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The pandemic has changed how businesses around the world run their operations. Much of the change can be attributed to the heavy strain created by work fluctuation. It is hard to plan for the future with the uncertainty that the virus has brought to work and supply chains. Businesses have been forced to make the difficult decision to furlough or lay off staff to stay viable, but running with an intentionally lean staff then makes it difficult to complete short-term projects. Productivity drops. What this looks like is unfinished projects, strain on existing employees, and/or gaps in experience. As the organizations learn to operate within the new reality, more companies are looking toward staff augmentation as a way to stay afloat and even scale.

Staff augmentation makes sense for many companies because they have the flexibility to stop and start the engagement at any point if they are financially hit. The knowledge that you can disengage from the agency providing the service makes it an attractive alternative to hiring, especially during this time when being able to guarantee job security isn’t possible.

The hiring process for a full-time employee (FTE) is normally time-consuming and costly. Even if you find an ideal candidate, there is still an onboarding process, which also takes time. Under normal circumstances, all of this is typically completed without much concern, but when businesses are battling with the pandemic, it can seem overwhelming. That’s why staff augmentation can be the right avenue in which businesses can address needs quickly.

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Staff augmentation can appear foreign if you’ve never done it before, but it can allow organizations to find specialized talent that is less likely to need hand-holding to get up to speed. To create a successful engagement you need the right type of infrastructure to make the process as smooth as possible.

The ability to communicate in an effective manner, whether that be with the individual doing the work or the agency that assigned them to the project, is key. Through the entirety of the project, maintaining communication will help smooth any bumps along the way while also setting the correct expectations in terms of deliverables. Businesses need to trust that the work for which they are hiring is going to be completed and communication is key to making this happen. Also, most staff augmentation agreements have safeguards to ensure this happens. While projects don’t always fly smoothly, having clear expectations, guardrails and consistent communication go a long way to creating satisfactory outcomes.

At the end of day, part of the appeal of staff augmentation is the flexibility to stop a project at any time in order to meet the ebbs and flows of revenue. During a time when so many things are uncertain, being able to control spending is important. No one wants to be the bad guy and have to lay off employees. The fate of businesses depends on the longevity of this pandemic crisis. Until there’s an end in sight, staff augmentation will continue to provide relief for many of the workforce issues prevalent today and well after this crisis is over.