How Does Augmented Staff Benefit for a Startup
Benjamin Disraeli, Conservative politician, writer, and the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, once remarked, "Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them."
The above holds especially true for businesses set on seizing the day and multiplying opportunities through hard work. However, every company needs dedicated employees to make the most of these golden moments.
This involves fostering a positive work environment to keep the employed talent happy, satisfied, and motivated. But what do you do when a lucrative project comes your way and requires more human resources than you've got?
A natural course of action would be to take it on and recruit new members to seal the gaps. However, hiring new employees when they wouldn't add much to the team in the long term can be expensive for companies, especially startups.
For instance, you'd have to shell out at least $4,700 to hire an employee. Add the time and effort you and your managers would spend recruiting, onboarding, and training them, and the total cost skyrockets exponentially. It might also detract focus and attention from the highlight of the show: the project.
So, instead of hiring full-time employees and spending more money, time, and effort than you can spare, opt for an augmented staff. This outsourcing mechanism allows you to onboard skilled talent onto your team to fulfill short-term staffing requirements.
Suppose you're a startup and want to capitalize on opportunities without cutting corners. In that case, this article will discuss the benefits of augmented staff for a startup and help you make an informed decision.
The author of this article is Arjun Ruparelia, an accountant-turned-marketer. He has helped various fintech companies improve their online presence and is familiar with the intricacies of the industry he works with daily.
He believes that: 'staff augmentation is necessary for result-oriented startups. You can hire skilled workers per your requirements and won't have to go through the hassle of hiring permanent employees. Moreover, augmented personnel excel at working on varied projects to meet strict deadlines.'
In this article, you'll learn what augmented staff is and its various advantages. We'll also discuss the four key considerations you must keep in mind to ensure you're hiring the absolute best for your business.
After you go through the many benefits of augmented staff for startups, you can check out the following guides to take a deep dive into the concept of staff augmentation and capitalize on ways you can improve employee performance and happiness:
- How Does the Staff Augmentation Process Work in IT? | Techreviewer Blog
- How to Improve Employee Performance, Happiness, and Productivity | Techreviewer Blog
What does an augmented staff do?
Before we dive head first into the benefits of an augmented staff for startups, let's first understand why businesses would consider it in the first place.
By leveraging staff augmentation, startups can increase their work capacity by getting outside help. This practice will enable them to:
- meet seasonal demand head-on,
- onboard highly skilled people,
- increase work efficiency and capacity, and
- save hiring and onboarding expenses.
Your business will gain a competitive edge since you can bridge the talent gap as soon as it's identified and reach out to freelancers and staffing suppliers.
For instance, if you're an IT consulting startup and snag a project to develop an in-house app for one of the biggest names in the Food and Beverage (F&B) space, you can quickly identify the human resources needed and contract temporary team members like developers and designers to pull off the project.
However, despite their advantages, augmented staff might not be the right choice for your business. So, it's essential to determine four key things before taking the augmented staff route.
4 Key things to consider before hiring augmented personnel
You must consider the following four pointers to determine if staff augmentation would be the right option for you:
- The project length: consider if the project is short-term or long-term. A temporary staff is best if you want them to help for a few months. But if you need to onboard them for over a year, hiring full-time employees is best.
- Nature of project: if a project is classified and would be compromised should any information leak out or involve divesting your trade secrets to gig workers, it's best to take it slow and judge whether the freelancer can be trusted to keep it under wraps. After all, you don't want to give your competitors the recipe for your secret sauce.
- Complexity of project: decide if the project is highly complex and would require cross-functional teams to collaborate consistently. If the answer is a resounding yes, hiring full-time workers who would be encouraged and motivated to give your company and its projects their full attention would be a better choice.
- Type of worker required: finally, recognize the type of augmented staff you'll need for a particular project. For instance, a commodity worker can handle basic manual labor, while a slightly skilled worker can tackle tasks like data entry and transcription.
But you'll have to get a highly skilled individual, such as a software engineer and UI/UX designer, for projects requiring expertise and specialization.
6 Benefits of augmented staff for a startup
Staff augmentation isn't an isolated concept. In fact, due to its many benefits, several businesses across the globe are employing this method to temporarily onboard specialized workers on their teams.
As such, the staffing industry – one of the most significant sources of this employment model— witnessed a growth of 4% over last year and raked in a global revenue of $648 billion, with the US being the biggest contributor and accounting for 34% of the income.
Similarly, the demand for augmented staff has also been a boon for the gig economy—another formidable resource. Consequently, around 73.3 million Americans are expected to engage in freelance projects in 2023 alone.
So, without further ado, let's discuss how startups can benefit from these augmented staff resources.
Benefit #1: Facilitates partnership with expert agencies to streamline business operations
One of the biggest draws of staff augmentation is it enables you to partner with expert agencies across the board. For instance, if you need to streamline your content and marketing efforts, you can go for a specialized agency to help out your in-house SEO, marketing, and content teams.
This will ensure you can ramp up your content output without compromising quality or putting undue stress on your existing employees. You won't have to hire multiple people for the teams involved and train them individually.
A dependable marketing agency will understand your needs and help you execute the plan. They might also suggest improvements to your devised plan, so you derive the best results. They can accommodate your request even if you have nothing concrete and need additional support.
Similarly, if you're in the sports sector and need someone to handle your and your team's varying travel requirements efficiently, you can choose one of the best sports travel agencies.
Benefits of a sports travel agency
There are multiple benefits of choosing a robust travel agency, including:
- It can manage varied schedules and travel demands with panache.
- The agency will provide you with the best travel options no matter the destination, so you're not stranded in a foreign location with no way out. For instance, you won't just receive the best rates for air travel. You'll also have access to car rentals, train schedules, and a list of nearby accommodations.
- You'll receive travel alerts and safety information and can easily cancel or change your bookings, reducing the cancellation amount.
- The integrated booking system will offer flexibility and encourage quick bookings.
- A responsive customer support team that's available 24/7 to solve your queries.
- Centralized invoicing will relieve your employees of the headache of asking for reimbursements and approving each one manually.
- Allow you to set booking limits and travel boundaries to ensure no one takes advantage of the travel policy.
- Access to real-time expense reports and other documents.
- Bonus benefits include VAT (value-added tax) recuperation, minimization of carbon footprint, and integration with HR solutions and expense management software.
To reap these benefits and ensure your partner or augmented staff pulls its weight, it's important to pick a competent sports travel agency.
Features to look out for when choosing a sports travel agency
A competent sports travel agency shall meet the following features:
- Wide range of options: it must offer locally and internationally coverage.
- Travel policy integration: the agency must allow you to craft travel policies and enable you to stay on top of travel expenditures so you can compute future budgets accordingly.
- Round-the-clock customer support: look for an agency with a reliable and dependent customer support feature that's available 24/7 and has a short wait time.
- Autonomy and flexibility: it must let you be in charge of your travel bookings and cancel or change them per the ground situation.
- Group travel: this is important since you might've to invite last-minute guests or add some surprise guests to the calendar without prior notice. A group travel feature will also allow you to plan and book group outings without the constant back and forth.
- Real-time tracker: to allow you to keep tabs on your employees' travel locations and ensure they're safe at all times of the day.
Benefit #2: Improves productivity and keeps your employees happy
Another major benefit of staff augmentation is it boosts employee productivity. Since you'd be hiring professionals to pitch in as needed, your employees would have the help they need and wouldn't be overworked or unnecessarily stressed.
A happy employee will be more engaged in the work they do. As a result, they'll enjoy working on the project, and their productivity will improve. This will positively impact your bottom line, and your business will be 23% more profitable than companies with disengaged employees.
Your organization will also benefit from lower absenteeism, a loyal workforce, a creative team, and a positive work culture. Moreover, your company will witness higher retention rates, and you'll have to spend less time and money hiring and training people repeatedly for the same role.
However, fostering a positive work culture is more difficult than it sounds. Besides satisfying work opportunities and friendly colleagues, you must offer your employees non-monetary benefits, like mental health days and gym subscriptions. But if you need help curating the ideal benefits package, outsource it to an expert.
Present your employees with the perfect company benefits package.
Curating a company benefits package is a matter of considering your employee's preferences. For instance, you might offer them paid leaves, a free subscription to a development podcast, and mental health days per the industry norm, but are these things really what your employees need?
Just because it's someone's birthday doesn't mean they'd like cake. The same logic applies to your employees as well. While health and wellness resources, contribution to 401(k)s, professional and personal development opportunities, and work-life balance are a given, go the extra mile.
Yes, they would appreciate being offered the same benefits as their peers. Still, they would appreciate it even more if you asked them for their opinions and presented them with a benefits package that resonated with them.
Further, offer them various options to show them you're serious about incorporating their suggestions. Ask them if they'd like free lunch every day or want a free ride to the office.
While you're at it, outsource the benefits package to a state-of-the-art solution and ask them to help you provide a bespoke benefits package for each employee in your organization beyond the obvious ones. The platform will also sort things out for you and your workforce without creating a huge mess.
After you're done, don't forget to communicate the excellent benefits package you come up with and encourage them to put it to good use.
Benefit #3: Flexibility to pick talent from a wider pool
The world is quite literally your oyster when you go the augmented staff way. You can hire professionals from any corner of the world without worrying about geographical and physical limitations.
With the freelance resources having little impact on your work culture, you can streamline the screening and interview processes and get them onboard quickly. Additionally, if you use a staffing agency to fill the gap, you'll have access to a wide pool of vetted, talented professionals.
Since the augmented staff don't need training, they can start immediately. The time you save here will ensure the project is underway as soon as humanly possible and has better odds of being completed on or before the designated deadline.
Further, a team spanning the globe will have an interesting mix of individuals, and its homogeneity will birth fresh ideas and unique strategies. This would enrich the project immensely. The best part, though? The varying work styles and approaches to problems and challenges will allow your employees to upskill themselves.
The generation of new ideas and strategies will keep work processes from turning stale and boring. It'll also spark creativity among your permanent workforce and encourage them to pitch innovative ideas and apply new solutions to age-old problems.
A fresh perspective will help you innovate rather than produce an improved copy of your previous product and offer more value to your customers. This will also keep your existing customers hooked and loyal while attracting new ones through positive word of mouth, increasing sales and boosting revenue.
Benefit #4: Cost-effective
Capital is the most important resource for a startup. As it doesn't have access to unlimited funds and needs to be strategic with its spending, getting augmented personnel to help out is an excellent way of cutting costs without compromising quality.
It's a good alternative since hiring temporary workers is more cost-effective than hiring full-time employees. You won't have to worry about training them, getting them up to speed, taking it easy for the first few days, or employee benefits and expenses.
Moreover, you'll save a lot of money on overheads like office space, hardware, and proprietary software. The saved money can be used for venues that would otherwise be inaccessible to the startup, like marketing—paid and organic—and advertisement.
Benefit #5: Increased flexibility
A crucial benefit of augmented staff is the flexibility they offer. You can hire them when you have an important project that requires more hands on deck or are witnessing a higher demand for your products and services than expected. Similarly, you can terminate the contractual relationship when you no longer need the services.
This way, you won't have to spend effort and money attracting qualified candidates and hiring them after a long-drawn process or laying them off when the business is in a slump.
You don't have to commit or promise anything beyond the agreed-upon terms. Moreover, you get to choose the cream of the crop and hire them based on the level of skilled workers you need on the team. This allows you to achieve organizational goals without investing in full-time employees.
For instance, if you just need a helping hand at the warehouse, you can simply hire a commodity worker.
Likewise, suppose you are overhauling your IT infrastructure and need a bounty hunter who can think like a hacker to check the infrastructure for vulnerabilities. In that case, you can hire someone perfect for the job and task them with checking in every few days or simulate attacks every day to help you build a fortress.
The choice is completely yours. You can have them work 40 hours a week, urgently accommodate a problem over the weekend, fill in for your employee on vacation or a long leave, or work just an hour every day or week. Additionally, they facilitate asynchronous communication that can spur your startup's growth.
You don't have to hire full-time individuals to fill in temporary gaps. Moreover, they're less likely to work on an erratic schedule or appreciate you dominating their weekend with work.
The cherry on top? You can offer the augmented staff a permanent position on the team if their work ethic is impeccable, they bring immense value to the team, and you can accommodate them without needlessly stretching your budget.
Benefit #6: Dedicated team to work on the project
Hiring gig workers is unlike the trial and error a company goes through when it hires a permanent employee. You'll know exactly who you're hiring and what for. This temporary worker won't be obligated to don multiple hats at your organization to keep it running smoothly.
They'll have one role: tirelessly work on the project and give their best. For instance, if you need their help to build a SaaS startup, that's what they'll do.
Clear strategies, objectives, and expectations make it easier for them to have tunnel vision and not get distracted. So, they won't get sidetracked by an office party, be unable to come into work if the weather takes a turn for the worse, or put the project on the back burner to work on personal issues.
The singular focus will drive them to see the project through within the set deadline or with a few days to spare if they're working on a new model that needs to be tested before it can be taken to market.
The dedicated team will take the initiative and communicate and collaborate with your team to keep the project on track. Moreover, you won't have to constantly monitor the project's success since they'll keep you apprised of the progress and any roadblocks they hit along the way.
This focus and dedication will have a ripple effect and encourage your employees to put their best foot forward. It'll improve productivity, project execution, and resource management.
Augmented staff can help startups scale rapidly
Outsourcing and hiring skilled workers on a project or contract basis is extremely beneficial for startups. It allows them to stretch every penny and dollar, get specialized workers to lend their expertise, and spark creativity in their workers while offloading work pressure.
Depending on your needs and requirements, you can hire professionals through a staffing business, outsource a small chunk of a project to another external team, or get a contractual freelancer to work on segments.
Augmented staff will allow you to achieve results without overextending your limited resources. So, if you're a startup looking to connect with specialized service providers, check out the best ready-to-go software development teams to partner with the one that best meets your requirements.