How to Recruit the Best Nearshore Software Programmer for Your Startup

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How to Recruit the Best Nearshore Software Programmer for Your Startup

Finding the right software programmer is crucial for startups, especially when considering nearshore options. Nearshoring, particularly in Latin America, offers an array of benefits for U.S.-based startups, from cultural alignment to cost-effectiveness. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to tap into Latin America's rich talent pool for your software development needs.

Content Overview:

What is nearshore staff augmentation? Take a look at our comprehensive guide, here

Understanding Nearshore Software Development: Focus on Latin America

Nearshore software development in Latin America offers unique benefits for U.S. startups. The region aligns closely with U.S. time zones, facilitating real-time collaboration essential for agile and scrum methodologies. 

This proximity significantly reduces delays in project delivery and simplifies travel for in-person meetings. Culturally, Latin America shares many similarities with the U.S., including working styles and business approaches, which minimizes intercultural misunderstandings.

Large portions of the developer population are fluent in English, easing communication barriers. Economically, the region is cost-effective, offering high-quality services at competitive prices. 

Talent-wise, Latin American universities are increasingly focusing on English and STEM courses, preparing a digitally skilled workforce.

These factors make Latin America an attractive destination for nearshore software development, combining efficiency, cost savings, and a robust talent pool

If you are looking for an in-depth review, check out our Latin American Country reports.

Identifying Your Startup's Technical Needs

Before diving into the vast talent pool of Latin America, it's crucial to clearly understand what your startup specifically requires in a software programmer.

  1. Define Project Scope: Outline the specific tasks and responsibilities the programmer will handle.
  2. Determine Expertise Level: Decide if you need a junior, mid-level, or senior programmer based on your project's complexity.
  3. Assess Technical Skills: Identify key technical skills and programming languages required for your project.
  4. Consider Soft Skills: Look for abilities like problem-solving, teamwork, and adaptability, which are essential for remote collaboration.
  5. Evaluate Cultural Fit: Ensure the candidate aligns with your startup's values and work culture.
  6. Check Language Proficiency: Confirm the candidate's proficiency in English for smooth communication.

With these criteria in mind, you'll be better prepared to navigate the hiring process and find a programmer who meets your technical requirements and seamlessly integrates into your team.

The Recruitment Process Checklist

Once you have a clear understanding of your technical and soft skill requirements, the next step is to embark on the recruitment process. You can use this checklist as a reference: 

  • Job Description: Craft a detailed and attractive job description. Highlight specific skills, experience levels, and cultural aspects relevant to your startup. We recommend including the salary range to attract the desired candidate. 
  • Network and Referrals: Use professional networks and seek referrals. Engaging with Latin American tech communities and attending tech events can provide valuable connections.
  • Freelancing Platforms: Consider platforms like Upwork and Freelancer for short-term or project-based needs. These platforms can offer a wide range of talent but require careful evaluation for quality and fit.
  • Nearshoring Agencies: Partnering with agencies like TECLA specializing in nearshore software development can streamline the recruitment process. These agencies often have pre-vetted talent pools and can match candidates closely with your requirements.
  • Direct Engagement: Directly contacting potential candidates can be effective, especially if you have a clear vision of your development needs.

Evaluating Technical and Language Skills

After attracting candidates, the next crucial step is evaluating their technical and language skills. You can start by: 

  1. Technical Interviews: Conduct in-depth technical interviews. These should focus on the specific technologies and programming languages relevant to your project. Use real-world scenarios to assess problem-solving skills.
  2. Coding Tests: Implement coding tests or challenges to evaluate practical coding skills. These tests should mirror the type of work they will be doing at your startup.
  3. Language Proficiency: Assess English language proficiency through interviews or tests, especially if the primary language of operation at your startup is English. Effective communication is key in remote collaboration.
  4. Soft Skills Evaluation: Observe how candidates articulate their thoughts, work through problems, and interact during the interview process. This can give insight into their teamwork and communication skills.
  5. Portfolio Review: Review their previous work or portfolio. This provides a practical insight into their experience and the quality of their work.
  6. Reference Checks: Conduct reference checks to validate their technical abilities, work ethic, and language skills. Feedback from previous employers or clients can be invaluable.

Legal and Contractual Considerations Specific to Latin America

When hiring nearshore software programmers from Latin America, U.S. companies need to navigate a range of legal and contractual considerations specific to the region. A few considerations:

Understanding Local Employment Laws

Latin American countries have their distinct employment laws that U.S. companies must understand and comply with. This includes regulations on hiring, salaries, benefits, and working hours. For example, in most Latin American countries, severance pay is mandatory for employees terminated without cause, and the amount varies based on the length of service and salary of the employee. This factor can significantly impact budget planning for U.S. employers looking to hire in these regions.

Contractual Agreements

When hiring remote contractors in countries like Argentina, it's essential to understand that these individuals work as service providers and are not subject to the U.S. company's control. This distinction affects aspects like taxation; for instance, remote contractors in Argentina are not subject to U.S. taxes but must report self-employment taxes in their home country. Understanding and correctly handling these differences is crucial to avoid legal complications.

Remote Work Regulations

In many Latin American countries, specific regulations govern remote work. These often include requirements for written agreements between employer and employee, stipulations about the provision of work tools and compensation for associated costs, and rights concerning remote work modalities like telecommuting, home office, or full remote work. For instance, in Brazil and Colombia, employers are typically required to provide all necessary work tools and cover associated costs, such as internet and electricity.

Final Thoughts

Hiring a nearshore software programmer from Latin America can be a strategic advantage for your startup. By understanding the legalities, ensuring effective onboarding, and integrating them into your team, you can leverage the rich talent pool available in the region. With careful planning and execution, this approach can lead to successful collaborations and contribute significantly to your startup’s growth and innovation. 

If you are looking to skip the process and partner with a trusted agency, TECLA is your ideal choice. With over a decade of experience in Latin America and a 96% candidate success rate, we’ll handle the search, legal, and onboarding so you can focus on growing your business. Get started today!


What are the key benefits of hiring a nearshore software programmer from Latin America for U.S. startups?
The main benefits include closer time zone alignment for real-time collaboration, cultural similarities for smoother teamwork, and cost-effectiveness without sacrificing quality.
How do U.S. companies navigate legal and tax implications when hiring nearshore software programmers from Latin America?
U.S. companies should understand and comply with the employment laws of the programmer's country. This includes proper contract drafting, understanding tax obligations in both countries, and managing international payment processes.
What strategies should be employed to effectively onboard and integrate nearshore programmers into existing U.S. teams?
Effective strategies include a structured onboarding process, the use of collaboration tools for communication, regular check-ins, and team-building activities to build rapport and ensure smooth integration into the team.
Abigail Houck


Abigail Houck

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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