The number of Uruguayan companies that hire professionals abroad to work remotely grew by 96% in just one year, from June 2022 to June 2023, due to a shortcoming that, although it aims to correct through various initiatives , continues to be a current problem: the lack of workers in the IT sector in Uruguay.
The lack of labor for the Information Technology (ICT) sector in Uruguay is a problem that not only prevents further development of the local sector -which, in any case, finds its spaces to continue innovating and growing-; It is also an obstacle for both national and foreign companies located in the country, which must look for talent abroad to fill their professional staff.
This is demonstrated by a study by the human resources company Deel, which found that, in just one year, the number of Uruguayan companies seeking professionals abroad to work remotely grew by 96%. Likewise, in the same period, the hiring of Uruguayans by foreign technology companies increased 86%.
Uruguayan companies, for their part, mainly hire professionals trained in technology from Argentina and Colombia. In this sense, contracts to those countries grew 124% and 162%, respectively; and the most hired position is software developer. In addition, systems engineers, statisticians or professionals who manipulate and articulate data, and UI/UX designers are among the most sought after roles by global technology companies.
The shortage of specific and trained labor for positions in the IT sector in Uruguay is a problem that has already been diagnosed and has been extensively analyzed by the authorities, who are testing different alternatives and solutions. In this sense, and with zero unemployment in the sector, vacant positions amounted to 3,500 in the middle of the year, according to a study by the Uruguayan Chamber of Information Technologies (CUTI). The main drawback of this situation is that, by not finding the necessary workers, many international companies -mainly based in the free zones- must leave the country or, likewise, others doubt whether or not to invest in the territory in the face of these difficulties.
To solve this problem, they point to different initiatives promoted by the Government. Among them, the recently approved talent attraction law, which offers tax incentives to technical professionals in the ICT sector from abroad -whether they are foreigners or Uruguayans- in exchange for residing in the country to live and work. The president of CUTI, Carlos Acle, told Ámbito that the law “is important, not only for our sector, but also for other sectors of activity that need IT talent to incorporate technology into their companies.” “The search for IT talent for non-IT companies is increasingly relevant and has been growing year by year,” he said.