In today’s ever-changing education field, educational technology (EdTech) plays a crucial role. As we strive for a future where everyone has equal access to excellent education, EdTechs must keep pushing boundaries and revolutionize the learning process. To succeed, they must gather a team of dedicated individuals who are passionate about closing educational disparities and ensuring learning is available to everyone. Here’s how to find mission-aligned people.
What are the top 3 challenges faced by EdTechs when hiring for software team positions?
To build better software, EdTech companies must first enhance their ability to attract and hire talented software professionals. Without good people in their ranks, companies can hardly develop innovative and impactful educational technology solutions. So what are the key impediments?
#1 Competitive Market for Tech Talent
The demand for skilled software professionals is high across various industries, including EdTech. EdTechs often contend with major technology companies, startups, and other sectors vying for top-tier talent. This intense competition can make it challenging for EdTech companies to attract and retain top-tier software engineers, developers, and designers.
In the dynamic landscape of the modern work environment, specialists say that”(…) organizations will need to become more comfortable assessing candidates solely on the skills needed to perform in the role, rather than their credentials and prior experience”. At the same time, expanding the talent pipeline to another country could be a huge boost and a chance to improve.
#2 Evolving Technology Landscape
The field of technology is constantly evolving, with new frameworks, programming languages, and tools emerging regularly. EdTech companies need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies to remain competitive. However, this fast-paced nature of the tech industry can pose a challenge when hiring software team members. Ensuring that candidates have the necessary skills, knowledge, and adaptability to work with evolving technologies can be a significant hurdle.
#3 Domain Expertise in Education
EdTech companies require software professionals who possess both technical skills and a truly solid understanding of the education domain. Building effective educational software products and platforms requires knowledge of pedagogy, learning theories, and the specific challenges faced by educators and learners. Finding candidates with technical expertise and a profound understanding of education poses a challenge, as it requires a combination of skills and experience that may be relatively rare in the talent pool.
5 Ways to Circumvent Skill Shortages in EdTechs
Although not all of these core challenges aren’t necessarily innate to the EdTech industry, they still have to be faced with effective strategies. To overcome these, PeopleOps, Product, and Engineering leadership can employ various strategies. To name a few:
a) Employer Branding
Building a strong employer brand can help attract top talent. Highlighting the company’s mission, impact on education, and unique work culture can differentiate it from competitors and appeal to software professionals who align with those values.
b) Collaboration with Educational Institutions
Establishing partnerships with universities, coding boot camps, and other educational institutions can create a pipeline of talent. Engaging with students through internships, guest lectures, and mentoring programs can help EdTech companies identify and nurture potential candidates.
c) Professional Development and Growth Opportunities
Offering opportunities for continuous learning, professional development, and career advancement is crucial to attracting and retaining software team members. Providing access to training resources, conferences, and skill-building programs can demonstrate a commitment to the growth and development of employees.
d) Building Remote Work Capabilities
Embracing remote work and offering flexible work arrangements can broaden the talent pool. Remote work allows EdTech companies to access talent beyond their immediate geographic area and tap into a global pool of software professionals.
e) Competitiveness in Compensation and Benefits
EdTech companies need to offer competitive compensation packages, including salaries, bonuses, and benefits, to attract top talent. Understanding market rates and adjusting compensation packages accordingly is essential in a competitive hiring landscape.
Among all of these, the growing trend the American and Canadian EdTech sectors have shipped on is to look abroad for talent. Although outsourcing isn’t exactly new, it brings downsides such as potential lower quality code or difficulties in collaborating with unfavorable timezones in Easter Europe or Southeast Asia.
Instead, companies are finding success by looking much closer: expanding operations to Latin America has proven the right balance between cost, team integration, and quality. Latin America has a thriving tech industry with a pool of skilled professionals: many countries have reputable universities and technical institutes that produce competent graduates in computer science, engineering, and related fields.
How can Edtechs benefit from hiring Latin American talent for software product, design, and engineering roles?
First, we must look at what the local EdTech market has to offer. Overall, hiring Latin American talent for software product, design, and engineering can provide cost advantages, access to technical expertise, language and cultural affinity, time zone alignment, diversity and innovation, and proximity to target markets. It is a strategic choice that can contribute to the success and growth of EdTech companies.
Right now, there is a fast-growing EdTech Ecosystem. Latin America’s EdTech market has been experiencing significant growth in recent years. The region has seen the emergence of successful EdTech startups and a rise in educational technology adoption. This growth has led to the development of a talented workforce with expertise in various areas of EdTech, including software development, instructional design, data analytics, and more.
American and Canadian companies can leverage their resources, expertise, and market presence to attract top talent from Latin America. The opportunity to work for established companies with a global reach can be enticing for high-performing professionals seeking career growth and international exposure. Additionally, American and Canadian companies often offer competitive compensation packages, which can be a strong incentive for talented individuals in Latin America.
Just the Time Zone Alignment alone is a great advantage: it facilitates real-time collaboration, seamless communication, and agile development processes. It allows for smoother coordination between teams and reduces potential delays in decision-making or project execution. Yet, there are other perks North American C-levels should take into consideration when mixing their ranks with American, Canadian, and Latin team members.
Two added benefits of exploring the region can’t go unnoticed:
Reason 1: Ease of engagement
The rise of remote work and distributed teams has opened up new possibilities for cross-border talent acquisition. American and Canadian companies can tap into the Latin American talent pool without the constraints of physical proximity. This flexibility allows for remote collaboration, enabling companies to access top talent regardless of geographical boundaries. There is no longer a need for visa sponsorship, or opening a local entity for hiring abroad, for instance.
Reason 2: Market Expansion Potential
Latin America presents a growing market for EdTech companies. By hiring talent from the region, American and Canadian companies can gain insights into the local market dynamics, cultural nuances, and user preferences. This knowledge can be valuable for expanding their operations and tailoring their products or services to the Latin American audience.
While the Latin American EdTech market offers a viable talent pool, it’s essential for American and Canadian companies to approach talent acquisition ethically and respectfully. Building strong relationships, understanding local labor laws, and providing opportunities for professional growth and development are crucial factors in attracting and retaining high-performing professionals from Latin America.
What are the undeniable benefits of adding Latin experts to my team?
With the right support, it can be easy to expand product, design, and engineering teams to LatAm without any risk. Ubiminds specializes in hiring tech talent for software teams while also protecting organizations from liability. You can count on our (free!) advice to hire with intelligence:
Reason 3: Cost-Effectiveness
Latin American countries often have lower labor costs compared to other regions, such as North America or Europe. By hiring talent from Latin America, EdTech companies can potentially reduce their development and operational costs while maintaining high-quality work. This is even more prevalent when Ubiminds provides free recruiting and back-office support.
Reason 4: Strong Communication
There is Language and Cultural Affinity that goes beyond English-as-a-Second-Language certifications like TOEFL or IELTS. First, Ubiminds selects professionals who are familiar with business and technical language and culture. Then, coaches them to enhance communication and understanding with users, peers, and leaders. Ultimately leading to more effective product development and localization.
Reason 5: Diversity and Innovation
Latin America is known for its rich cultural diversity, and this diversity can bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table. This fosters creativity and enhances problem-solving capabilities, as different cultural backgrounds and experiences can contribute to the development of inclusive and globally relevant educational solutions. Ubiminds expands your talent pool to more than one country at a time, accelerating these processes.
Overall, hiring Latin American talent for software product, design, and engineering in EdTech can provide cost advantages, access to technical expertise, language and cultural affinity, time zone alignment, diversity and innovation, and proximity to target markets. It is a strategic choice that can contribute to the success and growth of EdTech companies. Drop a line below to learn more about how your company can hire in LatAm too.
International Marketing Leader, specialized in tech. Proud to have built marketing and business generation structures for some of the fastest-growing SaaS companies on both sides of the Atlantic (UK, DACH, Iberia, LatAm, and NorthAm). Big fan of motherhood, world music, marketing, and backpacking. A little bit nerdy too!