The matter of IT staff extension is gaining popularity year by year. It’s predicted that companies will spend 6% more recourses on hiring and retention needs by 2027. Staffing solutions have a huge impact on further efficiency of companies. Depending on the staffing strategy they choose, cost-effectiveness and flexibility may vary.

We’ve already uncovered the factors to take into account when weighing in-house hiring vs. outstaffing. In this article, we are comparing 2 ways to scale a tech team with the help of third-party staffing companies. The difference between staff augmentation and consulting services often seems controversial to many business leaders, who faced only traditional in-house hiring or collaborated only with 1-2 external companies episodically.

  • Both, consulting and staffing, could be a go-to solution for long-term and short-term projects.

  • Both of them may offer solid expertise in software development, including the skills necessary to work with the newest technologies like AI, VR/AR, or Blockchain.

Staff augmentation vs. Consulting — who will win? Let's figure it out now.

What are we looking at here? What is consulting?

In one "corner" of the staff augmentation vs. consulting ring, we have Consulting, a popular outsourcing solution for companies looking for experts for specific projects. They already have a highly specialized team of professionals and develop a work plan using their own experienced managers. In this case, the consulting company decides everything, from selecting a team to organizing the work process.

So far, sounds good. Are there any downsides?

Obviously, no method is perfect and both staff augmentation and consulting have their potential downsides you should consider before making a decision. As mentioned above, consulting gives you the opportunity to partner up with a group of highly specialized professionals, trained and selected in advance, to deliver complex projects. Accordingly, there are certain limitations.

Time and flexibility

You might need more time to find a fitting staff member

Not all subject IT specialists will be available right away, i.e. it may take some time to select the team for a specific project. Also, there will be certain timeframes, during which your company will have access to this specific group.


Since consulting companies provide services according to pre-established workflows, they can allocate work to several clients at once. This can cause different levels of client prioritization, depending on the workload of the team. Your project might not be prioritized, which can affect timelines and quality.

Subject expertise

A skilled expert who is versed in a few tech stacks is worth his weight in gold. In reality, a consulting team will most likely not always be able to solve all tech questions that arise. That is, if you work with a consulting company, be prepared that their team's expertise will be limited to a few project types or technologies.


Sophisticated requirements can come at a cost. The company will need to allocate a particular budget for the consulting team. Since the employees' abilities will be carefully selected to fit the project, their services will cost more.

Got it. And what about Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is one of the optimal solutions when it is necessary to find an effective tech team to supplement your permanent employees. IT staff augmentation prospects are promising for when you need to mitigate operational costs or decide to scale up fast.

What are the benefits of Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation allows you to fill gaps in the company when you need it most: during time-sensitive projects, where every second counts. Here are some more points which might help with the consulting vs. staff augmentation argument.

More flexibility

The pros of Staff augmentation include finding a staff member quickly and putting them to work right away. There is no need to wait until a specific person is available, there is always a wide selection. New team members can also shift focus and work on different tasks if it’s required of them.

Total control

Staff augmentation allows you to hire people and stay in charge

The company in need of expanding fully controls how the work is done by engaging its tech managers. Newcomers study all the internal processes of the company and understand the company rules and procedures. If you prefer total control over development and weigh staff augmentation vs. consulting, staff augmentation is the only option allowing that.

Cost-effectiveness: Staff Augmentation vs. Project-Based Consulting

Simplification of hiring and management processes helps reduce company expenses, which is important for the optimization of resources for further operations. Pricing is one of the main points in favor of staff augmentation.


Because the augmentation process takes place within the company, you don't need to share security information with any third parties. All access rights and documents remain secure. If you deal with a staff augmentation company which has a good reputation, you can also expect them to pass regular security certifications and comply with modern data privacy regulations like GDPR or CCPA.

Sounds interesting. Any “pitfalls”?

It's all up to you

The new hires will need training and infrastructure set up to operate. One might think that all of it should be provided by the hiring company.

Yet, when deciding between staff augmentation vs. project-based consulting, take into account that HR partners like Outstaff Your Team aim to reduce organizational burden of their clients. Depending on the agreement with a client, we can:

  • Equip hired tech teams with laptops, graphic tablets, VR glasses, etc.;

  • Organize office spaces for better collaboration, which is especially popular request when a client’s project is on the initial stage;

  • Provide VDI for the specialists engaged in the projects requiring the highest level of security.

Too many choices

Due to the high competition, it can be difficult to find an outstaffing company you can trust with the expansion of your team. But the pros of staffing agency far outweigh the cons if you have spotted an experienced People Partner. Such partners are known for:

  • Using big data for recruiting, which results in tailored hiring campaigns and engaging specialists who can bring value in the long run;

  • Adjusting their retention techniques to the appropriate stages of a developer’s lifecycle to keep high specialists’ satisfaction rates all the time;

  • Ensuring compliance with the hiring laws and managing payrolls — in other words, handling all the hiring paperwork.

If you’ve found an outstaffing provider that ticks all the boxes above, such a partnership is a wise strategic investment.

How do I know what is best for me?

If you're not sure what to choose based on the difference between staff augmentation and consulting services, here are a number of considerations to help you make up your mind.


Decide if you can wait a bit until you have a team of specialists assembled, or is the project too time sensitive for that. It’s one of the main decisions that helps with the IT staff augmentation vs. consulting argument.

Tech Stack Specialization

If you’re having trouble deciding on the type and amount of extra help you’ll need to get for your project, choose the right tech stack and technology first –– PHP, NodeJS, VueJS, Python, React Native, etc. It will help determine the types of developers (front-end, back-end, full-stack) you’ll need to hire first and foremost.

How much to delegate?

Which processes do you want to manage, and which ones are you willing to outsource? Tech teams with established workflows may benefit from the outstaffing hiring model, as it suggests full immersion of new team members to the existing development routine. Your project managers become their direct managers while outstaffing company takes over the People Ops, so the areas of responsibility don’t interfere, which exclude possible misunderstandings.

Team evaluation

Study your team: what are their strengths and weaknesses, what is missing, how to optimize their work. Thus, you can see if a consulting firm can cover your skill gaps, or it’s better to create a full in-house team engaging outstaffed pros.

When you opt for outstaffing, be sure that top IT staffing agencies will explore your tech team’s potential to the fullest. They can recommend the most effective team structure for certain business objectives, including the necessary seniority levels and duties for project roles.

Consider our team to find more qualified experts

If you decided on scaling your business, that’s great! The first step is to choose HR-professionals you can entrust with looking for the new tech talent. Hire Outstaff Your Team to debunk the myths about outstaffing once and for all. Here are some of the tech recruitment and staffing services that were refined by our 13+ years on the market:

  • Tailored hiring campaigns based on the in-depth analysis of the relevant talent market’s niche;

  • Handpicking the most fitting candidates and preparing clear dossiers to make approvals easy for our clients;

  • Handling HR paperwork and ensuring compliance worldwide;

  • Systemic milestone talks as the heart of team retention strategy.

Want to augment your team, but need some expert input? Contact us via [email protected], and we'll get you the best candidates asap.


What is another name for IT staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation is also known as resource augmentation or business augmentation, as it is a flexible and cost-effective way to supplement a company's team in the shortest possible time. Companies providing IT staff augmentation services offer a wide range of versatile tech specialists to choose from.

What is the difference between staff augmentation and consulting services?

There are a lot of discussions comparing staff augmentation vs. consulting services. The main differences are the team’s expertise, availability, and the responsibility delegation levels. If you need narrow specialists ASAP and want to control the project’s progress directly, opt for staff augmentation.

Why do companies use staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation deals with multiple challenges at once. It is a cost-effective alternative to recruiting, interviewing and hiring a regular employee. Outstaffing firms specialized in tech hiring can: 1) effectively handpick candidates with required skills; 2) retain skilled team members. Also, they take over administrative hiring busywork and offer arrangements with flexible conditions, which is crucial for growing businesses.

Kateryna is a wordsmith with a knack for creating engaging narratives, whether it is an article about administrative hiring routine or domain-related coding skills. She crafts content helping businesses find the perfect talent fit. Through writing, she enjoys exploring new trends dominating in the tech space.

Stay in tune

Curated Tech HR buzz delivered to your inbox

I need Full Stack:

Quick Search Quick Search Quick Search

Payroll Payroll Payroll

Quick Search Quick Search Quick Search

View all