Diversity in tech has evolved tremendously over the past few years, especially since COVID-19 changed the way even traditional businesses operate. Previously, hiring global talent was more complicated and resource-intensive, requiring balancing visas, costs, and additional expenses not only for the expat, but also for their immediate family. However, the rise of remote working from anywhere in the world has removed these barriers and made Western companies more open to hiring top-notch international IT talent.
Latin America, in particular, has recently become the new edge for nearshore IT talent, as its industry has experienced rapid development over the past five years. The silver lining of the global pandemic is the rapid acceleration of tech talent diversity as companies of all sizes realize that it takes a global talent village to meet market demands.
As part of an initiative to make the tech industry in Latin America more inclusive, many countries are working hard to ensure that American companies have a diverse roster of talent to choose from. For example, the U.S. Embassy in Quito, Ecuador sponsors a program called POWER (Providing Opportunities for Women’s Economic Rise), where young Ecuadorian women in STEM are mentored by female entrepreneurs and female talent in STEM-related fields. This program works diligently to help these young women access international employment while providing them with an invaluable network of women in technology and STEM fields to tap into for guidance and individualized professional development.
Even with these types of initiatives, there is still much to be done to combat stereotypes about team diversity. It has been widely documented that mixed teams tend to perform better than single-sex teams, but it can still be difficult for a single female tech developer to be added to an all-male team. In recent years, technology companies around the world have asked their HR teams to find solutions to overcome this problem.
To do this, hiring managers need to start early to stay focused on building diverse teams. Inclusiveness and diversity should be key when screening and selecting interview candidates throughout the hiring process. This pool of remote candidates allows hiring managers to focus on what really matters – allowing Western companies to assess global talent on an equal footing. HR no longer needs to conform to traditional hiring metrics when interviewing foreign developers, but instead can focus on their technical and soft skills and their ability to play a 100% remote role. Some people are just bad interviewees in social settings, but this virtual style of the hiring process takes a lot of the pressure off and allows each candidate’s technical skills to shine.
Focusing on a candidate’s comprehensive skillset allows HR to be more objective when it comes to assessing whether these developers both fit the culture of the hiring company and can easily s adapt to the different working cultures of Western companies. This is where nearshoring developers from Latin America have a clear advantage over other global talent. Many people think that Latin America is a completely different world than the United States, but that’s far from the truth. Besides geographic proximity, Latin America has similar cultural work values to the United States compared to countries in Asia and India, for example. Latin American developers can more easily adapt to a US-based team and take full advantage of the opportunities offered when working with US teams. This chameleon adaptability gives Western companies confidence that this type of distributed team will bring a stronger sense of teamwork and prove to be a valuable back-up option when hiring local talent is not possible.
However, there is certainly still some reluctance when outsourcing international talent. Unfortunately, the long-disproved myth that hiring staff from outside their borders takes jobs away from their local citizens still influences HR hiring practices. This is particularly evident in the developer sector. My business is growing rapidly because it’s still very hard to find qualified developers despite big hiring freezes in the tech industry. U.S. employers have posted a record 1.6 million job openings for tech professionals so far this year, a 40% increase from the same period last year, according to the CompTIA report. However, they haven’t been able to hire as many tech professionals as they need. Software developer and engineer positions accounted for nearly 30% of all technology job openings by employers in 2022. Without them, companies cannot function because they are under mission control. There are a lot of unfilled developer positions and the problem is global. Nearshore talent does not deprive developers of jobs; they are a welcome addition to overworked and stressed teams that need more resources to achieve digital transformation goals.
It’s important to keep in mind that global competition for talent is nothing new, but with remote working as the norm, everyone now has the same opportunities and benefits. The global talent pool has expanded and is now more equitable as access has been granted to anyone with the right skills and connectivity. Ultimately, Western companies must consider the best hiring decision based on currently available resources. Like a recent fortune inquiry points out, the talent crisis is the biggest threat to companies according to CEOs. The problem is urgent, companies are unable to achieve digital transformation and business goals without adequate resources, and developers are overwhelmed with work and confronted epic burnout rates.
The decision to outsource talent is nuanced. Although we don’t like to admit it, costs play a big part in these decisions. This makes hiring nearshore developers from Latin America a more attractive option for these companies when looking for high-level IT talent. By outsourcing talent from Latin America, these Western companies gain a local Latin American developer who is an expert in their field, in a similar time zone, and a good culture suited to the business – eliminating many, if not all , issues that stem from hiring offshore talent in places like Asia and India. For example, our pool of highly selected, qualified and diverse candidates represents the top 3% of Latin American developers and they are 25-40% cheaper and they stay. 60% longer than American workers. Additionally, hiring Latin American developers infuses diversity into teams for broader perspectives that lead to better products and services, and create new approaches and this directly addresses the internal burnout experienced by IT professionals. technology overworked Americans.
But it’s important to remember that a company’s choice to hire Latin American nearshore developers isn’t just about meeting a diversity quota. Increasing teams with diverse talent creates a dynamic that brings different and unique cultural perspectives and insights, which ultimately enriches the team and improves results. With this value at the forefront of every hiring decision, it can create a type of synergy not seen anywhere else – and create the best results for your fully integrated, distributed, and more global team.