Many successful companies experience growing pains. That comes with the territory. There is a special anxiety that comes from important projects as they start to gain momentum. That anxiety is compounded when management recognizes that these projects will need extra staff, not necessarily for completion, but for a faster time to market. Business and innovation move quickly, and those companies that can’t keep up find themselves at the back of the pack.
One of the benefits that many companies have seen in light of Covid is that work no longer needs to be done “in-house.” Quite the opposite: the idea of there being a “house” has become incredibly flexible. With operations moving to remote work structures, the idea of additional staffing has also become more flexible. Success can be achieved through remote operations if the proper structures are put in place to succeed. Consequently, the question that many businesses ask themselves when faced with the issue of scaling, is: is it more beneficial to go with direct hires or will staff augmentation provide the solutions to help them get to the finish line that much faster?
Direct hiring is the more traditional route for growing any team within the company. If the company has a successful development team, direct hiring is a potentially beneficial choice. The team will have the structure in place, and the experience necessary, to recruit and evaluate new hires at a rate that is fast enough to stave off a loss of momentum. However, if a company does not have the development structure in place to meet the needs of the new hiring strategy, or if the company is moving at such a fast pace with one project or multiple projects simultaneously, then it would better serve the company to consider staff augmentation. Staff augmentation should be considered if:
- The company’s team is proving too small for the project at hand, or if the project seems to be branching into multiple tracks that would be better served with additional hires,
- If the work and development demands of product development are increasing and there isn’t the appropriate staff in the immediate area to bring in as additional work force,
- The idea of quick scale up or scale down on any project is attractive from a flexibility point-of-view. Augmented staffing allows for that flexibility.
The first step to healthy, fast, and effective scaling via augmented staffing is to develop a corporate strategy that serves all levels of project development.
Start by creating a modular staffing model
Different elements of the company may grow at different speeds and in different directions simultaneously. One area of your company—or one project—may be growing at a faster speed than the others and, therefore, need an influx of new talent to help maximize the necessary output. Other areas might not need extra help as immediately. By differentiating the needs of the company and strategizing around a modular model, companies will have greater flexibility to respond quickly and effectively when needing to scale up or scale down project teams.
Maximize the value and effectiveness of contract staff
In working with a staffing partner regarding the specifics of augmented staffing, it is important to keep in mind that these temporary contract hires can serve the specific needs of a company during quick growth or fast project completion schedules. Augmented staff can be hired for a wide range of talent specialties and technical fields. Focused hiring on maximized effectiveness reduces the stress on the in-house talent while increasing the potential for project success both quickly and effectively.
Ensure that your contract staffing is connected to the company’s culture and branding
As the company grows, it is important to keep an eye on maintaining the corporate culture and employment brand that brought the company success in the first place. Companies need to work closely with recruiters to ensure that the culture and company brand are at the forefront of communication. Additionally, steps must be taken through the period of engagement to solidify these ideas with the augments staffing personnel.
Work closely with a reputable and effective recruiter
Make sure that the recruiter has a good reputation in the industry and a low rate of attrition—the industry standard is 10-15%. Additionally, make sure that the vendor has many recruiters so that there is the possibility to find more or alternative talent quickly and effectively.
There might be disadvantages in augmented staffing if the proper approach is not considered in advance.
- Long-term projects may be difficult to develop, and consequently become sluggish, with contracted hires. The solution is to move forward with a reputable vendor who can service the company’s staffing needs in both an on-going and flexible manner,
- Ensuring that the augmented staff has the proper training may prove time consuming which can be exactly the opposite effect that the hire was supposed to have. Again, therefore communication with a vendor at the outset if of the utmost importance.
- Augmented staff will lack the company culture. Here is where time and strategy pay off, however, if a company has a structure in place that helps to introduce these new hires to the culture and the brand,
- There might be workflow and communication issues. In-house teams are used to each other’s workflow habits, communication techniques, and general corporate rhythms. New hires—particularly when those hires are augmented and remote—may have a harder time adapting to the established patterns. The company needs to do the necessary preparatory work with the vendor to make certain that there is little momentum lost in bringing in the new staff.
With all those considerations, is augmented staffing better and faster than regular recruiting for companies that want to scale quickly? Speed is certainly the primary advantage. While it might be problematic for a company to attempt an augmented staffing strategy on their own, by developing a relationship with a reputable vendor, a company can be almost guaranteed that it will be able to scale up or down with remarkable speed. Here are some of the other benefits of augmented staffing:
- Flexibility is key. Companies during fast growth are often unaware of their needs beyond the short-term scope of specific projects. With augmented staffing, companies are afforded the flexibility of increasing or decreasing their staff at a relatively rapid rate depending on the needs during any period.
- No long-term contracts or additional benefit costs. The only contract will be with the vendor, with the specifics of terms and duration dictated at the outset. There is no fear of long-term contracts with employees that would have to be honored in the event of down scaling. Also, the company will not have to pay the additional expenses that come with employee benefits and insurance.
- Lower costs with no loss of quality. Staff augmentation is an affordable alternative that tends to be far less costly than direct hiring. This savings is especially true when considering taxes and other costs directly associated with direct hires.
- Recruiting is left in the hands of people who recruit for a living. If the company doesn’t have a recruiting or development team in place, too much time and effort can be wasted as they try to get up to speed, canvasing and assessing the right talents for projects. With qualified vendors, the talent is already in place, evaluated and ready to go.
- The company stays in charge. With augmented staffing, the project is not outsourced to a third party. Everything stays under the corporate roof as specialized talent is brought in to work on the necessary projects. Strategizing with a vendor allows for full communication of the needs and the expectations of the company, leaving little room for variation or disappointment.
As the tech industry continues to grow at an amazing pace, future staffing issues should be considered, and strategies adopted. While direct hiring offers a solution for more long-term issues that might arise, companies need to consider the benefits that augmented staffing can provide speed, flexibility, consistency, and control. Once the decision is made to pursue augmented staffing, there are additional steps that need to be taken, including the search for reputable vendors and the consideration of the legal aspects of the vendor-client relationship. But those considerations have many road maps in place by those who have already traveled the road to success. The most important element is remembering that speed and flexibility allow companies to move quickly. That consideration should always be first and foremost.
Scale your company quickly with our Staff Augmentation service.