The lively Latin American country of Mexico offers a diverse population of professional talent ranging in specialties from administration to tech. Software development in Mexico is rapidly growing and gaining recognition on a global scale. So much so in fact, that Mexico is now among the world’s top places from which to hire software developers. Set your hiring sights here and you’ll enjoy plenty of options within the country’s hundreds of thousands of qualified candidates.

What Does Mexico’s Tech Talent Landscape Look Like?

Mexico is quickly making a name for itself in the global economy. It currently ranks 14th in the world and second overall in Latin America in terms of GDP, according to data from The World Bank.

Driving this growth is the country’s sprawling tech landscape, which currently employs hundreds of thousands of people with specializations ranging broadly between everything from back-end to front-end development. According to ICEF Monitor, roughly 48% of Mexican universities now offer programs taught in English. 

It’s estimated that 130,000 engineers and technicians graduate from specialized Mexican schools every year. That’s more than higher-GDP-ranking countries Canada, Germany, and Brazil. Those three nations have as much as twice the population size of Mexico, highlighting the extraordinary pace at which its pool of tech talent is growing compared to the rest of the world. It’s a pace that has almost certainly increased with technological and socioeconomic development south of the border over recent years. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Hiring Software Developers In Mexico?

Hiring software developers in Mexico comes with several potential advantages and drawbacks:

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Cost-Effectiveness: Salaries in Mexico are much lower than in the United States – an average of $33,000 a year according to Glassdoor. This makes employing in the country a cost-effective option for businesses on tight budgets.Cultural and Operational Challenges: There may be some cultural differences to navigate when working with software developers in Mexico. Taking time to understand the country’s people and traditions can go a long way in bridging this gap.  
Proximity: Real-time collaboration is a major bonus when working with remote software developers. Mexico’s alignment with North American time zones makes it an ideal location for businesses in the United States to work closely with their Mexican development teams.Language Barriers: While many developers in Mexico are fluent in English, there may still be some language barriers to overcome. Employers can benefit from narrowing their search to bilingual talent. 
Robust Tech Infrastructure: Mexico has made significant technological investments since the passing of landmark infrastructure reforms in 2013. Now more than ever, developers have access to the tools and telecommunications networks they need to reliably work remote jobs. Unique Taxation and Legal Requirements: Doing business in Mexico comes with its own set of taxation and legal requirements, which may be unfamiliar to foreign businesses. Employment agencies offer an outsourced solution to those who prefer to save themselves time and confusion. 

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Developers from Mexico?

It’s hard to pin a specific salary range for Mexican software developers as it varies greatly depending on the individual’s level of experience and skill set. Many professionals have knowledge spanning multiple programming languages and can work on diverse projects. This versatility is highly valued by employers, resulting in higher salaries.

A 2023 Tech Salary Report pins the average salary for a semi-senior or senior developer or engineer in Mexico at around $51,431.88 per year. That’s significantly less than what an individual of the same level of expertise earns in the United States – between $115,000 and $190,000 per year.

As for the sophistication of talent available, about 64.5% of Mexico’s tech sector possesses at least a bachelor’s degree in their area of specialty. Another 51% have a relevant technical certification. Individuals with in-demand skills are paid higher salaries due to the scarcity of their expertise.

Salary range depending on experience according to Glassdoor:

Experience LevelEstimated Salary
Junior (1-3 years of experience)$24,000 – $42,000 USD
Intermediate (4-7 years of experience)$42,000 – $66,000 USD
Senior (8-10 years of experience)$66,000 – $90,000 USD
Team Lead (10+ years of experience)$90,000+ USD

Read more: Payroll Taxes for Employers in Mexico

How to Hire Software Developers in Mexico

Anyone can hire a software developer in Mexico – the challenge is hiring one efficiently and cost-effectively. Your best options are to engage contractors, leverage the help of a recruitment agency, or collaborate with an outsourcing vendor.

Engaging Contractors

Companies with specific project needs and tight timelines get the most value by hiring software developers in Mexico who work on a freelance basis. This option allows for flexibility, as freelancers typically have their own equipment and can work remotely. Companies save money by hiring freelancers rather than full-time employees, as there are no additional overhead costs such as benefits and office space. That’s particularly attractive to smaller organizations with limited resources. At the same time, it is important to carefully vet freelancers and establish clear contracts to ensure quality work. Globy provides access to pre-vetted contractors so you don’t have to worry about skills or reliability when hiring. 

Leveraging Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment agencies are a helpful resource for businesses that are too preoccupied with core operations to manage the hiring process. Agencies specialize in finding qualified software developers with specific skill sets and experience. They’ll either already have a pool of pre-screened and vetted software developers ready to start work, or a system in place to find good candidates quickly. The time and resources this saves are often much greater than the fee paid to the recruitment agency for their services.

Working With EORs

Employers of Record, or EORs, are a popular option for businesses looking to hire software developers internationally. An EOR acts as the legal employer for your development team, handling all employment and payroll responsibilities on your behalf. This can save businesses time and resources by avoiding complex international hiring processes. 

Not all EORs are made the same, however. Some provide support with immigration and visa processes, while others may only handle payroll and employment. You may have to source talent on your own as well. 

Collaborating with Outsourcing Vendors

Outsourcing vendors manage talent networks in different countries around the world. They offer more flexibility in terms of team size, project duration, and cost by connecting businesses with pre-vetted, qualified software developers. 

Vendors can recommend specialized Employer of Record (EOR) providers to handle payroll and administrative tasks on clients’ behalf after they hire remote software developers. This both simplifies the initial hiring process and removes the extended burden of navigating international laws and regulations on case-specific bases. 

The beauty of working with an outsourcing vendor is the level of flexibility and scalability they offer. Businesses can choose to work with one software developer for a specific project, or they can scale up their team with multiple developers as needed. While EORs provide direct employment solutions, vendors are equipped to build and manage entire remote development teams.

Read more: Hiring Employees in Mexico

Engagement Models for Hiring In Mexico

Software development companies in Mexico and abroad can hire people in several ways:

Hiring Vendors

Hiring vendors offer the simplest solution to hiring software developers in Mexico by facilitating everything from initial talent searches to interviews. The only real drawback is the fee paid for their services. Businesses both large and small often find it worthwhile, though. 

This is especially true for companies seeking highly specialized developers, as the vendors will have access to a larger pool of talent and can tailor their search to fit specific job requirements. Vendors also take care of all administrative tasks such as contracts, payroll, and benefits for the hired developers, making the hiring process much smoother for businesses.

Dedicated In-House Teams

An alternative for those seeking more oversight and control, dedicated teams operate in-house and are formally employed by the company they work for. Going this route means entering into an employment contract in employees’ country of residence while committing to a consistent salary, benefits, and job security. It’s a lot of responsibility and therefore makes the most sense when working on long-term projects. Otherwise, companies stand to waste in-house resources while complicating the lives of their HR staff. 

Contracted Teams

Contractual arrangements involve hiring a third-party company to handle all aspects of software development. It makes the most sense to go this route when you do not have the resources or expertise to develop software in-house.

Freelancers

Freelancers are self-employed individuals who offer their services on a project-by-project basis. Their work is outlined in individual contracts and they are paid based on the completion of each project. This model is common for short-term or one-time projects that require a specific skill set. 

Things to Keep In Mind When Hiring Mexican Software Engineers

Employing remote software engineers from any country comes with potential risks. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly vet job applicants before bringing them on board. Ask Mexican engineers about their experience working with international clients and if they have any references from past projects.

If English isn’t their first language, make sure to discuss communication methods and expectations. This is especially important for remote work, as effective communication is key to a successful collaboration. 

What You Need to Know to Hire a Mexican Developer In-House

Remote work for in-house employees in Mexico is regulated by a special section in the Federal Labor Law (FLL). Its standards apply to any employee who reports from home at least 40 percent of the time.

The Mexican Secretary of Labor and Social Welfare oversees and enforces rules surrounding employment contracts, payroll social security and pension contributions, as well as workers’ entitlements to leave and time off. 

The following table provides a high-level overview of what employers need to know. 

Work WeekTypically runs from Monday to Friday with an average of 40 hours per week for full-time employees.
National HolidaysJanuary 1st: New Year’s DayFirst Monday of February: Constitution DayThird Monday of March: Benito Juarez’ BirthdayMay 1st: Labor DaySeptember 16th: Independence DayThird Monday of November: Revolution DayDecember 25th: Christmas Day
LeaveMexican labor laws require employers to provide at least 12 days of paid vacation after one year of employment. Employees are entitled to a premium of 25% of their wages on top of base salary during vacation.
Social Security ContributionsThe IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social) requires employer contributions of 34% to 50% to social security.
Income TaxEmployees’ income must be withheld based on their income tax bracket. Mexico currently prescribes rates proportionate to the amount of money an individual makes a year, ranging from 1.92% for the lowest earners to 35% for the highest earners.

Intellectual Property (IP) should always be top of mind when hiring developers in Mexico, or any country for that matter. Knowing what laws and methods of recourse exist will ensure you’re fully protected while tapping into foreign talent pools. 

Mexico has signed onto international agreements, such as The Patent Cooperation Treaty, The Hague Agreement, The Madrid Protocol, and The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which in part determine its policies on IP rights. Enforcement is somewhat piecemeal, however, and spread across several federal agencies.

That’s another strong reason to have an agency handle hiring software developers in Mexico on your behalf.

Further reading: Employee Benefits in Mexico and Leave Policies in Mexico

How Do I Overcome the Challenges of Hiring Remote Employees?

The best way to overcome the challenges of hiring remote software developers in Mexico is to plan ahead and partner with a qualified vendor. Outsourced expertise minimizes recruitment complications while keeping everything from payroll to legal paperwork hassle-free.

Success will be critical on effective time zone management, as well. The candidate you bring on board will need to reside in a timezone that makes sense for your business’ operating hours. Luckily for North American companies, that only means a time difference of up to two hours. Employers in the Eastern Hemisphere can also find Mexican talent willing to work on their schedule despite a greater time zone discrepancy, although it’s usually more difficult.

What Alternatives Are There to Hiring In Mexico?

When it comes to software development Mexico isn’t your only choice. There are plenty of other amazing options in Latin America and beyond to consider. Brazil’s tech sector lags behind Mexico in terms of growth, but that is a fair compromise considering the more diverse selection of languages spoken – Portuguese and Spanish.

Argentina has a long history of tech education and produces some of the most skilled developers in Latin America. However, its economy is struggling, making it more difficult to find affordable rates.

Chile is another popular choice – the country’s tech sector is growing rapidly, and its developers are known for their high-quality work and strong English proficiency. The main drawback is that Chile tends to have higher rates than other Latin American countries.

Author avatar
Article author
Vit Koval
Co-founder at Globy
A top Global Hiring voice on LinkedIn, co-founder of Globy, and host of Default Global. Using deep expertise in global hiring, remote work, and global business expansion to help companies excel worldwide with innovative strategies.

FAQs

Hiring an employee in Mexico starts with finding the right candidate for your job opening and conducting interviews. Once you have selected someone, they will need to go through a background check and provide necessary documentation. A recruitment agency can help facilitate this process easily.

The best way to hire software developers in Mexico would be through job postings on popular freelance platforms such as Upwork. You can also work with local recruiting agencies or attend tech conferences and career fairs in the country to connect with potential candidates.

The hourly rate for a software developer in Mexico can vary depending on their level of experience, specific skills, and the company they work for. On average, the hourly rate ranges from $10 to $30 USD per hour.