While Asia Pacific (APAC) has long been the epicenter of offshore outsourcing for software development, Latin American (LATAM) and Central American (CAM) countries are emerging as formidable players in the global tech landscape. Among them, Costa Rica stands out as a top-notch choice.
The appeal of Costa Rica for US companies seeking outsourcing partnerships is multifaceted, including its highly skilled software engineers and developers, convenient time zone alignment with the US and cost-effective hiring options – just to name a few advantages.
In this article, we’ll delve into some of the compelling advantages companies can harness when they hire software developers in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica at a Glance
Currency: Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
Capital: San José
Time Zone: GMT-3
Median Salary for Software Developers with 7-9 years of experience: US$56,000 (according to Glassdoor)
Business Climate: A3 (according to Coface, which scores countries as A1, A2, A3, A4, B, C, D, and E)
Vibrant and thriving tech talent pool
Education in Costa Rica is a point of pride. The country is renowned globally for its significant investments in healthcare and education, outranking its LATAM neighbors in government spending per student according to OECD data. This commitment to education has resulted in a remarkable literacy rate of nearly 97.8% among individuals aged 15 and older.
The government-funded University of Costa Rica offers numerous scholarships, making higher education accessible and affordable. The Ministry of Education emphasizes technology, research and innovation, which is a boon for the tech sector. Universities like the Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica and the Universidad Técnica Nacional offer robust technical courses, nurturing aspiring developers.
Costa Rican students have ample opportunities to engage in research and innovation, particularly in technology and IT. This ensures that software developers in Costa Rica are not only well-educated and highly skilled but also embrace a creative and innovation-oriented mindset. US companies considering outsourcing to Costa Rica can rest assured that they are tapping into a pool of well-prepared, highly-qualified professionals.
Booming tech infrastructure
Costa Rica has caught the attention of major players in the tech space, with a plethora of Fortune 100 companies, including Intel, IBM and HP, establishing development centers in the country. San Jose, in particular, is gaining recognition as the Silicon Valley of the CAM region. The country boasts large technological parks, such as the América Free Zone and Global Park, which host numerous software development companies and healthcare technology corporations working on groundbreaking medical devices.
These tech parks, often designated as free trade zones, offer tax incentives and are helping to foster growth in the IT outsourcing sector. Moreover, the government’s ambitious project, Tech City, is currently under construction and is expected to host a multitude of tech companies.
Time zone alignment and nearshoring potential
A major concern for companies considering offshore software development is the time zone difference. With Costa Rica, this concern is minimized for US companies, as the United States Eastern Time Zone is only two hours ahead. This proximity ensures that Costa Rican developers are available for real-time communication during US working hours. The time difference between Costa Rica and Western Europe is also manageable, being only six hours apart.
This nearshore location facilitates real-time collaboration and streamlines project progress. Prompt resolution of queries and issues, as well as timely adjustments, makes Costa Rica an ideal nearshore outsourcing destination for US companies.
Low turnover rates
Costa Rican developers enjoy employment in a rapidly growing IT sector, enabling them to continually innovate in their roles. This stability translates into low attrition rates, reducing the likelihood of team members switching companies during a project.
For US companies, this continuity ensures consistent project progress without data or knowledge loss due to team changes. A steady team also guarantees a hassle-free outsourcing experience, eliminating the need to brief new developers on the project’s intricacies.
Multilingual development teams
Language barriers can be a significant concern when outsourcing work to another country. However, this is not an issue for US companies in Costa Rica, as developers are typically proficient in English, ranking fourth in Latin America in the English Proficiency Index with a score of 536. This linguistic prowess minimizes miscommunication and the risk of project errors.
Choosing Costa Rica for nearshore software development can yield significant cost savings for US companies. The cost of hiring Costa Rican developers is considerably lower than hiring in-house developers in the US. The median salary for a Costa Rican software engineer with 7-9 years of experience is $56,000, as opposed to over $100,000 in the United States according to data from Glassdoor.
Cultural compatibility and work ethic
Costa Rica’s cultural compatibility with Western countries, especially the US, is a significant advantage for companies. According to the feedback we often get from our clients, Costa Ricans demonstrate strong work ethic, punctuality and dedication to their jobs. They value professionalism and take pride in delivering high-quality work.
This cultural alignment can lead to smoother collaboration, reduced misunderstandings and a shared commitment to project success.
Robust intellectual property protection
Costa Rica has strong intellectual property (IP) protection laws in place, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), providing assurance to companies that their proprietary information and software code will be safeguarded.
This comprehensive legal framework offers peace of mind for businesses concerned about the security and confidentiality of their projects when outsourcing to Costa Rica.
Government support and investment incentives
The Costa Rican government actively supports and promotes the technology and software development sector. They offer various investment incentives, including tax benefits and grants, to attract foreign companies and encourage economic growth.
This support not only makes Costa Rica an appealing choice for outsourcing but also lowers the overall operational costs for businesses looking to eventually establish a presence in the country. The government’s commitment to technology development ensures a stable and supportive ecosystem for software development companies.
Streamlined recruitment and compliance with EOR services
When hiring software developers in Costa Rica, tapping into the services of an Employer of Record (EOR) can significantly simplify the recruitment and onboarding process. EOR providers specialize in navigating local labor laws, regulations and tax requirements, ensuring that your hiring process aligns seamlessly with the Costa Rican legal framework. They efficiently manage administrative tasks, payroll, benefits and legal compliance, freeing your company to concentrate on core business activities.
GoGlobal takes EOR hiring a step further with our Recruit & Hire solution, harnessing our extensive knowledge and expertise to assist companies in building robust workforces around the world. Through our specialized services, we facilitate the recruitment, onboarding and engagement of top-tier talent, ensuring that your company can effortlessly access Costa Rica’s vibrant pool of software development professionals while navigating the intricacies of cross-border employment.
GoGlobal is your partner for recruiting and managing software development talent in Costa Rica and around the world. Contact us to learn more about how our one-of-a-kind Recruit & Hire solution can help you access new talent pools of remote workers and digital nomads.