Have you started a learning development project and found you don’t have the team members you need to execute the project? Perhaps you launched the project with a complete team and things changed. Your project got delayed. One of your team members left for maternity or paternity leave. A team member left the company.
A staff augmentation service can provide team members with learning development expertise. This allows you to rapidly scale a project. You can use training staff augmentation to bolster your learning departments with professionals that have the skills necessary to develop learning material without incurring full-time employee expenses. Specialists work within your organization during projects. They integrate into your internal development and delivery processes. These learning professionals have varied experiences and can bring additional expertise in creating learning or streamlining and solving development issues.
When Should You Consider Training Staff Augmentation?
When would an organization consider augmenting their internal training team? Projects suitable for training staff augmentation fall into one of the following scenarios:
- Additional Staff – Training staff augmentation is useful when organizations already have an in house training team, but the project timeline is short. Additional hands help to get the job done within the deadline. Skilled resources that can take on course development functions without training allow the project to move forward with little interruption. Bringing on a contracted resource with verified skills, through an established vendor is often quicker than hiring the same resource.
- Specialized Skills – Staff augmentation is useful when organizations need specialized training development and delivery skills for a project. Organizations want to build training using the latest learning trends or create training using the latest technology. Training staff augmentation brings external expertise. A side benefit is that expertise is frequently transferred to an organization’s in-house staff. This can happen informally in daily tasks and deliverables, or through brown bag lunch sessions and more formal classes taught by staff augmentation personnel.
- Team Control – Organizations often wish to retain full control of timeline and quality but need assistance in meeting project requirements. With training staff augmentation, organizations assign tasks to contractors and direct their work. They have full control over the timeline and quality of the work.
- Short Term Need. Often the project need is short term. It doesn’t make sense to hire full-time employees. With staff augmentation, you can quickly ramp up and down learning staff at the right moment versus having idle employees waiting for their next assignment.
What Are the Benefits of Augmenting Your Team?
Using training staff augmentation services provide six benefits to help you get the most out of your training project:
- Scalability – Training staff augmentation allows you to employ the right talent when you need it to meet aggressive timelines. Quickly bolster your staff for your training project and when it’s complete, quickly reduce your team without any ill effects that come from terminating full-time employees.
- Recruiting – Using a staff augmentation service allows organizations to reduce recruiting and hiring time. Organizations can swiftly contract for needed talent with desired expertise and deploy to the project quickly and minimize costly project delays. In addition, training staff augmentation reduces internal employee strain, as professional training and development staff are present to help see your project to completion and then they exit, leaving your full-time staff intact. Contracting also reduces recruiting costs by eliminating time spent writing and posting jobs, culling through resumes, interviewing candidates, in team interviews and with new employee onboarding. The median cost per hire in the United States is $4700, according to a recent Society of Human Resources Management benchmarking study. This cost increases for specialized talent pools like learning and development
- Specialized Skills – Staff augmentation allows you to secure the exact skills you need when you need them. There’s no need to shoehorn a potential full-time candidate’s abilities with project requirements. Training staff augmentation offers critical skills for learning projects in talent management functions, training strategy, training project management and positional placement, such as learning architects, instructional designers, course developers, graphic artists, multimedia designers, instructors and accessibility experts as required throughout the process.
- Outsource Personnel Acquisition – Outsourcing the personnel acquisition allows you to focus on managing your project–timeline, quality, and task assignment. While you manage your project, the staff augmentation provider provides the human resource acquisition management functions for scheduling, benefits, and end-of-project wrap-up and roll off activities.
- Cost Savings – Hiring full-time staff can be costly. You’re paying for extra employees year round when you may only need them for a short time. With training staff augmentation, you’re hiring help just in time for your project and resourcing it when you need.
- Reduced Risk – Staff augmentation allows you to bring on skilled professionals to provide expertise in a specific job function. Training staff augmentation reduces hiring risks should a placement not work out. With your provider’s varied candidate selection, you simply contact your training staff augmentation firm and swap resources within hours or days versus weeks or months. It is much more difficult to start over with a full-time employee. The risk is also reduced in the model’s flexibility. You can move quickly, and expedite a resource when needed and remove them when the work is completed.
What Should an Organization Consider When Selecting a Staff Augmentation Vendor?
Organizations should consider the following attributes when selecting a staff augmentation vendor.
- Experience – How long has the vendor provided training staff augmentation services? An experienced firm has encountered more situations and may be able to better supply the exact resources for your requirement.
- Expertise – Does the vendor understand the skills needed to develop training? Will the be able to understand your needs and match the appropriate team member? Have the vendor’s team members created similar types of training as your project?
- Flexibility – Is the vendor flexible with your requirements and schedule? Is your project team flexible to vendor recommendations or are there stringent specifications? How well can the vendor adapt to these requirements, schedules, and specifications?
- Cost – Does the cost of hiring a professional training staff augmentation firm outweigh the benefits provided? Will this training add revenue to your organization’s bottom line?
- Culture – Is the vendor intimately aware of your company’s culture so that they choose the right person to add to your team? With a dedicated training staff pool, staff augmentation companies can quickly match your desired traits with the right staff to align with your organization’s culture.
Next Steps for Augmenting Your Training Staff
Consider the following in determining your path forward with training staff augmentation:
- How much time do you have before your project begins?
- Do you have enough staff capabilities and capacity to support your learning development project?
- Do you need temporary skilled and knowledgeable resources to help you get through your project’s stages?
- What is your overall budget for your training development project?
- Will you retain any employees after the project concludes?
Would hiring a training staff augmentation firm help your company achieve its training goals with additional resources? Feel free to get in touch — we’d be happy to walk through your situation with you.
Editor’s note: Updated March 2023. Article originally published May 2017.
- Elearning Team Roles: Critical Skills for Learning Projects
- Trends 2023: Managing Training for a Changing Workplace
- Talent Acquisition and Management News from SHRM.org
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