Onboarding Developers During a Recession
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Onboarding Developers During a Recession

In such uncertain conditions as those presented by the economic slowdown we’re currently entering, unemployment rates tend to rise, and investments of all kinds tend to decline, including hiring during a recession.

But what happens when essential projects for the company’s profit margins can’t be paused, and the requirements can only be met by maintaining the current productive capacity? In other words, when downsizing is not an option. 

Instead of avoiding hiring during a recession, more and more companies are tightening their belts to hire remote software developers as an investment that will make them go out of this crisis ahead of their peers. How so? Even at the moment,  56.44% of recruiters report struggling to find IT professionals. So taking recession as an opportunity to find in-demand talent has become a crucial strategy for smart businesses. Let’s see how it’s been unfolding in practice.

Programmer in front of computer with code on the screen

Although economic downturns are a phenomenon that have had place repeatedly in the past and are bound to happen again in a not-so-distant future, there are some questions that are left unanswered crisis after crisis, related to best practices regarding recruiting, retention, and layoffs.

Incorporating talent to keep up with workload and unfinished projects means more expenses, at least, for the duration of a sprint. But the perceived short-term benefits of layoffs can do more harm than good in the long run–shrinking the workforce is not an option.

Some of the potential long-term consequences your company may face if you start laying off developers are burnout and resentment, or fear, not to mention that the quality of the deliverables might be reduced drastically.

Knowing which recruitment strategies to use in a recession can put you in a better position to handle the demands placed on your business, and a crisis is the best time to outsource, according to Forbes. 

That’s why things are looking bright on the outsourcing side, as the trend indicates a focus shift from “don’t hire remote software developers to “how to find good developers that won’t mess with our company’s economic projections”.

How to successfully be hiring during a recession without exceeding the budget 

If deadlines can’t be postponed, and the number of heads/hands required to pull off the project is non-negotiable, hiring a remote development team is a way to get the same work done for less. This not only helps you stay stable and productive even in unpredictable conditions, it can also be the first step towards a more flexible, agile, and diverse team. 

Contrary to popular belief, lower costs are not always linked to low quality work. Rates are determined by many other factors apart from experience and skills, such as geographic location. That is one of the reasons why offshore staffing solutions are so popular these days, when saving is as important as being efficient. 

Why has LATAM grown into an outstanding hub for software development outsourcing?

Knowing that the cost to hire a software developer changes drastically from region to region and that great software engineers are not only found in overseas regions like Eastern Europe or Asia, hiring talent from regions with the same or overlapping time zones to those of the company’s HQ, or nearshoring, is an option companies are increasingly interested in.

LATAM checks these boxes, and it is currently one of the top places where US-based companies look for talent. 

Among other reasons, the compatibility lies in the geographic proximity, which allows more availability of the workforce during activity peaks, shorter reply times, and more cultural affinity//better cultural match. Other benefits include a favorable exchange rate, lower cost of living, and world-class talent ready to solve problems professionally, with a positive attitude.

“Argentina ranks first in the EPI (English Proficiency Index) within LATAM with a high score of 58,38”

According to Stack Overflow, a site for programmers with 4.7 million users, the average reputation of top users is higher for Latin American countries like Peru (24,809), Colombia (21,064), Chile (18,080), Argentina (16,500), and Brazil (14,150) than for India (13,882) and China (13,236). Even though India boasts a larger number of top users, the quality of developers in Latin America is higher or on par with Indian programmers.

Considering that the Latin American workforce can meet, and exceed, the demanding expectations of today’s world, recurring to nearshoring solutions has become almost a no-brainer. Not to mention that the cost to hire a software developer in the United States doubles or triples the average salary for a programmer in developing countries.

How much does it cost to hire a software developer?

LocationAverage developer rate
U.S.$75-250 per hour
LATAM$40-75 per hour
W. Europe$60-100 per hour
E. Europe$35-70 per hour
Asia$30-50 per hour
Average developer hourly rate in the US, LATAM, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Asia

Why partnering with a long-term staff augmentation partner can be the key to staying afloat

Although there are a variety of ways a company can find and onboard remote software developers, such as job boards or social media posts, having an experienced hiring partner that knows how to recruit and hire great software engineers working by your side will make finding developers during a recession way smoother, reducing risks, and giving you more time to focus on other business areas that need to be kept in-house.

Some of the load you can take off your shoulders by trusting an nearshore staffing agency are performing the vetting process to ensure the developer you are onboarding is actually qualified and has the skills needed to successfully face the challenges presented by the position, and follow up after hiring to make sure they will be a long-term asset, smart, responsive & proactive. 

Key takeaways to keep in mind when hiring during a recession

Hiring developers during a downturn can be seen as a new opportunity to onboard world-class software developers that’ll bring many benefits to your company, including a  cultural transformation and process acceleration. 

As compared to how much it costs to hire a freelance programmer in countries like the U.S., LATAM offers a growing number of highly-qualified professionals that are available, and willing to take on projects//commit to long term positions, in a remote, and flexible, environment, and all of this for an accessible price that is more than fair for both parties. 

Nearshoring can be a budget-friendly alternative for companies when facing recessions or cash crunch periods in which there are projects that can’t be put off, and having a solid relationship with a hiring partner will be a competitive advantage. As, although it is true that there will be lots of new learnings, new open-ended questions related to how to create long-lasting motivation after you hire a remote development team are bound to arise. 

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