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Forget VC’s Big Bucks: Latam Startups Are Now Competing For Talent

Startups are in such need of quick growth that they don't have the time to train new talent. That's why they're poaching experienced people from other companies.

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Having good tech skills is now a requirement for any type of company, especially for startups. However, getting the required talent on board is becoming a problem. Recruiters are now following people who’ve already worked in similar companies or roles, which in turn creates a new type of competition among scaling startups.

High demand for tech-focused profiles is explained by the so-called “digital transformation”, according to 81% of companies surveyed by an Everis Digital Talent study.

In the case of startups, being newly created, tech-focused companies, they have the “need to compete globally and develop their technology areas quickly,” said Rocio Perez, Career Development and Alliances Manager at Ironhack, a global tech school, to Contxto.

This is why they require “highly specialized talent that not only adapts to their growth speed, but also leads operations with technological tools that serve to guide the strategies, and action plans of any area,” Gustavo Arce, CEO of the company dedicated to finding technological talent NDS Cognitive Labs, said Contexto.

Until 2021, the most demanded profiles, according to Ironhack, are web developers, UX/UI designers, marketing specialists, data analysts, and e-commerce specialists.

Recruiting for startups can be complicated

Due to the new needs, 55% of the companies surveyed by Everis admit that they face great difficulty in finding talent with the right skills.

The task is not easy. In fact, the same report pointed out that the level of difficulty that companies have when looking for talent is on the following scale: high, with 54%; moderate with 40%; and low with 6%.

Arce agrees with this situation and said that it is a challenge, because it requires people who have a combination of hard and soft skills and values that match the startup. In other words, this means that startups must take into account that the people who join the teams should know about crisis management, leadership, strategy development, empathy, sense of urgency, agile design thinking or growth mindset.

In addition, another challenge that both, he and Perez, mentioned was time. This factor is essential in a growing company, since many times they cannot afford to take months to hire the required personnel or to recruit, as this would mean financial losses.

One more challenge is: “Traditional recruiting processes are often slow, complex, and the selected candidate does not necessarily meet the profile or expectations of the position,” noted the president of NDS Cognitive Labs.

Even not having the right people can contribute to the failure of a startup, CBInsights reported that this cause could account for 14% of this drop.

The Everis survey also said that among the problems in finding the right talent is that there are significant gaps in relation to the profile sought, among them are the lack of integrity of skills by the talent with 53%, shortage of talent supply with 48% and lack of experience by the talent with 48%.

New talent vs. experienced talent in startups

Regarding the last point of the previous section, Perez commented that startups tend to hire people who have already been in other similar companies, because they are constantly growing and are against time, so it is difficult for them to train talent that still needs experience and they hire someone with previous validation.

Undoubtedly, this is what is leading these types of companies to enter into a battle for existing talent.

Despite this, and as vacancies in the technology sector are booming, which are also among the best paid positions, Rocio Perez called for attracting new talent. She pointed out that in order to make better choices, it would be necessary to resort to experts with the help of data driven.

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Sandra Pérez
Periodista de tecnología y negocios. Escribí para Fortune en Español y Muy Interesante.

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