Posts tagged "staff augmentation"

Staff Augmentation vs Upwork: The Platform To Go For in 2021

The need to increase your team is a great sign. Your business is going in the right direction, and you are growing. The only slight negative is that you know the recruitment process is unlikely to be an easy one. Fortunately, with the help of today’s technology, you are able to step away from traditional recruiting methods to find a solution that matches your unique business needs.

We are going to consider the advantages and disadvantages of two popular recruiting solutions, Staff Augmentation and Upwork.

What Is Staff Augmentation?

Staff Augmentation is a global Swiss staffing company that works at providing highly skilled programming professionals to companies in need of the latest tech expertise. Since 2008, Staff Augmentation has been retaining developers who specialize in mobile development, JavaScript, CMS, eCommerce, and backend development. This can include iOS, Android, Magneto, PHP, Joomla, and more.

The company provides an outsourcing strategy so that companies can take advantage of scalable options to meet business objectives. The team considers the current staff working within the team or on a particular project and then helps to create a plan that will add skill and value to the project. They do so by concentrating on sourcing talent in 4 core areas:

  • Mobile Developers- Our candidates must be able to prove competence in their field, which could be Android, Ionic, iOS, Java, React Native, Unity, and Xamarin.
  • JavaScript Developers- Staff Augmentation has excelled in creating international relationships with certified JavaScript developers. Our specialties include Angular JS, Aurelia, Backbone JS, Typescript, Vue JS, Ionic, Electron, Ember JS, Meteor, Node JS, React, and React Native.
  • CMS & eCommerce Developers- If your business requires any of the following services, Staff Augmentation can provide BigCommerce, Concrete5, Drupal, Expression Engine, Joomla, Magento, Open Cart, Presta Shop, Shopify, Typo3, WooCommerce, and WordPress.
  • Backend Developers- The screened candidates are fluent in ASP.Net, C#, Erlang. Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby on Rails.

All of the developers at Staff Augmentation are required to complete on-going studies, so the company prescreens candidates extensive testing to confirm the level of skills. The majority of candidates have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Computer Science.

Staff Augmentation offers a complete range of services, including corporate relocations, consulting, managed services, strategic staffing, and permanent placement. And it’s not just a case of finding your developer, and that’s it. Staff Augmentation provides ongoing support to help establish relationships and improve retention while saving time and money.

What Is Upwork?

Upwork is another freelance website that originated in America. It came about after the merge of Elance (1999) and oDesk (2003) in 2018. It is the largest freelance marketplace in the world, with 18 million registered freelancers and 5 million registered clients. Each year, an average of three million jobs are posted on Upwork worth more than $1 billion.

There is a wide range of categories for job listings on Upwork, from creative writing to teaching. The categories include website development, software development, mobile development, IT & Networking, and Data Science & Analytics for IT specialists.

Clients and candidates sign up for an account. A client can post a job advert on the platform and send invitations to candidates that meet the requirements. Or, from the candidate’s point of view, they can search for relevant jobs and apply by using their connects. Both clients and candidates need to work to build up their profile and ranking by providing and quality services and receiving reviews.

Upwork is a speedy way to hire someone, and there is an impressive number of talented freelancers on the site. It is also true that the rates are often quite low, so companies can save a lot of money. The fees, however, are quite frustrating. Clients pay around 3% for each contract, and candidate pay 20% per job for the first $500 with one client, after that it drops to 10%, but that is still quite a lot.

In 2019, Upwork made some significant changes to improve the standards of freelancers. They did this by stopping the free connects a candidate received each month. Doing so meant that you would only be able to apply for jobs if you paid a small fee for your connects, and with the competition for jobs being high, it meant that only those with top-rated profiles were getting hired.

In Conclusion

Despite the fees, Upwork is still a cost-effective option for companies to find the talent they need. But there is little involvement from the Upwork team. The chances are you will receive hundreds of applications, and screening candidates is going to be up to you—which may take time. Even then, there is no guarantee that your hire has the right skill sets. Staff Augmentation takes a lot of the hard work off your hands and provides candidates with the perfect skill sets. This can prevent making a wrong hire and saving you time and money.


The Why, When and How of Staff Augmentation vs Managed Software Project

The attempt to build an in-house software development team is one decision entrepreneurs have to consider at one point or another but the downsides involved in energy, money and time wasted in trying to hiring tech talent can be rather invested in finishing business goals and birthing new ideas and launching more projects.

The IT industry has grown over the past years so it also has the dynamics surrounding the hire of models.

One of these models that combines both internal recruitment and outsourcing benefits to help fill vacancies and skills gaps immediately is Staff Augmentation.

Staff Augmentation

Wikipedia defined staff augmentation as an outsourcing strategy used to staff a project and respond to business objectives and which entails the location of dedicated technical resources, usually offshore, hired as overseas development extensions of in-house application development teams on fixed or flexible terms or conditions.

Staff Augmentation involves the continuous monitoring of the organization’s internal team and recognizing when to fill in the skills gap in the course of a project. Upon identification of a missing skill, individuals or teams are hired to fill the vacancy and complete certain technical tasks.

Staff Augmentation has increasingly gained a rise in acceptance now thanks to specifics in IT infrastructure such as brain drain, fierce competition and low access to domestic expertise.

Extreme developer rates are also an issue that requires attention and the need to provide a quick solution to HR issues is made possible by this model. The model could be short or long-termed.

Short Term Staff Augmentation is used when a company staff or specialist is on a break, either a vacation, sabbatical or sick leave while long term Staff Augmentation is applicable for long term complex projects that require a specialist you lack.

Benefits of the Model


Staff Augmentation allows flexible hiring of staff/specialist at necessary periods without consuming significant time and energy.


Additional staff/specialists can be hired in various places where the prices of hiring one could be much lower than in the company’s home base. The difference in the rates helps to reduce the cost of software development.

Skills Gap

The model allows the possibility of hiring a programmer from outside the company’s base. Countries that possess a large amount of unengaged yet available software developers and tech specialists are major outsourcing destinations.  It also permits for these skills to be hired not just from anywhere on the world but it achieves this in a short time preventing the company from suffering major losses.

How the Model Works?

The process of recruitment based on this model is quite simple and requires three main steps which are:

  1. Identification of Skills Gap

This is the stage at which the company identifies the skills it lacking and makes use of its internal HR or uses the service of an agent to get a qualified specialist to fill these gaps.

  1. Incorporating Hired Employees

The hired specialist can now undergo an adaptation process where they are introduced to their duties, workplace and other team members as well as the project on the ground.

  1. Developing Augmented Staff

This stage entails the ongoing training and development of the expanded team to ensure that beneficial assets of the team are well preserved and to guarantee an outstanding project delivery.

Staff Augmentation in Comparison to Managed Project Services

When the client hires an outsourced team alongside a project manager to handle the entirety of the project and its delivery. This is a “Managed Project”.

In situations where the team is outsourced and managed by an in-house project manager that controls the project and its delivery.  The model is referred to as Staff Augmentation.

Advantages of a Managed Model

  1. Availability of the Project Manager

The client gets a devoted project manager and a full team that carried out all the work for you while you channel your time and energy into other projects and responsibilities with the full assurance of on-time project delivery.

While a manager model seems like the best solution to solving HR problems, it also has its own risks which includes

Lack of Control:

Lack of transparency and control over the project can be a major issue as most of the interim decisions are made by the outsourcing provider which may leave you to quit behind on your project.


Choosing Between Staff Augmentation and Managed Software Projects

 It today’s high-tech market, we are experiencing rapid changes in both business objectives and technology. Traditionally, companies look to build in-house software development teams but are now facing higher costs while taking more time and effort. The hiring process takes up a huge portion of the timeframe when trying to complete a project and launch it into the market.

On a positive, as the IT industry matures, so do the hiring models. Staff augmentation, or augmented staff) is a hiring model that offers flexibility and high scalability for all areas of the software development project. Between outsourcing and internal recruitment, staff augmentation allows companies to quickly fill vacancies in order to bring about their project and/or digital transformation needs.

In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at this particular model. We will look at the benefits of scaling your team while avoiding overheads and not increasing attrition or churn rates.

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is an outsourcing strategy, which is used when a company needs additional staff with specific skill sets in order to complete the business objectives. Staff is usually found offshores and hired as overseas development extensions of the already existing development team. Terms and conditions are either fixed or flexible.

Basically, it requires you to continuously look at your in-house team and identify the technical skill gaps throughout each stage of the project. Once you have identified the additional skills you require, you can proceed with hiring short-term (or in some cases long-term) staff to collaborate on the project.

This model is becoming increasingly popular because of the expanding specifics of the IT industry. There is often a shortage of talent and high rates for developers locally. HR issues must be addressed quickly and flexibly in order to hire the right developer.

So, staff augmentation is when certain tasks are outsourced to software experts with both hard and soft skills, and experience so that a business can complete its software project. This is not a replacement method for the existing team, rather just additional expertise from offshore or nearshore software developers.

Short-term Staff Augmentation

This is often necessary when companies are experiencing peak seasons. A project has reached a stage where the in-house team is not sufficient to carry out the tasks. It is also possible to use short-term staff augmentation when in-house specialists are on holiday or sick leave.

Long-term Staff Augmentation

If your project uses an uncommon tech stack or it is more complex, you may need someone long-term. If you don’t have the means to hire an in-house specialist, you can use long-term staff augmentation.

The Benefits of Staff Augmentation

Reducing the skills gap and hiring time

When you are outsourcing, your talent pool has gone from local to international., greatly increasing your chances of finding a developer to match your needs. Typical destinations are those with a large talent pool yet lower demand for developers in that country. This reduces the hiring time.

Because technology develops so fast, look at AI, ML, blockchain, and Fintech, there hasn’t been enough time for the industry to produce sufficient specialists in these areas, resulting in a huge shortage of talent. The longer your company takes to hire an expert the more money you are likely to lose. Quick hiring allows you to get going for your project as soon as possible.

Reducing payroll costs

Once you begin looking at offshore developer rates, you will find that they are generally much lower than rates you will find locally. This can greatly reduce software development costs.

Reducing staff turnover

If you hire an in-house expert developer, you are going to have to make sure they have a continuous flow of tasks to meet their skill sets. In many cases, this is not possible. Your developer will become bored want to move on. When you hire a developer for just the project needs, they will move on when their part of the project is complete, as this was the agreement.

Reducing operating costs

There are a lot of costs associated with hiring in-house, generally more than with external staff. While a staff augmentation provider will charge a fee, the prices are still lower. Paying lower developer rates and a fee is still less than hiring, renting an office, equipment, bills, etc.

Increased flexibility

When you choose this model, you only have to hire developers when you need them. It doesn’t have to be just at peak seasons. You may need a developer to work on your website during the Christmas season.

Reducing paperwork and legal procedures

To hire a development team, you will need an admin, legal department, and payroll and accounting. All of this is going to add up financially.

A staff augmentation provider will do all of this for you, saving you time that can be dedicated to more crucial areas of your business.

How Does Staff Augmentation Work?

It’s a straightforward process involving three main steps, each of which is flexible depending on the needs of your business.

Identifying the skills gap

You need to understand the skills that you are missing in order to complete your project. An internal HR or external agent can then find a developer with the right skill set to hire.

Onboarding of hired employees

Similarly to an in-house hire, the new developer will take go through an adaptation process, meet the other team members, understand the technical concepts of the project and learn more about the company vision and the working environment.

Developing your developer

This process is a continuous one. It requires ongoing training of your developer and nurturing them so that together with the internal team, your project is guaranteed the best outcome possible.

Staff Augmentation vs. Managed Project Services

If you have reached the point where your software team is not meeting the standards, it is time to outsource. From here, you need to choose one of the appropriate engagement models that will lead to the project’s success.

The main difference in staff augmentation and managed project services comes down to accountability. A managed project means that you hire an outsourced team that comes with a project manager. This engagement model lays the full responsibility on the outsourced team, specifically the project manager.

Staff augmentation relies on your in-house project manager to control the project and the outsourced team. Your own project manager is responsible for the progress and completion of the project.

Managed Services Provider

An MSP will take control of the execution of the project and assumes and manages all risks. The provider manages tools, processes, and operational assets. Payment is based on SLAs and results and all developers are fully documented and trained.

Staff Augmentation

The supplied resources are managed by the client and it’s the client who assumes the risk. Internal tools and processes are used. Training will vary and payment is based on time and materials.

What are the Advantages of a Managed Project Model?

Project manager’s availability

You do not need to concern yourself with the management of the offshore team, as your dedicated project manager will do this. This frees up a lot of your time so you are able to pay more attention to the actual running of the business. The PM is responsible for maintaining the budget, meeting set deadlines, and ensuring quality.

Results-based collaboration

Managed IT services can be charged for by the hour. Outsourcing service providers may insist that a developer is hired full time for the necessary duration. With a managed services provider, you can select the number of hours or days per week.

What are the disadvantages of a Managed Project Model?

A lack of control

Most intermediate decisions will be made by the project manager. This not only implies a lack of transparency, but it is difficult for those who like to be in charge of every detail.


As you are going to be handing over the control of your project, it is essential that you choose a managed services provider with an excellent reputation, with suitable expertise in your type of project. They must be skilled at working to a budget and a deadline without sacrificing the quality.

Challenges with integration

The part of your project that is being taken care of externally will still need to be integrated into the work being done by your internal team.