Top Differences Between Resource and Staff Augmentation

Business functions work in coherence and harmony to cultivate a healthy work culture that helps to run the business smoothly. The different parts are sales, marketing, human resources, and operations. The success or demise of a company depends on the working of these functions. These departments can only perform optimally when they have enough resources, capital, and skillset. This is where resource and staff augmentation intervene to make a difference. Together or individually, they make or break the company. Resource augmentation and staff-increasing mechanisms promote, encourage, and increase productivity and efficiency. Some of the mutual goals of these facets include:

Bring in the desired talent to the company

Elevate the employee morale

Set pace and example for high-tech projects and tasks

Use human capabilities and expertise on a limited budget to optimize operations

There is a clear distinction between resource augmentation and staff augmentation, but many are unaware. While the former deals with fixed resources of the company, the latter focus on the augmentation of resources through external means. In this article, we shall find the distinctive properties that differentiate one from another. But, first, let’s understand each term.

Resource Augmentation

To compensate for the additional tasks, projects, and need for variable resources, the business utilizes fixed resources to increase productivity. It means the company will leverage the existing resources and assets to augment its capabilities, skills, and effectiveness in different operations. The current resources could be in the form of people, machines, tools, office space, methodology, etc. Therefore, by clever placement and utilization of resources, you manage to get your work done efficiently within your budget and resource constraints. This strategy pays off during periods of high demand and low supply. It temporarily increases productivity by compensating for the shortage of resources or assets. The organization aims to increase the value of its operations with the same number and magnitude of resources. But the process does have its shortcomings because, at times, the company may not have qualified workers to fill in the temporary positions.

Staff Augmentation

Some people call it staff leasing too. It is the process of leveraging external party help or external resources (outside your in-house resources) to fill in temporary or permanent staffing positions. Companies essentially augment their staff on a permanent or contractual basis. It mainly occurs through third-party or vendors/agencies. Staff augmentation provides the solution for issues like employee absences, shortage of capacity in prime or peak times, etc. The company will subsequently hire new employees to complete its projects and IT tasks or bring in new skills or talents that the company lacks.

Notable Differences

Basic Concept/Definition

Resource augmentation: It focuses on utilizing existing resources and in-house talent for productivity gains.

Staff augmentation: It discusses hiring external or new employees or contractors.


Resource augmentation: Saves budget and additional costs for hiring new employees.

Staff augmentation: It is costlier than resource enhancement since it involves hiring new talent.


Resource augmentation: Companies find it hard to scale up and down with increasing or decreasing project demands. It is not so flexible.

Staff augmentation: Hiring new employees is flexible as the business can quickly hire or let go of new employees depending on the project’s needs.


Resource augmentation: It is temporary and predominantly done for a short period.

Staff augmentation: It is an ongoing process and could be for a long duration and permanently.


Resource augmentation: It has a minimal scope because it restricts certain tasks, projects, and areas.

Staff augmentation: Companies can augment their staff in any area or function of the business as dictated by the needs.


Resource augmentation: Because the company is utilizing its existing resources and assets, there is less vulnerability and risk involved in the process. There is nothing unknown or surprising in the process.

Staff augmentation: Hiring new talent or employees could be a risky move for the business as you do not know the capabilities and traits of the newly hired resources. A risk of the unknown always lurks in the background.


People often argue about which method is best for your company. The best method is the one that suits and matches your demands and needs. If you are looking for cost-effectiveness, then resource augmentation is best for your company. Additionally, resource augmentation also poses less threat and security risk to the company as compared to staff augmentation. Whereas, when you want flexibility in scaling your resources up and down according to your needs, external staff hiring is the perfect solution. It is also an ongoing process that lasts for a longer duration. Some companies prefer staff leasing over resource enhancement because it offers more flexibility-associated benefits. Every decision is based on a company’s size, scope, affordability, and feasibility. Both are widely prevalent and accepted in the modern world. So, depending on your needs which one will you go for?