Staff augmentation is the use of external personnel to scale the number of staff temporarily within an organization. Essentially the scaling of staff for a business is provided by third-party service providers also known as business process outsourcing (BPO) companies. Moreover, BPO companies’ term for staff augmentation is hourly and projects, it is a pay-by-the-hour or pay-per-project service for companies looking to augment their staff during seasonal demand or projects. 

Staff augmentation leverages various solutions for businesses that include increasing the capacity of the workforce to fulfill temporary spikes in tasks, onboarding non-permanent professionals for their specific skill sets to bridge the gap while hiring a permanent team and achieving the strategic goals of the company within a short time frame. The benefit of leveling the playing field when the need arises, considering that internal and external factors are involved. 

In fact, with the popularity of staff augmentation services has gone up because of the pandemic, it’s forecasted that the industry will register an incremental spend of about $81.87 billion. Furthermore, the industry’s compounded annual growth rate for the next 5 years is 3.53%. This reflects the ongoing need for companies to outsource their various processes and services to BPO companies, which will be discussed later on. 

Before we delve into the specifics of Staff Augmentation, here’s the list of companies from several industries that are doing resource augmentation: 

  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Unilever
  • Coca-Cola 
  • JP Morgan Chase Bank 
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • Toyota
  • Slack 
  • Alibaba Group

Signs You Need To Consider Resource Augmentation

As pointed out previously, even the biggest companies outsource some of their services or processes to outsourcing providers. What more for small to mid-sized businesses that have a limited profit margin? It’s crucial to understand that outsourcing brings forth economical solutions such as cost-effective services, time-saving solutions, and expertise,

to the otherwise rather expensive overhead of having to retain staff during low seasons. 

There are significant signs to monitor before you consider resource augmentation: 

  • Seasonal projects that need additional staff
  • Skill gaps/talent beyond country standard
  • Top priority projects for onshore staff
  • Prevent staff burnout
  • You want to scale for less overhead

Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation, like any other organizational strategy, comes with its pros and cons. It’s important to note that before starting the process of hiring a staff augmentation provider which is another term for BPO. Crucially, assessing the viability of an augmented staff must take precedence over the rest. Whether or not, having one onboard is the best fit for an organization. 

Pros

  1. Competent augmented staff can quickly adapt and add value to a project. 
  2. Expedited hiring process. 
  3. Can streamline several processes within the organization through various lines of expertise.
  4. Scalability with the number of staff depends on the demand. 

Cons

  1.  Language barriers in terms of hiring offshore staff. 
  2. Time zone differences. 
  3. Cultural differences. 

3 Types Of Staff Augmentation

  1. Commodity 

This type of staff augmentation does not require specific nor specialized skill sets to perform various tasks. For Example; Factory workers or warehouse personnel, retail, events, and other menial tasks. 

  1. Skill-based

Requires a certain amount of skill and educational attainments such as a Bachelor’s degree. For Example; Clerical work, data processing, transcription, and linguistic skills.

  1. Highly-skilled 

Requires an advanced level of skills and knowledge in specific areas of expertise. In this type of augmented staff, skill sets take precedence over the rest to fulfill extensive projects. For Example; Embroidery engineers, sales and use tax specialists, software engineers, blockchain developers, and contract lawyers. 

Staff Augmentation Process

The initial process for staff augmentation starts with researching a capable manpower service provider that understands the current need of the company. Get in touch with a BPO company to find out which one can provide precisely what you need for the best price. Provide a list of your requirements, and the roles you need. The sourcing of the right staff for you requires a BPO company that is well-versed in evaluating what is needed to get a project done. Train them with the processes, and company culture and provide continuous support once they’re onboarded. 

multicultural businesspeople shaking hands after meeting with colleagues in office

The Bottom Line 

Staff augmentation is a proven model that organizations can utilize to increase the adaptability and flexibility of their services. Reacting quickly to the changing needs of each industry, staff augmentation had become a reliable support system, considering that numerous industry giants with the likes of P&G, Coca-Cola, and JP Morgan Chase Bank had been doing resource augmentation for many years, then why shouldn’t you?