In the United States, the 2021 story with regard to employment is the “great resignation”. For engineers in Latin America, particularly in Costa Rica where Telescoped is focused, the story for 2021 can better be described as the “great hiring”.
2021 saw the biggest increase in engineering salaries in Costa Rica in a long time. This year it was not uncommon for software engineers or web developers changing jobs to receive 10%-20% salary increases or more.
Tech hiring was clearly still in a boom cycle, yet average tech salaries in the United States actually went down as tech companies began hiring remote talent in cheaper US markets or more junior talent after simply being unable to find suitable senior talent. But, the impact of this demand and simultaneous openness to remote work was felt much more strongly abroad.
We’ve written previously about the increase in demand for talent outside the United States, but 2021 ended up being even more disruptive than many people expected in Latin America. As companies in the US felt record levels of competition for engineering talent, many companies realized they could tap into great talent pools in Latin America more easily. Engineers started getting offers at a pace like they have never seen before and with that came significant salary increases. Existing employers in places like Costa Rica were forced to make major corrections to their salary bands (in some cases by 20%) in order to retain their existing personnel.
The “great hiring” ended up being a giant leap forward in the global leveling of engineering salaries and we expect that trend to continue in 2022 and beyond. Companies not thinking about a global hiring strategy will quickly find themselves falling behind their competitors who are actually able to hire the talent they need.