Why Build A Remote Tech Team in Latin America

Benefits & Insurance | Tax & Compliance | Office Space & Equipment | Expenses & Travel

Top 4 Reasons to Choose Latin America for Your Next Office or Campus Location


Whether you need to grow across all disciplines, identify certain hard-to-find specialists, or stabilize turnover and attrition, you’ll eventually need to choose a secondary location to assemble a software development team.

There is simply too much demand and not enough supply of technical talent in the U.S. for a growing business to rely on a single region or campus for recruiting.

And even if your business isn’t growing—and you can afford the local talent—nobody is immune from the high costs of turnover and attrition in the tech sector, where even Dropbox and Tesla can only keep their employees 2.1 years; Square 2.3 years; and Facebook 2.5 years.

Simply put, the now universal acceptance of remote work and hybrid work models means that your local talent is no longer limited to the opportunities in their own backyards. You shouldn’t be either. After all, remote work has sustained software development in the U.S. or decades—long before the 2020 pandemic proved that commuting to the office everyday wasn’t really a job requirement.

India and Eastern Europe initially emerged to fill these gaps—with an emphasis on affordability and the reliability of their supply. And dozens of countries now compete to provide outsourced projects and teams to the gig economy. But as these work products have become more visible, these roles have become more vital—challenging the entire premise of outsourcing while elevating the importance of culture, transparency, and accountability that can only be achieved through dedicated employees in a region that offers on-demand accessibility.
Latin America

Mexico a Case Study

Top 4 Reasons To Choose Mexico

Every year Mexico produces more IT graduates than the U.S.​

1. Mexico Has The Right Supply Questions.

The technical talent gaps in the U.S. needs no further documentation: IT-related job postings increase 30% each year while over 1 million of these positions never get filled. And the demand for software engineers now comes from virtually every industry and geographic region—well beyond those well-funded SaaS startups in Boston, Austin, and San Francisco. But while the U.S. produces only 100,000 IT graduates each year, Mexico produces 130,000. And with a young and increasingly educated population—where over 3 million students are currently enrolled in a college or university—Mexico is poised to further its influence in North America.

In fact, the Mexican government is so committed to solving the world’s technology talent shortage that since 2006 it has opened over 140 tuition-free colleges and universities that specifically specialize in technology curriculums while adding IT Engineering accreditations to 96 existing institutions. The Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM) alone boasts 30 campuses in 25 cities. ITESM is so good at attracting and producing software engineers that Carnegie Mellon formed a joint masters in software engineering management program through its Heinz College of Information Systems. This is the kind of political and educational environment that American companies should be looking to bet on.

Proximity and shared timezones enable real-time collaboration

2. Mexico Has The Right Accessibility

No matter how much you value your offshore team, the communication challenges are real. By 9:00 AM in Chicago it’s already 5:00 PM in Ukraine and Belarus; 8:00 PM or later in India. And if you want to reach that team before their day begins, you’ll need to schedule that call for no earlier than 10:00 PM CST.

In contrast, virtually all of Mexico’s talent resides in the CST timezone. This allows for instant, on-demand, real-time communication across all communication channels and across all U.S. geographies. Questions gets asked and answered, bugs get reported and fixed, and impromptu collaboration sessions advance agile development frameworks—all throughout the same work day!

As for in-person accessibility, the U.S. and Mexico all share over 1,961 miles of border and 50 points of vehicle entry. And with 300 daily flights to Mexico, even in-and-out trips can be scheduled in a single day. This makes it extremely convenient to visit your remote team and significantly reduces the time and costs of travel—permitting more in person visits and meetings that help build a greater sense trust, loyalty, and camaraderie, among team members, managers, and executives.

Unrivaled work ethic with a core value of familial loyalty

3. Mexico Has The Right Culture

Mexico’s proximity to the U.S. also contributes to its unrivaled cultural compatibility. With hundreds of books dedicated to the subject—our favorite being The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni—culture is probably the single most important factor to consider when choosing where to open a secondary tech office or campus.

Beyond the educated and urban demographics where English fluency is a requirement, American television, music, sports, and politics permeate the region. American brands now market and export the products and services that Mexican professionals increasingly consume. As a result, the majority of IT professionals in Mexico are either sufficiently proficient in English or fully bilingual.

Another stabilizing factor is Mexico’s renowned work ethic and core value of familial loyalty—both of which spill over into every aspect of one’s life and career. As a result, U.S. businesses are rewarded with loyal and dedicated employees who admire and aspire to be a part of the world’s leading economic engine. In fact, securing a job with a U.S. business is oftentimes the ultimate career goal for a software developer in Mexico—an accomplishment they will be unlikely to take for granted. 

Sadly, even the U.S. businesses that have embraced the region still don’t share their best projects with their Mexican teams. As a result, the most talented engineers are eager to join a U.S. team that promises the opportunity to work on highly technical and visible projects that directly impact the brand’s image and the customer’s journey. So, the businesses that do offer these opportunities will not only find it easier to initially recruit and hire in the region, but will reap further benefits by keeping the talent they assemble. Junior engineers will stay to become mid-level, and mid-level engineers will more quickly become the senior leaders that are able to share their knowledge and experiences over the course of many years—further strengthening the bonds of loyalty and productivity of both the team and your company as a whole.

Lastly, the rule of law is also deeply ingrained into the Mexican culture where employment agreements, privacy and security policies, and IP protections are not only assumptions of the employer/employee contract, but diligently followed and enforced by law.

Unrivaled blend of affordability and quality of life

4. Mexico Has The Right Economics

While the standard of living in the tech-hub corridors of GuadalajaraMonterrey, and Mexico City are virtually indistinguishable from even the most developed regions in America, Mexico’s currency and significantly lower cost of living make it an economically attractive location to establish a software development team.

The government and private sector continue to heavily invest in these hi-growth regions creating a modern infrastructure of connectivity, transportation, and tech parks that include the same kind of work/life balance amenities that would rival a Google Campus. Yet the food and housing remain considerably less than the U.S. average. As a result, technical salaries in Mexico are more affordable as well. While some rare skill-sets still command top dollar, the percentage of cost savings are typically based on the candidate’s experience level.

Predominantly spanning digital agencies and SaaS providers—reveal that junior software engineers are generally 60% less expensive, mid-level engineers 50% less, and senior engineers 40% less.

And these are an ‘all-in’ costs that include payroll taxes, health insurance, savings plans, holidays, vacation, and other perks.

This comparable affordability does not mean that you should expect less. On the contrary, a well-rounded team in Mexico will likely outpace its American counterparts. These rates are simply a reflection of Mexico’s economy in comparison to that of the United States where the extreme talent gaps have driven up software development salaries to artificially high levels.

Key Takeaways

Once you have decided to embrace the benefits of the new normal that is remote work, there are still many factors to consider when deciding what region to begin assembling your remote team.

Affordability and reliability of supply are imperative to ensuring that your investments will prove to be profitable and sustainable. But disparate cultures, languages, and time zones can make communication difficult and impact productivity.

If you agree that Mexico is uniquely appealing, we hope that you will reach out to learn about our expertise in recruiting software engineers in Mexico—as well as the Payroll and HR services in Mexico we can provide as your local PEO and EoR. While we interview and screen our potential partners with the same zeal that we interview and screen our talent, we look forward to learning about your business.

We love technology and the people that create it.

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Central Standard is a technical talent and recruiting agency that specializes in helping U.S. businesses assemble and retain high-performance software development teams in the central time zone that is Mexico.

We are not a development shop – i.e., we do not take on projects or attempt to arbitrage labor. Rather, we help a select group of partners screen and interview technical talent to bring onboard as their own permanent employees.

Operating at the epicenter of the Mexican Silicon Valley, our unique focus and commitment to the region and its abundant supply of world-class engineers sets us apart. We love technology, and are experts at identifying and screening for smart, fluent, ambitious talent across all disciplines. But our love for the people that create the technology propels our mission: to curate the opportunities that allow our clients to achieve their loftiest career goals and ambitions.

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