How to Effectively Screen Talent Through Staffing Augmentation

October 4, 2022

Posted by: DevDigital

How to Effectively Screen Talent Through Staffing Augmentation

The cost of hiring new software development talent can be daunting. It can take a few weeks to hire a developer and even longer to get them working at full capacity. The time it takes also costs the company money. Yet, it is obviously true that companies need to hire new people. But hiring a freelancer or a full-time salaried employee is not right in every case. While staffing augmentation can be used for recurring needs, it is usually a strategy for filling project-based technical needs. In either scenario, IT staff augmentation has a few advantages over using a temporary staffing agency or hiring freelancers.

Advantages of Staffing Augmentation

Using staff augmentation saves time and money compared to hiring a full-time developer or a freelancer. Hiring a self-employed developer or User Interface (UI) expert on a contract basis offers the same cost savings as hiring a temporary worker, but with some potential disadvantages. You must find and screen candidates, which takes time. Staffing augmentation eliminates most of the legwork while also eliminating some other costs of hiring. As with a temporary staffing agency, the staffing augmentation firm takes care of overhead and HR tasks like payroll and taxes.

Finally, using a software developer’s staffing augmentation service can be a good precursor to hiring them for a large, long-term engagement. Whatever your strategic purpose may be, you still need to evaluate potential vendors against several criteria.

How to Find the Right Staffing Augmentation Firm

Many companies offer IT staffing augmentation along with their other design, development, and testing services. The first key step is to determine that you need outside talent and then settle on the skills and industry experience needed to complete the work. Consult with technical team members in the company to make sure you are searching for the right person, or the right people, to supplement the company’s IT department and complete the project. You also need to decide whether this is a full-time, temporary engagement or something else.

As with any other professional service, not all providers are great matches for every customer. If you want to augment your IT staff, screen potential vendors using these criteria:

  • Criteria 1 – Do they have experience in your industry?
  • Criteria 2 – What technology expertise do they have, and does it match your own tools and technologies?
  • Criteria 3 – How extensive is their geographic reach?
  • Criteria 4 – What are their security procedures like?

Some firms have small, if capable, local staff. Other development firms that do staffing augmentation have a large pool of coders with experience in a range of programming languages and development methodologies. Industry experience is valuable in quickly grasping the demands of a new project, as well as being important if your business operates in a heavily regulated industry like banking or healthcare. A company with a large and geographically dispersed staff may be better equipped to find someone who can round out their team and complete your project on time.

If you need expertise in a rare field like machine learning or data mining, you will want to review a prospective vendor’s project experience. Of course, viewing samples of their work is a good idea in any case.

How to Screen Talent

A few steps you need to take are common to any outsourcing effort. First, make sure you are clear on what skills or experience the role requires. Second, evaluate potential staffing augmentation firms to find a match. Third, decide if you want to hire one or more people, or if this is strictly a project-based engagement. In fact, that decision should be made early in the search.

Working through either a temporary agency or staffing augmentation firm is an effective way to screen potential hires, too. This is obvious enough when it comes to temporary staffing. Many times, the hiring manager knows or suspects the company will need to hire a full-time developer, for example. Working on a project on a temporary or project basis makes it easier to see if a certain person is a good fit.

Staffing augmentation is also a good way to test a new development model. For example, a company that offers online training, including self-paced courses and online workshops, would have some in-house development and quality assurance people. They may want to set themselves up for success in new E-learning projects by trying out a staffing augmentation firm to fill some short-term programming needs.

A Great Way to Find Tech Talent

Outsourcing development work is standard practice in many companies, especially in smaller companies or those that want to focus on work outside of IT. A staffing augmentation firm can fill in gaps in experience or technical knowledge, while the client can evaluate the developers as a potential fit for the company, either for a full-time role or additional contract roles.

DevDigital can support a wide range of software projects with our 170+ developers, project managers, and quality assurance (QA) team members.

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