What is Staff Augmentation

What is it when you work for a staffing agency and they place you at a project for one of their clients?  Its called "Staff Augmentation".

What that means, basically, is you work for the recruiting agency.  You work on an assigned project, with specific hours and weeks duration, the staffing agency submits invoice to the client, thus, they pay you for hours worked.

Typically, you work hourly at a set rate, either 1099 or W2.  W2 they take out taxes, 1099 they don't.  Lots of times, independent workers bill at 1099 and do their own taxes as there are tax write offs for being self employed.

More times than not, you get paid for every hour worked.  So if you work 50 hours, you get paid 50 hours x rate.

You don't usually get health insurance or days off, but the increased rate offsets that.  If the company closes for the holiday, you don't paid.  If you take a week vacation, you don't get paid.  If you need training, you pay for it yourself.

However, you can have multiple clients at the same time.  So if you get a contract for Consulting company A, and another at Consulting company B, you can potentially bill for more than 40 hours per week, as there are plenty of hours.

These are beneficial for many Independent Consultants.

As a "Staff Aug" worker, the contracts aren't always 12 months.  You could get an 8 week contract that gets extended or perhaps not.  If it doesn't get extended, you have to find a new one.  So there's no security.  But then again, is there real security in today's workforce?

There are benefits for working for a full time consulting agency.  First, you work on a team of highly skilled workers, so you learn by being surrounded by smart people.  Typically, there's paid training, paid time off, bench time, if you don't have an assigned project, they still pay you while you learn, help out, until your next project becomes available.  There's also health insurance (dental + Vision) and potentially pay increases.  More times than not, Consulting industry pays bonus, sometimes quarterly, sometimes yearly, using a formula of hours billed plus some arbitrary factors.  There are some places that pay you 13 month salary during 12 month period, sort of extra bump in salary each pay period.  Suffice to say, the consulting firms pay bonus as incentive to bill more hours and consultants expect these as they are built into the job role.

There's also full time employment for workers, not as grueling, not as much pressure, paid time off, but the salaries tend to be lower and usually no overtime pay, just fixed salary.  Unless you are in sales.  The only way to get real pay increase as full timer is to quit your job and find a new one, unfortunately.

Either way you slice it, you have to take care of your own career, your own learning and your upward trajectory.

So each person has to decide what is best for them based on their circumstances.  Unless you're exceptionally rich.

And so it goes~!

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