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How to choose the right IT Staff Augmentation provider?

Laura Villa Méndez
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Currently, companies all over the world seek to reduce operating and management costs, a way of doing it is through projects’ subcontracting. Sometimes, when the companies’ internal teams can’t manage to achieve all tasks, or satisfy the real market needs, these companies spend a lot of time, money and effort in trying to make everything work correctly. One alternative is the staff augmentation, it is usually an effective solution to reduce the administrative burden and add expertise with less recruitment and training costs.

The staff augmentation model helps to fill in the gaps of skills within the companies and it allows for a flexible solution to the IT team’s formation.

How to know if Staff Augmentation is the right model?

Staff Augmentation is much more common in IT industries, but this model can help any company that requires trained human resources to perform specific tasks or projects in a short or long term. There are some important points that will help determining if the staff augmentation model is the right one for your company:

  • If developing a website or a mobile app to satisfy a business demand is sought and it is a short term developed project, in which you need complete and specific attention from the developers.

  • If you are working in a project that requires specialized knowledge that internal employees do not have.

  • When there are skill gaps in a company and they are clearly identified, it is possible to determine if the resource is needed long term or if it’s limited to a particular project.

What do you need to have in mind to choose the right IT Staff Augmentation service?

  1. Evaluating the recruitment processes: It is essential to count with a staff augmentation provider who conducts an exhaustive and detailed recruitment process. In the first place, your provider must perform a validation of the developer’s profile, soft skills and at times, also do language tests, mainly English (if you request so in your company). Following, cultural fit tests are also done to get to know how compatible a developer can be with the company that seeks to hire him. After that, ask the provider if he conducts technical tests, for instance, live coding or general tests through platforms such as testDome or HackerRank. It is even possible to find specific project implementation tests. When evaluating the recruitment processes, you will be able to know the expertise that the agency has to manage a project and the specific staff solutions of the resources it delivers. Ideally your staff augmentation partner adjusts the work arrangements to your organization’s requests and objectives.

  2. Evaluating the staffing needs: In order to know how to pick the right service for your company, you first need to evaluate its staffing needs and know what type of expertise your team needs help with. In this way, it will be easier to fill the gaps, with specific abilities. You can consult with your team to obtain an overall perspective of where you need to add those abilities. With this in mind, it will be easier to find the talent alongside an IT staff augmentation partner.

  3. Checking the expertise and knowledge: Before deciding who will be your staff augmentation provider, it is necessary to carefully check the services they offer and if those can really get to meet your company’s needs. You can consult previous clients and read reviews in which you can identify the satisfaction levels that other clients have towards their services. You can also directly request the provider you are interested in to present you case studies from previous clients. It is important that the staff provider’s potential engenders trust and has a wide expertise related to your industry, because if they do not have enough knowledge, they will not be the right one.

  4. Technical skills: The knowledge of the staff augmentation company has to be taken into account and make sure it has a clear understanding of the nature of the project and its requirements. Also, it should also be ensured that they count with the necessary technical skills to not cause any problems with the project’s results and quality. If the staff provider has the necessary capacities and skills to commit to your project, those should also be the abilities of the developers that will come to expand your team. Setting high expectations will help you find high technical capacities through different interviews and selection processes.

  5. Communication methods: You must have in mind how the communication with your staff provider is going to be like, since this is the key for projects to be delivered on time and that everything is being achieved as expected. If you have a properly established communication method, workflow won’t be interrupted and it will keep both parties up to date until the completion of the projects, without time frame or location being an issue. Good communication alongside the right tools make it possible to manage the business process and team performance and it will help face the challenges as long as they come up.

  6. Cultural differences and language: When augmenting your company’s staff with a remote team, you should have in mind that the subcontracted talent might have different cultural backgrounds, which is why your provider needs to make sure there will be a cultural and linguistic compatibility between the members of the internal team and the new resources. This makes part of your requests; if in your company your team speaks english and you require the augmented staff to also speak this language, it should adjust to those specific abilities you are looking for. This, nevertheless, is usually not an inconvenience, since all remote workers are hired to meet the characteristics seeked by the client and also, they quickly adapt to their requirements on a short term.

  7. Monitoring of quality and deliveries: It is essential that all of your work plans and methodologies are clear and transparent when following-up on the ongoing tasks and continuously monitoring the project and its advances. If you are going to augment the staff, this will be an extension of your team and will need your help. For example, a dedicated project manager can be selected to establish a plan that includes the foreseen project hours and expected results. On the other side, the staff provider should offer you exceptional support when you have a problem with the contracted developers. You should also ask yourself how frequently you will be receiving project updates, this with the aim of knowing in which way the provider is involved with the monitoring of the quality of the products and deliveries from the developers.

Choose an appropriate Staff Augmentation service for your company

In conclusion, you should know that you need a staff augmentation partner that adjusts correctly to your company’s staff requirements or to the needs of the project that you want to develop, in order to find and choose the right service, we’ve mentioned the most important points you need to have in mind, such as: evaluating recruitment processes, checking expertise and knowledge, technical abilities, their protocol of communication, monitoring of quality and deliveries, among others.

You also need to determine what exactly are your staff’s needs, what are your IT team’s flaws and how you can fill in those gaps with the right skills. If you are already sure that what you need is to augment your IT staff, you can now identify what is there to be evaluated in the one that will be your IT staff augmentation provider and partner.

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