A Step-by-Step Guide to Hiring Software Developers in Latin America

Picture this scenario: you have an upcoming project that requires high-quality engineers, but you don’t have enough of them on your team. You’ve tried hiring locally, but it’s too expensive and competitive. Your team has tried outsourcing to other regions, but it’s too difficult to communicate and collaborate. That has left you feeling frustrated and stuck.

What if there was a better solution? What if you could tap into a pool of talented and affordable tech professionals in Latin America? And sure, you’ve heard some good things said about this region, but you’re not sure if it’s too good to be true. How do you find and hire the best developers in Latin America?

That’s where we come in. At DevEngine, we are experts in tech recruitment. We can help you hire LATAM developers for your project as we have the experience, the network, and the know-how to make your hiring process smooth and successful.

In this guide, we will share some of the insights we’ve gained from working in this region for years. You will learn about the benefits of hiring developers in Latin America, the best practices for finding and attracting them, the cultural nuances, and the common pitfalls to avoid. By the end of this guide, you will be confident and ready to hire tech professionals in South America.

Why Hire Developers in Latin America

If you are looking for skilled and experienced developers for your projects, you might want to consider hiring software development talent from South America. Here are some of the reasons why:

Cost saving benefits

You can get access to the best talent at lower rates. This can allow you to hire senior developers at mid-level rates, or even pay more for the top performers without breaking your budget. For example, according to Plane, a global provider of HR and Payroll software solutions, the gross salary across some of the popular nearshoring destinations in Latin America ranges from 46,923 USD in Argentina to 66,621 USD in Panama. These are much lower figures compared to the national average salary of 105,047 USD per year for US developers.

High level of qualified and well-educated professionals

Latin America has a large pool of tech professionals with high levels of education and training. According to a report published by the Statistica Research Department, the top three offshoring destinations in Latin America (Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil) offered access to over 800,000 tech professionals, with Brazil adding up to 227,000 new IT specialists each year.

Ease of working together 

One of the main challenges of hiring remote workers is communication and collaboration. However, Latin America’s proximity to North American time zones makes this easier and allows for more efficient real-time collaboration. Most LATAM countries share the UTC-3 or UTC-4 time zone, which means that there is an overlap of at least four hours with most US time zones. Some countries, such as Mexico and Colombia, are even closer, sharing the UTC-5 or UTC-6 time zone. In practice, you can hire remote workers from Baja California in Mexico, for instance, and have them work in sync with your US employees.

Key Countries in LATAM Software Development

1. Argentina

Major outsourcing players:  Cisco, Google, and Microsoft

Workforce: 115,000+ software developers and around 3,800 IT companies

Stats and facts

  • Demand from US companies accounts for over 60% of Argentina’s tech services
  • The Argentina ICT market was valued at US$ 19.75 billion in 2022
  • Argentina is home to 11 out of 34 tech unicorns in Latin America


  • Most reputed destination among LATAM countries for sourcing top-tier technical expertise
  • Emphasis on open-source technologies
  • Strong English skills
  • Proficiency in Python, TensorFlow, SQL, and R

2. Brazil

Workforce: 500,000+ developers and over 25,000 IT companies

Major outsourcing partners:  Amazon, Dell, and Google 

Stats and facts

  • Brazil’s IT market was valued at $46.2 billion in 2022 and was expected to grow by 8.2% in 2022
  • Revenue in the IT Services market was projected to reach US$18.62bn in 2023
  • In 2022, there were over 8,000 companies offering services in the software development and production sector
  • Brazil made it to the list of the top 15 countries with most number of unicorns and $1B exits


  • Above-average employee retention rates 
  • Fast-growing tech pool 

3. Mexico

Workforce: 220,000+ developers and 460 software development companies as of August 2023

Major customers: IBM, Oracle, and HP

Stats and facts: 

  • Revenue from Mexico’s IT outsourcing market is projected to hit $4.42 billion in 2023
  • The city of Guadalajara is regarded as the Silicone Valley of Latin America with over 1000 software companies providing jobs to more than 150,000 professionals
  • Mexico produces over 110,000 engineering graduates every year
  • Mexico ranked eighth on the Tholons Top 20 Digital Nations 2021 list


  • Close proximity to the US makes travel and face-to-face meetings feasible
  • High regard for intellectual property protection (clients should sign an NDA, PSA, and SOW with their hires)
  • The country’s proximity to US time zones and shared border allows for seamless real-time collaboration throughout the workday

4 Ways of Hiring LATAM Developers

Wondering how to hire developers in Latin America? You can approach it from different fronts:

1. Freelance Platforms

One of the ways to hire LATAM developers is to use freelance platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, Toptal, and People Per Hour. They are popular among LATAM developers looking for flexible and remote work opportunities. However, hiring developers online through freelance platforms has some drawbacks, such as finding the right talent, matching the expertise with the project requirements, hiring entire teams, or finding the most experienced developers who may prefer more formal recruitment channels.

2. Nearshore Recruitment & Development Agencies

Another avenue for hiring LATAM developers is partnering with nearshore development agencies with expertise in hiring and managing LATAM developers for various projects. They can help you find the right people quickly and easily, without having to deal with the tedious and time-consuming process of hiring yourself. They also have connections with seasoned developers who have proven their skills and experience in previous projects.
Delegating the hiring process means that you can avoid the risk of hiring the wrong fit or giving up on finding the best talent.

3. Seeking referrals

You can reach out to your friends, colleagues, or other contacts who may know good developers looking for work. That allows you to find trusted people with a proven track record, references, and industry connections. Just ensure that you’re getting candid feedback from others who have worked with them and ensure that they are qualified for the job. 

4. Direct recruiting

A fourth way to hire LATAM developers is finding and contacting the developers yourself, without using any intermediary platform or agency. You can use social media, online forums, job boards, or other sources to find and reach out to potential candidates. You get more control over the hiring process and can negotiate the terms and conditions directly with the developers. However, it’s more risky and may take some time to establish a foothold in the LATAM market.

5 Steps of How to Hire Developers in Latin America

Whether you’re hiring developers directly or through agencies, Latin America can be a great way to access a diverse and skilled pool of candidates, but it also comes with some challenges. From our observations, we’ve noted that: 

  • Becoming adept at hiring developers in Latin America requires at least a year of consistent work to develop any meaningful expertise, connections, and network in the region
  • You can get lucky and find the right person fast with direct hiring, but it’s not a reliable strategy if you need more than 1-2 people for your team. 
  • You need to consider how to assess communication skills, conduct criminal record checks, transfer money, comply with local laws, and handle any issues that might arise. 
  • The demand for expert developers in Latin America still exceeds the supply, which makes the hiring process challenging and time-consuming. However, the competition is not as fierce as in other parts of the world.
  • For success, it’s necessary to tailor the hiring process to the local context, considering differences in education, language, work experience, values, and interviewing process.
  • Hiring in Latin America is not necessarily a cheap option compared to other markets in Asia. Still, you can expect some cost-saving benefits as well as more cultural and timezone congruity  

At DevEngine, we can help source the right talent for your needs, but we also want to share some tips that any recruiting manager can use to find the right talent on their own. This is unfiltered knowledge that will come in handy when hiring in the tech field and other positions: 

Step 1. Defining what you want (scope of work, experience level, and past project requirements)

Before looking for candidates, you need to have a clear idea of what you want from them. What are the skills and technologies that you need for your project? What is the scope and duration of the work? What is the level of experience and seniority that you are looking for? What are some examples of past projects that demonstrate the candidate’s abilities? Having these criteria in mind will help you narrow down your search and avoid wasting time on unqualified candidates.

Items to keep in mind: 

  • Most common and in-demand skills and technologies in each country or region
  • Average salary and benefits expectations for different levels of experience and seniority
  • The availability and time zone compatibility of candidates
  • Cultural and language differences that may affect communication and collaboration

2. Consider the cultural nuances

Latin America is an extensive region comprising 21 regions and territories, each with its own distinct character, arising from different cultures, languages, and histories. However, there are also some common aspects that shape the way people approach work in this region. Here are some cultural nuances to consider when hiring developers in Latin America:

  • Latin Americans tend to be more personal and less formal than other cultures. Candidates may want to talk about their passions, hobbies, and family. To build trust and rapport, you should be prepared to build trust on a personal level as well as show genuine interest in the candidates’ lives.
  • Language and culture can affect the negotiation process and the expectations of the candidates. For example, different countries may use different terms to refer to the net salary after taxes. Recruiters should be clear and transparent about the compensation package and the benefits they offer, and avoid using jargon or acronyms that may cause confusion.
  • Harsh economic and political conditions in countries such as Venezuela are causing an exodus of qualified professionals. Your next hire may need support relocating or integrating into new countries.
  • Family is very important in Latin America, and it influences the decisions and priorities of the candidates. Besides a competitive salary, candidates value vacation time, family benefits, health care, and career development opportunities. Take note of the family aspect when presenting an offer and show that you also care about the well-being of their families.
  • Latin American culture “tends to favor the development of teamwork.” They may not be used to answering standard US interview questions that focus on personal achievements. For instance, Brazilians score lower on self-promotion and maybe more humble about their personal accomplishments. 
  • Resumes or CVs exhibit different formats and conventions with some applicants sharing more personal details such as their age, marital status, hobbies, ID numbers, or even passport photos. You should also note the differences in acronyms and terms used to describe their past work roles and education history. 

By understanding and respecting the cultural nuances of this region, you can establish long-lasting and fruitful relationships with your candidate. You should also take time to ask candidates to clarify any details that are unclear or unfamiliar to your hiring experience.

3. Know how to select the best talent

Interviewing the best candidate is a crucial step in finding the right developer for your project. You will have several candidates to choose from, but how do you select the best one? Here are some tips to help you conduct a successful interview and find the right developer from Latin America:

  • Candidates will have a mix of experience and educational backgrounds, some may have formal university degrees, while others will be former graduates of coding academies and boot camps. They may have obtained a wealth of experience from freelancing, or by working for outsourcing firms and SMBs. 
  • Understand which schools have the best engineering programs or companies renowned for using the latest technologies or hiring the top talent in the region.
  • You need to consider evaluating candidates beyond their education by also looking at their work history and past projects.
  • Have dependable tests and methods that can allow you to precisely gauge the applicant’s technical skills. For instance, you can use coding tests or schedule live coding interviews.

4. Beware of the salaries and compensation

After the interview, run through each applicant’s background and decide how to present your job offer strategically. Take into consideration the candidate’s salary expectations, benefits, and other relevant information they might have shared during the interview.

Here are more things to consider to arrive at the best offer for Latin America developers:

  • Research the average salary range for the role and location you are hiring for. You can use online tools like Glassdoor or PayScale to get an idea of what other companies are paying.
  • Adjust your offer based on the cost of living and the exchange rate in the country where the developer is based. You can use online calculators like Numbeo or Expatistan to compare the living expenses between different cities and countries.
  • Consider offering a competitive compensation package that includes not only salary, but also bonuses, stock options, health insurance, retirement plan, and other perks that are relevant and attractive to your candidates.
  • Be transparent and honest about your offer and how it was calculated. Explain the breakdown of the salary and benefits, and how they compare to the market rate and LATAM software industry standards.
  • Be flexible and open to negotiation. Listen to your candidates’ feedback and concerns, and be willing to adjust your offer if needed. 

Remember that hiring developers from Latin America is a win-win situation for both parties, as you get access to high-quality talent at a lower cost, and they get a chance to work on exciting projects with global impact.

5. Motivate your team to do the best work

If you are chasing global talent, it pays to be an open-minded manager who understands how best to drive people on your team no matter where they are located. In regards to hiring developers in South America, there are a few points you can keep in mind: 

  • Build a highly motivated team that keeps each other in check and focused on the end goal. 
  • Respect local holidays.
  • Offer at 2 weeks or more off per year.
  • Pay in US dollars and on time.
  • Allow for flex working where developers can set the core working hours, and flexible hours where they can work the rest of their shift.
  • Get people involved in real decision-making.

Be More Productive by delegating your Hiring and Recruitment Needs in Latin America to Us

Long-shot LinkedIn messages don’t quite cut it when finding new hires in Latin America. It’s still as competitive as hiring elsewhere, and still afflicted with the same challenges. You don’t want to be onboarding someone in one week, and regretting the decision in the other.  

We’re not here to promise you instant results or a hassle-free experience. Our team is here to help you find the best software developers for your projects, based on your specific needs and goals. And you don’t necessarily have to be looking for an entire software engineering team. You can be a small company that needs to fill one role or a mid-sized company looking to augment its team with a new superstar hire. We can only promise that we have done it before, consistently and reliably, for tens of clients across various industries and domains, and we’ll do it for you. 

Don’t take our word for it —listen to what our clients have to say about us from our Clutch reviews: 

“Their ability to source and hire great talent within our budget has been instrumental in our growth.” Director, IT Services Company”  

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

“They have exceptional knowledge of our tech stack and the engineering needs of our company.” Director, People & Culture, Gradient MSP

Location: Alberta Canada

If you’re ready to hire the right developers in Latin America with confidence, get in touch with us today. You can book a discovery call with us or Chat With Us.

Want to learn more about hiring in Latin America, check out these resources that we’ve enjoyed while researching this: 

Going Nearshore: Latin America As A Premier Destination For Locating Top IT Talent, Forbes (Article)