Comparision of Staff Augmentation VS. Independent Contractors

Relia Software

Relia Software

Cong Dinh

Relia Software


Companies usually choose staff augmentation or hiring independent contractors because they don't have to pay for health insurance, bonuses, and other expenses.

Staff Augmentation vs. Independent Contractors

Table of Contents

Contract engineers don't require health insurance, bonuses, or other benefits like in-house engineers, therefore companies prefer flexible options like staff augmentation and independent contractors. In this article, we will analyze these two hiring strategies and suggest places to discover international engineering talent or post contract jobs.

>> Read more: Software Development Outsourcing vs. IT Staff Augmentation

Understandings of Staff Augmentation 

Key Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation



  • Greater Flexibility: Adaptability to changing project needs by scaling resources up or down.

  • Lower Costs: Paying just for project-specific talents and knowledge saves on salary, benefits, and overhead.

  • Work Quality Improvement: When a project requires knowledge not accessible in-house, hiring outside help may be ideal. This method works well for temporary skill needs. Hire experienced project managers to improve output.

  • Limited Company Culture Connection: Temporary staff augmentation workers may not know the company's culture and values, affecting integration and alignment.

  • Time Zone and Communication Issues: Staff from multiple time zones can make scheduling and communication difficult, but appropriate preparation and tools can help.

When To Apply Staff Augmentation?

Need Extra Assistance

Your project team may benefit from outsourcing to improve operational efficiency. A staff augmentation approach can help you fulfill your contract, regardless of length. Additionally, you can rapidly and easily access global software development teams.

Need Specialized Skills

Your goal is to quickly expand your team by adding skilled workers. Staff augmentation is useful for temporary access to particular expertise, such as setting up new technology, branding, or facilities.

Nearly nine in ten organizations globally are experiencing or predicted  a skills gap, according to McKinsey & Company. IT is a competitive sector, so rapidly finding and hiring talented workers can make all the difference.

Understandings of Staff Augmentation and Independent Contractors. (Source: Internet)

Understandings of Independent Contractors

What is An Independent Contractor?

Independent contractors, commonly known as freelancers or consultants, are self-employed specialists that advise businesses on projects. 

Independent contractors are self-employed and not employees of the hiring organization. They specialize in specialty skills and are hired for specific assignments. 

Key Pros and Cons of Independent Contractors



  • Flexibility and Specialization: Independent contractors can meet specific project needs without training or long-term commitments.

  • Overhead Savings: Frees up office space and eliminates employee perks, saving firms money.

  • Scalability for Short-Term Projects: Perfect for increasing workforce during projects or peak seasons, adding resources quickly.

  • Potential Turnover and Lack of Long-Term Commitment: Independent contractors work on projects and may leave for other clients, resulting in turnover and the need to locate new contractors.

  • Issues with Company Values and Culture: Limited exposure to company culture, values, and goals may require explicit communication and instructions to fit with the business vision and goals.

When To Apply Independent Contractors?

For a Quick Boost

Businesses sometimes lack resources or expertise for one-time or temporary projects. New information technology or systems can be introduced in these projects.

It may also involve meeting regulatory or policy requirements and assessing current techniques. A contractor can allow you more freedom to accomplish these chores and a short-term boost without a full-time commitment.

Fill a Specific Fill

Sometimes your firm needs professionals in a field. Many specialist workers are available for contract or interim work. IT, labor relations, project management, systems integration, and engineering and geology experts are included.

Detailed Comparison Between Staff Augmentation and Independent Contractors


The benefits of staff augmentation and independent contractors are similar. Both approaches offer a large talent pool and full control over development because contractors work directly with the in-house team. If a developer doesn't work out or wants to quit, hiring a contractor is easier than replacing in-house developers and paying them.

The same negative of both recruiting independent contractors and staff augmentation is that remote freelancers don't come into the office and are less tied to the corporate culture. Despite working remotely, some organizations demand all employees to come into the office as needed to share information and solve critical issues. Finally, each project trains the in-house team.


Timeline and Scope

Project duration and scope are important considerations. 

  • Independent contractors: could be the best option if you have a short-term project with clear goals. You can take advantage of contractors' specific expertise for the duration of a project without having to commit to them on a permanent basis.

  • Staff Augmentation: On the other hand, staff augmentation could be a better fit if your project calls for continuous assistance or would take a while to complete. Adding skilled individuals to your team gives you peace of mind and guarantees steady assistance all through the project's duration.

Needed Skills and Knowledge

Understanding what knowledge and abilities are needed to complete the project successfully is essential. 

  • Independent Contractors: Experts in specific fields are in high demand, and independent contractors often fill this need. Contractors can provide the specialized knowledge and skills necessary for the successful completion of a project that requires specialized technical abilities or subject experience.

  • Staff Augmentation: However, staff augmentation may be more suitable if your project necessitates a more diverse collection of skill sets or a team that works well together. You can improve teamwork and bring in new perspectives by augmenting members with complementary skill sets and experience.

Price Considerations

In any commercial enterprise, cost is a major consideration when making choices. It's important to weigh the costs of staff augmentation vs those of engaging independent contractors.

  • Independent Contractors: When compared to the costs of perks and office space, hiring independent contractors can save a lot of money. Because contractors are independent workers, their companies save money on benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and vacation pay. Furthermore, there are no long-term commitments, providing further leeway in budgeting.

  • Staff Augmentation: Contrarily, staff augmentation provides savings through efficiencies in scalability and resource management. Staff augmentation allows you to increase or decrease your team size based on the needs of a specific project, allowing you to save money and make better use of available resources.

Harmony With the Corporate Identity

It's crucial to think about how to include freelancers and other outside experts into the fabric of your organization. 

  • Independent Contractors: Since independent contractors are usually only brought on for short periods of time, they may not be familiar with the company's guiding principles and long-term goals. This can affect their alignment with your corporate goals and the level of devotion they demonstrate.

  • Staff Augmentation: However, staff augmentation pros have the opportunity to integrate more seamlessly into your team and better represent your organization's values. Their commitment over time makes for smoother assimilation, which in turn encourages a sense of community and cooperation among employees.


Staff Augmentation

Independent Contractors

Timeline and Scope

Ideal for on-going, long-term projects.

Ideal for specific, short-term initiatives.

Needed Skills and Knowledge

Expands skills and encourages collaboration.

Offers niche expertise.

Price Considerations

Cost-effective resource management and scaling.

Cost-effective due to benefits and overhead savings.

Integration with Company Culture

Professionals integrate well with company culture.

Limited firm culture and values exposure.

Hire A Software Developer Via Staff Augmentation
Detailed Comparison Between Staff Augmentation and Independent Contractors (Source: Internet)

Staff Augmentation vs. Independent Contractors: How To Choose Your Suitable Approach?

It’s time to make an informed business-aligned decision. This section will explain how to pick amongst various methods.

Project Requirements Evaluation

Assess your project requirements and identify the talents, experience, and resources needed for success. Think about project duration, scope, and complexity. This assessment will indicate whether your project needs staff augmentation or independent contractors.

Consider Budget and Cost Flexibility

Budgetary constraints influence decisions. Assess your budget and consider staff expansion and independent contractor costs. Think about employee perks, overhead, and long-term obligations. Assess each approach's cost flexibility and match it to your budget.

Evaluate Integration and Collaboration Needs

Staff augmentation may be best for smooth integration, organizational culture alignment, and long-term collaboration. If your project requires specialist talents without extensive integration, independent contractors can provide you.

Consult for Advice

Ask industry friends and colleagues who have hired contractors or staff augmentation experience. Ask for suggestions for reliable service providers or independent contractors with a track record. Their perspectives and experiences can help you choose the perfect choice for your project.

Consider Long-Term Effects

Consider the long-term effects of your decision beyond the project. Consider whether you need a scalable crew for future projects or project-specific capabilities. Understand the long-term consequences to make a decision that fits your business goals and growth strategy.

Where To Hire A Software Developer As An Independent Contractor?

>> Read more about programming languages's developers:

Many companies utilize the same methods to hire independent contractors as full-time workers. Companies can communicate their needs to recruiting firms or post jobs on employment websites. For instance, when posting a job, Indeed lets you choose part-time, contract, or temporary. Here are some places to discover independent freelancers or post contract jobs:

  • Hire headhunters or recruiting agencies to screen candidates and earn a percentage of contractor compensation in the first year.

  • Professional networking websites such as LinkedIn.
  • Hiring portals like Hired and Dice

  • Global employment websites, such as Indeed

  • Local job boards popular with job seekers in a particular country.

  • Freelance platforms, such as Upwork and TopTal.

  • Post a contract position on your company's website and market it via social media.

Where To Hire A Software Developer Via Staff Augmentation?

You can hire an outsourcing agency offering staff augmentation services or find a talent marketplace with contractors from various outsourcing companies in different countries.

Relia Software is a company that offers staff augmentation services to help businesses augment their workforce with skilled professionals for various projects and technological needs. With our software development and IT services expertise, Relia Software provides companies with access to a pool of talented professionals who can seamlessly integrate into existing teams and contribute to project success.

Relia Software’s staff augmentation services are designed to address temporary skill gaps, meet increased demand, and provide specialized expertise in:

By leveraging its network of experienced professionals, Relia Software assists businesses in finding the right talent for their specific requirements. Contact us to hire the best software developer for your team.

>> Read more: Managed IT Services Explained: Key for Business Success


The choice between staff augmentation and independent contractors depends on your project needs, budget, and long-term goals. Carefully assessing these aspects and finding the correct balance for your business goals is crucial.

You may make an informed selection that maximizes project performance and business growth by evaluating project duration, required skill set, cost, company culture integration, and other aspects.

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