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A Complete Guide to IT Staff Augmentation: Building Your Dream Tech Team


If your IT department lacks specific skills or if your team struggles to keep pace with new technologies, staff augmentation can help! This all-you-need-to-know guide explains how to use IT staff augmentation to build a strong and adaptable tech team, all within your budget. 

What is Staff Augmentation? 

The meaning of staff augmentation is really simple: It is a strategic way to help businesses acquire specialty talent when needed. In general terms, staff augmentation acts like your own strategic team-building resource.  

It gives you access to a network of qualified IT professionals who can fill specific skill gaps on your current team.  This means that through this model, you can hire temporary workers to fill a gap in your team. This can be a temporary solution for short-term projects or a long-term option to address ongoing needs. 

We have created a whole content explaining to you the definition of staff augmentation. Consult it here and learn the basics of this hiring model. 

Staff augmentation vs consulting:  

  • Staff augmentation is similar to having temporary team members who work on your projects under your supervision and become integrated with your team.  
  • Consulting, on the other hand, is more advisory. Consultants analyze your situation and offer solutions without becoming part of your daily operations. You will benefit from broad expertise and a fresh viewpoint. They may not integrate as closely with your team, and knowledge transfer may be limited. 

Staff augmentation vs. managed services

  • Managed services offer complete and continuous support, making them perfect for organizations looking to outsource technology management, enhance cybersecurity, and minimize downtime.  
  • In contrast, staff augmentation provides the flexibility and agility to address specific projects or temporary staffing needs while retaining control over the tasks. 

What is IT Staff Augmentation? 

IT staff augmentation involves hiring temporary, skilled IT workers to meet specific needs within your existing team. 

It’s like borrowing extra muscle or brains to complete a project or handle ongoing tasks.  This allows you to scale your team up or down as needed, without the commitment of hiring a new full-time employee. 

Why Companies Leverage Staff Augmentation Services 

This augmented team model is a win-win for businesses needing specialized IT skills. It gives you access to experts without the long-term commitment of a full-time hire, saving on costs.   

Additionally, you can easily adjust your team size up or down as project needs change. This flexibility ensures you have the right skills exactly when you need them, eliminating skill gaps and keeping projects on track. Some important benefits include:   

  • Focus on project-based expenses, avoiding the high cost of full-time hires and benefits. 
  • Scale your team up or down quickly to meet changing project demands. 
  • Find specialists with the exact skillsets you need, even for niche technologies. 
  • Get projects done on time and within budget with experienced professionals.

Why is Staff Augmentation Popular in the IT Industry? 

Staff augmentation has recently gained popularity in the IT industry due to various challenges and uncertainties facing technology companies worldwide.  

The industry is facing a turbulent environment characterized by high inflation, rising interest rates, slowing economic growth, geopolitical tensions and supply chain disruptions. In these volatile conditions, companies, both large and startup, are struggling to maintain profit margins, leading to layoffs. With more than 262,000 employees laid off in over 1,180 companies worldwide, the need for cost-effective solutions is paramount. 

By leveraging augmented staffing, organizations can access specialized expertise when needed, scale their workforce to meet project demands and adapt quickly to market changes. In addition, in an environment of uncertainty, staff augmentation allows organizations to mitigate the risks associated with hiring full-time employees while remaining agile and competitive in the ever-evolving IT landscape.  

Given the challenges and uncertainties in the industry, staff augmentation is emerging as a popular strategy for navigating turbulent times and effectively maintaining business operations. 

When to Use Staff Augmentation? 

This arrangement is particularly most useful in the following scenarios; however, it also can be part of your IT strategy to low cost and receive all the benefits of IT team augmentation offers.  

  • Meeting short-term project deadlines 
  • Filling skill gaps for specialized projects 
  • Scaling operations without long-term commitments
  • Testing new technologies or methodologies before full implementation

Staff Augmentation: Pros and Cons 

While staff augmentation offers clear advantages, it’s important to consider all aspects before deciding. Let’s explore both the benefits and drawbacks to help you make the best choice for your IT needs.  


  • Pay only for the specific skills you need, exactly when you need them. This saves money compared to full-time hires, especially for temporary projects or fluctuating workloads. 
  • Easily adjust your team size and skillset based on project demands.  
  • Staff augmentation firms vet their candidates, giving you a pool of qualified professionals to choose from. This saves time and resources on traditional recruiting and offers access to a wider talent pool than you might have on your own. 
  • Experienced augmented team members hit the ground running, contributing immediately. This accelerates project timelines and improves overall efficiency. 
  • Staff augmentation allows you to “try before you buy” a specific skillset. This mitigates the risk of a bad hiring decision compared to full-time hires. 


  • Adding new team members, even temporarily, requires effort. Expect some learning curve for augmented staff to grasp your company culture, processes, and systems. 
  • While some knowledge sharing happens, augmented staff may not become experts on your specific company’s needs. This can be a drawback for complex, long-term projects. 
  • Leading an augmented team requires additional oversight. Ensure clear communication and collaboration between your internal team and the temporary staff. 
  • Introducing new team members can sometimes disrupt existing workflows. Clear communication and a well-defined onboarding process can help reduce this disruption.

Types of Staff Augmentation Models  

There are different models when it comes to IT team augmentation, depending on your specific needs, you can choose from different models to build the perfect team. Here are some differences briefly: 

  • Onshore Staff Augmentation: Hiring talent from within the same country as your business, offering cultural alignment and easier communication. 
  • Offshore Staff Augmentation: Leveraging talent from overseas locations, often chosen for cost savings. 
  • Nearshore Staff Augmentation: Recruiting talent from neighboring countries, combining cost efficiency with geographical proximity. 

Understand all the staff augmentation models in our latest guide. We help you identify the use cases for each model and how to know which is best for each business need. Do not miss the reading!   

Staff Augmentation Examples According to Its Models 

Let’s break into some examples of staff augmentation models and how they work make clear what should be the benefits.  

Location-Based Models 

  • Nearshore: Imagine you need software developers but want to keep costs lower than domestic options, so you might hire developers from Colombia. In here, for smoother collaboration, a nearshore provider could staff your project with talent from a neighboring country, often with similar time zones and cultural backgrounds.  
  • Offshore: For instance, if your company needs accounting experts, this model allows you to hire experienced bookkeepers from, let’s say, Eastern Europe to manage your financial records remotely, freeing up internal resources for core business functions. It’s great for well-defined tasks.  
  • On-site: If you need data entry specialists on-site for a time-sensitive project, staff augmentation companies place workers directly at your physical location. This fosters better integration and communication, especially for projects requiring close collaboration.  

Engagement Models 

  • Time-based: For example, hiring a marketing consultant for a specific campaign on a time-based contract. In this model, you pay for the staff’s time, typically by the hour, week, or month.  
  • Skill-based:  Your company’s team needs cybersecurity experts to address a vulnerability. In this model, you focus on the specific skills needed for the project, and the augmentation company assigns qualified personnel. 

Staff Augmentation vs. Other Outsourcing Models 

Each approach has its own merits depending on supervision, control, flexibility, and integration.  

Managed Team Model 

This model involves the outsourcing provider managing a dedicated team of resources assigned to the client’s project or tasks. 

The provider handles recruitment, onboarding, and day-to-day management of the team, while the client retains control over project direction and outcomes. 

 Project-based outsourcing 

It involves outsourcing specific projects or tasks to an external provider who assumes responsibility for project delivery from start to finish.  

The outsourcing provider will manage the project, including resource allocation, project planning, execution, and delivery. You, as the client, will provide input and oversight as needed. 

Relationship-Based Outsourcing Models 

Staff Augmentation 

Managed Team Model 

Project-Based Outsourcing 


The client’s team will be temporarily augmented with external talent. 

Provider manages a dedicated team of resources assigned to client’s project or tasks. 

Outsourcing specific projects or tasks to an external provider for end-to-end project delivery. 


The augmented staff works under the client’s supervision and integrates into the client’s team. 

The provider manages the recruitment, onboarding, and day-to-day management of the team. 

The provider handles all project aspects, including assigning resources and executing the project. 


The client keeps control over the direction and outcomes of the project. 

The client keeps control over the direction of the project, while the provider manages team operations. 

The client provides input and oversight, while the provider manages project execution. 


Provides flexibility to scale team up or down as needed for specific project requirements. 

Offers flexibility in team composition and resource allocation based on project needs. 

Provides flexibility to adapt resources and adjust project scope as needed. 


The augmented staff will integrate into the client’s team and follow their processes and procedures. 

The provider guarantees that managed team members will integrate smoothly into the client’s workflow. 

The provider guarantees that project resources will integrate seamlessly and align with the client’s goals. 

Considerations and Misunderstandings About Staff Augmentation 

Staffing augmentation greatly benefits your company’s growth and ability to achieve its goals. However, you must be aware of the challenges you may face if you use this hiring model. This is not to say that you should not include it in your strategy; it is just to make sure that you manage the common considerations well.  Here are some tips!  


  • Staff augmentation is like outsourcing Staffing is different from outsourcing. It is a specific type of outsourcing that focuses on bringing in temporary or contract workers to supplement your existing staff. Outsourcing, on the other hand, can involve the complete delegation of a business process to a third-party provider. 
  • Staffing only works for short-term projects: No, it is suitable for short-term projects and can also fill long-term needs. 
  • Managing staff augmentation teams can be challenging: No, these teams are adaptable and can integrate well into your project with good communication. 
  • Staff augmentation is not cost-effective: Whether staff augmentation is cost-effective depends on various factors, including the cost of benefits and overhead. It may be more cost-effective than hiring full-time employees in some cases. 


  • It’s cost-effective. Staff augmentation offers a cost-effective solution for acquiring talent, especially for short-term projects or specialized skills.  
  • Recruit top talent. It allows quick access to experts for specific tasks without lengthy recruitment processes, efficiently addressing skills gaps or project requirements.  
  • You can scale your team. Easily adjust team size based on workload fluctuations.  
  • Time to integration. Temporary workers may require time to integrate into existing teams and grasp company culture.   
  • Team management. Added staff requires investment in management efforts, including onboarding, training provision, and overseeing their work to ensure alignment with project goals.  
  • Plan carefully. There may be a risk of disruptions if contracts end prematurely. 

Steps for Choosing the Right Team Augmentation Model 

Now you have considered the pros and cons of this type of engagement, think about the following factors to choose the right augmentation team model.  

  • Project requirements, duration and scope 
  • Skill requirements  
  • Geographic proximity 
  • Budget constraints 
  • Timeframe for delivery 
  • Cultural and language compatibility 
  • Security concerns 
  • Regulatory compliance 

If you are unsure what is most convenient for your company, read our article about staffing augmentation models for IT needs, there you can learn how to identify, and implement them. Our article breaks down each factor to help you understand when it’s a good idea to implement this model. 

How to Choose the Right Staff Augmentation Company - Service 

Selecting the right staff augmentation provider is critical for project success. Evaluate factors like geographic proximity, project duration, required skills, security concerns, and budget constraints to select the right one for you. Also, we highly recommend that you take into account, when evaluating potential partners, the following features:  

  • Track record of successful placements  
  • Quality of talent pool  
  • Evaluate the recruitment process 
  • Review reputation and other clients’ feedback 
  • Look for an IT staffing agency with industry expertise 
  • Transparent pricing and contract terms  
  • Compatibility with your company culture and values  
  • Proven ability to meet deadlines and deliverables  

HeinsohnTip: A partner who understands your vision and growth plans can grow with your organization, delivering long-lasting value over time. 

In our guide about nearshore model, find all the step-by-step processes to choose the best nearshore service and partner. Remember, we are here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Pricing of Staff Augmentation Services 

According to Clutch, the hourly rates for IT staff augmentation firms often fall between $25 to $49 per hour on average. However, it can fluctuate based on factors such as project scope, duration, industry and the expertise required.  

Usually, staffing projects usually cost between a few thousand and several hundred thousand dollars. Consider these factors that can affect the project’s final price:   

  • Skill level and experience: The desired seniority level of the IT team can affect the price. For example, individuals with more experience and specialized skills will command a higher rate than those with less experience. 
  • Location: Staff augmentation rates tend to be higher in countries with a high cost of living. We recommend the following countries for nearshore software development.
  • Industry: In general, tech industry staff augmentation tends to be more expensive than other sectors.   
  • Staffing company: Some agencies specialize in placing high-level consultants and will charge a premium for their services. 
  • Project Scope: The hourly rates charged by IT staff augmentation firms can be significantly impacted by the complexity and scope of the project. 
  • Duration: The length of the project plays a crucial role in determining the overall cost. Longer-term projects may offer more favorable rates compared to shorter-term engagements.  

Top 10 of IT Staff Augmentation Companies in the US 

Thinking of providing you with all the information you need in one place, we’ve done the work for you! We have listed the best IT staffing companies in the US along with their main services and benefits.  This will help you in your search for augmented staff.  

We discussed about some of the following companies: 

  • Heinsohn Xelerator for nearshoring IT staffing  
  • Toptal, a freelancer network 
  • Robert Half, a large company 
  • Adecco, with global presence 
  • Tek Systems, for emerging technologies 

In the reading, discover also why tech companies use staffing agencies, the common roles the IT staffing companies manage, and some tips and practices to choose the best IT agency in the United States.

How to Succeed with Team Augmentation 

Team augmentation is a great way to add specific skills or extra workforce to your existing team. To set yourself up for success, here are some key areas to focus on:

Before you Augment 

  • Define what you need. Identify the skills and experience required for the position. Ask yourself if it is for short-term help on a specific project or ongoing support for a particular function. 
  • Review you partner and choose wisely. Choose an augmentation service provider with a proven track record of finding qualified candidates who are a good fit for your company culture. 

Setting Up the Team 

  • All team members, including new augmented staff, should be familiar with the project’s goals, deadlines, and expectations.  
  • It is essential to establish clear communication channels to facilitate smooth information exchange and collaboration.  

Integration and Success

  • Search for new team members who will fit well with your current team’s work style and company culture.  
  • Ensure that you acknowledge and value the contributions of your new staff. Offer regular feedback to keep everyone on the right track. 

Find Top-Notch Talent with Us! 

Our team of experienced professionals can help you with everything from finding the right talent to managing your workforce. We have a vast network of pre-vetted candidates, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible talent. And also, experts dedicated to providing you with the highest level of service and support.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your business goals.

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