Meeting Juan Arango And Colombian Tech Talent Arena

July 5, 2022 12 min read

While Innovecs expands its presence to new markets, our culture becomes richer and more vibrant with the arrival of new specialists. Today we would like to introduce Juan Arango, who joined our company in June and embraced the position of Talent Acquisition Manager.

Juan Arango is a pro with vast transformational leadership experience who perceives the team as a strategic ally for organizational success. He has been engaged in developing high-performance teams in various companies across Colombia. Juan is passionate about building strategic and business partnerships transversally with all employees. We believe his expertise will enhance Innovecs capabilities and facilitate a corporate course toward global leadership.

Besides growing from Junior Consultant to Talent Acquisition Business Partner and Manager, Juan is a bilingual psychologist and labor law specialist, who understands and strengthens the human side of organizations through coaching, employer branding, career development, and training programs that contribute significantly to a greater sense of belonging inside a company.

As our journey begins, we decided to set off with a brief interview. Juan kindly provided his expert opinion and views on the Colombian Labor Market.

— Juan, in the context of the global tech arena, what are the main labor market features of Colombia and the LATAM region in general? What are the specifics of the hiring process?

— LATAM region, especially Colombia, is characterized by having tech professionals that can work in a nearshore model for the North American market within a slight difference of 2-3 hours only, which gives a competitive advantage in regard to direct communication with client stakeholders and tech teams.

The aim of a successful hiring process in Colombia is to make it agile and efficient. Once we have identified a good candidate, our goal is to ‘put the pedal to the metal’ and work as a team with the clients to orient them in the decision-making process to select the best candidates that suit their needs.

Сandidates in Colombia read Glassdoor webpage reviews when they want to check the reputation of the company. Referral programs work really well in conditions where they can get paid $1.000 to 2.000 USD and also they look into how many followers and the type of projects/technologies/clients the company offers.

— What are the advantages and disadvantages of this job market?

— Among the major advantages, I would highlight the following:

  • Similar time zone within North American and Latin American countries.
  • Due to the high demand for IT professionals, governments, communities, non-profit organizations, and schools are promoting and motivating students to learn and get immersed in the technology industry to have well-paid jobs and opportunities for them and their families.
  • Lots of Junior talent with great potential and attitude to work and be part of international companies.
  • Increasing rates of candidates studying English as they know how important it is today to know the English language to land great jobs.

As far as the disadvantages are concerned, I believe they are as follows:

  • Lots of international competitors from other countries are chasing talent, hence increasing salaries, paying attractive/high sign-on bonuses, and offering relocation programs are the most relevant strategies to catch their interest.
  • Due to inflation rates (Colombia has one of the highest inflation rates in Latin America), employees from all industries including IT, are looking for jobs where they can earn more to counteract inflation, which is something employers should understand and consider.
  • Despite many people being conscious of the importance of learning English, there is still a gap among developers who do not yet have an advanced/fluent English level, most times necessary to be part of international projects. This is an ongoing process and in a couple of years, we will have more bilingual professionals on the list.

— What features make the Colombian market attractive to our clients?

— Colombian people. First, they have a good attitude and a willingness to cooperate and learn fast. And second, Colombians can adapt easily to the fast and rapidly evolving environments of tech companies.

— Colombia has a steadily growing population of young, highly educated, and motivated individuals specializing in software engineering and other tech-related fields. Could you please tell us the reasons and main factors for such a progression?

— In my opinion, the key underlying reasons for the growing tech talent market include:

  • The high demand for jobs and new opportunities arriving in the past years.
  • An opportunity to grow personally and professionally by learning how to code.
  • Having good compensation and benefits compared to the other jobs in different industries.
  • Technology for companies and businesses is not a plus but a competitive advantage and a need new specialists can fulfill.

— Are there some tech hubs in the country?

— Medellin is considered the best hub for tech talent in Colombia. Bogota, Cali and Barranquilla will follow the lead.

— And the last question, Juan. What are Innovecs’ plans for Colombia?

— The plan is pretty clear. First, we have an objective to hire local talent for North American clients. Second, we aspire to be the pioneers of the global Innovecs expansion in the LATAM region. Third, we aim to leverage the difficulty of hiring talent in Ukraine. And last but not least, Colombia seeks to become a country that can increase the size and revenue of the company.

That indeed sounds like a solid plan. We welcome Juan aboard and pin high hopes on our joint experience at Innovecs.

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