How to Manage Staff Augmentation to Reach Your Business Objectives
When faced with a busy season, business leaders often struggle to bring in skilled help without creating permanent roles that will likely be unnecessary. Whether you need to expand due to seasonal fluctuations or a specific project, hiring permanent staff and laying them off is not cost-effective. It also requires more work to attract highly skilled employees for short-term projects.
Staff augmentation can be the most effective way to make up for skill shortages on your existing team or bring in additional staffing for a short time. Learning how to manage staff augmentation can make or break your project’s budget. With the right plan and guidance, you can ensure that your business’s needs are covered.
What is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is when a company like yours brings in outside personnel temporarily to augment the organization’s capacity. Unlike hiring short-term contractors, your business partners with a talent agency that employs the people needed to complete your project. This partnership benefits you because the talent agency shoulders the burden of hiring, payroll, and taxes. Staff augmentation can be highly cost-effective because you don’t have to spend hours finding and then wooing the best people with the skills you need.
How Can Staff Augmentation Help My Business?
Staff augmentation can be the most effective way to make up for skill shortages on your existing team or bring in additional staffing for a short time. You can bring in highly skilled people for the length of the project without committing to keeping them on after its completion.
Staff augmentation also provides more stability for the employees than they would have as contractors, which means they can focus on your project instead of spending time trying to secure their next contract gig.
Here Are Our Top Three Tips for How to Manage Staff Augmentation
- Build a Solid Foundation
Get clear on your wants, needs, goals, and non-negotiables from day one. Before reaching out to an agency, take the time to figure out what tasks need to be completed, what skills are required, your timeline for completion, and your budget.
Set your expectations and decide what non-negotiables the agency and its employees need to honor. Clarifying your expectations before talking to agencies will save you many headaches. It will reduce the chance of having significant conflicts after you’ve begun because your people aren’t on the same page.
It’s tempting to rush this step, but it’s foundational, so give yourself enough time to do this well. If this is your first attempt at staff augmentation, you will want to allot several weeks to find the right agency. Once you’ve found an agency that’s a good fit, you’ll need to allow several more weeks to work through their intake process. When talking to potential agencies, be sure to ask how long their intake process is and consider it when deciding whom to partner with.
- Partner With The Right Agency
Every talent agency is going to operate a little differently. Some will fit your needs better than others. Be thorough in your search to find the best fit for your project. You need an experienced partner who screens their hires and holds them to the highest standards. Shorten the learning curve even more by finding an agency with employees who have done this work before and received rave reviews.
As you interview potential patterns, ask detailed questions about how their team will integrate into yours. Determine what project management tools and methodologies you will use before signing agreements. Being upfront about your tools and strategies will make onboarding go more smoothly and allow the agency to send you the right people. Remember, the more detailed your plan is, the easier it will be to learn how to manage staff augmentation. A smaller learning curve lowers costs, and your project gets done faster.
Also, ask about scalability and whether they have additional skilled staff that could step in if the scope of your project grows. Having people waiting in the wings will help keep your project on time if someone gets sick or unexpectedly steps away from work. “What if” questions are essential because you may need more people. If the agency you partner with doesn’t have them, you aren’t going to hit your deadlines or budget goals.
When you think you’ve found the perfect talent agency to partner with, don’t assume their contract is in your best interest–like any contract, have it reviewed by an expert that is 100% looking out for you. Make sure it addresses what happens if things go wrong, protects your intellectual property, and gives you recourse for missed deadlines and undelivered work.
- Engage Your Temporary Team Members From Day One
Now that you’ve partnered with a perfect-for-you talent agency, it’s important to integrate new team members with your existing team. You want to find the sweet spot where your onboarding process is thorough and easy to execute. Setting clear expectations and defining roles early in your partnership will make working together much more straightforward.
When managing staff augmentation, your goal is to create an open and efficient communication environment where everyone feels connected and stays committed to the team’s goals. Get clear on how staff augmentation will impact workflows and communication by making sure everyone knows where to go when they have questions or concerns. Praise and give credit to your incoming team members regularly and loop them into social spaces in your company. Even if they aren’t around long term, feeling seen and appreciated is vital for them to perform well. A lack of employee satisfaction and engagement among your temporary staff can also spill over to your regular employees and decrease their satisfaction.
Figuring out how to manage staff augmentation comes with a learning curve, but laying a solid foundation before new staff begins working on your project gives you a healthy head start.
Ready to Reap the Benefits of Staff Augmentation?
At Epic Placements, we offer smart staffing solutions out of a pool of thousands of candidates looking to be part of your staffing model. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you get your plan off and running toward achieving your goals.
Are you tired of worrying about finding your next gig? We can help with that, too! Apply with Epic Placements today to be part of the candidate pool.