Using Staff Augmentation to Overcome Talent Scarcity

October 9, 2022

Posted by: DevDigital

Using Staff Augmentation to Overcome Talent Scarcity

Businesses that have in-house IT departments, and even some development companies, can face hurdles in getting the talent they need. Sometimes you only need a certain specialist, like a .NET developer or a or a Java expert for a short time, for one part of a project. Staff augmentation is a service designed, in part, to help meet those critical, if temporary, needs. This service offers a couple of advantages to other strategies for overcoming skill gaps. Even if the supply of developers, data engineers, and user interface designers does not catch up with demand, there are good hiring options. Don’t let talent scarcity derail your development plans.

The Talent Gap in IT

Software jobs can be hard to fill, often taking over a month. The average time to fill an opening naturally depends on the role., With roles like junior software engineer and iOS developer, they’re going to be faster and easier to fill than a senior software engineer opening, for example. As with any job opening, filling IT roles takes time and labor. Using a development firm that offers staff augmentation cuts out some of the time and expense of searching for and interviewing applicants.

The picture is similar in the world of cloud computing. Finding someone with the necessary training in cloud computing or network architecture can be time-consuming. Demand for some of these jobs also outstrips supply, meaning that hiring will be a bit harder; When you find a suitable candidate, they may have another offer, or they may accept another offer before you can choose them.

Hiring a new person can be expensive in terms of time and money. This is probably the best argument for using an alternative to hiring someone full-time permanently. According to CodeSubmit, the cost to hire a new software developer can cost $29,000 to $36,000, including the time to get them oriented and working at full productivity. It can take 30 to 39 days to fill one of those openings. The cost to fill a role in a high-demand IT role like a software engineer or full- stack developer can be even higher. No doubt the situation is similar for many other IT specialties.

Sometimes investing that much time and money makes sense, but sometimes using other options makes better sense not only financially but also for the company’s business model.

Staffing Options

The gap between demand for certain skills and the supply of workers with those skills has one clear implication – flexibility is important. Insisting that all developers or QA (Quality Assurance) analysts or designers be full-time employees costs time and money that could be invested elsewhere. A temporary agency that specializes in IT openings may be able to find a user interface (UI) designer, for example. Freelance UI/UX people might be able to fill in. But you need to find them and evaluate their skill set, just to be sure they can take on your design project. A staffing augmentation arrangement draws on the in-house talent of a medium or large software development firm.

Development firms that do staff augmentation work one key benefit for companies that need software development help: a specialist firm probably has developers with the skills your project needs. This means outsourcing this way is relatively low- cost, and easier than finding and vetting freelancers.

When Staffing Augmentation Makes Sense

Deciding to go with staff augmentation versus using freelancer developers or a temporary agency should not be that difficult. Making the best decision requires considering a few variables. Assuming you have decided to get temporary help, the first step is to identify the skills you need. That should be easy to deduce from the project work you need help with. The skill gaps you identify might be minor, something that could be addressed through short online courses, for example. If that is not the case, staff augmentation of some type can make sense. The next thing to consider is scheduling. This should be easy to estimate based on relevant project work.

Consider a company that provides online software training. Of course, they have a small IT department, but they do not quite have the bandwidth and skillset needed to make the training platform as user-friendly as it might be. This is turning out to be a competitive disadvantage. They decided to make the platform mobile friendly, while also fixing some accessibility issues, and finally by allowing clients to create white label versions of the portal and software catalog. These updates are now a priority for the next quarter.

Their IT department might use a staffing augmentation firm to help them with their user interface updates and testing. Hiring someone and getting them working at full effectiveness may take more time and money than the project truly needs.

Software Development Firms Offer a Solution to Talent Scarcity

Talent scarcity in software development and related fields is going to be a reality for some time. Temporary agencies and freelance developers can fill the skill gaps that businesses face, but only in some circumstances. Often, the best alternative to hiring a new full-time employee is to outsource the work to a third-party development firm. DevDigital has completed hundreds of software development projects using a wide range of technologies and methodologies over more than 14 years. Contact us if you need to supplement your in-house talent to get a development project done.

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