Staff augmentation in simple terms is an outsourcing strategy that is used to staff a project or business functions and responding to business objectives. The staff augmentation technique consists of evaluating the internal productivity of the existing staff and resources and then determining which additional skills are required. Staff augmentation can be regarded as a complete outsource model by hiring the services of a staff augmentation service provider who would provide the necessary staff to their client organizations and then these staff would work for a while till the completion of the project and then disburse.
Majority of companies have turned to staff augmentation services to fill up the gaps in their work force, survive the economic upheavals, and to maintain their competitive advantage. By using the workers or candidates provided by the staff augmentation service providers especially in near shore locations on a per project basis, organizations are able to augment their staff with the workers who have the skills necessary to meet the needs of their businesses. According to the Staffing Industry Analysts Inc (SIA) survey conducted during the recession, about 73% of companies surveyed said that they would be increasing their contingent work force by a median of 25% between late 2008 and late 2010. In addition, about one-third of these companies predicted that their contingent work force would grow by 50% or more.
Staff augmentation is turning to be an asset and working well for majority of industries in the field or sectors of defense, aerospace, pharmaceutical and utility industries as they are designing their work processes to make it work that way. Organizations in these sectors hire lots of subcontractors and individual consultants to work on their projects that are generally large and consume lot of time. The other side of staff augmentation is that it is not working well or showing enough positive results in some parts of the financial services industry as neither the traders nor investment bankers are independent contractors. Staff augmentation also does not work well in high tech companies where companies have to protect their intellectual property. Nevertheless, there are certain exceptions and no one location or service provider can be considered as a leader in the field of staff augmentation.