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How to evaluate the IT Staff Augmentation proposals?

Laura Villa Méndez
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Finding the right talent to develop the software a company needs might be complicated, that is why in order to find developers with those specific skills, solutions like IT Staff Augmentation are implemented. This model implies that the software engineers that are hired join a project and operate as a team with the internal employees of a company.  

Staff Augmentation allows companies to have access to experienced developers that have the skills they promptly need, while they control time and cost of labour. In order to achieve it, a qualified partner who offers these services is needed, which is why it will be necessary that you know how to correctly evaluate the proposals you might be presented with so you can get the talent to complete your goals. 

What does the best IT Staff Augmentation proposal must have?

The ones responsible for making IT related decisions must evaluate the fact that in the best proposals, the partners count with the following skills:

  • Being capable of deploying the staff quickly  

This is key in order to identify a good partner, since it will always have developers ready to start working immediately as well as the capability of presenting new candidates to your team in a few days. The provider of these services must count with a diverse staff, with high availability and response to recruitment.  

  • Offering developers that have the experience that the project requires

It is important to evaluate that the developer has the experience and skills that you need, such as the technical skills to develop a product’s code and, on the other hand, soft skills that grant him to be proactive and autonomous with his work. Developers also have to easily adapt to diverse working methodologies, such as Scrum, an agile methodology for development, delivery and maintenance of products. Also, it needs to be verified that the developers speak your language or that they have the minimum skills in order to communicate in languages like the English one. In the proposal, the partner needs to point out that he understands what you are looking for and that he can offer it. 

  • Offering developers who commit to a single project

Projects have a higher quality and the developer is much more efficient when he is committed to a single project. That is why, you need to make sure that, in the proposal, the developers or team that will be assigned to your company are 100% dedicated to your project, without any other workload.

  • Having a recruitment process based on skill tests, in order to find the best specialized talent 

You need to evaluate the recruitment process because it must be based on different skill tests for the developer. These tests must respond to each one of the dimensions necessary to cover the job position. You also need to have in mind that the partner needs to perform tests about the adaptation to the organizational culture, which are important in order to recognize if the developers share your company’s values and if they have or not the capabilities that make the adaptation to the work environment easier. 

Signs to identify a problematic staff partner

Not all the proposals you receive from the augmented IT staff partners will fit your needs or meet your expectations, which is why you need to discard the ones that do not meet the prior criteria. If it does not meet the requirements, it could affect the lack of highly qualified developers and unleash an urgent replacement of staff or developers, which would be a waste of time and money. There are a few signs that can alert that you’re dealing with a problematic partner, some of those are:

  1. It 's not flexible. When a partner seems to be not flexible in terms of adapting to your processes and working methodologies, most likely problems will come up. The purpose when a new team member enters a project is that he can easily join any workflow and start working immediately, without having any problem with the processes. 

  2. There’s not a quick response. This can be a problem when you want to subcontract staff abroad since you expect to have an efficient and quick response and also that your partner is receptive towards your inquiries. There are times in which this is due to the difference in time zones, which can significantly affect the communication, however, if you want a nearshore partner, in other words, one that has teams in countries that are located closer to yours, with a similar time zone, this one can offer a greater cultural affinity and alignment with your team’s.

  3. Does not offer staff of the best quality. If an augmented staff partner offers talent of the best quality, this staff you’re receiving needs to act accordingly. If the developers a partner gives you do not have the promised quality and do not meet the objectives, you need to alarm yourself and look for a partner that can prove he is trustworthy. In order to do so, you can read reviews and references from other clients on web sites such as Clutch and Glassdoor, in which many companies have a profile and users can leave comments and opinions of the services and projects the company has worked on, this so that you can make sure you receive the most qualified talent.

Finally

In order to obtain the talent you need in your IT project and stay within your budget, you need to evaluate the proposals of the potential partners, using all the criteria presented above. Don’t hesitate when requesting all your questions to be clarified and thoroughly review all the recruitment processes since not all the IT staff augmentation companies use the same ones and each possible partner can offer something different. 

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