Hiring Software Developers in South America: A Complete Guide

Table Of Content

South America has become a promising destination for hiring software developers. The region boasts a pool of skilled professionals with various talents and expertise. The South American tech scene has seen significant growth in recent years, attracting both local and international companies in search of exceptional software development talent.

In this blog post, we'll examine the advantages of hiring software developers from South America. We'll delve into the region's burgeoning tech ecosystem and explain why many companies prefer South America when expanding their development teams.

advantages of hiring in south america

1. Why South America for Software Development Talent

South America is an excellent destination for hiring software development talent. It offers a diverse pool of skilled professionals, contributing to a dynamic tech ecosystem. Companies from around the world are attracted to the region's growth in the global tech scene.

In addition to a talented workforce, South America provides cost-effective software development expertise. Salaries for developers in the region are generally lower than in North America or Europe.

Language proficiency is another advantage in South America. Tech professionals in countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia are often highly proficient in English, enabling smooth communication with international teams.

Furthermore, the region's time zone compatibility with North America allows for real-time communication and collaboration.

Hiring full-time developers in South America offers unique benefits. The region has a large pool of skilled developers, and the relatively low cost of living enhances its appeal. The time zone similarity with North America simplifies collaboration with remote teams, making South America an ideal choice for businesses seeking cost savings and skilled developers.

Benefits of Hiring Full-Time Developers in South America

1. Access to Highly Skilled Developers

Hiring full-time developers in South America provides the opportunity to tap into a pool of highly skilled professionals. Latin America is emerging as a leader in the global tech scene, with a 156% increase in foreign companies hiring from the region. Software engineers, in particular, are in high demand, indicating a substantial talent pool available for companies looking to hire dedicated software developers or teams at a lower cost compared to other regions.

2. Cost Effectiveness

Cost-effectiveness is a significant advantage of hiring full-time developers in South America. Compared to in-house hiring, this approach can save businesses a substantial amount, especially for North American companies, given the lower cost of living and labor in South America. According to Deloitte, 87% of IT companies are considering nearshore outsourcing as a cost-cutting strategy, highlighting the popularity of outsourcing for businesses aiming to maximize their return on investment while accessing top talent.

benefits of hiring developers in south america

2. Tips for Hiring  Software Developers in South America

Building remote teams and hiring software developers in South America can present unique challenges and opportunities. Here are some tips for effectively building and managing your remote team:

1. Define your project requirements: Before starting the hiring process, it is important to clearly define your project requirements. Identify the specific skills and experience necessary for your software development project or to enhance your team.

2. Choose the right country: South America offers a variety of countries with different cultures and languages. Consider the specific needs of your project and choose the country that best aligns with those requirements. Factors such as language proficiency, cultural compatibility, and time zone proximity should be taken into account.

3. Find the right partner: When hiring nearshore software developers in South America, it's important to find the right partner. Look for a company or service provider that understands your business needs and has experience working with remote teams. They can help you navigate the local talent market and ensure successful collaboration.

4. Interview candidates effectively: Once you have identified potential candidates, conduct thorough interviews to assess their skills and experience. Remote interviews can be conducted using video conferencing tools to evaluate candidates' technical abilities, communication skills, and cultural fit.

5. Establish clear communication channels: Effective communication is crucial for successful remote teams. Establish clear communication channels such as project management tools, instant messaging platforms, and regular video meetings. Encourage open and transparent communication to foster collaboration and alignment.

6. Set expectations from the beginning: Clearly define roles, responsibilities, and expectations for your remote team members. Establish guidelines for work hours, availability, and response times. This helps create a sense of structure and accountability within the team.

7. Promote cross-cultural understanding: Remote teams in South America may have different cultural backgrounds and work styles. Foster cross-cultural understanding and promote diversity within your team. Encourage open dialogue and respect for different perspectives to enhance collaboration and innovation.

tips for hiring developers in south america

By following these tips, you can successfully build remote teams and hire nearshore software developers in South America for your software development projects.

💡 To learn more about Where To Start And How To Hire Full-Time Software Developers In South America read this blog post

Now that we've examined the benefits of hiring full-time developers in South America, let's discuss some tips for building an effective remote team.

3. Optimizing Hiring Strategies in Economic Uncertainty

Hiring full-time software developers in times of economic uncertainty demands strategic approaches that balance the need for top talent with budget constraints. South America emerges as a prime solution, offering cost-effective options through nearshore outsourcing. Here, we explore effective hiring strategies in the region while providing advice on budget management.

I.  Leveraging Nearshore Outsourcing in South America:

Nearshore outsourcing in South America offers advantages in economic uncertainty:

  • Cost Savings: South American countries offer highly skilled software developers at a fraction of the cost in North America or Europe, typically 50% to 80% less. This is crucial for businesses with tight budgets.
  • Cultural Affinity: Strong cultural ties with the United States and Europe facilitate seamless communication and collaboration with remote teams, ensuring understanding of project requirements.
  • Time Zone Alignment: South American time zones align well with North America and Europe, simplifying scheduling and real-time communication.

Partnering with an experienced company in South American nearshore outsourcing ensures compliance with local laws and regulations.

II.  Working with Freelancers:

For short-term or project-based needs, collaborating with freelancers offers a cost-effective solution. Although freelancers may charge higher hourly rates, the pay-as-you-go model eliminates continuous payments after project completion, making them budget-friendly for companies with tight financial constraints.

III. Flexibility in Hiring Requirements:

During economic uncertainty, flexibility in hiring requirements is crucial. Companies can:

  • Expand Experience Criteria: Instead of rigid experience demands, consider candidates with 2-3 years of experience or assess experience based on skills rather than years. This widens the pool of qualified candidates.
  • Adjust Language Proficiency: Relaxing overly stringent language proficiency requirements allows access to a broader selection of skilled software developers in South America without compromising effective communication.

IV. Utilizing an Employer of Record:

Consider partnering with a company or employer of record to enhance cost management and legal compliance. These entities handle administrative tasks, ensuring compliance with local labor laws and regulations and reducing operational costs for companies. They also provide support in HR, accounting, and legal aspects, making them beneficial for companies lacking in-house resources or expertise.

Using a company or employer of record streamlines processes while still requiring compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Incorporating nearshore outsourcing, working with freelancers, adjusting hiring requirements, and partnering with a company or employer of record are effective strategies that can be customized based on project needs.

Combined with prudent budget management, these strategies enable companies to secure top software developers while minimizing costs and legal responsibilities.

💡 To learn more about Strategies for finding and hiring full-time software developers in South America during economic uncertainty, read this blog post

With the understanding of hiring strategies during economic uncertainty, let's now examine the top destinations in South America for remote software development talent.

4. Top Destinations in South America for Remote Software Development Talent

South America has emerged as a prime destination for hiring remote software developers, offering several unique advantages for companies looking to tap into the region's tech talent.  However, it's crucial to note that the choice of the "best" country depends on your specific needs, budget, and cultural considerations.

1. Peru:

  • Cultural Compatibility: Peru is known for its strong cultural compatibility and programming expertise, making it a preferred choice for multinational companies.
  • Technical Excellence: Peru boasts a high percentage of science and engineering graduates, providing a talent-rich pool for hiring software developers.
  • Innovation Focus: The country performs well in global innovation indices, indicating its focus on innovation and potential for technological advancements.

2. Colombia:

  • Growing Tech Scene: Cities like Bogota and Medellin have rapidly growing tech scenes, attracting both startups and established tech companies.
  • Abundant Tech Graduates: Colombia produces around 84,000 tech graduates annually, expanding the talent pool.
  • Strategic Location: Its time zone is aligned with the US Central Standard Time and short travel distances make Colombia accessible for US-based recruitment teams.

3. Uruguay:

  • Highly Skilled Workforce: Uruguay is home to a highly educated workforce, making it a hub for IT professionals.
  • Robust Education System: It boasts a robust education system, with a focus on STEM fields, creating a talent pool of skilled and experienced software developers.
  • Proficiency in English: Uruguayans are proficient in English and have a good understanding of international business practices.

4. Chile:

  • Innovation Ecosystem: Chile has a strong innovation ecosystem supported by the government, making it an attractive destination for the growth of the IT industry.
  • High Education Quality: A high literacy rate and a growing number of graduates in science and engineering fields contribute to a skilled talent pool.
  • Attracting Tech Giants: Companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services have invested in Chile, recognizing its potential.

5. Argentina:

  • Skilled Workforce: Argentina is known for its large pool of skilled software developers and a strong technical education system.
  • Cost-Efficiency: The cost of hiring software developers in Argentina is relatively lower compared to some other South American countries.
  • High English Proficiency: Argentina boasts the highest English proficiency in the region, facilitating communication with international teams.

6. Brazil:

  • Vast Talent Pool: Brazil is the largest economy in South America, with a vast talent pool of over 500,000 IT professionals.
  • Strong Tech Ecosystem: Major tech hubs in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro make Brazil a prominent destination for software development teams.
  • Education System: Brazil has over 2,600 public and private universities offering software engineering programs.

Each South American country has its own advantages for remote software development teams. To make an informed choice, conduct thorough research, consult local sources, and consider factors like skills, experience, local market conditions, and cost of living. Collaborating with local experts or recruitment agencies can provide valuable insights into salary trends and hiring practices.

After identifying the top destinations for hiring, let's examine the salary ranges for software developers in these South American countries

Salaries for Software Developers in South America

When hiring remote software developers in South America, it's crucial to consider salary ranges in each country. Below is an overview of approximate ranges for software developers in top South American destinations.


  • Junior developers: Starting from USD 17,000 per year.
  • Mid-level developers: Typically around USD 24,000 per year.
  • Senior and highly specialized profiles: Can go up to USD 72,000 per year.


  • Mid-level developers: Starting from USD 26,000 per year.
  • Senior professionals: Ranging from USD 48,000 per year.


  • Junior developers: Starting at $3,000 - USD 4,000 per month.
  • Mid-level developers: Typically earning $4,000 - USD 6,000 per month.
  • Senior developers: Ranging from $6,000 - USD 9,000 per month.


  • The median annual salary for programmers goes up to USD 77,400, with varying salaries based on expertise and experience.


  • Junior developers: Starting from USD 20,000 per year.
  • Mid-level developers: Ranging from $30,000 - USD 50,000 per year.
  • Senior developers: Salary levels can be higher, reflecting their experience and expertise.


  • Junior developers: Typically earning $1,000 - USD 2,000 per month.
  • Mid-level developers: Ranging from $2,000 - USD 4,000 per month.
  • Senior developers: Earning $4,000 - USD 8,000 per month, depending on experience.

Salary figures are approximate and can vary based on factors such as expertise, English proficiency, experience, and project requirements. Consider whether you're hiring contractors or full-time employees, as this can impact salary structures.

When assessing costs, conduct thorough research and consult local sources for accurate information. Collaborating with local experts or recruitment agencies can provide insights into salary trends and hiring practices in each country.

💡 Learn more about the top destinations in South America for hiring tech talent in this blog post

5. Payroll and Tax Regulations for Hiring Developers in South America

When hiring developers in South America, it's important to understand the payroll and tax regulations specific to each country. Here, we will provide an example of the legal aspects of hiring employees in Colombia and offer details about the alternative of hiring contractors to simplify the process.

Contractors: The Agile Approach

When opting for contractors, the recruitment process involves finding the right fit for your company. Local agencies, like BetterWay Devs, can offer specialized insights and effective sourcing channels, streamlining the search for top-tier talent.

Developing a service agreement is a crucial step in engaging independent contractors. While not legally mandatory, a formal agreement sets clear expectations for both parties, contributing to a transparent working relationship.

Understanding the legal requirements for independent contractors in Colombia is essential. BetterWay Devs offers an innovative model that enhances contractor support, providing benefits similar to employees without the complications of a formal labor contract.

Exploring healthcare and insurance packages beyond the public healthcare system is a strategic move. Companies can leverage offerings from providers like Sura and Sanitas to enhance the attractiveness of their contractor packages.

Employees: Navigating the Complexity

To hire employees in Colombia, you need to have a legal entity in the country. This requires a comprehensive written contract, preferably in Spanish, that clearly outlines important employment terms. Another option for companies is to use an Employer of Record (EOR) service, which offers a simplified process without the need to establish a legal entity.

Compliance with payroll and tax laws is a critical aspect of hiring employees. Employers must register with tax authorities, obtain a Tax Identification Number (NIT), and adhere to labor laws, including the recently reduced 42-hour workweek. Seeking expert assistance is advised to navigate the complexity of the Colombian labor system.

Employers are obligated to make various contributions, including social security, parafiscal, and mandatory benefits. Understanding these contributions, the payroll cycle, and mandatory employee benefits is crucial for legal compliance and fostering a positive working environment.

In conclusion, the choice between hiring contractors and employees in Colombia is a strategic decision that involves a nuanced understanding of legal requirements and workforce priorities. By prioritizing compliance and seeking expert guidance, companies can confidently expand their operations in Colombia and access the talent they need.

💡 To learn more about payroll and tax regulations for hiring software developers in Colombia, read this blog post

6. Finding the Right Software Developers: A Comparison of Asia vs South America

When weighing Asia against South America for outsourcing software developers, companies must consider key factors. This comparison focuses on nearshore vs. offshore options, time zones, cultural alignment, language skills, and talent availability.

Nearshore vs. Offshore: Companies must decide between nearshore (neighboring country) and offshore (farther away) outsourcing. Nearshore ensures better communication and collaboration, while offshore offers cost savings and a broader talent pool but may have time zone challenges.

Time Zones: South American countries align well with U.S. time zones for real-time communication, whereas Asia (e.g., India) operates in a different time zone, enabling overnight work advantages.

Cultural Affinity: South America shares cultural similarities with the U.S., fostering understanding. In Asia, high English proficiency and a large bilingual talent pool are assets.

Developer Salaries: Both South America and Asia provide cost savings compared to the U.S. India typically offers lower salaries due to a large talent pool and lower living costs, while South American salaries vary but are competitive.

In summary, both Asia and South America present financially advantageous options for developer salaries. However, considerations like cultural alignment, language capabilities, and time zone disparities are crucial in the outsourcing decision-making process.

💡 To learn more  about  South America vs. Asia for hiring software developers read this blog post

7.  South American Developers: A Global Tech Force

Latin America's software developers are playing a significant role in the global tech landscape. Their impact is felt across multiple aspects, and South American tech talent is reshaping the digital world.

Reasons for Latin America's Growth

  • Increasing Internet and Mobile Computing Access: The rapid spread of Internet connectivity and smartphones has led to a surge in Internet users and mobile app usage in Latin America. Software developers in the region are capitalizing on this trend by creating applications and digital platforms tailored for the local market.
  • Growing Technology-Sector Investment: Latin America has become a hub for technology-sector investment, generating job opportunities for software developers and accelerating their professional growth.
  • A Growing Number of Tech Professionals: Tech-related education programs, government initiatives, and a cultural shift towards embracing technology careers have led to an increase in tech professionals, fostering a vibrant tech community.

Unique Abilities and Perspectives of Latin American Tech Professionals

  • Bilingualism and Multicultural Abilities: Many South American developers are proficient in both English and Spanish, enabling them to work effectively with international teams and clients.
  • Problem-Solving and Creativity: South American developers are known for their strong problem-solving skills and creativity, which encourages innovative solutions.
  • Adaptability and Versatility: Latin American developers excel in navigating changing environments, technologies, and project requirements.
  • Collaboration and Teamwork: South American tech talent brings a collaborative mindset to their work, thriving in settings that encourage open communication and collective problem-solving.
  • Socially Conscious Innovation: South American tech talent often incorporates a socially conscious approach to their work, addressing regional challenges through technology solutions.

In conclusion, South American software developers are shaping the global tech scene through their innovation, entrepreneurship, cost-effectiveness, technical expertise, and collaborative communities. Latin America's tech industry is an exciting and influential part of the digital world.

💡 For more details about this topic read this blog post

9. Future Trends and Outlook in Tech Hiring in South America

Continued Tech Hiring from LATAM Due to Developer Shortages in the U.S. and Canada

Foremost among the future trends is the projected shortage of developers in the U.S. and Canada, which will further incentivize North American companies to source talent from Latin America. Given the considerable pool of software developers in Latin America, coupled with their strong technical skills, English proficiency, and affordable costs, the region is set to see a significant increase in tech hiring.

Companies are placing more emphasis on soft skills in tech recruitment, recognizing that these skills drive 75% of employment success, compared to technical skills at 25%. To attract talent, offering perks like flexible hours, health insurance, and paid time off is crucial. Hard skills such as data analysis, cloud computing, and cybersecurity are gaining prominence due to AI and machine learning. Focusing on fostering a positive company culture is becoming increasingly important for attracting and retaining top talent.


South America is an attractive option for hiring software developers due to its rich pool of talent, cost-effectiveness, English proficiency, and time zone compatibility. The region offers diverse skills and a vibrant tech ecosystem. However, there are challenges with remote teams that need to be addressed. Strategic approaches such as nearshore outsourcing and adjusting hiring requirements can help minimize costs and legal responsibilities. Overall, South America is a valuable source of software development talent.

If you are looking for a reliable partner to help you start this journey, don't hesitate to contact BetterWay Devs, learn more about our model here, or schedule a call with an expert to start building a great team.

Paula Tellez

BetterWay Devs Inbound Marketing Manager


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