What are the Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation?
Thinking about expanding your capacity for Salesforce Commerce Cloud development?
Staff augmentation is a flexible staffing model that is designed to supplement your workforce with a temporary highly-skilled team that bolster your ranks and enable you to close out projects in cost-effective ways.
Staff augmentation has become an increasingly popular choice for businesses particularly in times of uncertainty when agility and flexibility are core strengths to flex to meet changing customer needs and the broader market dynamics.
These short-term specialists tend to be fulfilled through a staffing agency or through a technology consultancy that offers capacity services for their specific specialisms. For example, us! ArganoUV has broad technology capabilities from ecommerce platforms and content management systems to back-end and front-end tech, but our specialties are Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) and Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), in which we offer SFCC staff augmentation and AEM staff augmentation.
Of course, there are other staffing models that compete with staff augmentation, such as offshoring, onshoring, and nearshoring. But that’s a whole new other story – actually, it’s a whole other article that we’ve covered, on the differences between staff augmentation and offshoring!
Although staff augmentation provides multiple benefits, just like with any staffing solution it holds clear advantages as well as disadvantages. And these are what we’re going to cover right now.
The pros of staff augmentation
Staff augmentation offers various solutions for existing teams on a short-term basis. Among these strengths include:
1. Try out potential workers
There are times when hiring new employees for short-term projects turns into long-term projects. Through staff augmentation, businesses can try out potential team members as they fit into its working environment to see if there’s enough work to warrant hiring them on a permanent basis.
The pandemic has demonstrated the necessity for businesses to work with agility. Being able to scale upwards or downwards depending on demand helps manage any turbulent waters that a business may find itself in. Staff augmentation adds resources where they’re needed, and lessens the impact of potential worries about layoffs.
3. Lessens the need for training
When you onboard new employees it requires time to train them. When you do a staff aug, you’re expanding your capacity in as seamless a way as possible. And so the onboarding process, as well as the time it takes to assimilate, is squeezed, which lessens the time it takes for the temporary specialists to adapt.
4. The expertise
When a project requires a specific skill that your current team doesn’t possess, a staff augmentation supplements that team with highly-skilled pros that simply come in to assist in the short term and are soon on their way once the project is launched.
5. Cut down on costs
Employees typically cost 1.25 to 1.4 times the salary when you account for the suite of benefits that are typically offered. When you hire temporary staff there are generally no such benefits to take into account, which ultimately squeezes the cost and overhead.
6. Faster harmony
When businesses take on new employees, those already working may feel varying levels of insecurity or threatened, particularly if new employees possess the same skill set as them. Through staff augmentation, it can remove these potential insecurities from your existing team members.
The cons of staff augmentation
This is a pretty good list of strengths of staff augmentation. Yet they don’t fit for every company and for that matter every work scenario. Issues can grow if staff augmentation is not handled properly, or when short-term work turns into long-term projects. Among the disadvantages include:
1. Higher long-term cost
If increasing your capacity turns into a longer-term project than you had expected then it could run up more labor costs – after all you’re paying highly-talented people to come in and supplement your existing team. But like everything in life, this can be negotiated with the agency that you’re working with.
One of the strengths of staff augmentation is the reduced time of onboarding, but it still takes time to introduce them to your company – like any other type of new worker whether they’re permanent employees or offshore workers and everything in between.
3. Added processes
When any type of worker joins a company there is an expansion in the resources for oversight and the processes of how the team works. This applies to a full-time employee as well as a temporary worker.
4. Lack of internal knowledge
Particular projects may require previous knowledge connected to the work or client they’re working with, which only existing members of staff will know. Anyone new to a project like that will need some time to catch up to speed. Having said that, good agencies that provide staff aug services will do their homework and will fill in this knowledge gap as much as possible during the recruiting process. (ArganoUV always does its homework.)
Is staff augmentation the right model?
Before choosing staff augmentation, it is important to review it and compare competing staffing models such as onshoring, offshoring, nearshoring, expanding your full-time staff, etc.
Assess and define what where your company is, where you want it to be, and what it’s going to take to bridge that gap. If you’re confidently expanding into new horizons then would it be better to hire permanent employees? Or are you sure of your size and need backup for a particular project only? What are your estimated timelines on a project? And for that matter what’s your budget? All are questions that will be channeled into making the most relevant decision for the business.
Hopefully these clear examples of the advantages and disadvantages of staff augmentation will go some way in nudging you in the right direction.
PS: ArganoUV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce Commerce Cloud & Adobe Experience Manager staff aug teams. Contact us to see how we can work together.