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With Acute Labor Shortage, Is Staff Augmentation The Way Forward?

  1. Researchers cast doubt on the ability of “unretirement” to solve critical labor shortages.
  2. Garry Lea, CEO at Global Triangles staff augmentation, provided a rare glimpse into industry research.
  3. Outsourcing and remote work went mainstream during the pandemic, a trend that is not forecasted to reverse.  

Researchers suggest that not even “unretirement” will be able to solve the acute labor shortages we currently face in the US. It is therefore important to start exploring other options, such as staff augmentation, and how to choose the best option for your needs.

According to Garry Lea (CEO at Global Triangles), “Many American companies prefer staff augmentation in Mexico due to a combination of rising literacy, being in the same time zone and the level of dedication they encounter in such a hardworking culture”.

Why staff augmentation is a rising trend 

Staff augmentation refers to the hiring of personnel outside of a company, on a temporary basis, to improve the capacity and supplement the existing workforce of the company. Although similar to freelancers, staff augmentation employees are typically hired temporarily or on a project-based basis and tend to be more committed to the work and the company. Staff augmentation employees also tend to work with the company for a longer period than freelancers.

  • Save on expenses.
  • A gateway to specific, expert skill sets and resources.
  • It allows for flexibility and a transparent workforce.
  • Greater workforce efficiency.

How to choose the best staff augmentation company

When determining which staff augmentation a company should hire, there are a few things that should be taken into consideration, to ensure that they are the best fit and that all company needs are met. The company you choose indeed has to be a great match for your industry, for example, in software development, staff augmentation and outsourcing are very popular but also fairly risky from a quality assurance perspective. 

As Lea says: “American businesses are aware that outsourcing to countries and companies where values on intellectual property protection and ethics align better, will serve them better in the long run. That is part of the reason we started Global Triangles: to match the North American market in terms of ethical expectations they struggle to find elsewhere”. 

We recommend that the following steps should be followed when choosing a staff augmentation company:

Define your needs

What is it that the company needs? What skills are you looking for in a staff augmentation company? What should their skills and level of experience be?

As simple as these questions might be, they will be able to help narrow down the search, specifically because different staff augmentation companies consist of different types of employees (for example, some have engineers and others have artists). By narrowing down the company’s needs, it immediately eliminates companies that will be irrelevant. This will help to take the first step in choosing the perfect staff augmentation company.

Research potential companies

Once it has been narrowed down what type of company can help address these needs, it is time to look some of them up. Search for staff augmentation companies that specialize in the type of work that your company needs to be done. Compare these companies to see what their track record of successful placements looks like.

Look at these successes and see if any companies can be reached out to for a possible review or recommendation. Asking others who have previously worked with these staff augmentation companies about their experience, can help narrow down the possibilities to almost a handful.

Evaluate the company’s processes

By evaluating the staff augmentation company’s processes, it also becomes possible to determine how thorough and efficient they are. Questions could be asked about the processes the company follows when recruiting and screening. Inquiries can also be made about the company’s policies on retention, training, and career development for the employees they place.

By determining their processes, one also becomes able to get a sense of their communication styles. Through their communication, it will be possible to get an idea of how they conduct their business, and whether that will be something that will work for your company. Transparent and effective communication throughout all processes is key.

Consider the company’s culture

It is beneficial, and to some extent crucial, to work with a staff augmentation company that shares the values and cultures of your company. This is because it will help ensure that the employees placed by them are a good fit and that they can hit the ground running.

When organizational cultures differ, the working hours and methods of organizations might differ too. Establishing beforehand what the company’s culture is will help prevent uncomfortable, and undesirable, situations.

Negotiate Terms

Negotiating terms is important because it ensures that both companies know what is expected of them. By negotiating the terms of the contract, the company can determine if its needs and budgets are met. Factors, such as the length of the assignment, the rate of pay, and any additional benefits or perks that may be offered, should be taken into consideration within such a negotiation.

In Conclusion:

The AI revolution, an aging demographic, and years of economic success resulted in a unique labor market with high employment rates. With economic nationalism making way for global collaboration, HR and management departments now think differently. 

The most important is that the company chooses a staff augmentation company that is the right fit for them and their team. Choosing a company that aligns with their ways and values and that wants to help them succeed, is one of the best ways to ensure their success (and the success of their relationship). The steps above can help them achieve just that if they follow them.