Outsourcing

Breaking Down the Benefits of Nearshore Outsourcing in Colombia

In today’s dynamic global business scenario, companies must take proactive steps to foster growth within their industry. It’s a landscape where you either thrive or fade away. Among the paramount concerns for executives in this environment is how to allocate a significant part of their budget toward expansion endeavors.

Initially, outsourcing talent to emerging hubs such as China, India or Eastern Europe proved advantageous for US companies. However, logistical challenges soon emerged, threatening smooth communication and seamless collaboration between in-house and offshore teams.

Syncing teams with shifts +10 hours apart proved challenging. Additionally, thinking about flying to meet the offshore staff and aligning objectives implied journeys that easily exceeded 24 hours. Faced with logistical headaches, companies began seeking alternatives.

Then came nearshoring and Latin America, offering boundless talent pools right in North America’s backyard. Nearshoring aims to deliver top-notch professionals at rates comparable to offshoring destinations.

Still, this option offers much more than just cost savings—it entails shared time zones, convenient flights from America, high English proficiency and a close cultural alignment with American work ethics and labor laws.

But, with so many burgeoning powerhouses to choose from, which is Latin America’s best nearshoring destination? Definitely, the top choice is Colombia.

Join us in discovering why we chose Colombia as our Latam hub for nearshoring services in the American continent—a decision that has proven immensely successful.

Industries with biggest needs of talent nearshore outsourcing

  • Tech and Engineering
  • Customer Support
  • Marketing and Design
  • Legal
  • HR and Recruitment

A Rapidly Growing Digital Infrastructure

Colombian government has thoroughly structured an impressive communications infrastructure over the last decades. With ten operational submarine cables and two more in progress, Colombia is positioning itself at the forefront of connectivity in Latin America. This abundance facilitates seamless connections and swift data transmissions.

Such upscaling in the country’s connectivity with key hubs worldwide caught the attention of the World Economic Forum, which recently chose Colombia as the home of the inaugural Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Latin America.

With only one akin center in the region, this initiative highlights Colombia’s commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things for sustainable and inclusive development.

Colombia’s remarkable advancement in telecommunications comes as no surprise: The South American country ranks among the top ten countries globally in terms of the percentage of GDP invested in this sector, ranking first in Latin America.

This dedication to ensuring strong and stable connectivity not only provides robust communications within the country but also enhances its attractiveness as a nearshoring destination for US companies seeking reliable digital infrastructure for their operations.

Language Proficiency

For decades, outsourcing hotspots like India or the Philippines have been the top choices for US companies because of their deep connection to American culture, including their early access to English, which is an official second language in both countries.

Still, Latin America has been catching up and is now able to offer a steady stream of English skilled talent to the North America market. Moreover, its deep connection with American culture has made the region a suitable alternative to provide bilingual staffing solutions that easily overcome language barriers.

Focusing on the Colombian context, according to the English Proficiency Index by English First, the country stands out as the third globally, and the first in Latin America, for the remarkable growth in English proficiency of its population from 2011 to 2018.

Colombia’s commitment to enhancing language skills is evident, with a significant 60-point increase in the national average since the study’s inception. Consequently, key Colombian nearshoring hubs like Bogotá, Barranquilla, Medellín and Cali surpass the global English proficiency average.

Furthermore, Colombian talent stands out among staffing solutions from other global hubs due to their native Spanish proficiency, an increasingly coveted attribute for US companies. Why is Spanish a relevant feature? Because of the substantial Latino community in the US, which numbered over 63 million as of 2022, according to Statista.

In response to this burgeoning market, American companies are increasingly seeking bilingual English-Spanish professionals to fulfil the needs of their customer base. Colombia, renowned for its superb outsourcing call center services and live chat representatives, has emerged as a strategic location for nearshoring operations.

Compatible Work Shifts and Labor Laws

Colombia’s geographical proximity to the US makes it an ideal nearshoring destination, with talent hubs just a few hours away by flight from all major North American cities. This accessibility allows companies to maintain better control over their offshore teams, facilitating regular visits and closer collaboration.

In addition, Colombia’s time zone alignment with the US ensures synchronous working hours, minimizing communication barriers and enhancing productivity. With both teams operating simultaneously, responses are quicker, leading to smoother communications and seamless workflows.

In terms of labor laws, regulations in Colombia bear striking similarities to their US counterparts. From work shifts to overtime compensation, contract types, and mandatory benefits, the alignment between the two countries is notable.

Perhaps, the only big difference between both countries regarding labor laws are the public holidays, considerably more in Colombia: 18 to 11. Nevertheless, this variation is largely compensated by Colombians’ weekly standard shift, which is 7 hours longer than the US average.

Favorable Business Climate

Colombia emerges as one of the most appealing business destinations in the region. Steady government support during the last decades and a climate that encourages all investment initiatives through tax incentives and free trade agreements may be some of the reasons behind the country’s success in the Latin American business landscape.

Ranked in the Doing Business Index as the third best country in Latin America, slightly behind Chile and Mexico, Colombia has garnered international recognition as a premier business hotspot. The country excels in various criteria, including credit accessibility, investor protection, and bankruptcy procedures.

What about its major cities? Bogota, Colombia’s capital, ranks second in America’s cities of the future, according to a 2022 fDi magazine ranking. Moreover, the study also classifies the city as the eight worldwide with the best strategy for attracting foreign investment, making it the only Latin American city in the top 10.

Medellín, on the other hand, was recognized in 2013 by Citigroup and the Wall Street Journal as the “Most Innovative City in the World.” The city is also home to the inaugural Center in Latam for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an initiative from the World Economic Forum that seeks to maximize the benefits of technology and promote inclusive growth in the region.

Cost-Effectiveness

Nearshore outsourcing to Colombia offers US companies significant cost savings, primarily driven by lower living costs and reductions in labor costs that can reach 70%.

By leveraging the country’s skilled workforce at a fraction of the onshore talent cost, US companies can allocate substantial resources towards upscaling their business operations and fueling growth initiatives.

The following chart offers a clearer perspective on the substantial disparity between salaries of Colombian and US talent. We’ll be comparing roles that are highly sought-after in the IT industry, a sector that has faced significant talent shortages in the US in recent years.

ROLES US AVERAGE

SALARY (USD)

CO AVERAGE SALARY (USD) TIMEZONE ENGLISH LEVEL
Network Engineer 100,285 39,000 1-2 hours difference Fluent
Security Engineer 142,350 25,610 1-2 hours difference Fluent
Back-end Developer 105,391 58,500 1-2 hours difference Fluent
Mobile

Developer

116,859 31,980 1-2 hours difference Fluent
Front-end Developer 84,700 24,000 1-2 hours difference Fluent

Source: Emapta.com

Access to a Skilled and Diverse Talent Pool

According to the IMD World talent Ranking, Colombia boasts the third most qualified workforce in Latin America. Moreover, Coursera’s 2023 Global Skills Report ranks Colombian talent as the first in the region.

These accolades underscore Colombia’s dedication to cultivating a highly skilled workforce through top-tier education. As a matter of fact, several Colombian universities are among the best in the region, with three making the Latin America top 25.

Furthermore, Colombian higher education programs are globally renowned for their quality. In fact, a recent QS ranking included 12 college programs offered by Colombian universities among the best 100 in the world. These programs span various fields, including Modern Languages, Law, Architecture, and Management & Administration.

With talent excelling across various industries, Colombia presents a strategic opportunity for companies looking to optimize efficiency and productivity through nearshore outsourcing, without sacrificing on staff’s skills or expertise.

How Emapta Can Help Your Business

Now that you’ve learned about nearshoring and how it can boost your company, are you ready to expand your business with top-notch, cost-effective talent?

Discover here how Emapta’s expertise in sourcing skilled professionals has helped over 720 clients build exceptional nearshore teams and grow their business.

But don’t take our word for granted! Hear from our trusted partners about their experience of collaborating with us and upscaling their business through our outsourcing services.