Your Guide

Hiring Remotely
in Latin America

Hiring has always been hard. Even before the pandemic changed life as we knew it, quality candidates were few and far between. Finding them was time-consuming; keeping them was a whole other ballgame.

Today, those obstacles are even taller. 

Hiring managers want to secure talent they can rely on, but that talent is getting wooed by the biggest names. Employers want to keep their existing talent loyal, but new offers at new price-points make keeping them satisfied out of reach.

The result is businesses getting locked out of the hiring game. But what if things looked different?

What if you had top, pre-verified talent waiting for you in one place? What if they were excited by offers you could actually afford? What if they were hungry to prove themselves in a company exactly like yours – and so satisfied with the details of their contract, they couldn’t dream of leaving?

If you think that sounds like nothing more than a pipe-dream, you’d be right. But only if you’re focused on the domestic stage. Beyond the U.S. talent pool, there’s a whole other world of candidates. Candidates who are trained. Candidates who are experienced. Candidates who are driven.

And they’re waiting to hear from you.

So: where is this mystical place? Where are these dream candidates located, waiting for the right American company to make them an offer they can’t refuse?

Latin America. 

The region that’s close enough to be culturally aligned but far enough to be guarded from the worst markers of our local reality, LatAm is the promised land for innovative talent acquisition. So if you’ve been feeling locked out of the hiring game – this is it. This is your key. 

Top talent – that’s reasonably priced – is waiting for you. Here’s how you get them on-board.

Today’s reality

But first, let’s take a step back and acknowledge today’s reality: it’s grim.

Employers have been forced to deal with salaries that keep getting bigger and bigger. Companies have been forced to deal with the Great Resignation – losing their staff to competitors or career shifts left and right. Without the money to attract and retain their first-choice people, they’ve been left hustling to make do with Plan B’s (or C’s, or D’s).

We’re in a new era of the talent market. With the businesses that can afford it bending over backwards to secure the best candidates and those best candidates stepping into their fullest power, it’s clear that, in 2022, talent holds all of the cards.

If you don’t have the ability to spend big, it’s impossible for you to compete. If you don’t have the ability to enhance your offers every year, it’s impossible for you to retain. It doesn’t matter if you’re big, small, enterprise, start-up – everybody’s affected. Everybody’s feeling the heat.

And sure, the big names that have the capacity to meet talent where they’re at are pulling ahead… but even they’re nervous. Even they’re wondering how much more the acquisition and retention obstacles can grow. 

Whether you’re trying to hold your ground inside today’s hiring party or you’ve taken a step back to investigate your other options, it’s obvious that our reality today isn’t sustainable. It’s not a productive field to be operating in – and it certainly isn’t fun. 

So that’s the reality of the here and now. Frustration. Rejection. Getting priced out. 

But what if tomorrow brought something else?

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The solution

Enter your new reality. 

Skilled workers who have diplomas and certifications just as impressive as their American counterparts. Eager workers hungry to get their foot in the door of a U.S. company. Grateful workers accustomed to making ⅓ of what you’re offering – which still falls 50-70% below market rate.

Now that we’ve got your attention, let’s break hiring in Latin America all the way down:

The Affordability Difference:

While leading U.S. candidates have no problem asking for high numbers (based on their peers’ salaries, city’s cost of living, and the staggering inflation rate), Latin American candidates have a different scale of expectation. With lower costs of living, lower peer salaries, and the exchange rate on their side, even a fraction of a typical market-rate salary leaves them excited. Imagine saving 50% on annual talent spend while keeping that talent as happy as you are. That’s what’s on the table.

The Hunger Difference:

But they’re not just any employees – this talent pool is impressive. They’re educated (with advanced degrees from reputable schools), they’ve held stints at major powerhouses like JP Morgan, EY, PWC, and Amazon, and they’re smart. They know that earning in USD means they can evade the mind-blowing local currency inflation rates (50% YoY in Argentina), and they know that molding an international career path opens up doors they’d never otherwise get to see. So: they’re not just hungry to secure higher salaries. They’re hungry to prove themselves invaluable.

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The Alignment Difference:

Teamwide morale is essential for great outcomes, and cultural cohesion plays a big part. Between LatAm and the U.S., there’s no discernible difference in workplace culture; particularly for professionals working in major cities (like São Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City), hard work and cooperative efforts are the name of the game. Add that aligned cultural outlook to vetted fluency in English and the ambition required to seek prestigious international roles, and you have candidates willing to put the work in to enhance your company’s environment for you. Not detract from it.

The Productivity Difference:

Running a business gets complicated when employees are in different time zones. While it’s increasingly popular for companies to hire ‘affordable’ talent from offshore locations, time differences can run up to 12 hours – making scheduling, coordinating, and meeting a pain and a half. But not with LatAm talent. With no Latin American city running more than two hours ahead of EST, your team will be bolstered with professionals who are working beside you, not miles behind. No more chasing and no more sacrificing. Just the best of both worlds – on your time.

When you leave the domestic obstacles behind, you can actually meet your hiring goals – with ease. You can surpass your expectations and double-down on your results, and you can do it all without the fear of overstepping your limits.

And look – the world is already embracing remote. Employees are granted more freedom than ever before, but as their employers, so are you. You have the freedom to hire talent from anywhere. You have the freedom to leverage the high skill-sets, determination, and productivity of Latin American candidates without falling into the pitfalls of domestic hiring. So why wouldn’t you?

We know it can sound idyllic – the affordability, the candidate quality, the seamlessness of merging hires – but believe us when we say, hiring in LatAm is anything but abstract. It’s grounded in practicality, in proven protocol, which we know firsthand.

Because we were the first to do it. 

That’s right: we were the guinea pigs before we even knew we had something to test – and it worked so well, we realized we couldn’t keep it to ourselves. So now, we’re going to share everything. Buckle up.

But wait… isn’t it complicated?

At first glance, you’d be right to think so. But the truth is, it’s not – so long as you understand the framework for doing things responsibly. So, let’s start with the basics: as an American business, you need to stay compliant with U.S. law. 

When it comes to international talent, that means you have two options for hiring candidates:

Hiring as an employee:

the hire is on your payroll. Aside from paying them a salary, you’re also ensuring they receive health insurance, unemployment tax, social security, and other regulation protections.

Hiring as an independent contractor:

while you pay the hire an agreed-upon wage, they’re responsible for securing their own healthcare and benefits. Additionally, they have to pay their own taxes (to their own country), so you don’t withhold any tax deductions.

Whether you hire them as an employee or as an independent contractor, you’ll have pros and cons to consider. For example: employees are protected by minimum wage figures, giving you less flexibility around pay. Independent contractors can join your team for whatever length of time (finite or open-ended), giving you greater flexibility around expectations.

While you’re considering those options, you’ll also need to consider this: as a legally compliant U.S. company, you have the option to hire international candidates yourself or to hire them through an Employer of Record.

Hiring Yourself Means:

You’re free to hire a contractor on your own at any time. But to hire an international employee yourself, you’ll need to set up an office in their country. (Which is an extremely complicated endeavor.)

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Hiring through an Employer of Record Means:

You’re using an EOR – a company that takes on the hiring and paying of employees for other businesses – to be the official employer of your international candidates. Since they’re serving as the certified employer, you don’t need to set up a foreign office to hire or pay talent.

Again, both options have advantages and disadvantages. Where hiring an international contractor yourself today might be simple (thanks to all of the innovative payment platforms available), hiring an international employee yourself – which means setting up shop wherever they are – is anything but. Paperwork, permits, local legal counsel to ensure compliance; it all adds up. Which is why American employers who do want to hire foreign employees tend to lean on EOR’s. 

So then: what’s the simplest way to bring top talent on-board responsibly? What’s the protocol that thousands of U.S. companies – including ours – have followed to stay compliant and productive? 

Hiring Latin American candidates as contractors. Here’s what that protocol looks like:

  1. Attract talent. Post your open role in a place you know (verified) talent will be. 
  2. Choose candidates. Carry out your interview/selection process.
  3. Lock in logistics. Most LatAm candidates are already accustomed to working as contractors, so they know the payment options available:
    Wire Transfers: International or local (if contractor has US bank account)
    Online Payment: PayPal, Payoneer
    Cryptocurrency
    Made-for-Contractor Platforms: Deel, Ontop, remote.com
  4. Make the hire.

No sponsoring Visas. No complicated paperwork. No outside figureheads. By hiring your LatAm talent as international contractors, you get the smoothness you want – and the compliance you need. 

As a bonus: if you do choose to utilize the onboarding/payroll platforms specifically geared towards hiring international contractors, we already have partnerships with all of them. Our customers receive exclusive preferred pricing for their services – which we can vouch actually expedite things. (While ensuring you and your contractors stay compliant at all times.)

All of that’s to say, it’s not so complicated after all.

Who can benefit?

Businesses looking to ramp up their operational capacity – without shooting beyond their means. Startups and SMB’s committed to thinking outside of the box. Founders and hiring managers refusing to accept that the status quo of domestic hiring is their only option.

The companies brave enough to question. The decision-makers creative enough to imagine. 

The thing is, hiring in LatAm doesn’t just open your world up wide – but it launches you into a new one. One where borders don’t exist and limits can be broken; where expectations can jack up and returns can grow (and grow, and grow). This is how you reach new heights. This is how you bolster your mission – at lower cost.

To date, we’ve helped startups, SMB’s, professional services firms, investment managers, and large enterprises hire successfully from Latin America. We’ve helped them fill roles ranging from junior to mid to senior, and we’ve helped them move along the process productively – and smoothly.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common positions they’ve hired for:

Bookkeeper, Accounting:

One of the most prevalent accounting roles across Latin America? Bookkeeping. You know, the role that’s nearly impossible to reasonably hire for – and retain – in the U.S. Luckily, it takes less than two weeks to find and secure a LatAm bookkeeper (with comprehensive U.S. GAAP experience). Don’t believe us? Just ask Northstar Financial Consulting Group – who drastically scaled their bookkeeping team in a month with our help.

Marketing Analyst, Marketing:

SEO, PPC, Marketing Automation – you name it, U.S. companies have hired from LatAm for it. With advanced digital training, a commitment to data-driven strategy, and a constant finger on the pulse of relevant but forward-thinking creative, LatAm Marketing Analysts are doing more than just keeping up with their American peers. They’re moving the needle for quality, efficiency, and creativity.

Financial Analyst, Finance:

From investment banks to corporate finance teams to investment managers, Financial Analysts have the power to make or break success. Good thing LatAm professionals have the training and experience (from firms like JP Morgan, BBVA, and EY) to add value – wherever they’re placed. With Covid turning the historically in-person role into one that’s now easily remote, VC’s, PE firms, and consultancies alike have shifted their gaze to LatAm talent. Hiring them first as Analysts and then empowering them to grow.

Full-Stack Developer, Software Development:

If you’re looking for a pool of talent chock-full of highly-qualified, diversely-experienced Full-Stack Developers, Latin America is your spot. And these LatAm candidates don’t expect the inflated salaries their American counterparts do in 2022. Simply offering them 70-90% of a corresponding market rate developer salary breeds greater satisfaction, engagement, and retention over time. Want proof? Expensify, Chili Piper, and Body Shop Booster were all recently impressed by LatAm developer talent. So impressed that they decided to hire.

Sales Development Rep, Sales:

Sales Development Representatives (SDR’s) have a long list of responsibilities including prospecting, appointment setting, and outbound email campaigns – and LatAm talent is proficient at all of them. As one of the most popular roles to hire for in Latin America, U.S. companies have been taking more advantage of the high skill-sets and quick to-hire journeys than ever before. Plus, since the average difference between U.S. SDR salaries and LatAm SDR salaries is roughly $35k annually, employers walk away with 64% in savings… and the exact same quality of talent.

Customer Support Rep, Customer Support:

Companies in any service or software niche view their Customer Support Representatives (CSR’s) like they’re their lifeblood. Because they are. Customer relations are everything, and that means you need professionals in your corner who are a) bilingual in English and Spanish, b) available during U.S. work hours, and c) filled with genuine care about the customers they’re interacting with. LatAm CSR’s check all those boxes, while still giving you the immense cost-savings you saw with SDR’s. 

These roles are the pillars of what we’ve seen dynamic U.S. businesses hire for, but right now, we’re only at the beginning. As more and more U.S. companies enter the LatAm recruitment pool, more and more LatAm talent will make themselves visible, seeking their dream opportunity.

That means the talent we see in Latin America today will continue to expand and evolve tomorrow – making even more roles easy to hire for. Making even more candidates available to retain.

How to get it done

By now, the utility is clear; you can see that the benefits are indisputable. So we’ll stop talking conceptual value and start looking at the actual process. How do you get from idea to results? How do you make your hiring journey successful – without the hassle?

First thing’s first, let’s examine what not to lean on:

Cluttered

job sites that garner you hundreds of applications – none of which actually get you anywhere. The candidates are inexperienced, the cover letters are generic; the languages aren’t vetted, and the qualifications aren’t clear. Combine those attributes together and you’re left feeling flooded. (If not totally hopeless.)

Overwhelming

freelance portals that rack up thousands of bites per attractive post – none of which actually reassure you. The freelancers are unreliable; they work on countless unaffiliated projects at once, earning more for their ability to execute fast than their ability to execute well. They’re in it for short-term gigs, not long-term employers. Maybe you’ll get a task completed, but you won’t get a teammate – and that’s a problem.

Nondescript

job posts that fill up space on job boards and recruitment platforms without actually attracting the right – or any – talent. Once you’ve found the perfect place to seek out LatAm talent, it’s on you to reel them in. Vague, confusing, or fill-in-the-blank role descriptions won’t do that. Well-explained, vivid, and interesting ones will. What are you looking for? What are you offering? Without that clarity, the right candidates won’t be able to find you.

Now, let’s look at the right protocol for hiring LatAm talent effectively:

Find

the right pool: nothing matters more for the quality of your hires (and the efficiency of your hiring process) than being in the right place. You could be making the most attractive offer Latin American talent has ever seen – but if you’re not exposing the right LatAm talent to it, you’ll wind up disappointed with your options. A platform that gives you direct, organized access to already-verified candidates reduces the amount of time you spend searching while enhancing your end-process satisfaction.

Craft

the right post: once you’re in the right place, it’s time to introduce yourself to the candidates you’re trying to reach – that is, the impressive candidates. They don’t waste time on generic or confusing posts; instead, they gravitate towards the detailed ones. The best posts contain information on the company, the role, the duties, and the candidate requirements. Getting specific at this stage doesn’t just secure you the right bites, but it also saves you from having to speak to a wide array of non-qualified applicants later on – since they’ve already been weeded out.

Emphasize

the right aspects: even in the LatAm talent pool, you’re still facing competition from other companies looking to make their ideal hires. Introducing yourself and the role matter, but pitching the value behind the opportunity matters more. That includes being clear about salary expectations – we recommend pinpointing a range instead of an exact figure, so as not to scare anyone off – but it also includes being clear about company perks. Do you offer bonuses based on performance? Is the team small, granting hires the opportunity to learn a lot and feel their impact? Do they have direct access to the executive team? By honing in on clear-cut advantages, you’ll distinguish yourself from the other companies hoping to seek out top LatAm talent – and walk away the victor.

That’s your protocol for effective talent attraction. But once you’ve gotten their attention, how do you reel them in? How do you guide them efficiently from intrigue-piqued to commitment-made? 

Meet the next phase in your journey: the face time.

Okay, it’s done… now what?

You dove into the right talent pool. You crafted the right job post and you’ve fielded applications from the right applicants. Now, you know the handful of candidates you want to move forward with – you’re excited about their qualifications, their experience, and their interest in the position. So… how do you take that excitement from introduction to fulfillment?

First up to the plate: your interviews.

You know that the candidates who’ve made it to this round are qualified, but here’s where you get to see their personalities shine. Are they personable, easy to converse with? Do they talk about their line of work with passion? Can you get a feel for how they’d be like to work with – and if you can, does it feel like a fit?

Beyond just checking off boxes for certifications and language fluency, interviews give you the chance to see the people behind the resumes. So use them that way. Ask questions that speak to their professional character; get to know their aspirations and strengths. You’re not just looking for an anonymous worker to execute tasks – you’re looking for a team addition. That means things like operational alignment, vision for the future, and overall demeanor matter. So let your interview process illuminate them.

Next up? Making your offer.

You’ve conducted your interviews and landed on the right candidate – congratulations. You’re ready to extend the official invitation. And that means you’re ready to create the Offer Letter.

More formal than a verbal offer, the Offer Letter is a contract and an assurance – for both parties. It should cover the stipulations of the gig: details on the role, the duties, the hours, the compensation (including salary, bonuses and their conditions, payment frequency, and payment method), the contract type (ranging from full-time contractor to full-time employee to contract-based), the start date, the permitted holiday/vacation time, and spots for two dated signatures – yours (the employer’s) and theirs (the candidate’s).

While all aspects should have been discussed and agreed on in the interview process, the Offer Letter is where they’re all set in stone – leaving you and your candidate with the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing interest has been replaced by commitment

As soon as you both have a signed copy, you’re off to the races.

And finally, our third stop: the managing.

Maybe you think that onboarding and managing an international hire has to be complicated…or that it has to take up a lot of your time. But the good news is, we’re in 2022 – and in 2022, there are digital solutions for everything.

From the digital communication and workflow tools your company already uses to the international-hire-specific platforms that were released to make employer roles like yours more efficient, you have technology on your side. As long as you know where to find it.

Onboarding and running payroll with platforms like Deel, Ontop, or Remote.com take the paperwork – and the stress regarding compliance – off of your shoulders. From generating contracts compliant with the candidate’s local region to automating invoices and paying talent with just a click, the logistical side of managing your international people has never been easier.

Here’s why that’s a game-changer: because it eradicates the reasons that have stopped you from making foreign hires in the past. It gets rid of the idea that inconvenience and undue stress are a given – and, with our existing partnerships, it also removes the threat of costliness.

Move forward with Near and you’ll receive done-for-you pricing through Near or preferred pricing to platforms like Deel, created for employers exactly like you. Employers looking to save time without cutting corners. Employers looking to think bigger without breaking the bank. 

You found your hire; you brought them on-board. It’s starting to look a whole lot easier than you expected, isn’t it?

The success stories

We’re not just talking about unfounded innovation. We’re talking about proven results. Here are a few of the companies that have benefited so far:

LongLeaf Lending, Real Estate Lender

LongLeaf Lending is a private real estate lender operating in Texas. Founded in 2020 by two former investment bankers, the company is growing fast – already having funded over $15M in loans this year.
Looking for a business analyst to become the primary manager (and implementer) of the company’s tools, automations, and systems, LongLeaf was looking for someone technologically savvy and conventionally trained. They’d need to understand liquidity needs and manage day-to-day accounting, but they’d also need to complete research analyses independently, build pro-forma models, and push to standardize in-house processes.
They were looking for a candidate who had a relevant degree, 1-3 years (at minimum) of relevant experience, and familiarity with programming and data extraction tools. Within 30 days, they found their hire: from Argentina, possessing all of the necessary qualifications, and excited about a salary in the $20-40k range.

LongLeaf trusted Near to help connect with top-tier talent, and they delivered big time. We enjoyed the simple and easy to use online platform, responsive team, and many highly-qualified applicants. It was our first hire from LatAm and we will definitely use Near again as our team continues to grow.

- Matt Weidert, Co-Founder & Managing Partner

ScaledOn, Digital Marketing Agency

ScaledOn is a digital marketing agency based in New Hampshire, specializing in getting more traffic to their clients’ websites to increase sales. Looking to add a new PPC specialist to their talent roster, ScaledOn was committed to finding a quality candidate – who would add to the company’s culture without costing an arm and a leg.

Instead of using a traditional recruiter, ScaledOn decided to give Near a try. They posted their job description (with all of the requisite details), and within a couple of weeks, they’d received 48 applications – from qualified candidates.

Using Near’s applicant tracking system (ATS), the ScaledOn hiring managers could sort through the applications with ease. They could visibly move candidates to the next stage with a drag of the mouse, and they could keep their process organized – and optimally productive – as a result.

In 30 days, the ScaledOn team had made it through the hiring process, securing not one, but two candidates for their team. With the salary for both hovering in the $20-40k range, the new hires were thrilled with their offers – and the hiring managers were just as thrilled with their savings. Plus: since they’d used Near instead of traditional recruiters, they’d bypassed the 20%-per-salary charge they’d have needed to pay; instead, they paid less than $1k for access to the Near platform. And walked away happier because of it.

Apollo350, Software Consulting

Apollo350 is a startup in the software consulting space that’s led by tech executives who’ve launched massive video-oriented platforms, many of which have garnered billions of views per month. Their solutions have impacted the reach and impact of companies including LinkedIn, VEVO, and Condé Nast Entertainment, and they pride themselves on their knack for efficient – and creative – problem-solving.

Looking for a senior fullstack engineer, Apollo350 was determined to avoid the typical pitfalls of hiring: spending months sorting through lackluster candidates and exorbitant salary asks, left with little but wasted time – and a sense of deflation. They picked Near to help them sidestep that reality.

And sidestep they did: in just 11 days, the Apollo350 team had made a hire they were excited about. What caused the speed? The hiring managers did a number of things well: they included a stand-out job description, they pinpointed a salary range (which tends to earn companies as many as 4x the job applicants on Near), and they logged into the platform every day to review candidates and make decisions.

At Apollo350, we try to find the most talented software engineers for our team. We have a challenging interview process with several technical interviews. We received over 250 applications and we were able to find an amazing engineer through Near after only 2 weeks of our job being active.

- Janet Kim, Co-Founder

Three different industries, three different companies, and three different examples of successful hiring. The key to getting your business back in the game of securing top-tier talent is right here. Are you ready to take it?

Tomorrow’s reality

Work culture as we know it today is already primed for this opportunity. Businesses and workers are more than comfortable with operating remote; globalized education has meant that highly-skilled talent can be found anywhere.

The result is an advantage that, as of yet, hasn’t been adequately tapped: leaning on international candidates. Leaning on Latin American candidates.

From a process standpoint, it makes finding and locking in top-tier, excited, affordable talent way quicker. From an outcome standpoint, it makes saving on spending, upping operational productivity, and keeping team culture aligned way easier.

With LatAm candidates, you have consistency in timezones and in workplace cohesion. With LatAm candidates, you have bilingualism and comparable qualification guarantees. This is no far-fetched idea – it doesn’t come with any sort of hidden risk. All it comes with is reward. All it comes with is the chance to get in on an innovative approach – before it blows up.

Before the recruitment pool is filled with companies and hiring managers just like you. Before the talent pool realizes they have their pick of the litter. 

The LatAm hiring market is flush with intelligence, determination, and proficiency – but it’s not yet flush with businesses smart enough to act. You could get in on the ground floor. You could set the tone for what effective hiring in LatAm looks like. So that the next time we write one of these guides, we use your success story. We use your outcomes. 

Because we’re confident that they’ll be that good.

Next steps

You came, you saw, you understood. And unlike the businesses that pitch you something so abstract you can’t make sense of it when the smoke disappears, we’re pitching you something that we know works. Because we walked the walk long before we started talking.

It wasn’t until we saw the stunning outcomes of hiring LatAm talent for ourselves that we decided to act. That we decided to create something to keep things streamlined and running productively; that we decided to create something to connect U.S. employers with the very thing they depend on most. High-quality talent.

Near isn’t about sacrificing. It’s not about tightening your belt or screwing over uninformed candidates. What it is about is exactly the opposite: exceeding your expectations. Getting more without putting yourself in harm’s way. Offering driven talent opportunities that they don’t just hunger for – but opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise be afforded.

Near was created to give you all of those benefits in one place. To make introducing your opportunities, scouring through candidates, and making the hire seamless. To make leveraging top talent – that you can afford – hassle-free.

It’s not about giving you a complicated product. It’s about giving you a way to connect. A way to meet, understand, and move forward with your newest team members – in a way that makes sense for both of you. 

Near is your teammate in the race to better hiring, but we’re also your teammate in the obstacle course to better outcomes. We’re here to make it all easier. So you can respond more productively to the world’s shifts – and keep your seat at the table before it’s too late.

To learn more about your options, contact us directly – and keep your seat at the table before you’re priced out.