Organizations are increasingly using staff augmentation, the practice of using independent contractors for short and long-term projects, to address the challenges of finding qualified talent for a highly-specialized project, due to the current talent shortage created by the Great Resignation, or for business as usual. Over half of companies are already tapping into this freelance talent pool, and plan to do more in the future.
While the Great Resignation is driving more demand for talent than ever before, the pool of talented professional contractors is growing as these freelancers experience what is known as the Great Realization. The pool of talented freelancers has never been bigger, with 51 million new independent contractors entering the market in 2021. This new transition from traditional jobs to contract work is producing a larger contract workforce that is happier, more secure, and able to deliver subject matter expertise to organizations.
How Can Staff Augmentation Benefit Your Organization?
There are many benefits to using a staff augmentation model to manage talent demand in your organization. From cost savings to risk reduction, the up-side to using this kind of model can be a powerful business strategy. Here are six advantages of using staff augmentation.
1 – Stay on Track with Your Goals and Deadlines
Perhaps you are looking to hire a permanent employee or team but haven’t yet begun the process or it could be taking longer than anticipated. Using a professional contractor now while you are looking to hire can keep the momentum toward your organization’s training goals and deadlines. Freelancers are accustomed to onboarding quickly and jumping into the work with no lag time, such as human resources training and other HR formalities. You can get the right talent quickly matched to your company culture, expertise, and industry that can seamlessly move the project forward. The ability to reach aggressive project timelines makes your company more competitive.
2 – Get Flexibility with On-Demand Talent
Improve your company’s agility by increasing the capacity to meet surge demand and respond quickly to the changing needs of your company. Get one L&D freelancer or an entire team and utilize them for as long as needed as your business ebbs and flows.
Here’s an example of how L&D staff augmentation was used to increase a company’s training team capacity:
A global hospitality provider needed to quickly train its 6,000 employees across 256 sites on a newly developed proprietary mobile application. They did not have the talent or expertise needed to train such a large group in a short timeline. In order to quickly drive user adoption and increase productivity, the company utilized staff augmentation in the form of an outsourced training partner to execute a large-scale training program that would proliferate across the organization in a matter of weeks. They were able to create many training deliverables, such as microlearning modules, instructor-led course materials, and job aids, and deliver the train-the-trainer with this additional team.
3 – Remain in Control of Your Projects
Using outsourced talent does not mean you lose control over your projects. Whether you use your own project manager or one provided by a training talent provider, you still have oversight over the project and defined outcomes. You get the best of both worlds—oversight over your training projects yet the added support of specialized experts with the latest skills and experience. Many outsourced providers provide project managers and assume responsibility for the administrative tasks, freeing up your time to tend to your priorities while still giving you control over the training project.
4 – Benefit from Subject-Matter Experts
Gain access to a larger pool of experienced experts in a wide range of areas and industries. You can benefit from their broad experience and best practices involving the latest tools and certifications, etc., to immediately add value. Professional independent contractors learn and execute fast, pivot on a dime, and help achieve important initiatives.
Here’s an example of how L&D staff augmentation was used to get the specialized skills needed for a critical training project:
A global industrial manufacturer was seeing rapid company growth but faced a knowledge transfer crisis as key individuals retired and were replaced with new teams. They wanted to standardize and streamline their knowledge transfer process but did not have the resources or expertise. To do so, they used a training partner to develop a succession strategy and new hire onboarding program to prepare for the wave of retirements and to quickly onboard new hires. A learning strategist, project manager, and 50 trainers were brought in, resulting in reduced time-to-proficiency by 6 months for new hires and an average increase of $3M of revenue per sales team member.
5 – Reduce Risks
Outsourced talent is typically contracted through a service provider, reducing costs and liability for your company. Not only are contractors accustomed to a direct correlation between performance and outcomes, when their services are no longer needed or they aren’t meeting expectations, the relationship can also come to an end without the need to process human resources termination paperwork, pay severance, or any other implications of ending employment.
6 – Achieve Quality Results with Lower Costs
Contrary to popular belief, independent contractors are typically not more expensive than permanent employees if you consider the time to find, onboard, and all the direct and indirect costs, including benefits, investment in new skills, etc. Contractors are only paid for the work they deliver, have the skills you need, and pay only when you need them. Outsourcing providers stand behind the quality of their talent, ensuring the objectives are met.
Staff augmentation continues to be a competitive advantage for companies, especially with the talent strains they face today. Fortunately, top-tier talent is readily accessible through outsourcing with independent contractors and training partners. Staff augmentation gives employers on-demand access to experts in specific fields that can support teams and build momentum toward strategic goals.
A talent outsourcing partner can be used to find the talent you need, speed delivery time, deliver expert-level knowledge, and reduce costs. To learn more about talent outsourcing, read how to select a training partner on the TTA blog.