Long before the surge in remote work, India stood as a traditional hub for companies aiming to hire offshore software developers. However, the tech hiring landscape is evolving, with regions such as Eastern Europe and Latin America not only emerging but also establishing themselves as powerhouses in the tech industry, rich with highly skilled developers. This shift is highlighted by a report from Deel, showing a 161% increase in new hires in Latin America in the first half of 2022 compared to 2021, predominantly in tech roles. Companies looking to hire LATAM developers are drawn by not only the talent but also the cost advantages, and compatible time zones with the U.S., underscoring the global diversification in tech talent sourcing.
Whether you’re a startup or an established company, understanding the hiring options you have and the cost structure can help you make informed decisions and leverage the potential of Latin American developers to drive your projects forward.
This guide explores the five best hiring platforms and countries to hire developers in Latin America, taking into account the quality of talent, availability, and cost implications. Let’s dive in.
Top 5 Platforms for Hiring Remote LATAM Developers in 2024
Hiring remote developers from Latin America requires a tailored approach, as what works best can vary significantly from one company to the next. While some may find job boards perfectly suited to their hiring strategy, others like you might benefit more from partnering with a specialized IT recruitment agency.
Below, we present the best 5 platforms that excel in connecting businesses with skilled remote developers from LATAM, catering to a diverse range of hiring needs.
DistantJob specializes in assisting businesses of all sizes to recruit senior software engineers who meet their specific requirements and align with their company culture. We help companies to hire remote developers who not only satisfy technical expectations but also complement their organizational culture and workflows.
Beyond recruitment, we provide an all-in-one HR solution, including payroll or EOR services, managing all legal, financial, and administrative tasks.
We achieve this while offering developers at a lower cost compared to North American salaries, striking a perfect balance between high quality and affordability. Our services are ideal for companies in search of committed, full-time senior LATAM developers seeking a comprehensive, cost-effective staffing solution.
Best for Companies looking for dedicated full-time senior developers.
Toptal offers an extensive network of freelance software developers, designers, and product managers, among other careers. They focus on providing a competitive and transparent hiring process that enables companies to get the talent they need in a short period.
They consider industry experience, skills, and availability to match freelance developers to your company’s needs.
Best for: Freelance developers
Fiverr is a popular freelance platform that offers over a million experienced software engineers suitable for different company needs.
The platform divides registered freelancers into Fiverr Pro and Fiverr Business. With the first one, you can hire individual remote developers at an affordable rate. On the other hand, Fiverr Business is more suitable for companies looking to hire a team of remote freelance developers.
Additionally, Fiverr Business provides a workspace to manage teams remotely and a proven track record.
Best for: Freelance remote developers (both individuals and teams).
Upwork is a leading freelance platform that helps companies find and hire skilled freelance developers. With Upwork, you can review the developer´s work samples and client evaluations and gain a clear idea of their level of expertise and past performance.
Additionally, the platform allows you to choose a fixed or hourly rate when negotiating with a remote developer, giving you the freedom to negotiate and create payment terms based on your needs.
Best for: Freelance developers needed for specific projects.
Arc focuses on helping employers find remote developers. The platform offers businesses two options: freelance developers or full-time developers.
With an engaged and active developer community, Arc can find a developer that suits your business’s technical requirements. They manage the technical assessments and help you organize all your potential candidates tracking their progress and keeping in touch with them.
Best for: Freelance or full-time developers.
Things to Keep in Mind when Recruiting Tech Talent in LATAM
When looking to hire LATAM coders, there are several aspects to keep in mind to better assess the qualifications and potential of Latin American tech talent.
Backgrounds Will Look Different
Unlike in the U.S., many developers in Latin America might not follow the traditional educational path of obtaining university degrees. Instead, they often gain their tech skills through online courses, self-learning, or experience with local companies and universities that may not be widely recognized internationally.
When reviewing resumes from Latin American candidates, expect to see more personal information, including personal photos, and a focus on practical courses and certifications over formal degrees. This approach reflects the diverse ways individuals in the region enter the tech field.
You’ll Need to Diversify Your Payment Methods
Navigating payments to Latin American countries can be complex due to varying currencies, with exceptions like Ecuador, Panama, and El Salvador, which use the U.S. dollar. Exchange rates play a crucial role and can impact how much employees actually receive. For instance, Argentina has both an official exchange rate and a higher “blue” market rate, potentially leading to significant losses for employees when paid at the official rate.
To mitigate these challenges, your company should consider flexible payment methods. Utilizing international payment platforms like Wise, Payoneer, and PayPal can simplify transactions and ensure that Latin American employees receive a fair amount, accounting for exchange rate differences and minimizing loss.
Paperwork & Tax Laws
Hiring developers from Latin America involves doing some extra work for paperwork that includes tax documentation, worker benefits, and more.
While this may seem like a lot of work, it’s only a matter of getting familiar with local laws. Or, you can avoid all this and get the help of experts.
At DistantJob, besides matching you with your ideal candidate, we also handle all the HR tasks. We offer fully managed HR services tailored to your specific needs.
5 Best Countries to Hire Developers in Latin America (And Its Costs)
Here are the top 5 Latin American countries to hire developers, focusing on talent quality, availability, and costs.
Brazil stands out as Latin America’s tech powerhouse, hosting the region’s largest tech market. Key sectors like fintech, e-commerce, and mobile app development flourish here.
The ICT market is booming, with a projected 5% growth in 2023, nearing US$ 8 billion. Additionally, the country has experienced a remarkable 45% increase in investments during H1 2021, totaling US$ 5.2 billion across 339 rounds. June 2021 alone witnessed historic investments exceeding US$ 2 billion in over 63 rounds.
This thriving environment has drawn global companies seeking remote engineering talent, making Brazil a hotbed for collaboration.
Cost: The average hourly salary of a software developer in Brazil is between $42-60 USD.
As the second-largest tech market in Latin America, Mexico excels in software development, fintech, and e-commerce, standing 12th globally in innovation and 3rd in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
Ranked among the world’s 15 largest economies, Mexico secured the 11th spot in Kearney’s Global Services Location Index’s top 50 countries for IT services.
Mexico’s robust technological foundation is further fortified by government programs, tech parks, and substantial startup investments. With over 700,000 developers and 3 million STEM professionals recorded in 2020-2021, Mexico offers a vast reservoir of tech talent for businesses aiming to harness its expertise.
Cost: The average hourly salary of a software developer in Mexico is between $45-65 USD.
The Argentine Chamber of the Software Industry (CESSI) reports a consistent 50% growth in Argentine software engineers and a 36% increase in tech companies in recent years. This underscores the industry’s robust expansion, with a growing number of individuals choosing web development as their career path.
Moreover, Argentina achieved global recognition by ranking as the top country for software engineering skills worldwide in 2019, according to Coursera’s 2019 Global Skills Index.
The nation boasts seven universities listed among the world’s best, attesting to its commitment to nurturing talent.
In Coursera’s Global Skills Index Report, Argentina secured the 22nd spot globally for skills in data science, encompassing technologies like Python, SQL, R, TensorFlow, Cloud APIs, and NLP, among others.
Cost: The average hourly salary of a software developer in Argentina is between $48-65 USD.
Chile has emerged as a dynamic player in Latin America’s tech landscape, particularly in its capital, Santiago, which is recognized as a major technological hub.
The country’s vibrant startup culture and commitment to innovation have catapulted it to the forefront of the region. Notably, Chile holds the top spot for innovation in Latin America, as affirmed by the Global Innovation Index.
With a strong tech talent pool of nearly 61,000 professionals and a rapidly expanding global ICT market, Chile offers a compelling environment for businesses seeking tech innovation and talent in Latin America.
Cost: The average hourly salary of a software developer in Argentina is between $50-65 USD.
Colombia has emerged as one of Latin America’s premier outsourcing destinations in recent years. In 2021, it secured the third spot in the region, following Mexico and Brazil, in terms of IT market size, boasting a market worth $10.2 billion.
With ambitious goals, the Colombian Federation of IT and Software Industries aims to have software contribute to 5% of the country’s GDP by 2025. Major Colombian cities like Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali have cultivated vibrant startup ecosystems buoyed by government incentives, access to funding, and an expanding pool of highly skilled tech talent.
Colombia’s appeal as a business-friendly nation is underscored by its ranking as the fourth friendliest country to do business in Latin America, according to Doing Business 2018.
This favorable business environment, coupled with robust economic growth and a thriving tech scene, positions Colombia as an enticing destination for companies seeking to tap into a dynamic and expanding IT talent pool.
Cost: The average hourly salary of a software developer in Argentina is between $45-65 USD.
Why Are Companies Outsourcing Software Developers in Latin America?
These are the main reasons why you should consider hiring Latin American software developers:
1) Time Zone Alignment
Having remote employees implies, depending on their location, that you have different time zones. This is a double-edged sword because although for some employees, this means they choose their working hours and have more flexibility, on the other hand, there are cases where meetings happen at 10 p.m.
One of the perks of hiring remote developers in Latin America (mostly if you’re based in the U.S.) is that the time zones aren’t so different.
If you are in California, for example, and hire a developer from Mumbai, there’s a 9.5-hour difference, whereas if you hire a developer from Buenos Aires, there’s only a 1-hour difference.
Why does this matter? Because if you want full-time remote employees, communication is a must, and having similar time zones makes this easier.
2) It’s Cost Effective
Tech salaries in the U.S. have a record of being too high in comparison to other countries, with the average of a mid-level developer ranging between $80,000 to $120,000. While in Latin America, because many countries have different currencies, employees benefit from being paid in U.S. dollars.
But how much does a developer cost in Latin America? The average salary is between $40,000 to $60,000.
3) Great English level
When you hire remotely, you need to review candidates’ hard skills and other aspects, like, for example, their native language.
Even if you hire the most talented remote developer, if they can’t speak English and you can’t speak their language, communication is not going to be possible.
According to the EF English Proficiency Index, “the Latin American business community is increasingly vocal in its demand for more English speakers, and, in response, a majority of the region’s countries have rolled out education reforms to teach English better and more widely’’.
The best countries in Latin America with a higher English level are:
- Argentina (High proficiency, score: 562)
- Costa Rica (Moderate proficiency, score: 536)
- Cuba (Moderate proficiency, score:535 )
- Paraguay (Moderate proficiency, score: 526 )
- Bolivia (Moderate proficiency, score:525)
- Chile (Moderate proficiency, score: 524)
- Honduras (Moderate proficiency, score: 522)
- Uruguay (Moderate proficiency, score: 521)
- El Salvador (Moderate proficiency, score: 519)
- Peru (Moderate proficiency, score: 517)
- Dominican Republic (Moderate proficiency, score: 514)
- Brazil (Moderate proficiency, score: 505)
- Guatemala (Moderate proficiency, score: 505)
4) Emerging Market
The digital landscape in Latin America is growing rapidly, with Brazil leading the way, followed by other countries such as Chile and Colombia, making this region a great destination for offshore services.
A recent N-iX market report that explored Latin America’s tech sector highlighted that there are 7 leading economies in the region: Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Chile.
Here’s an overview of the leading LATAM tech markets:
Not only the English level has significantly increased, but so has the quality and quantity of talented tech employees in Latin America.
According to Stack Overflow, top users’ reputation is higher in Latin American Countries (Like Peru, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil) than in India and China.
There is a growing programming talent pool in Latin America. Mainly because the education systems in many countries from this region have improved, cities such as Buenos Aires are filled with educated tech employees who might be the candidates you are looking for.
Mexican universities are currently producing computer science graduates at a rate almost on par with their American counterparts. Mexico and Brazil together boast a workforce of nearly three-quarters of a million technology specialists.
Which Latin American Countries Have The Best Developers?
To know more precisely which countries were the best in Latam (Latin America) regarding IT skills, we analyzed three different reports:
1. TopCoder Country Rankings
This test ranked 31 countries, of which 4 belonged to Latin America. These are the results for Latam (Latin America):
This test gathered 1.5 million developers from 50 countries. These are the results for Latam:
This report is based on 550+ assessments from 44 countries. These are the results for Latam:
Maximize Your Hiring Efforts with DistantJob
According to these tests, the best countries to hire developers from in Latam are Brazil and Mexico. Followed by these ones, you can find Argentina, Chile, and Colombia.
Hiring top tech talent requires, besides the necessary skills for their role, to seek someone who:
- Speaks the same language as you do
- Likes your company’s culture
- Understands your processes
- Gets along with your team (among other aspects)
And while hiring skilled developers from Latin America provides many benefits, it still requires work and considering local laws, payments, and more.
At DistantJob, we focus that each candidate provided fulfills all your requirements, and besides helping you find, hire, and onboard, we also ensure you have a smooth HR experience.
FAQ on Hiring LATAM Developers
The cost of hiring a developer in Latin America can greatly vary depending on the developer’s experience, skills, and the specific country. However, on average, the annual salary can range from $10,000 to $50,000 in USD. Some countries like Argentina and Mexico have lower rates while countries like Brazil and Chile could be slightly higher.
In terms of hourly rates for freelance developers, it can range from $20 to $75 per hour. But again, this would highly depend on the nature and complexity of the work as well as the developer’s level of expertise.
The best Latin American countries for tech jobs include Brazil for its large tech scene, especially in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Mexico for its growing tech sector, Chile for its strong tech infrastructure, and Argentina for its booming tech industry in Buenos Aires.
To hire LATAM developers abroad, you can use online job boards like LinkedIn, engage Remote IT recruitment agencies such as DistantJob, or use outsourcing platforms like Upwork and Toptal. Also, consider attending tech events or investing in remote teams.