Can Offshore Staff Augmentation Solve US/Canada Tech Shortages?

Latin America has been stereotyped for far too long. Less than two decades ago, “Latin America” and “technology” were seldom used in the same sentence, but the reality is that these countries got involved in the technology race and now produce IT talent that matches the level of those in developed economies. In recent months, the number of foreign companies hiring from Latin America has increased by 156%, the most of any world region, with software engineers leading the recruiting rally.

Plenty of our clients are “voting with their dollars” by increasing remote hiring and augmenting their existing software development teams in LATAM. In fact, outsourcing development and IT services to Latin America has been the go-to strategy for a number of enterprise-size companies for years (Accenture, EY, Deloitte, Avanade, etc., just to name a few). The list of offshore development companies in South America seems to be more or less endless. FOMO yet?

The reason? There are plenty.

First, there is seamless communication—English is “unofficially the official language.” Argentina is home to the most proficient English speakers in Latin America, with Costa Rica and Chile not far behind. But not everyone is fluent in it. Overall, we’d say you need to screen 3-5 candidates to find the right level of communication skills, depending on the country. 

The education systems have improved dramatically over the last decade as well. Universities in Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, and Mexico, produce highly educated and technologically sophisticated individuals. This talent is further refined at the tech hubs of Santiago, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Medellin.

This has fueled investment in the IT sector in the region. Per Crunchbase News, Latin American venture investment reached USD 19.5 billion in 2021, more than three times the previous record of USD 4.9 billion in 2019 and more than the ten years of previous venture investment combined (with the majority of the investment going to Brazil).

Now, it’s no surprise that even during the economic slowdowns, IT hiring in North America remains highly competitive. Large tech companies tend to prioritize releasing sales, marketing, and HR/recruitment staff before top-notch engineers with unique and highly valued skills who may not be laid off until later rounds. And during boom times, finding technical talent becomes nearly impossible for many but the best-funded companies.

So, should you look to South American software and data engineers to relieve your recruitment shortage?

Given our experience as a bridge between LATAM-based tech talent and North American businesses, we would strongly suggest looking south to meet your talent needs. Beyond what we discussed above, we see a number of benefits for small and medium-sized US and Canadian companies battling global technology giants for resources, opting to take advantage of the LATAM engineering tech talent pool.

Some of them are briefly discussed below:

Talent availability—this will feel like a breath of fresh air compared to what you have to deal with in the local market. You will find resources readily available for almost any of your tech projects—be it software development, quality assurance, product & project management, or cybersecurity, to name a few. From building a whole team of full-time IT professionals to working with experts on a fractional basis, you have unlimited options to build a team of your own as per your project requirements.

Time zone—the time zones of Latin America correspond nearly with our time zones across the US and Canada. Whether you are in Vancouver or Toronto, Dallas or Boston, working simultaneously in a single time zone with your remote team is possible only if you choose to work with South American talent. Yes, there may be a couple of hours difference, depending on your location and the country you hire talent from. But that can be easily managed.

Comparable approach to building products—the majority of the most talented engineers in LATAM work for international companies and use the same tools and methodologies on a daily basis. So, they’re well-versed in all languages, frameworks, and other tools necessary for your project.

Limited language barrier—if you are already running multi-national and multicultural teams in Canada or the US, you are unlikely to notice any difference.

Cost advantages—working with LATAM-based tech talent, you can cut down your human resources costs by up to 30%. While rates are definitely lower in LATAM, especially when compared with local talent, we urge you not to expect top-notch talent on the cheap—it’s a global market, after all.

Based on that, what’s your best solution as a hiring manager in Canada or the US competing for top-tier tech talent in the local market?

Latin America-based remote, distributed teams!

According to research from Lightcast, for example, the number of North American companies with remote workers in Central America and the Caribbean has grown by a staggering 300% between 2020 and 2023.

Hiring remote, distributed tech teams (or individuals) in LATAM allows you to:

  • Source an entire talent pool and still manage to pay less than what you have earmarked for hiring local talent
  • Save on the cost of office space, hardware, infrastructure, refreshments, administration, and utilities
  • Gain a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining resources that view Canadian and US work opportunities as highly desirable, thus making your new hires less susceptible to offers from local competitors.

And how do you hire talent—the right talent that is tested and vetted—from Latin America?

That’s where DevEngine can help!

We help small to medium-sized Canadian and US companies recruit and build remote, distributed IT teams in Latin America. We are technology agnostic. We facilitate the process of finding, screening, onboarding, managing, and retaining your distributed tech talent anywhere in Latin America.

But why should you use DevEngine as your LATAM software and data engineering recruitment partner?

Obviously, you know your business best. Only you know if a remote team in South America is a suitable solution for your company and your product. However, it should be a pretty straightforward decision, especially now that we’ve all been working remotely throughout 2020 and 2021. If you can fill your tech roles locally in Austin or New York without breaking the bank… awesome! But if you believe the time has come to try alternative recruitment options to augment your existing team, LATAM is the right place, and DevEngine is a savvy and enthusiastic partner! Here’s what sets us apart from others.

If your job posting has been sitting out there for weeks without any applicants and your current recruiters don’t send you piles of resumes (or none at all)—it’s a sign that something needs to change—and change quickly. Keep in mind that your competitors are likely also looking at LATAM for resources or will do it soon.

Schedule a call with us and see how it works.