The race for tech talent is still going strong with companies looking beyond their traditional borders for employees. Nick Broughton, GoGlobal Partner, and Harry Dhillon, Director, Recruitment, share the top 14 countries with exceptional tech talent pools. Learn more about what these countries have to offer and the benefits of remote Recruit & Hire.
According to a recent report by Mercer, workforce gaps and cost control are top of mind for business leaders as they hedge against an expected economic downturn.
In today’s challenging economic landscape, companies must align their talent strategies with mounting cost pressures. So, as technology companies struggle with talent shortages, it should come as no surprise mass industry layoffs are dominating headlines.
As more companies try to strike the talent-price balance, we’re likely to see recruitment efforts pivot from legacy tech markets, like Silicon Valley, to more cost-effective talent pools. For example, many emerging countries offer young, well-educated workers who can bring fresh ideas and diverse perspectives to the industry.
Here is a look at a few countries for comparison:
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Innovation will never go out of business. The following are the top 14 up-and-coming countries for multinational companies (MNCs) to check out for tech talent.
The technology sector and startup ecosystem in Argentina are thriving in recent years, with the country earning a stellar reputation as a top-tier software outsourcing destination. Its talent pool ranks among the world’s top emerging economies for data science skills, according to Coursera. Buenos Aires is also recognized by the Global Innovation Index as one of the top science and technology (S&T) centers among the world’s middle-income economies. Thanks to support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), US$288 million will be invested through 2026 to promote science, technology and innovation in Argentina – so it’s expected the country’s tech talent pool will continue to grow.
The largest country in South America and one of the most advanced in the region, Brazil’s technology sector continues to gain momentum. The government offers companies tax incentives, subsidies and benefits for trademarking, patenting and bringing new technology to market. For example, a new plan for attracting semiconductor producers is in the works. Companies in the tech sector can also benefit from payroll relief. As a result, Brazil is catching the attention of MNCs looking to hire tech talent.
Canada’s population may be smaller than that of nearby U.S. and Mexico, but its tech talent pool runs deep. CBRE’s most recent Scoring Tech Talent report identified 11 Canadian cities among North America’s top-performing destinations for tech talent, with Toronto claiming third place overall (after fellow powerhouses San Francisco and Seattle) and Calgary ranking an impressive eighth for ‘brain gain’ job growth. The ‘Great White North’ also consistently lands in the ‘Big 4’ of the Global Startup Ecosystem Index.
The Chinese government has invested heavily in education and training programs to nurture a skilled workforce, particularly in fields such as engineering, computer science, and information technology. These initiatives are paying off, with China quickly becoming a major player in artificial intelligence, machine learning and 5G technology. As China’s consumer market explodes, more technology companies are interested in expanding their operations there to test the market, launch products and build product teams.
The ‘gateway to South America,’ Colombia, is making inroads as a strategic business hub for MNCs. With a growing tech sector, the country is positioning itself as the ‘Silicon Valley of Latin America.’ While still only ranked 63rd globally on the Global Innovation Index, Colombia outpaces most of its neighbors and continues to climb the ranks year after year. The country’s talent pools are well stocked in software development, web development, mobile app development, IT BPO, animation/visual effects (VFX) and IT security.
With its large population of English-speaking, highly-educated tech professionals, India has long been a top source for IT workers and engineers. The Indian government has invested in accelerator programs to improve India’s position as a technology hub. As a result, India’s startup ecosystem is now coming of age and entrepreneurship is on the rise. These forces are creating a more favorable environment for companies looking to hire technology talent.
As one of Africa’s most advanced tech hubs, Kenya is often called the “Silicon Savannah.” Prior to the pandemic, tech investments in the developing country were driven largely by government investments in internet infrastructure, government incentive packages, the rise of mobile banking and a fast-growing economy. However, today, multinational tech companies are being lured in by the country’s promising pipeline of cost-effective talent, particularly software engineers. Even big tech leaders – including Microsoft, Google, Visa and Amazon – recently announced plans to increase their presence in Kenya.
Known for its strong English-speaking workforce, the Philippines has been attracting IT BPO companies and outsourcing centers for several years. As a result, it has become a hot spot for IT talent in key areas of the technology sector, especially software development, data analysis and customer service. Labor costs in the Philippines are lower than in most developed countries, making it a more cost-effective option for engaging tech talent.
A growing number of high-profile startups and unicorns – such as DocPlanner, Brainly, Showpad and LiveChat – have helped put Poland on the map when it comes to hiring tech talent. With lower operating costs than in most Western European countries, the country has become a premier destination for IT services, R&D centers and software houses.
Long known for its ‘Golden Visa’ program, Portugal has been ahead of the curve when it comes to attracting international talent and potential business investors. However, local talent is fueling the country’s tech scene, with Portugal having the second-highest rate of engineering graduates in the European Union. The European Central Bank also ranks Portugal as the second best country in Europe for business innovation.
London has long been Europe’s undisputed tech giant but, in recent years, other cities have stepped up to vie for the title. Berlin, the capital of Germany, is a top contender and has been dubbed the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe.’ There’s even Silicon Allee, a startup hub serving the city’s thriving tech scene. Germany, as a whole, consistently ranks among the world’s top 10 on the Global Innovation Index and there are large pools of talent in software engineering, autotech, robotics, healthtech, fintech and biotechnology.
One of the world’s most culturally diverse countries, South Africa is regarded as the most advanced, diversified and productive economy in Africa. According to the Global Innovation Index, it outperforms other middle-income economies in five key pillars: institutions, human capital, market diversity, business sophistication and technology outputs. Labor costs for professional roles can ring up at less than half the price of Europe and the U.S., which explains why the country is being targeted by tech companies for cost-savings. Notably, South Africa’s BPO industry is projected to triple in size and create nearly a million new jobs by 2030, according to McKinsey.
United Arab Emirates
As the second-largest economy in the Arab world, the UAE is distinguished by fast-growth trade zones that have facilitated explosive inbound foreign direct investment in recent years. The workforce of both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been ranked among the top ten cities in the world for digital talent, according to the BCG Decoding Global Talent. The UAE also earns top marks for its straight-forward business environment and cutting-edge innovation, being named the top country in the Arab world by the Global Innovation Index.
The future looks bright for the ‘next Asian Tiger,’ especially when it comes to the technology sector. Innovation abounds, with Vietnam being ranked #2 globally among developing economies by the Global Innovation Index. Its startup ecosystem is recognized by StartupBlink as one of the most vibrant in Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese government, through the ongoing National Digital Transformation Program, is promoting strategic investments in fintech, healthtech, manufacturing technology and energy technology. Vietnam also has a young population, which can offer MNCs access to the up-and-coming consumer market and talent pool. The workforce notably ranks among the world’s top emerging economies for data science skills, according to Coursera.