How to integrate temporary developers into leadership roles

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Temporary developers, with their specialized skills and expertise, have become an integral part of meeting project demand. However, what happens when these temporary professionals are not just contributors to projects but are required to step into leadership roles? Check out how to best integrate them down below & make this work for you.


Trying to integrate temporary developers into leadership roles can be a daunting task for both the individual and the organization. It requires a strategic approach, clear communication, and a well-thought-out integration plan. In this blog post, we will explore the nuances of this transition and provide insights on how to shift temporary developers into leadership roles effectively.

From understanding the unique challenges associated with temporary leadership positions to fostering a collaborative environment that maximizes the potential of these professionals, we will delve into the key considerations for ensuring a seamless and successful integration process. Whether you are a company looking to make the most of your temporary talent pool or a temporary developer aspiring to take on leadership responsibilities, this guide aims to provide actionable tips and best practices for navigating this transformative journey. Let’s explore how organizations can not only embrace the agility of temporary developers but also empower them to lead with confidence and contribute meaningfully to the success of the team and the company as a whole.

Understanding the trend of hiring temporary developers

The trend of hiring temporary developers has gained momentum as businesses increasingly recognize the benefits of flexibility and scalability in their workforce. Companies often turn to temporary or contract developers to address specific project needs, meet tight deadlines, or fill skill gaps without the long-term commitment of permanent hires. This approach allows organizations to adapt quickly to changing project requirements and allocate resources efficiently.

With the rise of IT staff augmentation, hiring temporary developers has become more accessible, enabling businesses to tap into a diverse pool of talent on a project-by-project basis. This trend aligns with the broader shift towards a more agile and dynamic workforce, allowing companies to scale their development teams up or down based on project demands while optimizing cost-effectiveness.

Different coworkers having a work meeting about benefits & challenges with temporary workers

Benefits and challenges associated with temporary roles

However, with this trend, there are benefits and challenges associated with hiring temporary workers. One of the biggest benefits of hiring temporary coders is they fill your skill gap. You can hire the exact software developer you need. This can be someone who specializes in front-end, back-end, mobile, or niche technologies. Moreover, you can hire at the level of expertise you need from a junior developer up to a senior developer. Additionally, you can hire someone who can fill the role of a mentor or a leader on the tech team.

Another benefit of hiring temporary workers is they fill the employee slot for as long as you need. Once you no longer need them, they can be returned to the vendor. So if you need a developer to carry out a leadership role for a year, they can do that. Once that role is complete, they can move on to a new project. You will no longer have to pay for them or pay to keep them on the bench.

Some challenges include:

  • Ensuring the temporary developer fits into your current company culture can be difficult. In some cases, you only find this out, after they join your team and you can take a look at the dynamics
  • The onboarding process can be time-consuming and with temporary workers you may consider a tailored solution. This way the process doesn’t take up too much time.

When do temporary workers in leadership roles make sense?

When you hire developers from a staffing company to step into a leadership role, you need to make sure that it makes sense for your business. Some examples of when this type of solution works:

  • If you need a tech leader for one year and you have a new project. Then a temporary software engineer can fit into that role. All team members can take the time to get to know each other and the project. Everyone starts from the beginning. There may be less pushback, confusion, etc for your existing permanent in-house team.
  • If you have a short-term project, let’s say three months. You can hire a tech leader using IT staff augmentation, assuming that you are building an entire team from zero. For example, you are building a team where you need five developers and one of them needs to be a tech leader. Then this makes absolute sense. Perhaps the developers don’t know each other at all, or this is their first time working together. Then again, this hiring model will work for you.

When this type of solution may come with challenges for your software development projects:

  • If you are looking for a tech leader to join an existing team and you only need them for let’s say three months. This may pose a challenge for a few reasons. Firstly, the onboarding process may take a couple of weeks. Secondly, your existing team already knows each other, they have been working together and they have developed a flow. A temporary developer, who is stepping in as a leader may experience some pushback. Also, it may take them a while to find their footing within an existing team. So you may find that by the time the tech leader is comfortable, they have to leave. This scenario is not impossible, but you may have some struggles. Finally, you need to analyze whether it’s truly worth it.

It’s important to analyze all the details and the pros and cons, before choosing IT staff augmentation as a solution to your needs.

Identifying Leadership Potential in Temporary Developers

In some scenarios, a permanent employee does not have all the skills needed to step into a leadership role. Also, not everyone wants to be a tech leader. In this scenario, you may look for temporary workers to do the job. But it’s important when hiring a temporary developer to work as a tech leader, to analyze the necessary skills. While a staff augmentation vendor like Swyply, can help you but narrowing down candidates that tech leader-ready, you should also take the time to verify these skills.

Business partners working in office looking through CVs of potential team leaders

Traits and Skills to Look for in Potential Team Leaders

It’s important to remember that not all senior developers can take on the leadership role. Not all of them want to and not all of them have the various skills required for it.

When seeking potential leaders for a development team, it is crucial to assess a blend of technical expertise and soft skills. On the technical front, a leader should demonstrate a deep understanding of relevant programming languages, frameworks, and technologies, as well as possess a knack for problem-solving and innovative thinking.

Proficiency in project management tools and the ability to navigate complex technical challenges are also essential skills. However, technical prowess alone is insufficient. Soft skills play a pivotal role, with effective communication being paramount. A strong leader should be able to articulate ideas clearly, listen actively, and foster a collaborative environment within the team. Adaptability and resilience are crucial, as the fast-paced nature of the tech industry demands the ability to navigate uncertainties and pivot strategies when necessary.

Leadership qualities such as empathy, mentorship, and the capacity to inspire and motivate team members are equally important for great leaders, contributing to a positive team culture that fosters creativity and productivity. The ideal leader for a development team possesses a harmonious blend of technical acumen and interpersonal skills, ensuring success in both project execution and team dynamics.

Assessing adaptability and quick learning abilities

Assessing adaptability and quick learning abilities is paramount when evaluating potential tech leaders in the dynamic and rapidly evolving field of IT. In an industry characterized by constant technological advancements and shifting paradigms, leaders must possess the agility to navigate change effectively.

Adaptability involves more than just embracing new technologies; it also encompasses the ability to pivot strategies, processes, and team structures in response to unforeseen challenges. Tech leaders need to demonstrate a keen aptitude for quick learning, as staying abreast of emerging technologies and industry trends is crucial for innovation and sustained success. A leader’s capacity to rapidly grasp and apply new knowledge not only ensures the relevance of their technical expertise but also inspires confidence among team members and stakeholders.

In the competitive landscape of IT, those who can adapt swiftly and continuously acquire new skills are better equipped to lead their teams toward success in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

Interview process to identify leadership potential. Interviewer is focusing on more than just technical skills

Recognizing leadership potential beyond technical skills

Recognizing leadership skills beyond technical expertise in a developer is crucial for fostering a well-rounded and effective team. While technical proficiency is undoubtedly important, true leadership extends beyond coding prowess.

Exceptional leaders in development teams exhibit strong communication skills, the ability to collaborate seamlessly, and a knack for inspiring and motivating their peers. They showcase adaptability, navigating challenges with resilience, and learning from setbacks.

Emotional intelligence also plays a pivotal role, enabling leaders to understand and empathize with team members, and fostering a positive and inclusive work environment. Furthermore, effective leaders in development possess a strategic vision, steering the team towards long-term business goals and aligning technical efforts with broader business objectives. Recognizing and cultivating these non-technical leadership attributes is vital for creating a dynamic and cohesive development team.

Crafting a Strategic Onboarding Process

Crafting a strategic onboarding process is key to the success of hiring temporary workers. A strong onboarding process will make them feel part of the team. Moreover, it will help them better integrate with other team members.

Tailored solution for temporary coders

When hiring temporary workers you may consider creating a new shorter onboarding process. Someone who is on your team only for a while may not need to know all the same details as permanent or full-time employees. For example, they may not need to know about the history of the founder. They are not part of your team long enough for that to make a difference.

You want to create an onboarding process that provides them with key information such as:

  • standard practices and procedures in your company
  • company culture guide
  • information about team members – who does what, what they are responsible for, and any potential interactions
  • access to all software that they need to know their job, as well as instructions on how to use these tools.

Tailored solution for remote work

Leveraging project management tools, companies can identify and onboard temporary developers with specific skill sets, ensuring a quick response to fluctuating project demands. To facilitate a smooth transition into leadership roles, comprehensive onboarding processes, virtual mentorship programs, and regular communication channels are established. This personalized approach not only fosters a sense of belonging but also maximizes the potential of temporary hires, creating a collaborative and productive remote work environment. As companies continue to navigate the evolving landscape of remote work, customized solutions for integrating temporary developers into leadership roles are proving to be pivotal in achieving organizational goals.

A team working together in a office space. They are working on temporary projects and working to come to a shared understanding

Fostering Team Collaboration with temporary workers

To make the collaboration between permanent employees and temporary workers successful, business leaders need to promote collaboration. They need to ensure positive employee morale among all team members. There are various strategies that you can implement in your business to improve employee bonds. Some of these include team building and implementing communication channels.

Team building

Team building is a critical component in fostering collaboration, especially when working with temporary developers. Creating a cohesive and inclusive team environment helps break down communication barriers and encourages open dialogue among team members.

When integrating temporary developers, remote team-building activities can be instrumental in bridging the gap between them and permanent team members. Thus promoting a sense of unity and shared goals. These activities not only enhance interpersonal relationships but also help in understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately leading to a more efficient and harmonious working dynamic.

Furthermore, when considering the integration of a temporary developer into a leadership role, team building becomes even more crucial. Building trust and rapport through team-building exercises can facilitate a smoother transition. Therefore, ensuring that the temporary developer is seamlessly integrated into a leadership position, where collaboration and effective communication are paramount for success.

Communication channels

Effective communication channels play a pivotal role in fostering collaboration with temp workers, ensuring seamless integration into a team, and even facilitating their transition into leadership roles. Clear and open lines of communication between permanent team members and temporary developers enable the exchange of ideas, expectations, and project details.

Utilizing various communication tools, such as project management platforms, instant messaging, and video conferencing. These tools can help senior management to bridge the gap between on-site and remote developers, fostering a cohesive and collaborative work environment.

When integrating a temporary developer into a leadership role, robust communication channels become even more crucial. Regular updates, feedback sessions, and team meetings provide opportunities for the temporary developer to understand the team dynamics, share their insights, and align their goals with the overall vision. This inclusive communication approach not only enhances collaboration but also promotes a smooth transition for temporary developers into leadership positions, ensuring a harmonious and productive working relationship within the team.

Project Managers working together to help integrate the right talent. Also writing out a strategies to solve challenges

Navigating Project Management Challenges

Your senior management may experience challenges when trying to integrate temporary workers into existing teams. Also, the temporary developer stepping into a leadership role for a specific period may experience some pushback. Let’s take a look at some of these challenges along with their solutions.

Balancing leadership responsibilities within project teams

Navigating the challenge of balancing leadership responsibilities within a project as a temporary developer in a leadership role requires a nuanced approach and effective communication. First and foremost, it’s crucial to establish a collaborative atmosphere within the team. Encourage open dialogue and make team members feel heard, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment.

Secondly, leverage the strengths of each team member by understanding their expertise and delegating tasks accordingly. Recognizing that leadership is not synonymous with control, empowers team members to take initiative and contribute their unique skills to the project.

Lastly, maintain clear and transparent communication channels to ensure everyone is aligned on goals, timelines, and expectations. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions with permanent staff can provide a platform for addressing concerns and refining strategies.

By embracing a collaborative mindset, delegating responsibilities thoughtfully, and maintaining open communication, a temporary developer in a leadership role can successfully steer the project towards success with a motivated and engaged team.

Overcoming potential resistance from existing team members

When temporary developers assume leadership roles within an existing team, they often encounter resistance from team members who may be skeptical about their ability to effectively guide and manage. This resistance can stem from concerns about unfamiliarity with the team’s dynamics, a perceived lack of industry or company knowledge, or doubts about the temporary nature of their role.

To mitigate these challenges, temporary leaders should prioritize building trust and establishing open communication channels with team members. Actively seeking input and insights from team members, demonstrating a genuine interest in understanding their perspectives, and acknowledging the existing team’s expertise can help foster a collaborative environment.

Additionally, temporary leaders should focus on showcasing all their skills and competencies while remaining humble and receptive to learning from the team. Establishing clear expectations, and transparently communicating the goals and objectives of the leadership transition. Also actively involving the team in strategic planning and then decision-making processes can also contribute to a smoother integration. Ultimately it can help with the acceptance of the temporary leader within the existing team.

Adult woman planning project at the office. Temporary worker as a leader

Embracing Agile Leadership Principles

Many software development companies embrace Agile leadership principles to organize their development plan. Also, this may be part of their overall company’s culture. Some key principles that a tech leader or even senior executives should consider implementing include:

  • servant leadership
  • respect for individuals
  • result orientation
  • flexibility & adaptability.

Let’s explore these Agile principles in more detail below.

Servant Leadership

Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy and approach that emphasizes the leader’s role as a servant to their team, focusing on supporting and serving the needs of others rather than exercising traditional hierarchical authority.

Some key characteristics of servant leadership in the context of Agile leadership include:

  • A servant leader seeks to understand and empathize with the team members. They are attuned to the needs, concerns, and aspirations of the individuals within the team.
  • Servant leaders actively listen to their team members. They create an environment where open communication is encouraged, and everyone’s voice is heard.
  • The focus is on supporting the team in achieving their goals. Servant leaders remove obstacles, provide resources, and offer guidance to help the team succeed.
  • Instead of commanding and controlling, servant leaders facilitate collaboration within the team. They encourage self-organization and trust the team to make decisions.
  • Servant leaders have a forward-looking perspective. They consider the long-term consequences of decisions and actions, aiming to ensure the team’s success over time.

Overall, servant leadership in Agile emphasizes a shift from a traditional command-and-control model to a more collaborative and supportive approach. Thus creating an environment that empowers the team to excel.

Respect for Individuals

The Agile leadership principle of “respect for individuals” emphasizes the importance of valuing each team member and recognizing their unique contributions. When integrating temporary developers into leadership roles, this principle becomes crucial in fostering a positive and collaborative work environment.

Respecting individuals means acknowledging their expertise and experiences, regardless of their temporary status. This can be particularly useful as temporary developers may bring fresh perspectives and diverse skills to the team. To effectively apply this principle, leaders should actively seek input from temporary team members, ensuring that their voices are heard and ideas are considered. Additionally, creating an inclusive and supportive atmosphere, where all team members feel valued and encouraged to share their insights, can enhance the overall productivity and creativity of the team.

Team of young colleagues having meeting at cafe to analyse results of development plan. Also how to integrate temporary developers into leadership roles

Results Orientation

Agile leadership emphasizes a results-oriented approach, which is particularly advantageous when integrating temporary developers into leadership roles. This principle revolves around focusing on outcomes rather than processes, allowing leaders to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. When applied to temporary developers, this mindset encourages a collaborative environment where the emphasis is on achieving project goals efficiently.

When you integrate temporary developers into leadership roles they need to prioritize measurable results. Thus fostering a culture that values continuous improvement and feedback. To succeed in this context, leaders should set clear, achievable objectives for temporary developers and regularly assess progress. Additionally, fostering open communication channels and ensuring that the team is aligned with overarching project goals can enhance the results orientation, promoting a dynamic and responsive leadership style.

Flexibility and Adaptability

The Agile leadership principle of Flexibility and Adaptability underscores the importance of being responsive to change, embracing uncertainty, and adjusting strategies to meet evolving circumstances. When integrating temporary developers into leadership roles, this principle becomes particularly valuable. Temporary assignments often come with unique challenges, such as unfamiliarity with the organization’s culture, processes, or specific projects.

Agile leaders must demonstrate flexibility by quickly adapting to the new dynamic introduced by temporary team members. This involves recognizing and leveraging the diverse skills and perspectives they bring. As well as providing the necessary support and resources for a seamless integration. Additionally, being adaptable allows leaders to swiftly respond to changing project requirements or unexpected obstacles. Thus ensuring that the temporary developers can contribute effectively to the team’s goals. In essence, Agile leadership’s emphasis on flexibility and adaptability fosters an environment where temporary developers can thrive. Therefore, promoting collaboration and innovation.

Two businessmen standing near the table looking at laptop in the office. Looking at how to integrate temporary developers into leadership roles

TL;DR: Summarising how to integrate temporary developers into leadership roles

Successfully integrating temporary developers into leadership roles is not just about filling a gap. But harnessing a unique opportunity to infuse fresh perspectives and skills into your tech team. By fostering a collaborative environment, providing mentorship, and emphasizing effective communication, you can ensure a seamless transition for temporary leaders. Remember, their short-term presence can have a long-term impact on your organization’s innovation and growth.

As you embark on this journey, consider leveraging IT staff augmentation as a strategic solution. This approach not only allows you to tap into a pool of highly skilled professionals. But also provides the flexibility to adapt to evolving project needs. If you’re ready to enhance your leadership team with top-tier temporary developers, don’t hesitate to take the next step. Drop us a line today, and let’s explore how IT staff augmentation can elevate your tech leadership to new heights. Your next exceptional tech leader may be just an email away!

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