The COVID-19 pandemic caused a number of issues for many US companies that outsource core services to Asian countries. As a result, a large number of US companies are looking to reduce dependency on outsourcing to countries halfway across the world. Instead, they are looking for options closer to home to decrease time zone differences, reduce managerial and control issues, and minimize language and cultural barriers. This blog will explore the reasons why companies should consider hiring workers in Latin America and how it will benefit them.

An important outsourcing trend that started due to the pandemic is the rise of nearshoring to Latin America. Businesses are increasingly adopting decentralized ways of working and expanding overseas to exploit the unique talent and cost advantages in emerging markets. Latin America has been recognized for offering strategic opportunities for outsourcing, mainly because of its close proximity to the US, growing talent pool, cost-effectiveness, and cultural affinity. Thus, in the face of recent events, Latin America is well-positioned to collaborate with international companies and continue the nearshoring trend for the foreseeable future.

Benefits of Hiring Workers in Latin America

Time zone: The maximum time difference between Latin America and the US is 4 hours.

Calendar alignment: Thanks to cultural similarities with the US, Latin America shares many of the same holidays.

Good communication: Due to the geographical proximity and cultural similarities, communication is relatively easy and efficient.

Large talent pool: Latin America is full of qualified professionals across many industries.

English proficiency: Most Latin American professionals have an intermediate or advanced level of English.

Creativity and work ethic: While culture norms in Asia generally dictate that workers should only do as they’re told; Latin American workers are known for their tendency to innovate and offer creative solutions that go above and beyond expectations.

Cost effectiveness: Latin American workers are cheaper than US workers as cost of living is substantially cheaper throughout the region.

Better Return on Investment: While offshoring may seem less expensive than nearshoring in the initial stages, management issues and under-performance tend to lead to increased costs.

Latin American has a Highly Educated Workforce

Colombia

Colombian universities are among the best in Latin America and the world. There are 287 universities, with more than 3.8 million students enrolled. The government also offers a free National Service of Learning (SENA) with roughly 250 university level programs for citizens.

Peru

Higher education in Peru has grown rapidly over the past two decades. Between 2008 and 2018, enrollment in Peruvian higher education institutions grew faster than in any other country in Latin America, more than doubling from around 775,000 to 1.6 million.

Mexico

In Mexico, about four million students were enrolled in a formal higher education program in the 2020/2021 academic year. The number of higher education students has been steadily increasing in the last decade, surpassing the threshold of three million in the academic year 2011/2012, and the four million threshold in 2019/2020.

Dealing with The Talent Shortage

Many US businesses prioritise hiring US citizens. However, due to the current talent shortage, companies are having issues filling their vacancies and helping their clients. That means organizations must start looking beyond their national borders to overcome the lack of workforce supply they are facing.

While the process of hiring international talent and managing the administrative tasks used to be a greater challenge now there are companies like Ongresso that remove the barriers of international recruitment, offer international PEO (professional employer organisation) services, company formation services, legal advice and handle all HR (human resources) and administrative tasks, removing a substantial burden from companies while allowing them to focus on core activities.

How Ongresso has Helped Their Clients (Case study)

Company: ALICE

Location: United States

Industry: Hospitality Operation Platform

Employees: +85

We interviewed Eleni Cotsis, Talent Acquisition Executive for ALICE.

What does ALICE do?

ALICE is a hospitality technology company that provides a hotel operations platform enabling staff to interact with guests and each other.

Why did you come to Colombia?

“Colombia offers a lot of opportunities and is located in a perfect place for us. Travel times to other countries in the region are short and there is little time difference to our team in the US. More importantly, there is a lot of great talent here, especially in the tech field.” -Eleni Cotsis (Talent Acquisition Executive)

What opportunities do you see in Colombia?

“I think we will be growing even more in the next year in terms of talent here in Colombia. Like I said, there is a lot of tech talent, a lot of English speakers and a lot of really intelligent people here.” -Eleni Cotsis (Talent Acquisition Executive)

What challenges did the company face when entering Colombia, and how did Ongresso help you overcome them?

ALICE looks for the best employees who can grow with the company, which is why they try to ensure their job offers are competitive, compliant with regulations, and in line with the candidate’s needs. To offer this, they needed help from a local company that could provide a full benefits package and offer a fast and seamless onboarding process.

“This is exactly what Ongresso offered us to our full satisfaction. Thanks to their experienced multilingual management team, communication with them has been easy, fast and professional and they are great at answering our questions. Ongresso was able to solve all of our challenges quickly and at a very reasonable price.” -Eleni Cotsis (Talent Acquisition Executive)

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