Staff Augmentation

What is IT Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation refers to the hiring of temporary staff..

What is IT Staff Augmentation?

Generally for the purposes of accommodating work that cannot otherwise be accomplished by full-time employees. Staff augmentation can mean both part time and full time workers, just not permanent workers.

Companies large and small leverage staff augmentation strategies to help supplement existing staff and reduce risk when it comes to spinning up and spinning down project teams and other services. In fact, in some companies, staff augmentation accounts for more than 50% of total workers across the combined employee and temporary workforces.

Enterprises have many options when it comes to executing a staff augmentation strategy. From traditional staffing providers to managed services companies to modern labor marketplaces, companies can find workers across all skill levels, markets, and budgets.

Why companies leverage staff augmentation

Staff augmentation is frequently used for warehouse workers

Filling Gaps in the Workforce

Most companies face gaps in their workforce. A skills gap exists when a company needs a particular skill to accomplish a project or other business priority. A capacity gap happens when a company’s permanent workforce is stretched beyond its limits and cannot take on additional work. Whether a skills gap or a capacity gap, a solid staff augmentation strategy can help ensure that any work that needs to get done will get done.

Workforce gaps can happen at any time and typically pop-up in unexpected ways. Whether you're looking to host a last-minute CEO roundtable event or ship additional product due to surging demand, having a sound staff augmentation strategy will help ensure that your business can run smoothly and roll with the punches!

Paying For What You Need

Hiring permanent staff to perform tasks that might happen only once or even seasonally can be a costly approach. With a well-thought out staff augmentation strategy, savvy managers can pay for what they need versus being saddled with the cost of permanent employees.

Making personnel changes to your in house team can be both time consuming and costly. Hiring new employees to your existing team requires assimilation, and there are no guarantees of a long term fit. And reducing in house teams can consume valuable cycles and typically mean unplanned costs for the business.

Crucial Time Saver

Constantly interviewing candidates for full time positions can be incredibly time consuming. Moreover, results tend to be inconsistent; and recovering from a bad hire can take weeks, if not months to overcome. With staff augmentation, any reputable third party provider will vet and train workers before they engage in any work at your company.

Maintaining Control Over Existing Staff

Retaining your best employees can be tricky business. While pay is an obvious motivator, so is meaningful work. Staff augmentation can help your business assign repetitive tasks to contingent workers so that your full time staff can spend their time on strategic work and ensuring that critical business needs are being met.

Other models do not work for you

Many businesses choose to engage various managed service providers, which typically provide outcome-based services. For example, a business might hire a managed services company to ensure that 99% of help desk tickets are responded to in 5 minutes or less. For many businesses, managed service providers can be overkill or expensive. And many businesses prefer to maintain control of how work gets done and choose a staff augmentation approach. 

Pros & cons of staff augmentation

Staff augmentation is also used for field IT labor



Get precisely the skills you need whenever you need them.

Provided your business can define the exact skill requirements to augment your in house team, an augmented team approach can significantly improve the approach to your entire project.

Quickly scale personnel up or down

Scale up or scale down the size of your contingent staff without the procedural hassles associated with full-time staff.

Does your business need to quickly bolster its IT workforce due to temporary needs associated with a merger or acquisition? Staff augmentation can prove to be a great way to get top tech talent without having to add to your in house team.

Staffing flexibility

Many staff augmentation providers offer conversion options that give you flexibility when it comes to building your team of full-time employees. Is your business looking for project management resources or simply workers to help out on a particular project? Do you want the option to hire a worker into your existing dedicated team? Many staff augmentation services offer conversion options with a reasonable fee structure.

Cost reduction for training

Typically, staff augmentation providers will share in worker training costs, reducing cost and risk for your business.

And provided that your business takes the time to effectively segment work between in house teams and workers from an outsourcing vendor, for example, new workers can be trained on processes and procedures in a very cost effective manner.

Internal acceptance

Hiring employees typically requires several sign-offs and is generally very consensus-driven versus staff augmentation.

Overhead cost savings

Benefits, payroll taxes, and other expenses are borne by the staff augmentation provider. Moreover, business that engage staff augmentation services can significantly reduce their human resources and recruiting expenses.

Engaging on a trial basis

Any business can try out staff augmentation services without any long-term commitments. As a hiring manager, as long as you perform basic research on the benefits of staff augmentation, you can quickly determine the right approach for your business without any long term obligations.

Types of Staff Augmentation

Warehouse workers are a great use case for staff augmentation


Hire staff augmentation workers to do basic tasks such as events set up, hybrid worker desk setups, basic product testing, and more. Any task that can be easily trained is fair game for workers engaged through a staff augmentation strategy.


Many businesses need a team of skill-based staff augmentation workers to accomplish tasks such as producing an event or replacing wireless access points in a ceiling. Is your business looking for project managers or software development resources? These types of skill-based workers can be acquired through staff augmentation.


Many businesses need certain expert skills at certain times, but not necessarily certain skills all the time. Hiring experts on a temporary basis through a staff augmentation strategy can be a great way to acquire critical skills only when you need them.

Types of Staff Augmentation Services

Types of staff augmentation services

Traditional Staffing Provider

Traditional Staffing Providers range from very large multinational companies to small and potentially specialized local providers.

Traditional Staffing Partners can help with augmented staff, but providers vary widely when it comes to speed, convenience, and automated processes.

Master Vendor Staffing Providers

Many companies choose to work with a handful of approved providers, sometimes dubbed Master Vendor Staffing Providers. This term is typically used in larger companies that have a vendor management in house team that is responsible for approving staff augmentation and other strategic vendors.

Specialized/Boutique Staffing & Consulting Firms

These outfits typically focus their business around a particular type of skilled worker. Companies might engaged a specialized staffing firm, for example, to hire accountants for the purposes of finance team augmentation. And many boutique staffing firms focus on IT workforce services.

Gig Platforms

Recently, labor marketplace platforms have emerged that afford companies the convenience of self-service and visibility into worker profiles. Whether companies are looking for staff augmentation to help the IT team or the Project Management team, gig platforms are a great option to fill the void!

On-demand Talent Platform

Some new services offer staffing on an on-demand basis, making it incredibly easy to get the staff you need quickly. Augmented staff with specialized skills can be added quickly and easily to your existing team with just a few steps.

Direct Independent Relationships

Some companies hire workers through a Direct Independent relationship, either on a 1099 basis or a W2 contingent basis

On-site staff augmentation

On-site staff augmentation requires unique considerations versus hiring augmented team members who can perform their work remotely. Temporary employees who perform work at your designated physical location must be thoroughly vetted and trained to ensure that they will represent your brand with the utmost care.

Remote staff augmentation

Remote staff augmentation involves workers who perform work from a remote location. Whether your company requires a software development team, a dedicated team for a call center, or an augmented team for the accounting department, remote staff augmentation providers can provide the temporary workers that your business needs.

Project-based staff augmentation

Workers that are engaged and assigned to a specific project for a certain period of time.

Team-based staff augmentation

Workers that are aligned to a certain team and perform their work in conjunction with a defined group of both permanent employees and other contingent workers.

When Is Staff Augmentation the Right Model?

Choosing the right staff augmentation model

Project Length

If your project has an expected duration of only a few weeks, a staff augmentation model might be an attractive option versus hiring additional full-time employees. Does your in house development team need a few extra software development resources to meet a critical deadline? A team augmentation strategy might prove to be the ideal solution!


If the work that you might otherwise engage contingent labor to perform involves tightly maintaining company secrets, you might consider only hiring contingent labor willing to sign nondisclosure agreements. Many companies opt to only assign highly sensitive work to employees, who are typically bound by restrictive confidentiality agreements.

Ramp-up Time

Engaging contingent workers to perform work that only requires a short ramp-up time is a sweet spot for many businesses. Work that requires a longer ramp-up time will typically require a greater training investment or necessitate more highly skilled workers to begin with.


Staff Augmentation as Cost Avoidance

Staff augmentation is not necessarily the cost avoidance panacea, if not managed effectively. Formulating a detailed a deliberate plan for both your full-time workforce and your planned contingent workforce is the key to managing costs efficiently.

Staff Augmentation Is More Expensive

Simply comparing the hourly rate of a worker acquired via staff augmentation with the hourly rate of an in house staff member can be misleading. You must account for the fact that you must pay employees 100% of the time but many only require staffing some of the time. Also, you must factor in benefits, payroll taxes, and other other costs associated with full-time employees. 

Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services

While there’s no tried-and-true definition as what constitutes staff augmentation versus managed services, staffing providers typically provide contingent workers. It is then up to you as the business manager to decide how best to utilize those workers. Managed Services, on the other hand, typically deliver a specific outcome or service level, thus putting less of a burden on companies to manage tasks across teams of contingent workers.

Staff Augmentation: A Cross-functional Strategy

Cross-functional collaboration for staff augmentation

A solid staff augmentation strategy requires the input of many different functional teams across your company. To reap the benefits of staff augmentation, leading companies will engage hiring managers, finance personnel, and human resources professionals when solidifying a staff augmentation model for the company.

In house team expansion will inevitably require the input of many different groups across your company, so knowing your company culture and how to build consensus via a cross-functional strategy is critical.

As a business manager, if you are unsure about how to navigate the challenges of a cross-functional strategy, the global staffing industry is full of experts who can consult with you on the best approach.

Why is staff augmentation popular in the IT industry?

Why is staff augmentation popular in the IT industry?

Technology has integral part of nearly every industry and nearly every department within the enterprise. The demands on the traditional IT team have never been greater and more critical to the performance of the business.

IT teams must not only deal with the uneven demands of the business, but they must also accommodate the varied skill requirements that tend to pop up at a moment's notice. Using staff augmentation, IT departments can not only flex with overall aggregate work demands, they can ensure a high level of quality as well.

Software development has become more and more critical in the IT industry as a whole, as businesses wrestle to compete with traditional players and upstarts alike. Many staff augmentation providers specialize in providing software development services to meet the surging demand across the IT industry.

Text Link