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How to Hire Software Engineers in Latin America: Tapping into Nearshore Talent

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How to Hire Software Engineers in Latin America: Tapping into Nearshore Talent

In the ever-evolving tech world, Latin America stands out as a goldmine of software engineering talent. The region, with its vibrant tech hubs and top developers, offers businesses a fresh perspective and a chance to collaborate with some of the brightest minds.

The appeal of Latin America isn't just about cost savings. It's about the synergy of working in similar time zones, the ease of communication, and the shared values that resonate with U.S. businesses.

So, what's driving this shift towards Latin America, and how can your business benefit? Dive into our guide as we unpack the ins and outs of hiring top-notch software engineers from this region.

What’s inside:

Latin America's Software Developers 101

Latin America's tech ecosystem has witnessed exponential growth over the past decade. Countries like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico have become hubs for innovation, churning out a new generation of software developers equipped with both technical prowess and a global mindset.

But what sets Latin American developers apart? First, their education. Many Latin American countries have invested heavily in STEM education, producing graduates who are not only technically proficient but also adaptable to the changing tech landscape. Universities and tech bootcamps across the region have tailored their curricula to meet global standards, ensuring their students are on par with their counterparts in the U.S. and Europe.

Furthermore, the rise of freelance platforms and remote work has made it easier for Latin American developers to collaborate with companies worldwide. This exposure to diverse development projects has tuned their skills, making them valuable assets to any software development team.

Lastly, the cultural and time zone alignment with U.S. and Canadian businesses offers seamless collaboration. When you hire from Latin America, you're not just getting a skilled developer; you're getting a partner who understands your business needs and can integrate smoothly into your operations.

Best Latin America Country for Software Development Talent

When considering how to hire software engineers from Latin America, it's essential to recognize the distinct strengths of each country within the region.

Comparison of Latin American Countries for Software Development Talent

Brazil: Often referred to as the "Silicon Valley of Latin America," Brazil boasts a population of 216.8 million and a thriving tech scene with over 500,000 developers. With cities like São Paulo leading the charge, the nation's IT industry is on track to reach a staggering US$12.16 billion by 2023. With over 13,000 active tech startups, Brazil is not only producing a significant portion of Latin America's software developers but also positioning itself as a top choice for businesses worldwide.

Argentina: With a population of 46.3 million and over 134,000 software developers, Argentina stands out for its high-quality tech talent. The country's emphasis on tech education is evident, producing over 20,000 STEM graduates annually. Cities like Buenos Aires are buzzing with tech activity, housing over 456 tech startups, including giants like Globant and MercadoLibre. The country's commitment to tech is further highlighted by its top spot in 2019’s Coursera Global Skills Index for cutting-edge technical skills.

Colombia: Colombia, with its strategic location, is rapidly becoming a tech hotspot. The country boasts over 65,000 developers and more than 1,300 tech startups, including the successful unicorn Rappi. Cities like Medellín and Bogotá are innovation hubs, thanks in part to the Colombian government's investment in tech initiatives. With 23.10% of all tertiary degrees in the nation linked to STEM fields, Colombia is poised to be a major player in the software development arena.

Mexico: Mexico's proximity to the U.S. and shared time zones make it a prime location for North American businesses. The country is home to over 225,000 developers and 1,305 tech startups. Cities like Guadalajara are brimming with tech talent, and with Mexico producing more STEM graduates per capita than the U.S. It's clear why the nation is a top contender for software development supremacy in the region.

While each country offers its unique advantages, the key is to identify which aligns best with your specific needs and project requirements.

Soft Skills and Technical Skills: Finding the Right Balance

In software development, while technical know-how is vital, soft skills play an equally important role. The challenge is finding engineers who excel in both areas.

Technical Skills

For a software engineer, these skills are fundamental. It's about mastering programming languages, getting hands-on with development tools, or diving deep into specialized areas like machine learning.

Soft Skills

Beyond coding, software engineers need to communicate effectively, work collaboratively, and solve problems creatively. Skills like adaptability, critical thinking, and effective communication are essential, especially in a remote work setup. An engineer who can articulate complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders is invaluable.


For instance, during the hiring process, it's not just about assessing a candidate's ability to code. It's about understanding their approach to problem-solving, their attitude toward feedback, and their ability to work as part of a team. The "good fit" isn't just about technical prowess; it's about aligning with the company's culture and values.

In essence, while technical skills get the job done, soft skills ensure that the job is done efficiently, collaboratively, and innovatively.

Key Questions to Determine the Perfect Fit

Hiring the right software engineer is more than just sifting through resumes or holding interviews. It's about gauging if they truly fit your company's unique needs. Here are some key questions every hiring manager should ask:

  1. What technical skills does the role demand? Beyond basic programming, does the role need expertise in specialized areas like AI or AR/VR?
  2. How receptive is the candidate to feedback? In the fast-paced tech world, the ability to adapt and grow is essential.
  3. How does the candidate communicate? For remote positions, effective and regular communication is a must.
  4. What's their approach to problem-solving? Seek out those who think outside the box and take initiative.
  5. Where does the candidate see their career going? It's important to know if their future aligns with your company's direction.
  6. Is there a cultural fit? A match in values and work culture can be as important as technical skills.

By focusing on these questions, hiring managers can refine their hiring process, ensuring they bring on board engineers who are technically sound and align well with the company's core values.

In-house Teams vs. Remote Software Engineers

In the digital age, companies aren't just choosing between in-house teams and remote software engineers. Many are embracing a hybrid model, leveraging the strengths of both approaches. Here's a closer look:

In-house Teams vs. Remote Software Engineers: A Comparative Table


While both in-house and remote setups offer unique advantages, the hybrid model allows companies to tap into a broader talent pool, maintain organizational culture, and achieve cost efficiencies. By blending the two with nearshore staff augmentation, businesses can tailor their approach, ensuring they get the most out of their teams and meet their specific needs.

Navigating Software Engineer Roles: From Juniors to Specialists

The world of software engineering is diverse, with professionals ranging from those just starting out to seasoned experts. To hire the right software engineer, it's crucial to understand these varied roles:

Junior Software Engineers: These are the newcomers, equipped with foundational skills but often needing mentorship. They're best suited for foundational tasks that form the building blocks of a project.

Mid-level Software Engineers: With some years in the field, they tackle more intricate challenges and may even spearhead smaller projects. They form the core of many engineering teams.

Senior Software Engineers: The seasoned pros. Beyond coding, they design intricate systems, make pivotal decisions, and guide younger engineers. Their expertise is critical for high-stakes projects.

Specialized Software Engineers: These engineers focus on niche areas, whether it's data science, AI, or other specialized fields. Their deep knowledge is essential when projects demand specific expertise.

When hiring software engineers, it's all about alignment. A junior might not be the best fit for a role demanding extensive system design, just as a senior might find basic coding tasks too rudimentary.

In short, hiring the right software engineer is about recognizing the intricacies of each role and finding the perfect match for your project's needs.


Why TECLA Stands Out in Harnessing Latin America's Software Talent

In the competitive realm of tech recruitment, TECLA emerges as a beacon of excellence. But what makes TECLA the go-to partner for tapping into Latin America's software talent?

Unparalleled Expertise

TECLA's deep understanding of the Latin American tech ecosystem is unmatched. With years of experience, we've cultivated a keen eye for identifying top talent, ensuring that companies get nothing but the best.

Vast Network

Our expansive network of 50,000 professionals spans across the continent, encompassing a diverse range of software engineers, from junior developers to specialized roles. This vast pool ensures that companies find the perfect fit for their needs.

Seamless Integration

TECLA goes beyond just recruitment. We ensure that the engineers we bring onboard integrate seamlessly into your teams, fostering collaboration and productivity.

Commitment to Excellence

Our track record speaks for itself. Companies that partner with TECLA consistently experience enhanced project outcomes, thanks to our unwavering commitment to quality and excellence.

Cultural and Time Zone Alignment

Our focus on Latin America ensures that businesses benefit from cultural similarities and convenient time zone overlaps, making collaboration smooth and efficient.


In a nutshell, TECLA embodies the best practices of tech recruitment. We don't just connect companies with software engineers; we forge lasting partnerships that drive innovation and growth. If you're looking to elevate your tech projects, TECLA is the partner you've been searching for.

FAQs

What are the best platforms to find remote software engineers in Latin America?
There are several platforms tailored for this purpose. Websites like Stack Overflow Jobs often feature global talent. However, LatAm-specialized recruitment agencies like TECLA offer a more curated approach, ensuring you find the perfect match for your needs.
What are the average rates for software engineers in Latin America?
Rates can vary based on experience, expertise, and country of origin. On average, the expected software engineer's yearly salary is between USD $72,000 to USD $114,000. It's essential to note that these are ballpark figures, and actual rates can vary.
What are the legal considerations when hiring remote software engineers from Latin America?
When hiring remotely, consider drafting clear contracts outlining roles, responsibilities, and compensation. Be aware of any tax implications and ensure compliance with both your country's regulations and those of the engineer's residence. It's often beneficial to consult with a legal expert familiar with international remote hiring.

Abigail Houck

By 

Abigail Houck

Abigail is COO @ TECLA. With more than ten years in the tech recruiting industry, she is especially focused on international and global talent acquisition.

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