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IT Staff Augmentation: Definition, Pros, Cons, and Best Practices

The hiring process has never been easy, especially when you need to scale a team in the shortest possible time and the talent you need is pretty specific. IT staff augmentation can be a worth-following strategy in such a case, so let’s find out more about its essence and benefits for your project development.

IT Staff Augmentation Definition

IT staff augmentation stands for the process of scaling (augmenting or extending) your in-house team with remote specialists. As a rule, the companies in need to extend a team quickly, apply for IT team augmentation services. In such a case, the vendor takes the responsibility for hiring and recruiting, onboarding and training, managing the team, and dealing with other organizational issues. The company, in turn, makes use of human resources delivered and managed by the vendor, paying for the services according to the “pay as you go” model.

Types of Staff Augmentation

There are two types of staff augmentation. 

  • Short-term. As the name suggests, short-term team augmentation is extending the team temporarily, for example, to increase the project’s efficiency during the higher workload. 
  • Long-term. Long-term staff augmentation means hiring additional specialists for the long run. However, most companies consider staff augmentation as a short-term option to achieve better efficiency at a lower cost. For the long term, such tactics as hiring a dedicated development team or setting up an offshore development center will be more reasonable. 

When Augmenting Your IT Team Makes the Most Sense

Below are the cases when augmenting the team is a reasonable scaling strategy. 

  • There is no opportunity to hire the necessary talent locally. The project facing the need to hire a specific talent may face its shortage locally. In this case, getting in touch with a dedicated vendor and asking for specific expertise is the most value-adding way. 
  • Your project needs additional hands and minds urgently. It takes a month on average to fill the job position, under the condition that the job requirements are “average” as well. For the companies in need to scale a team urgently and speed up the time to market, a month is too long term. Augmenting a tech team with the help of a vendor allows for speeding up the process. 
  • You have no experience and competencies for hiring the tech talent you need. The process of recruitment is usually challenging and costly, especially when it comes to the hard-to-fill positions and the company hasn’t a lot of hiring experience. In this case, augmenting the in-house team with remote staff allows for bridging the expertise gap and cutting the expenses. 
  • Your business would like to outsource non-core business processes in the long run37% of small businesses prefer outsourcing their non-core processes by augmenting the in-house team with remote specialists, for example, such tasks as QA, marketing, and accounting.

The Pros of IT Staff Augmentation

IT staff augmentation is a value-adding tactic when it perfectly meets your project requirements and there is a talent sourcing vendor to support you along this path. Below are the main advantages of extending your in-house team with remote talent. 

  • Cost savings. The main benefit IT staff augmentation comes with is the opportunity to save the operational costs since extending your team in such a way allows your business to get all the advantages of remote work. In our recent articles, we have already discussed the benefits of going remote for businesses and developers. In the case of IT staff augmentation, the lion’s share of savings comes from no necessity to pay office rent and equipment costs.  
  • Quick start. The hiring process may take longer than you expect, especially if a company has no recruitment expertise but the project’s time to market should be as short as possible. Strengthening an in-house team with an augmented one is a time-saving option that streamlines the project development. 
  • Flexibility. An augmented team sourced by a dedicated vendor is a flexible unit. You, as a customer, may shorten or expand it anytime, staying agile and flexible. 

The Cons of IT Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation becomes a value-adding tactic only when it is accurately tailored to the project specifics. When this strategy isn’t the right one because of the project specifics, it begins to reveal its negative sides. 

  • Management and alignment challenges. If a company decides to hire additional remote specialists on its own, it is wise to get ready for management challenges in advance which greatly overlap with the ones of remote work as such. For example, managing a fully remote team gathered from scratch, tracking their productivity, and aligning their tasks with the tasks of the main team is pretty difficult. Hiring an augmented team from a vendor allows for managing both of the teams in a more aligned way. 
  • Possible lack of commitment and the feeling of belonging. The members of augmented teams are sometimes less dedicated and committed compared to in-house team members. However, this challenge can be solved with the help of competent onboarding, developing a common vision, and establishing effective communication practices at no micro-management. 
  • Higher labor costs in the long run. IT staff augmentation promises higher labor costs in the long term, so if you need a tech team to work on a large project for a long time, following a dedicated development path makes more sense. 

IT Staff Augmentation Tips and Best Practices

Below are four easy steps to get started with your team augmentation, and power your in-house developers with the best-in-class remote talent.

  1. Define the requirements. Before getting started with IT augmentation, you should get ultimately clear on the requirements and expectations for the specialists you would like to hire. Usually, the companies get back to the stage of business analysis, define the highest-priority development tasks and, guided by this data, decide on the competencies and experience of the specialists they would like to hire according to a staff augmentation model. 
  2. Get in touch with a team augmentation vendor. At this stage, make sure to change a talent partner wisely. The smartest choice is to collaborate with a company that has the relevant experience in your domain, can source the necessary talents in the shortest possible term, and have an unspotted reputation. Do your research on Clutch and Good Firms, shortlist the companies with the most relevant expertise, and get in touch with them. SpaceBus is also here to extend your development team with the top-skilled tech specialists in a flash. 
  3. Validate the candidates and select the best ones. IT team augmentation vendors usually select, screen, and validate the potential candidates carefully. However, you are always welcome to confirm their expertise and experience on your own, before extending your in-house team with an augmented one. Usually, the companies hire a tech consultant to help them with a technical interview, and a third-party HR manager to support a non-technical one. 
  4. Onboard the extended team members. The process of an augmented team onboarding can be challenging since the team should both understand the project specifics and establish effective collaboration practices with an in-house team. As a rule, a talent vendor supports the extended team and helps with its onboarding, following the life-proven practices.


Extending your in-house tech team with remote specialists is a worth-following tactic for the projects in need of additional hands and minds here and now. Hiring an extended team from a dedicated vendor is a more value-adding choice since it allows for cutting recruitment costs, following the best hiring practices, and getting instant access to the necessary specialists. 

Space Bus is an offshore software development team with top-skilled tech talent under our roof. We would be happy to source the necessary specialists for your project and drive its growth! 

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Vadim Rozov

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