How to Grow your Software Development Department through Dedicated Staff Augmentation

Hiring a reliable software development team is not as easy as many may think. Getting the right developers to work on your company projects goes beyond posting a job online and interviewing the applicants’ technical abilities. You need to hire developers who have the technical abilities to do the dirty work and soft skills to effectively sync with your current team.

Software development staff argumentation is one of the most cost-effective ways for hiring developers to work on short-term projects that don’t need permanent staff. Yes, you might have an on-premises team of developers, but hiring more permanent staff just to work on a project that will last a few months doesn’t make business sense.

Hiring a nearshore software development team is even more beneficial because it makes it easier for your in-house team to integrate with them through physical meetings. If you are considering growing your team with staff argumentation, I will discuss some of the strategies that you should use to get the best results from this method of hiring.

Let’s get into it.

What is staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation refers to an outsourcing service where a company hires software engineers from an out staffing company under certain conditions that they both agree to. The process starts by evaluating the in-house staff that you already have and then determine the gaps that need to be filled by the outsourced developers.

With this technique, your company doesn’t have to go through the traditional hiring process of posting a job listing and interviewing the candidates. In the end, this will save you time and money in the long run.

When should you consider staff augmentation for a software development project?

Sometimes to outsource an entire Application Development to a Software Development company may be a good idea (this is known as Managed Services, as well), staff augmentation is better if you already employ some developers and other senior level technical staff, this way the new personnel will be onboarded and mentored by experienced coworkers and people that eventually will become members of the same Software Development team.

If you are developing a set of technical products and software systems, it is very likely that the experience needed to expand this team might not be easy to access, and to hire Developers and Software Engineers using the Internet freelancing platforms might be complicated and VERY unreliable, that way a Software Development company specialized in Staff Augmentation for Software Development is the best option.

Several Software Development agencies and companies will hire personnel with limited communication skills, a company specialized in Staff Augmentation gives you the ability to communicate directly with your team daily and you can easily make them well-acquainted with the internal team, this way the retention capacity will be much higher, and the remote programmers will feel like part of your local team. This is important for team integration and motivation to follow a common goal with your company and the in-house team.

One of the most important reasons to consider is how your team manages software development and deliveries. An Agile team will be much better with an augmented team in a Nearshore country, that works with them at the same time zone, that can attend the same meetings and that has a similar culture and way of work.

Benefits of staff argumentation

  • It allows you to scale up your business faster: With staff augmentation, you don’t have to go through the lengthy procedures of posting a job listing and interviewing candidates. This makes the whole hiring process faster, which enhances the rate at which you can scale your business.
  • It saves money: The most obvious benefit of using this strategy is reducing the hiring costs. You just have to pay the staff you have outsourced, and that is it.
  • It makes it easier to get talented developers: Hiring online is very complicated, especially in a world where everyone claims to be a good developer. With staff augmentation, the out-staffing company does all the sieving to ensure you get good developers. The experience these hiring companies have makes it easy for them to identify the best talent in the market.
  • Maintains control over the project: Instead of outsourcing the entire project to another company, staff augmentation ensures you retain full control over the project by getting developers from an out-staffing agency. If you want full control over your projects, it is best to use staff augmentation instead of fully outsourcing the project.
  • It is more flexible: Since the process of getting new developers is simpler and shorter, it gives the company more flexibility while working on projects that require specific skillsets. That’s why it is the ideal hiring strategy for startups and small businesses that need this kind of flexibility.

Now that we have a good understanding of what staff augmentation is and its benefits, let’s discuss how you can use this strategy to grow your software development team.

  1. Assess the gaps in your in-house team

If you already have a team of developers, first assess their key strengths and weaknesses to determine the gaps that need to be filled by the new team members you intend to hire. It is crucial to bring on board a team with skills that complement your in-house team. Without the right information regarding the gaps in your team, it becomes extremely hard to hire the right staff that will add value to your company.

You should develop the job descriptions of the team members you need to bring on board with these gaps. The goal is to ensure you hire developers that will add more value to what you already have.

  1. Share your brand vision and project objectives

Besides the job descriptions, you also need to share your brand’s vision with the hiring agency. So, the developers you bring on board will always know the company’s direction and find ways of integrating it into their day-to-day tasks. By nature, humans get more motivated when they know where they are heading beyond the daily tasks.

Sharing your brand vision will also help the out-staffing agency choose the best developers that suit your company’s culture.

  1. Research the background of the out-staffing agency

There are quite a number of out-staffing agencies on the internet, and choosing the right one can at times be a challenge. While choosing, you need to prioritize agencies with developers who have done work similar to what you want to accomplish with your project. This requires doing a background check to see the kind of projects the developers from the out-staffing agency have accomplished.

Yes, talent is very crucial but choosing developers that have both talent and experience in the kind of project you are undertaking will increase the chances of quality and timely results.

  1. Consider team chemistry

Beyond the talent and experience, you also need to consider how well the developers you want to bring will integrate with the team. In this case, hiring a nearshore development team is always the best decision. It is much easier to create synergy in a team that is from the same region because they usually share the same culture.

It may even be necessary to share some of the traits you are looking for from the developers you are bringing on board with the out-staffing agency. In addition, you should also look for developers that are willing to learn by themselves and from their colleagues.

Having a team that is willing to learn will benefit your projects and your organization’s long-term growth. Your internal team will also benefit if the developers you hire are willing to share knowledge.

  1. Seek expert advise

If you are unsure about the number and the kind of developers you need, don’t hesitate to seek help from experts who have probably encountered such challenges several times. With the right information, an expert will be able to make an unbiased assessment of your company’s needs and give recommendations on how best to hire your next software development team.

You might have to part with some extra fee for this assessment. However, it will save you a lot of time and money that you would have wasted after hiring the wrong developers. If you have challenges deciding the kind of software development team you need, don’t hesitate to contact us for help.

Our team of in-house architects and senior developers within Near Coding is always ready to guide you in the whole process to ensure you hire a team that will make it faster for your company to accomplish its projects and other long-term goals.

  1. Prepare your internal team members

If your organization is using staff augmentation for the first time, it is essential to ensure your internal team is prepared to work with new members in this kind of arrangement. Ensure everyone on the teams understands the roles that will be taken on by the new members and those that will have to be done internally.

There should also be a plan regarding how the two teams will interact to ensure effective communication and that everyone is at par regarding the project’s progress. You should also consider having a team leader that will help coordinate your internal team with the outsourced team.

  1. Have KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to evaluate the performance

As a company, you need to have KPIs that you will use to determine the impact of the outsourced team. It is also necessary to share these KPIs with each team member and clarify your expectations from day one. Ensure to regularly assess the team’s progress and give them feedback on the completed tasks and what is expected from them in the upcoming projects.

  1. Have a clear onboarding process

After bringing new developers on board, you need to have a straightforward process that they will be taken through before starting work. The goal is to get them started with work as soon as possible. If possible, share with new team members as much information as you can before they start working. This information may include; documentation, wireframes, designs, user stories, and more.

You could also consider scheduling a physical or online meeting depending on what you find convenient. In this meeting, you will discuss with them the vision, objectives, and values of the company. If it is a physical meeting, you may also use that opportunity to introduce them to the internal team or the team leader if having the whole team is not possible.

Other Alternatives to Staff Augmentation

If you want to add resources to your IT and Software Development departments, Staff Augmentation is not the only way to go, other services that may help you and your organization are:

Managed Services

Staff Augmentation and Managed Services are well known terms for most popular outsourcing strategies used in IT projects.

Managed Services is to integrated services continuously in the outsourcing process but managed by the outsourcing company. Instead of running some processes in your company, you can order them done by external experts.

In this case the outsourcing company takes care of all aspects throughout the development of your project (even from hiring developers and structuring a dedicated team to manage all processes on their own side). The hiring company doesn’t need in-house developers or even technical expertise or to have to spend time with the remote development team.

With managed services, customer oftentimes don’t know who’s working on their project, what developers are currently doing, and which decisions are made in matters such as software architecture.

This approach may be very attractive for small software development projects, components development and other types of development so you won’t need to allocate any kind of resource other than the agreed payments.

Own Software Development Center

If you’re looking to add at least 40 software developers to your team, you can create your Software Development center in a country with better business environment and wider technical talent pool. Opening your own Research and Development center means you’ll have to delve into the legal system of the country, learn its cultural specifics, and run all the risks on your own.

This is very favorable for big enterprises and multinational companies.

Final thoughts

Staff augmentation is one of the most effective ways of scaling up your human resource without necessarily going through the tedious hiring process that we all know. As we have seen above, staff augmentation has way more benefits than hiring more full-time developers or outsourcing developers by yourself.

However much staff augmentation has many benefits; it has to be done right to get the best results from it. You should make it as easy as possible for the new team to integrate with the internal team and the entire organization.

If you are having challenges getting started with staff augmentation, you can reach out to our support team for further assistance. We have a team of experts who are ready to guide you with every step during this process.

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