IT is an area where the demand for specialists is growing much faster than the supply. A serious staff shortage is forcing companies to look for different ways to solve the situation: some turn to aggressive hunting and strengthen the HR direction, while others prefer to “grow” IT specialists within their structure.
Each of these paths has its pros and cons, risks and limitations. Our company, which provides, among other things, it staff augmentation services, helps to understand them.
IT Staff Augmentation: pros and cons
The digitalization of all areas, the expansion of the digital and IT services market are constantly increasing the need for information technology specialists.
In addition to finding ready-made employees, companies are learning to create the right specialists on their own. For the company, the main advantage of IT Staff Augmentation lies not so much in their low cost, but in the ability to “forge” a specialist for specific needs.
Strictly speaking, almost any “ready-made” specialist in a new place adapts to the conditions for the first time – for a beginner, adaptation occurs right in the process of his formation.
IT Staff Augmentation has another indisputable plus: as a rule, their loyalty to the company is much higher than that of outsiders who have already managed to evaluate the conditions in different companies and are able to compare. Such employees are more likely to grow within the organization and not leave in the next couple of years.
Of course, this model also has its disadvantages: by subscribing to specialist training, we, in fact, invest in a long-term project with a delayed return on investment and certain risks. After “feathering”, yesterday’s newcomer may not appreciate the forces invested in him and go to competitors if their conditions seem more favorable to him.
This scenario of the development of events cannot be prevented, since in the first place it depends on the person you are hiring. But it is quite realistic to reduce this probability: if the working conditions, the attitude of the management, the team and remuneration are adequate and attractive for the specialist, he will have much less reason to look for an alternative.
New Hires: pros and cons
Of course, it is impossible to close all the vacancies of the company with “own” employees. Do not forget that such a specialist is a long-term project that will not be able to take on current tasks, especially if their solution requires a lot of experience.
By hiring a person from the outside, you almost immediately (but not quite – more on that below) get a work unit and, accordingly, a profit. In addition, hiring a ready-made professional is the only option if you need a person with unique knowledge, whose training will cost more than searching in the market.
So, the IBM company, which prefers to grow managers within its structure, is nevertheless looking for rare employees “on the side”.
Strictly speaking, the advantages of a ready-made specialist compared to juniors and interns are obvious – so it makes sense to talk about the cons.
- Firstly, anyone, even the most experienced person, needs time to “drive” into all processes, adapt to new tasks and, possibly, learn something new. All this usually takes at least two months – so do not wait for burning tasks to start closing from the first working day of a new employee.
- Secondly, the loyalty to the company of such a specialist will be much lower than that of an intern – at least at first. Losing him is also much easier: he has fewer motives to stay in the company, so he will easily agree to more attractive conditions, up to a more convenient office location. Finally, a professional from the market will cost more (which is understandable) and, like a beginner, has every chance not to join the team.
Our company had a variety of experiences, both negative and positive: sometimes guys come who show miracles of skill and outstanding results from the very first weeks. But we also met with employees who needed up to six months to build up and understand the project, and we had to part with one, because he could not join the work process.
So in the case of ready-made specialists, the ability to carefully select a potential employee comes to the fore. Both a strong HR and a mandatory interview with the future leader are important here, and in small companies, with the owner.
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