Imagine being a soccer team and having the chance to sign Messi and Neymar just when you need them for an important final. Wouldn’t that be great? Well, that is what staff augmentation is all about.
Let’s picture a scenario – your company is growing, and you realize that more people with software engineering skills are required. You already have a team, but the workload is increasing. The obvious answer would be to expand your engineering department. Easier said than done due to the difficulty and cost of finding skilled IT professionals in the US, where a senior software engineer’s yearly salary is between $162,000 to $237,000 USD, with an average of $194,000 USD, including additional pay, as reported by Glassdoor (January 2024 data). However, there are other ways to expand your IT department’s capabilities while keeping your costs under control. How can you leverage the benefits of having a larger and more skilled team without incurring excessive expenses? This is where IT staff augmentation comes in.
Staff augmentation handles increased workloads more efficiently
Staff augmentation means adding external professionals to your team for specific periods. This process helps manage workloads and achieve business objectives. Unlike traditional outsourcing, staff augmentation enables organizations to retain project control while leveraging external resources.
Searching for the right software engineering talent can take a long time. In software development, waiting to find the right talent could be disastrous if you want to get ahead of your competition. For roles that require rare skillsets, the hiring process can take up to 4 months. Companies cannot wait so long, which is why taking advantage of staff augmentation services presents itself as a vital alternative for organizations.
Why should US companies use staff augmentation?
There are three main benefits for US companies that take advantage of IT staff augmentation – whether it’s building Proofs of Concept (PoCs) or undergoing a digital transformation.
You gain flexibility
At times, your company might require a large team solely dedicated to software development. For example, to prepare for a significant market launch, support app development, or to create a product demo. However, there may also be times when the tasks you cope with are less demanding and fewer developers are needed. Thanks to IT staff augmentation, you can request more engineers during the high season and have fewer staff members working for you at other times. Depending on the project status, scaling up or down will ramp up development and optimize costs.
You get expertise
When choosing an IT staff augmentation approach for your company’s software engineering endeavors, you’ll have access to domain expertise and skilled professionals who truly understand their work. Large organizations may face difficulties utilizing new and emerging technologies, but staff augmentation can help companies accelerate digital transformation initiatives, generate new revenue streams and maintain a competitive edge.
You save time and money
Hiring staff is a costly and time-consuming process. It involves advertising, interviewing and selecting candidates, along with the hiring process itself, taxes and benefits. Moreover, there are additional expenses related to the immersion and onboarding programs. However, thanks to IT staff augmentation you can get people involved in your daily work as if they were part of your permanent workforce without incurring the additional costs associated with hiring and retaining an in-house team. You can learn more about the differences in wages between US and Latin America software developers in this nearshoring software development article.
What kind of companies need IT staff augmentation services?
Partnering with an IT staff augmentation provider can benefit businesses at any stage of their development and empower their operations. Here are the kinds of organizations that can enhance their software development thanks to staff augmentation:
- Established organizations with inconsistent workloads: Businesses with varying workloads, such as those operating in seasonal industries or experiencing rapid growth, can use staff augmentation to expand or shrink their workforce as necessary.
- Companies undergoing a digital transformation: During a digital transformation, businesses require specialized IT skills. Staff augmentation provides access to experts without long-term commitments.
- Firms needing to fill critical skill gaps: Businesses can use staff augmentation to fill essential skill gaps, which is particularly helpful when implementing new technologies or processes.
- Startups and small businesses: IT staff augmentation enables businesses operating in fast-paced industries or those with limited resources to quickly access specialized skills and expertise without hiring and training full-time employees.
- Businesses seeking to expand into new markets or countries: A way to provide businesses with local talent and expertise, staff augmentation is particularly helpful when operating in countries with different labor laws and regulations.
It is clear that US companies facing IT skill shortages and needing specialized expertise can leverage staff augmentation to their advantage. However, a pertinent question arises: How will the external employees fit in with the rest of the team and company? The key lies in finding the right culture fit and approach to work.
Read also: Staff Augmentation vs. Managed Services
IT staff augmentation is all about people
Many LATAM software developers have studied or worked in US-based companies, which makes them familiar with US workplace culture and language. Latin American countries have a workplace culture influenced by American culture, which creates a common ground that benefits both the US and Latin America. Along with proactive, innovative and creative ways to approach work, very often based on their experience cooperating with US companies, Latin American IT professionals prioritize building relationships based on mutual trust.
The key to delivering true value with IT staff augmentation services is to work with IT professionals who, in the words of John Doerr, act as missionaries rather than mercenaries. Missionaries become more engaged and truly become a part of your organization, while mercenaries only act as guns for hire and remain detached. This is important, as, according to Gallop, employee disengagement can cost the US economy up to $350 billion USD annually. Moreover, software that fails to meet expectations can also lead to missed opportunities, slower releases and reputational harm. The pivotal difference with an experienced software partner is that it can ensure missionaries are part of their IT staff augmentation services.
IT staff augmentation – the best of two worlds
Staff augmentation offers the best of both worlds: exceptional professionals who collaborate with your team and are dedicated to your projects, while still flexible enough to be reassigned to other tasks whenever necessary. This system has been proven to be effective and cost-efficient over the years, with many companies choosing to partner with us, resulting in valuable, long-term relationships.
If you’re a US-based company needing IT staff augmentation services in Latin America provided by an experienced partner, contact us using this form.
About the authorJavier Minsky
CEO at Software Mind LATAM
Javier, an accomplished Systems Engineer with a bachelor’s degree from Universidad Tecnológica Nacional and a master’s degree from Universidad de Belgrano, co-founded Virtualmind in 2005 and served as its visionary CEO. Under his leadership, Virtualmind, now operating as Software Mind LATAM, has grown significantly and become a leading software industry player known for cutting-edge solutions and high-quality staff augmentation services for North American companies. Javier is passionate about innovation and is committed to continuous professional development, for everyone at Software Mind LATAM.