Staff Augmentation vs. Consulting: Pros, Cons, and Differences

Staff Augmentation vs. Consulting: Pros, Cons, and Differences
12 min read
19 October 2022

Many firms hire experienced teams to complete certain tasks on their behalf who possess the technological know-how they lack. This strategy has numerous advantages, but there are also choices for the specific type of outsourcing team you can work with.

One significant point of debate for many firms is whether to choose staff augmentation or to work with a consulting firm. Here, we will discuss benefits and drawbacks when it comes to staff augmentation vs, consulting and help you determine the best choice for your company.

Read Here - Which Option is Better for Your Enterprise: IT Staff Augmentation or Project-Based Consulting?

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is also known as Resource Augmentation. It is frequently used when a development team needs a few developers with specialized abilities for a particular project. These developers may become necessary due to new project requirements, a departing employee, or a project transfer.

In most cases, the company and its staff have already established the project's parameters, and the outsourced developers are merely filling in the gaps.

What is Consulting?

Consulting is also referred to as Project-based Consulting. It refers to hiring a software development team from an IT consulting company. Employees at these companies typically have a wide range of knowledge and skills covering all phases of software development, from design through post-launch support.

Project-based consulting is typically employed when a business lacks an entire staff with the necessary expertise for a particular project. These teams can be hired at any point in the project's lifecycle and can help define a project's need for resources, parameters, and scope.

Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation and Consulting

Before checking the difference between the two, let's examine their pros and cons for your business.

Pros of Staff Augmentation

If you intend to get augmented staff, consider whether your company would benefit from this move. The benefits of this remote team approach typically explain why hiring IT staff is so common.

Staff Augmentation vs. Consulting: Pros, Cons, and Differences

Clear Focus on Needs: The outstaffing manager works with recruiters to discover the top candidates once you explain the abilities you need to improve the product. It enables you to concentrate clearly on your requirements and streamline project execution by bringing in more tech talent.

The assumption behind outsourcing is that developers can work on several projects simultaneously. As a result, they might become less focused and productive.

In outstaffing, they take on the responsibilities of full-time employees and focus their entire workday. It helps in the team's performance and productivity improvement.

Efficiency: When you add a new person to your company, you must manage taxes, vacations, sick days, regular salaries, and other expenses.

In the case of an augmented team, you only pay for the work an employee completes. You don't need to worry about the other issues because your outstaffing partner will handle everything independently.

Wide Talent Pool: Tech talent is dispersed in several ways. Some nations are short on programmers with a particular skill set. Due to the superior education system and open economy, another country may have a large population. This, in turn, affects the workers' hourly wages.

Additionally, every nation has its difficult-to-fill positions. By focusing on overseas markets, this issue can be resolved. By selecting staff augmentation, you gain access to a global talent pool. It raises your likelihood of discovering qualified specialists at a fair price.

Less Bureaucracy: You are in charge of your staff and know the amount of work required each day to ensure the successful completion of any project. Your IT partner will be held accountable for an employee if you opt to out staff. The outstaffing company maintains office spaces, gives IT specialists hardware, and provides social bonuses.

Innovation: Your partnership may be referred to as offshore, nearshoring, or onshoring, depending on where you are and where the business you hire is located. When it comes to outsourcing, the benefit of innovation is very potent.

By this strategy, you collaborate with a business in a distant nation. The novelty of cooperation may increase if a longer distance separates partners. In this sense, resource and personnel augmentation may help broaden perspectives and generate project innovation.

Flexibility: You can scale the project up or down as necessary to accommodate more workers. When it comes to traditional hiring, this is not that simple. For obvious reasons, you cannot recruit and fire individuals whenever you like.

In staff augmentation, human resources management is not your responsibility. As a result, you can scale down if necessary, replace developers, and add more team members.

Cons of Staff Augmentation

The following are some cons of choosing to out staff employees in your team:

Staff Augmentation vs. Consulting: Pros, Cons, and Differences

Learning The Context: When new employees come to an entirely new work environment, they can take time to adapt to the new workplace's culture. They occasionally need to adjust their soft skill practices or work routines to be more productive in a new team. That is why hiring a developer from the outside is not sufficient. You must be sure that the integration procedure will go smoothly and that you won't waste much time.

Quality Risks: The problem exists in all models of collaboration. The same applies to staff augmentation. Just locate a trustworthy companion. A firm contract with your chosen business will lessen the possibility of receiving subpar services. 

If you want to be sure, you can take part in the hiring process, where you can choose the best along with the firm's representatives.

Communication Gap: If you work on an internal team, you are aware that it can be challenging for new employees to establish a relationship with the rest of the group immediately. Especially if the new hires will work remotely while your current internal team is based in the office, this won't be a major issue when most people work remotely. You only need to ask your outstaffing partner for advice on incorporating new members into your team.

Pros of Consulting

Let's quickly go over some amazing advantages of hiring consulting services to get a better idea of what to anticipate from this strategy.

Staff Augmentation vs. Consulting: Pros, Cons, and Differences

Time-Saving: Saving time is likely the main reason people choose consulting services. Businesses frequently lack the necessary expertise or resources to finish the job before the deadline. Having a specialist consulting firm on board in these situations means having easy and quick access to expert services prepared to deliver the project within the project's time and budgetary restrictions.

Cost-Effectiveness: To outsource non-core business functions like marketing or financial management, most organizations seek consulting services. As a result, they won't need to invest a lot of money in hiring full-time workers or assembling an internal team to finish the job.

Specialized consulting services are more cost effective than creating an internal team because they have the internal resources to address specific problems and frequently provide extremely competitive rates.

Proactive Approach: You can't choose a reactive strategy in today's cutthroat business market because that could result in project management's "firefighting" environment. Making educated and better project management decisions are made possible by the proactive project management approach that an experienced consulting firm brings to the table.

The approach helps organizations navigate any obstacles that may arise throughout the project. Consulting services guarantee that the project is carried out precisely and on time by setting up an early warning system.

Short-Term Support Solutions: Due to busy schedules or backlog of projects, firms frequently struggle with a lack of skilled human resources, which may limit their ability to take on further tasks.

Project-based consulting companies fill the skills gap and provide quick expert solutions to bolster an organization's portfolio of services during such times.

Cons of Consulting

Some drawbacks of choosing to consult are as follows:

Staff Augmentation vs. Consulting: Pros, Cons, and Differences

Expensive: Compared to staff augmentation, consultancy services are rather pricey. This suggests that if your project has a limited budget, you might want to reconsider hiring a consulting firm. Its range of knowledge is the cause of the higher costs.

While consulting services bring a variety of knowledge and resources to help you crack the project entirely, you should anticipate spending greater relative prices compared to staff augmentation, which only costs you for one employee.

Availability: Consulting firms work with numerous clients at once. They might not always be responsive to your demands. There may be events where you need to contact the agency immediately, yet they may not be available for a meeting.

One Size Fits All: In the business world, there isn't often a model that works for all initiatives and can be applied universally. Due to the numerous projects that consulting firms work on, it's possible they would use pre-made plans and try to impose their established procedures to complete your project, which may not be good enough to create the expected results. 

Therefore, it's crucial to research a consulting firm's reputation, experience, and project management methodology before hiring them for the job.

Staff Augmentation vs. Consulting: Key Differences

After checking the pros and cons of both services, let's discuss staff augmentation vs consulting.


For various reasons and in some situations, both choices are economically advantageous.

Staff augmentation reduces business costs by providing a specialist without the upkeep costs associated with an employee, such as medical expenditures. They can begin working once recruited and do not require additional training (apart from what is necessary for the company's internal operations).

By offering its services without requiring the significant upfront costs required to develop a full in-house team, consulting can help a company cut costs. Although they can offer more services in a single package, they are typically more expensive than staff augmentation.


A corporation will typically have more control when using staff augmentation because the new employee will submit to the team the internal procedures and methodology of the company.

On the other hand, consulting teams will typically have a method for internally organizing their work. These teams frequently use methods and techniques that a business might not be familiar with or find challenging to adapt. Additionally, only certain people will be allowed to communicate at certain times.


Staff augmentation is incredibly versatile since you may hire people when you need them and for certain durations.

Consulting teams frequently require individual experts with particular skill sets to complete a project, they are typically less adaptable. Additionally, this may raise the price of the service.


Staff augmentation can be safer because you avoid disclosing sensitive information about your project to outside sources by employing it within the organization.

When involving consulting team, you will need to give them access points to the project's sensitive data, which raises the possibility of leaks or hostile assaults.

Final Words

Staff augmentation and Consulting both offer several benefits for firms. It is quite tough to choose the best strategy, but if you deal with a reputable and trusted app development company, they can guide you in the right way.

Choosing between consultancy and staff augmentation services is crucial for any business. Hopefully, this blog has helped you make that choice easier.

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