Product Design

Strengthen Your In-House Team in a Time of Need

We’ve all been there, a valuable team member has moved to different opportunities, another takes a large chunk of time off suddenly, or you just inherited a large project that you need additional support to launch successfully. Whatever the situation, you now need to scale or strengthen your team, but hiring is the last thing on your mind.

Whether you are a Digital Product Manager, Business Owner, or Technical Lead, hiring can take a toll emotionally and be draining physically. The need to scale or fill a role quickly becomes a blocker, keeping you from hitting your goals for your team or company.

The initial reaction is, let’s get a job posting listed and start the interview process. Getting someone through the funnel and getting them going on your project can take weeks to months. Then take into account onboarding and getting them up to speed. Valuable time is lost during this process.

LinkedIn reports it takes 39-49 days from the first interaction with the potential applicant. That doesn’t include the prep time of drafting the job posting, getting it up, and going through all the applicants!

Time is one of many things lost, and it can cost a lot of money to recruit and hire. According to Edie Goldberg, founder of E.L. Goldberg & Associates (a talent management and development company), the cost is roughly three to four times their annual salary. A $120k position could cost $360k to get them on your team.

Loss of time and increased costs become very burdensome.

This is the time when an Agency can be your best friend.

At Underbelly, we’re a digital design and development agency helping start-ups and enterprise leaders launch mission-critical projects and hit deadlines by scaling their teams and products faster.

We are supplying more than just the talent. Our goal is to partner with you for the long haul, strengthen your teams, to share in the accomplishments, failures, surprises, heartaches, wins, and losses.

Benefits of an agency partner

For many reasons, you should partner with an outside agency to strengthen your in-house team, but here are three of the biggest.

Available in your time of need

Consistently working with an agency, you build a rapport that continues through the partnership. Each project starts to streamline quicker, onboarding is faster, and team members support each other through the process. Communication and work styles sync. That burden of hiring will diminish, and hiring costs will decrease. Getting a team or an individual on your team can take less than two weeks once we are in your system. That reduces the recruiting and hiring time drastically compared to the averages.

We have worked with teams who have needed more support, tapered off to less, and then ramped back up.

Increased efficiency

Working together in this method, designers and developers that would be working with you have been working with different in-house teams of all types and sizes. Because of this, we have a knack for adapting quickly. The need to “unlearn” processes, or this is how we did it at my previous company, is something you will avoid.

Because we have an outside perspective, there have even been times when our team has found opportunities with in-house processes and contributed to increased efficiency for their teams.

You also get a team of people, even if working from the sidelines. A Project Manager or Account Manager ensures tasks and communication are moving along, as well as a technical lead that helps troubleshoot, gives a critique, and drives quality work.

A vested partner and not just an individual

Hiring an individual contractor can help in the short term but not the long game. You will often get someone who hasn’t worked within a team model for a while, which becomes an obstacle. If it doesn’t work out, you are back to square one. 

We are vested in the outcomes as a partner and not just a hired gun.

"The Underbelly team was proactive, accommodating, and super patient! Continue providing top talent as you have in the past." - Terri Bedal | Product Manager Facebook

Keep the train rolling

So how does it all work? We understand that each engagement has a life of its own, but our experience has taught us that most have some common threads. This is how we can work together.

First Step: Align

We aren’t here to supply headcount. We want to provide strategy, direction, and talent to help hit the goals and needs of your current project. The first thing we do is a technical or design lead will work through what success looks like and supply the right talent or team to blend in with your current team. 

Second Step: Collaborate

From day one, we will hit the ground running and blend in as a member of your team. We will work with you within your current team structure and ecosystem to ensure a smooth and seamless partnership. 

Third Step: Deliver

With a clear roadmap, our team members or team will work iteratively against the backlog of work, releasing the most valuable features to use as soon as possible.

Since we are in it for the long haul, we have interested in seeing your project succeed. At a defined cadence, we will follow up to ensure we are helping hit the goals set out at the beginning of the project. 

"I’m really pleased with the quality of work and thought put into the projects by each of the designers. They ask a ton of really smart and relevant questions about the project." - Bryan Rees | Product Design Manager at Block

In summary

Our mission at Underbelly is to bring ideas to life through collaboration with our clients and focusing on the craftsmanship of our work. Although this agency and in-house type of partnership isn’t anything new, our advantage is we have experience with in-house teams from small-scale to large enterprises. We want to help you achieve your goals and not simply supply the talent.

Let’s partner and create something amazing.

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