In today's rapidly evolving tech landscape, having an agile and scalable IT team is crucial for businesses to remain competitive and meet growing demand. However, hiring full-time in-house staff can be time-consuming and expensive. This is where outsourcing and outstaffing services come in.
Outstaffing involves partnering with an external service provider to temporarily lease professionals for your projects. It allows you to flexibly scale up or down your team as needed, accessing niche skills without the overhead of hiring.In this article, we'll explore how outstaffing can help tech leaders effectively scale their IT teams on-demand.
The Benefits of Outstaffing for Scalability
Here are some of the top benefits of using outstaffing services:
- Access Specialized Skills: Outstaffing providers maintain large talent pools, allowing you to find professionals with niche skill sets that may be hard to hire full-time. This is especially useful for complex or emerging technologies.
- Flexible Scaling: You can rapidly scale up or down your team's headcount to match workload needs, without the long-term commitment of hiring full-time. This agility is great for handling seasonal spikes or variable project demands.
- Cost Efficiency: Outstaffing is generally more affordable than recruiting full-time employees, since you only pay for the specific time period you need the resources. You also avoid employee benefit costs and attrition expenses.
- Focus on Core Competencies: Relying on outstaffing for non-core IT functions allows your in-house team to focus on your business's key technology priorities and strategies.
- Global Talent Access: Outstaffing providers source professionals worldwide, allowing you to access global expertise. This is invaluable for IT leaders seeking hard-to-find skill sets.
For example, Tikal Center, a provider of call-center solutions, lacked niche machine learning skills in-house to enrich customer insights. By partnering with an outstaffing provider to bring on machine learning experts for a 6-month contract, Tikal Center was able to successfully pilot new ML capabilities in just 2 months. Based on the pilot's success, they then extended the contract and doubled the number of outstaffed data scientists, enabling flexible scaling.
Key Considerations for Implementation
If you're convinced outstaffing is the right move for flexible scaling, here are some important tips for effective implementation:
- Clearly Define Roles: Take time to detail the required skills, experience level, responsibilities, deliverables, and objectives for each outstaffed role. This clarity allows your partner to source the best talent match and set expectations. Specify must-have technical abilities, soft skills, required certifications, education level, and previous project types.
- Conduct Due Diligence: Vetting potential outstaffing partners is crucial, so conduct due diligence on their company size, years in business, client portfolio, workforce quality assurance measures, information security protocols, compliance with regulations, and more. Look for partners aligned to your corporate culture who invest in continuing team education and skills development.
- Start Small: Initially outstaff just 1-2 professionals in a pilot phase before scaling further. This lets you assess performance, capability fit, coordination with internal teams, and other factors before expanding. Start with non-critical pilot projects first.
- Set Precise Milestones: Collaboratively outline actionable objectives, project milestones, timelines, deliverable due dates, quality criteria, and ongoing progress reporting mechanisms. This level of precision is essential for keeping outstaffed teams accountable and aligned.
- Integrate Cultures: Don't just onboard outstaffers technically, but invest time in integrating them culturally through training on company values, norms and procedures. Facilitate team connections through meetings, messaging, collaborative tools and some in-person visits if possible.
- Control Visibility: Limit external team access to confidential corporate data, systems and IP only to the extent absolutely necessary for their specific role. Implement robust monitoring, activity logging, access controls and encryption.
- Review Regularly: Continuously review outstaffing arrangements through performance evaluations, contract analysis, ROI assessments and alignment to evolving needs. Adjust strategies as required, and don't hesitate to end unproductive engagements.
Maximizing Outstaffing Success
Follow these best practices to get the most value from your outstaffing engagements:
- Choose specialists over generalists: Opt for outstaffers with deep expertise relevant to the role rather than broad skills.
- Align on workflows: Set expectations on how the outsourced team will collaborate and communicate with internal employees for seamless integration.
- Set timed engagements: Outline clear start and end dates for outstaffed contracts to control costs and prevent indefinite dependency.
- Build relational capital: Cultivate strong working relationships and trust between internal and external team members.
- Provide feedback: Give regular performance feedback to outstaffed professionals to continue driving value.
- Rotate roles: Consider rotating different roles amongst outstaffed and in-house employees for cross-training.
Conclusion and Next Steps
Outstaffing enables unmatched agility, specialist skills access, and cost control to scale IT teams. By starting small, vetting partners thoroughly, and embracing best practices, tech leaders can use outsourced talent to achieve scalability success.The next step is to engage with trusted outstaffing providers like DevPals to get expert guidance. Our experienced roject managers can share further insights on proven outstaffing models, talent options, and service agreements to create your optimal solution.Contact us today to learn how outsourced teams can fuel your IT growth and innovation. The future scale of your tech team is just a call away.