How to Hire LATAM Developers

As technology evolves and businesses grow more reliant on software, IT decision-makers know that hiring the best software developers wherever they are will be especially important more than ever for their growth. To scale and meet the rising demand for tech talent, North American companies are rewriting their workforce strategies to include hiring remote-fluent LATAM developers for their short or long-term projects. This adaptive hiring model provides greater flexibility to quickly respond to evolving needs by deploying skilled nearshore LATAM developers with a high-overlap with preferred time zones based on need. 

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But with such high demand for LATAM developers, finding the right person for the job can become challenging. Moreover, hiring the wrong person can lead to costly mistakes, delayed projects, and missed opportunities. That’s why it’s important to understand how to hire LATAM developers successfully.

In this article, we’ll explore practical tips and best practices to help you find and hire the right nearshore software developers in Latin America for your organization.

What does a software developer do?

While the specific duties may vary depending on the organization, software developers are typically tasked with a combination of technical and management functions. 

At the beginning of a project, software developers usually meet with business leaders to learn about a company’s needs. They then manage software creation or build new software to meet those needs. A software developer will code the software using the pertinent programming language or supervise a team that does so.

Many of the best LATAM developers now choose to work as independent contractors. This method of operating offers professionals certain benefits, like working at the time and place they choose and selecting the projects they want to work on.

Depending on the industry they’re operating in, software developer roles and responsibilities may look very different. Software development projects can vary in complexity and scope. For example, a single tweak to your company’s working app will require much less effort than designing an entire user application from scratch.

Hiring LATAM developers brings benefits for employers. For instance, it allows your business to select from a larger and more diverse talent pool instead of hiring only software developers based in your locale. It also allows businesses to quickly fill gaps and acquire new skill sets. This ensures projects are delivered faster giving you faster time to market and increasing your flexibility for project-based hiring.

Essential software developer skills

A software developer must have a distinctive set of technical and soft skills. Here are the top software developer skills to look for to enhance effective team collaboration and efficient software development and delivery.

Technical skills

A developer must have several technical/hard skills to oversee the creation of software. They should be familiar with a variety of coding languages and frameworks. The specific languages and software systems a software developer needs to be proficient in may vary depending on the projects they’ll be undertaking.

Usually, software developers fall into one of these three categories:

  • Front-end developer. Front-end developers are responsible for everything a user sees on a website or mobile app. Their primary concern is how a website or app behaves when someone uses it. Developers like these usually use languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to give users the best experience.
  • Back-end developer. Back-end developers write the code that establishes the functionality of an application or website. To put it simply, back-end developers do the groundwork that allows front-end software to operate. These developers use languages like Python, PHP, and Java to accomplish this goal.
  • Full-stack developer. Full-stack developers are masters in both front-end and back-end development. They’re proficient in back-end projects like writing application programming interfaces (APIs) or front-end projects like writing JavaScript code.

While full-stack developers usually have the broadest skills and experience, they also tend to be more expensive. If the scope of your project only needs a certain type of development, you may be able to save money by hiring a specialized developer.

Soft skills

Software developers need to be able to collaborate and communicate clearly in order to work with the members of their team effectively.

For example, if a developer is the team leader, it’s their job to reiterate the client’s needs and vision to the rest of the team, with the appropriate translation from user language to technical specs. The project lead will need to arrange check-ins with team members to ensure they’re on track and able to meet deadlines. At the end of the project, they’ll also have to work with their team to test every aspect of the new application or website to make sure it works well.

Even after a project is finished, a software developer is accountable to maintain it and make sure it continues to meet the client’s needs. For this to work, the developer must always keep an open line of communication between the development team and your client team.

‍Soft skills are more than just communication and collaboration. Flexibility, emotional intelligence, adaptability, analytical skills, and problem-solving are all key soft skills that software developers need to succeed in the workplace.

How to hire LATAM developers: a step-by-step guide

Hiring a LATAM developer can be a complex and challenging task, it requires a unique approach and it’s crucial to get it right if you want your software development project to succeed. The following section provides actionable steps and strategies to help you streamline your hiring process and find the best latin american developers for your team.

Step 1: Identify your needs

When it comes to hiring LATAM developers, the first step is to determine your project needs. This involves defining the following things from your end:

  • Job requirements. Outline the specific skills, experience, and education required for the position. This will help you attract candidates who possess the necessary qualifications.
  • Project scope. Define the specific features and functionalities of the software. This will help you identify the right candidate with the requisite expertise to meet your project goals.
  • Project size. Assess the amount of work required to complete the project. Larger projects may need a more experienced developer or a team of developers, while smaller projects may be suitable for a junior or mid-level developer.
  • Project timeline and budget. It’s important to identify the required tech stack (libraries & frameworks) to attract candidates with relevant technical expertise.

Step 2: Source candidates

You can source candidates through job boards, referrals, freelance websites, and staffing agencies. But first you’ll need a job description.

Once you have determined your needs, develop a candidate profile. Include the reason for hiring a software developer and a detailed description of the technical skills, knowledge, expertise, and experience you need. Creating a comprehensive yet concise job description increases your chances of attracting the right software developer.

Beyond describing the position you need to fill, share what makes your company a fantastic workplace. Just like you’re looking for the ideal developer, your potential candidates are also deciding if your company’s a good fit for them.

Candidates typically spend an average of 12 hours a week looking for a new job. That’s a lot of job descriptions to read! You’ll want to make your job description thorough, but concise to stand out from the crowd. This means keeping buzzwords to a minimum and including only the most pertinent requirements and responsibilities. Job descriptions with a laundry list of responsibilities tend to discourage diverse candidates from applying. 

Consider this example job description for a software development role, which you can use as a template to modify when writing job requirements for your spe

Job title: Software developer

Job description:

We’re seeking an experienced software developer to join our team of highly skilled professionals. As a software developer, you will manage project priorities, deadlines, and deliverables. We’re particularly interested in candidates who have experience with writing server components and APIs. The day to day consists of implementing reusable code libraries, good APIs, generating data storage solutions, optimizing servers for speed and stability, implementing security structures, and collaborating with the frontend engineers to develop a Clean Code / Clean Architecture experience through excellent Software Design and Software Architecture good practices. 

Minimum qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related technical field, or equivalent practical experience.
  • Experience with software development in one or more programming languages (e.g., Python, GO, C, C++, Java, JavaScript, or similar).
  • Experience with full stack development, across back-end such as Java, Python, GO, or C++ codebases, and front-end experience including JavaScript or TypeScript, HTML, CSS, or equivalent.
  • Experience with data structures or algorithms.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or PhD in Engineering, Computer Science, or a related technical field.
  • 5 years of experience in a technical leadership role leading project teams and setting technical direction.
  • Experience developing accessible technologies.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills, with the ability to break down complex problems and devise practical AI/ML solutions. 
  • Ability to think creatively and innovate in the context of developer productivity.


  • Write product or system development code.
  • Participate in, or lead design reviews with peers and stakeholders to decide amongst available technologies.
  • Review code developed by other developers and provide feedback to ensure best practices (e.g., style guidelines, checking code in, accuracy, testability, and efficiency).
  • Contribute to existing documentation or educational content and adapt content based on product/program updates and user feedback.
  • Triage product or system issues and debug/track/resolve by analyzing the sources of issues and the impact on hardware, network, or service operations and quality.

Join our team and be part of a forward-thinking organization that values innovation and embraces the potential of AI in software development. Together, we can drive technological advancements and deliver exceptional software solutions. Apply today with your updated resume and a cover letter highlighting your relevant experience.


Step 3: Review resumes and portfolios of potential candidates

Once you receive resumes and cover letters, it’s time to evaluate and screen applications to find the best fit for you. Check each candidate’s personal and team projects—their roles, responsibilities, contributions, and overall performance. Shortlist developers with the skills, experience, working style, and approach matching your needs.

Check references, client reviews, and testimonials to verify the accuracy of the information provided on the resume, such as job titles, work experience, and education. This will give you an idea of whether the developer has worked on similar projects in related industries. It will also help you avoid hiring candidates who misrepresent themselves on their CV.

Step 4: Perform skill assessments for programming skills

With the traditional resume and interview recruiting process, getting a clear indication of a candidate’s abilities can be challenging. Resumes can be misleading, and human bias can corrupt subjective analysis. Therefore, after shortlisting candidates, conduct technical assessments to evaluate a candidate’s problem-solving abilities, coding proficiency, and familiarity with relevant technologies. Testing for programming skills can be done using a technical programming assessment service, like Codility or CodeSignal.

Evaluating technical skills is hard to accomplish in a single test. For this reason, it’s recommended to offer multiple coding tests that each target a specific skill set. For instance, you can design small, consecutive coding challenges that measure an engineer’s general programming skills, problem-solving skills, best practices for coding, encryption methods, and security awareness. To ensure you won’t exhaust a candidate by forcing them to spend an excessive amount of time being tested, it’s important not to include challenges that require an extensive amount of time, and it’s recommended that you set time limits for each test.

Frontloading the technical portion of your hiring process can save time and set expectations with candidates from the get-go, and you’ll be able to quickly weed out the applicants who are serious about the role and have the chops to do it well. Aside from helping you identify the best fit for the role, these assessments can also help create a fair and objective evaluation process for all candidates, offering reassurance and a better match. 

Step 5: Conduct interviews to assess soft skills and cultural fit

Once you’ve identified the applicants who are up for the job, you’ll want to take the time via phone or video to conduct job interviews with your top candidates. These interviews are a chance to vet your LATAM developers for relevant soft skills and culture fit, such as how they stay organized or meet deadlines, their communication style, or what they look for in a team dynamic. 

The people you bring into your company define the culture, so it’s important to outline your organization’s values and vet whether candidates align with them from the get-go. How well the Latin American developer fits with the company culture can significantly impact their productivity, job satisfaction, and overall success in the role. 

The interview also sets the tone for open, frequent communication and the expectation that the nearshore developer is prepared to chat live from wherever they work. 

Asking the right set of interview questions is critical to accurately determine a candidate’s soft skills and cultural fit in the interview process. You can accomplish this through behavioral questions, hypothetical scenarios, personality tests, or reference checks. 

Here are some examples of questions to ask when interviewing software developers:

Technical skills and experience:

  • Please describe a software development project you have worked on from start to finish? What were your responsibilities and contributions?
  • What programming languages and technologies are you proficient in? What is  your experience and comfort level with each?
  • What are several examples of your experience with software testing and quality assurance?
  • I’d like you to describe a situation where you had to adapt to changing project requirements or technologies.
  • What process do you follow for debugging and troubleshooting code issues?
  • Tell me about a time you had to understand user needs and test software based on it.

Problem-solving and critical thinking:

  • How do you approach problem-solving in software development? What is one example of a challenging problem you faced and how you resolved it?
  • How do you stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in software development?

Collaboration and communication:

  • Describe a time when you had to work collaboratively with a team of developers or cross-functional teams. How did you contribute to the team’s success and handle any challenges or conflicts that arose?
  • Have you worked with remote teams or in a distributed work environment? How do you ensure effective communication and collaboration in such settings?
  • We regularly use Google Meet and Slack to communicate. How comfortable are you with that?

Time management and adaptability:

  • How do you manage your time and prioritize tasks in a fast-paced software development environment? Can you discuss a situation where you had to balance multiple projects or tight deadlines?
  • Please describe a situation where you had to adapt to changing project requirements or technologies. How did you handle the adjustments and ensure successful project delivery?
  • Have you ever worked in a remote setting? If so, how do you ensure you stay focused? If not, how would you go about staying focused?
  • Tell me about a time when you were given little direction or support in completing a project. How did you approach it?

There are other subtle ways to suss out these qualities and strengths. In an applicant’s resume or cover letter, look for indications that they’ve worked closely with others to achieve their goals and have a self-starter attitude. Have past roles encouraged them to manage, mentor, or collaborate on projects with people inside and outside their team? Do they mention moments where they led a new initiative, conceived new ideas, or spearheaded new processes? Also, notice how their application materials are organized—if they seem meticulously curated and edited, they likely have a strong attention to detail.

Also pay attention to candidates’ questions. The kinds of questions candidates ask can say as much about how they’ll fit into a team as the answers they provide to your questions. Candidates who ask questions are more likely to be engaged with their work and ready to join your team. A good candidate should show a genuine curiosity not just for the role itself but general processes, other teams they might interact with, and the company’s goals. If their questions feel generic or focus solely on benefits or salary, that could be a sign they’re not excited about the product or building a long-term career at your company.

Step 6: Keep track of the hiring process

Managing multiple job applications at once can be challenging. You need to keep track of the candidates’ names, contact details, resumes, interview schedules, feedback, and status. To avoid losing track of important information, you can use a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Sheets, or a database program like Access or Airtable to help you keep track of the key information and metrics of your job applications, such as the number of applicants, the source of applications, the interview stages, the hiring decisions, and the feedback. 

You should also implement a procedure within your recruitment team for managing applicant-related documents. Having a well-defined file naming system can streamline your job application process and avoid unnecessary mistakes. When you save files related to your job applications, such as resumes, cover letters, or portfolios, you need to use a consistent naming system that makes them easy to identify and search. For example, you can use the format: JobTitle_CandidateName_Date. This way, you can quickly find the relevant files for each position and candidate, and avoid confusion or duplication.

Alternatively, you can use a recruiting tool like LinkedIn Recruiter, Zoho Recruit, or SmartRecruiters, to automate the whole process. These tools can help you find, attract, and engage potential candidates for your open positions. They automate some of the tedious aspects of recruiting, such as posting job ads, screening resumes, sending emails, and scheduling interviews. Also all the candidates’ data is stored and organized in one place, so you can easily access and update it. 

Step 7: Decide, make an offer, and onboard

Hiring IT positions is competitive, and finding experienced candidates with the right skills is challenging. So when deciding on a hire, look for aptitude and potential, not just experience. Software developers can often learn the specific skills needed for a position, complete on-the-job training, and absorb lessons from peers and mentors. On the other hand, skills like leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving are hard to teach, so keep an eye out for individuals who possess them. They will likely grow into valuable team members, no matter how much or how little experience they have.

After you’ve completed the assessments, review each candidate’s qualifications and choose the one that best fits your needs. Once you’ve made your decision, extend an offer.

According to industry data, the average salary for nearshore Latin American software developers working for US-based companies is $40,000 as of May 2024. This figure is 3X above market rate compared to the average domestic salary in Latin America. Being cognizant on this, make sure your offer is competitive and reflects the value of the candidate’s skills and experience.

After agreeing on a compensation package, kickstart your software developer onboarding program providing the new hire with the resources and support they need to succeed. This may involve assigning a mentor, providing training and resources, and setting clear expectations for their first months on the job. Onboarding your new LATAM developer is vital to a successful long-term partnership.

Final Thoughts 

While hiring talented nearshore LATAM developers takes time and effort, the benefits can extend across the company. Not only do nearshore developers come with a diversity of thought and experiences, but they also allow organizations to hire the exact skill set required to complete a key project. These seven steps will put you well on your way to hiring a distributed team of talented LATAM developers. 

Next Idea Tech®, a leading private marketplace for on-demand digital talent, is helping spearhead growth initiatives by matching brilliant software developers in LATAM with opportunities in the US and Canada.

Pioneering growth of the nearshore software development model, Next Idea Tech helps North American companies fill digital skill gaps and helps Latin American developers find career opportunities without having to leave their home countries.

Clients can select for individual roles or engage fully managed teams up to 90% faster at a cost that is 40% – 60% lower compared to hiring in the United States. Next Idea Tech provides full-service, premium support teams that manage all the groundwork associated with remote hiring, from compliance and payroll, to talent management. 

Next Idea Tech’s diverse talent ecosystem includes more than 10,000 engineers and spans 12 countries in Latin America, offering improved time-zone overlap. 

Our developers are highly skilled in advanced and in-demand technologies such as Application Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Generative AI, Cloud, Data & Advanced Analytics, and Product & Design, which are key to driving digital transformation initiatives forward for global organizations. 

Discover more about Next Idea Tech here.


Posted on

May 10, 2024