The business case for IT staff augmentation
The IT department is front and centre when it comes to business strategy decisions. This has been increasingly the case over the past two years and today IT is critical to enabling new operational models and supporting remote work by employees across a business. When planning for the future – whether it be related to daily operations, supply chain, or how and where to engage with customers and partners – technology plays a strategic and significant role.
Simultaneously, resourcing and recruitment models are experiencing a significant shift as well. There is a shortage of skilled individuals available to support the growing list of requirements to keep a business moving. This shortage is having a pronounced impact on IT teams as well as the business units they support.
Recruitment vs staff augmentation
Organizations are finding the recruitment process is taking longer than is ideal, and candidates are in high demand, making it unlikely that the top choice will tolerate a lengthy process. Training existing employees on new technologies is often a longer-term strategy that requires learning and development plans as well as the investment of time not available to spend in their current role. An added layer of complexity is introduced when the skills required to complete transformational projects are not intended to be engaged as a permanent role. These challenges can be addressed, and risks mitigated with a staff augmentation strategy.
What is staff augmentation?
IT staff augmentation (also commonly referred to as Professional Services) is a resourcing strategy that enables an organization to outsource technical roles that are often hard to find, niche technical skills, or required on a temporary basis. A staff augmentation strategy is frequently leveraged to quickly ramp up (and ramp down) a team to deliver on strategic initiatives and complex projects, adding capacity to in-house teams for increased efficiency, expert skills, and diverse perspectives from across the industry.
Cost of recruitment
The average traditional IT recruitment cycle can take anywhere between six weeks and six months. It is estimated that the process will typically range between 16-20% of the hire’s annual starting salary with variables that can drive the cost even higher such as relocation expenses. If you are looking to hire a single role for a highly technical, specialized, and/or in-demand skillset you cannot easily share the cost of hiring among multiple new-hires. Add in the cost of time to review applicants, interview, perform reference checks, complete onboarding paperwork, etc, then consider the opportunity-cost of the lost productivity from both the position vacancy plus the time the hiring committee is away from their usual duties and the costs add up. There are certain roles where it makes sense to commit the time and effort to hire a resource but there are roles in which staff augmentation is the more cost-effective solution.
Recruitment and staffing strategies
Sometimes the best strategy is to outsource the recruitment process and add to the team via staff augmentation. By working with a trusted partner, an organization can outsource much of the recruitment and onboarding process. Once you have defined your budget and needs, including the skills required and anticipated duration, you will be presented with a vetted slate of candidates to down-select for interviews. Once you have chosen your preferred candidate, your vendor-partner will take care of the onboarding process. Once onboard, you can integrate the newest team member into your project teams and manage their work as usual. There are many benefits your business can realize by implementing a staff augmentation strategy:
• Flexibility via access to local and global talent pool
• Direct access to expertise and thought leadership from professionals who have worked in a variety of sectors and industries
• Extend your core team while retaining management and oversight of the work product
• Expedited recruitment process and onboarding, provided by service provider
• Administration & payroll managed by service provider
• Short or medium-term commitment, with the ability to ramp up and down based on project requirements and timelines
ISM is a trusted staffing partner, having worked with customers across Canada to fulfil their staffing needs with certified professionals. Stay tuned for our next blog where we take a deep dive into ISM’s staff augmentation services.
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