Staff augmentation is one of the trending outsourcing strategies of the present time to fulfill short-term technical requirements of companies. Still, the concept is developing and this model is yet to gain a firm footing in the business landscape.
The shallow understanding of this staffing strategy enables agencies to trick customers into settling for less. This leads to a misalignment of expectations, substandard service, unnecessary delays, and a failure to achieve business objectives.
The good thing is that getting a dependable service provider is no rocket science.
Read through this in-depth guide and find out 8 promising steps to land the best staff augmentation company for your next business venture.
1. Examine Your Staffing Needs
Consider this scenario—a business allocates the entire software development project to an external team when all it needed was assistance in planning and analysis. This leads to spending more than what was needed to get the job done.
If you want to avoid this blunder, have your staffing needs explicitly identified. Why? Because every business would have distinctive staffing requirements.
Some could be looking for a front-end developer for the entire length of the project. Others might need an SEO specialist for a certain phase. Or perhaps, a project manager requires extra resources to meet the nearing delivery date of a project.
Whatever the case, creating a staffing blueprint has two benefits. One, it sets the direction of your venture and makes sure you achieve your goals ultimately. Two, it serves as a doorway to finding a reliable staffing partner.
Read more about The Pros and Cons Of Staff Augmentation
2. Probe into Vendor’s Experience and Expertise
Would you want to hire a permanent employee just by having a quick look at their resume? No, right?
Recruiting for a permanent role requires a series of steps involving background checks, real-time assessment, interviewing, and more.
Similarly, staff augmentation cannot be implemented at face value. Reviewing work history and professional credentials tells if the staffing company is sufficiently experienced and specialized in what they do.
Here’s what you should be analyzing before hiring staff augmentation service company:
- Check their client base. Can you spot any big names? If yes, that is a great sign.
- Take a deep dive into credentials, work portfolios, and case studies.
- Get an outlook on work history (years of experience, office locations, employee count, annual revenue, and more).
- Get in touch with their previous clients to get a first-hand account of their satisfaction level.
- Read all the reviews and testimonials on the staffing firm’s website, and social media channels.
- Check out their reviews on impartial third-party websites like Clutch and Glassdoor.
- Look out for business collaborations, certifications, and awards for temporary staffing providers.
3. Consider Their Local and International Market Reach
While weighing different features of a staffing vendor, look into their network and reach.
Why is that recommended?
Well, some of your projects might require setting up remote teams. For others, a hybrid approach should suffice, where a remote team jointly works with in-house personnel to meet delivery dates.
Let’s say you hire a team of software engineers for a certain project. Now, it turns out they need a consultant, with expertise in emerging programming languages, for an algorithmic complexity.
Having the best staff augmentation company at your disposal means an opportunity to partner up with international or local experts (that fit your budget).
And there is more to it!
Companies with worldwide connections and strong relations with other recruiting agencies can leverage renowned talent markets with a cost advantage. So, if you are in the US but the average developer in China offers far better value for money, you can get them on board.
The bottom line? The top IT staff augmentation company would have connections, experience, and infrastructure to set up and manage remote teams irrespective of time and location.
4. Review Their Communication Protocols
The communication style, structure, and channels also play a big role in determining the success of a project.
It becomes even more imperative to understand the communication protocol of a staffing company that operates from a different location.
You might be wondering why!
If that’s the case, note that you would be coordinating with the service provider to check on work progress, assign new tasks, discuss feedback, and more.
Therefore, it is wiser to opt for a vendor that has an established and uncomplicated communication layout to keep both parties connected throughout.
This would ensure a seamless workflow, allowing for transparency in the process, performance evaluation at every step, and the ability to implement changes. All of this would add up to make sure your project is timely delivered and that too with precise requirements.
5. See How Committed They Are to The Security
Data is the gold mine in today’s age. So, understandably, it attracts cybercriminals.
In the first quarter of 2022, Shields Health Care Group suffered a data breach, which compromised the data of nearly 2 million people.
Rewinding to the previous year, 2021, nearly 5.7 million people in the US alone fell prey to identity theft and fraud—which is a 4.7% increase from 2020.
Company data is already sensitive and critical. But when it involves the personal information of hundreds of thousands of clients, can you imagine how crucial it becomes to protect its integrity?
Now, augmenting your staff with third-party teams makes your data security vulnerable. However, the best staff augmentation company would keep your IP and data security as its top priority.
What you should expect from them is to ensure everyone involved in the project sign NDAs. Besides that, the staffing agency should be employing careful measures to vet their staff, as well as train them on intellectual property matters, data security, and cybersecurity tools usage.
6. Pay Attention to The Contract
Now comes the entity that would formalize your deal with the staffing company and outline agreed-upon obligations. Your contract would serve as the code of conduct for your project, allowing either party to object if anything goes against the deal.
Look out for a contract that includes the following details among other specifics:
- The augmented personnel’s location of service
- Revision and evaluation of pay rates, including insurance and other assessments.
- Who would bear the cost of pre-assignment screening?
- Whether the agreed rates include federal, state, local sales, and other taxes?
- Payment schedule and protocol.
- Audit and maintenance of record.
- Responsibility for training, equipment, and infrastructure.
The ideal staff augmentation company would have a detail-oriented contract that explores both nitty-gritty aspects and supposedly trivial matters of your venture. In addition to that, engage a staffing company that tailors a contract considering your unique business requirements.
7. See If They Can Match Your Delivery Schedule
Another important aspect you should be looking at is how well the company keeps pace with your project delivery schedule.
Does it have contingency plans? After all, you wouldn’t want them to keep pondering Plan B when Plan A does not work.
Does it operate on a strict timeline? This is largely achieved when the service provider has a detailed management plan and diverse resources (both onshore and offshore). Consider it a bonus point if they are technologically equipped and use automation tools to put less-productive elements on autopilot.
Taking forward, you can also spot the best staff augmentation company by its “ready-to-deploy” workforce. What a waste it would be for having to train them for a month when the entire project will last for just two months.
To avoid that from happening, be sure that the staffing vendor provides the necessary training and has only seasoned professionals in the pool.
8. Do They Cater to Language And Cultural Differences?
For staff augmentation companies engaging remote development teams, it should be checked if there is a cultural agreement between outsourced talent and the client.
Not only would this bridge cultural differences, but also counteract linguistic challenges convincingly.
Let’s see what scenarios would make this invaluable.
Suppose the majority of your employees speak expert-level Spanish in addition to English. Wouldn’t it be great if you could source a team from a Latin American country (provided it lives up to your skill requirements)? Maybe you could even find cheaper rates there!
Here’s another hypothetical situation where you could have a mismatch of culture:
Your work environment is milestone-based, requiring tracking and reporting at every step of the process. Unfortunately, you hire professionals who are coming from an environment that provides flexibility and autonomy.
As a result, it would be difficult for them to adapt to your work style, eventually leading to conflicts and hampered productivity.
For these reasons, your staffing partner should factor in your company’s culture at the time of assessment and provide you with fitting solutions.
To Wrap Up
Let’s recap the checklist for hiring the best staff augmentation company:
- Think through your staffing requirements and expectations from the external team.
- Have a deeper look at their portfolio, credentials, and user reviews during evaluation.
- Make sure it has both local and international outreach.
- It must have a simple and effective communication protocol.
- See how committed it is to your data confidentiality. What measures does it take?
- Look for a tailor-made contract, which records your expectations, unique needs, and other obligations.
- The augmented staffing provider should be swift at keeping up with delivery dates and project timelines.
- Get an extended team whose work preferences, values, and behavior aligns with your company’s.
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