Staff augmentation has become popular in recent years. Being a new concept, there are certain things that people don’t understand about it. Simply put, staff augmentation is a way that a company fills the gaps between the skills they possess and those that they lack to complete a certain project by means of hiring temporary help. Companies often try to just redistribute workload to cover the area that is missing. However, by doing this, they are only taking away from the regular tasks they have and often won't get the end results that they want from the new project.
Answers to 4 Common Misconceptions about Staff Augmentation
Why do companies choose to flounder instead of looking for outside help through staff augmentation? Many people still have misconceptions and don’t exactly understand the idea, or they are simply unaware of the concept entirely. Continue reading to hear about the truth behind these misconceptions.
“It is a waste of money or more expensive than permanent employment.”
Many employers believe that since augmented staff is often paid by the hour rather than salary, it comes out to be more expensive. Some also believe that it does not save the company any money to contract someone just for one project. Looking at the comparison of the augmented staff’s hourly pay compared to the salary of permanent employees can be deceiving because this does not look at the whole picture. In reality, hiring augmented staff can help bypass in-house costs that it would take to search for, hire, and train a new member of the team. “There is too much risk and no long-term benefits.” Teams sometimes think hiring augmented staff is risky. They may be hesitant to relinquish power over certain projects. Or, they might not believe that someone working remotely will follow through on their promises. They may even be worried about work quality. However, staff augmentation teams are specifically trained to acclimate to different environments. This includes effectively working with varied teams and types of people. After all, this is their job—to work on one project and then move to another company or team. They are used to adapting and achieving goals within deadlines.
“Communicating and managing an augmented staff is too difficult.”
Because augmented staff often works remotely, many people believe that communication and management is more difficult. However, if you can keep open communication by way of email, phone calls, or virtual meetings, everything will be fine. Augmented staff expects to be very responsive and communicative, looking for opportunities to align with teams and increase efficiencies and productivity.
“Technical support is just as constructive.”
While technical support can be helpful, staff augmentation fulfills a different role. Staff augmentation actually brings in another person and skillset to help with a project. In contrast, technical support aids people already on the team with technical issues. Staff augmentation can provide benefits to many different types of businesses and teams. Companies can approach projects in a more dynamic and successful manner. They can meet more aggressive deadlines and objectives. Really, the questioning of staff augmentation isn’t about whether or not it is a good idea. It's about who provides the best services for the specific skillsets you are seeking. Not all staff augmentation services are equal, though. You have to find experienced staff augmentation companies with successful track records in a given sector. As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call at 502-212-0978 and we can get the conversation started.
We have an announcement- number8 is now a SOC 2 compliant organization!
Oliver Ray - Roughly a year ago, our management team had a discussion about the impactful investments our organization could make to establish a more secure future for number8. These conversations quickly crystalized into a clearly defined need to adopt and implement a standardized framework for control and oversight activities related to our consulting offering. The management team set out to find the most appropriate audit and control framework for our remote software development consulting services. Through multiple client and prospect interviews we landed on the SOC 2® - SOC for Service Organizations: Trust Services Criteria that has been defined by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). The SOC 2 standard creates consistent reporting on controls enacted throughout a service organization that are relevant to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. These reports are intended to play an important role in the oversight of an organization. They also establish key processes for internal corporate governance and risk management processes, as well as regulatory oversight. The last key advantage of the SOC 2 standard is the ability to continually enhance different controls to suit the needs of clients. At number8, we value the creativity of helping clients get more work done and reduce the barriers to deliver quality software. Due to the number8 track record of high-quality client interactions, SOC 2 seemed to be the ideal standard for us. There have been no major security incidents in the 11 years number8 has been in operation even as we’ve grown our team to over 200 consultants distributed across 14 countries. Our long-term commitment to our clients and our consultant’s long-term commitment to development has certainly had an impact on our ability to provide secure processes to our clients. More than 50% of number8 consultants have been in some form of a development role for more than 8 years and 75% of our current consultants have been working with the same client for more than 1 year. While working through the preparation of our most recent SOC 2 report, it became clear that the standards and control framework established by the AICPA matched closely with the corporate values defined at number8. We have developed our core values with our clients firmly in mind. Not just as they are today, but how they will evolve in the future. Specifically, 3 of our 8 values were prominent in this decision:
Everyone at number8 is Customer Obsessed – we guarantee our client needs are met. We adopt our clients’ products and challenges as our own.
We always Embrace Transparency – we ensure all work is completed with the highest degree of quality, honesty and integrity. We seek to own our errors, be realistic about the expectations we set, and express courage in asking difficult questions. We are open about everything we do.
Every consultant the comes to number8 Builds for the Future while Prioritizing for the Present - It is imperative for the success of our clients to consider the impact that daily decisions have on the future of their organization. number8 consultants consider future impact; while increasing velocity today.
Conducting a remote interview can require a bit of an adjustment if you haven’t done one before. There are a few guidelines you can follow that will help you streamline the process and get the most out of your interview. Here are 3 tips for conducting a remote job interview.
Choose the Right Technical Setup
One key part of a successful remote job interview is selecting optimal communication and collaboration channels. It’s important to choose the right setup based on what you want out of the job interview. For example, if you want a face-to-face mode of communication along with the ability to look at specific elements of websites and documents in real time, you might use a tool like Zoom to incorporate video chatting and screen sharing. You would have a much less efficient interview if you tried to coordinate the same activities by phone. Overcomplicating your interview should be avoided as well. Too many tools that aren’t being used will only cause confusion and create barriers to getting to know job candidates. Overall, you should pick the tools that will best align with your goals for the interview.
Establish Expectations and Give Directions Ahead of Time
The best way to allow job candidates shine is to give them clear expectations before interviews. This is especially important with remote interviews, where technical setups can add layers of complications. Some of these expectations can be purely practical. You might want to ask candidates to position themselves in a quiet space so you can hear them clearly. Or, if there are multiple steps involved with getting into a virtual meeting space (like in Skype or Zoom), you may want to give detailed instructions for these steps and ask candidates to go through them prior to the interview. This can help avoid issues and delays due to platform updates, device incompatibility, and lack of familiarity with tools. If you want candidates to conduct any work before the interview as part of the process, these same ideas apply. Make sure you give instructions on preferred file types and how to upload or share documents before the interview.
Prepare for Multiple People in an Interview
If you are conducting an interview with multiple people at the same time, either with your team members or multiple interviewees, this is all even more important to get right. The more people who are involved with the interview, the greater chance there will be a technical difficulty that could hinder progress. It can be helpful to establish a point person on your team to handle any setup and technical difficulties that may arise. Provide their contact information to candidates to help streamline communication. They can also be the go-to person for everyone internally. If you take the time to go through these steps, your interview will be well on its way to success! As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to hire remote workers. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call and we can get the conversation started.
Hiring Offshore Developers? Here are 5 Questions to Ask!
1. Is Customer Support Available?
Good customer support is crucial when you make the business decision and start hiring offshore developers. Be sure to ask if the team of offshore developers offers customer support and if it is available 24/7. This is especially important if you are working with a team in a different time zone. Should something go wrong after business hours, you will need a team available to fix those issues despite the time of day.
2. What Do Other Customers Think?
We live in an era where it is is completely possible to research a business before becoming a customer. Regardless of what business you’re looking into - be it a company of offshore developers or a local pizza joint - information is out there and most of it is coming from other customers. Look into what other customers have to say about the timeliness, experience, available support in regards to the company that is going to be providing your business with remote IT work and software development help. Hiring offshore developers is a commitment and you'll want the best on the market.
3. Do They Offer Other Services Besides Software Development?
Is the team of offshore developers that you’re thinking of hiring solely focused on software development? Do they offer other IT services, as well? Depending on if the offshore developers are experienced or not, offering other services could be a bad sign. If they do offer additional services, it could be because the team is looking for more work in other technology fields due to their high level of experience. If they don’t offer additional services then they could be solely focused on software development or limited in experience. You should also consider if you could possibly need further IT work outside of software development in the future. It is possible that you could get all the work you need done now and in the future through one company and save yourself time looking for another company, if they offer other services.
4. How is The Company’s Employee Retention Rate?
Good employees are prideful of their work and rarely work for a company that is poorly set up. Look into how the company’s employee retention rate is. If they turnover employees left and right then you may consider hiring another company. People quit their job or are fired from their job for a variety of reasons. However, if a company is losing people quickly or letting go of people at a high rate then that can be a red flag the company is not being run well. Don't hire a company that is undesirable to be employed at. If a company treats their employees badly, or employees feel mistreated enough to quit often, then they may not have high regard for their customers either.
5. Is The Team’s Approach Agile or Waterfall?
There are many different ways to approach software development. Two of the most common methods of approach are Agile and Waterfall. Each project is different and one method may work better for your project than another. Establish what approach the offshore developers use and make sure it is going to be the best for your business. The Waterfall method uses a linear approach to software development. The project goes through a set segment of phases from conception to launch. The Agile approach takes the same steps that Waterfall methodology lays out, but doesn't approach them in a linear way. The offshore developers you hire will determine which approach will best suit your project after hearing about it. Is the team not familiar with the methodology best suited for your project? If so, hire a different team. At Number8, we use the Agile method when approaching software development projects and incorporate Scrum into our work. Our team of highly experienced, software development professionals are skilled in many programming languages. If you are thinking of hiring offshore developers to help with software development for your company, contact us today.
Glassdoor, a job recruiting and employee-based review website, recently announced the 50 Best Jobs in the U.S. for 2017. Technology-based jobs dominate the list and especially the top 10 positions. The jobs are rated using the same system which Glassdoor deems “The Glassdoor Job Score”. Considerations include: job satisfaction rating, job openings, and average salary. These factors determine a score on a scale of 1-5. At Number8, we stay on top of the latest tech trends and news including information about the IT job market. Follow along for more information about the Top 10 Tech Jobs in America with details about what each of these different jobs entails.
Top 10 Tech Jobs in America in 2017
1. Data Scientist
Data scientist tops the list of the Top 10 Tech Jobs as per Glassdoor’s Job Score with a 4.8 score. The average salary for data scientists is $110,000 a year and over 4,000 openings are available in the United States. As a data scientist, the main job role is creating value out of data. By designing, developing, and executing machine based tools to organize and interpret thousands of lines of data. Statistical analysis is a performance bonus that will help make the job easier. It will also open up additional opportunities within the job field.
2. DevOps Engineer
Coming in at the number two slot, DevOps Engineer gets a total Glassdoor Job Score of 4.7 making it a very close second to data scientist. With the same salary average, the job satisfaction rating drops to 4.2 and the number of openings is significantly more limited with only 2,725 reported openings in the U.S. If interested in a career in DevOps Engineering, being a team player is crucial. The main role of DevOps is working with software engineers to launch, manage, maintain, and test operating systems for technology companies.
3. Data Engineer
Data Engineer ties with DevOps Engineer and brings in a job score of 4.7 according to Glassdoor. The job satisfaction rating of a data engineer is higher than that of a DevOps engineer at 4.3, but the salary average falls by $4,000 to $106,000 and the number of openings falls, again, to 2,599. Data engineers work to build large-scale processing systems for data. They then maintain, test, and improve upon said systems. Data engineers should be up-to-date on the latest technologies and able to work with them.
4. Tax Manager
With a job score of 4.7/5, Tax Manager takes the 4th spot in the list of the Top 50 Jobs in the U.S. for 2017. The salary average bumps back up to $110,000 per year and job openings in this field also improve to 3,317. The job satisfaction score falls to an even 4 which is the lowest within the Top 5. As a tax manager, the full spectrum of tax services falls under the job description. Tax forms and math within your day-to-day work. Customer service also plays a huge role in being successful in the world of tax management.
5. Analytics Manager
As an Analytics Manager, the main job role is managing a team of analysts in the business field. Using business data and methods that draw from statistical analytics, Analytics Managers provide an in-depth understanding of business performance and provide educated improvement suggestions. This field pulls in the third highest average salary on the list with a median salary of $112,000. Job satisfaction and the overall job score both hit in the high 4.5 area, but the amount of job openings is limited to fewer than 2,000 which makes it 5th in the list of Top 10 Tech Jobs.
6. HR Manager
The sixth spot in this Top 10 list belongs to the role of Human Resources Manager or HR Manager for short. The job score is a strong 4.6 with 4,339 openings in the country, a satisfaction score of 3.8, and an average salary of 85,000 dollars a year. While the salary is on the smaller side of the spectrum and the job satisfaction rate is lower, the abundant amount of openings in this field makes the role of HR Manager an appealing one. The ideal HR Manager candidate has experience leading a team and familiarity with policies as they relate to employee relations, compensations, health benefits, job safety, and staffing.
7. Database Administrator
A database administrator is fully responsible for the safety, performance, and ability of databases that are used to run technology companies. They also develop databases for future use and work with users to identify and eliminate issues through troubleshooting. With all the responsibilities that fall under this job title, it would seem that the job satisfaction score for this particular career would be low, but Glassdoor rates it with a satisfaction score of 3.8 and an average salary of $93,000. There are 2,877 openings in this field throughout the United States which gives Database Administrator an overall job score of 4.5 and the seventh position on the list.
8. Strategy Manager
As a Strategy Manager, salary jumps back up over the $100,000 mark by a whopping extra $30,000, so people who find success in this field stay there. A high job satisfaction rate of 4.3 leaves the job score at 4.5 despite the low amount of openings – 1,184. Strategy Managers are responsible for determining the long term goals of a company. As a result, they plan what strategies need to be deployed in order to meet the predetermined goals, as well. These goals are evaluated through reviews of the organization to help identify the strengths and weakness as well as the openings for improvement throughout the company.
9. UX Designer
The job of UX Designer is one of the most in-demand throughout the country, but it is in a field that is ever expanding. Consequently, job opportunities and openings continue to appear. As a UX Designer, job requirements include mobile and web development of user friendly and marketable website designs. Added experience in Photoshop is a huge plus within the field and could possibly boost the average salary even higher than the reported $92,500 by Glassdoor. Job satisfaction rakes in a pretty basic score of 4.0 and the amount of job openings sits at 1,691 which makes UX Designer the 2nd least available job on the list.
10. Solutions Architect
In IT, a Solution Architects job is somewhat confusing and also dependent on the job of the functional analysts. As functional analysts create the requirements for certain aspects of information technology, solutions architects then balance and execute those requirements. The average Solutions Architect brings in a quarter of a half a million dollars a year. Job satisfaction sits at 3.7/5 and openings are very average with 2,232 openings available in the United States. This brings the score to 4.4 and rounds out the list of the Top 10 Tech Job according to Glassdoor. Technology continues to dominate the future of the world in terms of long-term career opportunities. At Number8, we are in a dynamic field that is an integral part of most types of business. And we love it. For more information about tech job opportunities, including how to become a member of the team at Number8, call 502-890-7665.
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