A-To-Z Guide on Staff Augmentation for Tech Companies: Hiring Top Developers  by@irinakravchenko
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A-To-Z Guide on Staff Augmentation for Tech Companies: Hiring Top Developers  

by DICEUSSeptember 24th, 2021
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Staff augmentation is considered one of the best ways to boost your software development. When incorporating in-house expertise, external developers could bring you the most remarkable value ever. The most frequent reasons why product development companies choose to augment IT staff usually include: The lack of human resources in the local market, the need for specific tech skills or expertise. The need to optimize development costs will help you optimize the costs of hiring IT staff augmentation partners. And the most significant benefits are getting the required tech skills faster than if you had to hire those by yourself.

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3 Reasons Why You May Consider Staff Augmentation 

IT staff augmentation is considered one of the best ways to boost your software development. When incorporating in-house expertise, external developers could bring you the most remarkable value ever. The most frequent reasons why product development companies choose to augment IT staff usually include: 

  1. The lack of human resources in the local market 
  2. The need for specific tech skills or expertise 
  3. The need to optimize development costs 

Let’s discuss this in detail. 

1. The lack of human resources in the local market. 

Today, acquiring top tech specialists is hard enough. Statista reported recently that IT functions suffered from a skills shortage according to IT leaders globally in 2020. The lack of resources is a serious concern, especially for product software companies that are often driven by investments and quick ROI requirements. Finding a reliable staff augmentation partner with a technology background will ensure on-time hiring of top talent.  

2. The need for specific tech skills or expertise. 

As mentioned above, the IT skills gap is a real problem that especially makes growing startups and SaaS companies suffer. Oftentimes, having enough workers isn’t enough to execute the company’s business strategy. Writing code in Java, for instance, is not the same as understanding how this code will contribute to the project’s success. That’s why it’s instrumental in finding those people that have a good understanding of your niche.  

3. The need to optimize costs for development. 

Often, local developers’ rates in the USA or Canada may cost you a fortune, whereas finding similar specialists overseas at more reasonable rates will help you optimize the costs. It makes sense when you need a large number of specialists, say, beginning at 10. Besides, you won’t need to spend on organizing a workplace and providing hardware for work which also helps save cash.  

Are staff augmentation and project outsourcing the same? 

SaaS companies and startups are the ones that understand the difference between these two notions better than anyone else. However, even they confuse the terms. So, let’s briefly go over the differences.   

Staff augmentation is all about adding additional skills to reach the project goals, while outsourcing is acquiring full-time resources from another software vendor to execute the entire project. Both delivery models have their pros and cons.

For example, if you choose to outsource, you won’t be able to control the project fully as projects are usually managed by PMs on the vendor’s site. However, in case of staff augmentation, your new team members will report to your PMs directly. So, what other benefits of staff augmentation do you know?   

3 Most Remarkable Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation 

1. Quick hiring 

Among the most significant benefits of IT staff augmentation partnerships are getting the required, very often unique, tech skills faster than if you had to hire those by yourself. As an outsourcing company from Ukraine, DICEUS, says, 

“Very often, SaaS businesses come to us and ask to find top developers in the shortest time possible. There were cases when we were pressed by time and had to provide experts in just 2-3 days, but thanks to our huge database, we could cope with that.” 

Today, global technology companies are suffering from unfilled positions, which typically causes delays. Hiring IT staff usually takes much time as much effort should be spent to do it appropriately. The hiring process usually involves creating a detailed job description with specific requirements on hard and soft skills, looking through the dozens of applications, interviewing candidates, checking test assignments, and so on. All these activities can take months that you might not be able to afford. How can staff augmentation help you?  

Usually, partners offering staff augmentation already have lists of potential candidates that may fit your project. And that's the most advantageous aspect of their services as it cuts down the time it takes them to find the right resources. Typically, it takes from 2 to 4 weeks to recruit people with the required set of skills.  

2. Well-organized onboarding 

According to Glassdoor, it costs $4,000 and around 50 days for the US company to fill a position. Recruiting the right staff is an expensive process that must be further proceeded with a well-planned onboarding and training. How to make this process more effective and optimize costs and time for onboarding?  

Here’s a little secret tip – partner with a functioning software development company offshore. Usually, outsourcing providers offer staff augmentation and are much better at finding the right resources than a typical recruiting agency. And here’s why – they do this for themselves regularly. To continually scale up the development, these companies act the same as you. They recruit, screen, interview lots of candidates, and already have dozens of CVs. What you get by partnering with such businesses – access to a vast talent pool and a great bonus – a good understanding of how to onboard developers, test engineers, business analysts, etc.  

High retention rate 

Keeping oversight of performance and providing benefits is time-consuming and expensive. By augmenting staff, you can rely on the external vendor in dealing with these matters. When partnering with an outsourcing company, you can rest assured that they will take care of retaining employees.  

Usually, they ensure an excellent work environment and conditions as well as a certain number of perks. Besides, regular one-to-one meetings are held when HR specialists speak with your employees to discover any issues they might have and solve those to avoid attrition.  

7 Indicators to Understand that Staff Augmentation is the Right Choice for You  

Here are some obvious signs indicating that staff augmentation is the best option for you: 

  1. You would like or urgently need to optimize costs for recruiting, onboarding, and retaining employees. 
  2. Your team members often work overtime, are stressed and are likely to burn out.  
  3. Your in-house staff doesn’t have the required technology or niche expertise.  
  4. You are driven by external investments and need to accelerate the time-to-market.  
  5. You don’t have enough specialists required for a particular development cycle, like more testers for functional testing or more DevOps for deployment.  
  6. Your project is growing rapidly, and you need to continually scale up resources. 
  7. You would like to focus on the core business model or product marketing instead of always being busy with delivery operations. 

How to Quickly Hire Highly Skilled Developers 

Highly skilled developers can be hired only if the hiring process includes all of the critical stages. Here is how it works. 

Firstly, your recruiting partner should create a detailed job description based on your requirements. The latter should include all the required soft and hard skills, roles and responsibilities, and a project description. You must approve the description. 

Secondly, your vendor will score all the available resources on their local markets and collect CVs that are further handed over to you. Next, you will be able to select the CVs that match your expectations from the candidate and provide test assignments.  

Once the tests are completed, you will provide your feedback. Some partners provide a more interesting option – their own tech leads can check the test tasks and provide feedback. If the candidate passes a test, you will have an interview with him or her.  

Finally, if all feedback is positive, your hiring partner will send a job offer to the candidate and ensure onboarding.  

Usually, such a process lasts months if you have no previous experience in hiring many people simultaneously or searching for unique tech skills. A recruiting partner with a tech background will do this in a few weeks or even days.  

4 Things to Consider When Augmenting Offshore Developers

Below are four recommendations you will hardly find elsewhere on the internet. These are the top things to consider while hiring offshore developers via a recruiting agency or an outsourcing company according to the staff augmentation model.  

Seniority level matrix. Be sure that your vendor knows and understands what a seniority level matrix is. Typically, it’s a card according to which you could measure the developers’ level of experience and competence. For example, a senior developer should have 5+ years of experience, understand business logic, have problem-solving skills, be a mentor and leader. Surely, the description is much longer, and each company can have its own matrix.  

Account management. An account manager or a dedicated account manager is a point-of-contact person provided by a vendor, but acting as your advocate. This person is responsible for answering your questions and solving your problems. Sometimes, it’s hard to find a responsible person who could help you. Instead of looking for who you may contact, you already have a dedicated manager.  

Retention practices. Pay attention to what workplace environment and conditions your partner offer to employees. Ask what benefits they provide. It may be anything: a yearly insurance package or free English classes, or many other things. However, whatever they offer, you could discuss additional perks that you could provide from your side. Also, your partner should ensure regular one-to-one meetings for employees to timely spot out any problems they might have. Such practices, combined with the development plans, usually provide a high employee retention rate.   

Rates vs. competence. Developer rates are as instrumental in decision-making as their competence level. However, don’t let others hook you on low rates. Don’t choose developers only because their rates are low. Weigh their skills, experience, and relevant niche expertise to make the right decision.  

To sum it up, tech staff augmentation is best suited for long-term product development, dynamic and agile environments to address a continually growing number of needs. To succeed in staff augmentation, rely on providers with a strong tech background as they understand your processes better than anyone else.