Staff Augmentation in the times of Covid 19

Updated On : November 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has presented unprecedented challenges for organisations, creating uncertainty around sustaining critical activities. In these challenging times, for companies all over the world who are facing a hard time with unmet product development goals or abandoned work, staff augmentation can be the key to bridging the gap and returning to form.

Even before the Covid 19 crisis, due to cost drivers, shifting generational expectations, business and technological disruption and the need for agility, organisations were already employing more flexible ways to get essential work done. But now it has become a necessity as worldwide Covid 19 cases continue to rise, and the pandemic adversely affecting and crippling human lives. In the given circumstances, IT and software companies globally had to make tough choices. To ensure business continuity, there is a huge number of organisations which opted to continue working, but from home. However, even with planning and diligence, it has become a huge challenge to maintain operational efficiency at the same levels as before.

The pandemic has triggered serious challenges for companies needing immediate support while carrying out contingency plans for key resources unable to work from a remote work environment. There are office locations with restricted travel and mobility, and employees not equipped with the required technology to work from home. Another challenge is when key employees develop Covid 19 symptoms and are unable to work, further depleting the organisation’s resources. This has become a global issue of grave proportions impacting companies in different ways, as they are forced to fill critical roles immediately.

For those having a tough time trying to meet development goals or coping with abandoned work, staff augmentation can be the answer to bridge the gap. That said, however, it is extremely critical to find the right staff augmentation partner with the experience and record of delivering high value with a remote delivery model.

  • Save Money

    In the current situation and circumstances, it would not only be a challenge to hire full time employees for any ongoing project, but also prove to be expensive in the long run. Staff augmentation can come to the rescue by augmenting the current team with talented experts for the duration of the project. While having the freedom to hire for a short term, pay for the duration of the contract and yet be completely assured of quality talents on board, staff augmentation will help to save on other cost like hiring and onboarding costs as well as employee benefits.

  • Ensure Business Continuity

    While expense is one factor, it also takes time to find the right resource for the job with recruiting and onboarding technical staff sometimes taking up to months, which results in delays and will hinder the project’s success. But staff augmentation can take care of all the hiring needs and ensure access to specialized resources. The organisation can get the right professionals who will bring hands-on experience with tools and technologies and the expertise essential for the project. Staff augmentation brings in experts with the communication and collaboration skills required to augment the in-house team effortlessly and efficiently in no time.

  • Can Scale Up or Down easily

    As the pandemic continues and the current situation evolves and affects businesses, the size of the workforce may need to be adjusted accordingly. Whether it is letting go of permanent employees or hiring and grooming new employees, it is never easy for any business. While letting go of employees can spoil a brand and leave them open for criticism and add a lot of legal and financial challenges, hiring and training too is a major investment for any company.

    In these circumstances, staff augmentation can offer companies a great deal of flexibility by letting them manage their staffing needs on a project to project basis, while they are able to quickly adapt to dynamic market conditions and project needs.

  • In-house Team Support

    The purpose of staff augmentation has never been to replace an in-house team, but to support it and enhance its capabilities with specific skills that would ensure a project’s completion successfully and on time.

    With the addition of augmented staff, it is an advantage for an organisation to leverage both internal and external teams for a project. This also keeps the existing employees happy as they feel less threatened of being replaced and are open to the idea of staff augmentation and bringing aboard temporary employees for a project instead of completely outsourcing the entire project.

  • Have Complete Control

    Sometimes the stakes could be high in handing over the entire project to someone but with staff augmentation, the company has total control over the project management and the external resources hired. While the company does not have to take the trouble to find the right people themselves or take care of any HR aspects, the right people will join the team the same rules will apply to the augmented resources as the rest of the inhouse team.

Finally, these are extraordinary times and for an organisation, once the immediate skills gap is filled, it is necessary to pause and consider the impact of technology on work in the future. One suggestion offered in the industry is that organisations could consider having a retainer-based model or staff augmentation model that can provide immediate access to the right type of expertise in times of a natural or health disaster. At the same time, the staff on retainer should also know how to support and maintain the organization’s environment. While the cost of having workers on retainer will be relatively higher, it is one way for businesses to ensure they are covered in the event of widespread health calamity.

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