Lets say, for example, you own a company and you need to do a certain project. You are pressed for time because you are on a deadline. You need to make sure that you complete the project according to the specifications of the client as well. What do you do? You have the option to train your staff, announce that you are hiring new workers, or simply hire people who have the appropriate skill set. What happens when you choose any of these options?
If you choose to train your current staff, you do not have to hire anyone new. No need to add to your current workforce. This allows you to save time during the hiring process. However, you have to spend time and energy training your employees so that they may gain the knowledge and skills that the project requires. This can take days, weeks, or even months. Teaching a particular skill to a person who has never even heard of it before can be tough. The time you spend training these employees could have just gone to doing better things, such as working to improve the business. When the employees are training instead of working, the company spends money instead of earns it. This is obviously a costly and not so effective solution.
If you choose to hire people to fulfill your staffing requirements, you need to spend a considerable amount of time announcing the job offering, sorting out sums, and interviewing candidates. Once you find the applicants who possess the right knowledge and skills for the job, you need to hire them and provide them with their rightful benefits as full-time employees. This can obviously cost your company a lot of money. You need to give them insurance coverage, overtime pay, etc. When the project is finished, you cannot just go on firing the employees you just hired. You need to abide by what is included in your contract.
If you choose to hire contract workers or skilled persons through staff augmentation, you simply have to pay them for the time they spent with the company. There is no need for you to employ them on a full-time basis. When the project is done, you can pay them for their services rendered and not feel obligated to give them added perks such as dental benefits, insurance policies, etc. They are not permanent employees of your company, anyway. Hence, there are no strings attached. In addition, since they already possess the knowledge and skills that your project requires, there is no need for you to train them. So, you can save money on training and have adequate time to focus on managing your full-time employees.
The third option is obviously the most ideal. It saves you time, money, and energy. It gives you flexibility since you can terminate the contract once the project is over. It also lets you reduce your costs without having to sacrifice quality. After all, these workers are trained professionals with years of experience. You can confidently assign tasks and projects to them. Can you get any other benefits from it? The answer is yes. Since these temporary workers are not concerned about getting a promotion or a salary increase, they can provide you with honest and unbiased feedback, which can greatly help the performance of your company.
How about disadvantages? Are there any? Since no strategy is perfect, you can still find flaws with staff augmentation. For instance, your management overhead can increase. Since you will be working with more people, you will also need to supervise more people. Then again, this is not a huge disadvantage. These people are trained professionals, so you do not have to micro-manage them or supervise their every move. You may also need to shoulder the costs for the tools, processes, and general domain knowledge. Nevertheless, the advantages of this strategy still outweigh its disadvantages.