Most businesses, at some time or another, need a few more hands on deck. And not just any hands, but people who are skilled, trained and certified for the job you need them to do. Hiring these people in the traditional way can be a time- consuming and drawn-out process involving job advertisements, interviews, referencing, onboarding and endless paperwork. This is unhelpful if your business has mission-critical deadlines to fulfill. For some companies, and IT companies, in particular, Resource augmentation could be the secret weapon when you need rapid access to skills or headcount.
. Resource augmentation is a way for businesses to scale up or down quickly using temporary workers instead of permanent employees.
Resource Augmentation Work
Resource augmentation is as straightforward as using temporary workers or contractors to fill short-term positions within your company, usually through an agency that keeps a database of such workers. For example, suppose you have a special project that requires another three hands on deck, but the project will only last for six months. You could take on permanent employees but there will be no work for them to do when the project is over, and firing them could get messy. An obvious solution is to bring in trained and qualified workers who can hit the ground running and blend into your team. The idea is to boost or "augment" your current workforce so seamlessly that your permanent workforce will not even realize their colleague is a contractor.
Uses of Resource Augmentation
Resource augmentation is frequently used in the IT and software engineering industries, but it can be helpful for any business that needs human resources to deal with a special project or business spike. Here are some common scenarios:
- Your permanent Resource is already working overtime, but a new project has landed. You need extra bodies to ensure that customer service does not falter.
- An employee with critical knowledge has announced plans for an extended period of absence, for example, a sabbatical, illness recovery or maternity leave, and you need temporary cover to plug the skills gap,
- A new project requires specialized skills that your current employees do not possess. You need a consultant contractor to handle project implementation and train up your Resource.
- The company has been unable to recruit the right talent, perhaps hiring some people that did not work out.
- You're thinking about increasing your team permanently but are not sure if you have enough need. Staff augmentation can help you test a larger staff before making direct hires.
Benefits of Resource Augmentation
The main benefit to Resource augmentation is that the contractors you hire can jump straight in and get to work without needing to be walked through your process. There are hardly any hiring formalities, so you're not wasting valuable time with recruitment, background checks and onboarding. Perhaps more significantly, you're not taking on the burden of additional payroll duties. You can simply ramp up and down to meet fluctuating staffing demands without shouldering the cost associated with hiring permanent, full-time employees. Some other pros associated with Resource augmentation include:
Control over Resource: Contractors slot into your existing structures like regular employees so you can closely manage your resources.
Integration: Organizations often find it more effective to integrate contract resources with existing business processes than to try to manage off-site or outsourced teams.
Reduce employee burdens: Resource augmentation reduces the burden on your permanent workforce, which may reduce the rate of stress and absenteeism.
Meet aggressive project timelines: Resource augmentation may be the only option for getting the work completed when you have no lead time for a project, and you need someone "yesterday."
Scalability: With Resource augmentation, you can scale up and down without taking on payroll liabilities, as well as adjust your team size based on revenue upturns or client need.
Employee acceptance: Internal employees often feel less threatened by a staff augmentation model more than a project outsourcing model. It means there's little risk of their entire job description being outsourced.
Reduce the labor overhead: Resource augmentation is a pay-as-you-need model where you pay the rate multiplied by the number of hours worked with no ongoing commitment. This may help your business to reduce the overhead associated with hiring full-time labor such as benefits and taxes.