Are you afraid of failure? Well, you should be!
Failure is rampant in the startup scene. Failure can be attributed to market problems, over-optimistic business models, poor management, lack of capital, and limited access to top tech talent.
For product teams, the latter is a crucial component to success; however, for startups with limited budgets, the ongoing tech talent shortage can be a killer. While founders consistently come up with great ideas, if you don’t have access to the right skills and knowledge, your idea will remain just that: an idea.
Even with venture capital investment, hiring software engineers can prove to be a challenge. When the competition for top tech talent is fierce, salaries skyrocket. At the same time, money alone may not be enough to attract highly skilled individuals. They might also look for unique benefits packages, unusual challenges, and so on.
According to KPMG’s annual survey of about 3,000 companies, 65% stated that they couldn’t find the right tech professionals to fill the skills gap. After the Trump administration overhauled the H1-B work visa program, affordable and viable foreign recruitment options also dried up (almost immediately).
For small businesses starting with limited resources, this could quickly spell the end of the company and their “great disruptive idea.”
But wait! It doesn’t all have to be all doom and gloom.
Creative thinkers and innovative problem solvers lead successful product startups. Those in the know have reimagined their approach to recruiting top tech talent.
One way to do this is to embrace the agile co-development model and leverage staff augmentation. However, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s define it.
What Is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation can be described as an innovative response to the tech talent gap where organizations use remote professionals temporarily to augment the capacity of the company. This approach has become so popular that it’s estimated to support as much as $490 billion in annual spending.
Key Benefits of Staff Augmentation
Key benefits of staff augmentation include:
- Access to specialized skills
- Bridge to hire
- Competitive advantage
- Increased capacity
- Significantly reduced time-to-market
What Is Agile Co-Development?
Agile is a project management methodology that helps development teams respond to change effectively. It’s a proven method of efficiently managing and succeeding in a turbulent and uncertain environment.
As the name suggests, this approach is highly adaptive. It focuses on acquiring an in-depth understanding of the present environment, the scope of work that lays ahead, and the best way to adapt to the uncertainty.
When it comes to co-development, it’s an umbrella term for a variety of frameworks and best practices that can be leveraged to work efficiently together in on-premise and off-premise dispersed teams.
As the primary focus is always on the people, solutions naturally evolve through collaboration between self-organized cross-functional IT teams.
How Does Tech Staff Augmentation Drives Product Development Forward?
When you pair both staff augmentation and agile co-development principles, your startup will be well-placed to leverage a single solution that helps integrate remote developers with a startup’s agile development practices.
When you have seamless access to some of the brightest minds in the world, your time-to-hire is cut short dramatically. At the same time, your time-to-market will also be reduced as your product team will be well-placed to accelerate development.
When the application has been published, startups can also choose to keep remote workers and make them an extension of the existing in-house team.
How Do You Integrate Remote Developers with In-House Teams and Keep Projects Running Forward?
Hiring remote developers gives you immediate access to a deep pool of tech talent. However, this doesn’t always mean that their personalities will “gel” well with your organizational culture and with your in-house team.
To make sure that potential candidates have the right cultural fit, it’s essential to get involved in the hiring process. But how do you go about it when potential team members are across the border or on another continent?
In this scenario, it’s best to partner with an established staff augmented services provider. This is because they would already have a thoroughly vetted pool of top talent at their fingertips, and all you would have to do is interview the ones that they recommend.
Once you have identified the “perfect” candidates, your third-party services provider will do the rest. As a result, you won’t have to think of traditional overheads that go along with new hires, labor laws, and other HR-related functions.
Once the new team members and communication and collaboration tools are in place, product startups will be on their way to meet development goals.
When you work closely with an established staff augmentation services provider, your company will also benefit from paying for only the work that’s been completed.
This means that you never have to hold on to team members once their task is complete. Furthermore, you can quickly scale your team up or down, depending on your present needs.
Finding the right tech-partner isn’t always easy. To get this part right, founders and startup leaders need to invest some time and resources to do some homework.
What you want is an established provider who boasts a wealth of talent, but also has the agility to adapt to your changing needs during the build.
What Startups Should Look For in a Tech Partner
So what should product startups look for in a tech partner?
- A large pool of top tech talent
- A full R&D stack
- Extensive proven industry experience
- Able to pass reference check with flying colors
- Highly experienced working with the same/similar technologies
- Close cultural fit
- The vendor has acceptable SLAs
IT Staff Augmentation is the Way Forward
For product startups, IT staff augmentation is the way forward (at least, for the foreseeable future). Unlike popular outsourcing models, it’s the only approach that keeps the product owner in control (while saving money and time).
In a highly connected world, remote workers can be reliably recruited and integrated into in-house teams. So the tech talent shortage is no longer an excuse for startup failure.