Hire Dedicated Developers: Staff Augmentation Guide
You have a great idea for a new web or mobile app. Before you start building, you need to put together a strong development team. And not just any developers will do - you need experienced, talented, and dedicated developers who will be a good fit for your project. But how do you find them?
You can either choose to hire dedicated developers in-house, outsource your project to a software partner, or augment your internal team. We have two detailed guides on How to hire the best front-end developers and How to choose a software development partner - we highly suggest checking them out!
But in this blog post we’re turning our attention to (drum roll 🥁) Staff Augmentation.
Table of Contents
- What is Staff Augmentation? Is it right for you?
- What are the pros and cons?
- How is staff augmentation different from outsourcing?
- Choosing staff augmentation vendor: Things to consider
- Hire dedicated developers: on-site vs remote
- Freelancers vs Hire Dedicated Developers
- Hire Dedicated Developers: 6 steps to augmenting your team
- Key takeaways
What is Staff Augmentation? Is it right for you?
Staff augmentation is an outsourcing strategy that involves hiring extended team members to increase your business’ internal capacity. There are different use cases where you can leverage staff augmentation:
- Lack of resources to meet demand due to seasonal fluctuations or periods of high growth
- Looking for specific skill set and expertise, ex: when entering new markets or developing a new feature
- Looking for temporary expert input, ex: designing a new product
- Closing in on a deadline
Ultimately, whether or not staff augmentation is right for your business will depend on a range of factors including your staffing needs and budget constraints.
Whether you are considering staff augmentation for the first time or simply looking for more information about how it can benefit your bottom line, there are a few key things you should keep in mind when evaluating this approach.
What are the pros and cons?
Staff augmentation can be an extremely cost-effective way to hire dedicated developers, as you only pay for the hours they’ve worked. It also reduces a company’s administrative overhead costs such as paying for software licences, office rent, employee turnover and so on.
- Highly flexible
Staff augmentation is a highly flexible approach to hiring and managing employees. Because it relies on the use of temporary workers who are brought in for a specific project or need, this method allows companies to scale up or down as needed.
Whether you need to hire dedicated developers for a one-time project or you want to replace someone who has left mid-year, staff augmentation can be a great option for meeting changing business needs.
- Time saver
Staff augmentation can dramatically reduce the time typically associated with hiring in-house employees. From sourcing suitable candidates to onboarding and training, the entire process can easily take several months.
Even though having an in-house development team also has its benefits, it’s a lengthy process that often results in lost productivity and revenue opportunities. With staff augmentation, you can bring in a dedicated developer in just a matter of weeks.
Finally, augmenting your team gives you access to a variety of skills and expertise, empowering you to achieve more in less time.
- Upfront investment
Although staff augmentation can be cost-effective, it can also get quite expensive depending on your needs. Typically, when you contract extended staff members, you need to pay an initial fee or deposit.
Additionally, if the project ends up taking more time than anticipated or you hire more developers than you need, it can also get costly in the long run.
- Internal structure
There is typically some degree of internal restructuring required to ensure that everyone is working effectively together and that your temporary team members are well integrated into existing systems and processes.
You need to put in place strong mechanisms for collaboration and feedback. Establish clear lines of communication for resolving any issues and concerns to maintain morale and make sure the project can move forward without interruptions.
- Management & supervision
Staff augmentation requires some additional project management to ensure that everything goes smoothly. You need to make sure your dedicated developers are motivated and have everything they need to be productive.
This can be particularly challenging for small businesses who may not have the resources to assign a full-time project manager to oversee external hires.
How is staff augmentation different from outsourcing?
Outsourcing involves contracting out certain projects or functions to specialised service providers. The main difference to staff augmentation is that with outsourcing you leave the project completion and management process in the hands of the vendor.
While both are viable strategies with their advantages and disadvantages, there are some situations in which one option may be more suitable than the other.
For example, if you have a specific project in mind that requires a very specialised skill set, it may make more sense to outsource the development. These types of projects can be difficult to find specialists for internally and therefore can often be completed faster and more reliably with a well-established software house.
In contrast, if you need extra capacity or want an agile team that can adapt easily as your project requirements change, a staff augmentation model may be better suited. Staff augmentation would make more sense in cases where timelines are flexible or external resources will only be needed intermittently over a period of time.
Ultimately, whether staff augmentation or outsourcing is the right approach depends on a number of factors including company size and budget as well as strategic priorities and industry dynamics.
Choosing staff augmentation vendor: Things to consider
- Geographical location
There are three different types of staff augmentation models when it comes to geographical location: onshore, nearshore and offshore. Companies can choose whether they would like to hire dedicated developers from the same country, neighbouring countries or overseas.
👍 Working with a team of dedicated developers in the same country eliminates any language, cultural and time zone barriers.
👎 This is usually the most expensive option and it also narrows down the pool of talent you get access to.
👍 You can consider nearshore as a compromise model. You get to work with a team usually within the same time zone and cut down on costs associated with the onshore model.
👎 It’s relatively more expensive than offshoring, and you can encounter some cultural differences.
👍 You get access to varied skills and expertise at a reduced rate.
👎 You must consider any potential issues related to language differences and cultural norms, as these can impact communication, especially when people are collaborating on projects over long distances.
- Pricing models
If you’re considering staff augmentation as a business strategy, you’re likely looking at the numbers. Depending on the complexity and duration of the project as well as how many developers you need, staff augmentation services can vary widely in terms of price.
There are two popular pricing models. One involves charging a flat or a project-based fee for the total number of hours worked by developers who are assigned to the project. This option is suitable for bigger projects with set timeline and budget.
You can also pay an hourly rate, also known as time and material (T&M) model, for the time worked by each developer. This is more suitable when you don’t know how long a given task or project will take to complete, since you only pay for the developers you need for as long as you need them.
- Tech stack
Before contacting potential staff augmentation vendors, you need to determine the tech that you need. This would massively influence which vendor to choose, or the process to hire a dedicated developer.
There are a variety of factors that go into selecting the right tech stack for your project, including speed and scalability, security, and compatibility with existing tools and systems.
For example, if speed and efficiency are important considerations for you, then a server-side framework like Node or Ruby on Rails may be the way to go. On the other hand, if your main focus is creating beautiful visuals and smooth interactions, you might want to explore options like React or Angular.
Hire dedicated developers: on-site vs remote
Some companies prefer to have dedicated on-site developers who work directly with the rest of the team in person. From a cost perspective, on-site developers will likely be more expensive than their remote counterparts. However, there may be other benefits that offset this higher cost.
For example, companies whose team members directly interact with each other often see increased productivity and faster speeds of communication. This kind of interaction not only helps with workflow and efficiency, but it also encourages collaboration and strengthens team morale.
Alternatively, you can opt for remote developers who work from their own office or home. While either approach has its benefits, in many cases hiring remote developers may be the more cost-effective and flexible option.
Remote workers have less overhead costs than on-site employees. They often have a higher degree of autonomy, meaning they are well-suited to work on complex projects with minimal supervision. They are also able to offer more competitive rates since there are no additional costs involved with remote working.
Freelancers vs Hire Dedicated Developers
Freelancers can be a great option for smaller projects with limited budgets. They generally have a wide range of skills and experience, so they can often get things done quickly and offer affordable rates. Additionally, they may be more flexible in terms of scheduling and working hours than larger teams.
However, there are also some downsides to hiring freelancers. Independent developers may not always prioritise the needs of your project above their other commitments. If you're working on a tight deadline or need constant support throughout the process, then working with freelancers may not be the best solution.
It may also be difficult to find skilled freelancers who offer the level of expertise you need for your specific requirements.
Freelancers are typically hired on a project-by-project basis, and they work with a wide variety of clients in different industries. By contrast, dedicated developers work exclusively for one company or organisation, typically on long-term contracts.
One major benefit of working with dedicated developers is the level of experience and expertise they bring to the table. Dedicated developers tend to have a much deeper knowledge base and expertise in specialised areas, so they are adept at tackling challenging problems.
Additionally, since they are constantly working with the same team of people, they can quickly adapt to changing requirements and collaborate effectively with others.
Hire Dedicated Developers: 6 steps to augmenting your team
Augmenting your internal team can have major advantages for businesses with the right execution and proper planning.
To ensure you are getting the most benefit while minimising risk and avoiding any potential pitfalls down the road, we have outlined the process of hiring dedicated developers through the staff augmentation model step by step:
1. Define your goals
You need to identify what you are trying to achieve before you can design an appropriate strategy. Think about the specific skills and experience that your company needs in order to grow and succeed, or about the type of culture and team dynamics you are hoping to cultivate.
Whatever your objectives might be, defining them early on in the process is critical for a successful outcome. With clearly defined goals as your starting point, you will be better able to approach potential vendors and choose the right candidates for your team.
2. Find and evaluate vendors
There are many different considerations when evaluating potential vendors. Some of the key factors to look for include the vendor's track record for quality service and prompt response times, as well as their knowledge of your specific industry or niche.
Another important factor is the cultural fit. You want to find a company that understands your needs and can see your success as their own.
Ask yourself this:
- Does the vendor have a proven history of successfully delivering quality staff augmentation results for businesses in my industry?
- Is the vendor willing and able to provide reliable support?
- Do they share similar values and a culture you feel aligned with?
In addition, you should consider the vendor's price point relative to their level of expertise, as well as other intangible factors like terms of payment or flexibility with regards to scheduling.
It’s important to approach the process from multiple angles and make an informed decision based on all available information.
3. Discovery call
During a discovery call, you will typically engage in an introductory conversation with a potential vendor to discuss more about your staffing needs and explore how their services can help to address those needs.
This information is crucial for the vendor to determine which candidates would be the best fit for a particular role and what kind of compensation package would be appropriate.
Furthermore, discovery calls will give you an opportunity to get to know the vendor better, ask questions, and voice any concerns or reservations you may have.
Make sure to ask any prospective staff augmentation providers:
- What delivery models do they provide, and how do they respond to change in requirements?
- How do they select the developers who will be assigned to your team?
- How do they handle communication and reporting? How often will you receive updates? What methods and tools will be used?
Discovery calls help to make the entire staff augmentation process run more smoothly and effectively by providing key information that allows both parties to move forward with confidence.
4. Final arrangements
Once you have moved on from the discovery phase, it is time to determine and agree upon all terms of your agreement. During this process, you and the staff augmentation provider will decide who will join your team, how long they will be needed, who will oversee their work, and more.
You will also meet the candidates to make sure they have the right skills, expertise and are the right fit. Then, it’s time to wrap up all of the logistics involved with bringing on new dedicated developers.
At this point, all that remains is putting new staff members through onboarding training so that they are ready and able to start working at full capacity in no time. This process involves providing them with the tools and resources they need to get up to speed on the mission and goals of the project and your business.
You should foster a collaborative environment where your full-time employees and temporary team members can get to know each other and establish a strong foundation for teamwork and success. Effective onboarding is key to building a cohesive culture where everyone in the team has a shared sense of purpose and direction.
6. Ongoing support
Once onboarding is complete and your new remote employees have been successfully integrated into your workflow and the project, regular performance updates are usually put in place to ensure objectives are consistently met.
Staff augmentation is a great way to hire dedicated developers for your project without the headaches of a traditional hiring process. You get access to specific skills and expertise, and that extra set of eyes and hands you need on your team - without committing to full-time, in-house employees.
However, staff augmentation is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Like with any business strategy, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. While this approach provides extra flexibility and cost savings, it also requires some initial planning and the right set-up to make it work.