re looking for. You are looking for a professional that will deliver constantly on a long-term commitment.
This is why our hiring process is broken down into several stages to ensure that the candidate we find for you is 100% match:
- Analysing CV and work experience
- Interviewing for soft skills and motivation
- Testing the hard skills and ability to solve presented tasks
- Introducing a potential candidate to you
You don’t have to step in while we search for the right candidates. It’s your time to make the decision only when we present the candidates to you. Candidate presentation means that they are already a 90% fit for your team. Now the decision is your.
This process has proven to be effective in ensuring that the candidate not only matches your technical requirements, but is also the right fit for your team and will share your company’s values.
When the match is found, you don’t have to worry about daily output from your new team member. All you have to do is ensure the constant workload for them. We’ll take care of the cookies and coffee, along with off-work activities to make your staff happy.
Ensuring communication with zero friction and seamless management is the key to successful cooperation with any software development company. Especially in the post pandemic world, where everyone should feel connected, it has become important to take into consideration the best communication and delivery practices for your augmented team. At Kultprosvet, we value clear communication and on-time delivery. Thanks to Ukraine’s time zone location, our employees manage to communicate with employers from almost any time zone during our business hours, and all company’s deliverables can be overseen by a respective delivery officer.
Data protection is always one of the key factors to consider when it comes to going offshore. Contract negotiations can sometimes take ages, and clauses can be so complicated that they are hard to understand, and may eventually lead to unexpected outsourcing bills, or other legal issues.
Sensitive information on both sides is protected by an NDA. We simply don’t move any further without signing one. As for the rest, our contract templates are written in a language that is simple, and consist of clauses that create a win-win situation for both sides.
After all, we are here to help you grow, and to grow with your help.
Find a partner you can trust
There’s one thing that we can say for sure—COVID or not, the demand for high-skilled IT experts will continue to grow. Now that many people get bored at home and start creating startups to fit the new world order, the demand can be even greater.
This is where staff augmentation comes into play.
If you’re a big company, augmented staff can be a great addition to your in-house team and fill in the gaps that the pandemic has created. If you’re just starting to develop your software product, staff augmentation is the key so save time and money, get the right experts onboarded faster, and build a dedicated team without extra expenses for the office management. This can be a lifesaver.
Of course, there are risks and issues to consider. But, with proper management skills and the right staff augmentation provider, those risks are mitigated with zero friction, and you get an outsourcing experience that you actually enjoy.
Reach out to one of Kultprosvet members and find out how we can help you build an offshore dream team, and ensure the top software development quality for your product.