Latin America challenged to maintain talent

Bruno Ribeiro, Brazilian computer engineer hired by Disney on March 4, 2022 in Los Angeles
Bruno Ribeiro, Brazilian computer engineer hired by Disney on March 4, 2022 in Los Angeles (Frederick J. Brown / AFP)

As the use of connected objects continues to grow, computer scientists, developers, and computer programmers are being brought to court at exorbitant prices by companies in the international market. In this highly competitive situation, Latin America struggles to maintain its talent.

The shortage of professionals in this sector is “extreme” on a global scale and has been confirmed by AFP Diego Bertolini, Human Resources Director of Digital Marketing Agency Raccoon.monks.

To attract them, he points out, international companies are “very aggressive in terms of salaries and social benefits.” In particular, the market is cross-border thanks to telework and remote meeting tools.

Another result of the pandemic is the devaluation of Latin American currencies. This makes offers from foreign companies paid in dollars or euros, making them much more attractive to local talent.

And these multinationals are creating economies of scale by paying lower wages than in Europe and the United States.

“It’s good for all of us. It’s good for me and for them,” said Adriana Zegara, a self-taught Bolivian programmer who works for a Canadian company without leaving her home in La Paz, facing Nevado Illimani. (44 years old) rejoices in the snow-capped mountains of the Andes.

“The international consultancy contract for my position is between $ 2,000 and $ 3,000 a month. There’s a minister here who earns that much,” she told AFP, a Bolivian company “I’m for the same job.” Will pay one-third. “

In effect, the big losers are small and medium-sized local businesses that have difficulty hiring and retaining engineers around the world.

However, according to the specialist company IDC, the IT market in this region of the world grew 8.5% in 2021, and the estimate for 2022 rose to 9.4%.

Also, by the end of 2022, 48% of labor needs in this area will not be met in Latin America, according to PageGroup, an international recruiting firm.

Thirty-Nine-year-old entrepreneur Jhon Montevilla wanted to open an online advertising platform like “Leboncoin” in Bolivia, but the application “did not see the light of day.”

“When we invested in marketing, we wanted to be attractive, so the available money was already paid in salary,” he laments.

And when a young man is formed, he is immediately attracted to the ringing, stumbling sirens.

“There is a lot of effort being made internally to bring them to the required level,” but “as soon as they are trained, better suggestions come to them,” Bertolini explains. ..

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Guzman Freigedo, 31, from Uruguay, followed this path. He has just been hired as a network engineer for an online supermarket company in the Netherlands.

Unable to find an experienced engineer, his former employer “trained him about everything in the first year,” he says. Three years later, he went in the direction of Amsterdam and earned “three to four times” more than Montevideo.

He assures AFP to try “another experience” in an “international” group rather than leaving “for financial reasons”.

In Uruguay, 5,000 positions for computer professionals are stagnant, “recent increase”, Matias Boix of Uruguay Information Technology Council told AFP.

In Brazil, nearly 800,000 positions will be vacant between 2021 and 2025. According to Brasscom, the organization that oversees the sector, if 53,000 people are trained each year, the sector claims 159,000.

Cited as a talented student, Colombia has launched a program to train 100,000 young programmers.

Latin American universities and public policy have been accused of lagging behind technical training, according to PageGroup, but the IT workforce has grown almost twice as fast as the United States in the last five years.

For Sarah Stanton, a think tank Inter-American Dialogue, the region’s private sector and public sector need to coordinate and increase regional exchanges to meet these “skill challenges” that are essential to economic development.

pr-ms-raa-ll / lab / jb / am