Staffing World 2021 Series: Build or Buy, Why Not Both?

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At this year’s Staffing World, we tackled the question of build versus buy, explored the convergence of staffing and technology, and did a deep dive on the ROI of staffing platforms. This article is the first in our series to recap the biggest takeaways. 

Tech Talk
Build or Buy: Why not Both?

Staffing World 2021 attendees can access the recording here 

A question we hear raised a lot – and this year’s conference is no exception – is whether or not it’s best to build or buy a software solution (in our case, a mobile-first staffing platform). For certain companies, the building can be the best option, and many have exercised that option and seen success. Aya Healthcare is the gold standard for their industry, and other early adopters like TemPositions have been discussing this topic at conferences for years.

Here are some key things to consider when answering this question:


Building your own solution will cost a lot of money (initially upfront and in ongoing maintenance), and will cost many key stakeholders on your team a lot of their time. The minimum realistic cost to get a minimum viable product to market is about a million dollars, and that’s just for the initial launch. There will be ongoing maintenance costs that will be made more complicated if your technology needs to integrate with other pieces of your tech stack.


There are challenges to building and keeping a software team that goes beyond just payroll. The hiring landscape for software developers is extremely competitive, with many companies offering exciting work, a well-developed engineering culture, and great pay. So it will take a considerable amount of your team’s time to hire, onboard, and retain a development team to keep your application running.


While it’s often large agencies with deep pockets and well-resourced teams that go the route of building and see success, the timeline is another important consideration for even them. Adoption of this technology has been on a steep incline for a while, and there may not be time left to build your own solution and still capture the market in the way you want to. 


Simply put, white-labelling is the ability to personalize an off-the-shelf solution so that it’s specific to your agency – with your branding and, sometimes, configurations specific to you. The advantage of white labelled configurable apps like TimeSaved is that they offer you the affordability of buying combined with the freedom of building your own.

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