Remote working culture has opened up new opportunities for companies that face local talent shortage in tech. Hiring international talent remotely from all over the world has become the most popular solution as it allows tapping into other countries' booming tech scene without needing relocation.
This guide looks at the best countries to hire tech talent from. In support of our analysis, we look at several essential factors worth considering, such as employment laws, political landscape, demographics, and the price and quality of talent.
Singapore is one of South-East Asia's most technologically advanced hubs. The Singaporean government prioritises talent development, ensuring its tech industry's steady growth. Moreover, the private and public sectors work together to ensure the constant supply of technological talent. Since 2016, Singapore has set aside $19 billion for scientific and technical research.
Hiring from Singapore means accessing top-quality talent that graduated from prestigious technological universities. To make talent more accessible for businesses, The Singapore Economic Development Board (EBD) offers programs and guidelines contributing to the tech industry's growth. Thanks to these policies and talent quality, over 80 of the top 100 tech companies - like Google and Facebook - hire from Singapore. Additionally, the city-state has grown so much recently that it was ranked 7th in the Global Innovation Index in 2022.
As the demand for tech talent has significantly increased post-pandemic, Singapore is investing in the upskilling and reskilling of its workforce. In the tech sphere, they are highly focused on developing the best talent for DevOps, data science, large-scale data design, web and software development, cybersecurity and cloud architecture design.
Although Singapore is one of the best countries for providing top tech talent, they are also ideal for remote hiring due to Singapore’s well-functioning legal system. English is one of the official languages, which makes doing business more accessible and Singaporean candidates a great cultural fit for international companies. Considering the above, Singapore is one of the top tech hubs for hiring talent.
UAE and Dubai
The United Arab Emirates is located on the Arabic peninsula in western Asia. It is located strategically between the European and Asian continents and earned the title of technological hub due to its recent technological advancement. With Abu Dhabi as its capital and largest emirate Dubai, the UAE is going through a new phase of technological revolution.
We have witnessed the UAE becoming a technology leader worldwide due to its economic growth and emphasis on digital transformation. Thanks to government policies and a long-range vision in planning, the UAE’s economy is rapidly growing. For example, implementing the Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy and the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence shows their direction of growth.
The UAE has implemented several employment laws and strategies to attract and accommodate top tech talent. The government-facilitated work visa programs make international hiring more straightforward and accessible. Moreover, the nation has no minimum wage, meaning companies with lower hiring budgets can benefit from their talent pool. Most industries also benefit from low or 0% corporate taxes, attracting a vast amount of foreign investment and businesses.
The UAE is a rapidly growing and innovative technological centre with enormous investments in all technology areas. They currently have high levels of expertise in Cloud Computing, cyber security, IoT, AI and 5G. With the most significant innovation funds (1 trillion USD) invested here, the UAE is one of the most attractive locations for top tech talent - making it an excellent location to hire.
The rise of Ireland as one of the leading technology centres in Europe started decades ago. Beginning with IBM in 1956, large tech companies such as Ericcson, HP, Microsoft and Oracle followed suit in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Ireland’s excellent tech universities are bolstered by several AI centres founded by tech giants like Google, Twitter, Indeed and LinkedIn, producing top-tier technological experts.
The presence of tech giants has further fuelled the expansion of technical education in Ireland, ensuring the continuous fulfilment of tech positions. As we saw in 2022, total employment in ITC has grown by an astounding 9%.
Ireland fosters a business-friendly environment, always prioritising stability and innovation. Over the past decades, the country has matured its tech culture and talent in R&D, technical support, software development, cloud engineering, solution architecture, project management and many other areas.
Due to its technological history and current innovations, Ireland is rightly referred to as The Silicon Valley of Europe. Due to the continuous investment in producing high-quality talent, a booming tech industry, and English as a native language, Ireland is one of the top countries to find the right hire for your company.
According to most experts, the Netherlands competes with Ireland for the Silicon Valley of Europe title. Due to its High Tech Campus in Eindhoven and large brands choosing it as their European headquarters, the Netherlands is becoming one of the most innovative and technologically advanced countries in Europe. The likes of Nike, Netflix and Adidas have contributed to a surge in technological innovation and investment.
Centres like Amsterdam are home to a vibrant and rapidly growing tech scene; with more than twelve unicorns, they are considered among the top countries in tech start-up leadership.
The Dutch government hugely supports the AI, health-tech and fin-tech industries, backing them with vast investments. They also implemented a 30% tax-free allowance for those working in the tech industry, making sure to attract and retain them.
The tech talent in the Netherlands is viewed as top quality not only due to their prestigious education but also because they benefit from collaborative working methods between industries. This collaboration largely contributes to innovative and creative thinking putting Dutch talent on the top of tech companies' wish-list. With their near-native knowledge of English and laws that enable international recruitment, the Netherlands should be on your radar.
Spain is one of the largest economies in Europe, with a rapidly increasing software development industry. Tech hubs like Madrid and Barcelona are the leading cities in tech and innovation, producing a significant percentage of Europe’s start-ups.
Spanish software engineering is world-class, ranking higher at the Hacker Rank Olympics than the Netherlands and India - as supported by data from solving programming challenges. Most importantly, they are also available for hiring as the Spanish IT job market has not been affected strongly by the pandemic. As a result, many have returned from abroad to look for new opportunities, bringing a wealth of experience and an excellent command of English.
As Europe’s 5th largest economy, Spain is very competitive, receiving an increasing amount of foreign investment yearly. With a low cost but high standard of living, Spain attracts the best talent in Europe, making it an excellent talent pool for international hiring.
Spain attracts investors due to its attractive lifestyle, excellent transportation between major cities, high-quality tech talent, and relatively lower labour costs.
With rapidly growing IT, eCommerce and iGaming industries, Spain offers ambitious and experienced tech talent. Due to English being the language of business across the country, it is also a significant destination for other European talent. Looking for new hires in the booming Spanish market in a global shortage is wise and better for the wallet than some other talent pools.
Portugal has recently become one of the leading players on the European tech scene and has been hosting the most important tech event - the annual Web Summit - since 2016. Now home to giants like Google, Volkswagen, Mercedes and Uber, the Portugal tech scene is rising.
A considerable number of ICT graduates - 7000 per year - from prestigious universities like Lisbon, Porto, Braga, and Guimarães are pouring into the young and innovative tech scene. Informal tech education is also gaining momentum and credibility, making tech education and skills widely available.
Apart from excellent tech talent, Portugal also offers a business-friendly environment with cost-effective options for business growth. The workforce is highly skilled but much less expensive than the top candidates in other Western countries.
Governmental efforts are being implemented to enable technological development by nesting innovation with infrastructure, human capital and technology investments. Portugal is a European leader in digital public services and has a fast-growing and dynamic ICT sector - attracting young, skilled and ambitious tech talent.
With the English-speaking work environment, thriving start-up scene, low cost of living, great culture and plenty of sunshine, Portugal is attracting top talent from all over the continent, making it a strong talent pool.
India is one of the world's largest and most well-known tech hubs, with its IT industry employing more than 4.5 million people. Its already colossal market is expanding and is expected to double its IT business process management in the next couple of years.
Many of India’s tech workforce are highly skilled and have outstanding IT knowledge, making the country a top destination for finding innovative talent. Indian professionals are known for their dedication, resilience and loyalty. Many Fortune 500 companies such as Google, IBM, HubSpot, and Vimeo rely on creative and innovative Indian tech talent.
Due to having a large population and being a developing country, India is one of the rare countries offering a surplus of talent at a time of global tech talent shortage. Furthermore, their economic position in the world makes them much more affordable than their western and other Asian counterparts.
With the government implementing its new Education Policy, the country's digital transformation is elevating India to its rightful place in the global technological economy as a leader. Due to its ever-growing talent pool, highly skilled tech talent and governmental investment in protecting international companies, India offers a booming market for global talent acquisition.
In recent years, we have seen a talent shortage across the technological industry. However, due to the recent shifts in employment practices, the restructuring of hiring processes and the development of collaborative technologies, it is now possible to source candidates from all over the world. As new problems require new solutions, Employer of Record (EOR) companies emerged to help you source international talent to solve your business's local talent shortage problem.
Targeting countries like the ones mentioned above is essential to make the most of your international hires, as they have booming tech scenes, top talent and governmental regulations supporting international employment opportunities.
With the help of EORs, you can hire international employees without the need to set up entities in that country. An EOR essentially serves as the legal employer, taking care of payroll, taxes, benefits and compliance with local laws and regulations. Using an EOR will allow you to benefit from the booming international talent pools that would typically not be available to you.