What is staff augmentation? Meaning, benefits, and key challenges.

Martyna Grygoruk - Co-founder& CEO at Sunscrapers Teams, HR Manager at Sunscrapers

Martyna Grygoruk

28 July 2020, 8 min read

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Staff augmentation is quickly becoming one of the most interesting methods of outsourcing in the IT world. Have a look around and you'll find many companies that specialize in augmenting local teams and building dedicated development teams for clients ranging from startups and SMEs to enterprises. Read on to find out what staff augmentation means, what benefits it brings to companies, and how it works in practice.

What is staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation is an outsourcing strategy that enables companies to hire experienced and skilled specialists all over the world - and then manage them directly. 

In this scheme, the client is the one to choose from candidates proposed by the outsourcing partner. You get a person that fits your requirements and can extend your augmented team further whenever necessary.

IT staff augmentation vendors can provide skilled technical resources to your integral development team on a short or long-term basis. Note that these resources are employed directly by the vendor. That's why the cost and liability that come with hiring experts full-time are eliminated. Developers hired through a staff augmentation service are always dedicated to one project at a time.

Benefits of staff augmentation

Productivity boost

Staff augmentation allows internal teams to reach a higher level of productivity because the hired developers focus 100% of their work time on the project. By working for one client, outsourced experts can align with their vision and increase their motivation and dedication to the project. 


Staff augmentation allows companies to access a wide talent pool of IT professionals. Moreover, by using such a service you can easily replace a developer whenever needed. If you cooperate with a staff augmentation partner, you won't have to spend any extra money on the changeover.


Staff augmentation offers a transparent cost structure and lets companies make the most of tech talent without having to worry about any administrative and organizational expenses. There's no need to spend money on extra office space, workstations, and other facilities. The company only pays a fee, and the vendor takes care of arranging everything. This is also how companies can avoid the costs of traditional recruitment.

When to use staff augmentation services?

Scenario 1: You already have a development team working on your product internally, but you would like to develop another part of the product faster. To do that, you need to hire a team of 3-8 professionals. But the skills shortage on your local market makes that difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Local recruitment is bound to take too long, so you need to find experts elsewhere - this is where staff augmentation services can help.

Scenario 2: You're building a tech product together with a development team and need to add new software engineers. The technology stack of professionals you're looking to hire is rare in your location, so you want to extend your search to other locations. Staff augmentation services allow searching for talents from all over the world, hassle-free.

Scenario 3: You're working with a software development outsourcing company, but there are a few things you'd like to change in the cooperation. You want the possibility of direct communication with our team and want to get to know your remote team members to make sure that they feel like part of your local team. Staff augmentation allows both to happen and boosts integration with in-house teams.

Our experience in staff augmentation

During the last decade, we have been building a software development agency specializing in custom software solutions that helped our clients achieve their business goals. This helped us to learn a great deal about teamwork and the importance of every single person involved in the process of building software. 

At the same time, we often saw the need among our clients for streamlining the process of sourcing tailor-made specialists who would be dedicated only to their projects. That's why we have been outsourcing IT specialists who are perfectly suited to their business needs and built a service around it - Teams by Sunscrapers.

Here are a few facts that make us special in the IT staff augmentation market:

  • Statistically, less than 1% of applicants receive an offer from us thanks to a thorough analysis of our clients' needs,

  • In more than 95% of cases, the first candidate proposed by us is accepted by the client,

  • We help startups, medium-sized companies, and large corporations,

  • We have experience in recruiting IT specialists in every technological stack,

  • Our teams have over 10 years of experience in remote work, so we know how to verify this skill with candidates,

  • Our consultants have been working in international teams for years and are aware of how important soft skills and cultural adaptation are. We pay special attention to it during our recruitment process.

If you're curious about how cooperation with us looks like in practice, here are two case studies showing our successful collaborations with clients from Sweden and the US (NYC).

Case study 1: Leading Nordic B2B-customer loyalty programs company

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Company size: 30-40 employees
Industry: Wellbeing / HR

The company creates loyalty and incentive programs for its clients, running an online store where points can be exchanged for various products. 

The challenge

The company was looking for a partner capable of finding the right people for its development team. The company needed to quickly hire additional help due to a large number of new functionalities in the pipeline and projects for improving the platform. Initially, our client was looking to hire experts for a period of 3-4 months, with the possibility of extension if the cooperation was fruitful.

They were looking for a Senior Fullstack Engineer with experience in Django and Vue.js. It was important to find someone with strong technical skills, but also able to communicate well and work independently. The platform is very complex, so each developer in the team is responsible for a large part of the code.

The solution

Within 4 days, we found a great match: a Senior Fullstack Engineer with over 10 years of experience who had previously worked in autonomous roles and was able to add a lot of value to our client's team. 

Thanks to an in-depth analysis of the company's needs and how the internal team works, we were able to find a person who works independently, communicates openly, indicates errors, proposes new solutions, and writes code that is understandable to all team members.


The client managed to complete a task they considered impossible: get ahead of the project timeline. Our developers helped the team to do more than expected and gain enough time to finish all the work. In addition, the consultant we found has become valued so much that the client is going to introduce him to more high-level and long-term issues related to the platform. For us, this means long-term cooperation and another satisfied customer.

Case study 2: One of the world’s leading investment firms.

Location: New York, USA
Company size: 3000+ employees
Industry: Financial services

Our client is of the world's largest private equity and investment funds, which links individual and corporate investors to increase its capital and investment portfolio.

The challenge

The company needed high-class specialists in the field of web development for a development team that would build a new digital product. The team's goal was developing products using the achievements of the Data Engineering and Data Visualization teams. Moreover, the client uses a large number of expert tools in the technological stack. That's why the specialist needed to have extensive experience and knowledge about building complete systems.

The solution

Within 2 weeks, we found three Senior Fullstack Engineers with over 15 years of professional experience. The client wanted to meet each of them, so ultimately it became a 3-step process consisting of meetings with managers, team leaders, and developers from the client's team. These meetings aimed to verify both technical knowledge and cultural fit.

Ultimately, the client wanted to work with all of our candidates. They are not only a complement to the internal development team but also act as the main engineers in the emerging web development team with potential towards a leadership/management team.


All the candidates proposed by us matched the requirements of the team manager and engineers perfectly. Despite the size and corporate nature of our client, the decision to hire them was made within a week. Thanks to this positive experience, the client constantly reports new needs for highly qualified specialists to us, including key units for the internal team (Principal Engineers).

Are you looking for a partner who could help you find a world-class tech expert who matches your culture? Get in touch with us.



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