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January 12, 2024 - by Devico Team

How to Choose a Staff Augmentation Partner

Experiencing constant workload fluctuations? Need to quickly reinforce your team with extra hands? Struggling to attract and retain top talent due to budget constraints? Facing challenges in finding specific skills? Or perhaps you have short-term tasks requiring particular expertise that your in-house team lacks? Staff augmentation is a one-size-fits-all solution. This modern hiring strategy offers utter flexibility, speed, convenience, cost-savings, and a multitude of other benefits. Today companies of all sizes across the globe opt for staff augmentation as the most efficient way to address their staffing needs.

If you are going to give it a try as well, this is a smart move. One thing you should remember is that the success of this venture heavily depends on the staff augmentation company you choose to collaborate with. Selecting the right staff augmentation partner demands a thoughtful approach.

Where should you start? What aspects should you pay close attention to? What are the warning signs to watch out for? This article provides answers to these questions and offers a plethora of tips on how to select the ideal staff augmentation partner. You won't want to miss this!

1. Outline Your Needs and Expectations Clearly

As you might guess, rushing hastily into a search for a staff augmentation partner is not a good idea. To avoid the 'Go I Know Not Whither – Fetch I Know Not What,’ it is better to start with a thorough preparation.

First of all, define your needs and requirements. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What specific IT specialist do I need to bring on board?

  • How many IT specialists should be augmented?

  • What level of proficiency should these specialists possess? Do they need to play a leadership role, guiding the in-house team, or should they primarily reinforce the existing workforce?

  • What is the exact skill set each of them should have?

  • Should it be a short-term or long-term engagement?

  • What are my price expectations?

This phase of self-reflection is essential because when you do not understand your needs clearly, you risk being guided towards what your potential partner has to offer rather than what you truly require.

Also, to narrow down your search, we recommend taking your time to clarify your expectations from a staff augmentation partner. Decide whether you would like to work with a nearshore or offshore company. The former option might be more convenient due to a minimum or no time difference and similar cultural values, while the latter usually comes with lower rates. So, think about your priorities.

2. Create a List of Potential Partners

The hunt is on. Now that you are well prepared and armed, you can turn to an active search for the perfect staff augmentation partner. To simplify the selection process we offer you to kickstart it by completing a preliminary list of potential staff augmentation partners. Let's aim for the 'Top 10,' each of which will be subjected to thorough study and analysis.

Where can you discover these potential partners? Well, first and foremost, float around the Internet where a wealth of options awaits. Pay particular attention to such trustworthy online business directories as Clutch, GoodFirms, and SuperbCompanies. Here, you will find ratings of companies specializing in staff augmentation along with their detailed descriptions and contacts.

But don't limit your search to digital space alone. Leverage the power of your professional network. Reach out to your colleagues, business contacts, and industry peers. Their recommendations and referrals, rooted in their own experiences, can lead you to the perfect staff augmentation partner.

3. Meticulously Explore Every Candidate on The List

Now, it’s time to investigate every company on your list closely. For this purpose, carefully study their official websites, social media profiles, clients’ reviews, portfolios, ratings, awards and recognitions, clientele, etc. Calls and video conferences are the next step allowing for digging deeper through tough questions.

Here are the key aspects that you should consider when evaluating each candidate:

  • Expertise and Experience

When it comes to choosing a staff augmentation partner, prioritize companies that specialize in the specific area you are interested in. Additionally, the partner's years of experience in the industry are a crucial factor. Their longevity in the industry can be proof of their adaptability and ability to keep up with new trends. Check their technical expertise as well as domain knowledge. In these terms, case studies and portfolios can be of great help. Study them to get a general idea about their capabilities and experience with projects similar to yours.

  • Reputation

It goes without saying that you should collaborate only with a reliable staff augmentation company boasting a spotless reputation. Therefore, make sure your potential partner has a good track record. Check what their clients and employees tell about them, what businesses are within their clientele, how high they are rated across trusted review platforms, and what awards and certificates they have received. Positive feedback, high rates, collaboration with large, well-known brands, and a multitude of recognitions are good signs.

  • Talent Pool

Undoubtedly, people are the most valuable asset of any staff augmentation company. So, ask your potential partner about the extent of their talent pool, the types of IT specialists it includes, and the proficiency levels they possess. Also, do not hesitate to grill them about their hiring process, background checks, technical evaluation, and retention rate. It is important to know that a staff augmentation company has a scrupulous hiring process and gets seasoned, knowledgeable, and hard-working talent as well as up-and-comers onboarded. One more important thing is the ability to retain employees. A high retention rate is indicative of a nurturing and supportive work environment, which is vital for maintaining the stability of your project. It reduces the risk that your augmented specialist(s) will leave the staff augmentation company, and consequently, your project prematurely.

  • Communication and Collaboration

It's trite to say so but efficient communication and collaboration lie at the heart of any successful partnership. Therefore, since the first call or meeting with a potential partner, pay attention to their communication style. A decent staff augmentation company should be responsive, polite, supportive, and genuinely interested in understanding your needs. Augmented staff as well as representatives of the company should be always in touch so that any issue can be settled immediately. Apart from availability, we advise you to consider proficiency in the English language and cultural compatibility, which are also crucial aspects of fruitful and clear communication.

  • Scalability

Staff augmentation has become such a popular hiring model due to the unpretended flexibility that it offers. With its help, businesses can quickly and painlessly scale up or scale down their teams to meet changing project needs and workloads. Still, to fully harness this scalability, you should work with a staff augmentation company that has enough resources to ensure it. So, begin by verifying that your potential partner maintains a robust and diverse talent pool. In scenarios where you have an urgent requirement for a specific IT expert, your staff augmentation company should have the capability to swiftly respond by drawing upon its talent bench or initiating a streamlined hiring process to promptly deliver the right candidate.

  • Commitment to Security

We relentlessly state that security is a top priority these days. When you collaborate with a staff augmentation company, you entrust your projects to external professionals who may get full or partial access to your sensible data. In these terms, you must ensure solid data security on your side as well as check whether your staff augmentation partner can guarantee the same. Inquire about the security protocols and practices that they follow. This includes data encryption, secure data transfer, multi-factor authentication, and data storage procedures. The company should adhere to best security practices, relevant data protection regulations, for example, GDPR, and any other applicable security standards in your industry. Evaluate not only digital but also physical security measures like secure access to office premises and the use of secure, corporate devices for work.

The legal aspect is important too. Ensure that all your augmented team members are bound by a non-disclosure agreement – an essential legal safeguard that explicitly prohibits the disclosure of your confidential data.

  • Price Policy

While cost should not be the sole determining factor, it remains among the most important. Make sure the partner's rates are competitive within the market and reflect the value they bring. Besides, a reliable partner should have a transparent price policy with a clear, itemized breakdown of costs, so you can understand what exactly you're paying for. Hidden and unexpected costs can disrupt your budget, therefore clarity is vital. One more important factor to consider is pricing flexibility. A staff augmentation company should offer a few pricing models like hourly rates, monthly rates, or fixed pricing so that you can choose the one that suits your project best.

  • Legal and Contractual Considerations

Legal and contractual considerations are a critical aspect of choosing a staff augmentation partner. Carefully study and analyze all contracts and agreements. Pay utter attention to terms outlining service scope, project milestones, deliverables, timelines, and payment schedules. Ensure that all parties' rights and obligations are clearly specified. Also, clarify how intellectual property rights are managed and possible disputes are resolved. Additionally, understand the contract termination terms including notice periods, conditions for termination, and its impact on ongoing projects or intellectual property rights.

4. Pass a Verdict

As you approach the finish line of your staff augmentation partner selection marathon, you've undertaken extensive research. You have already studied available on the Internet data about your pre-chosen staff augmentation companies, spoken with their representatives and maybe even with their clients, and gathered insights on their experience, domain expertise, reputation, talent pool, communication style, ability to scale, commitment to security, price policy, and other aspects important for you. Now, it’s high time to weigh the pros and cons of all candidates and make an informed decision on your staff augmentation partner. A clear understanding of your needs and the insights gained on each company will help you pass the right verdict.

Conclusion

Staff augmentation has the potential to be a transformative force for your business. To harness its full potential, you need to collaborate with the very best in the field of staff augmentation. Selecting the perfect staff augmentation partner necessitates a systematic approach. Firstly, you should meticulously outline your project's unique needs. Following that, you should compile a preliminary list of potential partners who align with your vision. Subsequently, conduct a thorough evaluation of each candidate against crucial criteria such as expertise, reputation, talent pool, communication, scalability, security, pricing, and legal aspects. Such a comprehensive study takes your time and effort but justifies itself by empowering you to make a well-informed decision on a staff augmentation partner.

In conclusion, we want to take this opportunity to note that Devico is well-positioned to be your dedicated staff augmentation partner. We offer expert IT solutions, transparent pricing, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. We firmly believe in the strength of long-term partnerships that deliver results. Choose Devico as your trusted partner, and let's work on achieving your goals together. Rest assured, your success is our utmost priority.

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