Skip to Content
9 minutes read

How to Create Effective Staffing Models

By Tony Meazell
By Tony Meazell
9 minutes read

If your business wants to fully utilize its current resources, attract the best people in the available talent supply, and streamline the hiring process, you need a staffing model. An effective staffing model allows your organization to fill staffing needs, drive external recruitment efforts, and help you support internal goals by being a valuable workforce management resource. 

Staffing models are essential to businesses of all shapes and sizes, but they are critical to companies filling skilled mobile and web development positions. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a run on global development talent. As a result, hiring for critical roles in development services in a tight labor market is difficult but not impossible. 

Filling your staffing needs might require creativity and a mix of models to reach and maintain the staffing levels necessary for achieving internal goals. Unfortunately, creating an effective staffing model can be more complicated than it seems.

This post will explain what a staffing model is, the common types of models used by hiring managers and organizations everywhere, and guidance on how to create an effective staffing model for your business. 

What Is a Staffing Model?

A staffing model consists of reports and business data that measure and describe how your employees work, current staffing needs, and labor costs in both time and money. Staffing models are also called staffing plans by some organizations. Typically, these terms are used interchangeably. 

A staffing model helps provide insights into the utilization of current resources. In addition, it acts as a predictive workforce management tool that can help teams identify external factors and forecast how many employees will be required on specific tasks to meet the business’s goals. 

Beyond highlighting the staffing needs for crucial positions, an effective staffing model will also report the skills and knowledge required to meet organizational and personal goals. This can help your HR and project management team highlight skill gaps, plan future employee training, promote employee engagement, and drive more accurate external recruitment efforts. 

Common Staffing Models

Before you can start building your staffing plan, you need to understand the standard staffing models. Each of these staffing models is defined by the type of employee being hired. In many cases, it will make sense to utilize a few different staffing models, if not all of them, depending on your business plan. The standard staffing models include:

  • Full-time employees
  • Staff augmentation
  • Consultation 
  • Outsourcing 
  • Hybrid 

Full-Time Employees 

The full-time employee staffing model is straightforward. Employees are hired, retained, and paid directly by the business. A business’s most valuable assets are its full-time employees. Therefore, it is best to hire permanent employees when they fill critical positions in your business or provide skills and experience that your business will require indefinitely. 

Full-time employees are the most valuable, but current employees also require the most investment in training, further development, and education. Furthermore, your organization needs to make sure that full-time employees are a fit culturally too. Employees who don’t mesh well with company culture will be challenging to retain and difficult to manage. 

Staff Augmentation 

Staff augmentation is designed to address short-term needs. In this staffing model, temporary employees are hired to work on an existing project within a current team for a set period or until desired outcomes are met. It is important to note that the hiring organization directly manages the temporary employee in this model.

Many businesses choose staff augmentation when they require special skills or expertise that their internal team lacks. This is common when specialized skills are only needed for one specific task or project and won’t be needed indefinitely. Therefore, staff augmentation is one of the most effective ways to achieve short-term team extension


In this staffing model, a business chooses to engage a third-party consultant to handle a specific task or challenge that the company either doesn’t have the expertise or the time to doConsultants are responsible for delivering results on time and in the manner agreed upon at the time of hire. Your business will not have to directly manage a consultant, and typically, you will not pay a consultant until their job is done. 

If your business needs a particular set of skills or knowledge, hiring a consultant is a great choice. Plus, you don’t have to spend resources actively managing a consultant. This model is a great way to keep labor costs down.


Outsourcing has also been called managed services. Managed services or outsourcing is a good starting point for many tasks you might not yet have the capacity to do for yourself. Digital marketing and SEO are examples of managed services that many businesses use. This model tends to help small to midsize companies save money and time because they often don’t have the expertise or financial or time resources necessary to handle their marketing efforts.

Outsourcing lets your business focus on your core competencies without getting bogged down in support tasks. In addition, once you choose a partner for your managed services, you won’t have to directly manage outsourced employees. 

It is important to note that there are a few different outsourcing models, and your business should be aware of the service you are receiving when you choose to outsource. The three main models of outsourcing are:

  • Off-shore – This refers to tasks outsourced to India, Eastern Europe, and other remote countries. 
  • Near-shore – This refers to tasks outsourced to companies who are nearby, but not necessarily right down the street or even in the same state. Typically, near-shore outsourcing companies are in the same time zone and share a similar work culture. 
  • On-shore – This refers to outsourced services that are close at hand. If a face-to-face meeting is required, traveling to and from the office or meeting place is easy. These outsourced services reside in the same area as your business. 

As you can see, there is a significant difference between off-shore and on-shore outsourcing. Of course, near-shore services end up somewhere between off and on-shore, but if your business prioritizes regular communications, near and on-shore outsourcing are better choices. 

If you choose to outsource tasks, you should clearly understand who is doing the work. If you can’t get a clear answer from a company regarding where the work is being done or who is doing it, you should look for another provider. 


The hybrid staffing model is an exciting choice. This staffing model gives many businesses the ability to start slow and work their way into making a full-time hire. Typically, the hybrid model follows this approach; the project begins as a managed service or consultation, then transitions to staff augmentation, and finally, temporary employees transition into permanent employees.  

This model lets your business establish a relationship with temporary employees and see how they fit your culture and existing teams before bringing them in full-time. Working relationships are fluid. Your experience with the hybrid model might not precisely mirror the steps above, but it gives you a basic understanding of how it works in practice. 

Create an Effective Staffing Model 

Now that you understand the basics, we want to share some tips to help you create a staffing plan that addresses your organization’s needs most efficiently. Here are a few key tips for creating the appropriate staffing model:

  • Understand the labor market 
  • Define organizational goals
  • Understand your needs
  • Plan for succession and retention 

Understand the Labor Market 

When crafting a staffing plan for your organization, the first thing you should do is identify factors driving the current labor market. The state of the labor market will have the greatest impact on your staffing plan. For example, let’s say you need User Interface designers. However, there is a tight labor market and finding talent is difficult. Therefore, it might make more sense to use staff augmentation or consulting rather than a full-time hire.

Remember, it costs time and money to make a full-time hire, and if you are struggling to find the right talent for your needs, you could be wasting your resources. 

Define Organizational Goals

Once you understand the current labor market, defining and understanding your goals as an organization is a good starting point. Understanding your organization’s strategic goals will help you determine what your business needs

Understand Your Needs  

Do you need a full-stack engineer? Would your business be better served by hiring a consultant? Questions like these will help you determine your actual needs. Now that you have a clear understanding of your company’s internal goals and software development plans, you can determine the most pressing needs. 

Overhiring can be just as disastrous as under-hiring. Don’t waste resources on employees that you don’t need. In some cases, cross-training current team members will be your best option. 

Plan for Succession and Retention 

Many organizations don’t plan for retirement or skilled employees moving on to new companies. Planning for succession gives your employees a clear sense of their career path, and it can also keep them more engaged and motivated with their current position because they feel like they have a future. Employee retention is often overlooked in staffing models, but all organizations need to consider it. Remember, your organization’s most valuable assets are your employees. 

Final Thoughts 

Creating an effective staffing model takes time and patience. First, your organization needs to accurately assess the market and your internal needs. Then, if your business is looking for skilled design and development professionals, reach out to a development partner. A partner can help you understand the talent supply for development and design positions, help you craft a staffing model, and even offer you staff augmentation services. 

Girl With Glasses

Want to Build an App?

Request a free app consultation with one of our experts

Contact Us