Tips for Hiring Tech Talent/Developers in Chile

Since the end of its military dictatorship in 1990, Chile has emerged as one of Latin America’s most politically stable and economically prosperous countries. It has been relatively free of the coups and poor governments that characterize much of the region’s history. The South American country has and continues to be an attractive jurisdiction for companies looking to tap its large pool of skilled IT/tech talent. The demand for tech talent has skyrocketed in recent months – particularly from US companies – so the growing trend of hiring developers in Chile (or hiring tech talent in Chile in general) shows little sign of abating. 

Advantages to hiring developers/tech talent in Chile

  • Business/investment friendly environment
  • A large and growing pool tech talent 
  • Comparatively low cost of labor
  • Moderate level of English-language skills
  • Time zone relatively close to those in the US

The enduring depreciated value of the Chilean peso against the US dollar makes doing business in Chile – tech related or not – a wise and cost-effective decision.

Quality assurance engineer profile infographic by biz latin hub.
Hiring Tech Talent in Chile. If you are thinking in hiring Developers in Chile, find the right headhunters.

Hiring developers in Chile: Top 5 reasons for hiring tech talent in Chile right now

Tech firms, or businesses that rely on software knowhow for their operations, should seriously consider tapping into Chile’s tech talent ecosystem. They can do so either by offshoring software development/IT operations, or by setting up shop in the country. What follows are the top 5 reasons why hiring tech talent in Chile might be right for your company:

1. Business/investment friendly environment

Investors reacted to the election of young left-winger Gabriel Boric to Chile’s presidency in December 2021 by selling off assets, sending the value of the Chilean peso into decline. But as it became clear that president-elect Boric had no intention of nationalizing Chilean industries, markets have calmed. Chile’s GDP grew 11.9 percent in 2021, outpacing its OECD and regional peers. Chile also ranked a respectable 59th out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 study – higher than any other Latin American nation. These are positive indicators for companies large and small that plan on hiring developers in Chile.

2. A large and growing pool tech talent

In the early 2000s, the Chilean government invested heavily in computer-centered education that focused on computer literacy. It also launched a program to ensure every school in the country had access to the internet. The investments have paid off. Chilean developers, software engineers, full stack developers and programmers are considered some of the best in the region, prompting tech giants like Alphabet Inc (Google), IBM, Cisco, Microsoft and Oracle to domicile in the country. There has never been a more opportune time to begin hiring tech talent in Chile.

Chile employment law small infographic by biz latin hub.
Employment law in Chile. Hiring Tech Talent in Chile Hiring Developers in Chile

3. Comparatively low cost of labor

Cost savings is at the heart of the growing nearshoring phenomenon, with Latin America being the primary recipient. By ‘nearshoring’ (i.e., offshoring to jurisdictions with a close proximity to the US), tech firms can save a bundle in labor costs. An entry-level software developer in the US can expect to receive about $80,000 USD per year, while a Chilean software developer doing the same job makes around $35 million pesos per year (roughly $36,000 USD). That’s a cost savings of 45 percent – hiring developers in Chile is a no-brainer. 

4. Moderate level of English-language skills

Chile ranked 47th out of 112 countries in the EF English Proficiency Index study released in 2021. It’s considered to have ‘moderate proficiency in English, according to the study. But the country’s young, highly educated tech professionals far surpass the national average in English language ability; speaking English is widely considered to be a prerequisite for career advancement among Chilean professionals.

5. Time zone relatively close to those in the US

Continental Chile falls into the GMT-3 time zone, meaning it is one hour ahead of Eastern Time, two hours ahead of Central Time, and four hours ahead of Pacific Time. The times are not so different that Chilean tech workers and their colleagues in the United States can’t easily work together, hold Zoom call meetings, and collaborate on projects remotely.

Hiring developers in Chile: Interesting tech facts

  • The Economist news magazine dubbed Chile “Chilecon Valley” to describe its potential to one day rival the real Silicon Valley

Common Questions when attracting and hiring talent in Chile

Based on our experience these are the common questions and doubts of our clients when looking to hire in the local market.

1. Why hire talent in Chile?

Investing in talent in Chile is a smart move. With a population exceeding 19 million, Chile provides a robust consumer base. Its stable economy and strategic location connect diverse markets offering access to over 86% of the world’s GDP through 30 free trade agreements. Over 50,000 engineers graduate annually, fostering a skilled workforce, while its innovation initiatives receive around $1 billion in government funding. This, coupled with a solid political stability index score of 9.17 and a Corruption Perceptions Index ranking of 33 out of 180 countries, creates a secure business environment. Additionally, Chile’s renewable energy sector constitutes more than 20% of its energy mix, contributing to a sustainable future.

2. Can I hire top tech talent in Chile?

Absolutely, Chile offers a prime location to hire top tech talent. With over 1,300 startups and around 700 IT companies, the tech sector is thriving. Santiago stands out as a tech hub, hosting 50% of startups and 60% of IT firms. Annually, Chile produces circa 13,000 engineers, contributing to a skilled workforce. Notably, 60% of professionals exhibit good to excellent English proficiency, facilitating efficient global collaborations.

3. What is the level of English for professionals in Chile?

The level of English proficiency among professionals in Chile is high.  According to the EF English Proficiency Index, Chile ranks 45th out of 100 countries assessed in terms of English proficiency. Approximately 60% of professionals in Chile possess a good to excellent command of English. This bilingual capability among tech talent is especially advantageous, given the country’s growing prominence as a tech hub. As Chile invests in its education system and emphasizes language learning, the English proficiency of its professionals continues to improve.

4. How many software developers are there in Chile?

Chile’s commitment to education is evident through its universities and institutions offering specialized programs in software engineering, computer science, and related fields. The country boasts an estimated talent pool of circa 10,000 to 15,000 software engineers and related professionals.

Biz Latin Hub can help you with hiring tech talent in Chile

At Biz Latin Hub, we provide integrated market entry and back-office services throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with offices in Bogota and Cartagena, as well as over a dozen other major cities in the region. We also have trusted partners in many other markets.

Our unrivaled reach means we are ideally placed to support multi-jurisdiction market entries and cross border operations.

As well as knowledge about hiring developers in Chile, our portfolio of services includes hiring & PEO, accounting & taxation, company formation, bank account opening, and corporate legal services.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you in finding top talent, or otherwise do business in Latin America and the Caribbean.

If this article on hiring developers/tech talent in Chile was of interest to you, check out the rest of our coverage of the region. Or read about our team and expert authors.

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Hiring Tech Talent in Chile, Hiring Developers in Chile: Key services offered by Biz Latin Hub

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Craig Dempsey

Craig Dempsey

Craig is a seasoned business professional in Latin America. He is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Biz Latin Hub Group that specializes in the provision market entry and back office services. Craig holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, with honors and a Master's Degree in Project Management from the University of New South Wales. Craig is also an active board member on the Australian Colombian Business Council, and likewise also active with the Australian Latin American Business Council.

Craig is also a military veteran, having served in the Australian military on numerous overseas missions and also a former mining executive with experience in various overseas jurisdictions, including, Canada, Australia, Peru and Colombia.

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