Staff Augmentation vs Outsourcing: What is the difference?

As businesses expand and evolve, the need for additional resources and expertise becomes inevitable. Staff augmentation vs outsourcing are two popular strategies that businesses use to address these needs. While they may seem similar, there are fundamental differences between these two approaches.

Our goal is to help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each approach so that you can make informed decisions for your business growth strategy. Let's dive in and examine the key differences between staff augmentation and outsourcing!

What is Staff Augmentation?

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, many companies often find themselves in need of additional staff to fill skill gaps or meet temporary needs. This is where staff augmentation comes into play.

Staff augmentation involves partnering with an external agency to hire additional professionals who can integrate into your existing team. These professionals retain their employment with the agency but work under your direct supervision to provide the skills and expertise you require.

Through staff augmentation, you can achieve greater flexibility and scalability in your operations by supplementing your team with specialized talent without having to manage the recruitment process or the administrative tasks associated with hiring. Additionally, staff augmentation enables you to maintain complete control over project management, ensuring that your business objectives are met on time and within budget.

With staff augmentation, you can rest assured that your team has the support and expertise needed to drive business growth forward.

What is Outsourcing?

Outsourcing involves delegating specific tasks or functions to third-party companies or individuals on behalf of our organization.

The outsourced tasks can range from low-level repetitive tasks to high-level strategic functions like software development, marketing, or customer service. The external party is responsible for completing the job, and, in most cases, the work is performed remotely or on-site, depending on the nature of the job.

Outsourcing offers businesses the chance to tap into specialized knowledge and expertise without incurring the cost of hiring full-time employees. It also provides an opportunity to scale up or down quickly to match business demands.

However, outsourcing does not provide as much control and integration as staff augmentation. The external party may operate independently, which can lead to communication gaps or quality control issues. Additionally, outsourcing may not be suitable for businesses that need direct control over the task's production or maintain confidentiality.

Key Differences between Staff Augmentation and Outsourcing

While both staff augmentation and outsourcing can help businesses fill talent gaps and meet workload demands, they differ in several key ways. Here are the main differences between staff augmentation and outsourcing:



With staff augmentation, the hired professionals work under your direct supervision and become an integrated part of your organization. You have more control over the work they do, how they do it, and how they fit into your existing team. On the other hand, outsourcing involves transferring the responsibility of the tasks to the external party, who may work independently and may not be directly managed by your organization.



Staff augmentation allows professionals to work as a part of your team, which means they can integrate more fully with your company culture and workflow. Outsourcing, on the other hand, can be more challenging to integrate with your existing team as they are an external party.


Skill Set

When you engage in staff augmentation, you have more control over the specific skills and experience of the professionals you hire. With outsourcing, you are typically limited to the skills and expertise of the external party you are working with.


Cost Structure

Outsourcing is often seen as a cost-saving measure, as you can hire an external party to perform a specific task or function at a lower cost than hiring a full-time employee. However, with staff augmentation, you can hire professionals for a specific project or time frame, which can also help control costs.

Understanding these key differences can help you determine which approach is right for your specific business needs.

Benefits of Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation offers numerous benefits for businesses looking to fill skill gaps or meet temporary workload demands. Here are some key advantages:

  1. 1
    Cost savings: By hiring additional professionals directly through a staff augmentation agency, businesses can save on the costs associated with recruiting, onboarding, and training new employees. Furthermore, businesses can avoid paying for employee benefits, such as healthcare and retirement plans, as these costs are typically the responsibility of the staff augmentation agency.
  2. 2
    Flexibility: Staff augmentation allows businesses to scale their workforce up or down as needed, without the long-term commitment of hiring full-time employees. This flexibility is especially valuable for businesses with fluctuating workloads or uncertain project timelines.
  3. 3
    Access to specialized skills: Staff augmentation agencies typically have a diverse pool of professionals with specialized skills and experience. This allows businesses to access top talent without the time and expense of finding and hiring these professionals themselves.
  4. 4
    Control: With staff augmentation, businesses retain control over the day-to-day management of the professionals they hire. This ensures that these professionals work seamlessly with the existing team and align with the organization's goals and values.
  5. 5
    Improved productivity: With additional professionals on board, businesses can improve their productivity and efficiency by reallocating tasks and responsibilities to the appropriate personnel.

In summary, staff augmentation provides businesses with a flexible and cost-effective solution for bridging skill gaps and meeting temporary workload demands while retaining control over the management of the additional professionals.

Benefits of Outsourcing

Outsourcing offers several benefits for businesses, including:

  1. 1
    Cost savings: Outsourcing tasks to countries with lower labor costs can significantly reduce expenses. This is particularly beneficial for small businesses with limited budgets.
  2. 2
    Access to specialized expertise: Outsourcing allows businesses to tap into the expertise of professionals who may not be available in-house. This can help organizations develop new products, services, or processes faster.
  3. 3
    Improved efficiency: By outsourcing non-core tasks, businesses can focus on their primary objectives. This improves overall efficiency and productivity by minimizing distractions.
  4. 4
    Scalability: Outsourcing enables businesses to quickly and efficiently scale operations up or down based on changing needs. This makes it ideal for businesses that experience fluctuations in demand.
  5. 5
    Reduced risk: Outsourcing can help businesses mitigate risk associated with changes in technology, regulation, or market demand. External parties can often provide more options and solutions when navigating these changes.

Whether you are considering IT Staff augmentation or outsourcing on a project scope basis, you can count on Bluebird. Which of our services are you interested in?


What is the difference between staff augmentation and outsourcing?

Staff augmentation involves hiring additional professionals to work under your direct supervision and become part of your organization, while outsourcing involves contracting third-party companies or individuals to perform specific tasks or functions on your behalf.

What is staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation refers to the process of hiring and incorporating additional professionals into your existing team to bridge skill gaps or meet temporary workload demands. They work under your direct supervision and become an integrated part of your organization while maintaining their employment with the staff augmentation agency.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing involves contracting third-party companies or individuals to perform specific tasks or functions on behalf of your organization. Unlike staff augmentation, outsourcing entails transferring the responsibility of the tasks to the external party, who may work independently and may not be directly managed by your organization.

What are the key differences between staff augmentation and outsourcing?

The key differences between staff augmentation vs outsourcing include control, integration, skill set, and cost structure. With staff augmentation, you have more control and integration as the professionals become part of your organization, while outsourcing involves handing off tasks to an external party. Skill gaps are addressed through staff augmentation, whereas outsourcing relies on the expertise of the contracted party. Cost structure also varies, with staff augmentation typically being more cost-effective for long-term projects.

What are the benefits of staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation offers several benefits, including access to specialized skills, flexibility in scaling your team based on workload, reduced recruitment and training costs, increased productivity, and improved knowledge transfer between augmented staff and your core team.

What are the benefits of outsourcing?

Outsourcing provides advantages such as access to expertise and resources not available in-house, cost savings through reduced overhead expenses, increased efficiency and productivity, improved focus on core business functions, and the ability to leverage external innovation and industry best practices.

How do I choose between staff augmentation and outsourcing?

Choosing between staff augmentation vs outsourcing depends on your specific business needs and objectives. Consider factors such as the level of control and integration required, the duration and nature of the project, the need for specialized skills, and the associated cost implications. Assessing these factors will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your business growth strategy.

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