Tech Talent is in Abundance in Latin America

As your ICT business scales, and investors pour in, you will be looking to expand your engineering and development teams. According to a 2021 survey by KPMG (link), nearly 70% of companies surveyed reported struggling to find talent with the skill sets they require. Increased globalization and the growth of remote work have also enabled US companies to take advantage of Canada’s typically neglected tech talent market.

As you look beyond the borders of Canada, the world offers many options for nearshore and offshore development and talent solutions. At ICON-IQ, we have chosen to focus on senior tech talent from one distinct region that offers a deep pool of candidates possessing a high degree of skill, and education, in Latin America. LatAm has long been a resource for large American companies looking for the best talent, at competitive prices. The characteristics of the talent, the ecosystems being grown, and the geographical and political considerations.

Characteristics of the Talent Pool

Latin America has many factors that contribute to the high quality and large selection of talent available to work with. To begin with, LatAm represents access to millions of high-quality candidates. Brazil and Mexico lead the charge, with 1.2 million and 800,000 developers respectively. This large pool of talent comes educated from leading universities, with 97% of developers surveyed (link) having completed some form of formal post-secondary education, compared to 95% of Canadian developers (link). When it comes to years of experience (YoE), 25% of the surveyed population have 6+ years as a developer, with the leading categories for senior talent being Full-stack, Back-end, and DevOps.

Another key consideration is communication. More than ⅔ of LatAm candidates report intermediate-advanced levels of English language comprehension, with the leading roles for Advanced English in Full-stack, Back-end, and Data.

As Founders and CTOs consider growing their teams, the leading criteria is the languages, frameworks, and technical capabilities of potential candidates. According to SkillValues, Mexico leads the world in Java, JavaScript, Python, and C++ developers. Nearly 80% of LatAm developers noted they have experience with JavaScript, 30% with Python, and over 25% with Java


LatAm’s ecosystem is one that spans many countries, sectors, and stages of development. The Latin American tech ecosystem has exploded in growth with 15.7 billion dollars pouring into LatAm startups in 2021 (link). Across all metrics, VC investment is exploding, and average deal size was up 1.6-2.6x growth YoY, driving the exponential growth of the sector. This new investment paired with established multinational companies, such as Uber and Google operating in the region, has led to some of the world’s hottest tech hubs including:

  • Guadalajara – Population of 5.2 million, offices for IBM, HP, and Intel
  • Sao Paulo – Population 12.33 million, 4 unicorns, Plug & Play Tech Centre, 2700 active startups
  • Santiago de Chile – Population of 6.9 million, offices for Microsoft, Google, Uber

Geographical and Political Considerations

Another distinct advantage LatAm offers comes through its geographic, social and political alignment with Canada.

LatAm time zones are aligned with talent working no more than 3 hours ahead or behind your current team, no matter where in Canada you are located. This allows real-time communication, and no lag when your team has to collaborate. LatAm and Canada also have many daily direct flights from top LatAm metropolises and Canadian destinations, should you need to bring in your team members!

Furthermore, LatAm presents a stable, and conflict-free zone, engaged in economic relations in Canada. This offers an increased level of IP protection for the products developed. Latin America also embraces rule of law and democracy throughout and is isolated from other international conflicts. LatAm candidates also have access to consistent and stable power and communication infrastructure.

These factors all together demonstrate why Latin America is a leading provider of international talent for senior tech talent.

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