Talento | Employers

Nearshoring to Mexico: How This Hiring Model is Helping Reshape the Future of the IT Workforce

by Carlos A. Vázquez    |    October 24, 2022    |      7 min read


map shows nearshoring to mexico opportunity

The world of work looks very different today than it did a few years ago. 

Nearshoring to Mexico is an exciting gateway to elite tech talent. Although it has been open for some time, this gate burst open after the pandemic. It provides an avenue for companies to find talent, but it also does a lot more than that. As companies rise to the occasion of new work models, these new structures help to shift talent-sourcing strategies, build diverse international teams, and (perhaps inadvertently) is shaping the future of the workforce in the IT sector. 

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What is Nearshoring?— The Model Filling in the Talent Gap 

As the tech talent shortage and talent gap phenomena manifest in the U.S. workforce, businesses have ventured out to find their talent in other regions. Going back a few years, the concept of offshoring (hiring workers across the pond in places like India and China) was the go-to strategy. Offshoring for manufacturing jobs had been happening for decades, but as the tech boom flourished, it was the IT sector that was utilizing this option to spearhead development efforts. More than anything, offshoring was a cost consideration for employers. Opening up centers in a country like India meant considerably lower wages and thus an economic advantage. 

In recent years, however, the search for tech talent is a result of natural forces that pushed the market towards a digital transformation at an accelerated pace. This change (along with other factors) caused the supply of software developers, engineers, and other specialized IT positions to dry out quickly when faced with the insatiable demand. At the same time, remote work was sweeping the world and many of these developers and coders receded to corners of the world where they were not as easily found, relying on nontraditional channels to find their gigs. 

And just like changes in technology and consumer demand first enabled offshoring, nearshoring was similarly a result of several factors converging all at once in one region. It was born out of the realization that taking jobs to such distant lands may have unintended consequences and complications that might not be worth the trouble. At the same time, Latin America was positioning itself as a region open to tech development and investment. 

In many cases, offshoring lost favor because of productivity issues, time zone difficulties, language barriers, cultural divides, and the simple reason of wanting to reduce distance between teams. It took employers time to recognize that many of these drawbacks from traditional offshoring did not exist in regions like Latin America. 

As we’ve explored before, the benefits of nearshoring to Mexico are not just economic, they manifest in the way that teams operate, communicate, and collaborate across borders. 

Nearshoring to Mexico Allows Diverse Teams & New Talent Pools 

The unique aspects of cross-cultural communication and collaboration have long been a subject of study in the business industry. While the challenges of cross-cultural teams have not been erased, studies suggest that diverse teams can yield more creativity. 

In 2021, Harvard Business Review explored the impact of diversity in virtual teams. The conclusion was that virtual teams can benefit from what HBR called contextual diversity. This refers to differences in environments that people live in: types of institutions, political systems, social surroundings. These differences shape the perspectives that people from different countries can bring to the table. In the case of Latin America and the U.S, the cultures are closely aligned and have a lot of overlap but with enough contextual differences that make for a diversity of thought ripe for creativity and collaboration. 

Don’t get us wrong, LATAM cultures are multifaceted and diverse within themselves. There exists a different dynamic and culture within each Latin American country. In Mexico, for example, there is a different way of measuring seniority levels with software developers. It’s what we refer to as the experience gap. A senior developer in the U.S is considered an intermediate developer in Mexico. Differences like this can cause some confusion, but as a hiring partner, CodersLink, helps companies become aware, understand, and iron out these differences to get the most out of their remote hires. 

And yet, Mexico has a lot of shared cultural similarities given the proximity of the countries and the trade agreements that have facilitated commercial and cultural back and forth within the nations for many years. 

The Latin American Tech Ecosystem as a New Talent Pool 

Latin America has been a formidable player in the software industry game for a few years now. It is only in the past few years, however, that the reality on the ground captured the attention of foreign companies and foreign investment. 

In Mexico, for example, the number of graduating software developers reached 130,000 per year. Colombia graduates about 84,000, Brazil 450,000, and Costa Rica 4,000. The governments of some of these countries have built initiatives to encourage STEM education, thereby fueling a generation with the skills they need to enter the tech world. 

Companies like Google, Pinterest, and LinkedIn have all set up shop in places like Mexico, opening up engineering centers and remote teams to supplement their headquarters at home. 

Remote Tech Teams are Setting the Path for the Future 

We’ve all noticed the change in the way we work. The trends speak for themselves: (despite some resistance) remote work is here to stay, people seek more meaningful connections with their job, and remote teams are redefining the way innovation happens. 

In some ways, we are at the crosspath of this new work paradigm—on the ground floor, so to speak. This is not without precedent, of course. International teams have existed for some time but never with these many tools and never in a fast-paced environment as we have today. Just a few years ago, studies on remote virtual teams suggested that a lack of social and emotional connection among team members affected an organization’s ability to build trust within its team. The tools that exist today already take this into heavy consideration and have improved the way remote teams can build rapport and social connections. 

Already there are enough tools out there to help teams collaborate and better perform their jobs. Tools like Slack, Zoom, and all-encompassing project management tools. These tools will only  improve as our experience with remote teams is widened in scope and duration. And yet, remote teams out there now have enough at their disposal to lock in to a system and set of tools that best works for them. 

In some ways, the remote tech teams right now are defining the new rules of engagement and creating their own path forward in a future that is headed toward continued technological innovation.

Nearshoring to Mexico Provides Opportunities for Your Remote Team 

The tech talent shortage in the U.S. led companies to look for talent in other regions. Yet, the increased demand for digital transformation means that countries all over the world are training software developers and engineers, creating a global supply of top-level talent. Nearshoring is a solution to finding tech talent in a location that is geographically near.

CodersLink has had a presence in Mexico for several years. Since then, we have helped companies find software developers, engineers, and other in-demand IT positions. Beyond that, we provide support to ensure that the known challenges of remote teams are addressed and minimized. Because we know this is relatively new territory for many, our goal is to bridge that gap, understand both sides, and help companies start their remote teams on the right path—whether they hire one software developer or a whole team. 

Our team of specialized IT recruiters work with companies in a close capacity to understand their needs and seek out the talent that fits the position. Want to learn more about our process?

Connect with our team today. 

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Tech Salaries Report 2024: The top IT salary guide for Mexico and Latin America

The battle for tech talent is in full swing. This comprehensive report serves as a multi-dimensional look into the unique and growing tech hiring market in Mexico and Latin America. The Mexico Tech Salaries Report 2023 serves as a useful salary guide and benchmarking tool for companies looking to stay competitive and snatch up the region’s best developers, engineers, and tech talent.