Understanding The Difference Between RPO And Staff Augmentation

When a software firm or corporate IT department needs to cut personnel costs, accelerate project timeline or push beyond the scope of in-house resources, they often opt for technical staffing services. There are a variety of staffing models of outsourcing, such as IT Staff augmentation, project outsourcing or managed services that bring required talents in-house.

These models help you gain skilled engineers, designers, or developers to help the in-house teams. But these models pose some differentiations you should understand before opting for them. 

Let’s look at the difference between RPO and staff augmentation to assist you in deciding which approach is most effective and fits your present staff requirements and challenges. 

What Is RPO?

The RPO services allow you to pay for a specific, prearranged function and share the burden of risk with outsourcing vendors. An IT outsourcing company will train, recruit and manage a team of skilled professionals. The outsourced team handles the task of development that you set for them. 

RPO works under contracts that last for a particular period and involves a customized solution consisting of personnel and technology. It brings people, technology, process and metrics into a talent acquisition function. RPO service providers create a long-term partnership with the clients, maintaining the required constant and dedicated delivery of resources. 

Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation

Staff augmentation differs from RPO or project outsourcing in several ways. Many companies try to gain significant technical expertise in designing, IT or software departments to obtain a competitive advantage. One of the efficient ways to do this is to keep costs low and maintain access to top-notch IT talents when required. 

Staff augmentation temporarily boosts the IT team with capable talents throughout the project or for a specific duration. It is one of the approaches that IT staff augmentation services can provide to help you hold on to the competition and ongoing demand. Therefore, staff augmentation will give you the confidence to induce a specialist experience and quality in-house resources. 

Related Read: How IT Staff Augmentation Helps To Scale Up And To Reduce Cost?

Staff Augmentation Or Hiring A Temp

Still, companies are often confused between hiring temporary employees and staff augmentation or RPO. This becomes a valid question, considering they all fall closer on the scope. The basic difference is staff augmentation includes the deployment of a permanent employee from the recruitment bench.

In the case of a temporary team member, the personnel will be somebody hired from the marketplace and subject to the chances of obtaining a risk. Staff augmentation and temporary staffing have their methods of execution which define the benefits of each. The best solution here can be chosen according to the firm’s risk-bearing capacity. 

RPO vs. Staff Augmentation 

Different variables count as the differentiating factors between RPO and staff augmentation. The major difference between RPO and staff augmentation is how employees are hired. Staff augmentation hires the resources while maintaining direct control of the team, while RPO pays for a specific outcome and shares the burden of risk with the vendor. But RPO doesn’t enjoy control over the team. 

RPO allows you to go beyond core competencies and overcome the lack of internal capabilities. RPO includes placing the responsibility for management results and risk outside the company and the project, which enables you to focus more on the business and other functionalities. 

Staff augmentation enables easy integration with internal processes and resources eventually. It has gained popularity as a cost-effective way to manage the IT staffing needs, which can frequently change as per the needs. It enables the acquisition of more resources to complete an active project. 

RPO services are always chosen for long-term partnerships with clients, while staff augmentations are a suitable solution for quick staffing for a specific duration. Companies prefer staff augmentation due to its flexibility in the recruitment process. 

Staff Augmentation Can Be A Stepping Stone To RPO Solutions

While both the models are certainly different, staff augmentation is often preferred as an insightful way to introduce the value of recruitment outsourcing.

After understanding the value and strategic orientation of an RPO provider, many businesses began to understand the benefit of long-term outsourcing models and how they can add value to the business. This is certainly in the case of challenging circumstances like hiring for projects or the need to hire certain talents while having budget controls. 

Many organizations are expanding their existence into different countries across the globe, but they may not want or be able to have recruiters of their own in those new locations. In times like these, RPO services truly help as a strategic and capable solution to such problems that are difficult to solve by a single recruiter. 



Choosing the right delivery model can be a complex process. Different factors such as a firm’s IT and personnel budgets, staffing needs, technical skillset available among current employees, project security and deadline, competition and other variables add to this complexity. 

You might choose staff augmentation or RPO in your general staffing approach according to your software development needs. The best way would be to select an experienced vendor to help meet your challenges and implement the model to bring efficiency to the company. 

Mindbowser analyzes your staffing challenges and needs to help you choose the best delivery model. You will have skilled experts that bring productivity and efficiency to the project and the company. 

Content Team

This blog is from Mindbowser‘s content team – a group of individuals coming together to create pieces that you may like. If you have feedback, please drop us a message on contact@mindbowser.com

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