UX talent shortfall: 5 Reasons why the solution you need is at your doorstep.

Forrester’s recent 2017 study on UX states that “expertly designed User Experience can increase conversion upwards of 400%!” Not surprisingly, demand for UX talent in the US is greatly outstripping supply. According to SimplyHired, “New York tops the list with 17,967 available UX Design jobs, San Francisco following in second with 14,057 jobs, and Seattle in third with 5,540 jobs”.

The war for qualified User Experience talent is in full swing between clients, agencies, consulting firms, technology companies, and startups. Couple that demand with what AdWeek shared recently – that “70% of new hires expect to be promoted BEFORE proving themselves”, and you can easily find your company or project starved of highly qualified talent.

Forward thinking digital decision makers in the US are making the investment in high quality UX and increasingly looking South to LatAm to meet this demand – with a lush talent pool that has been exploding at the equator like a rain forest of digital flora and fauna. Here are 5 reasons why the solution to your UX talent shortfall could be right under your North facing nose. LatAm, and Colombia in particular, is the answer and the swell is there to ride in what we call the “Digital El Nino.”

  1. Our cultures mirror each other.
    Latin Americans are renowned for their passion, creativity and problem solving dating back thousands of years. While unique and distinct in many ways, LatAm countries a share a common consumer and design aesthetic with their northern neighbors. This understanding of our day to day digital life combined with unique cultural interactions translates into a universal interaction language that is often difficult to find in cultures that have a “consumer chasm” with America (especially when looking to the east and west). In Western society, you hold the door for the person behind you. In Russia, they just don’t.
  2. No need to reset your watch and no translation required
    The IAOP (International Assoc. Of Outsource Professionals) found that the #1 challenge for companies that outsource non-commodity services like Design and UX is timezone. In an Agile driven development world where daily standups and scrums are the required routine, timezone matters a great deal. Fear not, the remote team in Colombia had their morning coffee at the same time you did. Only difference is their’s was better. And while their native tongue is proudly Spanish, the language of business is English. Frictionless communication in real time is a game changer.
  3. They use the same toolbox
    Jay Shood of J&J recently shared “LatAm firms are highly fluent in the latest development tools that make cross border collaboration more efficient and fluid, using platforms like Jira and Slack is more common than other offshore locations.” Simply put, LatAm firms leverage the same UX, design, and development methodologies and project management processes as firms based in NY or LA.
  4. The design and technology graduates are plentiful
    Colombian universities have made great commitments to producing the next generation of creative technologists.Over 50,000 a year and growing.  From UX and design to mobile development, the pool of highly talented, English proficient resources is growing everyday. And these teams are excited and passionate about working on large global brands that want to push what’s possible in digital. They take pride in being associated with your brand. Because working for US brands is very cool.
  5. They want to debunk the Cartel Stereotype
    To many Americans, Colombia is still synonymous with coffee and cartels. Forward thinking digital leaders know the real truth – Colombia has transformed itself over the last twenty years and is now one of the most creative countries in the world. Innovation is everywhere, with Medellin even being named the “Most Innovative City of the Year” by the WSJ a couple years back.

Zemoga is a pioneer in providing world class nearshore digital services to US firms. We’ve been at it for over 16 years and remain proudly independent. We’ve helped dozens of companies large and small redefine their UX and digital strategies and deliver amazing experiences. If you’re feeling the squeeze of the digital talent shortages in the US, contact us to learn more about how we can help increase engagement, drive revenue, and optimize digital delivery (outsmarting, not outsourcing).

About the author

DJ is CEO & Founder of Zemoga. He has worked in the digital design and production space for over 30 years specializing in developing customer engagement strategies & building teams and technologies that provide groundbreaking solutions for F500 Co's.