Colombia offers a valuable resource for businesses looking to expand by providing access to highly skilled tech talent that can be indispensable for their growth.
Colombia has become well-known as Latin America’s Silicon Valley. Big tech companies like Netflix, Uber, and Google have found the potential this beautiful country has to thrive in a globalized and competitive tech business.
Colombia did not become the desired destination for tech companies overnight. Because of the rise of the guerrillas in the 1960s and the extensive drug trafficking problems in the 1980s, Colombia almost became a failed state. Nevertheless, globalization campaigns created by the government as of the economic opening in the mid-90s, as well as billionaire investments made by local and multinational companies throughout the 2000s, established the pillars of a prospering tech market in Latin America. In addition, the 2012 peace treaty with the most long-lasting guerilla significantly impacted the tech hub created in Colombia’s main cities like Bogota and Medellin.
Nowadays, a highly qualified workforce with professional backgrounds, outstanding technical skills, and English proficiency can be quickly recruited due to the country’s legal regulations and offshore advantages. This article will walk you through what’s essential to consider when hiring the best tech talent in Colombia and how to do it.
Where is Colombia’s Tech Talent?
Let's start with one of the most innovative cities worldwide. Medellin is a big tech hub in Latin America, and has grown through local development and international investment. Multiple American multinational companies and two of the biggest Asian giants (Huawei and Tuya Smart) have chosen this groundbreaking city to establish bases in the region.
According to World Finance, Medellin is one of the Top 5 Latin American tech hubs in 2021, along with Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, and Buenos Aires. Nowadays, Medellin is associated with positive adjectives such as innovative, open, and dynamic, keeping Time Magazine's description of the "world's most dangerous city" back in 1988.
The city went through a rigorous plan of action to create the specially-developed Innovation District. It emerges around the complex route N, designed to promote innovation and collaboration between startups, hoping to grow the city's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Since 2012, the complex route N has hosted around 320 companies from more than 30 countries, creating over 8,000 jobs.
The former CEO of Coursera and founder of the Google Brain project, Andrew Ng, selected Medellin as the second headquarter for the projects. Deeplearning.ai is the AI Fund startup studio for constructing AI companies, and Landing.ai allows startups to use Artificial Intelligence.
"We're equally thrilled for our Silicon Valley team to be learning from the Medellin community. Local knowledge and innovation shared with a global community are what will catapult the technology forward." Said Ng, at the opening announcement in August 2018.
At the heart of the country, Colombia's biggest city and capital is home to one of the most dynamic and vast startup ecosystems in Latin America. Rappi, Merqueo, PayU, RobinFood, Frubana, Liftit, and Addi have gotten at least $220M in total investment. They form a vivid image of Bogota's tech potential.
In 2021, the city's tech ecosystem is facing new challenges. Bogotá is funding blockchain development with $2.3M as part of the city's broader investment in innovative technologies. The program is called Hub Blockchain Bogota. The municipality will provide funds to local startups as part of the city's aim to stimulate innovation, technology, and creative industries.
According to the Bogota Post, the tech hub in Bogotá provides a tremendous array of opportunities. Bogota is already home to 55% of the country's digital animation and video game companies, one of the leading tech industries globally. Moreover, the city prioritizes the IT industry as one of its primary areas for investment.
Along with establishing innovation hubs in Colombia, cities are now focusing on tech education to provide the most qualified workforce available. Because of this, foreign companies and multinationals are taking advantage of highly skilled workers in the region. Bogota's best universities like the Andes University, the Javeriana University, and the Sabana University, offer a broad, solid academic structure and are stepping up in the tech area. Medellin's most outstanding universities, such as EAFIT, La Salle University, and the University of Medellin, are also leading the way towards creating one of the best tech hubs in Latin America.
According to Colombia's Ministry of Education, between the y 2001 and 2010, more than 100,000 Computer Science graduates graduated in Medellín, making it fourth on the list of careers with the highest number of graduates in Colombia. This, combined with geographical advantages, the latest infrastructure technology, tech skills, and excellent English proficiency, makes Colombian talents highly equipped to take on all sorts of tech jobs.
Compared to other emerging Latin American digital ecosystems, Colombia is one of the region's most promising and competitive tech hubs. While Bogota is still Colombia's largest startup ecosystem, the groundbreaking city of Medellin is attracting international ventures, and both cities are contributing to the country's growth.
Should you hire tech talent in Colombia?
Based on internal research made by Teilur Talent, great tech candidates with +3 to +7 years of experience can be recruited for positions with salaries between $2,500 per month to $4,000 per month in Colombia, depending on their professional background.
The investigation concluded that it might be easier to find veteran tech talent (V.P.) in the U.S. However, Jr. and mid-level talent staff in Colombia can compete head to head with candidates in San Francisco and New York. Most candidates in Colombia take online initiatives like certifications and courses provided by Coursera, Dataquest, or MIT, which is a similar type of training available to digital workers in the most prominent tech hubs such as San Francisco and New York.
Given the vast amount of knowledge about online tools and technologies, one of the challenges for U.S. companies when hiring in Colombia is proficiency in the English language. Therefore, it’s essential to understand that candidates have prepared their English business skills while we make sure that they align with the company’s core values.
Colombia’s Remote Infrastructure
Although Colombia has many rural areas without access to a good internet connection, major cities like Bogota, Medellin, Pereira, Cali, and Barranquilla own excellent web services, having internet providers that offer up to 200 Mbps. Colombia's top wireless infrastructure allows tech staff to have the same support as if they lived within the US.
A lot of collaborative workspaces have been developed due to the remote working environment. It is expected that coworking office spaces will increase by 100% in Colombia by the end of 2021. Big names in the region such as WeWork, Regus, and Co-Work Latam have adopted the worldwide tech needs and implemented them into state-of-the-art offices in Colombia's leading tech hubs.
Expert engineers working in Colombia's tech industry have developed high-tech services for remote infrastructure management, software development, and maintenance of software applications for companies of diverse industries. Thanks to the continuous investment in traditional and innovative tech, endeavors in Colombia will make the country a central hub for technology in Latin America.
How to find the right tech talent in Colombia
Understanding the candidates' background, where they've previously worked, and where they've studied is crucial to finding the right candidate. Even though physical barriers are being torn down by remote work, US companies face multiple challenges when hiring in Latin America, and most of the problems begin with legal compliances.
If you're a CEO or Founder of an innovative startup that is looking for great tech talent, Teilur Talent is the right solution for you!
Teilur Talent is the top IT recruiting and staffing firm in Latin America and you can access to our exclusive network of top Engineers, Software Developers, Product Designers & Data Experts by clicking here.