How to Choose the Right Staff Augmentation Team for Your Needs

Liz Alton

As technology explodes and companies rely more on technological solutions to solve a host of challenges, one problem looms under the surface: there’s a shortage of IT talent. Gartner predicts that 75% of organizations will experience visible disruptions in infrastructure and operations due to technology skill shortages by 2020. The context of doing business has also become more complex, with overseas offices, multiple locations, data needs that reach across the organization, highly specialized skills requirements, and short-term projects.

Whether you’re a startup that’s working to get a new project off the ground or a global Fortune 500 looking for staff solutions in a foreign market, staff augmentation can help. Here’s a high-level guide to help you choose the right staff augmentation provider for your needs.

What Do You Need Help With?

Staff augmentation helps you access the IT talent needed for your projects. Your vendor manages recruitment, training, and communication, but they interact directly with your team for tighter alignment and agility. Start your search for a staff augmentation partner by outlining your goals: do you need support with a specific project, ongoing staffing challenges, or solutions in a given market?

What kind of skills, experience, and projects do you need help with? Staff augmentation can lend a hand with everything from hardware to data backup and recovery, smart hands support, consulting, and application support. Accurate project scoping will help you identify a provider that can work to your unique specifications.

Does the Provider Serve Your Regional or Global Markets?

Where will you need help? Whether you’re working in a remote part of the U.S. or in multiple global markets, it’s important to confirm that a potential provider has expertise and contacts in that market. If you’re global, look for staff augmentation providers with a global reach. Coordinating staff across different regions or staffing partners adds unnecessary layers of complexity. Working with a partner that has resources in your key markets simplifies the process. Explore what systems they have in place to scope projects, identify needs, hire staff in different countries, and facilitate logistics and languages challenges.

How Does the Provider Structure Their Account Communications?

Staff augmentation helps solve an IT staffing issue. Managing IT talent shouldn’t create new challenges. When choosing a staff augmentation partner, it’s important to consider how they manage communications. For example, if you are seeking assistance in two countries, will you deal with different account managers? In other cases, companies that need a portfolio of services may find they’re dealing with different points of contact when bringing on workers with different skillsets. Complex communications quickly erode the benefits of staff augmentation. Look for a provider that offers a central point of contact for all your needs. Not only will they come to understand your firm, but you’ll have a simplified communication structure when questions, problems, or new projects arise.

Are Their Contracts One-Size-Fits-All?

Companies often find that staff augmentation providers have a single approach to doing business. Every deal follows one specific template, and one-size-fits-all solutions. Yet the reality is that every company, every project, and every job requisition is unique. Look for a solutions provider that’s willing to get creative, develop a customized scope of work, and deliver what you need. In most cases, a one-size-fits-all solution won’t offer you the results, flexibility, or savings that make staff augmentation attractive in the first place. The right provider will work with you, your immediate priorities, and then support you as your business grows and your needs evolve.

Can They Efficiently Meet Your Timelines?

Logistically, make sure that the staff augmentation companies you talk with can meet your timelines. How fast and agile is their execution? Waiting 60 days to fill a priority role, for example, isn’t cost effective. Staff augmentation should enable you to move projects forward quickly. There are several ways to evaluate. What does their network look like? How long do they quote a solution? How do they handle internal discussions around process changes or new business opportunities? Does their speed of communication at this stage reflect the speed you need? Choose an agile, efficient, and customer-focused partner that delivers results at the speed your business demands.

The right IT talent can help your business reach its goals quickly, and keep your core systems operating at top capacity. Staff augmentation can help you solve tricky IT talent hiring issues. It all begins with finding the right partner. Answering these questions can help you identify a provider to meet your needs today and tomorrow.

Ready to learn more about staff augmentation?

Liz Alton is a B2B technology and digital marketing writer and content strategist. She has worked with a variety of brands including Google, Twitter, Adobe, Oracle, and HP, and written for publications including Forbes. She is a regular contributor to Connected, Connection’s official blog.