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What is Staff Augmentation? A Model to Extend Your Team

When a tech startup enters the MVP development phase, the capacity of the core team may not be sufficient. To develop, maintain, improve and update the viable product, owners should scale their team and involve in-house IT specialists or opt for outsourcing. The growth of startups leads to staff augmentation, so it is also important to optimize the recruitment processes in later phases.

Challenges of growing startup teams

Before starting the recruitment process, startup owners should conduct thorough research to identify potential issues. Equally important is hiring remote developers (as Devox) and an in-house team, so it makes sense to look at the most common challenges when scaling staff.

Recruitment problems

A growing startup can hardly compete with the big stable companies in terms of wages. Even if your investors are willing to pay well for talent, the qualified and experienced IT professionals mostly choose the established companies that can offer them more guarantees. This means you should reconsider your job posting or consider an IT staff augmentation firm (an extended team model) rather than hiring in-house staff.

When you decide to hire dedicated developers, a challenge resurfaces: finding agencies that fit the needs of a specific startup and that have proven experience with MVPs in a specific industry.

New team roles

The startups don’t always manage to build a well-established team, although they hire software developers with the appropriate experience for the future project role. One of the reasons is the limited budget: If a startup has a limited budget, you should give the existing employees additional tasks. This often leads to a suboptimal division of labor when experts are constantly distracted by various tasks and do not fulfill their main tasks.

If the recruiting process has a purpose of introducing new team roles, one should first find out which specialists are currently missing and which positions are of the highest priority.

Need for extra management of an extended team

Choosing an extended team model means hiring dedicated development team and delegating some (development) tasks. Such tasks can have something to do with app maintenance, development support or technical support. This solution differs from a traditional outsourcing model, where you outsource full-scale development. Instead, your existing team is expanded and both parties share the tasks between themselves.

Although team expansion is full service and does not require finding, hiring and onboarding experts, seamless communication between existing and new staff is still required. Therefore, the management process can get a bit complicated, especially if you decide to use remote developers. Language and cultural barriers as well as a lack of management expertise in the core team have a negative impact on work processes and slow down operations.

Lack of local talent\skills

Despite the difficulties mentioned above, offshoring or nearshoring is often the most suitable solution. The lack of local IT experts is an acute problem for most developed countries. Finding top-notch IT specialists is a real challenge for startups and developing companies, resulting in high demand for offshore developers and dedicated development teams. Also, offshore development teams typically allow for significant cost savings.

Nevertheless, the hiring of foreign specialists can bring new challenges: Even with an outsourced or expanded team, the operation should be managed. Although the Covid-19 pandemic has proven that remote control can be successful, factors such as time, language and cultural differences can affect the overall quality of communication if the outsourcing partner is not chosen correctly.

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Most startups fail because of lack of experience and expertise or bad management by the development teams. At the beginning of the project, the expansion of the core team is often underestimated, and that leads to big problems later. Management should not neglect the importance of expanding the development team.

The right choice of development partner for custom software can trigger a significant increase in efficiency: from successful development in certain phases of the startup lifecycle to the entire startup technology implementation. Such cooperation allows entrepreneurs to focus on product planning and business development and avoid a lot of mistakes.