While the demand for tech talent is increasing, the supply of candidates to choose from is evaporating. Since the Great Resignation in 2020, the IT industry has experienced a talent drought which is only becoming more prevalent as time goes on.
That means the hiring market tide, which is already rolling in favor of job seekers, is going to swell even faster. While this might be good news for up-and-coming developers and IT professionals, business leaders are scrambling to delegate their tech responsibilities.
Fortunately, many companies have found relief in nearshore staffing, particularly in Latin America (LATAM), where employees are just as skilled and qualified as the local talent.
Simply put, nearshore staffing is the practice of outsourcing work to a nearby developed country. With this sourcing strategy, businesses can leverage services from teams or individuals located in a nearby region like Latin America.
Not only has this widened the talent pool for hiring, but many organizations have also been able to boost efficiencies and cut back on unnecessary recruiting costs — making it one of the most popular sourcing methods today. To give your business a leg up amidst today’s talent shortage, let’s explore six ways to make LATAM nearshore staffing work for your organization.
1. Define Deliverables
Before you start looking for nearshore talent, it’s wise to outline a set of deliverables. Not only will this help your company stay on track through the vetting and hiring process, but it also ensures you understand the technologies and skills you require from a nearshore team or individual.
You should also document timelines for each deliverable, success metrics, and budget. These factors will help guide your teams as you meet your goals, while also staying on time and within budget.
Then, you can go over this set of deliverables with your potential nearshore staff so they can receive a clear understanding of your desired milestones and staff requirements. Once you’ve selected the right partners, you can use your deliverables to compare achieved milestones with planned ones.
2. Take Advantage of the Qualified Workforce
In the past, the majority of remote staffing agencies turned to countries like China, Poland, Ukraine, India, and the Philippines to source talent. Since these regions had considerably low labor costs, companies were able to acquire top talent while simultaneously cutting back on hiring expenses.
However, due to language barriers and changing world events, many companies have turned to nearshore sourcing from countries like Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Costa Rica. In these regions, language barriers aren’t as cumbersome and hiring costs are still notably lower than that of the U.S.
But more importantly, Latin American workers offer a plethora of skills and talent. According to recent studies, the standard and quality of education have increased, and the number of educated Latin American developers has surged by 400% over the past five years. With computer sciences and engineering as the leading degrees in these regions, companies looking to hire can take advantage of this wider talent pool of qualified tech experts.
Additionally, training systems and educational programs have enabled more LATAM graduates to become fluent in English than ever before — making it all the easier to integrate them with local teams.
3. Consider Language Barriers
When finding tech talent, one of the most important aspects to look for is communication skills. Anything less than an upper-middle level of language proficiency would make it difficult to perform tasks and communicate with teams.
Fortunately, in LATAM regions, a significant portion of educated developers and engineers are proficient in the English language. According to a recent survey, the average English Proficiency Index is 492 (which is moderate/high), with Argentina, Costa Rica, and Chile ranking the highest.
Of course, as with any international hire, overcoming language barriers is always a challenge. But by nearshore staffing in LATAM regions, your business has an increased chance of hiring individuals with greater cross-lingual aptitude and English proficiency.
4. Assess Local Regulation and Labor Laws
In most LATAM countries, the increase in remote working has made it easier for citizens to access job opportunities in the U.S. That being said, there are labor laws and regulations that companies should be aware of before jumping into LATAM nearshore staffing.
Recently, several LATAM countries have tightened their protection of citizens’ rights during employment arrangements. According to LATAM labor law experts, U.S. companies must obtain a clear understanding of labor laws, or else they risk setting themselves up for future legal troubles.
To hire individuals or teams from Latin America, your company must understand and comply with any particular holidays, minimum wages and working hours, employee benefits, and other local regulations. These will vary according to the country you conduct your staffing, so be sure to research local regulations and labor laws from those regions beforehand.
5. Vet and Screen Talent
If you’re doing nearshore sourcing through a talent platform, it’s crucial to ensure the desired individual or team is vetted and screened. If you’re doing the vetting yourself, that means finding the talent that best suits your tech requirements, while also ensuring that they are fit to work remotely in an effective way.
This might include creating a process that identifies specific traits your company seeks in a candidate, such as a strong work ethic, technical skills, experience, and an understanding of the importance of the workplace hierarchy.
6. Ensure Candidates Are Aligned With Company Culture
Though this point is consistent with any hiring process, it rings even more true when conducting LATAM nearshore staffing. As you assess your list of candidates, be sure that all collaborators understand and uphold the core values that are unique to your company.
By not ensuring your workers share a fervency to abide by company values, your company could experience a decrease in employee engagement and morale, which could result in a high turnover rate.
Integrity, honor, respect, commitment, teamwork, and responsibility are just a few principles that are necessary to the success of any company. Ensuring each individual represents these values will lower the risk of incompatibility and increase ongoing retention efforts.
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