Drupal staffing for your projects is a unique challenge. And if you’re looking to hire for a project, Drupal staff augmentation may make the most sense for your organization. Drupal migration projects, site builds, support and maintenance, DevOps consultations—these all fall under this umbrella service.
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Unlike a direct hire or a complete outsource, growing your Drupal staff from the inside but with an external agency is retractable, scalable, affordable, and smart.
How about what you’re most afraid of.
Failure. If you’ve been in the business long enough you know, you should be considering the ramifications first. It can’t be overstated: if you don’t bring in the talent to do it right, you need the time (and the budget) to do it over.
Signing off on an insourcing deal without looking beyond the pitch, the branding, or a brief preliminary review is never a good idea. With concerns duly noted, it’s time to focus on value.
Then focus on what your organization values.
A natural next step after defining concerns should be determining values. Drupal staffing means you’re choosing the best Drupal agency to be your extension—a valued partner.
This partnership has to be on respective terms, conditions, and most of all shared values. Discerning the similarities or irreconcilable differences is what’s important here.
Drupal Staffing Partner Basics: 9 Values
Every organization is different but when it comes to values, there’s sure to be overlap. What does your organization value when it comes to staffing? Here are suggestions to get you thinking:
1. Integrity. When it comes to selecting a Drupal agency, open source integrity should be at the top of your list. You should never partner with an organization you would publicly and proudly endorse.
Spot for signs of integrity. When they’ve contributed code, are they supporting it? Are they responding to posts in the issue queue? These indicators will teach you about the potential hire or the Drupal staffing organization offering their services.
2. Global Stewardship. Remember that Drupal, as an advanced open source framework, is powered by international teams of enthusiasts. Drupal is the result of focused, globally driven interconnectivity.
Do they support global evangelism? International Drupal event hosting, sponsorship, sessions, or identifiable support is something your organization should value. Drupal isn’t local, it’s global. To teach and to learn OS at these events is a sign of due diligence. The culture that has sprung up around the open source community is one of sharing, of giving back.
3. Thought Leadership. Drupal staff augmentation agencies should cherish and exude thought leadership just as much as your organization. These will likely be different areas of thought leadership—you’re in different industries—but the value is the same.
Look for innovation in unique projects. Thought leadership isn’t always that recognizable. While an agency can be respected for forward thinking, it may not be applauded.
Competitive rhetoric dominates most industries, so it’s best to look through agency contributions, portfolios, case studies, and convention session topics.
4. Serious Discipline. Levels of due diligence and focus aren’t things that can be taught easily, right? It’s something you learn to appreciate in yourself and other people. As far as values go, this one is essential.
What’re some indicators of this? Work environments that promote discipline. Remote offices and telecommuting practices speak an awful lot about a staff’s discipline. Without this value—more of a virtue—nothing would get done.
5. Real Savings. You want to make a deal, and you want the better half of it. If your prospective partner values savings, so will they. There’s nothing wrong with healthy negotiation. The alternative is scrambling for your business; a reckless disregard for the worth of their services. Your organization has likely turned down bad business before. A staff augmentation partner would do the same.
Your partner should understand this too. You’ll know if they share this value with you if they refuse blatant low balling. Desperation isn’t a sign of fiscal responsibility.
See if there are any big names, big projects—launching or re-launching one of the top websites in the US should count. You can bet these projects played well for the Drupal staffing agency financially.
6. Timely Results. The bottom line is this: you want results that are on time and budget. Without results oriented success, you’ve got nothing—literally. This should be significant to all of your staff members and even more so your augmented ones.
There are things to look for. Check to see if your prospect publicly mentions deadlines, agency self-organization, and DevOps practices. These are signs that the agency values timely, results oriented success.
Next, you’re going to have to go beyond this and look into their project management processes. Agile frameworks. This is what you should be looking for.
7. Reputation. Poor standing within respective communities isn’t a good sign for obvious reasons. And the reputation the prospect has based on staff member reviews should be just as valued.
If there are challenges to the provider’s reputation—or yours—this may be indicative of a lack of care to respond to allegations of mismanagement or a hostile work environment.
What do the employees say? If there has been public, verifiable negligence against current or former team members (look at recent Glassdoor reviews and responses), then pass them by.
Public disgruntlement is a serious red flag when it comes to Drupal staff augmentation specifically. You want your staff augmentation team to be well treated, and you don’t need a tarnished reputation for partnering with a problem agency.
8. Saleability. Drupal staffing partners should be scalable. As your organization grows or your needs change, your staffing partner has to be able to adapt to suit you.
Digital platform essentials constantly shift. New features, adjustments, or entire new pages or sites need to be constructed. And sometimes rapidly depending on your industry.
Can they easily ramp up? Don’t forget to evaluate their bandwidth. Consider whether or not this Drupal staffing partner has the numbers. If they can’t flex when needed, move on.
It’s a good idea to get the rates and requirements that pertain to last-minute service increases in the open from the start. Surprise or emergency fees should be discussed first. Otherwise, you risk being taken advantage of when you need accessible and affordable help the most.
9. Likeability. It’s true that surveys show that likability is a key part of getting hired. There are some who believe this doesn’t matter, and that quantified, qualified results are the only things that do.
When it comes to partnerships involving teams, this should matter a whole lot. You’re going to be collaborating, perhaps on a daily basis.
Ask yourself: do I want to work with these people? Don’t go basing everything on first impressions, but consider the whole picture.
Teams should exude a fun, playful atmosphere. What you want are staff members who take their work seriously without taking themselves too seriously.
Drupal staffing is like hiring.
Consider what you’re hiring process is like and what it’s meant to do. When onboarding staff, hiring managers are looking to discover if their values line up with the company.
While it’s probably not smart to build a team of only the like-minded, creating a team with shared values when it comes to production, your industry, and accomplishments makes sense. So it is with Drupal staffing agencies that offer augmentation.
This piece was originally published in November, 2015. It has since been updated.