Staff Augmentation and How to automate it?

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Introduction

A common thing, apart from popularity and the business value, that is between NBA, NFL, and NHL, is their constant pursuit of talent beyond the geographical boundaries. The wonderful mix of foreign players largely fueled the global viewership that these leagues demand. The NBA has almost 109 players from 39 different countries and players like Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) and Luka Doncic (Slovenia) never ceased to enthrall with their performance during their contracts.

Tech companies, in today’s world of remote work, are in a similar situation to these league teams. They constantly look for talent beyond geographical boundaries. The sports world may not afford this, but companies allow their employees to work from the place of their choice.

As much as these league teams have their own operational nightmares in terms of legalities of foreign players’ compensation, businesses also have their HR operational challenges when they employ or contract remote workers.

Talent availability at the right time, right quality, and at the right cost are critical for business continuity and the achievement of margin goals. However, there is a complex set of HR operational activities - payroll, timesheet, taxes, statutory benefits, etc. - that comes along with outstanding talent on board. These operational activities are very different for a remote employee and a remote contractor.

Let us explore how Staff Augmentation addresses this critical business need - remote talent availability with near-zero HR operational overheads - in an automated way.

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff Augmentation refers to the method through which a business hires or contracts workers from a staffing service provider.

In this model, the outsourcing company leases or contracts a specified number of contractors from a supplier, i.e. the service provider, for a specified amount of time. The service provider delivers the essential staff on an as-needed basis or at an agreed-upon charge for the length of the project.

The Need

The impetus for such an approach is generally due to a lack of staff available in-house or in the geography to execute a project successfully, along with challenging delivery timelines where conventional hiring may hamper business.

Typical instances include IT support services in the aftermath of a big security event, social media/content marketing services, and a website relaunch to support a large marketing campaign.

Benefits

This approach helps businesses:

  • To hire the best-fit talent in a short period of time on a need basis
  • To ensure their business deadlines are not hampered by a shortage of workforce
  • To focus on engaging the workforce productively rather than handling operational aspects of HR

The latest evolution of the IT Staff Augmentation model, is having remote and global employees or contractors as part of it, which naturally invites complex HR operations.

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Staff Augmentation in the remote workforce scenario

According to research conducted by Upwork, by 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers, and only 33% of the workforce will be full-time employees.

A countrywide poll by Inc.com reveals, “ 65 percent of workers believe remote work would increase their productivity and they are performing better than their in-office colleagues.”

Disruption of Staff Augmentation

Imagine a situation, where a metaverse company in the US finds a great UX design company through Linkedin which is based out of Vietnam and the design company agrees to allow 5 of their designers to work on the metaverse company's beta release, as contractors.

This is a typical IT staff augmentation scenario, where the legal and compliance (like invoicing, taxation and payments) challenges of deploying international remote workers may lead to a lost opportunity for both sides, given the bilateral arrangement between these 2 countries. There are myriad issues from legal and tax point of view that both parties will face during such scenarios.

However, there are novel solutions like Skuad, that make the process of identifying and deploying a remote talent, from another country with no legal and compliance operational overheads.

HR Operations challenges for the hiring companies

When your business and workers are based in the same city, state, or area, the ins and outs of tax payment and withholding are quite basic.

Paying taxes on remote employees and determining who your business may owe taxes to is becoming a major hassle. And the more cross-border personnel you have, the more difficult it is to manage. 

Currently, in the US alone, some states have given guidelines showing that remote employees are taxed in the company’s home state—not necessarily the state where the person lives. Neighboring states disagree, claiming they are losing out on tax revenue, and are suing to have those cases dismissed.

HR Operations challenges for the staffing firms

While delivering staff augmentation services, time tracking, and extra-hour compliance is a challenge for staffing firms. Employers must reward their remote employees for hours worked and, in most cases, pay overtime for hours worked over a certain number. At the office, physical presence and time clock technology make keeping track relatively simple.

However, remote work compliance introduces an additional issue.

In an IT industry or customer support scenario, employees have 24-hour access to work. They have a variety of personal needs that are continuously present at home. Consider how the barriers between work and life are becoming increasingly blurred. As a result, many firms are trying to develop effective methods for tracking employee hours and compensating employees correctly.

A technology solution for Staff Augmentation challenges

With all these challenges, the need for both hiring companies and staffing firms is a technology platform that will simplify, unify and automate talent management in the backdrop of a remote and international workforce.

Tech solutions like Skuad allow companies to kickstart their staff augmentation by attracting talent from any part of the world, with the rest of the compliance and legal matters taken care of by the platform. Such solutions will also help staffing firms to leverage deploying their remote talent to any company in any country with hassle-free and fully compliant invoicing, all in a single click. 

Benefits for Companies

  1. Allows focusing only on the fitment of the candidate irrespective of the location/geography
  2. Helps to acquire talent with low turnaround time and legal liabilities
  3. Leverages on the remote workforce from varied time zones for continuous business delivery
  4. Elevates the business readiness for future projects or opportunities

Benefits for Staffing firms

  1. Allows exploring global opportunities for supply talent through triggers and notifications
  2. Helps in creating positive experiences for employees and contractors through on-time payment of salaries/fees
  3. Gets legal and compliance related complexities  automated
  4. Helps to track delivery of staff augmentation services to multiple companies through dashboards and on-demand reports

Final Word

With Staff Augmentation, the ecosystem of remote talent, companies, and staffing firms is getting unified as a single platform through companies like Skuad

Such tech solutions are imperative in a scenario of, growing preference of talent to work remotely and the pressure for businesses to hire talent on time.

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