As a means of sourcing skilled software developers, IT team augmentation has become an essential element of many businesses' strategies. At its best, this approach can be an efficient way to expand your internal staff and add the talent you lack on-site, but only if you partner with a reliable company. This post will hopefully help you separate the wheat from the chaff when selecting a purveyor of IT augmentation services. Without further ado, let us walk you through the steps you can take to select the best one.
Outline the workload
While the vendor of team augmentation services usually does the lion’s share of work when it comes to building a team, it’s the client who should quarterback the software development process. Thus, it’s essential to develop a Project Scope, a document that outlines the workload for the members of your squad(s) and reflects the direction of your project.
Project Scope is in fact the backbone behind the concept of IT team augmentation, as it gives you an idea of the skillsets you need to add to your team. Besides that, the document includes such key elements as deliverables and their timelines, budget, and metrics for success. On the side of a vendor, Project Scope will come in handy when it comes to understanding what roles you need to fulfill and developers’ rates. So, it makes sense to have Project Scope in place before you start looking for potential IT team augmentation partners.
The residing country of your provider of IT augmentation services may affect everything, from software developers’ rates to talent availability. Here are several criteria you can take into account at this step:
Rates. If you are located in North America or Western Europe, you may want to look for firms providing team augmentation services in nearshore or offshore regions. This is a great way to trim costs for software development, as it gives you an opportunity to choose countries where the rates are lower than you may have locally. For example, you can consider Eastern Europe as a source of skilled software developers. The rates of developers in this region vary from $50-$60 per full-time employee, including IT augmentation service fees.
Talent availability. In addition to reducing software development costs, the goal of IT team augmentation is to give you access to a variety of skillsets. Eastern Europe, for example, boasts countries with hundreds of thousands of engineers who have years of experience being part of IT team augmentation firms, which means they already have solid communication skills and the needed expertise. For example, Ukraine, one of the pillar countries of IT team augmentation in Eastern Europe, boasts over 250K engineers (as of January 2022), which guarantees you a variety of choices when it comes to skillsets.
Expertise. Not only does IT team augmentation gives you access to a vast pool of tech talent. It also lets you add genuinely skilled talent. Many developers in nearshore/offshore regions have harbored solid experience, collaborating with companies and startups from different industries, which lets them further become valuable assets within team augmentation services. For instance, Eastern European developers play strong when it comes to Fintech, Healthcare, and EdTech expertise, given that a huge amount of companies stem from this region. For example, Ukraine alone is home to 100+ Healthcare startups. Engineers working there can potentially augment your company as well.
Select potential providers
The hardest part is probably to shortlist potential providers of team augmentation services, as there are thousands of companies offering this service out there. For your convenience, below are some basic signs that may help you identify solid firms:
- Client feedback and success stories;
- Recent updates on the blog page and social media;
- Contact information and office addresses;
- Corporate video;
- Evidence that the company is active and hiring, for instance, newly posted vacancies.
These are the key testaments of a reliable vendor of IT augmentation services you can use to narrow down your list. However, it’s best to contact the firm you’re interested in to gain a better understanding of their capabilities.
Verify chosen companies
At this step, you need to verify your pre-selected purveyors of team augmentation services. Go over your chosen companies' portfolios and make a head-to-head comparison. Look at the list of their past and ongoing clients. What companies are in their portfolio in terms of size and industry? Do they have experience in your domain? Answers to these questions will help you filter out firms without relevant experience. Then, you can pay attention to the kind of IT team augmentation model they provide. Most likely, they will offer you one of the following solutions:
- Adding software developers to your in-house unit based on the skills you are currently lacking;
- Building a full-fledged unit that will be a part of your company.
Many companies that provide team augmentation services work with both models, so you can choose any you are happy with.
Contact shortlisted providers
Reach out and speak with your shortlisted IT team augmentation firms to ensure they are a good fit for you. At this point, it's essential to pay attention to the quality of communication and identify potential risks. Mind that your business needs should always come first, so if the vendor tries to sway you into a decision that's not in your best interest, you may be better off parting ways with them from the get-go. Ideally, your communication should be coordinated by a personal account manager on the side of the provider. This person will be crucial if you decide to move forward with the IT team augmentation company, as they will be the bridge between you and your remote unit in the future.
Participate in IT team augmentation
Let's say you've chosen the vendor and are ready to get the ball rolling on your IT team augmentation venture. To build a strong team, you and your vendor should work side by side. As a client, you should have a say in all crucial processes when it comes to choosing software developers. With that in mind, you should interview all candidates personally and decide whether or not to hire them.
In this regard, you may come across the following IT team augmentation protocol:
- Introduction. The vendor familiarizes themselves with your Project Scope and the roles you need to add;
- Candidate search. The vendor puts their HR department to the task of finding candidates who may be a good fit for you;
- Screening. The vendor pre-screens all candidates for a variety of competencies, including English proficiency, company fit, and tech skills;
- Client interview. The vendor introduces the chosen candidates to you so you can interview them and decide whether or not to add them to your team. This decision should always be yours.
If your chosen vendor follows all of these steps, then chances are high that IT team augmentation will be beneficial for you, as an approach like this lets you choose team members personally and takes into account your needs.
So, you have hired a provider of team augmentation services and are now all set to integrate developers into your local team. Before your new hires roll up their sleeves, it’s best to make sure that your cooperation is secure. The vendor will typically offer you to sign a Service Level Agreement, Non-Disclosure Agreement, and contracts with newly minted employees. It could be a good idea to run the papers by your local legal department or consultants to ensure everything is in order.
Relying on our 14+ years of experience in IT team augmentation, we are convinced that this business is all about finding talent who will act as parity to your internal staff. Such talent should be carefully handpicked together with the client in a customized team creation process based on their Project Scope, business goals, and vision.
Above all, a provider of IT augmentation services should go the extra mile to cater to your needs. Furthermore, it’s crucial for them to have access to a vast pool of skilled technology talent. the vendor should also cover all bases when it comes to the security and quality of engineers who will augment your squad. We at nCube rely on the pool of Eastern European tech talent to source skilled developers. Our partners such as Life360, doTerra, AstraZeneca, Greenpeace, and many more are a great testament to our reliability and professionalism when it comes to team augmentation services.
Contact us to discuss IT team augmentation opportunities with us.