Staff augmentation comes in all shapes and sizes but generally has two time periods in which it is deployed: short-term staff augmentation and long-term staff augmentation.
But when does short term flow into long term? And when exactly does expanding capacity short term make more sense to deploying longer term staff augmentation?
Long term staff augmentation
Long term staff augmentation is geared towards situations where you need supplemental staff to be working for your business for a longer period of time – in general this means expanding staff capacity for six months or longer.
The most common times – and the most ideal times – when a business would look towards long-term staff augmentation include:
- The responsibilities of the job are so niche that it would take such a long time to discover and recruit for one particular position. This reaches acute levels when the job position you are looking for is urgent; when the work is literally waiting to be done.
- When there is a clear skill gap in the company; where your current crop of employees are lacking a specific talent area to implement in a project or ongoing bunch of projects.
- When the job role is going to be very expensive. Staff augmentation is, simply put, cheaper than full-timers, given the extras costs that come along with hiring full-time staff. And so staff augmentation has the benefit of reducing costs for when you are looking to hire a person with a specific skill set long term.
Short term staff augmentation
Short term staff augmentation is geared towards situations where you need to supplement your current crop of staff for a shorter period of time – in general this means temporarily expanding your capacity between a few weeks to a few months.
The most common situations in which a business would look towards short-term staff augmentation include:
- Specific projects that require specific skills that are going to be core to complete a successful project. After such a specific project, it will be unlikely that you’re going to need those skills in many other projects.
- It’s peak season for the business which means that you would greatly benefit from expanding your capacity for the short term. Take advantage of the moment and scale with the seasons. This also implies a more agile approach to business meaning that once over the peak of the business season there is no need to let full-time staff go. With staff augmentation, these skilled workers know exactly how long they’re going to be deployed for. And once peak season is over, the business scales back.
- When your staff is on vacation or on sick leave – or other types of leave like maternity leave – it is necessary to bring in temporary staff to fill in the gaps for a certain, short-term period of time. Only then can you keep pace with the same level of productivity.
As an example, a business wants to replatform their ecommerce website from Magento to Salesforce Commerce Cloud. It already has one or two devs on its roster but to truly implement the project it needs 4-5 more devs that are highly skilled in ecommerce replatforming and has plenty of experience doing them. Then that business may want to consider short-term staff augmentation before reanalyzing their situation at the end of the replatforming project.