In today’s global business arena, staff augmentation has become a game-changer, offering companies cost-effective ways to tap into top-quality, affordable talent. This model empowers fast-growing businesses to embrace a lean and agile growth strategy by outsourcing non-core tasks to specialised, lower-cost experts, all thanks to digital technology advancements.

However, before you dive into bringing in external resources, it’s crucial to weigh the features, benefits, and potential downsides of staff augmentation. This guide will help you explore various models, compare their pros and cons, and discover actionable steps to boost your global workforce’s capacity and capability. Dive in and unlock the potential of staff augmentation!

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is a smart business strategy that brings in skilled temporary workers or contractors to boost your team’s talent on a project-by-project basis. Need to hit specific goals? These short-term hires, usually paid by the hour and sourced through third-party staffing agencies or online talent platforms, are here to help! It’s the perfect solution for tackling fluctuations in demand, allowing your company to scale up or down with the right skill sets exactly when you need them.

Background and History

Staff augmentation, a key component of the broader Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) model, has an interesting origin story dating back to the early ’90s. Fast-growing companies in North America discovered a goldmine of low-cost, non-core, remote labor in developing Asian countries. This strategic move allowed them to supercharge their efficiency and scalability, particularly in back-office and customer service functions.

Current State

Over the years, staff augmentation has flourished across various sectors, including IT, Finance, Healthcare, and Communications, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Remarkably, in 2021, the Global Contract or Temporary Staffing Market was valued at USD 90 Billion. Fast forward to today, and the market is on track to reach an impressive USD 130.20 Billion by 2030.

Outsourcing Model vs Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation differs from the traditional outsourcing model in terms of control and involvement. With outsourcing, the vendor takes full responsibility for the day-to-day management and performance of the staff, allowing the business to relax and count on the vendor for complete outcome delivery. The downside, though, is that it offers less control over the work.

With staff augmentation, businesses gain more control and direct involvement over the contracting, management, and output of the staff working alongside their existing team. Another key difference is the level of commitment required. Outsourcing often involves long-term contracts, promising sustained growth and efficiency gains. In contrast, staff augmentation offers a more flexible, project-based approach with less commitment.

Pros of Staff Augmentation:

Maintaining a permanent workforce can slow a business down. It requires significant time, energy, and money to keep full-time employees engaged and continuously upgrading their skills through ongoing training. Staff augmentation allows you to acquire skills and resources on demand. Achieve speed, functionality, and flexibility in your operations by leveraging the dynamic benefits of staff augmentation.

1. Access to Quality Talent

Connect with skilled professionals from around the globe who are ready to work virtually with your existing team.

2. Diverse Workplace Culture

Embrace a diverse pool of talented individuals from various cultures, backgrounds, and ethnicities worldwide. Bring fresh skills, perspectives, and ideas into your team, creating an inclusive and innovative work environment.

3. Flexible Staffing Solutions

Easily scale your teams as needed, whether you’re facing demand changes or tight project deadlines.

4. Quality Assurance

Bringing in professionals with specialised skills ensures your project goals are met with top-notch quality, giving you peace of mind.

5. Business Continuity

An augmented remote workforce helps keep things running smoothly during disruptions like employee turnover, bad weather, technical issues, or unexpected absences.

6. Slash Overhead Costs

Permanent employees come with hefty expenses like payroll taxes, health insurance, office perks, and other benefits. Independent remote professionals don’t need these extras, cutting those costs right out.

7. Supercharge Skills and Competencies

Inject your organisation with diverse skills and competencies beyond your existing team. Build a powerhouse of highly skilled workers to explore new horizons and seize opportunities.

8. Boost Capacity Fast

Staff augmentation adds top-tier talent to your team, ramping up capacity quickly. Complete projects on time and hit your expansion targets without a hitch.

9. Speed Up Training and Onboarding

Hire professionals who are already trained and experienced, slashing the time and money spent on recruitment, training, and onboarding permanent employees. Redirect those savings to fuel other areas of growth.

10. Smarter Hiring Decisions

With staff augmentation, you get to “try before you buy.” It lowers the risk of a bad hire by letting you test skills, abilities, and cultural fit before committing to a long-term contract.

Cons of Staff Augmentation

1. Dependence on External Resources

Relying on external resources can increase management complexity and expose vulnerabilities in your data and security systems. It’s like inviting someone into your home; you need to be sure they won’t leave the door open!

2. Communication and Coordination Concerns

Bringing in outside help can create communication and coordination hurdles, affecting project efficiency and effectiveness. Think of it as adding new players to a team mid-season; it takes time to find the right rhythm.

3. Lack of Knowledge Transfer

External staff might not always share their insights with your internal team, potentially hurting the project’s long-term success. It’s akin to cooking a great meal but not sharing the recipe!

4. Risk of Low Morale Among Current Employees

Introducing external staff can impact employee morale, making internal staff feel sidelined or replaced. Imagine being benched in a game you’ve trained hard for.

5. Cultural Mismatch

A cultural mismatch between external and internal teams can disrupt the work environment and dent productivity. It’s like mixing oil and water—they just don’t blend easily!

Types of Staff Augmentation

Here are five staff augmentation models that employers can use to boost their capacity, along with a breakdown of the pros and cons of each.

1. Full-time Equivalent (FTE)

This model involves hiring a full-time employee temporarily to work on-site. It’s ideal for businesses that need a dedicated person to handle a specific project or set of tasks for an extended period. However, if you need someone who can start immediately, FTE can be a pricey option because finding and onboarding the right person takes time.

2. Project-based

Hire a contractor or consultant for specific projects or tasks! Ideal for businesses needing specialised skills or expertise for a limited time. Plus, it’s more budget-friendly than FTE augmentation since you only pay upon project completion.

3. Remote

Tap into the global talent pool by engaging remote employees! Perfect for businesses seeking a fast, cost-effective way to increase capacity. Thanks to digital transformation and the impact of Covid-19, remote work is booming and widely embraced by businesses and talent alike.

4. Managed Services

Outsource a particular function or department to a third-party provider, allowing your enterprise to focus on strategic goals! This model helps companies quickly build expert teams for specific areas. Managed services offer excellent value, bringing in external managers to operate units on your behalf.

5. Hybrid

Combine FTEs, contractors, remote workers, and managed services for a customised approach to acquiring expertise. This complex strategy is perfect for medium to large companies looking to tailor business functions to their unique needs.

Choosing the Right Staff Augmentation Model

Selecting the perfect staff augmentation model can feel overwhelming, but it all comes down to a few key questions: What skills do you need? How long will you need them? What’s your budget? And how much control do you want over your team? Let’s dive in!

1. What tasks, projects, and initiatives need to be done?

First things first, pinpoint the tasks and projects your current team can’t tackle. Identifying these gaps will set the stage for choosing the right model.

2. What are the skills required to get the job done?

Clearly define the skills and expertise needed for your project. This will help you filter out candidates who don’t fit, making it easier to find the ideal match.

3. What is the length of the engagement?

Is your project short-term or long-term? For quick projects, a project-based model is often best. But if you need skills indefinitely, an FTE model might be your go-to.

4. How much is your staff budget?

Consider the costs. Project-based staff can be pricier if your project extends beyond the contract terms. On the other hand, FTEs might have a higher initial cost but could save money in the long run for ongoing needs.

5. How much control do you want to have over managing staff?

Think about your management style. Project-based or externally-managed staff might work autonomously, while FTEs usually require structured communication and collaboration.

Answering these questions will guide you toward the best staff augmentation model for your needs. Happy planning!

How Staff Augmentation Works at Pharmbills

Want rapid access to top-tier specialist staff? Pharm Bills has got you covered. Our managed solutions make hiring quick, easy, and stress-free through careful planning and seamless communication.

Here’s your roadmap to successfully onboard augmented staff at Pharmbills:

Step 1 – Assess

Identify the roles or functions you need and the specific skills or expertise required. Think about the goals you want to achieve and your budget. This will help you pinpoint the perfect candidates to meet your needs.

Step 2 – Prepare

Craft a compelling brief for potential staff providers. This could include drafting an RFP, outlining the scope of work, and setting key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success.

Step 3 – Evaluate

Once you receive candidates, evaluate them thoroughly. Look for proven success in similar projects and a clear understanding of your needs and goals. Weigh factors like cost, expertise, and communication skills.

Step 4 – Hire

After selecting your ideal candidate, it’s time to make it official. This might involve signing a contract, setting a budget, and agreeing on a project timeline. Clear expectations and regular check-ins will keep everything on track.

Step 5 – Onboard

Kick off the transition by training your new team members on your processes and systems, giving them access to essential resources, and setting up communication channels. Monitor the transition closely to ensure a smooth integration.

Let Pharm Bills streamline your staff augmentation journey and watch your team thrive!


When it comes to enhancing your workforce, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. However, staff augmentation could be the perfect choice for your organisation if you’re looking to scale up and acquire new skills without adding more full-time employees. Consider partnering with a Managed Services Provider who understands your change management challenges and offers flexible options. Whether you need quick skills to meet immediate goals or investable talent for long-term success, the right MSP can help you reach the finish line and beyond.