Why increased adoption of Staff Augmentation 2.0 will be seen in current scenario

Piyush Raj AkhouriUpdated: Saturday, January 08, 2022, 01:36 PM IST
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Since 1980s, the Staff Augmentation model has been perceived as a cost-effective method of team expansion/Representative image | (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP)

There has been various paradigm shifts caused by the pandemic. I would like to focus on Staff Augmentation model. For the uninitiated, Staff Augmentation is a model in which an organization leverages its existing resources to meet its business targets and invites additional personnel on a temporary basis to facilitate their team.

Since 1980s, the Staff Augmentation model has been perceived as a cost-effective method of team expansion, which helped companies reduce recruitment overheads, while getting access to the global talent pool. This staffing model had gained prominence in the past with software companies in the developed countries outsourcing various projects to the skilled IT workforce in developing nations to avail maximum cost benefits. After reaching a point of inflection with this model, business experts and industry analysts started questioning the viability of this model, in terms of delivering quality output.

Arguments against staff augmentation model

As businesses are shifting towards an ‘outcome-based outsourcing’ model, business experts argue that the Staff Augmentation model may not be an appropriate growth model for an enterprise focussed on maintaining high quality standards.

The reason behind this argument is often triggered by the fact that established organizations of high repute, lure the best IT professionals with higher salaries and perks, leaving SMEs to choose among the lesser competent tech professionals. Other disadvantages like language and cultural differences between the company and contractors along with time zone discrepancies, validates the lack of credibility associated with the Staff Augmentation model.

Is staff augmentation really getting irrelevant?

Over a period of time, every business and existing model gets obsolete, if it’s not finetuned according to the latest needs of the business environment. Staff Augmentation does have its limitations but to ignore it completely is neither an ideal nor a viable solution.

It is practically not feasible for businesses to refrain from adopting Staff Augmentation model, especially, when the world is getting inclined to shift towards remote work culture, owing to the outbreak of Covid-19.

So now, the solution is Staff Augmentation 2.0, a new version of Staff Augmentation model that is being embraced by organizations. Under the Staff Augmentation 2.0 model, software development teams are able to get performance-oriented tech professionals from the untapped job markets spanning across the globe under the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) arrangement.

There are various factors that has contributed towards adding more value to Staff Augmentation 2.0 and makes it much more than just being a cost-effective measure.

Increased involvement from independent tech professionals: While Staff Augmentation 1.0 focussed on filling the vacant positions in any company on a short- term basis, Staff Augmentation 2.0 is not only about employers asking for extra value addition from independent engineers. Currently, independent contractors are also assessing the nature of the project offered to them as they too, would not want to work on the usual gigs.

Rise in English speaking engineers: With easy internet access, cloud computing, online learning and development programmes and other advanced technologies, tech professionals are now armed with a background in English education. This makes it easier for them to conform with their client’s work culture.

Long-term engagement by both parties: Staff Augmentation 2.0 is largely based on a win-win situation for both the client and independent contractor. Both the parties are now expecting long term, full time and goal-oriented teams.

Advanced HR Tech platforms for hiring: This is one of the key areas that has given the Staff Augmentation model a makeover. There are various HR tech platforms that has made hiring more accurate than before. With the advanced HR technologies, Staff Augmentation 2.0 has now become more holistic, wherein, the soft skills possessed by an engineer is also assessed along with his/her technical skillset.

Guidance and support to contractors before placement: Staff Augmentation leverages various tools, processes and people to prepare engineers before their engagement with the client. As the resources are well equipped with the required knowledge about their engagement, it reduces the burden on the management and adds more value for the client.

Road ahead for Staff Augmentation 2.0

Going by a recent report released by market research firm SpendEdge, the Staff Augmentation Services market will witness an incremental spend of about 481.87 billion, growing at a CAGR of 3.53 percent during the five-year forecast period from 2021 to 2025. These numbers indicate that the adoption of Staff Augmentation is happening at a global level.

The Staff Augmentation 2.0 has addressed the loopholes in its preceding version. Businesses and independent professionals are able to find their most appropriate match due the latest HR tech platforms being leveraged by Staffing solutions providers. In a nutshell, we can see an increased adoption of Staff Augmentation 2.0 in the current scenario.

(Piyush Raj Akhouri is Co-founder & Business Head, Bridgen Tech Consulting)

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