Five Things to Keep in Mind About Staff Augmentation for IT Projects

Staff augmentation is one of those terms that elicits mixed reactions when brought up to executives or managers, but at the end of the day is a huge help for companies of all sizes. Companies with thousands of employees sometimes find it easier to delegate specific projects to qualified resources instead of growing their workforce beyond what they can manage, just like startups on their end of the spectrum choose to leverage staff augmentation because of growth capability restrictions related to budget, HR, physical space, etc.

If you’re still unsure about whether staff augmentation is for you, consider the following aspects on the human capital management side that you’d have to deal with if you choose not to go with staff augmentation:

  1. Candidate matching: gathering the desired skillset and experience, posting job openings, reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, selecting top contenders and finally hiring someone… the process of hiring qualified IT employees is a seriously daunting task that is extremely time-consuming and as a startup, we know from experience that you don’t have the bandwidth to embark on this process. As a company with growth goals, your focus and that of your employees should be on strategy, customer service, and your own development, not on IT projects and implementations.
  2. Salary and negotiations: the market is at an odd point right now, with many qualified and overqualified candidates who are looking to improve their financial status. With this kind of market, you can expect some serious bartering and you have to be prepared to lose your top candidate if they’re asking for an amount above what you can allocate for IT at the moment. The negotiations process is tiresome and awkward for both sides, and if you don’t have a dedicated HR department, even more so.
  3. Personnel rotation: startups and small businesses tend to have many “octopus” employees whose hands are in on multiple areas and company projects simultaneously. When you hire a new employee, even if it’s for a specific area, it’s inevitable that the additional resource will end up being asked to alleviate the burden of the fellow employees by taking on tasks that they’re probably not experienced with, and this starts their morale off on the wrong foot. You can rotate your employees in and out of roles or projects more easily, but a new hire (specifically taken in for IT) requires onboarding and support more than they can provide.
  4. Onboarding: one of the most overlooked processes for companies of all sizes, but especially for small ones is onboarding. Big multinational companies tend to have some sort of onboarding strategy, even if it’s very general, but for startups it’s a different story. When hiring someone into a small company, it’s important that they are well-versed in your vision, understand your objectives, the approach established by the team, etc. Most new hires take anywhere between 3-6 months to feel comfortable in understanding the day-to-day and be able to provide support accordingly. If you hire someone for IT implementation, do you have this kind of time that needs to be added to the design, development, and everything in between?
  5. Performance metrics: in order to run a successful business, all employees should be held to a certain standard, be clear on their roles, and undergo a review of their performance every certain period of time. Typically, startups don’t have much time to spare on this type of function, but it’s an important one. In the case of an IT hire, it’s hugely beneficial for them to be able to quantify and qualify their level of support, and these reviews are a key part in their development as a company asset.

If you’re exhausted just reading this, we get it. The process of finding, hiring, onboarding, training and rating a qualified IT employee for your company is overwhelming, and this is just for one person. With staff augmentation you can expect an entire team of ready-to-go expert with lots of experience in this area, equipped to deal with an internal team and able to navigate the ins and outs of a development project seamlessly. This is the type of support we can offer at Lagash, with team experts located all around the world for 24/7 assistance (something you can’t quite get with an individual hire), and with incredible qualifiers. If you’re ready to find out whether an IT project via staff augmentation is right for you, contact us now for an assessment.