How to scale your software development team with Staff Augmentation [2023 GUIDE]

Staff augmentation is a strategy in which a company increases its workforce by hiring additional contractors. It can be an effective way for a company to scale up its operations quickly and efficiently, without committing to long-term hires.

As reported by Deloitte in his recent survey, companies are adapting to the global situation(COVID-19, recession, etc), causing, as a result, a change in their focus points giving more emphasis on agility(plug-and-play solutions, solutions with rapid integration, flexible contracts and ability to pivot based on the current context).

But, before talking about how Staff Augmentation may help you and your business to achieve our business objectives, let's talk about what is Staff Augmentation model is itself.

What is Staff Augmentation?


Staff augmentation services in IT is an outsourcing strategy in which companies hire skilled tech talents from a large talent pool to cover the necessary positions in their teams. Businesses can effectively scale their team and choose candidates based on their requirements and needs. Additionally, the team augmentation model helps to reduce the costs and hassle of hiring full-time software developers, leaving more opportunities for workflow optimization.

Augmented developers or other specialists can become a part of your in-house team on a contractual basis to fill the expertise and skill gaps. Before adding specialists, you need to determine existing staff capabilities and define what skills or specialists are still required.

Staff augmentation is the use of outside personnel, provided by a service provider,,on a temporary basis to augment the capacity of your organization.

Staff augmentation enables teams to:

  • Fill a temporary or long-term skills gap

  • Quickly ramp up and down without HR headaches

  • Find better talent from a larger talent pool

  • Scale your team’s capacity

  • Reduce costs


Nowadays organizations use staff augmentation as a nearshore/offshore outsourcing strategy and as a model to augment or extend their internal software team. Companies can essentially pay for the skill sets they need when they need them by hiring out-of-house professionals on demand from an outsourcing company.

For instance, with this business strategy, you can extend your software development team by contracting with a Frontend Developer with Data Visualization experience for four months instead of hiring someone on a full time, permanent basis.

This is a popular approach for development teams that need to fill a particular skills gap or quickly ramp up capacity for a specific duration of time. This way, teams can scale up and down easily without the HR headache (i.e., paperwork, payroll, etc.). It’s also a valuable tool for smaller companies that need to keep labor costs down.

While staff augmentation is a great way to expand quickly and enables teams with the flexibility of hiring on a short-term basis, this model can also be a long-term solution. Over 65% of our clients work with us for longer than six months, and some have been with us for close to five years.

There is a wide range of scenarios in which companies leverage staff augmentation


Increased Capacity:

Increase in labor to fulfill a temporary spike in everyday work (project work, increased production, spikes in customer demand, seasonal businesses, etc.)

Bridge to Hire:

For longer-term needs, as a bridge to provide capacity while you hire a permanent team (new location, a new line of business, etc.)

Specialized Skills:

For out-of-house specialized skills that are required for a period of time (facilities setup, brand & logo design, technology setup, etc.)


Build an organization or team using almost entirely flexible labor as a way to gain competitive advantage (increase speed to market, be more agile from a core skills point of view)

What Are The Benefits Of Staff Augmentation?


1. Pay For What You Need

Staff augmentation will allow your organization to only pay for what you need. If you don’t need to hire someone on a full-time basis, you can choose to sign a contract with your staff augmentation vendor to give you the exact team you need for that given period.

2. It Saves Time

Your only job is to provide the requirements and pay the hired staff. The rest of the work is done by your staff augmentation vendor. This will not only save you time but also saves costs.

3. Allows You To Have Control Over Your Crucial Projects

With this business practice, you won’t have to outsource the entire project to an outside company. You only fill a few gaps within your already existing staff to attend to a specific project you need to accomplish within a given period. So, your in-house staff can work with the outsourced staff to handle the project.

Having your in-house team allows you to fully control how the project is executed and ensure the outcome meets the quality standards of your organization. For the best results, we recommend assigning the quality assurance role to one of your in-house staff.

4. More Productivity In Your Engineering Department

Instead of giving all the tasks to your available staff, staff augmentation allows you to outsource the complex and unique tasks that your in-house team can’t handle. This boosts productivity since each team member is assigned a task they know to do best.

5. Access To A Vast Pool Of Talent

IT staff augmentation vendors usually have a wide range of IT experts, including front and back-end developers, cybersecurity experts, product designers, network engineers, etc.

Partnering with any reliable IT staff augmentation vendor gives you access to all this talent at any time. You don’t have to go headhunting in other companies or running job adverts to save your business from failing to get the right talent.

6. Low Operational Costs

One of the great things about staff augmentation is how it helps companies to reduce costs and improve cost efficiency. You can hire a Latin American developer who charges half of the money a U.S. developer earns. Why? Because of the costs of living.

When you hire remote talent, you get to hire people that live in nearby countries where the cost of living is lower. This allows you to lower your operational costs without prejudicing your projects. You get unmatchable talent for a lower price.

Need an example of staff augmentation? Here is!

Let's suppose that you ask: "What is an example of outsourcing?"

Suppose a software development company develops and maintains a software product that is built using Java as a backend technology. The company's in-house engineering team consists of developers with diverse skill sets, but they lack sufficient expertise in Java development to maintain the product effectively.

To ensure the continued success of the software product, the company decides to use staff augmentation and hire a Java engineer provided by an outsourced provider on a long-term basis. The outsourcing company sources a skilled Java engineer with experience in maintaining and improving software products.

The Java engineer becomes an integral part of the company's software development team and works closely with the existing developers. They are responsible for maintaining the existing codebase, fixing bugs, and adding new features as required.

As the product evolves and new requirements emerge, the Java engineer provides guidance and expertise to ensure that the product remains up-to-date and competitive in the market.

Sounds good, right?

What is the difference between Staff Augmentation and Outsourcing?


Some people confuse staff augmentation with offshore outsourcing. However, these two hiring strategies are fundamentally different. With outsourcing services, you are required to hand over the entire project to an external entity to handle it. That means this entity will have control over how the project is done and bear all the risks involved, presenting disadvantages for businesses.

Using staff augmentation is traditionally used when companies are looking for specific people to temporarily bolster their ranks to develop a project instead of a full team. With staff augmentation, you maintain control over your projects, including how they are done and when they are delivered. This allows you to keep the quality standards of your organization for every project that is done.

The key difference between Staff Augmentation and Outsourcing is that Staff Augmentation involves hiring additional developers to work alongside existing staff, while Outsourcing involves contracting out work to an external provider.

Staff augmentation is typically used to address short and long-term capacity issues, while outsourcing is often used to reduce costs or access specialized expertise.

Both approaches can be effective in filling talent gaps, but the choice between them depends on the specific needs of the organization and the nature of the work that needs to be done.

Why Should I Try Staff Augmentation?


This business process allows bringing high-qualified experts to your in-house team at lower costs. Additionally, you won’t need to invest in allocating your existing resources to the project, or in training new employees to do the job. Finally, it helps to enhance the workflow at the most reasonable time, effort, and cost savings.

Develative Nearshore Staff Augmentation Services

If you choose to use staff augmentation services as your hiring strategy, you can always contact us to help you get the best talent to fill the gaps in your organization. We will help you find top, experienced, and carefully vetted software developers that is fit to do the tasks at hand. While choosing whom to assign you, we go beyond just the skills and experience.

We ensure the developers we assign you are a perfect fit for your business culture, and we also take care of all the legal processes involved. This will enable you to focus on the core activities of your business as we handle all the recruitment processes on your behalf.

Scale your IT team with Develative today!

About the author

Lucas Ocon

Lucas is the Chief Executive Officer of Develative. He's in charge of the strategic direction and handling the growth at the company; also he serves as the performance coach of the on-site team, making sure the team has a career path tailored to each team member's expectations and goals. He enjoys spending time with his dogs and music venues.

Follow Lucas Ocon on LinkedIn

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