The Power of Staff Augmentation: Insights from Lisa Doehnert and Georgia Jones

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At Ease Learning, Lisa Doehnert, Business Development Director, and Georgia Jones, Manager of Talent Acquisition, spearhead a dynamic staff augmentation model designed to seamlessly integrate subject matter experts (SMEs), learning designers, project managers, and consultants into client teams. 

“This model provides an end-to-end solution for our partners who simply don’t have the bandwidth to fulfill their learning product launch goals internally,” explains Lisa Doehnert. 

Together, their insights illuminate how Ease Learning leverages a unique blend of expertise and strategic recruitment to deliver tailored, high-impact solutions in the educational sector.

What Does the Staff Augmentation Model Provide?

According to Georgia, the staff augmentation model is designed to bolster a client’s team with subject matter experts (SMEs), learning designers, project managers, and consultants for short-term projects. It allows for flexibility to meet tight deadlines. Or when faculty or in-house subject matter experts are at capacity.

What Makes the Ease Talent Pool Unique and Attractive?

The uniqueness of their talent pool is deeply connected to military-affiliated groups such as Hiring Our Heroes, VetJobs, and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP)

Georgia emphasizes the advantages for military spouses and veterans. “Military spouses are often highly educated and underemployed due to frequent moves and the demands of their spouse’s career. This type of work allows them to work in their respective fields, get paid a competitive wage, and work when they can.” She adds, “Military veterans, especially those retired from service, seek flexible, part-time employment to supplement their pension and benefits.”

Where Does the Talent Pool Come From?

Ease Learning’s talent pool comprises individuals from all branches of the military, including transitioning veterans and military spouses, as well as highly qualified civilians from the education and publishing industries. 

They actively source candidates through military-focused hiring events, social media, and job postings on platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed, along with military partner websites.

What’s the Typical Duration of Staffing?

The duration of staffing varies significantly. They minimally seek 10 hours per week for one month to ensure the opportunity is meaningful to their network. Many engagements are 3-6 months, and all are renewable. They have had placements ranging from a few weeks to a full year, depending on the client’s needs and the project’s length.

Why is This an Attractive Business Proposition for Clients?

Finding highly skilled, available talent remotely is challenging, especially in education, where niche and short-term needs are common. “Our model provides immediate access to over 6,500 SMEs who have already expressed interest in remote/contract work, eliminating the time it would take our clients to search on their own,” Lisa explains.

Georgia adds, “We can typically provide several viable candidates within a few days of signing a contract with a client. We also screen applicants and only present the top candidates to our clients. This takes on the recruiting burden so our clients can focus on getting their projects underway.”

How Does This Service Differ from Executive Recruiting or Other Talent Recruitment?

They only recruit out-of-network when they have to. And do not charge hidden or exorbitant fees. Ease’s mission-driven model also differentiates them, as working with military families supports DEI efforts that many companies have.

Most of their staffing placements are candidates who have worked with Ease Learning before. 

Are There Any Limitations to the Services Provided?

While their model was designed to staff remote content development expert roles, they have staffed other positions to further their mission of providing opportunities to their network. “We don’t typically staff for on-site needs, but it is not an impossibility,” says Lisa. 

Does the Talent Have Security Clearances?

Many of their veteran candidates have active security clearances. However, Georgia clarifies that Ease Learning cannot sponsor security clearances. “If a client requires a clearance, they would have to sponsor the candidate’s clearance.”

What Subject Areas and Roles Are Staffed?

Ease’s talent pool is broad and deep. With many individuals from STEM fields, nursing, and education. 

Georgia adds, “We have SMEs in almost every conceivable topic, many of whom are professors or K-12 teachers. We staff roles for SMEs, learning designers, project managers, consultants, programmers, voiceover talent, cybersecurity experts, editors, graphic designers, video production specialists, classroom facilitators, and other education-related positions.”

Will You Find Permanent Placements?

While permanent placements are not the goal, Lisa and Georgia acknowledge that it does happen occasionally. “We do not aim to find permanent placements for clients, but if a client is interested in hiring someone for a full-time position, we would not prevent that from occurring,” says Georgia.

What Are the Greatest Challenges in Executing This Business?

They have solved many challenges with an extensive Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and ongoing communication with their network. Working with each client can be challenging due to different screening, interviewing, and hiring practices. Georgia shares that she develops “a relationship with each client to understand exactly what type of candidate they are looking for. So they can trust (me) to find that person without spending their valuable time screening applications.”

More About Ease

Our staff augmentation model provides a flexible, mission-driven approach to meeting the diverse needs of clients. By leveraging a unique talent pool and offering tailored solutions, we bridge the gap between talent and opportunity, ensuring successful outcomes for all parties involved. 

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Learning Design

“I am so grateful for your patience with us throughout this process—we’ve been able to learn a lot with this pilot and have valued you all as thought partners in that work.”

 

Girlie Delacruz
Associate Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning at Northeastern University

Skillways

“This work has illustrated mapping of existing nursing content to the draft AACN Essentials through the Skillways platform.  This offers us a way to move toward competency-based education by truly modularizing our content for small-bite delivery because we can measure progress toward outcomes as students proceed along individual paths.”

David Bodily
Director, ReNEW & RN-BSN Completion Programs University of Wyoming

Skillways

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George Lacuesta
SME at NOCE

Help Desk

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Nancy Artaz
Friends University