In an ever-competitive economy, businesses are looking for traditional hiring alternatives to save on costs. Among the hiring approaches that companies consider include staff augmentation and consulting. It’s common for startups to compare both alternatives when determining how to best achieve their development goals and objectives.
The decision depends on various factors, including your current in-house team’s skills and capabilities, your current skill shortages, the company’s long and short-term goals, your project’s unique requirements, outcomes you expect to accomplish, and your budget. Some tech startups prefer to hire permanent staff, while others, prefer to bet on nearshore staff augmentation. Regardless of the choice, it’s imperative to understand first the difference between project-based consulting and staff augmentation.
What is staff augmentation?
Staff augmentation is when a company temporarily hires a professional resource to supplement its in-house team for a particular project. It differs from standard recruitment in that it only involves short-term goals/assets. The main takeaways are “temporary'' and “professional,” meaning that the workers aren’t permanent team members. They’re only compensated for the hours they put in, but their hourly rates tend to be higher than those of in-house employees. Still, your company saves money because they are ineligible for any benefits, including medical, paid holidays, and sick leave.
And since you’re hiring an expert resource, you do not have to waste resources training the temps because they already have the experience and expertise necessary to finish the project right away. Also, augmented staff are typically hired for projects with already laid-out parameters, instructions, and expectations.
Pros of staff augmentation
Cons of staff augmentation
When to employ IT staff augmentation
Staff augmentation is ideal for more established organizations seeking specific skills and flexibility to enhance their internal team’s capabilities or extra support to meet deadlines and increase their team’s productivity. So, you should opt for staff augmentation when you need to scale the development of an already established project, onboard staff, fast with minimal training, or need flexible talent based on particular demands.
Suppose your tech startup already has an in-house team of software engineers handling a significant project. Still, you want to scale your team to include more developers who will handle another product unit. So, you’d need to hire more software developers. But since hiring is a painstakingly long process, you can opt for software development staff augmentation. There has been a high demand for IT staff augmentation among tech startups to achieve business goals and catch up with competitors.
Alternatively, if you’re a startup working with a team to create high-end products, it can be hard to find the right talent, and you may have hired staff that didn’t meet your expectations. So, you can opt to recruit talent from other countries or regions. In such a scenario, staff augmentation may be the perfect solution.
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What is project-based consulting?
Project-based consulting is where a business onboards a specialized consultancy agency to handle a specific project. For example, a startup can hire an app development agency only to support its eCommerce’s mobile-friendly features. The consultancy agency can handle the technical support while you focus on networking and promotional campaigns.
While consulting may seem like losing control for businesses, it lets them focus on core business issues while relieving non-core ones. Project-based consulting services typically offer a broad range of services under one roof. They conceptualize and plan your project, from staffing to managing it and offering post-launch support. They’re ideal for businesses that need help establishing project guidelines, determining the required skills and capabilities, and sourcing the required resources to deliver the project expectations. Project-based consulting services also offer continuing supervision, feedback, and high organizational adaptation. Consulting agencies play a more significant role in determining project vision and scope, unlike augmented staff who join a project once the parameters have already been established.
Generally, consulting agencies offer clients set service packages. If you hire such an agency, you need to be aware of their flexibility in their services and how busy their workload is. Since they work with multiple clients at once, it can lead to delays in handling your project based on their availability. But since consulting services have the right experience and skills, they can help your business develop robust strategies necessary to manage projects and accomplish sustainable growth. Also, because they have experience from several companies and industries, they bring a refined, innovative approach and out-of-the-box thinking to meet and exceed your expectations. Plus, they have an objective viewpoint, giving your business access to mature and diverse ideas that your internal team can’t conceive.
Pros of project-based consulting
Cons of project-based consulting
When to employ project-based consulting
You can hire a project-based consulting service when you need strategic advice in a new field, resource commitment for a specific project, and support for industry standards and compliance.
Staff Augmentation vs. Consulting: What’s Suitable for Your Startup?
Now that we’ve compared staff augmentation vs. consulting, it’s time to understand what you should consider before choosing what’s ideal for your situation.
- Team members’ capabilities- First, evaluate your in-house team to determine their skill set, strengths, and weaknesses. Next, arrange a meeting and speak to your team, so you can understand what they need in terms of performance and workflow.
- Company culture- Consider the best fit for your company culture. Will your team be receptive to new staff taking charge of the project, or will it demotivate them? You obviously don’t want to demotivate your in-house team with your unilateral decision. And if your in-house team is not receptive, how do you ease their concerns and make sure that the collaboration between your internal team and the new staff goes smoothly? Encourage your internal team to share their opinions and thoughts to help you secure staff that not only meets your unique requirements but will also likely get along with your in-house team. Lowering the risk of conflict gives you a bigger shot at a successful project.
- Consider the firms- Do your market research to see the best firms to handle your project and their company culture. Project-based consulting and staff augmentation are external support, but they interact with your team members daily. So, it’s wiser to hire a team with the same work cultures and values.
- Budget- Budget is an essential factor to consider, provided both approaches are intended to help cut back on costs. Check to see if the project budget lets you hire various staff for the project (necessary for big projects) or if it’s enough to onboard a reputable consulting agency.
Start cutting your hiring costs today. Why TECLA’s nearshore staff augmentation service is your best option
Staff augmentation is one of the most common solutions when it comes to flexible hiring. The international staffing industry, one of the leading suppliers of staff augmentation talent, generates an annual spend of $490 billion. While it has become cheaper and easier to secure outsider talent, it can be hard to choose the best recruiting approach with the many options to choose from.
TECLA understands how daunting hiring can be, especially mid-project. If you’re looking to hire employees through nearshore staff augmentation, TECLA can help you find talented software developers. With over 10+ years in Latin America’s hiring scene and top of mind presence in 16+ countries, we connect you with top-tier talent at half the price. By leveraging our deep roots in the region, our smart matching technology and expert recruiting team, we have built a community of 20,000 software developers ready to join your team and achieve your goals. Kickstart your nearshore recruitment today!