For businesses looking to scale and grow quickly, building an in-house team of developers can be challenging.
According to the ManPowerGroup report,
"Global shortage of talent hits 17-year high, and almost 4 in 5 employers worldwide report difficulty finding skilled talent in 2023."
Finding skilled talent, training new hires, and managing payroll - it all takes significant time and investment. This is where offshore staff augmentation can provide a strategic solution.
Offshore staff augmentation involves partnering with an external provider to recruit skilled professionals in another country to work for your business on an as-needed basis. It allows you to rapidly grow your team with talent that can hit the ground running, without the overhead required for full-time employees.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of offshore staff augmentation for growing businesses and how you can implement it successfully.
What is Offshore Staff Augmentation?
Offshore staff augmentation involves partnering with a service provider to temporarily recruit skilled professionals located overseas. The provider sources, hires, onboards and manages team members abroad, who then work remotely to support and supplement your core in-house staff.
It differs from outsourcing in that the offshore team becomes an integrated extension of your own staff. They don’t simply handle discrete projects or tasks. They work alongside your existing employees — collaboratively and transparently — to achieve larger business objectives.
This flexible arrangement gives you access to talent on demand, so you can rapidly scale up or down to meet your needs. As the client, you remain in full control over the work delivered by the offshore team.
Benefits of Offshore Staff Augmentation for Growing Businesses
Offshore staff augmentation provides numerous advantages that allow smaller, emerging businesses to rapidly and affordably expand their capabilities.
Access to a Wider Talent Pool
One of the biggest advantages of IT staff augmentation is instant access to an expanded talent pool. By looking beyond your own backyard, you gain a pick of professionals from around the globe.
This is especially valuable when you need to find developers with in-demand or highly specialized skills. For example, if you’re looking to hire software developers, data scientists, AI talent or other technical experts, the local labor pool may be sparse. But abundant talent is out there globally.
Offshore augmentation allows you to source experienced developers from overseas tech talent hubs like India, Eastern Europe and Latin America. This casts a much wider net so you can find the right experts with the right capabilities to elevate your team.
Compared to hiring dedicated developers locally, offshore staff augmentation delivers tremendous cost savings. Offshore developers in countries like India often have a lower cost of living, which translates to lower salary expectations.
According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for IT in the United States exceeds $70,000, whereas in India, it is much lower, averaging around $9,000 per year. Even accounting for differences in skills and experience, the cost savings are substantial.
Offshore developers can provide the same quality of work at a fraction of what you would pay locally. You get all the benefits of additional full-time employees without the inflated price tag.
Other overhead expenses are minimized too. With augmented staff, you avoid costs like office space, equipment, HR administration and benefits since they're managed entirely by your offshore staff augmentation service provider.
Increased Flexibility and Scalability
With an in-house team of developers, it’s difficult and expensive to scale up and down. If your needs decrease, letting go of existing employees brings legal risks, lost knowledge and low morale.
Conversely, if demand rises, finding, hiring and training new programmers quickly is nearly impossible. The lag slows you down right when you need to accelerate.
Offshore augmentation delivers almost unlimited flexibility to expand and optimize your development team dynamically based on needs. You can have additional offshore team members onboarded and working within days. When demands eventually decrease, they can be removed from the team swiftly.
This agility allows you to take on time-sensitive projects and seasonal spikes more easily. And you can continuously calibrate your labor pool to achieve maximum efficiency as business conditions evolve.
Improved Focus on Core Competencies
Effective leaders know they should focus on what they do best and outsource the rest. Offshore augmentation enables just that by handing off supplementary services so you can direct your attention and resources towards core activities.
For example, a software startup might leverage offshore talent for cloud infrastructure management and testing. This allows the in-house team to concentrate exclusively on building the product.
Every business process that isn’t mission-critical can potentially be delivered through offshore talent, unleashing your specialized employees to focus on the high-value work that drives competitive advantage.
Enhanced Innovation and Creativity
They say two heads are better than one. By choosing offshore staff augmentation, you effectively multiply the brainpower and perspectives applied to your business.
Different cultures and environments breed unique ideas and approaches. Offshore team members bring fresh viewpoints that can unlock innovation and spark creativity in new directions.
Perspective diversity also helps reduce groupthink — where a homogeneous team develops a form of tunnel vision. Your offshore talent acts as a neutral sounding board to challenge assumptions and inspire the organization to grow and improve.
How to Implement Offshore Staff Augmentation Successfully
If it sounds like offshore staff augmentation could be a strategic fit for your growing company, how do you get started? Follow these best practices to set your offshore augmentation initiative up for success.
Choose an Experienced and Reputable Offshore Staffing Partner
The first step is choosing an offshore staffing partner with a track record of success. They will essentially act as the HR and operations arm for your extended team, so it’s critical to choose wisely.
Look for the following attributes in a potential provider:
Industry experience- You want a partner well-versed in your specific field who understands your needs and challenges. This expertise will ensure better talent matching.
Let's say you are a fintech startup that wants to build a mobile banking app. Look for a partner with experience in fintech and who understands banking regulations, security requirements, etc.
Global reach- A provider with connections across multiple overseas talent hubs will access a wider pool of candidates.
Screening rigor- Stringent vetting and screening develop higher-quality talent pools.
The provider should thoroughly assess communication skills, coding abilities, problem-solving, personality fit and more through tests, code samples, interviews, etc.
Management capabilities- Your partner should handle the entire employee lifecycle, from recruiting through ongoing performance management.
The provider should handle payroll, healthcare, paid time off, reviews, 1-on-1s, training, etc. to minimize your management burden.
Cultural alignment- The best providers are experts at bridging cross-cultural gaps for smoother collaboration.
They should train offshore resources on your company values, communication style, work norms, etc. for smoother onboarding.
Client results- Ask for case studies and reviews to validate the provider’s track record of success.
Ask for case studies of similar fintech startups that rapidly scaled technology teams through offshore augmentation.
Define Your Specific Needs and Requirements
Every business and situation is unique. That’s why it’s critical to define your offshore augmentation needs upfront, rather than defaulting to a one-size-fits-all approach. Ask yourself:
- What roles and responsibilities need to be fulfilled?
- What capabilities and skill sets are required?
- How many team members do you need?
- What are the timeframes and deadlines involved?
Clearly conveying requirements to your offshore provider ensures you get the right developers tailored to your needs. It also provides guidance to manage the augmented team effectively.
Establish Clear Communication and Collaboration Processes
Distributed teams require structure and leadership to enable coordination. Be intentional about establishing communication and collaboration workflows.
- Set consistent daily or weekly sync-up meetings via video chat
- Create project management plans outlining deliverables, timelines and handoffs
- Provide access to collaboration platforms like Slack or Trello
- Agree on methods for timely feedback and status updates
- Document processes clearly for easy reference
With a thoughtful approach, offshore developers can integrate seamlessly despite the distance.
Provide Adequate Training and Support for Your Offshore Team
Just as with your in-house team, your offshore staff needs adequate training and resources to excel. Treat them as an equal extension of your organization.
- Give access to the same data, tools and systems as onshore employees.
- Invest in personalized onboarding to align them with company values and processes.
- Provide opportunities for ongoing training and growth.
- Recognize and celebrate achievements to foster inclusion and engagement.
With proper integration support, your offshore developers will feel like a natural part of your organization.
Monitor and Track Progress Regularly
Set measurable targets and KPIs related to project timelines, budgets, quality and results. Track progress at set intervals to identify obstacles early.
Consistent performance monitoring ensures offshore teams deliver maximum impact. It also highlights opportunities for process refinements and additional training.
Active management of your offshore staff ushers in continuous improvement on both sides.
Case Studies of Effective Offshore Staff Augmentation
Still unsure if offshore staff augmentation is right for scaling your growing business?
Here's an example of how businesses have used ThinkODC’s offshore staff augmentation model to achieve excellent results:
Bringing People Together Virtually
When the founders of a leading company first launched their virtual event planning platform, they had a bold vision to revolutionize the industry. Their machine-learning matchmaking engine was ingenious, connecting event attendees based on shared goals and interests.
But as it grew, the technical complexities emerged. Chat features were clunky. Analytics tracking was limited. Video conferencing had security risks. The founders knew they needed help to reach their full potential.
That's when they turned to ThinkODC's offshore staff augmentation services. Together, they built an agile, collaborative partnership. Our offshore team implemented cutting-edge solutions:
- Integrated efficient 3rd party APIs across chat modules
- Leveraged Cassandra and Redis for improved certificate and analytics tracking
- Utilized RecordRTC and Agora for secure video conference recordings
- Activated seamless payload solutions with Socket.io and Kafka for enhanced chats
The results spoke for themselves:
- Backend API achieved 300ms load times for a lightning-fast experience
- Unified API enabled smooth activation of 5 chat modules
- Batch import/export empowered effortless large data handling
Through strategic offshore collaboration, we helped our client's platform achieve revolutionary performance, security, and innovation—transforming the virtual event planning industry.
For agile small and midsize companies today, growth depends on the ability to calibrate teams, capabilities, and spending nimbly to ever-changing conditions. Offshore staff augmentation provides on-demand access to talent and skills, enabling rapid scaling and pursuit of new opportunities without the high fixed costs of full-time hires.
But realizing the full benefits requires a strategic approach. Done right, offshore staff augmentation becomes an invaluable competitive asset as the collective brainpower of blended onshore-offshore teams accelerates innovation and unlocks new ways to delight customers.
If you’re looking to scale capabilities with top IT talent and skills, ThinkODC can help. As your partner in offshore staff augmentation, ThinkODC bridges geographical divides to tap into a vast talent pool.
With expertise and dedication, we help navigate the global talent landscape to unlock your company's full potential. By seamlessly integrating the right resources and talent into your operations, we empower you to embrace growth and stand out in today's fiercely competitive market.