Recently, much has been said about the lack of digital talent. Latin America needs to train at least one million new software developers in the next 10 years to meet demand in the sector.

In response to this market demand, various educational solutions have emerged in recent years to train new programmers and IT talent. University enrollments in STEM careers grow year by year, and novel programming boot camps continue to explode in demand.

However, once these people learn to program, little is said about the process of incorporating these new talents into the technical teams that are already part of the companies.

Companies that require massive IT talent acquisitions face significant problems in this process, which begins with detecting talent to hire in the market to assigning these individuals to teams once they are productive enough to join the work environment.

In this article, we will review the main pain points that the most important technology companies in LATAM face in this process, which we will call tech talent onboarding.

We will also analyze the different strategies used to mitigate this problem and the advantages and disadvantages of each. The focus will be on trainee or entry-level talent, meaning those software developers without previous work experience.

Main Challenges for Companies Hiring IT Talent

Let’s review the main pain points that a company, growing in LATAM, has when hiring profiles in the technology sector:

IT Training

Universities and bootcamps train talents in a standard format, meaning they do not specialize in very specific tools and technologies. For example, programming frameworks such as React, Node, Spring, .NET, Kotlin, or Swift, among others, are rarely part of the curriculum of such educational centers.

The training is usually comprehensive so that the graduate can continue to develop in the company. Moreover, many educational institutions do not specialize in generating practical environments where work methodologies or development tools are implemented. These skills are very necessary when joining an IT team.

Thus, this last stage of training, called the “last mile,” ends up being developed within the company and is carried out by the senior talent of the company to ensure that junior talent is “job-ready.”

Of course, this implies a very large investment of time and resources for companies that have to carry out the onboarding of tech talent for new hires.

Senior Talent Shortage

The most valued talent by companies is, in fact, the most experienced. They possess enough expertise to lead the development of new digital products or to quickly resolve technological problems or bugs (errors in applications or software).

As previously mentioned, the “last mile” training is carried out by this group of professionals.

In addition to the clear shortage of senior talent, there are also hours of training for junior talents who join the company, taking away “productive” hours for the hiring company.

Each hour of a senior software developer represents a very high effective cost. Added to the “opportunity cost” of that hour, represented by all the new developments that were not carried out or the bugs that were not solved, limiting the company’s growth.

According to digital portal La Información, for a new employee to be 100% productive in a company, at least 6 months must pass. That’s why many companies include onboarding programs that seek to reduce these times as much as possible.

“According to estimates we have been able to make at Alkemy, each trainee software developer who does not go through an onboarding program requires between 90 to 180 hours of training from a senior developer.”

Federico Repetto, CEO & Co-Founder of Alkemy


The vast majority of companies, even technological ones, are not specialists in how to carry out effective onboarding processes.

The answer lies in the fact that this is not the core of the company, and the training that is carried out often has a format that does not always adapt to the learning needs that talents and the company require.

And since they don’t know how to carry out tech talent onboarding in companies, they often assign these tasks to senior developers in the company, making it a slow process and with a cost that is too high for companies.

Scalability and technology

Finally, the lack of scalability and appropriate technology for the process make onboarding one of the main problems for companies that hire tech talent.

In this sense, in-house training becomes unscalable for companies. At the same time, the lack of focus does not allow the implementation of the latest technologies available to carry out talent onboarding in a scalable way.

Tech Talent Onboarding: How to Do It Effectively

There are different solutions to tackle the problem. Here we show them to you with their advantages and disadvantages.

Solutions Advantages Disadvantages
Don’t hire junior talent.
Shortage of senior talent.
Only incorporate experienced talent into technical teams. None.
Poor culture and long-term vision. Weak foundations for scaling.
On-the-job training Group a certain number of juniors under the supervision, monitoring, and training of a senior talent. Proximity with talent during their first weeks. Scalability. Lack of know-how. Unpredictable results. Many hours of deslocalized senior talent. Budget. Poorly organized induction. Candidate frustration.
Onboarding in-house Train talent under a program developed by the company itself. Proximity with talent during their first weeks. Reduction of candidate frustration. Reduction of attrition. Company culture and way of working focused on training. Greater engagement with the company. Scalability. Lack of know-how. Unpredictable results. Many hours of delocalized senior talent. Budget.
Program of onboarding with a specialist partner Partner with Alkemy, a specialist in tech talent onboarding. Scalability. Senior team dedicated to the business. Co-creation of the experience. Guarantee of job readiness. Individual performance metrics. Experience and know-how in onboarding. Technology applied to training. Streamlining of time and resources devoted to training. Company culture and way of working focused on training. Greater engagement with the company. Drastically reduced risk of attrition. Budget.

If you are a company that hires tech talent and you are looking to effectively, efficiently, and scalably onboard new hires, Alkemy has the solution for you.

For more information about the Onboarding program in partnership with Alkemy, click here.

Federico Repetto, CEO & Co-Founder of Alkemy