Last updated on September 6th, 2021 at 05:33 pm.

The concept of staff augmentation meaning refers to an outsourcing strategy, aimed at complementing the existing software development team with staff members that possess the required skill set, to enable the organization to meet its business objectives and ensure that teams are adequately staffed, for specific projects.

Staff augmentation allows an organization to acquire the staff it needs on a scalable, per-project basis. The technique used in this approach is to evaluate the existing team in order to determine which additional skills may be required, for the given project, process, or department.

Nearshoring, in this regard, often arises from the need to find talent in the local market, but recruiters are – more often than not – faced with a shortage of suitably qualified prospects. Thus, they [recruiters] extend their search to other locations.

When the prospect of outsourcing becomes a necessity, recruiters find themselves wrestling with several options from onshoring and nearshoring to offshoring. Of the three options available, nearshoring seems to lead the pack, by offering clear and undeniable benefits that outweigh all other avenues.

The key to successful staff augmentation lies directly in the ability of in-house and external team members to communicate effectively and efficiently while also working towards team cohesion. This yields long-term success for each individual team member and the team as a whole while achieving company targets and increasing output efficiency.

These are five benefits to utilizing nearshoring in the process of staff augmentation meaning of software development teams:

1. Cost-Effective
Staff are specifically hired for the skill set that they possess. There is no need to train the employee and the hiring contract only lasts as long as the project lasts. Therefore, additional costs such as employee benefits, taxes, recruitment, and training requirements are all eliminated with such hires. The process has a very transparent cost structure. Additionally, these employees often work remotely and other administrative and organizational costs are eliminated including office space and workstations.

2. Improved Flexibility
A key feature of success in the business industry is the ability of an organization to meet the needs of its growing client base and benefit from profitable market conditions. With the advent of technological advancement, IT companies are inundated with new business opportunities and projects of various sizes. Staff augmentation meaning enables these companies to scale their efforts in recruitment to match the needs of the business without the additional expenditure of training. With nearshoring, companies have access to a much wider talent pool of IT professionals, including UI/UX designers, scrum masters, and other developers.

3. Higher Productivity Levels
Team members are focused on a single project, thus increasing productivity and company profitability.

4. Operational Efficiency
Staff augmentation meaning offers scalable recruitment solutions to start-up companies, in the IT industry, that do not want to incur the additional operational costs associated with the process of getting fledgling companies off the ground and running. This allows small start-ups to take on much larger projects, more often, thereby maximizing the ROI and enabling these start-ups to grow and expand much more than they could have, had they not adopted this approach.

5. Better Control
Other than outsourcing, staff augmentation allows parent firms to take complete control of their projects while regularly monitoring the project’s progress and retaining control. When the project is outsourced entirely, it becomes more difficult for the parent company to track the progress of the project as well as quality standards applied during the process.

6. IP Rights Security
With staff augmentation, members are simply added to the existing team, this ensures that all IP rights belong to and remain with the parent company.

Adopting a nearshoring strategic approach in this regard, enables the parent company to draw on various benefits when considering team cohesion. One of the main benefits includes a good cultural fit and greater levels of efficiency in communications. Due to similar time zones, the team is able to meet more frequently, face to face, and increase productivity due to similar working hours.

When an organization considers candidates for staff augmentation, especially in the IT industry, emphasis is placed squarely on hard skills, however, to make the fit appropriate and the transition to remote workers smoother, attention must be given to the soft skills possessed by the candidates, as this will directly influence the success of the team.

The internal team has already been afforded the opportunity to work together and reach team cohesion, but with the introduction of external team members, soft skills play a crucial role in merging external team members with the internal team.

Some characteristics that may describe a good software development working remotely or working with a multi-national team include the ability to work well in a team as well as independently, conscientiousness, a sense of urgency, and outstanding communication skills.

Staff augmentation differs from managed services where the former is the process of adding virtual resources to aid the internal team members of a software development team whereas the latter refers to outsourcing parts or entire projects to an external team.

When considering staff augmentation services, clear goals need to be defined. The staffing needs of the hiring company need to be evaluated in order to determine what exactly is required in terms of staff augmentation.

The hiring company may need to fill a skills gap and therefore need to hire highly skilled software engineers or the organization needs extra hands on deck to complete a project by incorporating product designers or front-end developers.

Outlining the needs of the recruiting efforts will ensure a successful outcome. Other factors that need to be taken into account include the project schedule and work contracts. Staff augmentation firms that are able to provide tailor-made work agreements point to an organization that possesses both the experience and resources to meet the business goals of any organization in terms of staff augmentation.

Outlining the business needs and doing proper research is the first step to hiring the right staff augmentation firm to ensure that the hiring company has the skills resources to meet the needs of its clients while cutting down on costs and focusing on its core operations.

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