Staff Augmentation vs Consulting: Understanding the Differences

In the world of business, there may be many scenarios when companies temporarily require additional resources or specialized expertise or advice not available within their in-house team. This may be to manage a temporary surge in workload or to bring in specific expertise and skills to execute complex projects. Companies may also need unbiased advice, process improvements, or guidance on complex challenges. Such situations require organizations to turn to solutions to bring in external resources to augment their in-house team or advise them on specific matters. And this is where Staff Augmentation or Consultation services come into the picture. But, by leveraging the expertise and skills of external resources, organizations can minimize risks related to project delays or resource shortages. 

While Staff Augmentation and Consulting may seem similar at a glance, each serves a unique purpose and offers distinct advantages depending on the needs of the business. In this article, you will know more about staff augmentation and the role of consultants. The staff augmentation vs consulting comparison will also help you make the right choice when you have to address complex challenges. 

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What Is Staff Augmentation?

Staff Augmentation, also known as “flexible staffing” or “temporary staffing”, is the process of temporarily adding skilled professionals to the in-house workforce of a company.

This approach is followed when they need to address skill gaps and meet certain project needs. It is ideal for companies that need to scale quickly or require specialized skills for short-term objectives without going through the process of hiring full-time employees. This mitigates the need for long-term commitments and the costs involved in hiring professionals for full-time positions. Let’s understand staff augmentation clearly through an example.

Let us take the example of a technology company gearing up for a major product launch. The product team identifies a critical need for additional expertise to support their upcoming product launch. This could be due to a lack of specific skills within the existing team or the need for more hands to handle an increased workload. For this purpose they select and contract a reliable staff augmentation partner that specializes in providing skilled IT professionals.

The company works closely with them to define the exact roles and responsibilities required for the project. This ensures that the augmented staff will have the right skill set and experience level. The staff augmentation partner then provides the necessary talent. This process includes screening candidates, conducting interviews, and selecting the best fit for the company’s needs.

After hiring, the augmented staff are onboarded and integrated into the company’s existing team. With the team in place, the in-house team and the augmented staff collaborate on the project. The augmented team’s expertise and additional manpower help the product team to meet launch deadlines, ensuring that the product development stays on track. Finally, with the support of the augmented staff, the company successfully launches the product.

After the launch, the augmented staff may provide post-launch support to address any immediate issues. Eventually, as the project winds down, the startup scales down the augmented team as per the contract terms.

This example demonstrates the full process of a staff augmentation process and how it can be a strategic move for companies looking to temporarily scale up their team quickly and efficiently.

You may also like our latest blog related to “What is Staff Augmentation and Its Importance?“, click on the link, and explore other areas of Staff Augmentation.

Benefits of Staff Augmentation Services

Staff augmentation services are beneficial to organizations in the following cases:

Businesses avail of staff augmentation services when they have to quickly scale their team up or down as per the project requirements. This offers flexibility in allocating resources without committing to hiring a full-time team.

Specialized Skills
For organizations to fill the skill gaps for certain projects, they can hire professionals with appropriate expertise. The skills required for the projects may not be available among in-house team members.

Through staff augmentation services, organizations can reduce costs associated with recruitment and training. While they entrust responsibilities to new professionals, they only have to pay the professionals until they successfully complete the project.

Speed of Deployment
By hiring qualified and experienced professionals swiftly, companies can expedite project timelines and deliver them before deadlines. This helps businesses stay competitive by adapting to constantly changing markets and business needs.

What is Consulting?

Consulting refers to the practice of providing expert advice to organizations seeking to improve performance, solve complex problems, or achieve specific goals. Consultants are professionals or organizations who bring specialized knowledge and skills to the table, offering insights and solutions that may not be available within the client organization.

Many organizations leverage consulting when they need specific advisory services, right from outlining a strategy to executing a project. 

Let us look at the example of a successful consulting project.

A large multinational corporation had a pressing need to address the evolution of leadership roles in a rapidly changing business environment. The corporation recognized that it needed a leadership team that was not only skilled but also adaptable and forward-thinking. Realizing that its internal resources were not sufficient to undertake such a comprehensive overhaul of its leadership development program, they appointed a major consulting firm for the task.

The project involved a comprehensive assessment of the existing program, identifying gaps in leadership skills, and designing a new curriculum that included digital learning modules, interactive workshops, and real-world leadership challenges. 

The outcome was a more agile, future-ready leadership team equipped to handle the company’s growth and market changes.

This example showcases the value that an external consulting firm can bring to an organization.

Unlike professionals hired through a staff augmentation company, consultants are not treated as additional employees. Instead, they work in collaboration with the in-house team for the duration of the project. Besides conceptualization and project execution, they may involve themselves in various services. These include project planning, designing, or even offering customer service.

Benefits of Consulting Services

Consulting services can always benefit organizations in different ways. 

Specialized Expertise
Consultants are subject matter experts with extensive experience in their field. This enables them to help companies navigate complex issues, implement best practices, and stay abreast of the latest industry developments.

Besides efficient problem-solving, the professionals are also involved in undertaking certain tasks with no compromise on quality. 

Efficient Management
Whenever companies avail of consulting services, the consulting team manages the assigned project end-to-end.. This saves considerable time when the in-house team doesn’t have to manage anything. Instead, the business owner and his team can focus on core activities that contribute to business growth. 

Fresh Perspectives
Professionals from consulting firms offer fresh insights and unbiased perspectives when the project is moving forward. Such perspectives can lead to developing innovative solutions and making suitable decisions. This may not be possible when only the in-house team is working on the project. 

While experienced professionals focus on high-quality deliverables, they can complete the project within the budget and the time frame. This drives results and enhances returns on investment. 

Skill Transfer 

Working with consultants can lead to a transfer of skills and knowledge to the in-house team. This can build internal capabilities and reduce future reliance on external assistance.


Consultants can be engaged on an as-needed basis, providing companies with the flexibility to scale services up or down according to their needs.

Staff Augmentation vs Consulting: What’s the Difference?

Now let’s check out how staff augmentation differs from consulting.

Staff Augmentation Consulting
Additional temporary personnel work with the internal team at the organization’s premises. Consultants work for a company, not at its workplace.
An augmented staff works under the supervision of a company’s management team. Professionals work independently and report the progress of the project to the organization.
While working with the internal team, offshore professionals will not be involved in outlining a strategy. Such professionals help the organization with a strategy and how it can execute the project.
Offshore professionals don’t provide the infrastructure to manage the project. A consulting firm can manage cloud computing, DevOps platforms, or anything else that is required to manage the project.
As technologies evolve, the organization has to train the offshore professionals along with the internal team. The consulting company is responsible to upskill the team of professionals and bear the associated costs.
Augmented staff are subject to the same expectations and deadlines as the in-house team. When organizations work closely with consulting firms, they usually move forward with their responsibilities based on their terms.
Knowledge transfer between offshore professionals and the in-house team depends on the willingness of the organization. Reliable consulting firms have different processes to transfer knowledge to the company’s team.

Staff Augmentation vs Consulting: Which Is Right for You?


Choosing between staff augmentation and consulting depends on the nature of the project and the needs. Here are some points that will help you decide if staff augmentation is the best option. 

Resource Flexibility
Staff augmentation offers flexibility in hiring resources for certain tasks whenever the company needs to extend the team size.  

As soon as the augmented staff is integrated into the existing team, they work under the company’s management team. They also follow certain processes within the organization.  

In some scenarios, staff augmentation can be cost-effective when professionals have to be hired for a certain time period.  

Now, let’s check out when consulting can be useful to companies. 

Specialized Expertise
Due to their experience, consultants often provide insights that the in-house team might not deliver. As these professionals have previously worked with numerous clients, they follow best practices during project execution.  

Objective Viewpoint
While the project progresses, consultants assess various processes with an unbiased mind. They may also offer strategic recommendations without being influenced by the biases of in-house team members.  

Unique Approach
Consultants tailor their services to the specific needs of the client, ensuring that the strategies and solutions they provide are directly aligned with the company’s goals and challenges. 

Eventually, consulting is suitable when companies have to manage complex projects that require specialized skills. However, if project requirements are well-defined, then staff augmentation can be beneficial. Staff augmentation allows organizations to onboard offshore professionals faster when a project has to be started quickly. But, with consulting, companies have to wait for some time because professionals can commence tasks after the lapse of a time period.


As we look to the future, several key trends will shape the landscape of staff augmentation and consulting. With businesses increasingly leveraging advanced technologies for their projects, the demand for consultants and augmented staff will skyrocket. Evolving business challenges will also drive organizations to seek professionals with niche expertise and deep domain knowledge. However, making the right choice will require careful consideration of budget constraints and the costs associated with consulting and staff augmentation.

Wondering how to navigate the “staff augmentation vs consulting” decision for your projects? If hiring a full-time resource isn’t feasible, MITR Media can help. We’ll assist you in defining the roles you need to augment and boost your in-house team with skilled professionals.

We’d love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on the future of staff augmentation vs consulting? Share your experiences and questions in the comments, and don’t forget to share this post on social media. Let’s start a conversation!

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