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6 Biggest Mistakes When Hiring in Mexico

6 Biggest Mistakes When Hiring in Mexico

How to Avoid These Mistakes

3 min read

By Josh N. Garcia


Recruitment in Mexico and Latin America is hot right now!  The closest analogy would be a hot real estate market.  If you find a property you like, you better take it.  If not, it will most likely go to the fastest buyer with the deepest pockets.  In our latest blog we’ll dive into the 6 biggest mistakes we see companies hiring in Mexico make.


1. You gotta move fast! If you didn’t know, recruitment in Mexico and Latin America is hot!  Companies from around the World are looking for talent here.  COVID-19 introduced companies to remote workforces, which led to expanding the talent search around the globle.  If a company is going to employ someone remotely, why not hire across borders and seek talent requiring lesser wages.  Currently, we have companies of all sizes searching for talent.  Silicon Valley is searching for Software Developers.  Digital Marketing companies are seeking a wide range of skills in their field.


The mistake many companies make is prolonging the process longer than needed.  Many times, companies will be slow to respond regarding candidates or draw out the interview process to make sure they have the right candidate.  When doing that, the candidate finds another company who moved faster and made an offer.  Much like a hot real estate market, you gotta move fast!  If you find a candidate you like, move them along in the process and stay in touch.  Keep them warm.  If there’s a mutual interest, make an offer!


2. Don’t underestimate salaries in Mexico –  3 years ago salaries were quite low in Mexico.  Freelancing was quite new to Mexico and Latin America.  Many people weren’t working from home yet.  COVID-19 and the ‘Gig Economy’ changed all of that.  During COVID, salaries increased substantially for English speakers.  US companies were searching for talent and paying less than US prices but far more than what Mexican residents previously earned.


One of the mistakes companies are making is offering salaries from 2019.  Those days are gone.  There continues to be substantial savings found in Latin America, often times up to 40%, however, salaries are higher than you may expect, especially for English-speaking professionals.


3. English earns more – Stay away from reports on Indeed and Glassdoor to determine salaries. You’ll make a big mistake estimating salary costs in Mexico if you do.  A big mistake companies make is investing too much time on these sites that report salaries.  Most of the salaries reported come from Spanish-speaking employees, which is very misleading.  In some cases, salaries can be as much as double for English-speakers.


Before beginning your search, speak with someone on the ground. Speak to a recruiter or someone who has spent time in the country you’ll be searching for talent.


4. Independent Contractors require more – Traditionally, Mexican employees have received a salary, health care benefits provided by the government, monthly food vouchers and a government-mandated Christmas bonus. With more and more Mexican’s moving to Independent Contractor status and company’s abroad hiring Mexican contractors, contractors are requesting more salary to compensate for the taxes they’ll have to pay and all the benefts they’d receive.


Many companies research salaries, extract information from Indeed and Glassdoor and don’t account for all the benefits Mexican employees received, often making an offer far below the market and ultimately losing a candidate who was a great match for the company.


5. Don’t Fall In Love with their English – This may be the biggest mistake foreign companies make when recruiting in Mexico.  They conduct a few interviews, make a shortlist of great candidates and choose the one candidate who spoke the best English.  Unfortunately, the candidate with the best English, doesn’t have the best skill sets for the role.


Recently, we were filling a role for SEO specialist for a Digital Marketing Agency in Florida.  We had two candidates who made the final interview.  We had already conducted assessments to measure their SEO skills.  The candidate who wasn’t 100% fluent, but spoke English very well, scored higher on the SEO assessment.  The candidate who spoke native English, scored average on the assessment.


The client chose the native English-speaker, the candidate who spoke better English, but had less SEO skills. A few months later the client contacted us to let us know they would need a replacement for the candidate they chose.  At the end of the day, he didn’t have the skills they wished.  The moral of the story is they fell in love with his English and made the wrong choice.


6. Unicorns Don’t Exist – I’ll complete my ‘biggest mistakes’ list with a recent story of a German company looking for a Director or Mexico to head up their office in Queretaro.  This was a client in the manufacturing space, seeking a Director who could build relationships and develop business in Mexico and Central America.


The client provided me with a full job description, daily duties and minimum requirements for the role.  Minimum requirements included 5 years of B2B sales experience, Engineering Degree, Fluent English to name a few.  The company wanted to offer 50,000 MXP/month.  This was half of what all other Director’s were making in Queretaro.


There are certainly great opportunities to hire immense talent in Mexico and Latin America.  There are also huge savings to be achieved, however, companies have to be realistic about salary expectations and compensation for well-qualified candidates.



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