When Staff Augmentation is the Best Option for Startups

Gimena Aguerreberry
May 1, 2021

Tech startups face many challenges on the path to success. These may include high operational costs or an in-house team without the skills the project requires.

When projects need completing quickly, you don't have a lot of time to find full-time highly-skilled tech talent.

In these circumstances, tech startups should consider turning to the staff augmentation model. It can save on the cost and time of hiring a full-time local software development team. Is it a perfect solution?

Let's examine when staff augmentation services may be the best option for tech startups.

What is the Staff Augmentation Model?

A staff augmentation model is a novel form of project outsourcing. While it is similar to the outsourcing model, it is specific to the tech industry.

Staff augmentation aims to connect companies like tech startups with highly skilled software development professionals to supplement the in-house team. Typically, staff augmentation services use nearshore outsourcing to find tech talent in a similar time zone.

The benefits of using staff augmentation services include:

  • High-quality expertise for niche areas such as software development

  • Savings on the cost and time of assembling a new in-house team

  • Reduced operational costs

  • Collateral learning; project outsourcing allows in-house employees to learn from external tech talent.

  • Streamlined communication with workers in the same time zone; more efficient compared to a traditional outsourcing model

  • Potential for long-term partnership

When Should Tech Startups Use Staff Augmentation Services?

The goal of any project outsourcing model is to make your operation more cost-effective and contribute to your product's high-quality user experience. Here are some occasions where this tech outsourcing model may be the perfect solution for tech startups.

To Offset High Operational Costs

If your operational costs are skyrocketing, this may be due to the expense of maintaining a large full-time in-house team.

More in-house employees mean more space is required, and office space in the U.S. is often just not cost-effective for small tech startups.

Considering the cost of office space per employee in San Francisco is over $13,000, hiring a massive team can be exorbitant.

Using the staff augmentation model means that you can save on important operational costs but still have access to highly skilled software development professionals. Any project requires close communication, but by using nearshore project outsourcing, you can maintain contact with your external software development team and drive down operational costs.

To Make Up for the Lack of Highly Skilled In-House Employees

Many startups find that their in-house team is fantastic at what it does — but that the project requires specific skills that none of your in-house employees possess.

Hiring full-time in-house tech talent to address a short-term problem has several drawbacks:

  • Hiring may take a lot of time that you don't have

  • Not cost-effective in the long-term

  • A perfect solution for one problem doesn't justify taking on more full-time staff

The cost and time required to hire a full-time local software development professional are inefficient compared with using the nearshore outsourcing model. You can find high-quality tech talent to address a short-term problem that your in-house employees can't fix — and close communication can even boost your in-house team's knowledge. It's a far more cost-effective solution.

To Address Lack of Time

Tech startups usually don't have a lot of time to prepare their offering for launch. Features such as user experience need to be perfect the first time around: remember what happened to the game Cyberpunk 2077.

Ironing out problems in your offering's user experience is easier with a broader pool of high-quality developers, but the cost and time needed to assemble a local software development team are unworkable.

Project outsourcing may be the perfect solution to finding the highly skilled tech talent your project requires at short notice. The nearshore project outsourcing model allows you to work with a high-quality development team without having to spend a lot of time expanding your office space to accommodate more full-time in-house employees. Many hands make light work, and many eyes can spot bugs that might impact user experience.

To Circumvent Local Talent That Is Expensive or Unavailable

Building a high-quality in-house team is the dream in the long term. Unfortunately, sometimes the tech talent your project requires doesn't exist around the corner.

The shortage of tech talent can have a substantial economic impact. Whether employers end up overpaying for a position or asking someone less qualified to do the job, the expensive or unavailable local talent can drain startup resources. As such, finding affordable talent is a pressing need.

Ask yourself whether you need a long-term solution or a quick fix. Using the nearshore outsourcing model can enable you to find the highly skilled developers your project needs to ensure a great user experience at a fraction of the cost. By broadening the talent pool, you have a far higher chance of the perfect solution to your problems. You can negotiate short-term or long-term partnerships as suits your needs.

Is the Staff Augmentation Model a Perfect Solution for Tech Startups?

One might argue that there's no such thing as a perfect solution. However, using staff augmentation services can make high-quality software developers available to you while driving down operational costs, which we're sure you'll agree is pretty close. Contact us today to learn more about how staff augmentation can benefit your startup.

"When Staff Augmentation is the Best Option for Startups" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Ben Kolde.

Categorized under software development / staff augmentation.

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