In today's interconnected world, the rise of remote work has opened up new possibilities for businesses seeking to tap into a global talent pool. With the freedom to hire talent from anywhere, organisations now face the challenge of strategically selecting the right countries to source their remote workforce. It's crucial to consider long-term perspectives when making this decision, as it directly impacts scalability, talent acquisition, and leveraging existing talent networks and employer brand.
Carefully planning the location for remote talent goes beyond short-term convenience. It involves envisioning the future trajectory of your business and aligning it with the strengths and opportunities presented by different countries. This comprehensive approach ensures that your organisation remains adaptable and well-positioned to harness the full potential of a global workforce.
When contemplating the selection of a country for remote talent, scalability is an important consideration. As your business expands, having a strong foundation in a country with ample talent resources and a supportive ecosystem becomes essential. By strategically establishing a remote presence in countries with vibrant tech scenes or established talent hubs, you can tap into local networks and benefit from their dynamic growth and innovation.
Furthermore, choosing the right country for remote talent entails finding the optimal balance between access to existing talent pools and the potential for future talent acquisition. Selecting a country with a robust talent market and a pipeline of skilled professionals ensures a sustainable supply of talent, paving the way for long-term growth. Additionally, the presence of thriving tech communities and specialised networks can foster collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and talent development opportunities.
In this blog post, we will delve into a comparative analysis of various countries, exploring their unique advantages, challenges, and considerations for remote talent selection. By understanding the long-term implications of choosing the right country, you can make informed decisions that optimise your organisation's growth, tap into diverse talent pools, and foster a thriving global workforce.
- Availability of Skilled Talent: When evaluating potential countries, the company should assess the quality and depth of their technical education infrastructure. Some countries are renowned for their robust educational systems, technical training programs, and a strong emphasis on STEM education. Our research shows that countries such as India, China, Canada, and Germany have established themselves as significant players in the global technology landscape, producing a large number of highly skilled engineers. These nations boast strong engineering programs, high-tech industries, and a culture that values technical expertise. The tech talent is also seen to grow very rapidly in countries like Singapore, Japan, Australia, Philippines and Ukraine.
- Average Salaries of the Team: When building a remote engineering team, it's essential to strike a balance between talent quality and labour costs. Different countries offer varying salary expectations for engineering professionals based on local economic conditions, demand, and cost of living. Countries such as Ukraine, Poland, India, and multiple South-Asian nations provide a favourable combination of highly skilled talent and competitive salaries (as illustrated above). The average salary across these countries is less than $50,000 per year, which is 50% less than salaries in the USA and almost 25% lower than other countries which are part of our research.
- Time Zone Differences: Managing a remote engineering team also requires careful consideration of time zone differences. Overlapping working hours can enhance communication, collaboration, and productivity, while significant time zone disparities may introduce challenges in terms of real-time collaboration and project management. For a US-based technology company, countries within similar time zones or with a reasonable overlap can be advantageous. Latin American countries such as Brazil and Mexico as well as Canada offer overlapping work hours with the US time zones, facilitating synchronous collaboration. Countries in Eastern Europe and parts of Asia, like Ukraine and India, have a partial overlap with US working hours, allowing for effective communication during a significant portion of the day.
- It's important to consider factors such as English language proficiency, as effective communication is crucial for seamless collaboration within remote teams. Countries with a high level of English proficiency, like India and the Philippines, can be advantageous for teams where English is the primary language of communication.
- While salaries are crucial for selecting locations for building remote talent, ensuring fair and competitive compensation is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent, as underpaid professionals may be less motivated or seek alternative opportunities.
Key emerging remote work locations for a US based technology company
India as a remote hiring destination
India offers a compelling choice for global companies looking to leverage remote work to their advantage by providing an abundance of cost-effective, skilled talent when compared to its peers (as illustrated above). The favourable time zone also makes it an attractive destination for companies to set up their remote competency and benefit from the setup.
India has emerged as a powerhouse for technology development, giving rise to some of the world's top applications. Here are the top Indian apps to experience the best of Indian innovation.
Peer App (USA): PayPal
Valuation: $16 billion
Engineering Talent Strength: 1,500+
Tech Innovations: Paytm pioneered digital payments in India, offering a mobile wallet, bill payments, and online transactions. It played a crucial role in driving the adoption of digital payment methods in the country.
Peer App (USA): Uber
Valuation: $6 billion
Engineering Talent Strength: 3,000+
Tech Innovations: Ola revolutionised the ride-hailing industry in India, providing an affordable and convenient way to book taxis through their mobile app. Ola also introduced features like Ola Share (ride-sharing), Ola Auto (auto-rickshaw bookings), and Ola Electric (electric vehicle fleet) to promote sustainable transportation options.
Peer App (USA): Khan Academy
Valuation: $22 billion
Engineering Talent Strength: 2,500+
Tech Innovations: Byju's is an edtech platform that provides interactive learning content for students. The app incorporates adaptive learning algorithms, gamification, and personalised content delivery to make education engaging and effective. Byju's has expanded globally and offers a wide range of subjects and courses.
Peer App (USA): DoorDash
Valuation: $5.5 billion
Engineering Talent Strength: 2,500+
Tech Innovations: Swiggy is one of India's leading food delivery platforms. The Super App offers a wide range of restaurants to choose from, streamlined ordering processes, and real-time order tracking. Swiggy has introduced features like Swiggy Super (unlimited free deliveries), Swiggy Pop (affordable single-serve meals), and Swiggy Daily (homemade meals subscription service) to cater to various customer needs. Besides food delivery, Swiggy also provides on-demand grocery deliveries under the name Instamart, and a same-day package delivery service called Swiggy Genie.
Peer App (USA): Venmo
Valuation: $7 billion
Engineering Talent Strength: 1,200+
Tech Innovations: PhonePe is a popular digital wallet and payments app in India. It allows users to make secure payments, transfer money, pay bills, and recharge mobile services. PhonePe introduced features like UPI (Unified Payments Interface) integration, enabling seamless and instant bank transfers.
Valuation: $5.6 billion
Engineering Talent Strength: 300+
Tech Innovations: Postman, as a collaboration platform for API development, has introduced several innovative features that have significantly contributed to the API development and testing process. While they may not have been the first in the world to introduce these specific features, they have played a crucial role in popularising and standardising them within the API development community. Some notable innovations by Postman include: API Documentation, Testing and Automation, Monitoring, Mocking, as well as several features that allow team members to collaborate on several API projects simultaneously.
Peer App (USA): Amazon
Valuation: $37.6 billion
Engineering Talent Strength: 4,000+
Tech Innovations: Flipkart has played a significant role in transforming the e-commerce landscape in India. Flipkart has led several innovations including pioneering the “Cash on Delivery” payment option in India, and developed supply chain solutions to address the challenges of e-commerce in India, such as last-mile delivery, reverse logistics, and fulfilment centres.
Peer App (USA): Robinhood
Valuation: $3 billion
Engineering Talent Strength: 400+
Tech Innovations: Zerodha is a prominent online discount brokerage company in India. It introduced the concept of discount brokerage in India, offering low-cost trading with transparent pricing. Zerodha introduced a seamless and paperless account opening process, allowing users to open a trading account entirely online, reducing paperwork and saving time for customers. It also launched educational initiatives like "Varsity," an online learning platform that provides comprehensive resources, tutorials, and courses on various aspects of trading and investing. These initiatives aim to educate and empower individuals to make informed investment decisions.
At Wisemonk, we help global companies streamline their remote hiring processes in India. We understand the complexities of managing talent operations in India, ranging from employee sourcing and onboarding, managing contracts, compliant payroll management and many more. As a young company, we are built on the individual experience of working with multiple Sequoia and YC-backed startups like Mesh.ai, Shipsy.io and many others.
If you have any inquiries regarding building your remote team in India, we would be delighted to assist you and provide answers.