Access to Latin America's Top Tech TalentBy MBN Staff | Fri, 08/12/2022 - 09:00
Q: What are the key differentiators of TECLA’s commercial proposition from other tech recruitment and staffing companies?
A: We focus mostly on helping US and Canadian companies. The company’s leadership has a background at startups and product development in the US, so we help companies with a similar background. Companies offshoring or nearshoring their services are not typically well aligned with their needs and do not fully understand the profile they are looking for.
We started from an exclusive angle because we manage premium job opportunities that match only the most senior profiles in Latin America. We needed to be truly different to get the attention of these profiles. TECLA is invitation only and has grown from within through an internal referral system. We help candidates develop their careers, not just apply for a job. We coach them and help them to negotiate offers. Before the pandemic, companies did not often hire employees in Mexico; they contacted an agency that would hire them, allowing the company to essentially rent developers.
We are on the candidate’s side, so we actually help companies build their own teams. After the pandemic, many companies built their own recruitment teams to hire talent in Mexico, effectively avoiding agencies because they do not want an intermediary adding a markup in perpetuity.
Q: Is it possible that the company’s singular focus on existing talent is limiting or hurting growth?
A: We might later train midlevel and junior developers to grow our talent supply but we do not see ourselves as a boot camp company that trains midlevel and senior candidates and takes a percentage of their salary when they are hired.
We do want the market to train midlevel and junior developers. We ally with some companies that train this talent so their graduates know about TECLA. If our clients requested more junior and midlevel developers we would train them but our clients are looking for profiles with six or seven years of experience.
Q: What benefits, resources or initiatives make TECLA appealing to potential candidates?
A: We coach candidates and give them information about the opportunity, the company and what they can expect if it is their first time working in another country, a service that most candidates do not get from a corporate recruiter. We offer a tool to tailor their CVs to each opportunity. We also offer a salary guide so employees see how much they should be paid and a trend explorer so they can see the skills that are in demand.
Q: How has the digital transformation and the rapid development of new technologies shifted the baseline of desired skills?
A: The baseline is changing quickly in terms of software. New frameworks, new languages and new libraries are emerging pretty much every week. Our trend explorer takes data points from job requirements so candidates can see which skills and technologies are attracting the highest pay. This technology is a priority for us.
Q: How is TECLA promoting or supporting the appointment of Latinx talent in decision-making positions?
A: Diversity hiring is a large trend but it mostly focuses on getting women into STEM careers and into engineering and technical roles. More companies are focusing on diversity so this has become a priority for us. We are trying to increase female representation in tech companies.
Q: What is the demographic breakdown of your candidates?
A: Today, we have over 40,000 engineers, mainly in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. Mexico is our top priority now. We are trying to double or even triple the number of associates we have in the country, which is challenging because we are not hiring junior roles but highly experienced professionals. At this point, 85 percent of tech positions are held by men and we are trying to change that.
Q: What are some foreseeable implications of the tech talent “brain-drain” from Latin American countries?
A: It is key to identify why top Mexican developers, designers and product managers prefer to work for US and Canadian companies. It is not just the salary. Business leaders in Mexico and Latin America need to understand why the region is losing talent. This trend also affects venture capital and the entrepreneurial potential of Latin America. By working remotely from Mexico or other countries in Latin America, these individuals can contribute to their local economies and generate business down the line.
Q: What objectives does TECLA have for the Mexican market in 2022-2023?
A: We aim to provide more services in the same space and strengthen our network, helping our candidates access information to build up their soft and hard skills and to identify which skills are in highest demand. English proficiency, for example, is highly in demand.
Our largest objective is to triple our candidate base in Mexico. Doubling it will be easy as we are allying with boot camps, academia and many companies. We are now present in 16 countries in Latin America but Mexico is our priority because US and Canadian companies want Mexican employees.
TECLA, founded in 2018, is an invitation-only, 100 percent remote-hiring network that connects growing tech companies with pre-screened senior remote software engineers from across Central and South America.