Transforming Your Team With IT Staff Augmentation in CEE Countries
Close your eyes for a moment and think about your favorite lore featuring epic quests, potent opponents, and eternal struggles between opposing forces.
How do you think Frodo would do, trying to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom in Mordor without The Fellowship of the Ring? Would Harry be brave enough to fight The Dark Lord, unaided by the magic of friendship? Or would Luke face The Dark Side of the Force with no help from his beloved sister and softhearted scoundrel?
The short answer is “no”. The long answer doesn’t exist. Even the Witcher—the Lone Wolf of Rivia—understood that the key to victory lies in teamwork.
Building a dream team of IT experts in the ever-evolving software development landscape is no different than assembling protagonists for an epic quest. Just as every hero needs the strength of their companions to achieve glory, your IT projects call for the harmonious cooperation of skilled programming experts. Without it, they are doomed to fail or underperform.
Behold the magic of IT staff augmentation!
There are many reasons why CEE countries are the go-to destination for companies to outsource IT talent. We’ll disclose all of them, exploring the ins and outs of staff augmentation in our guide—its key benefits, how they differ from other outsourcing models, and the advantages of the CEE market in this context.
This guide to CEE IT staff augmentation consists of three main parts. The first will provide basic definitions and benefits of IT staff augmentation compared to other IT outsourcing models. The second will guide you through the map of Central and Eastern Europe, uncovering the most popular outsourcing destinations. And finally, in the third part, you’ll learn how to put your knowledge to practice and start your recruitment escapade with an epic win on the horizon.
- What Is Staff Augmentation?
- Why Choose IT Staff Augmentation?
- Bypass the Recruitment Odyssey
- Build an All-Star Team out of Global Talent Pool
- Save Time and Money with Staff Augmentation
- Expand Your Business and Your Team
- Types of Staff Augmentation
- Comparison With Other IT Outsourcing Models
- IT Outsourcing in Lithuania
- IT Outsourcing in Ukraine
- IT Outsourcing in Poland
- IT Outsourcing in Bulgaria
- Software developer salaries: UK vs. CEE
- Find the Ideal IT Staff Augmentation Company
- Epic Service Excellence
- Strategic Base: Convenient Location
- Thrifty Tactics for Cost-Effectiveness
- Customer-Focused Philosophy
- Adaptability and Flexibility
- Dynamic Dialog
- Transparent Pricing Model
- Before Your Alliance Starts
- Meet the New Addition to Your Software Development Team
Chapter 1: Setting the Scene. IT Staff Augmentation vs. Other IT Outsourcing Models: Definitions, Differences, and Benefits
Staff augmentation or dedicated IT team? Offshore or nearshore? A quick Google search won’t give you a straightforward answer to these questions. While choosing between these models can be overwhelming, we’re here to simplify it and help you build the team of your dreams. But let’s start with the basics.
What Is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is a flexible, strategic outsourcing service that allows businesses to bolster their in-house software development teams with skilled IT professionals for specific project needs. By integrating short- or long-term external staff, companies can address skill gaps effectively without the costs, effort, and commitment associated with permanent hire.
Here are the core advantages to spark your interest. If you want to see how staff augmentation can benefit your IT department further, explore the pros and cons of this solution.
Why Choose IT Staff Augmentation?
Finding, employing, and training the right professionals to fit the team can be challenging. That’s where various outsourcing services come in handy. When handled by experienced providers, staff augmentation streamlines the process of acquiring top-tier talent, relieving businesses of the complexities of traditional hiring.
1. Bypass the Recruitment Odyssey
The average hiring process takes 43 days and varies depending on the industry and candidate seniority levels. Does it seem like a lot? It will if you add the necessary onboarding process to the equation, which usually extends to 90 days to ensure new employees become as efficient as their more experienced coworkers. That’s about four months of work time that could be spent on more urgent tasks.
On top of that, every country has its unique labor laws, which may present a challenge for foreign companies when seeking a workforce outside their borders. For instance, India emphasizes the distinction between employees and self-employed contractors, with misclassification potentially leading to significant penalties, back pay, and retroactive benefits administration, amounting to millions in costs. And if we look at the USA, while theoretically, most states allow hiring remote workers internationally, oftentimes, this isn’t as straightforward as engaging US staff unless the company has a legal entity abroad or the person is hired as a contractor. Other countries also have their fair share of laws and regulations for remote and foreign hires to protect often fragile job markets.
Navigating such complexities in employment becomes more manageable through flexible hiring forms like outsourcing. By partnering with experienced providers, companies can alleviate the HR burden, introducing fully trained foreign IT specialists who meet all requirements while adhering to country-specific labor laws and restrictions. Well-established outsourcing and staffing organizations extend their expertise to help clients not only to find talent but also to streamline the hiring process, guaranteeing that clients adhere to legal requirements.
2. Build an All-Star Team out of Global Talent Pool
With IT outsourcing services, you’re no longer restricted to local specialists only. Staff augmentation providers allow you to cross borders in the quest to find the perfect fit for your team’s unique dynamics. And that’s no easy task! 63% of global tech leaders nowadays say that candidates for tech and IT jobs lack the required expertise or experience. Choosing to augment your staff allows you to recruit employees with the exact skillset you need without lowering your expectations.
3. Save Time and Money with Staff Augmentation
Building a legendary team of skillful developers is expensive. Due to budget limitations, small, emerging businesses often can’t afford to hire full-time in-house specialists. Not to mention that finding the right candidate is hard work.
The overall cost of a bad hire can go as high as triple the employee’s salary. On the contrary, a qualified staff augmentation provider offers on-demand access to skilled professionals without the commitment of full-time employment, reducing additional employee expenses on taxes, benefits, social security, and health insurance.
4. Expand Your Business and Your Team
As your company embarks on the heroic quest of expansion, the ever-changing landscape of hiring demands becomes akin to a dynamic battlefield. In this epic journey, the need for additional swords and shields becomes paramount, ensuring triumphant success in the face of evolving challenges.
With staff augmentation, you can modify the size of your team in response to combat the challenges of both short-term and long-term projects. This model gives you the flexibility that ensures you can efficiently align your workforce with the specific needs of each project, whether it involves a sudden surge in development tasks, the incorporation of specialized skills, or adjustments to meet shifting market demands.
Types of Staff Augmentation
Now that you know the mighty benefits of staff augmentation, it’s time to discover your options for building a dedicated IT team. There are many IT outsourcing providers to choose from, but generally, we can put them into three main categories: onshore, nearshore, and offshore.
Here, we will briefly tackle the differences between each option. If you want to explore them in more detail, see our complete nearshoring vs offshoring vs onshoring breakdown.
Onshore Staff Augmentation:
Let’s say you want to recruit local IT heroes to serve you from lands not that far away. Onshore staff augmentation will be your best option to find employees in the same time zone and sharing a common cultural background. Besides real-time communication, more convenient face-to-face collaboration, and simplified legal compliance, onshore staff augmentation supports your country’s economy.
Is there a fly in this ointment? Naturally, after all, every fairy tale has a dark side. Onshoring staff augmentation is usually the least affordable due to higher labor and living costs. Finding ideal candidates in a competitive tech market may also present a challenge, as the talent pool is limited to one country.
Nearshore Staff Augmentation:
To access more specialists while enjoying the benefits of geographical proximity teamwork, let’s take a step further and choose nearshore staff augmentation. You can outsource IT experts from countries on the same continent to lower the hiring costs. Meanwhile, they’ll let you maintain comparable cultural and work ethics, making collaboration smoother than with offshore software development teams.
Depending on the size and capabilities of neighboring countries, the talent pool may be limited compared to larger offshore alternatives. Additionally, high staff turnover can adversely affect project continuity. This is why entrusting the recruitment process to IT outsourcing specialists like pwrteams is the safest choice. They enhance employee retention through meticulous candidate selection, prioritizing competitive compensation, and positive working conditions. This approach fosters an environment conducive to productivity, accelerating project development.
Offshore Staff Augmentation:
If you prioritize cost optimization, offshore staff augmentation is the most budget-friendly solution to extend your team. This approach entails hiring talent from various countries worldwide, providing access to a broad spectrum of specialists whose skills might not be locally accessible. While differences in time zones may present communication challenges, they can also positively contribute to seamless workflow during non-business hours, thereby improving overall work continuity.
However, external factors like political stability, economic conditions, and legal changes in the offshore location influence the dynamics of outsourcing relationships. These should be carefully considered when choosing the final destination for offshore staff augmentation. A pertinent example of unforeseen circumstances on outsourcing is the 2009 scandal involving Satyam Computer Services, once a prominent IT outsourcing company in India. The revelation of a massive financial fraud led to clients terminating contracts, substantial economic losses on both sides, and a severe blow to the overall reputation of the Indian outsourcing industry.
Still, many geographies offer political and economic stability that removes similar considerations. For instance, offshoring to Central and Eastern Europe provides several advantages for American, European, and Australian companies, including cultural alignment and high English proficiency, which contribute to enhanced communication and collaboration. Despite the potential for higher labor costs compared to specific Asian counterparts, the close cultural proximity in CEE fosters smoother working relationships. Countries like India and the Philippines may offer cost advantages; however, they may come with more pronounced time zone disparities, potential language barriers, and unique cultural considerations, requiring careful management.
Still unsure which type of staff augmentation would suit your business best? Contact us directly, and we’ll help you make the right decision.
Comparison With Other IT Outsourcing Models
Staff augmentation is not the only way to forge your software fellowship. Other IT outsourcing models include managed services, dedicated teams, independent contractors, and traditional hiring. Each comes with unique advantages and considerations, allowing you to align your team-building plan with your organizational goals, project requirements, and overall business strategy.
While staff augmentation provides experts that integrate seamlessly into your in-house software development team, managed services offer a more hands-off approach, allowing you to offload specific IT functions entirely. The service provider assumes responsibility for delivering and overseeing agreed-upon tasks, such as infrastructure management, system monitoring, and support services. This allows your organization to concentrate on core competencies while benefiting from the specialized external expertise.
A dedicated team is a group of professionals assigned exclusively to work on your project. Opting for outsourced software development with a dedicated IT team is perfect for long-term projects that require constant support and updates. However, for short-term projects where adaptability and swift onboarding are paramount, more agile models like staff augmentation prove to be a better fit.
Want to learn more? Read our extensive article on the dedicated teams model to explore its pros, cons, and applications.
Think of hiring independent contractors in the IT field as enlisting tech-savvy lone wolves. Similar to the renowned monster hunter Geralt, these solitary experts provide a mix of flexibility and expertise. Operating outside the conventional team structure, they handle their work, timelines, and deliverables independently, infused with a self-guided flair. While they excel in short-term projects, their integration into your internal workflows might be somewhat limited.
There’s nothing like welcoming a new member of your in-house developers’ team, right? Full-time employees bring a sense of stability, forming a cohesive unit that becomes deeply integrated into the fabric of your company culture. Nevertheless, the traditional hiring path comes with its own challenges, where fixed costs for salaries, benefits, and other employment-related expenses can be overbearing, especially for small businesses. On the contrary, with IT staff augmentation, you only incur expenses for external resources when they’re actively contributing, providing a more flexible and budget-friendly dynamic for companies of all sizes.
Chapter 2: The Dilemma. Should I Outsource My IT Department?
Having explored the pros and cons of staff augmentation, you might be wondering where to find reliable IT outsourcing services.
Central and Eastern Europe emerge as a highly sought-after outsourcing hub, catering to onshoring, nearshoring, and offshoring needs. Why is this the preferred choice?
Western countries, facing a shortage of IT professionals, are compelled to seek specialized talent elsewhere. In response, countries like Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, and Serbia offer a vast pool of skilled and well-educated experts, allowing companies to receive top-notch deliverables while cutting costs.
Now, let’s delve in to discover which one possesses unparalleled technological expertise to match your project requirements best!
IT Outsourcing in Lithuania
Lithuania, a picturesque Baltic gem, is a visual delight and a burgeoning force in the tech world. It proudly boasts a workforce experiencing impressive growth. The number of IT professionals jumped from 20,514 in 2011 to 34,137 in 2020. This tech-savvy army is fueled by over 12,000 IT students and 3,100 news specialists who join the market annually.
Lithuanians have cracked the code to fluent English, earning them the 21st spot on the EF English Proficiency Index. An impressive 88% of the youngest age group use English easily, making collaboration smoother than a well-oiled machine.
Still considering your options? See why IT outsourcing services in Lithuania may be the right fit for your business.
IT Outsourcing in Ukraine
What sets Ukraine apart is the resilience of its IT market. Despite the challenging backdrop of the ongoing war, recent Statista data shows that in the first nine months of 2022, the country rebounded to the same level of IT exports as it had in 2020. This underscores Ukraine’s ability to weather challenges and maintain its status as a reliable and competitive player in the global IT landscape.
Your dev champions await! If you want to learn more about IT staff augmentation in Ukraine, read this article.
IT Outsourcing in Poland
Ranked as 5th most tech-savvy country in the world by Harvard Business Review, Poland is a strategic location for IT staff augmentation. The tech talent pool here is massive – over 600,000 specialists. Even better, that reservoir of IT skills is continually expanding, driven by 23 tech universities that collectively graduated approximately 13,500 students in the 2021/22 academic year (based on data from the Central Statistical Office in Poland), making Poland a hotspot for vetted developers.
The country’s tech landscape is complemented by seven rapidly developing tech hubs, including Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Katowice, Tri-city (Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia), Lodz, and Poznan. Although Warsaw leads as a hub for most startups, the increasing growth of startups in other cities reflects the advanced nature of Poland’s tech ecosystem.
Eager to find the winning software development team? Read more about IT staff augmentation in Poland before making the final decision.
IT Outsourcing in Bulgaria
Impressively, Bulgaria made the Coursera Global Skills Report 2022, earning 18th place among the European countries. Furthermore, the Bulgarian Global Innovation Index (GII) stands at 38 out of 132, reflecting the nation’s success in innovation development and indicating its competitiveness in the global IT market.
Bulgaria offers prime locations such as Sofia, Varna, and Burgas, serving as optimal IT hubs for those considering outsourcing or hiring developers. These cities harbor a rich pool of skilled professionals and foster a conducive technological innovation and collaboration environment.
Software developer salaries: UK vs. CEE
The disparity is notable if we compare the average salary of software developers in the UK (one of the highest-paying countries in Europe’s IT market) to the average salaries of developers in CEE countries. According to YouGov, 70% of British B2B businesses choose to outsource their operations, with 30% of decision-makers pointing to lower overall costs as the primary motivation.
The difference in earnings is rooted in the significantly higher living expenses in the United Kingdom compared to many Central and Eastern European countries, necessitating higher salaries to maintain a comparable standard of living. For example, the average cost of living in the UK is 47% more expensive than in Poland. This economic contrast is compounded by the significant value of the British Pound Sterling, which ranks as the fifth-strongest currency in the world, impacting the comparative purchasing power of salaries.
Want to explore the costs of software development in CEE countries? Read our in- depth, comprehensive guide to IT salaries for a thorough overview.
Chapter 3: The Quest Begins. IT Staff Augmentation in CEE
Ready to embark on your staff augmentation odyssey? The penultimate stage (marking the thrilling climax in our narrative) involves uncovering an outsourcing company that aligns precisely with your business requirements. Before assembling the software development team of your fantasies, adventurous quests are waiting to be conquered on your to-do list. Gear up for a quest for excellence!
Find the Ideal IT Staff Augmentation Company
“Ideal” is subjective; not all IT outsourcing services will meet your business’s needs. However, there are a few must-have qualities of your next outsourcing partner that you shouldn’t overlook.
Epic Service Excellence
A top-notch IT staff augmentation company needs a skilled team. They should have expertise in various technologies and programming languages relevant to your project. Look for offers with established quality assurance processes. This includes testing, code reviews, and audits. It ensures the delivery of high-quality solutions.
To account for that, pwrteams provides the best talent available with below-market average attrition rates of 4.8%. This way, we ensure our clients can consistently rely on a stable and high-performing software development team, fostering long-term partnerships and ensuring uninterrupted progress toward their goals.
Strategic Base: Convenient Location
Proximity determines costs, cultural compatibility, and ease of travel. The time zone difference between your company and the staff augmentation provider can affect real-time collaboration. A reasonable overlap in working hours can enhance communication and responsiveness, reducing delays in project delivery.
And how to ensure that? For example, our diverse outsourcing options cater to the client’s individual needs for a well-balanced and globally connected team, providing IT talent in different countries (including Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, and Serbia) aligned with their time zone.
Thrifty Tactics for Cost-Effectiveness
As you already know, cost reduction is the primary motivation to seek outsourcing services, which is why an effective company provides value for money. Assess the quality of work, expertise, and long-term benefits to make sure you make a suitable investment.
To get your IT project on the right track as soon as possible, at pwrteams, we streamline the time-to-hire, delivering only relevant candidates. As a result, on average, it takes about 2 weeks to present the first candidates and max 8 weeks to get the offer accepted. As the candidates are pre-vetted and meticulously selected per individual needs, onboarding is minimal, so your new team additions can immediately provide a return on investment.
A trustworthy staff augmentation provider will be mindful of your unique requirements, provide regular updates, and promptly address concerns. Look for a company with a demonstrated track record of successful projects like client testimonials, case studies, and reviews.
To ensure we recognize and address the needs of our clients and adapt rapidly to changing needs and situations, we closely follow a hands-on approach. It gives customers full control of the allocated employees and tasks, from participating in the recruitment process to managing talent throughout the project.
Adaptability and Flexibility
To gain maximum value from recruitment, choose a forward-thinking outsourcing partner that embraces innovation, provides high-quality career opportunities, and adapts to emerging technologies. They should bring new ideas and technologies to the table to enhance your projects and adapt quickly to changing needs without compromising efficiency.
Highly flexible and customer-oriented, our model eliminates volume commitments, providing full administrative support on our end. With a low entry barrier, you maintain control over candidates, enjoy easy budgeting (Fixed Fee model), and accurate cost forecasting. Now, that’s flexibility!
Effective communication is crucial for successful cooperation. A good company should have clear communication channels, be responsive to your inquiries and feedback, and possess proficient language skills to avoid misunderstandings.
Transparent Pricing Model
Transparency is key to mutual agreement, helping you understand the costs involved and avoiding hidden charges. pwrteams’ monthly fees are based upon the gross salary of the candidate, not the job title. This open-book pricing model (Cost+) allows our customers to decide upon real value for money per candidate and contributes to a healthy client-vendor relationship.
pwrteams boast services that check all the above boxes and more. Get in touch to find out what else our specialists can do to power up your team.
Before Your Alliance Starts
…make sure you understand the recruitment process. At pwrteams, we ensure our future clients feel comfortable and confident in our skills from the first contact. The process should be short and straightforward to jump to day-to-day activities as soon as possible:
1. Client Needs Assessment
We want to know exactly what you need so we can thoroughly assess your requirements, your software development team’s skills, expertise, and overall project goals.
2. Strategic Hiring
Equipped with fresh knowledge, we bring on board candidates who possess the desired technical proficiency and align with your culture and objectives. You have complete control over the recruitment, actively participating in selecting and interviewing future staff.
3. Candidate Onboarding
Our software developers join your in-house team to bring your IT project to life. They have to learn your company’s structure and workflows to work together seamlessly.
4. Ongoing Support
At pwrteams, our commitment extends beyond project completion. Need to scale your team up or down? We’ll align every change according to your needs.
Meet the New Addition to Your Software Development Team
The success of the IT staff augmentation process depends on you as well. Once the outsourcing company prepares the list of suitable candidates, you select the ideal people to join your team. What happens after?
Like an in-house hire, your outsourced employees need a proper onboarding process to get a hold of your workflow, organizational culture, and team structure. Creating an environment where new remote workers feel welcomed and valued is the key to unlocking their maximum productivity and fostering a strong collaborative bond within your extended team.
Explore the Power of IT Staff Augmentation With pwrteams
Embark on a daring expedition into the uncharted realm of Central and Eastern Europe’s dynamic technology market. Fear not the unknown, for the best IT staff augmentation providers await your discovery. The outsourcing market’s projected annual growth of 13.76% from 2023 to 2028 promises an epic journey.
In this heroic saga of IT, the quest for victory is not a solitary pursuit but a collaborative odyssey, where dreams come to life through the unity of a powerful software development team. The daunting task of choosing the right IT staff augmentation provider and uncovering the ideal candidates is not for the faint-hearted, yet fear not, for we stand as your trusted guides through this thrilling adventure.
As you navigate the extensive talent pool across the CEE countries, envision pwrteams as your steadfast companions, ready to streamline the hiring process. Reach out, and together, let’s embark on a legendary discussion to shape the destiny of your formidable team.