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Staff Augmentation – A Short or Long-Term Solution for Business Growth?

Building upon our recent article on staff augmentation as a business development tool, we plan to dive deeper into the subject, extend our analysis of this business model and explore its limits. Can it be a long-term solution that puts your business on the fast-track to success? Or is it just a short-term tool to fill in operational or skills gaps in your projects?  

The truth is that staff augmentation is by default a hiring model designed for short-term use, but it can be turned into a long-term solution in very demanding situations, where there is a clear employee or skill gap that cannot be filled otherwise. As ThinkInsights notes: 

“Staff augmentation helps clients deal with talent shortage, so it is one of the most efficient and popular ways of handling very short, unexpected projects, when business needs ultra-fast results under limited budgets. However, the benefits of staff augmentation tend to fade away in direct proportion to the project’s length”. 

Short-term team augmentation or long-term team augmentation are just two versions of this hiring model. Let’s have a look at other types exist:  

  • Commodity: This applies mostly to manual labor jobs, event organizers or retail workers. No prior experience or specific skill set is required here. 
  • Skill-Based: This type covers a lot of clerical work such as transcriptions, copywriting and data processing. Some skills are needed here but the learning curve is shallow.
  • Highly-Skilled: Software engineering, design or contract law are some instances in which this type of staff augmentation might come in handy. The level of skill and knowledge the augmented staff possess in this scenario is critical.

Out of all three, the high-skill model is the most commonly employed. That’s because it’s a very convenient hiring strategy for companies with a digital presence and global reach, that can afford to hire specialists remotely for specific projects. 


Short term vs long-term team augmentation  

Going back to the short-term and long-term team augmentation models, let’s see what kind of situations each of them is geared towards:  

Short-term augmentation 

This is staff augmentation in its natural state. This contracting strategy was created as a way to supplement in-house talent, which means dealing with manpower shortage in a flexible way and expanding your working capacity. Short-term team augmentation usually works wonders if employed for a few weeks to a few months. It is great for:  

  • Seasonal peaks – If you operate an ecommerce business, you know the holidays are the busiest times of the year, and you would do just about anything to secure more manpower. Augmenting your team can help you temporarily scale up your business.  
  • Projects that require a specific / niche skill set – If you have trouble finding the right people or assembling a skilled team to work on a specific project, short-term staff augmentation is ideal. 
  • Team vacation / sick leave – Any temporary gaps in your in-house team can be resolved with the short-term team augmentation model.  

Long-term augmentation 

As the name suggests, long-term augmentation usually implies supplementing your team for  longer periods over time – usually longer than 6 months. Employing this model means pushing its limits and may come with some risks. Let’s see where long-term team augmentation would be a good fit:  

  • Tight budget – When hiring and paying for a specific role gets to be too expensive, staff augmentation can help reduce costs. Even in the long term, an augmented team is cheaper to keep than an in-house one. 
  • Difficult hiring process – If you find discovering and hiring people for a role very difficult and unfruitful, team augmentation can ease the load by providing skilled specialists that can be part of your team for a longer period.  

Let’s join forces through team augmentation

Regardless of what model you opt for, Mejix can help augment your in-house team and scale up your business for as long as you need. Contact us for more details on our staff augmentation services and let’s start working together!