Webinar Recap: Staff Aug for First Timers

Teresa Chiapputo
Posted: September 28, 2017

A few weeks ago, we scheduled a webinar — “Staff Aug for First Timers” — to help learning organizations that had never used staff augmentation as part of their strategy. We were going to answer any and all questions about engaging and utilizing staff aug resources (AKA, Innovators on Demand™) — on a live platform. Fantastic!

Then Hurricane Irma happened. Due to power and availability constraints, the webinar had to be put off indefinitely.  Of course, we didn’t want to leave you hanging! So, we’ve addressed some staff augmentation basics in this blog to help you start planning.

Related: How to “Make It Work” with Staff Augmentation

What is staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation is a method that can be used to increase a team’s capacity or temporarily fill an internal resource opening for a project or business initiative. This strategy is used widely by all sorts of companies and industries for a multitude of roles and positions.

How can staff augmentation benefit a learning organization?

Benefit 1: Cost Management

The workload of any learning organization goes through annual ebbs and flows. If you hire employees that are only needed for part of the year (say, for a specific initiative or project), then you are carrying extra expenses that do not provide you with a full return on investment (ROI). I’m pretty sure your budget bucket doesn’t runneth over and you can’t find enough ways to spend all that money!

Benefit 2: Short-Term Expertise

You might have a project that requires special skills, such as programming a solution that includes gamification components or creating a module in a specific application. Because your need for these skills and experience is infrequent, it’s not feasible to hire an employee specifically for this purpose.

How does staff aug work?

Still not sure where to start with staff augmentation? Simply follow the steps below and you’ll be well on your way to a successful partnership with a trusted resourcing vendor!

  1. Determine the skill sets and experience you need and what type of work style fits your environment. (Need help with this? Take our fun MVLP Quiz!)
  2. Determine how many hours a week you need the staffing resource and how many weeks you will need to contract them to complete the work.
  3. Plan the onboarding of the staffing resource to assimilate them quickly to your environment.
  4. Determine who will manage the resource. This person will be responsible for providing feedback and guidance, as well as connecting with your vendor to discuss the resource’s performance.
  5. Review applications from your selected vendor (which should be aligned to your request for specific skills and experience) and talk to your vendor about the resources’ personalities and work styles to ensure a good fit.
  6. Select the best fit for your position.
  7. Execute that onboarding plan you put together earlier.
  8. Determine (with your staff aug vendor) the process they will use to check in on the resource.

Can staff aug REALLY solve my staffing issues? Is it affordable? How do I find the right person for my learning organization and environment? How do I choose the right staffing partner? Find all your staff aug for first timers questions answered here!

What roles can staff aug fill in a learning organization?

A number of roles can be filled on a temporary basis with staff augmentation:

  • Project Manager
  • Program Manager
  • Instructional Designer
  • Instructional Technology Designer
  • Content Writer
  • Learning Consultant
  • Editor
  • Admin

What is the cost of staff aug?

Cost is based on the following:

  • Type of role
  • Skill
  • Experience

You may feel a little sticker shock, but remember — the cost of an employee is way more than his or her salary. Plus, you are filling a temporary need. You’d be spending a whole lot more if you had to hire an employee and then lay him or her off.

How much time will it require from our learning organization to get someone up to speed?

First, you will need someone to “manage” the resource. This person assigns work, answers questions, and monitors the staffing resource’s performance. If you have never worked with the resource before, you will also need to consider other onboarding activities, such as:

  • Gaining all the appropriate access (building, computer, environment, etc.)
  • Finding space (if the resource will be working onsite)
  • Introducing the resource to team members and other key partners
  • Teaching and/or demonstrating how to use proprietary software, follow work processes and reference the resources needed to do the job effectively

This is where having a regular staff augmentation partner can help!  When you work with the same firm over and over, they build up a group of individuals who are familiar with your business. Onboarding becomes much easier if the resource has already worked with you before and knows your expectations and preferences.

What are the risks I should be aware of?

The biggest risk is selecting someone you thought would do a good job and then realizing he or she is not a good fit for your environment, team, or business partners. This is where I recommend thinking past what skills and experience are needed to be successful. You also need to look at personality, work style, and aptitude. Your staff augmentation partner should already be asking these questions so you are provided with just the right options; however, it’s important to focus on this during your interviews as well.

What do you recommend looking for in a credible staffing service?

We’re proud to say that we have 16+ years of experience innovating for our clients in the project outsourcing world! We've been providing staff aug solutions for learning organization since 2012!
We don’t mean to brag, but we’re pretty darn proud of ours! Fact: our clients partners are the BEST!
We check, check, and triple check! Our signature 3-step vetting process ensures quality and competency from start to finish.
We strive for a 3-day turnaround on presenting our selected applicants. That being said, we can be as flexible as you need! So, as long as we’re confident we understand your needs fully and can deliver top-notch candidates, we’ll make it work! (said in my best Tim Gunn voice)
Our account managers work closely with our clients from the time of the original request through the end of the staff augmentation resource contract. Basically, you can’t get rid of us even if you try. 😉
You bet we do! Nothing gets past our HR crew. We perform a number of screening processes to ensure we are hiring reputable resources.

Interested in learning more about our Innovators on Demand™? Reach out to Debbie and tap into our talent on us!

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