IT Staff Augmentation: How Does It Work & How to Choose a Reliable Company

IT Staff Augmentation: How Does It Work & How to Choose a Reliable Company - 4
Paul Francis

For many companies today, IT staff augmentation has become one of the most popular cooperation formats. It can become a great solution for different situations, such as talent shortage, high cost of hiring IT professionals, and many more.

For more than a decade, UVIK has helped over 100 companies across the world access first-class specialists while reducing the hiring hassles.

Keep on reading to discover what is staff augmentation model, what benefits it covers, and how to make the most of augmenting experts for your team!

What Is the IT Staff Augmentation Model?

Staff augmentation in IT is an outsourcing strategy in which companies hire tech talents to cover the necessary positions in their teams. Businesses can effectively scale their team and choose candidates based on their requirements and needs. Additionally, the team augmentation model helps to reduce the costs and hassle of hiring full-time staff members, leaving more opportunities for workflow optimization.

Staff augmentation in IT is also valuable because of the expertise of candidates it offers. Traditionally, your outsourcing staff augmentation partner determines the knowledge and skills required for in-house teams and complements them with the right IT professionals. This allows companies to tackle the talent shortage and improve the performance of their internal team.

Why Should Companies Use Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is a flexible way to outsource skilled IT resources and manage them as part of your internal IT team. Being employed by a staff augmentation vendor, this process reduces the company’s cost, time, and effort of engaging full-time staff members.

Offshore and nearshore staff augmentation services have many lucrative benefits for companies of any range and scope. The core advantages include:

  • Hiring qualified professionals to work for you remotely
  • Lower prices compared to local hiring rates
  • Larger talent pool from across the globe
  • Lots of tech graduates with the fresh ideas and advanced skill sets, who are ambitious to enter the industry
  • The ability to scale your in-house team and effectively allocate the labor resources

IT staff augmentation in Eastern Europe is literally a lifesaver for thousands of companies today. If you’re concerned about cost efficiency, outsourcing software development services to Ukraine is the best choice for your company. According to Gartner, Ukraine is the CEE leading region for the price/quality ratio. Hourly rates of Ukrainian tech experts range from $25 to $80, which is half of the price when compared to the US or UK market. So, you can get first-class software for the most reasonable costs!

What other aspects make Ukraine an attractive option for many companies today?

185,000 developers4,000 tech companiesIT is Ukraine’s second largest exportThe largest exporter of IT in Europe
There are more than 185,000 developers in Ukraine. The numbers are expected to grow to over 200,000 tech specialists entering the tech industry by the end of 2020.Ukraine is home to over 4,000 tech companies operating in the market. Among them, over 1,600 companies specialize in software development services.Ukraine’s IT industry is the country’s second-largest export sector. Outsource services account for the majority of the sector, with many foreign companies reaping the benefits of Ukraine’s vast tech talent pool.According to UNIT.City, Ukraine is the largest exporter of IT services in Europe. Ukrainian exports of IT services are expected to be $5.4 billion in 2020 and $8.4 billion in 2025.

Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation Services

Before you start the company transformation, it’s useful to discover the main benefits of staff augmentation.

In fact, team augmentation is extremely useful, especially for the IT scope. Let’s now review what companies and their in-house teams can get with this approach.

IT Staff Augmentation: How Does It Work & How to Choose a Reliable Company - 5

High Productivity Level

With staff augmentation, you can get first-class professionals ready to jump into the project from day one. The developers are fully dedicated to your project and contribute 100% of their time to cooperating with your in-house team.

IP Rights Security

The augmented team works under your control. So, there’s no need to worry about the IP rights – all they are yours.

Flexibility

You’re completely free to scale your team according to your needs. Additionally, it’s much easier to replace a developer, since you can access a giant talent pool and hire the best ones across the world.

Cost Efficiency

Unlike other models, with staff augmentation, you’ll only pay the fees according to the augmented staff’s contract. Your vendor will handle all the administrative and organizational expenses

Your Project Is the #1 Priority

Many developers are eager to influence the development process and contribute to projects. And the staff augmentation model is a perfect chance to set up productive cooperation!

Access to a Larger Talent Pool

Gone are the days when you are tight to the local developers solely. Staff augmentation offers to access a large employee pool, allowing you to pick up the best developers for any project. Regardless of the location and time zone!

No Need to Train Developers

With the augmented team, you’ll get professional, experienced employees that are ready to get started right away.

Drawbacks of the Staff Augmentation Model

Nevertheless, every hiring model has its drawbacks, and staff augmentation is no exception. Discover more about the staff augmentation challenges, and how to turn them into benefits below!

IT Staff Augmentation: How Does It Work & How to Choose a Reliable Company - 6

The Risk of Poor Cultural Fit

Augmented staff may not always fit in with your company’s existing culture and working procedures. There’s always a learning curve before your contractors become fully familiar with the workflow. So, it’s important to hire people who share your company’s values and appreciate your working style.

When you hire remote specialists from UVIK, you’re free to hand-pick the members of your augmented team yourself. Consider as many interviews as you need to see if they are a good match for your business.

Not the Best Solution for Long-Term Projects

In the short term, the increased cost is offset by reducing expenses for hiring, turnover, and administrative fees. So, staff augmentation may turn out less cost-effective or even more expensive for a long-term solution.

Moreover, accumulated knowledge, skills, and information may be essential for your organization. When the remote staff leaves the team or is temporarily unavailable, you’re risking losing the essential information.

At UVIK, we’re proud to say many of our clients have stayed with us for years since we started in 2016. We’re committed to a long-lasting cooperation and the value we bring to their projects and businesses. You or your project manager can control task completion, while we take care of the rest. We’re always here to track and manage the payroll, talent engagement, and workplace. Regardless of their location and time zone, UVIK managers stay here to ensure the remote employees have all they need for work — at no added cost!

The Need to Rely on the Service Provider

In the staff augmentation model, remote staff members are employed by an outside service provider. It can take some time to find the right staff augmentation agency offering the right skill set for your project. And, you can always decide to stop the contract with the staffing vendor, or your remote employee can suddenly leave their job. In any of these cases, you may need to start over again with new people. Hence, you may end up spending more time and money rearranging things.

At UVIK, we start with understanding your project requirements and quickly integrate ourselves with your team to get the job done. Most of our employees have stayed and grown with UVIK for over 5 years. We know how important it is to maintain long-lasting relationships with your remote employees. That is why we take special care to retain each talent you hire with us! And in the rare case when you’re not satisfied with the recruited professional, UVIK will find a decent substitute, at no charge for the replacement!

The Added Complexity of Working Across Time Zones

Different time zones may become one of the major challenges with an offshore development team. You’ll want to schedule meetings, planning sessions, and reviews for the time when both your teams are available.

With UVIK, you can take advantage of the convenient UTC+2 (EET) time zone, which makes Ukraine a great destination for staff augmentation. We’re 7 hours ahead of the Eastern Time, 10 hours ahead of Pacific Time, and just 1–2 hours ahead of most European countries. Our developers are available 8 AM to 8 PM EET, so it will be easy for you to reach out to your Ukrainian engineers from any part of the world. Should the need be, we can adjust the working schedule of your augmented team to have more overlapping working hours with your on-site staff.

Various Management Challenges

Staff augmentation often comes with added costs for management overheads. You may need extra time and resources to supervise the increased number of people in your team. Some vendors may offer you to hire their project managers alongside the remote development team. Either way, it’s important that you have sufficient insight into what your augmented staff is doing and stay updated about each task in the process. If you lack relevant expertise or happen to have flaws in internal management, the augmented staff will be affected as well.

At UVIK, we make every effort to ensure seamless collaborations at all stages. We connect you directly with your remote developers and help you manage your augmented team yourself. Our experts will adapt to your management approach and show efficient ways to control all the development processes.

Who Provides Software Development Services?

Staff augmentation isn’t the only option for offshoring/nearshoring your development. If you feel that this model doesn’t fit you for some reason, consider the following other ways to source remote development talent.

Gig Platforms

On platforms like Freelancer, Upwork, or Guru, you can quickly find the relevant professional and start cooperation. Companies can hire freelancers at an hourly or fixed-price rate and discover the client reviews to set up the right expectations. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee of the quality of work produced.

On-Demand Talent Platforms

Platforms such as Toptal allow hiring specialists with niche skills across the industries. Besides the vetting process, you can also get faster talent matching your specific requirements.

However, talent platforms might have hidden costs and lack after-hire support.

Independent Contractors

This refers to an individual, business, or corporation providing IT services under a contract or a verbal agreement. Independent contractors often work as freelancers, but they typically engage with one client for a longer time frame. But, the lack of written agreement might turn out in overlooking specific aspects of cooperation – a notable drawback to know about.

Boutique Software Consulting Firms

These companies, such as UVIK, focus on providing high-quality niche services to several companies. Usually, these are small, industry-focused firms with deep specialized expertise, experience, and technical know-how to handle complex projects in specific areas and/or industries.

The main goal here is to establish strong, trustful relationships with their clients and fulfill their staffing needs. For these reasons, they’re believed to be the most trustworthy and efficient service providers in the software outsourcing industry

Captive IT Offshore Centers

Opening a remote R&D center from scratch in another country will be a fit if you:

  • Need to deploy a large team on a long-term basis
  • Want to access a wider tech talent pool
  • Know the legal system of the country, its cultural specifics
  • Ready to take on all associated risks and expenses

Having a full-fledged team working exclusively for you will almost certainly pan out well in the long run. But, it requires extreme effort, cost, and time in the long run, which is not always a good fit for the companies.

Staff Augmentation vs Other IT Cooperation Models

Are there any alternatives to staff augmentation? Of course! To help you better understand when to choose staff augmentation, let’s compare it to the other models you’ll probably want to consider.

Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services Model

In the managed services model, the dedicated team works on the same project independently of your internal team. Usually, with your own outsourced project manager who tracks the progress and reports to you or your in-house PMs.

The core difference compared to staff augmentation – you share the risks and responsibility for all the project-related aspects with your dedicated team.

Staff Augmentation vs Outsourcing

This model is results-centric – the service provider is fully responsible for implementation, maintenance, deliverables, and other related tasks.

The main difference between staff augmentation and project outsourcing is responsibility. With the first one, you have direct control over your team, while with outsourcing, you pass it to another company.

Staff Augmentation vs Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are self-employed entities that deliver a full service or system. That is why, with this model, you’ll only care about the deadlines agreed upon in the scope-of-work (SOW) contract.

Unlike in staff augmentation, here you don’t control the work process – only the outcomes.

How Do You Choose the Right Model?

With that much information, it might be hard to make the right choice. Will staff augmentation fulfill the exact expectations? Or the other model will be a better fit?

Here are some hints on when to choose each of the software development models.

ModelWhen You Need It
Staff augmentationIf you have an in-house development team BUT need an extra boost of talent for a specific project. For instance, if you lack new specific skills or need to speed up the development timelines.
Managed team servicesYou want to remain centrally involved and retain decision-making control over your project. BUT you lack technical expertise in the desired area and don’t want to manage a remote team on a day-to-day basis.
Project outsourcingIf you have an idea of what results you want to achieve, BUT don’t know how to get there. For instance, you don’t have a development team or resources for the specific project to be done.
Independent contractorIf you clearly understand your needs and goals, and simply need an extra set of skilled hands to get the job done.

How to Make the Most Out of Team Augmentation

IT team augmentation can provide a wide range of advantages if used wisely. Any business can get reduced operational costs, quick access to the latest technologies, and more flexibility to scale. But how to ensure the employee augmentation works at peak efficiency? Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your staff augmentation resources.

Ensure Transparent Communication

Communication is key to the success of any project, particularly those with remote developers. And, according to a study by Project Management Institute (PMI), at least one 1 of 5 projects fails at a certain stage because of missing it! Ineffective communication can discourage a business from its original goals, deadlines, and intentions.

When hiring a new developer or engineer, you need to set up clear and consistent communication practices too! This way, both in-house and remote employees are better engaged in teamwork and focused on the project. Make sure to check in with both teams on a regular basis and quickly address any concerns that may arise.

Also, keep in mind that getting offshore professionals provides a more diverse workforce. But how to ensure you’re getting the most out of each worker? The answer is simple: create a safe environment with the ability to share ideas, experiences, and knowledge. Employees become valuable once they feel motivated and inspired to drive the changes and improvements. This will help your teams create a shared vision of your project and increase productivity throughout the project.

When hiring offshore software developers from UVIK, we learn every aspect of your business and its processes. This helps to get a better idea of how to fulfill your needs before selecting candidates for the job. You can personally interview all prospects to see if their personality and skills are a match for your business. All our employees speak fluent English and share the same get-up-and-go attitude towards deadlines and goals.

Establish Clear Roles and Work Processes

Clearly defined roles and workflows make it easier to coordinate your team’s activities. For effective staff augmentation, both internal and remote developers understand their roles. Moreover, they are also aware of how they fit into the overall project and expectations to focus on. Still, it’s you who knows your project like no one else, and it’s up to you to set clear expectations for everyone involved in the project.

When you hire remote developers from UVIK, you have full control over your augmented team and all project activities. From the very beginning, we will work with you to understand your scope, objectives, requirements, and timeline. Our experts will adapt to your management style and deliver according to your in-house standards.

Here are a few effective project management tips and ideas to help you manage your team effectively:

  • Define the scope of each milestone in your project development
  • Create acceptance criteria for these milestones and how you will achieve them
  • Create technical specifications to explain what needs to be done and how
  • Perform quality assurance checks to ensure every build works as expected
  • Manage the delivery process to keep it in line with your time frame and budget
  • Review and give feedback to minimize the number of back-and-forth changes and motivate your team
  • Document your workflow to reduce ramp-up time and make it easier for augmented staff to integrate into the team

Embrace Management Tools and Technologies

Today, project management tools and technologies make it easier for teams to keep projects on track. Basically, they help to watch their progress at every stage of the development lifecycle. Such tools, for instance, can help you get the most out of your augmented team by getting insights into the workings. Professional management tools allow you to get a better picture across all project aspects in general. For the IT industry, that includes various processes, systems, technologies, and developers’ performance.

The developers you hire from UVIK are familiar with all popular management systems. They’ll adhere to your working and reporting procedures just as if they were working for you on-site.

Document Your Code

Software applications require constant updates and maintenance. Since any of these apps consist of billions of code lines, code documenting can become a really useful thing. This approach helps developers of different ranks to understand each other’s code, make updates, and scale in a timely manner. So, companies should make an extra effort to ensure that both in-house and augmented teams record their code at every stage of the project.

When you get an augmented development team from UVIK, you own all the code developed for your project and can use it at your own discretion.

Embrace Flexibility

Remote teams are much easier to manage if companies encourage flexibility. Luckily, today this can be optimized with Lean development and Agile principles! These approaches are designed to make teams more flexible and achieve the desired results. The Standish Group 2018 Chaos Report showed that Agile projects enjoy a 60% greater chance of success than non-Agile projects. Another good hack to embrace flexibility – is by encouraging feedback and ideas from all the members to get new ways to boost efficiency.

Companies that offer staff augmentation should always look for various optimization opportunities. At UVIK, we are deeply concerned about implementing Agile methodologies to enhance employee performance. Our major goal is to make sure we stay on the same page at all times with daily standups, code reviews, and retrospectives.

IT Team Augmentation Process Flow

​​When you cooperate with UVIK, your staff augmentation process flow will go as follows:

  1. Evaluating your needs. UVIK assistants will help you to define the weaknesses of your in-house team and main objectives. You’ll be able to set requirements for the skillset and speak out about the preferences you have. This information will help to figure out what candidates can best serve your objectives. Additionally, we will sign a strict NDA agreement to make sure your idea remains safe with us.
  2. Pre-selecting candidates. Here, we’ll put together a shortlist of potential candidates for your positions. Stay sure that you’ll get top-notch employees according to requirements and preferences set.
  3. Interview rounds. At this stage, you can screen and interview the specialists we pre-selected for you. Don’t worry, you can conduct as many personal interviews and test rounds as you need unless you’ll meet the ones. Make as many meetings as you need to find the right mix of knowledge, skills, and values right for your in-house team. The ultimate hiring decision is up to you, as well as the overall number of talents hired.
  4. Getting started. Once the employees’ list is finalized, it’s time to get them on board. Our experts will help your company to engage new team members in the workflow as quickly as possible. UVIK will always be here to share the tools and project-related knowledge they need.
  5. Ongoing support. So, the onboarding is complete and the developers are fully up to speed, what’s next? Here, UVIK provides multi-aspect administrative and office support for your offshore employees. Our managers will stay in touch with you throughout the project to tackle any issues you may have and help you to reach the best results.

As you can see, the staff augmentation process is pretty easy and straightforward. Regardless of the specifics of your business, its objectives, and industries – it will always have a similar model.

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Main Reasons to Choose UVIK

What makes us one of the most prospective IT staff augmentation vendors within the field? Let’s get it covered by reviewing the major reasons for choosing UVIK staff augmentation services!

Get Access to Senior-Level Engineers

We are not a hiring agency. All our developers are full-time employees at UVIK with proven knowledge, skills, and a broad portfolio of projects. All the engineers hired with us are top-tier senior experts with years of experience in the industry. They need a very short ramp-up time and can begin producing results right away. Moreover, it only takes about 7 days to assemble the team regardless of the situation and challenges your company has.

Quickly Scale Up & Down

With UVIK, you can scale your team up and down whenever you need without sacrificing time or quality. Our best experts will help to define the needs of the in-house team to create the most effective augmentation strategy for your company. We’ll help you to get the exact skills you need as your business grows or changes.

Save Up to 60% of Costs

With UVIK developers as your augmented team, you’ll only pay for the actual hours each developer worked on your project. We give accurate time estimates and deliver results without delays and budget overruns. Having UVIK as your remote team will cost you up to 60% less than having in-house employees. Our outsourcing rates are considerably lower than those of the USA and Western Europe.

Avoid Administrative Hassle

We also cover all overheads and administrative work — at no added cost. You won’t have to pay for interviews, infrastructure, onboarding, or human resource management. It’s all on us! Our account managers will take care of each aspect individually, including

  • Tech equipment
  • Infrastructure
  • Onboarding
  • Paychecks & taxes
  • Office management
  • HR process
  • Retention
  • Administrative duties and more

Conclusion

IT team augmentation is an excellent solution for IT projects or companies of any size. With UVIK, you can fill in the gaps in your in-house team and get powerful support regardless of your project type. Our flexible tech staffing solutions will help you to get extra minds and hands, saving considerable effort and time for the rest.

Contact UVIK’s best augmentation experts to start improving your in-house team today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Discover the most common questions about staff augmentation answered by UVIK experts!

How Does Staff Augmentation Work?

This outsourcing model uses temporary workers to help fill short-term or long-term job positions within a company. But, unlike traditional project outsourcing, full control over the team is handled by the company itself. This helps to share the risks between company and vendor while improving the workflow performance and outcome.

How to Choose the Right It Team Augmentation Vendor?

To select the right staff augmentation company, there are many aspects to consider. You need to assess the staffing needs and review the vendor’s experience and expertise. Also, it’s recommended to check its bio and the case studies of previous work examples. Ideally, it should operate within your target field: IT, hospitality, or healthcare.

Why Should I Try Staff Augmentation?

This model allows bringing high-qualified experts to your in-house team at lower costs. Additionally, you won’t need to invest in allocating your existing resources to the project, or to training new employees to do the job. Finally, it helps to enhance the workflow at the most reasonable time, effort, and cost input.

Staff Augmentation & Outsourcing: What Are the Differences?

With outsourcing, you hand over all the workflow to another organization. Regardless of the industry and scope of work, it can be risky and requires engaging top-notch vendors solely.

Staff augmentation allows getting highly-skilled and well-trained individuals to work directly under your current leadership. Your company will have full control of the project and direct oversight of your new, top-notch resources.

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