March 13, 2024 Read 6 Min

Staff Augmentation vs Traditional Hiring

A tight deadline and not enough hands — it may be time to recruit. Discover how staff augmentation compares to traditional hiring and choose the right hiring solution for your recruitment needs.

As the tech industry face a rapid change, its talent acquisition landscape is also facing a shift. 

Traditional hiring methods, burdened by increasing onboarding costs and lengthy processes, are gradually superseded by unconventional hiring models. One such model would be IT staff augmentation. 

However, that’s not to say traditional hiring is a completely outdated option. It has its pros and cons, just as with staff augmentation. Your projects can reap the full benefit of your chosen model by understanding the differences between the two.

What is: Staff Augmentation & Traditional Hiring

Staff Augmentation

Also known as resource augmentation, staff augmentation is the process of adding temporary workers to accommodate talent gaps in existing teams. These external resources are brought in to complement your in-house expertise in tackling projects that require specialized knowledge or additional manpower.

Traditional Hiring

On the other hand, traditional hiring is the conventional method of employment where companies directly recruit, interview, and hire IT professionals as full-time employees. It’s a long-term process and oftentimes requires a lot more commitment and effort from the hiring side.

What are the differences? Let’s get specific.

Cost & Commitment

Staff Augmentation

Offers significant cost savings as you only pay for the specific skills and duration as agreed in the contract. It’s the best option for small-to-medium enterprises that often scale their workforce quickly. Making staff augmentation the agile solution between the two.

Traditional Hiring

Perceived as a long-term investment; costs and commitment-wise. You will have to cover all job-related costs throughout the entire recruitment process. Salary, benefits, training — the full nine yards. Therefore, it’s not ideal for short-term projects. It is, however a perfect model for filling in management roles in the organization and building a long-term team.

Skill Acquisition

Staff Augmentation

Allows companies access to a wider talent pool and expertise. You can quickly refer to experienced professionals with skills that might not be readily available in-house. This allows you to tackle specific projects or challenges without lengthy internal training.

Traditional Hiring

Focuses on nurturing long-term talent internally. You have more control over the development and growth of your employees, but this can take time and resources.

Project Start Timeline

Staff Augmentation

Enables faster project kick-off due to quicker onboarding processes. Augmented staff often come with the necessary skills and experience. Thus, minimizing the training time needed.

Traditional Hiring

Requires a later commencing date as it involves a longer timeline for filling positions. You might need to consider advertising, screening resumes, interviewing multiple candidates, and potentially training them before they can contribute effectively. Further prolonging the timeline.


Staff Augmentation

Some companies may have concerns about managing external resources as it often comes with lesser control. However, with proper planning and clear communication with the staff augmentation provider, you can have direct updates regularly as agreed upon with them.

Traditional Hiring

If being in control is important to you, traditional hiring will offer you just that. With traditional hiring, you have better control over your team and company culture as you practically manage the team from the beginning. You can directly manage employees and ensure alignment with your long-term goals.

Cultural Integration

Staff Augmentation

Misalignment of values and working styles might occur in staff augmentation as you are hiring a third-party staff. Therefore, successful integration is crucial to prevent this.

Thorough onboarding processes can help augmented staff understand your company culture, processes, and project goals. Clear communication and collaboration tools can further foster a positive team dynamic.

Traditional Hiring

Allows for a more natural cultural fit. Through the interview process, you can select candidates who align with your company values and work style from the get-go. Moreover, the training period will provide apt chance for the candidate to get accustomed to the company culture through hands-on tasks.

Knowledge Transfer & Innovation

Staff Augmentation

Offers an opportunity for knowledge transfer and cross-sharing of ideas. By working alongside augmented staff with different experiences, your internal team can gain exposure to new skills, approaches, and industry trends. This can help foster innovation within your organization.

Traditional Hiring

Knowledge transfer can happen organically over time within a team. However, it may be slower to integrate new ideas and approaches compared to working with external experts who bring fresh perspectives.

Environmental Impact

Staff Augmentation

May have a lower environmental impact, particularly if the augmented staff works remotely. This reduces employee commuting and associated carbon emissions. However, this depends on the specific situation.

Traditional Hiring

May have a higher environmental footprint due to employee commutes and resource allocation. Although, remote working options is practiced nowadays, many companies still require employees to be in the office. This lead to daily commutes for the new hire, contributing to traffic congestion and increase in carbon emissions.

Additionally, each new employee requires dedicated workspace, including lighting, heating or cooling, and potentially new equipment. This translates to increased energy consumption and potential for electronic waste.

Staff Augmentation: Clarify Your Doubts

As a staff augmentation provider, many clients approach us with questions that are often undisclosed. To address them, we’ve compiled the top 5 inquiries and approached our Business Development Executive (who answered them for our clients) for her expert insights.

1. What IT roles can be filled with staff augmentation?

Almost all IT roles can be filled with staff augmentation. It is dependent on the nature of the project, i.e. what they are developing or the issues they’re dealing with.

In Snappymob’s case, we provide staff augmentation for project managers, developers (full stack, frontend, backend, depending on the tech stack they need), Quality Assurance, and UI/UX designers.

2. What aspects should businesses emphasize in staff augmentation providers?

Quality and Expertise. 

With quality, it’s easy to find companies that offer resources but it’s hard to find COMPETENT resources. Therefore, companies need to understand the difference between recruiting from a recruitment agency and a software development agency.

Recruitment agencies tend to put less emphasis on checking the credibility of the candidate. They’re rather more focused with matching on-paper requirements. 

Whereas resources from software development agencies are trained specifically for the job. All clients have to do is screen through the options available to find a match. No training is needed. Additionally, the augmented staff is well-equipped with tech expertise, which is an added advantage for clients with no expertise in the specific concern.

3. What is the staff augmentation process like?

The process may vary according to the client, but generally, the process flows as such:

Stage 1: Client-needs assessment

The company identifies a resource gap, which oftentimes arises due to increased workload that exceeds existing staff capacity.

Stage 2: Vendor selection

Clients will then conduct their research on available staff augmentation vendors and select the vendors that align with their needs.

Stage 3: Candidate matching & screening

Based on the client’s detailed requirements, the chosen vendor presents carefully screened candidates who possess the necessary skills and qualifications.

Stage 4: Client interview & screening

Clients conduct their own interviews and assessments to ensure the candidate aligns perfectly with their specific project requirements and company culture.

Stage 5: Onboarding & Integration

Once they’re selected, the candidate will go through a comprehensive onboarding process. This includes system familiarization, project-specific training, and team introductions.

Stage 6: Ongoing Communication

Throughout the project life cycle, clear and consistent communication is maintained between the client, vendor, and project team to ensure successful project completion.

4. What key information do businesses prepare for staff augmentation providers?

To ensure a successful match and efficient project execution, I typically recommend businesses prepare the following key information:

Scope of work

A well-defined work scope outlining project goals, deliverables, and timelines is critical. This allows us to understand the specific needs of the role and identify the most suitable candidate with the relevant skills and experience.

Skills & system requirements

Clearly outlining the required skillset for the temporary position is essential. Specifying any specific software applications or systems the candidate needs to be proficient in helps us determine if our talent pool can fulfill those requirements and if we can provide any necessary system training.

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

If the project involves sensitive information, it’s adviced for the business to have a clear NDA in place. This is to avoid legal disputes that might prolong or disrupt the project duration.

5. How does an agency calculate the cost of its staff augmentation service?

The cost of staff augmentation services typically follows industry standards, with a multiplier factor based on the Ministry of Finance (MOF) guidelines. It’s important to note that while MOF provides a framework, some larger companies may have slightly higher structures. This can occasionally lead to a cost range of 30-40% above the base talent cost in these cases.

Get Your Project Going With Staff Augmentation

The ever-changing landscape of the tech industry requires a dynamic approach to acquiring the right talents. Nowadays, many organizations build their teams using a winning combo of traditional hiring and staff augmentation.

By carefully considering the strengths and weaknesses of both models, you can craft a talent acquisition strategy that secures the skills you need to launch your project.

Nevertheless, we understand the challenges of building an adept team in a limited time. That’s why Snappymob offers a comprehensive staff augmentation service, tailored to meet your specific needs. We have just the experience and knowledge to power your organization with staff augmentation.