IT Recruitment Guide: How to identify and attract tech talent from Latin America

Emmanuel Olvera

CEO & Cofunder of Hireline

Recruiting tech talent is a real challenge since the demand for these specialists is growing faster than the talent flowing into the labor market, creating a deficit that has become a real talent war.

At Hireline, we have more than 7 years of experience in the labor market connecting companies with the best programmers in LatAm. With the information of more than 250,000 IT professionals in our talent pool and thousands of vacancies in our platform, we offer data that may be relevant for your talent search.

In this Guide, I will briefly explain how the recruitment and selection process for technology profiles in the Latin American market works and what you can do to find the best programmers for your vacancy to hire them under a remote work scheme.

  • Know the Latin American tech market
  • Developers´ salaries in the most common technologies
  • Hiring schemes as employee and contractor
  • Where to find developers in Latam
  • How to attract them

I. Know the Latin American tech market

It is well known that the majority of technology talent is employed, that is why companies need to look for talent outside of their countries. Fortunately, the US is close to one of the regions with the largest pools of tech talent: Latin America, which also has the advantage of sharing the same time zone with the US.

The types of projects in which Latin American developers have experience are related to the maintenance of systems or legacy code, including in US banks and large corporations. This implies that the programming languages and the versions they are experienced on are not the most recent. And those who do have experience on this, are still a minority, but growing by the day.

There are currently 26.9 million developers globally, according to data from Evans Data Corporation (EDC), of which it is estimated that they will increase by around 1 million each year, with Latin America being the region with the second highest growth of developers globally.

As it is shown in the graphic below, Brasil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia are the largest pools of developers in the region.

II. Developers´ salaries in the most common technologies

If you need talent with an advanced English level, you should know the following: the salary of a Latin American developer increases almost four times when he/she has advanced English.

In Mexico, the average monthly salary of a technology professional with advanced English is $2,110.4 USD, while with an intermediate level it is $1,320.41 USD (Hireline IT Labor Market Report 2022). That is why those who have an advanced command of the English language can have a remuneration up to 3.9 times higher compared to employees who do not speak it or speak it at a basic level. If you are looking for a senior developer, you should consider a higher salary.

A good piece of advice I can give you is to bet more on talent than on specialization or years of experience in a specific technology. Let's go deeper with salary ranges.

In the following table you can see a list of salaries for the most common technologies vs the salaries for those with advanced English proficiency level:

Language Average with advanced English (USD) Average (USD) Median (USD)
C++ $4.831,80 $1.932,72 $2.250
Swift $4.221,45 $1.688,58 $1.600
Go $4.208,33 $1.683,33 $1.500
Apex $3.968,75 $1.587,5 $1.500
Ruby $3.823,80 $1.529,52 $1.450
PL- SQL $3.489,35 $1.395,74 $1.415
Kotlin $3.479,75 $1.391,90 $1.205
Typescript $3.322,90 $1.329.16 $1.200
Dart $3.285,71 $1.314,29 $1.100,00
Java $3.253,42 $1.301,37 $1.250,00
C# $3.184,11 $1.273,64 $1.200,00
Python $3.137,00 $1.254,80 $1.000,00
Cobol $3.007,69 $1.203,08 $1.100,00
JavaScript $2.910,71 $1.164,29 $1.000,00
Delphi $2.910,71 $1.164,29 $1.000,00
PHP $2.150,04 $860,02 $750,00
Visual Basic $2.058,27 $823,31 $762,50
C $1.640,00 $656,00 $700,00

According to our IT Labor Market Report 2022, 77% of Mexican IT professionals consider professional development the most important factor when accepting a new job offer, but to continue in a company they consider: salary, work environment and perks as almost equally important. The number of applications is 3 times higher when your vacancy is fully remote.

Mexican developers are seeking a salary increase of 21% to 30% to switch jobs. (Hireline IT Labor Market Report 2022)

In short, it is important to show all the information and details of the type of projects they will be working on and the salary offered.

III. Hiring schemes as employee and contractor

There are two main hiring schemes commonly used for tech professionals:

  1. Full time employee: For example, benefits based on the law in Mexico assumes all legal responsibility. This cost is between 35-40% additional to the salary and the employee has a withholding to obtain the net salary.

    1. IMSS (Mexican institute of social security)
    3. Christmas bonus 15 days (30 days average in the industry)
    4. Vacational Bonus and 6 days of vacations per year. (10 days average in the industry)
  2. Contractor services agreement: Sign a contract for services between contractors and your company. This cost is between 10-20% for the payroll service and the contractor obtains net salary.

    1. The full salary will be paid directly to the contractor.
    2. The contractor will be responsible to pay taxes and other legal responsibilities.
    3. Perks and benefits will be optional depending on you. (life insurance, Major medical insurance, christmas bonus, meal vouchers, etc).

    The contractor model is a good option to suggest with the first employees since you don't need to have a company incorporated in the country where the employee is from.

IV. Where to find developers in Latin America

According to our last IT Labor Market Report, 94% of Mexican IT professionals use job portals to search for jobs.

Today's job search is done primarily through the Internet and, of course, the creation of job portals has facilitated the recruitment work of thousands of organizations, being the first source of tech talent search jobs in Mexico.

Hireline is a recruitment platform specialized in Information Technology profiles. We have more than 250,000 profiles of IT professionals in Latin America and more than half of them are programmers. The most popular programming languages for our candidates are: Java, PHP, Python and C#/.NET.

LinkedIn is the second most used platform by IT professionals to look for jobs; and recommendations among friends and colleagues complete the top 3 of the most popular ways to access new job opportunities.

The disadvantage of LinkedIn is that you do not have the candidate's contact information to talk to him/her immediately. You have to send a connection request, which the candidate can accept or not.

Other job portals that operate in Latin America are OCC Mundial, Computrabajo, Indeed, and Bumeran.

If you are looking for a complete recruitment and hiring solution, Hireline can help you.

V. How to attract them

The more information your vacancy has about your company and position, the more candidates will apply. It is likely that Latin American candidates haven't heard about your company. Include these points in your job posting:

  1. Clear job title with main Role and Technology you need in the position. For example, if you are looking for a programmer who knows Java you should put the title "Java Programmer". This way, the candidate will quickly understand what profile and technology you are looking for.
  2. Requirements you are looking for. I suggest using a section for the indispensable ones and another one for those that would be a plus.
  3. Company description. Someone reading your vacancy may feel attracted if you get them to think about the type of project they will be involved in. Also, because these profiles are looking for professional challenges.
  4. Benefits or perks you offer. Benefits are always a great attraction and say a lot about you as a company.

Here is one example for you to get inspired:

About Nubank

Nubank was founded in 2013 to free people from a bureaucratic, slow and inefficient financial system. Since then, through innovative technology and outstanding customer service, the company has been redefining people's relationships with money across Latin America. With operations in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia, Nubank is today one of the largest digital banking platforms and technology-leading companies in the world.

Today, Nubank is a global company, with offices in São Paulo (Brazil), Mexico City (Mexico), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Bogotá (Colombia), Durham (United States), and Berlin (Germany). It was founded in 2013 in Sao Paulo, by Colombian David Vélez, and cofounded by Brazilian Cristina Junqueira and American Edward Wible. For more information, visit

Engineering at Nubank

We strive for state-of-the-art software development practices that currently include a variety of technologies. While we value candidates that are familiar with them, we are also confident that software engineers who are interested in joining Nubank will be able to learn from our tea

  • Dynamic and reusable components in our frontend using React.js
  • Continuous Integration and Deployment into AWS
  • Horizontally scalable microservices written mostly in Clojure, using Finagle and leveraging upon functional programming techniques and hexagonal architecture
  • High throughput jobs and inter-service communication using Kafka
  • Storing data in Datomic and DynamoDB
  • Monitoring and observability with Prometheus
  • Running as much as possible in Kubernetes

We are a process-light organization that values human interactions. We value working in small, independent teams that feel like small startups within the company, and eschew coupling and centralizing where realistic. We understand that execution is the key to success and optimize processes to remove bottlenecks.

You can read more about it in our blog and get some insights into how we work.

As Full-stack Software Engineer, You’re Expected To

  • Build our frontend, being open to contribute to backend development, according to business needs
  • Make continuous iterations to our frontend products (like our website) based on new requirements
  • Plan and execute on entire features, collaborating with peers while planning the work ahead, and seeing it through
  • Collaborate with building microservices and work with continuous delivery and infrastructure as code
  • Work with agile software development methodologies
  • Write, test, instrument, document, and maintain code
  • Pair, and participate in code reviews, to grow and contribute to the growth of others in and around the team
  • Collaborate closely with Product, Design, and partner Engineering teams to build the best experiences
  • Participate in on-call rotations for your team and respond to incidents as necessary

What are we looking for?

  • Proven track experience building digital products
  • Ability to quickly understand technical and business requirements, translating them into technical design and implementation
  • A problem-solver who is able to communicate effectively across functional teams
  • A software engineer who cares deeply about user experience and likes to take part in hiring, onboarding, mentoring, and training
  • Proven understanding of object-oriented or functional programming language
  • Experience with React.js
  • Flexibilty to learn about distributed systems

Core Benefits

  • Equity at Nubank
  • Health and life insurance
  • Food card
  • 15 days of paid vacation with 25% vacation bonus
  • Holiday Bonus ("Aguinaldo") of 30 days of pay per year
  • NuCare - Our mental health and wellness assistance program
  • NuLanguage - Our language learning program
  • Extended maternity and paternity leaves
  • Interviewing and onboarding are currently done virtually due to COVID-19. Everyone new to the team and our current staff will remain working from home until it is safe to return to our offices. If/when relocation is required, we have a team dedicated to global mobility and have

Now you have a broad overview of the tech talent in Latin America, which we can summarize in the following main points:

  • Consider the salary ranges according to the English level you require in your vacancy. Remember that in Mexico, the average salary of a technology professional with advanced English is $2,110.4 USD but if you're looking for a senior profile, you should consider a higher salary.
  • The contractor model is a good option to offer with the first employees since you don't need to have a company incorporated in the country where the employee is from.
  • The more information your vacancy has about your company and position, the more candidates will apply. It is probable that Latin American candidates haven't heard about your company.
  • A good advice I can give you is to bet more on talent than on specialization or years of experience in a specific technology.

We know that the fast-growing IT industry needs changes equally fast and effective to adopt flexible but challenging work schemes. It is key to have strategic partners who allow you to move forward and keep the pace that the industry and your organization demands, as well as mastering the data and culture of the country in which you want to hire.

Hireline offers you everything you need to start or expand your engineering team distributed in Latin America. Recruiting, Hiring and Payroll.

Hireline is a recruitment platform specialized in technology profiles. We connect the technological talent of Latin America with the best companies in the world.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the IT Recruitment Guide you can send us an email to [email protected]