What Is Staff Augmentation? Everything You Need to Know

Staff augmentation is a strategic solution to your staffing needs. Let's see what it is and how it can help you reach your project goals! And if your tech team lacks specialized skills, Bluebird is here to provide the missing experts on a daily rate.

What Is Staff Augmentation? Definition

Staff augmentation is a strategic staffing approach that enables businesses to enhance their teams' capabilities by augmenting their existing teams with external resources.

This method is designed to fill specific skill gaps or meet heightened project demands, offering a more flexible and scalable solution compared to traditional hiring methods, which often involve long-term commitments. It’s particularly beneficial in industries such as IT and tech, healthcare, engineering, and marketing.

A Form of Strategic Staffing

Staff augmentation stands as a strategic staffing tool for businesses focused on enhancing their team's capabilities with agility. Its flexibility enables organizations to dynamically adjust their workforce according to the fluctuating demands of projects, ensuring an efficient use of resources without the permanent commitments of standard hiring processes.

This method also presents a financially savvy option for accessing exceptional talent, allowing companies to tap into a pool of highly skilled professionals on an as-needed basis, thus streamlining workforce management and budget optimization.

A Form of Flexible Staffing

Staff augmentation offers organizations the flexibility to adjust their workforce size promptly in line with project demands, circumventing the long-term commitments tied to traditional hiring practices.

This flexible staffing strategy allows for an efficient scaling of teams, enhancing cost management by adjusting workforce levels to match fluctuating project needs, thereby avoiding unnecessary financial outlay during quieter periods.

It also enables the rapid integration of specialized external skills, providing a nimble response to evolving market conditions or specific project requirements.

Additionally, staff augmentation bolsters operational efficiency by ensuring the right mix of skills and personnel are available to meet project deadlines. This makes it a key solution for companies leveraging remote work and focusing on project-based tasks.

What Is Staff Augmentation? A table describing the utility of staff augmentation across various industries

Need New IT Experts on Your Team?

Decide which model best suits your strategic staffing needs:

Staff Augmentation: IT professionals on a daily rate

Our IT Staff Augmentation service provides a flexible staffing solution. If you need specialized tech skills for a specific project, this is the way to go.

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Tech Recruitment: Hire Remote IT experts as your employees

We at Bluebird have over a decade of experience in finding just the IT experts you need—professionals who fit perfectly into your team as dedicated, full-time employees.

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What Is Staff Augmentation? Common Myths & Misconceptions

While it is a powerful and beneficial approach to enhancing a team's capabilities, it is important to understand what it is not. Clearing up misconceptions or misunderstandings about staff augmentation helps to avoid confusion and ensure organizations make informed decisions.

What Staff Augmentation Is Not

  1. 1
    It is not outsourcing. Unlike outsourcing, where entire projects or business functions are entrusted to external entities, staff augmentation involves selectively adding temporary external resources to complement an existing team.
  2. 2
    It is not offshoring. Offshoring typically involves moving operations or specific tasks to another country with lower labor costs. Staff augmentation, on the other hand, leverages external resources regardless of their geographical location, focusing primarily on skills and expertise.

No Quality Compromise. A prevalent myth is that staff augmentation leads to a compromise in the quality of work because external professionals are not as committed or aligned with the company's values as full-time employees. In reality, augmented staff often bring specialized skills and a fresh perspective that can enhance project outcomes.

No Higher Costs. Some believe that this form of staffing is more expensive than hiring full-time employees due to the higher hourly rates of contractors. However, when considering the total cost of employment, including benefits, training, and other overheads, staff augmentation can be a cost-effective solution, especially for short-term needs or specialized skills.

Not only for IT/tech. While it is widely used in the information technology sector, some people mistakenly think it's only suitable for IT projects. In reality, staff augmentation can benefit a wide range of industries, including healthcare, engineering, finance, and marketing, by providing access to specialized expertise.

Not necessarily a short-term solution. Many view staff augmentation as a temporary fix rather than a strategic long-term staffing solution. However, for projects with fluctuating workloads or for companies in growth phases, it can be a viable long-term strategy for accessing the right talent at the right time.

No problem with team cohesion. Effective onboarding and communication strategies can ensure full integration, allowing external professionals to become valuable team members.

No loss of control. There's a fear that using augmented staff means losing control over project management and decision-making. However, organizations retain control over project direction and outcomes, with augmented staff serving to complement and enhance the existing team's capabilities.

What to Look Out for in Staff Augmentation

While staff augmentation offers many benefits, it's important for organizations to be aware of potential challenges and have a clear understanding of what to look out for when considering this approach.

1. Cultural Fit

When adding external resources to an existing team, it's crucial to consider the cultural fit. A cohesive team relies on shared values, communication styles, and work ethics. Ensure that the staff augmentation provider understands your company culture and can provide professionals who can seamlessly integrate into your team environment.

2. Effective Communication

Effective communication is essential for a successful staff augmentation engagement. Establish clear lines of communication with the external resources and ensure they have the necessary language proficiency and communication skills to collaborate effectively within your team. Regular updates, progress reporting, and feedback mechanisms should be agreed upon to maintain transparency and accountability.

We at Bluebird take special care to ensure effective communication between you and the tech experts joining your team.

4. Intellectual Property Protection

Protecting your intellectual property is vital when engaging external resources through staff augmentation. Establish legally binding agreements that clearly outline ownership rights, confidentiality clauses, and non-disclosure agreements. Ensure your staff augmentation provider adheres to industry best practices when it comes to protecting sensitive information and intellectual property.

5. Compatibility with Project Requirements

When selecting a staff augmentation agency, it's crucial to partner with one that prioritizes your project's unique needs. The agency should conduct thorough evaluations of potential candidates, assessing not only their technical skills but also their domain-specific expertise. This ensures that the professionals they provide are well-versed in the particular tools and technologies that are critical to your project's success.

This careful selection process helps in sourcing professionals who are not just technically competent but are also a strategic fit for your project's specific demands.

How Bluebird Can Help

Bluebird International is an agile IT staffing and software development company with operations in the United States and Europe.  With over 20 years of experience in the IT sector, we offer specialized staffing services such as IT Staff Augmentation and Tech Recruitment. We work each day to find just the right experts for your team, whether you need specialized skills for a specific project or a qualified professional to fill a permanent position.

Find us on Glassdoor.
Bluebird - Top Staff Augmentation Company - Hnugary 2024
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Alternatives to Staff Augmentation for Workforce Management

While staff augmentation is a valuable strategy for many organizations, it’s always a good idea to explore other staffing models, too. This way, you can be sure you end up with the option that fits your specific situation the most.

Here are some well-considered alternatives to staff augmentation:


This approach involves engaging external organizations to manage entire projects or specific operational functions. Outsourcing is particularly useful for tasks that require specialized expertise not available in-house or when looking to reduce operational costs by leveraging the efficiencies of external service providers. It's ideal for both temporary projects and ongoing tasks that do not core to your business operations.

Hiring Full-Time Employees

For ongoing, long-term needs where it is crucial to build a stable, committed team, hiring full-time employees might be the most effective approach. This option fosters a sense of loyalty and allows for deep integration into your company's culture and mission, contributing to sustained growth and the continuous development of institutional knowledge.

Engaging Freelancers

When dealing with variable workloads or needing specialized skills for short-term projects, freelancers offer a highly flexible and often cost-efficient staffing solution. They allow companies to scale their workforce up or down quickly, depending on current project requirements, without the long-term financial commitments associated with full-time staff.

Choosing the right staffing model requires a careful evaluation of your organization's specific needs, considering factors such as project scope, budget constraints, and strategic direction.

What Is Staff Augmentation? FAQ

What is staff augmentation?

It is a strategic staffing approach that involves augmenting an existing team with external resources. It allows organizations to access specialized skills and knowledge that may not be available within their internal team.

How does staff augmentation differ from outsourcing?

While both staff augmentation and outsourcing involve the use of external resources, there is a key distinction between the two. Staff augmentation involves integrating external resources into an existing team, whereas outsourcing involves delegating an entire project or function to an external entity.

Can I combine staff augmentation with other staffing options?

Absolutely. Many organizations combine staff augmentation with other staffing options to create a hybrid workforce model that best suits their needs. Depending on the project requirements, you can utilize a combination of full-time employees, freelancers, and staff augmentation resources to achieve optimal results.

Is staff augmentation cost-effective compared to traditional hiring?

It can very well be. Staff augmentation eliminates the long-term commitments and costs associated with traditional hiring, such as salaries, benefits, and training. With staff augmentation, you only pay for the resources you need when you need them, making it a cost-effective solution for organizations of all sizes.


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