What is staff augmentation — a comprehensive overview

What is staff augmentation — a comprehensive overview

What is staff augmentation — a comprehensive overview

Every day, businesses in different industries face rapidly changing challenges because of fast-paced technological advancements. At the same time, it is necessary to remain a leader to compete for market share among other companies. Being competitive means being adaptable in growing your business and willing to use new technology without fear. The stumbling block, among many others, is the time required to improve business processes and the cost of implementation.

The answer is obvious — expand your team with the expertise and experience you need. To save time and money, we recommend using staff augmentation instead of hiring a full-time employee. Hiring a full-time employee can be expensive and consume a lot of time. Such an engagement approach is a more cost-effective and efficient option.

Staff augmentation is primarily about quickly scaling up and down your team by hiring temporary consultants. Consultants with the required skills can join your team for a specific period without long-term obligations, payroll taxes, and perks.

What is staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation involves recruiting temporary employees based on specific criteria for a limited period. The company first hires temporary workers to assist with a project. These vendors are added to the existing team. They bring valuable skills and experience to help achieve the main goals.

Second, this staffing practice allows you to hire suppliers for short-term and long-term projects. In this case, the company avoids the time-consuming and complex employing processes required for regular full-time employees. Lastly, team augmentation services allow the company to expand its workforce globally.

To understand better, consider this example: Your company offers software services and is starting a new project. While efficient and experienced with different technologies, the current development team may require additional expertise to utilize a new technology stack.

Strict deadlines for project completion and an insufficient number of employees to achieve them may become another obstacle. The company can apply staff augmentation practices in any of the above cases. 

These vendors can quickly integrate into the primary development team to ensure the timely completion of tasks. After completing the project, the company can downsize its team, launch the product, and use the saved budget for marketing or promotion purposes. This flexibility and optimization help organizations stay ahead by quickly adjusting to client needs.

Staff augmentation

Resource and staff augmentation models

Different goals require different ways to achieve them, and the choice between staff augmentation models is no exception. Consider one of the three most popular models, each meeting various business needs.

Choosing the right model is crucial for success and growth. This could involve hiring more people, acquiring new skills, or taking on challenging tasks. Each of these decisions plays a significant role in achieving success.


This team augmentation services model revolves around swiftly bolstering a business's workforce. It means hiring people who may have yet to gain advanced skills but can do essential tasks needed by the organization. Commodity-based augmentation is helpful during staff shortages or when filling positions that don't require exceptional expertise.


Skill-based augmentation entails hiring workers with specialized skills and expertise. Workers with a college degree and the right experience are easily recognizable as they perform their jobs effectively. Another benefit is the special skills of new workers, which will help the team by filling in gaps and adding value.

Highly skilled:

In this model, companies hire vendors with expertise in niche industries and a specific technology stack unique to their business. Such providers have a high level of experience and responsibility in solving complex issues. They can also achieve the desired result faster than other employees.

Types of staff augmentation models by duration

Regarding team augmentation services, there are different models based on how long an employee will work. In addition to the three models mentioned earlier, there are various other models.

Short-term services

Short-term services involve the engagement of specialists for a short period to solve a specific task or project. The advantages of such contractors are their flexibility, efficiency, and relatively low cost of services. At UKAD, you can hire software developers for even 4 hours a day.

Long-term services

Contractors are usually hired for a year or longer. This is why they can better engage and integrate with the internal team working on the project. We suggest ensuring that by hiring a consultant for the long term, your internal team is ready to help integrate the new specialist. In addition, you should pay attention to the cultural fit aspect to make your team feel confident in working with the new team member. A significant advantage of long-term cooperation in this engagement model is that the hired vendors will better understand the product they will be working on.

Key factors when choosing the suitable staff augmentation model

It is time to choose the best staff augmentation model to meet all your needs. You have familiarized yourself with all the options available, so now you can make an informed decision. Here are some important criteria to consider when choosing an engagement model:

Proficiency and experience:

Completing work tasks on time and with high quality is the most crucial factor for suppliers. Unsurprisingly, they would behave this way since it aligns with their typical actions. Pay special attention to the specialist's previous experience and hard skills.

Communication and time management:

When you bring on new hires for internal teams within your company, they usually follow established communication and time management models. Inquire about the vendor's past project management tools and methodologies. At UKAD, our top-level executives understand the importance of this aspect, which helps ensure smooth cooperation, align expectations, and prevent potential problems. That's why they follow up with each new client for several months to ensure communication is well established.

Cultural fit:

Aligning your company's values and vision with those of new suppliers is important to enhance teamwork effectiveness. This key factor will facilitate a more seamless integration into the team and lead to better results.

Flexibility and ability to adapt to changes:

When you need more resources to expand your project or make changes to the work, it's essential to have a vendor who can adjust quickly and efficiently. They should be able to meet your requirements with ease.

Time zone challenge:

When choosing a contractor, remember the non-obvious aspect of the time zone difference between the contractor and your team. At UKAD, we are working to eliminate and reduce the impact of time zone differences in every possible way. To ensure flawless productivity, we organize the workflow so that meetings between your team and our developers occur during overlapping hours. The ideal scenario is when the overlapping hours are around 4 hours, and the teams work together. At UKAD, planning the work of remote teams is essential. That's why UKAD's delivery centers provide 8 hours of overlap for customers in Europe and the UK, 6 hours for customers on the US East Coast, and 2 hours for customers on the West Coast.

When to use staff augmentation

We have briefly discussed what and why the resource and staff augmentation model should be used. Let's delve deeper into when it's worth using this model. Here are some everyday use cases:

Filling gaps in team's roles:

One of the most common scenarios is the need for a particular expertise in the team. When you start a new project, you may face the fact that your team has a front-end developer but no back-end developer, or you have a UI/UX Designer but no PM who can manage the project. Then, using this engagement model, you can easily bridge the gap in the team's position, and you won't have to reject a new project.

Access to specialized expertise:

Once in a while, new projects require specific expertise that your internal team members can't provide despite their existing experience. For example, consider a situation where you must use a platform such as Umbraco or Optimizely on a project. Staffing a vendor can be a great solution to avoid wasting time learning a new platform for your existing team. UKAD can offer cooperation with certified developers. The technical skills of the engaged contractors are confirmed. In addition, an external specialist can improve your team's knowledge in a previously unknown area.

Tough project deadlines:

Occasionally, your team members may work on large projects that require tight deadlines. Involving in-house employees in other projects is only sometimes a good idea, as it may cause delays in different projects. The staff augmentation model will allow you to complete the task on time and serve as an ideal solution to the problem. However, don’t forget that nine women can’t deliver a baby within one month.

Quickly replace a critical employee:

Sometimes one of your employees may leave a critical position. In such a case, you need to hire a qualified person quickly to fulfil the tasks assigned while avoiding a lengthy hiring process. Applying the staff expansion model covers this area of need and helps you gain time to hire an in-house employee.

Flexible scaling:

Due to a project's complexity and scope, project managers sometimes find it difficult to predict its workload. When this happens, the staffing model's advantage of flexible scaling can come in handy. At UKAD, we can also scale up and down to meet your needs. In addition, our contractors can quickly adapt to changing workloads.

Budget constraints:

When a company has tight budget constraints to complete a project in-house, outsourcing models or staff expansion can be effective solutions. These options can ensure that the project is completed efficiently and cost-effectively without compromising on quality. You will enjoy a 40-50% saving when hiring UKAD specialists.

Types of staff augmentation services

Besides models, which differ in duration of cooperation with hired employees and their level of expertise, there are also different approaches to  IT outstaffing services. Let's take a look at the types of staff expansion services we offer at UKAD:


The project-based approach involves hiring experts to perform tasks for a specific project. It is typically implemented when organizations have short-term projects requiring additional workforce or specialized skills. This model offers a flexible solution when newly hired employees are not involved in your business processes but only familiarize themselves with the part of the business they will be working on. This option will help you scale your team quickly, even for short-term solutions.

Staff augmentation


The outstaffing model, or team-based staff augmentation, involves hiring an entire team. The new team will be fully integrated into your business. The most significant advantage is hiring not just one employee but a whole team with the expertise, skills, and experience required for your project and who is ready to start working without delay.

Benefits and drawbacks of each service:

Upon reviewing the spectrum, it is evident that project-based staff augmentation provides a high level of flexibility that is especially suitable for short-term endeavors. Conversely, team augmentation services provide a deeper level of integration, similar to expanding your internal team. While project-based models offer task-specific expertise, team augmentation provides a holistic approach where teams are adept at navigating your business landscape. You can learn more about each type of service supplied by UKAD developers in our article, Nearshore IT Staff Augmentation Services, where you will learn about our approach and the stages of cooperation with us. You will also get all the answers related to IT staff augmentation consulting.

Pros and cons of staff augmentation

Staff augmentation is a practice that can have both benefits and challenges for companies looking to scale their teams effectively. We should understand the pros and cons of increasing staff to better understand its consequences for organizations.


  • Flexibility:

Such an engagement model allows you to quickly scale your team up and down to meet the needs of a project or a particular role, depending on the workload.

  • Economic benefits:

The company can save money usually spent on hiring full-time employees, especially for short-term projects. Sometimes, such economic benefits are not noticeable when a client hires consultants in the local market. Meanwhile, hiring staffin the Polish or Ukrainian markets can bring significant financial benefits and savings. In this case, labor costs, taxes, and social security benefits account for 40-50% of the cost savings.

  • Access to specialized skills:

Expanding your company's staff allows you to hire contractors with unique skills and experience that your team may require. This can save time and effort that would have been spent trying to acquire new skills in-house.

  • Speed and timing:

With team augmentation services, you don't have to go through complex recruiting processes that sometimes take several weeks to months. When using the team augmentation approach, the customer can instantly select developers from a pool of consultants ready to start working immediately. By hiring a UKAD employee from the available talent pool, you can be sure they are vetted. Such an advantage allows you to start cooperation quickly within 1-2 weeks. In comparison, classic recruitment is much more time-consuming, including the stages of searching and interviewing. In addition, the transition from one job to another for full-time employees can sometimes take a long time, even up to one month.

  • Low risks:

Regardless of whether the project requirements have changed or ended, you can continue cooperating with the employee without the legal or financial consequences of dismissing full-time employees.


  • Problems of integration:

Communication barriers may arise due to cultural and other differences between the internal team and external staff, leading to process delays and frustration.

  • Dependence on external resources:

Outsourcing business-critical staff from external vendors can lead to severe risks for the company. That's why balancing the number of internal team members and staffing roles is essential.

  •  Internal team sabotage:

New vendors can affect team morale. Proper employee communication about company strategy ensures that in-house employees feel supported and valued.

  • Quality of services received: 

Contractors need to provide quality performance that meets the client's requirements. To achieve this, it's worthwhile to ensure that the quality standards expected by the client are the same as what the contractor can deliver. This will ensure that the expectations of both parties are aligned, leading to a successful project outcome.

Staff augmentation VS other models

Many different models are available for businesses to apply according to their goals. Still, we decided to compare the staff augmentation model with only two other popular models, namely the dedicated team and the outsourcing model, each of which UKAD can provide directly.

Staff augmentation vs. dedicated teams 

Despite the surface similarities, the critical difference lies in the number of involved consultants. With a dedicated team approach, you get a whole team of developers, while a staffing expansion approach allows you to hire just one developer to join your existing team.

Staff augmentation vs. outsourcing model

If we compare the increase in workforce with the outsourcing model, the critical difference between these two models is the level of control. As explained earlier, the staff augmentation model mainly supplements internal teams with external talent according to project requirements.

At the same time, your company retains complete control over project management. On the other hand, the outsourcing model involves assigning all business functions or processes to third-party vendors, relinquishing direct control.

In addition to the differences presented above, you can find more information about the difference between staffing and staff augmentation in our article Augmentation Staffing vs. Traditional Staffing: What's the Difference?

How does staff augmentation work at UKAD?

Staff augmentation

We've covered what staff expansion is, what models exist, what problems it can solve, and what advantages and disadvantages it has over other engagement models. In turn, you may be wondering where to find a contractor who would perfectly fit the goals of your project and what stages of hiring you as a business should go through to choose the perfect candidate.

At UKAD, we provide resource and staff augmentation services, so we'll be happy to walk you through the stages of how this model works in our company and why you should hire an employee from our IT outstaffing company, among many other offers:

Primary discussion: understanding your needs

The process starts with a discussion, either online or in person, where UKAD takes the time to understand the complexities of your project and its related technologies. This primary discussion serves as the foundation for the entire process. By grasping your project's nuances and requirements, UKAD can craft a proposal that aligns perfectly with your scope.

Design the team structure

After discussing your project's needs and technical aspects, we go through a careful selection process. At UKAD, the hiring manager and technical staff will easily select candidates from our company's employees whose experience and knowledge would be ideal for your project. The selection process for the UKAD staff takes up to two business days.

Onboarding: seamless integration into your workflow

With the team in place, the focus shifts to seamless onboarding. Our team has integrated communication, tracking, and monitoring tools to simplify the transition for you and the engineering team. Our personal touch sets us apart — an executive leads every new outstaffing team, ensuring smooth and effective collaboration.

Ongoing delivery: nurturing long-term partnerships

Beyond recruitment and onboarding, UKAD is committed to nurturing long-term partnerships. We take care of everything from motivation and satisfaction to contractual obligations. Our company invests in the self-development of each of our specialists. That is why we support our developers with various training courses and certifications. In addition, each developer has a technical mentor with more experience. Each employee can access the company's expertise in a particular industry or niche if needed. The comprehensive approach to continuous development and training has a positive impact not only on the quality of our employees' work but also on their productivity.


The software services industry and other sectors are constantly evolving and changing. Sometimes, it takes time for companies to adapt to changes to keep up with new technological challenges, quickly execute projects, and start new ones. The reason for this can be either a high-cost and complicated hiring process or gaps in the experience or knowledge of the company's existing teams. That's why collaboration and engagement of external contractors may be an unavoidable solution. We hope this article was helpful and that you received comprehensive answers to the questions of what staff augmentation is and when it is best to use it. If you have any questions, please contact us at hi@ukad-group.com. We will be pleased to answer all your questions.

Frequently asked questions

How is intellectual property handled with the Staff Augmentation Model?

The agreement signed at the start protects the Client's ownership of the product's intellectual property. Our developers don't claim any IP rights created during staff augmentation projects.

How do I ensure the security and confidentiality of my project data with an External Staff?

To ensure data privacy, both sides sign non-disclosure agreements and other documents. From the technical perspective, the following preventive measures are implemented: VPN connections, a zero-trust policy, strict access control, encryption, and data anonymization.

What aspects should you consider when preparing your team for staff augmentation?

Initially, you should clearly explain to your team members why you decided to expand your staff. It would be best if you also pointed out the obvious benefits of this approach. These could be gaining specialized skills, managing workload fluctuations, or effectively meeting project deadlines. Another important aspect is clearly defining staff roles and encouraging cultural integration to avoid sabotaging your in-house staff. At UKAD, we've developed a culture that helps our developers fit into any team with the fluidity and speed of newly hired staff, or better yet, to ensure that our collaboration produces worthwhile results.

What are the key factors when choosing a suitable staffing partner?

If your company has learned about staff augmentation and thinks it's the right choice for your needs, you should pay attention to a few things when selecting a temporary employee. Make sure to choose someone who fits your criteria. When hiring a new team member, it's essential to consider their experience and technological skills, especially if they are joining an existing team. Soft skills such as teamwork and adaptability to change are also important. Additionally, it's essential to compare your company's corporate values with the new employee's to ensure a good match. These factors are crucial in determining the value of a new team member.

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